Tribute to an old Friend.

Today Mark Bialczak and Ruth both mentioned Paul Curran one of our dear departed and truly missed bloggers in the sky. Strangely I have been thinking of him on and off this week. He died in October 2016. Here is the obituary I wrote for him, followed by on of his if we were having coffee posts.

GONE TO LEAD THAT CONVOY IN THE SKY

Paul first appeared in my comments several years back. He was always full of wisdom and kindness. I was amazed at how interesting and honest his comments were. 

It was after one such wordy diatribe that I asked him why he did not have his own blog. He waffled on about lack of internet and a decent computer. After some discussion we decided he would contribute to, If We Were Having Coffee, every Sunday Morning on my blog.

Blow me down if he was not soon getting more traffic than my own version of If We Were Having Coffee!!! 

There was no way I could be really jealous though because whether it was a story from his trucking days or the people in and around his apartment block, or even  the people he met and helpped at the hospital he attended for dialysis it was a beautiful epistle or modern day fable. He was an angel, a knight in shining armour he helped so many. Paul helped me and gave me courage and so much strength.

Once Paul disappeared from our pages completely, I got in touch with Mark at markbialczak and then we put out an SOS then Linda G Hill who lives in Canada went round to his appointment and made sure he was okay… That is how much he meant / means to us!

Gone but not forgotten.

Your Barrista — Paul Curran.

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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.

💜💜💜💜

I really miss Paul .

Pay It Forward

Coffee Break at Highway Service Plaza 

Paul Your Barista

This happened many years later when I was driving regional for a gas tanker company, hauling Super-B’s as pictured above. It was a good job but because people drove most on holidays – we always had to work. The pay was excellent – double time and a half on holidays – and the heaviest thing we lifted was one end of a hose. Besides the Super B’s were fun to drive at 80 feet long, 30 wheels on the ground, two trailers, weighing 140,000 pounds when loaded- that’s about the weight of two small houses. We could legally haul about 58,000 liters of gas (a little over 15,000 US gallons – or if you used 10 gallons a week, enough for 28 years). It was a scorching hot 100 degrees F at 7 pm when I finished loading at Suncor’s distribution center in Toronto and pulled out of the loading racks. The sun was just starting to lower itself in the sky on this July 1 Canada Day weekend. Standing in the air conditioned driver’s room signing my bills of lading fresh off the printer, I contemplated my log hours. I could see the heat waves rolling off the tanker outside the window, and unseen, the 58,000 liters of gas inside. I had lots of fuel aboard so I didn’t have to stop for that on the way to Ottawa but I would need coffee and cigarettes and a sandwich about the half way mark – perhaps Kingston. The service plaza off the 401 just before Kingston had all that and was easy to access with the truck.

Fuel Loading Racks

I swung up into the cab and noticed the A/C was starting to cool the air after being parked for an hour loading. Updating my log book, filling out paperwork and filing load sheets, I then pulled to the exit gate and waited for it to open, spitting my truck and me out onto the mean city streets. Winding the truck through the street lights and intersections, I eventually turned onto the Eastbound 401 highway entrance ramp. Accelerating up to the speed limit, I engaged the cruise control and relaxed in the air ride captain’s chair. The next time I slowed would be to stop for a break and a coffee at the Kingston service plaza three hours from now. The huge Super B was at its best in this world – moving 100,000pounds of gas along at 60 mph smoothly and steadily. Inertia was its best friend. I was along for the ride, just making sure nothing got in the truck’s way. The Jake Brake- an engine brake on large diesels- was even keyed into the cruise, making sure that the weight didn’t push the speed too high running off the hills.

14 lanes of traffic on highway 401 in Toronto Ontario Canada 

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14 lanes of traffic on highway 401 in Toronto Ontario Canada Stock Photo

