Thursday, 31 December 2015

Fifteen Years On.

I shall never forget that day in early December of the year 2000.  I took my twelve year old son to a house on the other side of this sleepy, laid-back English town named, Leek.  The reasons we were going to that house were wrapped in a mystery of intrigue, of curiosity.

The front door opened and we were greeted by a friendly but rather eccentric older lady.  "Please make yourselves comfortable in the living room", explained the smiling lady.  Tristan sat across from me and gave me a quizzical look.  The wonder in the eyes of my twelve year old son was magical to note.

The lady came into her living room and asked us both to please come upstairs.  Step after step and the sounds emanating from one of the bedrooms became more pronounced, more wondrous, more alluring.  A choir of cute little growling sounds could be plainly heard.

The lady opened the door to the bedroom.  There they were.  A litter of playful two month old Jack Russell puppies.  "Tristan, I know how much you love dogs.  Would you like to choose?", I asked him.

"Buzzin'!" That was the first word that Tristan spoke, with a thrilled delight at the prospect of having a puppy that he could love.  "Penny" and Tristan made immediate eye contact.  I knew, I just knew that Penny and Tristan would have a special bond.  Penny chose Tristan and Tristan chose Penny. This would be the start of a very special, very loving relationship.....
My son, Tristan, at 12 years old, with Penny the Jack Russell dog, early December, 2000.  A young boy with his two month old puppy.
Tristan at 27 years old, with Penny at 15 years old, December 25, 2015.  A young man with his dog. Their shared love, a powerful force for all that's good in this world.
We are a family.  In my arms, my daughter and the beloved sister of my son.  Fifteen years on.

On behalf of Penny, Tristan and myself, we wish you a peaceful, compassionate New Year as we embrace the ideals of the lessons that our animal friends do truly teach us.  The ideals of unconditional, non-judgemental love.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Wee Folks Seasons Greetings, 2015.

 
And thus, Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess, her husband, Geoffrey the garden gnome and their wee son, Einahalk, rejoiced in the warm, reassuring glow of the twinkling Christmas lights.

The wee folks, such curios, magical beings, were in from the cold.  The warmth of their well meaning radiating a sense of peace, of calm, within our living room from the days gone past.  Memories captured from a previous Christmas time.

Such diversity.  Their ethos, an ideal that embraces an all different, all equal world. 
See the joy, the sheer delight on the faces of the wee folks.  They find celebration through observation.  Observation of the simple yet profound moments that often go unnoticed by the big folks in the big world.
Ah yes, that Christmas past.  That living room of the past and the magic that continues. 

In the above photograph is Venetia, the sister of Fidelina, bridesmaid from, The Wee Folks Wedding. The enchanting wedding of Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess and Geoffrey, the garden gnome.  Standing beside her is the "best gnome", Teagan. There was a hint of romance between the two of them at the magic-filled wedding on the first day of summer, the 21st of June, 2010. Note the gnome in the background, Yrag, who is the best friend of Teagan.

Here be a happy little monkey.  His great long arms wrapped over top of a couple of friendly garden gnomes.  Nice tinsel effect.  Happy little monkey.

A past magical moment, frozen in time.  The wee folks rejoiced as one.   Each unique snowdrop cast its glistening wonder upon the enchanted garden where they once doth lived.
Behold.  It be a gathering of wee folks in their new location.  A location removed from their enchanted garden.  And yet, they have told me that they shall make the most of their new, shared ideals adventure.  An adventure which will reveal new hopes, new dreams, new aspirations to my son, our beloved dog, Penny and to me.





Glowing lights.  Glowing candles.  Glowing fire.  The wee folks sing songs of peace, of hope, of love.
Bless Penny the dog.  Like the wee folks, Penny understands the positive power of non-judgemental, unconditional love.  Penny, like the wee folks, can teach us big folks lessons.  If only we would listen.
The setting sun embraced the western horizon.  A twilight of magical promise was revealed as the wee folks gazed upon a tranquil town.  Soon they would drift off to sleep.  A gentle lullaby of hushed tones could be heard as nature's orchestra whooshed through the winter branches.

They be gnomes, fairies and elves
They give of themselves
The sharing 
Of caring
Such diversity
Without adversity
The wee folks
Evoke
That sense of one
It has begun
Their little world
Has unfurled
It reveals
The new ideals
Lessons of peace
On the increase
That we must embrace
For the sake of the human race. 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Piddle In A Tube.

Hi there, yes it's me, Gary, the human dad of Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  I will now take this opportunity to thank Penny very much for taking over the blog site as I continue to try and find the baffling cause to my ongoing chronic fatigue.  *Boo! Hiss! Bring back the dog!*  Huh?  What was that?  Now then, where was I?

On Friday, the 27th of November, I had an appointment for a check-up with the nurse at my health centre.  When I saw the nurse, she seemed surprised that I was having a check-up because I'd had a check-up about three months before.  I explained to her that I was phoned and asked if I would like a check-up.

So, just for fun, or something like that, she took my blood pressure.  My blood pressure was perfectly normal.  So, just for fun, or something like that, she decided to take some blood from me to be analysed for cholesterol.

I told her, despite every other test I've taken, there has been no indicator as to why I'm feeling constantly exhausted.  It gets very frustrating having tests come back showing that everything appears to be normal.  Well, normal in regards to physical tests....

