IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: Worktops, hospitals, Parliament,and Newbie

coffee-time

Coffee Time

 

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

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Do join in

Come on  in  it is nice  to  sit  and  have a  chat  after  all  the  hustle  and  bustle  of  the past  few days.   I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having coffee: I would have  to  say  what a busy  week  this  has been, Monday  we had  our  new  worktop  along  under the  kitchen window  by  the sink replaced. Either  hubby  I  had  to be  there  while  the  workmen  were  as  we  wanted  to  make  sure  that  the  work  was  done  properly! As it  certainly  was not  the first time. It  was an unadulterated mess! So Monday  we  took no  chance.

I had a  scan  at  11am  so hubby  stayed   with  the  workmen  and  son number two  took me  for  my  scan. When we  got  back  hubby  had  to  go  and  take  his  mother  to  another hospital  for  an  afternoon  appointment so I  was on  workman watch!

Well  the  worktop is  done  now  and I  would  say it is  a near  perfect  as it can  get!

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Before

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After

If we were having  coffee: Tuesday was  busy too the  gym  shopping  and housework  all go ! Wednesday  was  the  new Pilates  with my  friend L . We are  finding  this lesson  very  hard  but  excellent  too  as  the  teacher  is  very  very  good. In  the  afternoon hubby  and I  attended  the  funeral  of  the  wife of  our  next door neighbour . She  was a lovely  lady  and  she  will be  missed.

Would  anyone  like  another  coffee or  some  cake  or  even  something  stronger.

If we were having  coffee: I would  say  that  Thursday  I had  to  go  to see  the Dr  about  my  scan results. No  hard  or  fast  news  apart  from  the  fact  there is a problem  with  the gallbladder  which may  necessitate an operation  and a  possible  abnormality  with  my  kidneys…. the  Dr  is  arranging   for  me  to  see  a specialist   about  both. ..OH!  yes  she is  also  sending  me  for  physio  for  my  kne which  I seem to have  damaged.   OMG  I  am falling  to pieces

If we  were having  Coffee :  I would  tell Friday  we went  to London  for a  visit  to  the Houses  of Parliament  ….

We left  home  at  13.20pm   we  walked  to  the station  in  what I can  only  describe  as  wet  rain! We  refused  to let  this  dampen our  spirits  though  because  we  were both  very  excited about  the  visit ! Hubby  should  of  gone  to  the houses of  Parliament   when he was a young  lad  at  school but  for whatever  reason  he  missed  the  visit …. Then  we  had an appointment  to  go  in October  last year   but  my  sister  was on  the  danger list  and  so  we missed our  visit. My  sister  sadly  died.

So  we  were determined  that  hubby  would  make it  third  time around! We  arrived  at  Waterloo and  took  the  short  walk  to Westminster where  we met  by  security  and  and armed policemen ( I still  cannot  get used  to armed policemen  though  by  now I  should be used to them.)

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Palace  of Westminster late  afternoon

The  above  photo  is of  the  Houses of  Parliament, late  afternoon  from  the  far  side of Westminster Bridge. Why  have  I called it  Palace of Westminster , because  that is  what it is  read here.

We were early  as our  tour  was  at  16.35 pm  so  we  went to  the cafe  and  had a  coffee! Then we  went into  Westminster  Hall  and  soaked up  the  atmosphere and  buzz.

Our  tour guide  was  called Anna  and  she  was excellent, we  went  through  the  central lobby, and  along  the  voting  corridors… read  here . Then  we went to see  the royal  robing  rooms  that  the  Queen  uses  to  dress  for  occasions of state  .

Then  we saw  the Lobbies  and  then  finally  both  Houses  of  Parliament , the  Commons  and  the  Lords. Unfortunately  we  were not allowed  to take  any  photos of these .

It was an amazing  tour  and  we  learned  so  much  about  our  Parliament   and  the  buildings  which had  been a Royal place. The  tour lasted  about  an  hour  and a half. Then  we  walked  along  the  river  back  towards  Waterloo  and  the Festival Hall. We had  dinner at Pizza Express then  walked  back  to Waterloo  Station to  catch our train home. We had had a great  day  out!

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The Hammer Beam roof of Westminster Hall

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The  front entrance, the window is  for  the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

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Next  four  photos  are  taken in  St Georges  Hall.

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We walked along  the  River  to  have  dinner and  saw  the London Eye

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All that was left of Dinner

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Waterloo Station

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One  last look  at  the Westminster Hall

If we were having  coffee  : I would  tell  you  that Saturday  Core  Class was still  as hard  as  last  weeks!  When I  got  back  from  class  I  visited  our  new  neighbours  to meet  their  new  Puppy  Inca who is  an  adorable  female  Labrador Puppy. My  friend  Stan ( Jean’s  beautiful dog ) will love  her! Visit  Jean’s  and  dare I say  Stan’s blog  at  Socialbridge

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Meet Inca.

Then we  had  a visit   from  our  eldest son.

