Dateline 1st April 2021
I have said it before but we SO love these guys.
Still so hoping to get to Switzerland in May to see them, but just in case it proves difficult dear Roger Philcox, much travelled World of Sport production manager, had this suggestion: “Try London-Shetland islands then fly to Belfast, then road to Dublin (by night so as to avoid being spotted by the Garda), Dublin to the Ascension islands, then onto Belarus and from there to Geneva.”
OK, so hands up all those who are now absolutely fed up to the back teeth with lockdown? I thought so, a unanimous vote, let’s move onto the next item on the agenda please.
I sometimes wish for the old days to come back, those days of not so immediate front-page news; because now when someone sneezes in Bolivia, a man in Siberia blows his nose. Gone are the days when the stagecoach pulls into the George Inn in Southwark on a wet and windy Friday night, a passenger alights and yells out to the crowd, “Blimey its all kicking off in Bristol!” People gather round to hear more detail. “When was this young man?” “Oh! Now you’re asking; last Sunday they told me. It was a peaceful protest but as usual the mob took over. A lot of police officers injured but three hangings soon restored order, by the beginning of the week.” Nods of approval from the assembled gin-swilling crowd. Nowadays, a Superintendent picks up a loud hailer and addresses the assembled throng in a John Le Mesurier voice, “I’m so sorry to trouble you all, I know you probably can’t hear me at the back, but if you could possibly see your way clear to not breaking the law, we would be terribly grateful and those throwing bricks perhaps if you could avoid my police officers from being badly physically injured, we would be so awfully pleased. So safe home everyone and have a very pleasant rest of your evening.”
As I said last month, if these itinerant dudes do stop me from getting to Switzerland in May, there will be serious trouble. However, I fear that Europe may well be out of bounds for some time, not due to the Bristol and London idiots, luckily for them, but the third (can you believe it?) wave of the dreaded Covid plague sweeping across the near continent. Paris has gone into four weeks lockdown. Thank goodness my French chum Mathieu is happily in Le Lot in the south of France at the moment at the ancestorial home and is free to roam. Europe seems to be in rather a pickle with the roll out of their vaccine jabs, but far be it for me to go into the great AstraZeneca wars on these pages; let’s move quickly on to humour.
Slimming World ladies had a bit of a funny ‘bike sheds’ moment this month. Since my chum Graham packed it in, I have been the only male amongst many ladies, at the Monday morning Zoom get togethers. But we do have a good giggle as well as STILL trying to lose weight and the appearance of first these sausages and then later in the week the apple cider vinegar, gave great cause for mirth. “Well, you did have to have something to drink with your little willies, Malcolm!” said one of the lovely ladies falling about.
And the power of the ‘Zoom’ meetings still intrigues me; at the camera club last week we had a talk from a lady but she was in Malta! And the chat the week before, at my regular Monday night Magic Circle Zoom, was from a chap in the States, with our host at the Magic Circle being in Spain. All absolutely mind blowing for my dad if he returned to the land of the living, not to mention my grandad whose head would surely simply implode!
My dental saga continued with a visit first to tighten one of the implants that was slightly wobbly and sore. A fairly quick fix, filling on top of tooth drilled out, the smallest screwdriver in the world tightens it, filling replaced and hey presto all good. Next week it starts playing up again. I go in happily, because he did warn me, my new best friend Sam, that it might need doing again. But this time not so fast Treen.” I think the gum is unhappy,” I look puzzled. “Sometimes the gum takes the space up where the tooth needs to be and the gum will always win.” I stare even more intently at him. “So, what I have to do is take the implant out, cut away a bit of the gum, (thank God I have had breakfast) and then put a healing screw in its place (I know, I know shades of that ‘dynamic screw’ of Hazel’s last month.) and then wait.” I ponder the fact that I have never knowingly had a healing screw before or even knew one existed, as the first gum numbing injection goes in. I must have tensed rather a lot because half way through pressing the liquid in he yells, “Breathe!” I emerged some half an hour later, healing screw in place with my implant in my pocket, feeling well ‘got at’ and went home to feel very sorry for myself.