The nurse suggested I make an appointment with a doctor right after my visit with her.  I went to reception and made an appointment to see a doctor on the following Monday, the 30th of November.

When I saw the doctor, although she means well, I felt like I was getting nowhere with trying to solve my chronic fatigue mystery.  The doctor printed up a bunch of stuff in regards to healthy eating and sleeping.  Oh my, I've done this all before and I've been very good at improving my lifestyle. Anyway, she handed me over a tube that I was supposed to piddle in.  Not then and there, I should add.   Nope, take it home, piddle in the tube and then bring it to reception.

Piddle in a tube
I felt like a boob
Piddle in a vial 
My urine on trial
Took tube to reception
No urine deception
Here's my pee
For all to see
The piddle 
Was not a riddle
Got a phone call
They were on the ball
Your urine is fine
Was the bottom line
Then I got a letter
This gets better and better
Please arrange for another blood test
We kindly request
Test after test
Surely, they jest
What does this mean
I might make a scene
Tired of being tired
Something's backfired
Must get inspired
Patience required.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Sit-Down Chariot Racing.

Hi there, yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  My human, yet again, is still too lazy, is still having issues with chronic fatigue.  I know he's going for a full check-up this coming Friday, November 27, to see if they can finally give him a diagnosis.  

So, once again, I shall take this oppawtunity to put up one of my must-read pawsts.

I love horses!  Whenever I see a horse on the TV screen, I try to jump into the screen.  So far, that hasn't happened.  Maybe I should get Gary to pawchase one of those 3D televisions with the curved screen.  That might work.

I saw this really weird horse racing on TV.  It was on a Welsh channel and I'm not too good with speaking Welsh.  This means, I shall have to learn some of that language from a Welsh Corgi.  
 I went and grabbed Gary's camera and managed to take a few pictures of what is named harness racing.  I'm pawplexed because I didn't see any of the riders chasing a harness, or for that matter, an electronic hare.  Oops, wrong sort of race.  
Here's some more action from the harness race.  Actually, I think it looks more like a sit-down chariot race!
And even more action.  Quite the reaction and loads of traction. 
I'm quite confused
Totally bemused
Look at the dude
How very rude
He tries to pass
All he sees is the horse's ass
What can he do
When he's covered in poo?
Astro Boy displays a plan of attack
Get the horse to crap in a sack
Wont prevent the lack of view
But the rider wont worry about the horse's poo.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Scam-I-Am!

I get a number of junk phone calls.  Often, I look at the number displayed and ignore the call if I don't recognise the number.  If no number is displayed, I definitely wont answer.  I subscribe to a telephone preference service which, in theory, blocks out nuisance calls.  That makes no difference to the scammers.

However, on Monday morning, the phone rang and I couldn't resist answering.  The noisy chatter in the background is often a hell of a hint that you're getting another junk call.

"Um.....hello...", I responded.  "Mr. Husband?", came the reply.  "That's not my name.  My husband days are over.", I continued.  "Mr. Husband, this is Greg from 'Windows'.  "Really, Greg?  Greg, my windows are just fine, thank you!", was my next response.  "No, no!  Your 'Windows' system on your computer is having serious problems and we can fix them for you."  "How do you know I have a computer?  Which computer?"  "Believe me, your computer will blow up within 24 hours if you don't let us access it right now!" 'Greg' responded, rather impatiently.

"Okay, 'Greg', I'm switching on my Etch A Sketch, Version 10.1.  Doh, 'Greg', the Etch A Sketch is upgrading!  And 'Greg', you should be ashamed of yourself trying this scam!  This scam has conned vulnerable people out of money fixing a problem that doesn't exist.  And 'Greg', Greg is not your real name!  I know you people use fake names."  *Click* followed by a ring tone as good old 'Greg' hung up on me.

You might be well aware of this particular scam and a few other devious cons going on.  They are a disgrace and this is a warning.

What one should really do is in the list below.
  • Do not allow remote access to your computer.
  • Hang up the phone when you identify that the call is uninvited.
  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
  • Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.
To end this post, here's a poem for the scam artists.  Apologies to Dr. Seuss.

I AM SCAM.  I AM SCAM.  SCAM I AM
THAT SCAM-I-AM!  THAT SCAM-I-AM! 
I DO NOT LIKE THAT, SCAM-I-AM!
DO YOU LIKE GREED EGOS AND SPAM?
I DO NOT LIKE GREED EGOS AND SPAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SCAM-I-AM.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Wisdom Of The Wee Folks.

My last post, way back when, was more from a personal, family angle.  My concerns for my son and his health.  My ongoing battle to work through my fog.  To see clearly that brighter future on offer. My son is much better and he's back at work.  The fog begins to lift. 

And yet, my friend, you are very much an integral part, a catalyst in my working through all that has impacted me so profoundly over the past year.  The emotional and physical upheavals have drained me.  I'm slowly getting there and in part, thanks to you.

This "electric family", this community of caring beyond my screen, is one that leaves me with gratitude beyond any suitable words.  Thank you.
I sat there in the deafening hush of the living room.  My mind's eye vaguely noticed fleeting visions. Of blurry blacks and greys.  The mind's eye hankered back to a time not so long ago.  Back to a time when the wee folks danced, sang songs of joy, in an enchanted garden that now seemed but a distant dream.....
I concentrated, oh how I concentrated.  Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess, her husband, Geoffrey the garden gnome and their boy child, Einahalk, came more into view.  Somewhat clearer, the vision started to take on dashes of colour.
Then the brilliance arrived.  The resplendent colours, symbolic of hope, of renewed optimism, washed upon my inner vision.  The wee folks spoke.  Gentle, whispered words of hope.  Words of wisdom from the wee folks.