Would  you like  another  cuppa  or  something  to  eat! 5030603-moravian-poppyseed-curd-and-jam-cakes-and-a-cup-of-coffee-stock-photo

If we were having Coffee : I would  tell you that today Sunday we are meeting up  with  the  our  youngest  son  and his  wife  and  the Newbie  to  celebrate  our  son’s  birthday. We are  taking  the  hubby’s  Mum. Unfortunately  our  middle  son  has  to  work  and our  eldest  has a prior  arrangement  that  he  cannot  get out of. It  will be lovely  for  the  rest of us to be  together  though.  We are really  looking  forward   to  Lunch out….. and  the Newbie of course!

If we  were having coffee : I am amazed  to  say  that  we  are  almost into  the last  week of  Just Jot it  January , organised  by  LindaGHill   it  has  been amazing  and I have  met  some really  great bloggers.jjj-2016.jpg

If we  were  having  Coffee:  I would  have  to  say  we  are  all  sill  waiting  patiently   for  our  dear  Paul  Curran   to  rejoin us here at  the  coffee  share   but  until he is  well enough  and up  and  running again  we  shall  have  to  bide our  time!

For  now  everyone  Be  well  and  happy!

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from parttimemonster.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s
Love to you all

If we were having coffee:Deaths, classes visits

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If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

image

Do join in

Come on  in  it is nice  to  sit  and  have a  chat  after  all  the  hustle  and  bustle  of  the past  few days.   I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we  were having  coffee : I would  have  to  say  what  a sad  week  this has been  in the  music  and  entertaining  world . Both David Bowie  and Alan Rickman  dying  of cancer  at  the  age of  69yrs with  just a  few  days between  them.

David Bowie  was a huge influence  and icon  to  me in my  youth  and  still was up until his death. His music, clothes, lyrics are  what have coloured  many  decades of  my life. Enough  has been  said  about  him  to  fill several books  so I  shall let his  music  speak  for him!

 

 

He was my hero.

Alan Rickman  a  wonderful   actor  who  went  from  stage  to  screen, Shakespeare to  the  silver screen with ease. Truly,deeply, madly, Die Hard, Harry Potter, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves  to name but  a few!

Truly  he  was  a lovely  man.

If we  were  having  coffee :   I would  offer  you  another  cuppa  or  a  treat  of  some kind  would  you  like  something  stronger  maybe  it  is  very  cold here  today we  even  woke up  to  snow and  the  temperature  is   a very  chilly  2c/ 36 F so  come on  lets  get  nearer  the fire.

What  have  you  been up  to  this  week .  I have  been very  busy  shopping and housework. I have been  to  the new  class of  Pilates  again  and  this  week  my  friend  L  came  with  me  she  found it  very  hard  but  also  excellent   so we  shall both  be  doing  the  course  together. As for  my  core  class on Saturday  …my  that  is  so hard . I think  the two months  plus I was  away  from the gym is taking it’s toll. I am hoping  for improvement  soon!

 

If we were having coffee: Sadly  I  still have  not  got  to see Star Wars yet! I don’t  think  there is  much  chance  of  me seeing it  this week either. Monday  the  men are coming  to  refit one of  our kitchen worktops (  they have  made  a  holy  mess of  the  long run under  the window  and  put  an abysmal joint  by  the sink! Right in  eye line as  you  enter  the kitchen). Also  I have  a scan  at  11am and  so  the  hubby  will have  to  stay home  and  make  sure  all goes  well in  the kitchen. In the  afternoon  hubby  has  to take his  mother  for  a hospital  appointment so I  shall be on  workman supervision  if they  have not finished  the task!  Tuesday is  a possible  but  Wednesday  is Pilates  in  the morning  and  we have  a funeral  to  attend  in the  afternoon. Thursday  we have  an upholsterer   coming  to fix  one  of our  sofas.  I am annoyed  about  this  as we have not had  these  a year  yet  and  the stitching  is  coming apart  on a part of  the sofa  we hardly  ever sit on!! Friday  though I  am looking forward  to as  hubby  and I  are  going  for a  tour of  Parliament  !! WOOHOO ! a  day  in London.

So Star Wars   has  to wait and  goodness only  knows when I  shall get  to  see  The  Danish Woman!

If we were having  coffee:   I would  ask  you  how  your  blogging has been  this  week I  have  been very  busy  as it  is  still January and January means  Just Jot It January. This is  run  by  LindaGHill  it  is  hard  but I  do  enjoy  a challenge!

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Never too late  to join in  here 

If we  were  having  Coffee:  I would  have  to  say  we  are  all  sill  waiting  patiently   for  our  dear  Paul  Curran   to  rejoin us here at  the  coffee  share   but  until he is  well enough  and up  and  running again  we  shall  have  to  bide our  time!

For  now  everyone  Be  well  and  happy!

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from parttimemonster.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s
Love to you all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we were having Coffee : First one of the year!