Contributor: Bill Brooks / Alamy Stock Photo

The truck area was not well lit and I found myself thinking how brave she was to park in the dark where there was little help. By the time I had walked over she had parked as requested and I unlocked the idling truck, turning on the headlights. There were a few other trucks between us and the car area, so we were not visible to anyone else in the service plaza – thank God. I unscrewed her gas cap and looked inside with my flashlight – sure enough there was a spring loaded safety flap inside the neck of the fill pipe. I told her to stay beside her car while I opened the truck valve compartment and the storage compartment. I pulled out a new large red safety cone that had a hole in the small end – it would do for a funnel.. Putting on gloves I grabbed one of the 5 gallon steel drip pails we used under the valves when delivering, and filled it ¾ with high test gas – if I was going to give away gas, it might as well be the best. That would give her about 4 gallons of gas, plenty to get to town. Bringing the pail, a ground strap, a drip cloth, a new pair of gloves and the safety cone, I walked over to her car. I had also grabbed a big wire tie we used to secure connections when pumping. I stuck the wire tie in the tank neck to hold the safety open, placed the drip cloth on the ground and set the pail down while I clipped the ground strap (to stop any static sparks from igniting the gas when pouring it) to her car and the pail. Getting her to put on the gloves, I instructed her to hold the safety cone like a funnel, and I slowly poured the gas into her car. When we were done, we checked her gas gauge, which now showed ¼ full, removed the wire tie, replaced her gas cap, wiped the few drops from her car with the drip cloth and threw the equipment back into my storage compartment. She was quite amazed and asked how much she owed me. I told her it was free – I just asked that in the future if she found someone who could use help and she felt safe helping them that I would ask her to pay it forward. She commented that I could make a fortune here at this service plaza tonight – I told her to keep quiet, I could just envision a mob. And so we parted ways and I continued on to Ottawa not ever even having known her name or where she was going. As I drove I worried. Basically, I had stolen product from our customer – the gas was not mine to give away. Regardless of the reason or use, it was still stealing and I do not like that. Pondering this for the remaining three hour drive to Ottawa, I came up with a solution. When I pulled into the station to which I was delivering, it was 1:30 am and the site was open but with no customers. I grabbed the drip pail and ground strap and went over to the high test pump. I put the same amount of fuel into the pail from a pump and then went inside the station. I explained to the manager what I had done and told him I wanted to pay for the gas with my debit card, which I did, keeping the receipt. Then I took the pail of gas back over to the station’s fill pipes where I was delivering their gas, and again using the safety cone as a funnel, poured the gas I had paid for back into their storage tank. This effectively paid for the gas I had given the young woman in Kingston. I felt much better.

Delivery at night

Finishing up the delivery I returned to the terminal and closed off my shift. After the holiday I was off for three days and I dropped by the office to see terminal manager. I explained what had happened and that I couldn’t leave the young woman stranded and how I had paid for the gas I had given her in the parking lot. I showed him the receipt. My biggest concern was that someone may have seen us and thought I was stealing gas and giving it to friends. I assured my boss that was not the case. It was the only time I had ever done this. He just nodded – I could tell he was split in that it was dangerous to take a few gallons from a tanker (it is called splash loading and is illegal here – because the gas coming from the valve splashes into the gas already in the pail and creates static and potentially an explosion). On the other hand he had a young wife and sisters who were often getting into problems like running out of gas and he appreciated the fact that I helped such a person. He just thanked me for telling him and left it at that –no official positive reinforcement for stealing and breaking the rules but no remonstration for stealing and breaking the rules either. It was as I expected, which was fine.

Epilogue: Two months later I received a letter in my company mail – it congratulated me on being chosen the Sunoco driver of the month and said I could pickup my leather jacket and gift certificates from the manager. No reason was ever given for my selection. 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 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.

Paul’s, If We Were Having Coffee, will be at Mark Bialczak’s

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Waving not drowning

High everyone, just popping in to tell you all that from now on Paul Curran  will be holding his Weekend Coffee get together over at Mark Bialczak’s Blog here. At Mark’s Little Bitty in Syracuse, New York. Please pop in and go through to the back yard. Mark, his wife Karen and their pooch Ellie B, have prepared a nice, comfy place for you all.

So it’s over to Paul your Barista

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And Mark your host.

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All that’s left for me to say is I am missing you all loads!!
Hugs and Kisses to you all!

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IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE; DAY OUT,PAUL’S BACK, MIL,NEWBIE

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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

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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: Okay  let’s  start  with  Mother in Law  known  from here on in as MIL. Well  so far  this  week  we  have had her  over  twice ,  the  hubby  has  been over  to her place  and taken  her  to  the  hospital. Tuesday  MIL starts  her  Chemo. I have  absolutely  no  idea  how  this  will pan  out   but  fingers  crossed.