I visualised my son.  A sense of pride consumed me knowing that my son is adapting so well.  Yes, he has started his life in his own home.   I celebrate his independence and come to terms with my reality.  A reality I'm determined to make the most of.
I opened my eyes.   Stared across the living room.  There she was in all her sweet innocence.  Penny the loving dog and three of the garden gnomes.  Three garden gnomes from the community of wee folks who travelled from an enchanted garden.  They make the most of a new situation.  The past meets the present.   What an image of inspiration.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Rainbow Warrior.

The last year has been one of significant upheaval.  Upheaval that's challenged my ability to cope with an overwhelming feeling of isolation.  Isolation that questioned my sanity.  Isolation that relived past times when I nearly drowned in my own unique sea of debilitating madness.  A madness that told me I was not worthy of being loved, of being respected.  

The last year has seen me start a new life in a new home.  The last year has seen my son start his new life in his own home.  The last year has seen me struggle in a relentless loneliness as I try to come to terms with the sense of change that has brought on tear-filled, "empty nest syndrome", bouts of panic.  
I sit here alone, day after day, night after night, without a partner to share a mutual realisation that our little boy, now a young man, is making his mark in his statement of independence.

My son, my beloved son, has not been well as of late.  He's wrenched his back and yet, kept going to work injured.  Perhaps a sad commentary, that so worried was he about losing his job, that he would jeopardise his health even further.  Thankfully, I managed to get him to see a doctor. Thankfully, he now has a sick note which should give him time to get better.  And yet, despite it all, I constantly worry about his well being.
  
The last year has impacted me in such a way that I'm barely able to formulate a blog posting. Chronic fatigue continues to linger.  An exhaustion, that despite numerous blood tests, has found no conclusive evidence as to why I'm so tired all the time.  It may well be psychological.  A condition that has made even switching on my computer a rather daunting task.

I will carry on.  The love of my son and all those vital to my life, will help me make it so. 

I've been through many a challenge in my life. I survived a total breakdown that cost me my marriage.  I survived five weeks in hospital devoid of visitors.  Indeed, I nearly died that first week in hospital.   One man alone as all around were surrounded by loved ones who laughed, who cried, who hugged.  I was the invisible man, drowning in tears that nobody noticed.

That second week in hospital and a nurse came over to my bed.  She placed me in a wheelchair and took me to the main desk.  I was handed the phone and listened to the voice of my mother.  My mother, so far away in Vancouver.  What she said would be the start of my renewal.  That experience would change my life for the better, forever.

I have to remember how far I've come as I work through the emotional torment of the past year. Focus on how proud I am of my son.
I gazed out upon such magical beauty.  Observed the wonders of the rainbow.  I listened to the gentle breeze whispering through the open window.  The clock ticked its rhythmic tone in the background. A tone set in harmony to the beating of my hopeful heart.
This is my son, Tristan, at two and a half years old.  I dearly love my son and that would never be in question.  Now my little boy has turned in a kind, pleasant, caring young man.  Yes, not only do I love my son, now I like my son.

Thank you, my friend.  This therapeutic, reflective post has the comments switched off.  All I ask is you spend a moment or two to absorb this posting of one lonely, reclusive man whose spirit will be inspired by the love of a son and the symbolism of a rainbow.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Each Of Us, A Small Yet Significant Difference.



We've been witnessing the worst of humanity that has produced an overwhelming reaction enhancing the best of humanity.

Like so many, I've watched the plight of those refugees fleeing from the unimaginable warring strife of Syria.  I've been moved to tears from the moral impact of that little boy lying dead on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey.

There have also been tears of hopeful joy.  Hopeful joy as I witnessed the scenes in Austria and Germany as they welcomed the refugees with gifts, with hugs, with warm handshakes.

This could be the start of a worldwide reaction to make this fragile, beleaguered planet the better place so many of us would dare to dream.

I'm blessed and I know, in my own small yet significant way, that I can truly make a difference.....

Friday, 14 August 2015

Flash Friction.

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  My human dad, Gary, is still feeling rather lethargic.  Which means, I'm going to get him motivated.  Motivation will come from him doing the following assignment.

The assignment is in regards to something called, "flash friction", arf, sorry, "flash fiction".  Gary is  curious about what it is and thus, I'm getting him to do some research on the subject. 

I could tell him what the definition of flash fiction is.  However, I think it would be most excellent that he went to the village of Flash and find out if the folks of Flash, who I guess are called, "Flashers", could explain to Gary what flash fiction is all about.  














We live in a town named, "Leak", oops, "Leek."  As you can see, Leek is not far from Flash.  The distance is just over eight miles.  Gary can get there in a flash in his flash car, or maybe about fifteen minutes.

Gary being Gary, thinks that flash fiction must be rude.  When it comes to a flash, he thinks of somebody and we're not naming names, who likes to quickly expose their private parts.  At this point, I make no mention of a trench coat.

So, with his thinking, "Flash Gordon", means flashing some dude named Gordon.  I shall let you work out what he might think of, "flash flood", "flashlight", "flashback", "flash in the pan", "flash the cash", or that movie, "Flashdance."





