Welcome  everyone  to  the  first  If  we  were having  coffee of  the New Year 2016. Although  the  weather has been  unseasonably mild  the  temperature has  dropped  and the rain has  set in and  the  wind has  been  really  wild.    Some  parts of  the  country  are  having  truly  severe weather with more  to  come  update   … read  here

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

image

Do join in

Come on  in  it is nice  to  sit  and  have a  chat  after  all  the  hustle  and  bustle  of  the past  few days.   I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

 

If we were having coffee:   I would  say  come on  lets  sit  down  and have  a quiet  cuppa , a piece of  cake   and  be grateful  that  Christmas, New  Year  and  all that entails is finally  all behind us. I am very lucky  in  that  with  all  the argy bargy  that  goes  with family and friends at New Year  and Christmas I  do have them. Although  at  times  I wish  things  would  be more  peaceful  I should  be  counting  my  blessings  that I have  them  to drive me mad, a safe warm  home  and  food and drink! Talking of  which  what  can I  get  you.

There  are  many out  there who dread  this time of  the year. They  may have been bereaved at  this time of  the year, homeless, abused or  just have  so  many  money  worries  that  all the  month of  December brings  is  fear  and  depression. Sadly  a high  number  of  suicides  are  noted  at  this time of  year.

I have  to tell  you  about  Geoff  Lepard    who  gives  the  great  gift  of  himself  to the  charity  Christmas  at Crisis you  can read about it  here. It is  a very  worthy  charity  and it  is not only  there  for  Christmas   but is  working  to help  the homeless all year round. Hubby  and I  have  donated  to  this  charity  instead  of  buying  each other  presents  on  occasion.

If  we were having coffee: Tuesday  after Christmas  we  had  guests  all  day which was lovely  as  they were all surprise guests  so I  did not need  to  get stressed out!  Wednesday  we had a lovely  surprise, the  Newbie’s dad ( our youngest son)  rang us  early  in the morning to tell us he was taking the Newbie  to a Soft Play  Barn near us and would  we like to  join them… we did  not need asking  twice and  we had a lovely time. On  our return  the  hubby  was out to lunch  with  a friend  until 2pm  then  we were off  to  friends  for  drinks and nibbles! So we had two extremely social days!!

If  we were having coffee: I would  ask you did you celebrate  New Year. We did  we went out  to friends  and had  a lovely  time , what  did  you do?

If we were having Coffee:  I would  tell  you  that I  am  now, like  many  of  you  three days  into Just Jot January and  so far  managing  to keep up. Now  it is  never  too late  to  join  in  the  rules  and  the  prompts  are  here . A big  thanks  to  LindaGHill  for  organizing  these  yearly  events.

If we  were  having  Coffee:  I would  have  to  say  we  are  all  sill  waiting  patiently   for  our  dear  Paul  Curran   to  rejoin us here at  the  coffee  share   but  until he is  well enough  and up  and  running again  we  shall  have  to  bide our  time!

For  now  everyone  Be  well  and  happy!

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from parttimemonster.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s
Love to you all

If we were having Coffee: The week between Christmas and New Year

Welcome  everyone  to  the  first  If  we  were having  coffee after Christmas. Although  the  weather has been  unseasonably mild  the last  two days  the  temperature has  dropped  and the rain has  set in and  the  wind has  been  really  wild.    Some  parts of  the  country  are  having  truly  severe weather with more  to  come  … read  here

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

image

Do join in

Come on  in  it  nice  to  sit  and  have a  chat  after  all  the  hustle  and  bustle  of  the past  few days.   I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

 

Well Christmas dinner  came  and  went  and  it  was  not  without  a  hitch! There  was a little  stress in  the  kitchen  the  Turkey  needed  to  be  removed  from  the  oven  and  turned. Well  that  was  the  plan, but  that is  not  what  happened!  The  Turkey rashly  threw itself on  the  floor  spilling  fat  and  oil  all over  the  floor,  the  units  and  the  hubby! Thankfully  he  was  quick  thinking   and  dashed up stairs  disrobing  as  he  went! Number  two  son  managed  to  grab  the  roasting  hot  turkey  and  throw it into  a  clean pan  and  we  got it  back into  the  oven.

We washed  the  floor  and  the units  and hubby  washed  and  changed  and  all disasters  were  avoided!  Dinner was  delicious  and  fun  though  our  eldest  lad  does  have  a habit  of  winding  number  two  son up!

If we were having  coffee : 

It  has  been  a very  busy  week,  shopping,  wrapping presents, cooking  and  entertaining! Yesterday, Boxing  Day  we (  sons number  one  and  two, hubby  and  I   and  mother in law ) all trooped off  to  the Newbie’s  and  we had  a  wonderful  day.  From  an  excited welcome  to  lots  of  play   and  present  opening    and  to  round it up  a  walk  to  to  the  local  play  park!!

IMG_20151226_141401528_HDRIf we  were  having  Coffee:  I would  have  to  say  we  are  all  sill  waiting  patiently   for  our  dear  Paul  Curran   to  rejoin us here at  the  coffee  share   but  until he is  well enough  and up  and  running again  we  shall  have  to  bide our  time!

For  now  everyone  Be  well  and  happy!