Today is  really  busy  as  we have  two of  our  son’s, daughter in  law , Newbie and MIL   over  for  dinner! So  it is  all hands  to  the pump  or at  least  the oven!

So  it is  leg of  lamb  for us

and  Salmon  for  the  MIL

If we  were having  coffee:  I would  tell  you it has  been  a quiet  week  because  my  knee is  still playing up. I have  not  done  much  this  week  apart  from  housework, washing  ironing  and  blogging!

Talking  of  bloging  we are into  the  last  week  of  Love Is In Da  Blog…. where on  earth  did  February  go?

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Last  week  this  week

Wednesday  my  friend  L  and  I  did  manage  to  escape  and  go off  to Windsor on  the bus  and  and have a  cup of  coffee  and a  toasted  teacake  and  a long  natter  to  set  the  world  to  rights! Unfortunately  we  could  not  walk  too far  , again because  of  my knee!

OH! Guess  What?

Guess  who is  back  among us ! The  one, the  only  Mr Paul  Curran. I have  not  received a post  from him yet  but  as  soon  as I do it  will be posted up on here!!  Welcome  home Paul  you have been missed!

Cake  anyone…sorry I  am forgetting  my  manners!

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Yum Yum.

I had physio  again  this  week  but  to  no  avail if  anything  my  knee is  feeling  worse. In fact  after  hubby  said  he  thought  I  was  wasting  my  time  and  money  I have  cancelled  my  next  and  all visits  to  the  the physio. I hope  the  wait  to  see  the specialist  is  not too long!

If  we  were having  coffee :   I  would  have  to apologize   now  as I  really must  go now  as I have  so much  to  do  and  so little  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 Gen’O’s Love  you  all

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If we were having coffee: MIL, Physio,Stress,

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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

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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 are  having  coffee :  Okay  I  shall have  to  start  by  apologizing  for  being  late  this  week. But  it has  not  been a  good  day, or  a brilliant  week  for  that  matter. Today  I  am  afraid  you  will  all have  to  get  yourselves  comfy  and  help  yourselves  to a  drink  and  while you  are  at  it  could  someone  get  me  a  strong   black  coffee.

You  see I  am  holed up  here  on  the  sofa  with  my  leg up, with  an  ice pack! … Why I hear  you  ask, an  ice pack? Well if  you  are  all in possession  of  a hot  drink  and  something  to  eat I  shall explain!

I have  a  very  painful knee, I  am  waiting  for  physiotherapy  on  the NHS   to  treat it   but  the pain  has  got  so bad  that right  now I  am in  the  middle of  private  treatment   because  I  am desperate. I had  my  first  appointment  Tuesday, the  physio  after  asking  loads  of  questions  investigated  my  knee, found  the  pain OUCH! pulled  me  about  for  a  while after  which  she  used  some ultra sound on  the  knee, then strapped  me  up and  asked  me  to  RICE  = Rest, ice, compress and  elevate until  Thursday…. all of  which  I  did. I  had  to  return  on  Thursday when  she  removed the strapping, gave  me  some  more ultra sound  treatment  and  she  also  gave  me  some  exercises  to  do .I have  to  carry  on  with  the  rice  and  return  again  next Thursday !

 

If  we are  having  coffee :  I would  ask  you  if  you  need  anything  else?   What  else  have  we  done  this  week, we have  been  very  busy  this  week  visiting  the  MIL( Mother in  law)  and  also having her  over  here  to visit. Friday  we  took her  to  see  the Hematologist, Oncologist. Well  as  we already  knew  the  Lymphoma  was back  but the  good  news  is  that  the  cancer has  not  spread  and  is  just in  one place  from  the  neck  to  the  shoulder. The Dr. offered two options no treatment prognosis approximately 6 months to live or Antibodies and Chemo. Antibodies and Chemo is best option so she has gone for that. The  Dr seemed positive that treatment would slow the cancer down and could give her a couple more years of quality life she explained this would be a milder treatment to avoid nasty side effects, considering MIL will be 96 years old in two months we think that that is a very positive outcome. The MIL was very pleased with the prognosis though now she is very up and down with emotions. I am not surprised with all the worry of the last few weeks she is bound to be so!

If  we  were having  coffee: I would  tell that  as I have  had  to  rest  my  knee  we have  not  really  done  much  this  weekend! so  there is  nothing  really  to  report!