I could help Gary out by letting him know that there's a nice human who's well into flash fiction. All he'd have to do is follow this link over to Yolanda's site, which is here, DEFENDING THE PEN.

I shall end this pawst off with some pawetry.  Yes, Penny the Pawet, paws some prose, you nose, um, knows.

Flash fiction
An addiction
Do a flash
Make some cash
Flash in the pun
Flash on the run
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Balderdash 
Such a mishmash
So slapdash 
With a bit of panache
Flash fiction
An addiction.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Awards And Oops!

Due to ongoing chronic fatigue, I've been struggling to maintain any sort of momentum in the weird, wonderful, wacky world that is the community of bloggers.  So much so, that I'm only now acknowledging all the awards that I accumulated.  To give you an idea of how far behind I am, one of the awards goes back to July, 2014.  

My humble apologies to all of the well meaning bloggers who kindly bestowed the following awards upon me, yes me, shy and humble me.
I would like to thank Julia over at, My writing life, for passing on the "Very Inspiring Blogger Award."  Julia writes with a thoughtful passion that resonates through her variety of writing styles. It's my honour to know her and I do hope, if you haven't done so before, check out her site, which can be discovered here, My writing life.

Although the award comes with rules, I hope Julia will understand that I break rules.  I'm supposed to reveal seven things about my life.  I've pretty well run out of things to reveal about my life.  Maybe just one thing.  That would be that I've stayed at a very posh apartment at a place in London named, "Dolphin Square."  Dolphin Square has been the scene of a certain chap from the House of Lords getting caught on video with a couple of prostitutes as he allegedly snorts coke.  I can assure you I'm not the dude from the House of Lords who then proceeded to pose in a bra of one of the prostitutes.

A rule also states that I should pass on the award to other bloggers.  Being in my usual dilemma, if you like the award, grab the photo and enjoy.

Thanks again, Julia.  Stay special, my kind friend.
Way back when, I received the above award, "The Lighthouse Award", from Alex J. Cavanaugh.  It's very likely you are aware of Alex.  Alex has this uncanny knack of commenting within seconds of a blogger publishing a post.  How does he do that?  Did somebody mention clones?

According to the rules of the award, I'm supposed to at least tell you three reasons how my blog helps others.  Okay, let me think about that....*twiddles thumbs.*

1:  My transparency about my mental health issues has created a sense of empathy for those who relate but feel uncomfortable discussing their own mental health concerns.

2:  My blog is proof positive that my mental illness is only a small part of who I am.  Something for the reader who is struggling to think about in their own life.

3:   My blog shows that a dog can take over and "pawblish" the valuable lessons that our animal friends have to teach us.

I realise I'm suppose to forward on this award.  Once again, the dilemma is that I just don't who to forward it to without somebody wondering why I overlooked them.

This means that I shall now thank Alex who is, without question, one of the kindest, most interactive bloggers out there.  If for some reason you have never visited Alex's site, here it is, Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Thanks again, Alex, it's my honour to know you, good sir.

I was also the proud recipient of the, "creative blogger (award)".  The award was thoughtfully passed onto me by a dear lady name Yvonne.  Yvonne truly writes from the heart.  Her inspiring, thought provoking poetry is a wonder to behold.  

The rules state that I should state five facts about myself.  Without ending up repeating myself and I hope you understand, dear Yvonne, I shall forgo any more facts because basically, I'm at a loss as to what to make note of.

Yvonne and her poetic thoughts can be found here, NASHVILLECATS (2) POEMS BY YVONNE.

I wish to apologise for not forwarding on this award to anybody.  The same theme in my head here. It really is a dilemma in who I should forward the award to.  

Thank you, Yvonne.  Keep smiling and stay positive, my lovely friend. 

And thus, I received the, "creative blogger (award)", a second time.  I thank Bish Denham for passing on the award to me.

Bish, if you didn't know, is an accomplished author of several middle grade books and one young adult themed book.  You can find out all the info about Bish at her blog, which you can visit here, Bish Denham.

Thanks to Bish.  Happy writing to you, my illustrious friend.  You might note my ongoing theme of not actually obeying the rules to the awards.  My apologies for that.

To conclude my rather anarchic approach to awards, here's "The Versatile Blogger" award. Evidently, I'm versatile.  Any versatility I seem to have is really thanks to Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar showing me various writing techniques.

I shall now take this opportunity to thank the wonderful, kind and caring, Yolanda, for considering me for such an award.  Thanks for that, Yolanda.

Yes indeed, the theme continues because I'm now supposed to mention seven facts about me.  Yikes, the fact total keeps rising.  Anyway, the fact is that I have no fact to fact about with.  I know that Yolanda will understand.  Yolanda has taught me all about "Flash Fiction".  Now that I really know the true meaning, I shall keep my clothes on.  The Naked Blogger is another story......

To end this feast of awards, to no surprise at all, I shall also not forward on the award due to previously mentioned dilemmas that the awards cause.

If for reasons beyond my comprehension, you've never been to Yolanda's blog site, here it is, DEFENDING THE PEN.

Yolanda, you know you have my total respect and admiration.  A truly remarkable lady who embraces the magic that is the written word.

Thanks to all five bloggers who thought about me.  I appreciate your ongoing support and kindness.