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from parttimemonster.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s
Love to you all

 

If we were having coffee: Feeling low

Cosy Coffee

If we  were having coffee:The  weather  is  getting  distinctly  wintry, fogs, rain, frost  and  cold so  lets  all go inside  and  be  comfy by  the fire.  I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

Do join in

If we were having  coffee: Again  I  will have  to  say  there is  no  post  from  our  beloved  Sunday guest  contributor  Paul Curran. Despite  myself , Mark Bialczak     and  Outlierbabe emailing him there has  been  no  word from him  for  at  least  a fortnight. Lets  all  send him  good vibes  and  hopeful  wishes. All Paul’s  readers  are  welcome  to  join  us !

If we were having  coffee: I offer  you  another  cuppa  and  ask  you  to help yourselves  to  cakes  and  biscuits. I  am  keeping  my  distance  this  week  as  I  have  an awful  cold  and  cough  and I  don’t  want  any  of  you  to  catch  it  so  as much  as I  want  to, no hugs  or  kisses!! I am still struggling  and  today  I  have  nasty  stomach ache.

If we  were having  coffee:I would  tell  you  that  the  kitchen is  progressing  and looking lovely here  are  some  more pictures.

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New Painting

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New Blinds open

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Radiator that matches blinds

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Blinds closed

If we  were having  coffee : I would  have  to  say  that  for  many  reasons  I  am  sad  and  unwell  so I  shall write  you  all  a poem so  as  not  to  say  too much.

If we were having  coffee  what would I say

I tell you  that  I wished  all my  ills  would  fly  away.

Would  that I  could  close my ears  to  all the  harsh words

That  flap around  my  head like  menacing  big black birds.

The  world  has  suddenly  become  dark and  evil

Terrorist bombs, bullets  the  whole  world in  upheaval.

In  every   part of  this  tired, old  and  sad planet

Man is  killing  man, evil spreading, it can’t  get worse, can it?

The one’s  closest  to me, who I depend upon

Turn against  me  as  if I am in  the  wrong.

If we were having  coffee  what would I say

I tell you  that  I wished  all my  ills  would  fly  away.

 

If we were having  coffee :  I would  offer  you another  cuppa  and  some cake? Now that  is  about it  for  this  week. Again  this  week we have seen  more  terror  and  anguish.  So  beware, be safe  and please  stay here  and take  your  ease  and  chat . Thank  you  all  for coming  and I will  see  you all next week! I also hope  that  we  will hear  from Paul  this  week too.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If we were having coffee: Farewells , Funerals and Life

If we  were  having  coffee:

If we  were having coffee:The  weather  is  getting  distinctly  wintry, fogs, rain, frost  and  cold so  lets  all go inside  and  be  comfy by  the fire. Paul  and I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster

Do join in

If we were having  coffee: I would have  to  say  take  me  as  you  find  me, don’t  get  me  wrong  I  am delighted  that  you  have  all come. I truly  look forward  to  these  gatherings they  are one of my  weekly  treats. The  truth is I  am not  fully  recovered  from  the  funeral.May I  speak  a little of  it? Has  every  one  got  the  drink of  their  choice  and  a cake  or  biscuit, I  am having  a  hot  chocolate  with brandy.

If  we were having coffee:  We all arrived  on  the  Monday, while  some of  the  family  where  clearing out  M’s  house and  belongings  hubby  and I  had  the  better  task  (  though in  truth  it  was not  a task  at  all in fact it  was  a real pleasure ) of  entertaining  my cousin  and her  husband. We went  for  a walk along  the river  and  talked  about  M  and  the  family, my  cousin’s side  of  the family  ( my mum’s) then  we started on Grandparents  and  great grand parents. In  the  evening  we  all  went  for  a  meal in  a local  pub, it  was strange  to  feel  so happy  and  to  have  all brothers,  sisters,  in laws, nephews, nieces  and  children  tight  around us. Why  had  we left  a gathering like  this  until  the  night before  the  funeral…. why?

The  day of  the  funeral  was heartbreaking.  I accompanied  my  sisters  and one  cousin  to  see M , I could  not  stay in  the  room where  she  was  laid out in  the  coffin.  It  hurt me  so  to  see  the tiny  empty  shell, all that  was left of  my  beautiful  sister. Then it  was like  an interminable wait  until the  actual  funeral. I was grateful  that  all three  of  our  sons  came  they  were  a great  comfort  and  support. They  made  the hubby  very  proud.   Nine out  the  thirteen  nephews, nieces  and godchildren came  to  the  funeral, a  testimony to how much  she was loved. The  church  was  full  and  everyone  stayed  after  for  tea and  refreshments, so  many  people  and  they  all had  lovely  stories  to  tell us  about  our  sister M.

In  the  evening  we  all went out  for  another  meal  to  celebrate her life. There  were  more of  us  there  that  night  and  again  it  was a happy  occasion we  all told  stories  and  shared  memories . I did  wander if  this  was right  to  be happy  after  a funeral. Then after  some  thought I realized  that Mary  would be  so happy  that  we  were  all together  and  happy.

If  we were having  Coffee : Well another  cuppa anyone? I promise that  even  though  I  am still reeling  from  all of  the  above  I  shall not  mention it  again, unless  asked I know  it  happens  to us  all and  that  it  happens all day  every  day  but  it is  the  first time I  have lost  a sibling.