Talking of Hazel and David, I am pleased to report they both seem well on the mend but as always, a slow process; however, normality is slowly beginning to return. I must say it has been a month of news coming in through the Treen Towers front door that has not been of the best sort, and no I’m fine, it’s basically the others and many of them our chums. There was an overload of bad news this month, from many quarters (you know who you are) and I felt so lucky that I have gone right off the taste for Scotch, otherwise the Grants bottle would have surely taken an almighty bashing, I fear!
We celebrated the first anniversary of my operation with a superb Chinese takeaway and a bottle of Prosecco donated by chums David and Jackie, both of whom are desperately looking forward to getting back to their golf! I wrote to my surgeon Mr Nizar and thanked him for twelve months extra of living and he once more promised to get me into the hospital to see the robot that helped him ’tamper’ with me, as the lovely doctor at the hospital described the procedure last year! Mary has not lost her appetite for Chinese or jigsaws and another two were conquered this month. She also partook in an on-line concert with the choir and what a beautiful evening of glorious music it was. The following week they had their now traditional term-ending quiz, again via Zoom, and our team of Malcolm and Teresa and Jackie and David came second!
The winds seem finally to have abated that really did batter Treen Towers at the beginning of the month and caused us to wake up one morning to this sight of complete devastation in the garden!
But for the first time in what seems like forty years, we have had it a long time, the mother-in-law’s tongue bloomed! Perhaps Spring is on the way, at last.
We decided that the en-suite toilet had reached its sell by date having probably been installed by Thomas Crapper himself, and so a lovely new slow closing lid one was ordered. Yes, it’s D.I.Y. so you know already what’s coming, don’t you? Could I get the old seat off, of course not! The air was rich with the aroma of WD 40, and also very blue from the language issuing forth from my mouth, as the seat tightening screws refused to budge. Not for the first time recently, I felt like a weak old man. The lovely Dean, son-in-law extraordinaire, was summoned and he arrived as amateur plumber for the day, complete with plumber’s mate Hannah! While Mary and the plumber’s mate chatted suitably socially distanced in the garden, the plumber made a superb job of removing the old seat and fixing the new! Many very large drinks owed to that man, if ever we do see the inside of a hostelry together again.
A walk round Swan Lakes was called for to calm my nerves after watching a dude at the back of the house opposite cutting down trees; he was much higher than this before it dawned on me to take the picture. I’ve never had a head for heights or enjoyed walking come to that but walking is the lesser of the two evils! What put me off? An enforced thirteen-mile hike on a school trip in the Lake District, many years ago; OK beautiful scenery and all that but scarred for life is the phrase that springs to mind.
And finally, my second Pfizer jab at Wexham, I felt a bit odd the day after but bless them all for organising such a roll out for us happy RFP volunteers.
Next month another happy birthday to Mary; a CT scan for me, although I have yet to receive a date! (News just in Monday April 5th) A haircut, already booked in for April 12th, back to the dentist for that healing screw removal; the lovely Amanda will make sure my feet are still in good working order and fingers very crossed that B.A. flight to Switzerland stays fixed for May.
Right just hoping you have not eaten recently:
There is enough tissue in a human lung to cover a tennis court.
The barstools on Aristotle Onassis’s yacht were upholstered with whales’ foreskins.
In July 2013 more people in Britain believed in ghosts than supported the Labour Party.
More people in Britain describe their religion as ‘Jedi Knight’ than are members of the Tory party.
Warren Beatty worked as a rat-catcher.
Danny De Vito is a qualified hairdresser.
There is a carpet shop in Dublin called ‘Lino Ritchie.’
Portsmouth has a locksmith called ‘Surelock Homes.’
Another of those pictures discovered by my chum Ian Southern.
Thank you for reading from Mary and me.
HAVE A TRULY WONDERFUL APRIL,
AS ALWAYS, AS BEST YOU CAN
Illegitimi non carborundum