The comments section is switched off.  I'm trying to play catch-up in blogsville and having the comments switched off will help.

Thank you and I'm outta' here.....................................................................................

Thursday, 16 July 2015

A Letter I Read In Disbelief.

A neighbour has a very noisy, aggressive Jack Russell terrier.  On a number of occasions whilst out walking Penny, our beloved Jack Russell terrier, the very noisy, aggressive Jack Russell terrier has tried to attack Penny.  The snarling and snapping of that dog is rather unsettling.

Each time Penny and I have encountered this dog while just trying to go for a peaceful walk, has ended up with Penny and I maintaining a calm demeanour.  Penny does not react.  I've been polite, good natured and courteous to the lady whose dog is causing so much aggravation.  She's said, on numerous occasions, how much she appreciates me not making a fuss about it.  I told her that I suppose her dog is trying to protect her.  I think maybe her dog is jealous of Penny, what with Penny being a famous yet modest internet superstar!

Penny and I continued to go out for walks.  We tried to keep our distance from her dog.  Thought it best for all concerned.  Yet, time after time, the lady would get very close to us with her aggressive little dog.  The yapping of the dog is so loud that at times I'd have to speak louder just so the lady could hear me.  My conversations with her were always pleasant, always cordial.  I try to be a polite, respectful neighbour.  Nobody needs the stress.

Last Wednesday morning I had a letter posted through my mailbox.  Upon opening the letter I couldn't believe what I was reading.  The letter stated that a neighbour of mine was lodging a complaint about me in regards to anti-social, aggressive and threatening behaviour.  The neighbour said they felt intimidated by me.  The letter went on explaining about what is acceptable behaviour within the housing community I now live in.  I was in shock.  I felt sick.

I phoned the person who'd sent the official letter of complaint.  I told the lady on the phone that I would like a meeting with the person who had made such outrageous allegations.  A few minutes later, the lady phoned me back and asked me if the next Tuesday at ten in the morning would be okay for a meeting with the person who accused me.  I told her that was way too long and I needed to  get the situation sorted as soon as possible.  She phoned me back again and a meeting was arranged for the next morning, Thursday morning at ten.

At the meeting, the lady with the very noisy, aggressive Jack Russell terrier, was the one who had made the allegations.  Staying very calm, I asked her why she had said such awful things about me. She responded by saying that I was yelling at her.  To which I responded that I had to speak louder because her dog was barking so loud.  I was actually trying to tell her that when she had been out of her apartment her dog was barking loudly.  So much so that a fellow neighbour said he was going to lodge a complaint if it continued.  I was only trying to warn her.  I pointed out how kind I had always been to her and that this seemed to be a perception issue.  She conceded that she had got it completely wrong,  She apologised, over and over again.

The letter that I received was ceremoniously placed in the office shredder at my insistence.  I hope that such a situation never happens again.  I really don't need this.  Especially when I'm struggling with my confidence and my mental health concerns.  Such an incident, in my fragile state, could of set me back even further.

After the meeting, I thought about how I could turn such a negative experience into something positive.  I talked to the supervisor at reception.  I offered to help set up a blogging community within the apartment building.  This was enthusiastically received.   My idea will be in next month's community magazine.

On the Thursday evening, my doorbell rang.  The lady who had made those horrible allegations against me was standing there with a box of chocolates.  She apologised again and gave me a box of Swiss chocolates.  A nice gesture and I hope that she's realised a lesson from all of this.  Perception and reality can be such a fine line.

On Saturday evening, my doorbell rang again.  This time, it was a dear older lady from across the hallway.  Even though I made no mention of the meeting I'd had, somehow word had gotten around. She just wanted to see how I was because she was worried about me.  She told me she'd vouch for my good nature.  It turns out I'm not the only person that lady had lodged a complaint about.  Rather ironically, she had made complaints against folks who have been very nice to her.  I do understand that the lady in question has her own mental health issues.  These, however, need to be addressed with her having the right support.

Yes, I had a sleepless night before that meeting.  Playing over and over again in my mind what I could of possibly done wrong.  A week later and I'm much calmer, especially knowing that my reputation as a kind, caring, well meaning man is truly intact.

Apologies for an unusually long post by my standards.  I had to get it out of my system via the therapy that is my writing.  Peace and goodwill to you, my friend.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Randomly, Random, Here I Go....

It's been ages since I put up a random selection of musings. Randomly, random, here I go.....

Evidently, a "selfie" is not a euphemism for masturbation. 
                                                               
There was this snail who didn't like being called a snail.  So the snail got the letter "S" painted on each side of its automobile.  From then on when the snail was driving about, onlookers would yell, "Look at that S car go!"
Gary Philip Pennick's photo.
Let's get ready to CRUMBLE!!!

Gary Philip Pennick's photo.
 The locals tell me they are getting sick and tired of the American influence in the UK, as they go out and line dance!!!
Gary Philip Pennick's photo.
Miami Vice-Grips.

Do tornado chasers have whirlwind romances?

Today's writer acronym alert!  "WTF", which means, "Writers Trying Fiction."  Further writer acronym alerts shall discuss the meaning of, "MG", "YA" and the writer's favourite, "WIP". 