If we  were having  coffee: I  would  say  that  the  rest  of  this  week  after  Wednesday have  past , shopping  , cleaning, going to  the gym, cooking.  I have  made it  thus far and  no  doubt  I  shall come out  the other side  and get on  with life.

We have  also  over  the last  month  had  a  new  kitchen  installed, it is  beautiful and  when I  can  concentrate  on  it  I  shall show  you  it… it is  not  finished  yet.

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Part of the new Kitchen

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If we were having coffee: Lets all go inside.

Time  to  go inside? 

Welcome  dear  friends I  have  been  remiss  these last  few  weeks  but  I  have lost one of my  beloved  sisters. Unfortunately  her  funeral is  not  to be  held  for over  another  week  and  I  am finding it hard  to  get  back  to normal.

M. liked her coffee  just  as I  did, we  would often put  the  world  to  rights, argue, commiserate, or just sit  in  companionable silence in either  the  kitchen or  the lounge. I may  not  of  seen  her regularly because  she did not live  anywhere near  me but  she was always  there at  the end of  a phone or computer.   I miss her  we all miss her  she leaves a huge hole in our  lives.

If we  were having coffee:The  weather  is  getting  distinctly  wintry, fogs, rain, frost  and  cold so  lets  all go inside  and  be  comfy by  the fire. Paul  and I  can  still entertain  you  all  with tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster  do join in.

 

If we  were having  coffee:  I would  have to say  that I know I have not  been  posting  as  often  as I usually   but  there is  so much on my  mind  and happening in  my  life  right now. I have  been making  an  effort  to keep up  with  all  your  posts, please  forgive  me if  I  am not  commenting  as much  as I  usually  do  but  I  am still here  and  checking  you all out.

Well that’s  about  all I have to say  this  week so  lets  go  and  see  what Paul  and his  guests  are up  to. I promise  I  shall get  back  to normal  very  soon, please  just bear  with me.

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee – October 25/2015

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I’m Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul; I’ll be your barista today. I’m happy to see you have come for a cuppa and a chat. I am delighted to be back at Willow’s serving you, our treasured readers, a cuppa and sweets while we chat. Please come into the garden and make yourself comfortable. Willow fluffed the cushions on the chairs and set the tables in the garden so we can have a cuppa and chat as we soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful plants. She has also brought out the heaters so we can stretch our outside tea time further into the fall. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax amongst the flowers while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

I have spent some extra time in the hospital this week. I have an infection that is related to my dialysis and it is proving difficult to address. We’re currently using intravenous antibiotics and have just added a round of oral antibiotics. The infection is under control but is not disappearing as quickly as the doctors would like. The initial visit entailed spending the night waiting in emergency – which then stretched well into the following day – actually about 3 pm before I got home – that’s a story. The antibiotics cause diarrhoea and so on the way home, I had to get off my handicap bus when he stopped to pick up another passenger. The bus would not wait, of course, so I called for another pickup and explained what had happened. They have a policy that they do not pick up after 2 pm for same day calls as it is their busy period – which left me stranded at a mall many miles from home. @#$%^&*! I ended up taking a taxi home. Oh well – insult to injury.

So, I’m limping around feeling bad for myself when my friend John (name changed) drops by to visit. He has picked up some TP and bread for me as I can’t get out – he is a kind soul and always asks if I need anything when he is out. He sits down with a serious face and tells me that he has just come from a meeting with his employer and they are putting him on medical leave. He has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. It is early days yet as the diagnosis just came Friday so much testing has yet to be done. He has honoured me by explaining that he hasn’t told family yet. I have had and beaten colon cancer and we talked about the emotions involved and options available.

I explained to him that I have been told that cancer treatment is very personal – everyone reacts differently. For me, the treatment was completely pain free. It was the side effects that really knocked me for a loop. There are days when I would not go through it again, and days when I would. Each time I consider it I come up with a different answer. My best advice to him was to take it one day at a time by asking himself:”Do I have what I need to get through today?” When the answer is yes, then proceed. In the end it is actually amazing how little we really need.

Suitcases and food

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet? Anyway, we spent some time discussing this and John went to leave. He went out my back door which leads to a small private deck and a set of stairs down to the parking lot. Sitting on the deck were a suitcase, boxes and plastic bags. John asked if they were mine. I told him they were not, that I was surprised, and asked if they were there when he came in. He said they were. We checked out the suitcases and boxes and they were all canned food and pasta and pots and pans and cleaning supplies – almost all new. Even the suitcase looked new.

We carted the boxes, bags and suitcase inside. There were no personal clothes or goods with the shipment. Mysteriously, there was one small transparent clamshell fresh food container that had been scrubbed so clean as to appear brand new. Written on the tag was “”Deluxe Fruit Salad – Large” We checked through everything and found canned goods, cereal, some towels, pasts and the like. It’s all piled neatly on my floor now except for a big can of Puritan Beans and Wieners, a package of spaghetti and the mysterious clam shell – which are sitting here on my desk as I write.