OH!  Yes  we  have  finally  got  our  new Fridge  freezer  into  the  cupboard  made  just  for it in  our  new  kitchen! Now  we  have  the  work tops  sorted,  the  plinth  heater and  fridge  freezer  in  place I  think  we can say  we  are  finally  done  it  has only  taken  us  since  the  beginning  of  October!!

I have  been  busy  keeping up  with Love Is In Da Bog  organised  by  Just fooling  around  with Bee  Imagine  a whole  fortnight done  already!

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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 Gen’O’s Love  you  all

 

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

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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

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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 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 : Gym, laundry, and JuJoJan

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.

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If we  were having Coffee:  I would  say  welcome  and  do  come on  in , find  a  seat  and  help yourselves  to  what  ever  you fancy. It  has been a  very  busy  week  with  Just Jot  It  January    nearly into  it’s third  week and  all organized  by  the  extremely talented Linda G Hill   over  at  Life in Progress . It  has  been  very interesting  and  not  without it’s  trials! Worth  checking out  so  many talented  people  joining in!

If we  were having Coffee:  It  has  also been  a very  busy  week  in  the  real  world  too  where  I have  been  busy  getting  back  to  normal  after Christmas  and New Year! Back  to Pilates, this  term  with  a new class  and instructor. The  new  instructor  is  very  different  to  the previous  one, but I  do like  her so  watch  this  space. Also  it  was back  to  core  class. After  two months off  it  was  extremely hard!   Still I am   determined  to get  back into  my  routine   and  my  gym  buddy  L  is  up  for it  too!

If we  were having Coffee:  I  would  ask  you  would  you like  another  coffee  or  something  to eat? Today  is  a  busy  Sunday  as  we have  the hubby’s  mother  coming  over and  we  are taking her  out  to lunch. Not  only  that  but  I  have  a  coffee  morning  with  the  girls  I  used  to  work  with . There  is a  monthly  Sunday  Morning  gathering  at  one or  the  other  coffee  shops in  the  town. It  is  always  a  noisy  and  fun  affair  with lots  of  news  and  catching up  to  do!

If we  were having Coffee: It  has  been  a  busy  week  with  our middle  son  finally  deciding   to  sort out  the  many  boxes  he has been  storing in our  garage  for years! This has involved  him making  many trips  to  the local  municipal dump! Unfortunately  for  me  he has  found  lots  of  his  clothes  that  he had  thought  he  had  lost  and  so  who  has  been  suckered  in to  washing  drying  and ironing  them??? Well he  does have  the  biggest  brown eyes!!

 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

Okay  hugs  to  you  all  until  next  week! xxxx

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 : Late again!

 

If we were having Coffee: The weather  is  getting  distinctly  wintry, fogs, rain,  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

image

Do join in
If we were having Coffee: I would  have  to  say  I  truly  wish  I  could  have just  one  day  when there  was  not  a  trauma, a  problem when I  end up  being  knee  deep in  shit! Okay  that  is  my  moan  done  and out of  the  way!

If we were having Coffee: I  would  say  it is  nice  to  be  home but  sneakily  I  do  miss the  wonderful  weather  and  the  sea! Here  it  is  wet , dull  and  damp! The  temperature here is  unusually  mild  for  this  time of  the  year 11 degrees  but they have  actually  been  as high  as  13 degrees!  We  should  all be  really cold  and  shivering  by  now?

If we  were  having coffee:  I tell you the  tree is  up  and  so is  the  Christmas  wreath I  made  last  year.

img_20151219_184049797.jpg

The tree looks a little blue!

img_20151221_081804580.jpg

 

As  you  can  see  I  have  dressed  the  tree  slightly  differently  this  year  I  still have  all  the  little  decorations  that  make up  the  memory  tree  but  the  blue  lights  make it look  very  different!

The special Memory Tree

If we  were having Coffee : I would  have  to  say  that  even  though  I  promised  to  be  up  to  speed  with  my  blog  by  Sunday  just  gone   but  I  have  failed! This  week  is  the  run  up  to Christmas  after  all and  I  keep  meeting  myself  coming  backwards! I  am  trying  honest  I  am!

Here are  some  photos  of  what  i  am  missing!

IMG_20151208_135851900_HDR IMG_20151213_161749754 IMG_20151213_161820363 IMG_20151214_095849582 IMG_20151214_110150131

If we were having Coffee Original idea  from http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

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

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