I watched some of the games from the Women's World Cup in Canada.  Congratulations to the USA team for winning the Final against Japan, I state, through gritted teeth.  I do note that the women's version of football aka "soccer", has some ways to go before it becomes the spectacle the men's version is.  Not once did I see any of the ladies removing their 
 tops as part of a goal celebration.  Even worse, I didn't see any of the ladies exchanging tops with the opposing players at the end of any of the games.  

I was watching the ladies' tennis from Wimbledon.  There was a lot of noise coming from the lady tennis players.  I turned the sound down and switched on the subtitles  which looked like this, "Ooooooohhhhhh!".................."Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkk!"   "Ooooooohhhhhh!"....   .................."Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkk!"

I think it would be well neat if the cameras focused on the tennis audience so I could watch their heads sway side to side. 

If you're looking for info on, "Ukeleles", in your search engine, type, "uke hunt".  Now, go ahead, say, "uke hunt", out loud and note the reaction you get!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Chevy Reads Blog Posts?

I'm being very careful what I type just in case my car reads this post.  It seems like it might of been more than coincidence that after I put up a post moaning about cars these days and how simple repairs had become not so simple, that my car promptly acted up the very next day.  I have a hunch that my car's computer read my post.

Thus, my lovable Chevrolet Lacetti, do not worry,  This will be a nice post.  In fact, I'm going to take you back to that friendly, honest mechanic, Adrian.  I shall have Adrian change your oil, your oil filter and give you the best lube job ever.  Besides, my lovable car, I felt bad when he didn't charge me anything in regards to your mystery electrical ailment.

You know, that electrical show you were doing inside my car.  Flashing on and off inside lights that brought back memories of seventies disco.  So, thanks for the boogie wonderland routine, my amazingly nice car.
























Dear Chevy, do you recall this photo?  Yes, it was part of that BBC wildlife documentary.  Oh what joy you brought to the precious creatures as you interacted.  They crapped on your roof, fiddled with your wipers and the moose tried to head butt your headlamps.

Dear Chevrolet Lacetti, I should of given you a name.  I recall a time when it seems everybody named their car.  I remember when "Tinker Bell" was a popular name for a car.  I shall discuss a name with you.

My beloved car has been functioning very well since I had it checked out. I'm grateful to that very honest mechanic, Adrian.

My car is no longer an Aston Martin and I'm no longer James Bond from the sixties.  My car in now a "Shaguar" and I'm Austin Powers, "International Man of Misery!"  "Yeah, Baby, Yeah!"

Saturday, 20 June 2015

My Chevrolet Almost Ended Up In Detroit.

This is going to be another fast, free-flow, frantic, frenzied, fun-filled, farcical formulation.

I think I might of jinxed myself with my previous post complaining about today's vehicles and that you need to see a software engineer if your car's computer starts acting up.  Maybe my car read my previous post, dated, Friday, June 12, 2015.

Saturday evening, about 8 P.M, June 13, 2015, Sainsbury's supermarket, Leek, Staffordshire, England.  Switch off car.  Get out of car.  Close the door.  All the indicator lights on the dashboard, the beeping sound to indicate a door is open, the red light for the car alarm, are all going ballistic.  I open the car door and it all stops.  I close the door again.  All the indicator lights on the dashboard, the beeping sound to indicate a door is open, the red light for the car alarm, are all going ballistic, yet again!  Close the car for the third time and realise the light show will eventually drain my battery. Rush into the supermarket and forget what I wanted to get.  End up buying some milk and rush back to my car, the car with the dazzling inside light show.

Head back home and close the car door.  Of course, the electrical problem is still happening.  Rush into my home and drop off the milk.  Head back to my car and drive about two miles away.  I do this because I don't have home start on my breakdown cover.  When I mention breakdown cover, I do mean for the car.

Park up the car and phone the breakdown company.  One hour later, a guy shows up.  He checks out my car's electrical system and proceeds to scratch his ass, head.  "Don't know what's wrong with your car, mate.  I'll follow you back to your place and disconnect your battery", he stated.

Back home and he disconnects the battery.  He drives off and I think that my car, my worry-free car for over five years, my car, a Chevrolet Lacetti, a featured car on the UK version of Top Gear, has decided to teach me a lesson.

Of course, over the rest of the weekend, out of curiosity, I kept going to my car, reconnected the battery, only to have the same weird light show occur whenever the car door was closed.  Open the car door and the light show would magically stop.  Unplug the battery for a last time on the Sunday night.

Monday morning and the fun begins.  The first place I phone to hopefully get my electrical problem sorted cannot book my car in until Thursday.  I tell the guy on the phone I'd better check around because that was quite a long wait.  Then the real fun began.  Garage after garage stated they couldn't check the electrics via the onboard computer on a Chevrolet Lacetti.  I finally phoned this one place and the electronics expert mechanic told me he could not get the special code needed to check out my car's electrics because it was a Chevrolet.

Now my mind starts to have all sorts of weird thoughts.  "On no, I have a Chevrolet, a GM product, I have to go to Detroit!  I'll end up on some cargo ship and during some particularly rough seas, the truck with the frozen fish, right beside my car, dumps said frozen fish all inside my car window which I forgot to close.  The frozen fish thaw out and my car will become a haven for Detroit seagulls.  We end up on top of car transporter truck that actually heads to Detroit.  My car gets lowered down at the Detroit drop-off point for overseas Chevrolet vehicles with electrical faults. At this point, a bunch of Detroit gangsters steal all four wheels off my car...."  I snap out of my daydreaming and make one more phone call.