After some discussion, John and I have come to the conclusion that one of our mutual friends – Frank – must have left the goods there. Frank is as mysterious as the clam shell. He has a room here in our complex but says he spends time at a rehab centre sometimes in Kingston – about a 2 ½ hour drive from here. One day he showed up at my door with the most delicious homemade soup that I have ever tasted – soup he made himself. Another day he dropped off two seemingly random used books – no explanation other than he thought I might like them. He asked me to help him one day with his computer – a used computer he had gotten as a gift. It worked fine but wouldn’t hook to the internet – we have cable here. I was able to determine that the problem was in the wiring in the wall, not the computer and he had the manager get it fixed. It was about that time that he started dropping off things.

Anyway, John went and peeked into Frank’s window and although the bed and dresser were there, all personal goods appeared gone. I’m not exactly sure what to do with all of Frank’s stuff. There are a few items, like partial boxes of cereal that I will have to eat. I suppose I’ll wait for a few weeks to see if Frank comes back.

On that note, that’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and enjoy the garden.  Sweets anyone? I hope you didn’t mind the story today, and that you found it a bit more positive than last week’s story. Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all happy that Willow is back and honoured that you all dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

Sergeant Erica Hay bought food and coffee for the homeless man (Picture: TiAnna Greene)

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If We Were Having Coffee – August 23/2015

Terminal Territory – a New Beginning

 

 

Paul Your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul; I’ll be your barista today. I’m happy to see you have come for a cuppa and a chat. I am delighted to be back at Willow’s serving you, our treasured readers, a cuppa and sweets while we chat. Please come into the garden and make yourself comfortable. Willow fluffed the cushions on the chairs and set the tables in the garden so we can have a cuppa and chat as we soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful plants. She has also brought out the heaters so we can stretch our outside tea time further into the fall. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax amongst the flowers while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Well, my week had a few rough moments but things seem to be improving now so all is good. In preparation for writing this post I was pondering restarts and realized that I had told a trucking story while guesting over at Mark’s, about the very first time I pulled into the terminal with my new truck, starting a new job – and my thoughts and feelings.  You  can read it  here. I realized that the very last time I was in that terminal was an interesting story as well and thought I might tell it here, if you’re interested. It actually happened in the second week of October some years ago and it marked a new beginning.

After 6 years of working for the company in Maine I was offered a position with a home town company doing really interesting work – hauling all the stuff that no one else wanted to, or could, haul- oversized, nuclear, overweight, multiple extra axles, escorted, military weapons, biohazards, etc. The company was a specialized carrier – meaning they did what no one else would or could – and elite outfit. No two loads were the same and a lot of thinking went into each load – the reward wasn’t for getting it there the fastest but rather the safest. My forte, so I switched companies. I had worked for them for about 3 months when I had an accident and rolled my truck – just body damage, no load damage or injuries, and while I was waiting for repairs to be done I drove a company truck for a few months.Then one day in Massachusetts, my dispatcher told me to come back to the yard in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia empty- a very rare occurrence. I was in one of the highest density transport corridors in Eastern North America (Boston- New York) with an empty flatbed and I was going to drive 1,000 kilometers (about 660 miles) empty? No, there was something going unsaid here. I told Jennifer – the dispatcher – that I would need money for fuel and food. Typically, I would draw an advance when I had a load aboard but heading back empty I need the cash now. We used a number of fund transfer systems, but most commonly a system called Comchek. They had an account at Comchek and if I wanted funds they would authorize release for whatever the agreed upon amount would be and give me an authorization number. With that and their account number, I could pick up the cash at any Comchek agent – which was virtually every truck stop in North America – and it was debited from their account. Jennifer hesitated and told me to call from Dysart’s – a truck stop in Bangor Maine that we all used prior to turning east to Canada. Flashing alarm bells went off in my head – it was irrelevant where in the universe I was, Comchek was centralized- if I couldn’t get money in Mass, I couldn’t get it in Maine. I had just enough fuel to get to Dysart’s but then would have no money for food or fuel. Typically, I ran close on cash and this didn’t bother me – it was a minute’s work to get cash anywhere 24/7 with a Comchek number – but apparently that was no longer an option.

 

I grumbled but walked out to the truck and climbed in to head out to Bangor. The trucking part was old hat now and I enjoyed the feeling of the big diesel rumbling as speed built on the interstate. The trailer was empty and followed neatly behind, ever vigilant. I could feel all the normal vibrations and taste the smells that constituted the personality of the truck. It was home now and I was comfortable and alert here. Surprises were rare and easily handled with the experience I had accumulated over the past 7 years. During that time there had been some exhilarating moments, some very sad moments and some excruciatingly hair-raising moments of unparalleled terror. All of it used to shape and guide future behaviour. I was a part of this world now and it a part of me. I could glance at a truck and tell you how heavy he was loaded, if the driver was new or just didn’t care or if I was looking at a professional. Feeling a little under the weather I plugged in Red Sovine’s Teddy Bear to have a pity party – I would never admit to the other drivers that I listened to Red’s music, but when I was down it helped.

Would you like another cuppa. We have adult beverages to add to that if you like. And perhaps a sweet or two? We are going to have some fun here, so get ready. The 239 miles to Bangor passed uneventfully as I pondered Jennifer’s cryptic comment. I used to assess customers’ ability pay for the company and I could smell a cash shortage a long ways away – and this had that stink. Sure enough when I called the office from Bangor, the owner came on the phone and told me to bring the truck back to the yard. I explained that my fuel tanks were empty – perhaps enough for 20 miles and I had no food. Mike – the owner- would give me no more info but just insisted that I find a way back with his truck. He got very blustery and reminded me that I had his equipment and any attempt on my part to do anything other than return it to the yard would result in him taking legal action. That was so out of line – my being an employee driving for him for many months at his request when I was where and when he asked me to be- it was clear to me that they were going bankrupt. He had gone to a route response, without considering the impact of his words. Hmmm, that gave me information and offered options that I didn’t have before. I told him I would get back to the terminal and we disconnected – in many ways.

So, I was in Maine, 450 miles from home with empty fuel tanks, no money for food and the company was bankrupt. No problem. My previous employer, the company in Maine, was about 100 miles away on the route home so I gave the owner a call. I knew that the two companies did business with each other and that my current employer owed Dale – my past employer – for a number of loads, likely $10,000 USD or more. When I got Daleon the phone, I told him I had a deal for him.

“Dale, I am here to make your day brighter.” “More likely you want me to help you, you mean.” Dale could be so cynical. “Well, I may end up getting some benefit, but you will come out the big winner, guaranteed.” “What do you want Paul?” “Mikey is going bankrupt and no one but you and I know yet. I know he owes you and you’ll never get your money – unless of course you have something of his.” “What do you mean Mike is going bankrupt? He has two of my loads right now.” Ahhh, the stakes grow. I explained my request for fuel and food and Mike’s surreal response. “So what do you think that means Dale?” Dale was no man’s fool and had dealt with other companies for years. “You’re right, he’s losing it. What do you propose I do?” He knew I wouldn’t be on the phone to complain – I had a plan or I wouldn’t have called. “Well, you send me $100 for fuel, $200 for food and travel expenses and I will deliver to your yard one tractor-trailer that is the property of our common friend Mike. There is no way he will be able to get at it being as he is in another country and you can hold it as collateral against any money he owes you. If one of your guys will give me a lift to Dartmouth so I can get home, I’ll be happily on my way and you can be assured of getting paid.”

There was a long pause on the line while Dale processed this. “You mean you would sell out Mike?” “Dale, I am obeying orders – he told me to find my own way home and left me 450 miles away with his equipment and no money. I promised him I would get home. He just assumed I would bring his truck with me but if I have to sell it to you for the amazingly low price of $300 then that is what it takes. He has other creditors who would be interested too, I’m sure – it’s just that you’ve been good to me before, so I am offering you this amazing deal first.” Honestly, I should have made a living selling used cars. Ha! “Done. But how do I know I can trust you?” “Come on Dale we worked together for 6 years, you know you can.” “Right. OK. Here’s an authorization number for $300 by Comchek” as he rattled off a number, “When will you be here?” “Give me 2 ½ hours and you will have $100,000 worth of collateral; Don’t mention this to anyone until I am in your yard – if Mike gets whiff he could have the State Troopers stop me. That would be bad for both of us.” Ahhh, co-conspirator of mine,

With a spring in my step, I crossed to the fuel desk, gave them the Comchek number and received my $300. I put in $100 worth of fuel (less than ¼ tank), grabbed somesandwiches to go and headed down the Airline (Route #9) for the terminal.

 

 

The truck was purring along, not even caring that it was headed for purgatory through no fault of its own. In fact it felt surprisingly jubilant. I pulled into the same now-familiar yard on a late fall afternoon with the leaves changing in rural Maine. There was a light breeze as I parked in the line-up and grabbed my already packed suitcase to step down from the truck. Dale was standing waiting for me as I crossed the lot and I held out the keys and then dropped them in his out-stretched hand. “There you go sir, as promised, one tractor trailer for the princely sum of $300. The best deal you ever got.” “Tom over there is going to Dartmouth as soon as he is done his paperwork, you can ridewith him.” “Thanks Dale. Oh, and Mike will likely try to steal this back so you should have one of the mechanics remove a critical component or two.” Dale just nodded. That was the last time I ever saw him or the terminal yard where so many memories had been made. It felt like a cheerful parting.

 

Not long after Tom and I headed out to home. With only 350 miles to go, we took turns driving and chatting and we were in Dartmouth in the wee hours of the morning. I had my girl friend pick me up from the industrial center where Tom was delivering and we dropped my paperwork from my last load at the office and then went home to sleep. The next day, bright and early I called Mike. “Hey Mike, I’m back. Thought you’d want to know.” “Where’s the truck Paul?” Apparently he paid attention to what was, or more specifically wasn’t, in his yard. Ha! “Well, remember I said I didn’t have any money and you wouldn’t send me any?” “Where’s the fucking truck Paul?” “So”, I continued,” I ran it until it was out of fuel and I had to leave it in a safe place, because you know you wouldn’t send me any money for fuel for your truck.” “The fucking truck Paul, the fucking truck –WHERE IS IT?”