I phone back the garage that cannot book in my car until Thursday.  I mention this time that my car is a Chevrolet Lacetti. The dude I'm speaking to is the owner, somebody I've known for years and is totally honest.  Yes, a totally honest mechanic.  He explains he has a workaround if my car's computer wont cooperate.  He tells me he can "fool" my car into thinking it's a different brand of car. I kid you not.

In the meantime, I kept checking my car.  The electrical fault had vanished but I wasn't taking any chances.  Thursday morning and I left my car so the mechanic could fool its electrics.  That afternoon I phoned and I was told they had done the best they could but couldn't quite trace the problem. However, they said my car seemed fine and they recalibrated the car's computer as best they could.

Upon my arrival at the garage, I was preparing myself to pay for the work done.  "Gary", said Adrian, the owner of the garage, "I don't want any money for the work.  Besides, it appears that you may have actually corrected the underlying problem when you left the battery disconnected.  And Gary, it's nice to see you after such a long time!"  Even though I protested he was insistent that I didn't pay anything.  No charge, so to speak.  How very nice of Adrian.  If you live in Leek and you need your car sorted, I will recommend his garage.

As of right now, as in the fact I quickly dashed out to check my car, I can report my car still seems fine.

There you go.  A post done in under an hour.  If there are any tipos, typos, whatever!

I believe that when my car was plugged into the computer adjustment thingy, that it did get fooled. My Chevrolet is now an Aston Martin and I'm James Bond from the 1960's.  

Friday, 12 June 2015

Hitting The Red Lights.

There was a time, way back when, that I could do basic maintenance on a car.  Oh yeah, no problem tuning my very first car, a rather used 1964 Plymouth Valiant, complete with push button automatic transmission.  No problem changing the starter motor in my "Smokey and the Bandit" type car, a 1973 Dodge Polara.

I was very good at oil changing, lube jobs and fiddling with my dipstick.

These days, cars are computers on wheels.  Something goes wrong now and if I don't happen to have a mega expensive computer tuning thingy for my car, I have to rely on a mechanic to download new software, or whatever the hell they do, to get my car running properly.  Oh how I remember the battery going flat in one of my previous computer cars.  Not just a matter of replacing the battery, but a complete car computer retune just to have my car run efficiently.

Of course, when I take my latest car in for a simple check-up, the mechanic gives that concerned look and a sighing noise.  This means that what should be a cheap repair turns into a funding for the mechanic's dream vacation in Hawaii.

Okay, I understand I cannot just fix cars the way I used to.  However, something as simple as changing a brake light should be totally straightforward.  Right?  Well, no, actually.  Check the car manual to double check how to change the brake light.  Seems easy enough.  Just remove two screws from the side of the brake cover and away I go.  Wrong!  What the manual doesn't explain is that there are mystery plugs holding the brake cover in place.  Could I get the cover off?  No fucking chance!  Gone were the days of just opening some flap and changing the bulb.

Reluctantly and rather embarrassed, I headed off to the local car parts service centre.  On the way there, I hit every red light.  I shall return later and fix the red lights.  Still, it's better than jumping red lights.

Upon my arrival, the guy in the service centre noted my accent.  "Here we go again", I thought. Standing there, wearing a "Canada" baseball hat, the guy asks me "What part of the States you from, mate?  I always wanted to go to the States and be among the American people."  I replied, "I guess that means you want to go to Orlando to experience America."  "Oh no, mate, Orlando is full of bloody British tourists!  No, I want to get out into the small towns and see the real America." "Excellent!  There's a trailer park in Alabama just waiting for y'all", I responded.

"Ever thought about going to Canada?", I asked the dude.  "Yeah, that would be okay, I guess.  Oh, is that a Canadian accent you have?  Can't tell the difference!" he confessed.

We go out to my car and he notes I drive a Chevrolet.   "What a small Chevrolet.  They'd laugh at your car over there.  I mean, everything is bigger in the States, right mate?"  I nod in agreement.

He tries to remove my brake light cover to get to the brake light.  Like me, he has no joy.  A fellow employee comes over to help him and still no joy.  Both scratch their heads in unison.  Various tools are grabbed to try and pry off the brake light cover.  Still nothing.  As luck would have it, the local tug-of-war team are strolling by.  They attach a rope to one of the tools draping off my brake cover and give a mighty heave.  Finally, the brake cover pops off.

Okay, I made up the part about the tug-of-war team.  However, it took the two of them fifteen minutes to finally release the brake cover and put in a new brake light.  Being so much fun, I thought it best they replace the other brake light just in case it was about to burn out.

Yes, another typical day in my rather surreal life.  And yes, another posting done in rapid time without ever applying the virtual brake lights......

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Not My Fault.

I notice a few bloggers review movies.  I've never reviewed a movie before.   However, whatever, here's my first ever movie review.  Maybe I could become a movie critic.  Maybe not.
"San Andreas", the movie.  This is a film of some magnitude.  A "blockbuster" movie in the literal sense.  San Andreas, not meant to be a comedy, but some of the dialogue will crack you up. Speaking of dialogue and notably Dwayne Johnson, who hits The Rock bottom in this film. 

San Andreas can be easily summed up by letting you know the plot has one major fault.  

Do you remember the song in this video? 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Check Out The Checkout.

This is an exercise in writing a post very quickly.  So quickly that I've no idea what I'm actually going to write.  This exercise into the unknown sentence after this sentence, is another way to see if I can work through this ridiculous fatigue that I've been experiencing.

Got into my car.  Started car.  Drove car to the supermarket.  Parked car.  Strolled towards supermarket.  I pass by somebody I don't know but recognise their face from all the others times I've passed by then but don't actually know them. They don't know me either but recognise my face. This means we give each other than slight recognition head nod that people do who don't know each other but recognise each other's face.  We both very quietly whisper "hello."  It's always a whisper to somebody you don't actually know but recognise their face.

I'm now grocery shopping.  Milk, cheese, eggs, pasta, juice without sugar and sparkling water from some Scottish mountain stream.  I see the kid riding the front of the shopping cart.  I see his parents pushing the cart and think what f**king idiots!

I notice the one checkout open is devoid of shoppers.  By the time I get down the aisle, the checkout is no longer empty.  It seems that everybody was hiding at the end of the aisles waiting for the opportunity to get to the one checkout that was no longer devoid of shoppers.

The store manager realises that another checkout needs to be opened.  As soon as the checkout beside the checkout I'm at opens, I insist that the lady in front of me with only one item, goes ahead of me to the the newly opened checkout.  She thanks me.  As soon as she's about to head to the checkout, some asshole with his full shopping cart, swoops in front of her and proceeds to put his stuff on the conveyor belt.  In my mind, I meet the dude out in the parking lot and beat the crap out of him.

I patiently wait for my turn at the original checkout.  I go a bit ballistic when I notice that the basket I'm about to put on the stack of other baskets will not go on properly because some idiot has left the handles of a basket inwards.  I re-stack the baskets and mumble something about it being one of my pet peeves.

My turn and I have a nice chat with the lady cashier.  She states, "Judging by your accent, you've been a broad."  I reply, "Nope, as far as I know, I've always been a male,"  She giggled and I realised she actually meant "abroad."  "Where does your accent come from?", she inquired.  "Well, it starts at the bottom of my throat and works its way out of my mouth."  "Very funny!", she replied, "Where are you from?", she then asked.  I actually got to tell her it's a Canadian accent.  Rather different from the number of times I've been asked what part of the States am I from!   "How long have you been here?", she asked.  "About ten minutes.  Oh, you don't mean how long have I been in the store.  Okay, on and off, since October, 1987."

Took my groceries and wandered past the self-serve, so-called, express checkout.  The queue to use the self-serve made me glad I used the checkout where you can converse with a human.

Put my groceries in my car and headed back home.

I look at this sentence and notice that this has taken twenty minutes to write.  Should I check it for tipos, um, typos?  Nah, just publish the darned thing and see what happens.....Take that, fatigue!!!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Gutter Balls.

As I continue to challenge my fatigue, try to discover the underlying cause, I thought it might help if I travelled back in time.  Back to a time when I was one of the greatest athletes in the world you have never heard of. 

Oh yeah, a bit of reminiscing, way, way back in time, back to the early 80's.  And I mean the early 1980's.  

I was a five pin bowling star.  A game rather unique to Canada.  A game that takes some adjustment if you are used to ten pin bowling.  You try five pin bowling after ten pin bowling and five pin makes you feel like you are in some kind of a marbles competition.  

For more insight into five pin bowling you can always visit Jo at: JO ON FOOD, LIFE AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Here is our five pin bowling team.  Been so long that I cannot remember all the names of the team members.  I can tell you that the incredibly good looking guy on the back right of the photo with the tacky green spotted shirt and 1970's porno movie type moustache, is, yes, actually me!  Of course, I've never seen a 1970's porno movie.  I assumed the reference to my moustache must be correct. The young lady I'm placing my hands on her shoulders is the young lady I ended up marrying. Maybe she divorced me because I was a better bowler than her.  Moving on to the next photo.....
I realise it's difficult to see, but this is the trophy I received for being part of the Varsity Ridge, Vancouver Bowling champs, 1980-81.  This brings back some fond memories and will be a catalyst as I continue to battle this chronic fatigue.

I recall the first time I went five pin bowling.  I was about fourteen.  The person trying to teach me told me to, "Try to avoid getting gutter balls!"  I was curious about that statement.  I had a very long shower when I went home.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

From Ten Minutes Away To Fifteen Minutes Away.

A ten minute walk from home became a fifteen minute walk from home. The steps outward, tentative.  Each step, delicate, unsure, nervous yet inspired with the knowledge of a further adventure. The pathway beckoned downward.   A beckoning for another day.  Just to the right, a hidden route, obscured by overgrowth.  I headed right,  An eager dog scurried ahead.
An open field of golden grass filled my eyes with hopeful vision.  
Houses in the solitude.  Rolling hills in the background.
We circled around and backtracked to the left, to the west, to view the north.  And to the north, two picture views of The Roaches.  Rocky ridges of such contrast with the surrounding countryside. 
Continuing back westward.  See how the greenery has become more pronounced.

Even more greenery.

A couple more panoramic views as we continue back westward.  Can you see the wind mill on yonder hill? 
We are nearly back to that original pathway.  An adventure that lasted two hours.  Two hours in my progress of getting back out there as I battle with ongoing exhaustion.  
Spot, the dog.  No, not a dog named, Spot.  Spot the dog?  Yep, somewhere in there is Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  Can you spot the dog?