 

I was enjoying this far too much. “Well Mike, I knew you would want it safe so I left it all locked up in Dale’s yard.” “Bring me the fucking keys Paul.” “Well, Dale’s yard is quite small and he needed to keep the keys to move it when he needed to. I thought you would be happy that the truck was safe Mike.” Bwahahaha!

On that note, that’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and enjoy the garden. Sweets anyone? I hope you didn’t mind the story today, it seemed to mean a new start for me- a Fall new start as so often happens in life. Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all happy that Willow is back and honored that you all dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

 

 

If we were having Coffee : Gardens, News, families

Hello  everyone  welcome  to  the garden  we have a marquee  and  heaters, all the garden  furniture  has  been washed  and  I have put out cushions for your  comfort.

Well what  do  you  think  shall  we  chance  it . Now  as  always  we have  tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having  Coffee: I would ask  you what  has been going on in your world this week, has  anything  deeply affected  you, have  you need a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry  on or  just  needed someone  to make  you laugh! If  yes  feel free to talk it out  here  with us. We will all help if  we can.

Lets  join  everyone  here  and  all the  other  “IF  WE  WERE  HAVING  COFFEES”

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at,Part time monster  

If we were having  coffee: I would  tell  you  just  how  much I  would like  to  pretend  that I have  all  the  time in  world  this  week  but  sadly  my  time is  very  clipped  today. We have  the  mother in  law  over  most  Sundays…. for  some  reason  neither  of  the husbands two  siblings seem  to  see fit  to  have  her  over, so  most  Sundays, outings  and Holidays  (  as our  American  friends  say, to  me  Christmas,Easter  and bank holidays  fall to us. ) Now  we  don’t  mind  but it  does  get  a  little  stressful  when  there are  other things  on  the cards  that  need  to be organized!….. Enough  I  am not  moaning   just  stating  facts!

If we were having  coffee:  I  would  tell  you  it has been a  strange  week  as I  have been under  the  weather and  spent  two  days in  bed  with stomach  ache. So it has  not been a normal  week  as I was unable  to get out and  do  most of  the usual  things  that  make  my  week  normal. I like  normal  it  makes  me  feel  safe  anything  else tends  to  upset  my  equilibrium!

Now  I  have  found  a very interesting   new  blog, on  first sight  it  appears  to be  a  cookery  blog  but  as  the posts  started  coming  to my  email I discovered  that  it is  also about  a  very  brave  and  courageous mother of  nine children’s account  of her  life  as a  foreigner living  and  married  to a  man in Saudi, she  has amazed  and inspired  me, also  I love  her  recipes. Do  pop  over  and  check out  at  Lynz real cooking. here  is  one of  her  triumphs  …go on  let’s  all have  a piece!

  If we  were having  coffee : I would  ask  what  are  the  big  things  that  affected  you  in the  news  this  week. As I said  I have been  out of  it  most of  the week  but  what  has seeped  through  to me is  that  the Number  of  Muslim  women  who  are taking off  for  Syria  to join isis  from this  country,the  UK , is  growing . Well okay  if  these women  feel  they  need  to  dessert  the life  they have  grown up  with over here and  want  to give up  every last  vestige  of  freedom then fine  they make  their own beds  let  them lie in them. But   they are  taking  children  with  them, some very young  children  too. Apparently  these  women are  doing  this  mad  exodus  without  their husbands  or  families knowing ?

It  started  with  young  men  being  radicalized by youtube  and  social media, then it  was young  girls  and  now  women  with  children  are  up  and  fleeing  into  what I can  only  see  as the unknown. Well if  young  men , girls  and  women  want  to leave  here  and  head out  to  join isis  so be it. Now  to my mind  their  actions  do not  come  without  consequences  if  they  go  they  can never return.   Let us  face it  how  could  they  ever  be trusted  not to turn against us? That  said  it is not  fair of  them to take  their children  with them, what  mother  can willing  take  their  children into a war  zone,  a place  where  women  are  treated  a cheap chattels  and  worth less  than  cattle. It pains  me  to say  this   but it  is  wrong . Read  here

Right  If  we were having coffee : Can I  get  you  a top up or  perhaps  you would like  something  stronger.

Now  the moment  you all adore….. Garden  time!!

IMG_20150830_140503124 [183011]

Tomato crop coming on

IMG_20150830_140516748 [183012]

and big

IMG_20150830_140649590 [182516]

Autumn colours

IMG_20150830_140729061 [182513]

Tidied up

IMG_20150830_140747926 [182514]

White rose rising

IMG_20150830_140754921 [182515]

Last splash of Summer

If  we were having coffee : I would  ask  if  I  can fill up  your  cup, or  glass  or  get  you anything  else  to  eat  it is  all  calorie  free!

Let us  go  and Join Paul and the  gang  they  are  all over  at  Mark Bialczak  this  week and  see  what  they are  all discussing  ! It has  been lovely  as always  to have  you all here  and  I  hope,  as does  Paul  that  you will all join us here again  next  week.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

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