Vinyl Music

The skip arrived today so I started emptying the garage and very strictly deciding what should stay and what should go.

With almost perfect timing the local scrap guy came along the street and he took a heap of metal items from me (which has saved space in the skip so my neighbours can chuck stuff out). Scrap guy is standing on the drive as I get stuff out and he sees a very large shoulder bag – like a sports bag you could fit two tennis rackets in – full of 45s. He was smiling as he checked them out, remarking to me what memories the titles brought back. They were headed for the skip so I said he could take them, He was happy to do so.

Emotional traffic

I had a pile of LPs. Again he was loving looking through those so they ended up in his lorry cab. Then we found another case full of 45s which are by now probably being looked through at his home.

Red noise

The only two pieces of vinyl he didn’t get are the two pictured.

They date to 1979, I was a year away from my O levels and those two singles bring back … stuff. So they are here, and they are staying.

A welcome visit

Haven’t seen my youngest in months so seeing her today was excellent. Caught up on stuff, learned the names that she and her fiancé have chosen for their – not yet conceived – firstborn and generally nattered as you do.

She also brought back a pile of gaming stuff I’d lent her over time but they don’t now use. So I have two PS Classics, two Megadrive Minis, two Gamecubes, I think two N64’s, heaps of controllers and Wii games I’d forgotten about. Good, very good.

Long time since I’ve played Pikmin


I remember this site being reported way back when those reports came to me. I wonder if it looks any different in today’s light? Does humour travel through time well?
(Nothing was done because it had internal company fans)




A story in the local paper about a someone doing wheelies on a motorbike and being seen by police reminded me of an incident in 1990.

Jacqui had bought a moped type thing (I forget the model. It was bright red, fairing, you rode in the racing position) which I started using. I could ride it on a Provisional driving license. It was power restricted (as per law so top speed was 35mph) and it had a rev counter. At a stop I could rev to a certain number, drop the clutch and take off smoothly.
I wrote the bike off when turning left at a junction and wet leaves took the bike out from under me. I slid across the road (I was all kitted out so was fine) but the insurance later said the bike was toast.

I went looking for another bike.

Honda CBR 125 unrestricted. unrestricted

Bought it from someone on the other side of the city and rode it home. Position was more sitting up. I recall belting along a road (dual carriageway, no other traffic) back at 80mph. The pressure on my chest from the wind was amazing. Very cool ride. No full license and 80mph? I liked.

This bike did not have a rev counter.

Couple of days later I’m out on the bike and heading home. Coming back through the closest village and there are roadworks. Traffic lights regulating traffic and it happens that I end up at the front on my side when the light goes red. I listen to the engine as I keep it ticking over and reckon by the sound (of this still new to me bike) that I’ve got the revs right. Traffic light turns green. I drop the clutch.

I got the sound wrong. I went straight into a wheelie flying past maybe a dozen cars on the opposite side of the road. They probably thought “What a wanker” while I’m holding on for dear life and for reasons I’ll never understand I managed to drop the front wheel, get myself together and made it home.

It was not long after that when I had the bike crash that almost killed me. Jacqui asked me not to ride bikes after that, and I agreed.

It’s not the going fast that kills, it’s the stopping.

The mundane last week


– started watching Spooks from S1 (BBC iPlayer)

– got a new correctly sized cast iron pan/griddle and seasoned that properly

– cleaned the thing outside that I can burn wood in. No clue what it’s called. Cast iron, shaped like an onion bulb with a chimney. Will test fire later

– started stripping the paint from the garage before I power wash, then seal, then repaint. Decided front garage door will be yellow, the back green

– decided how to tackle the block paving weeds

– put some blue ink into my R little finger

– avoided all injury while using a mandolin

– installed the 3rd (and last) security cam to cover the front door

– had a lovely chat with Heather from the Widow/ers group who randomly called

– moved up from 5kg dumbbells to 6.25kg for my daily weights

– preordered Good Food for Bad Days by Jack Monroe and I really hope it’s not geared to “Serves 4 / 6”. Bad days are individual so a recipe for – to be honest – more than one is nearly pointless

pic unrelated

the banality continues

New toy arrived

The new Karcher arrived, it was sunny so I completed it’s first task.


This the item of furniture that we have owned the longest. I have a picture of Jacqui sitting in this in maybe June/July 1990 in our first house when she was pregnant with our eldest. Back then it was in the house but since we moved here it was on the patio.


Now it is perfectly clean. Just need the cushion to arrive and then I – and my girls when they visit – can use it.

Jacqui would have loved to see this now.

Not canvas

The image idea for something about Jacqui started with my thinking about a huge image on the double garage door we have. Problem is that (1) it’s a singular item and (2) there are people on this street who would probably complain about “graffiti”. Not that I’d care but I don’t want to annoy.

Then I thought about canvas. Neil’s work is amazing, but again there is only one created and there are three of us here who miss her.

So digital is the way to go.

I msg’d the girls earlier and proposed we create one image with two elements each in that image which are significant to us, or we create three images, one for each of us. As it will be digital it can be replicated. It should be quicker (though speed of creation is not an issue). I can get them printed on aluminium for us at SmugMug.


A few days ago I was going through my weights routine. The TV programme ended, I put a weight down, changed to a random channel, picked the weight back up and restarted the reps. The channel was playing Grease. It was just starting Summer Lovin’. And I just started crying. The film, that track put me back to a time where we had so much to look forward to, so much life, happiness, love. And J has gone


I msg’d the girls about this image idea. They are both now pondering. No rush, no time limit. Even in this “now now now” world some stuff matters.

I’ll never post the end result(s) but I may still have this on the garage door.

J smile

Why not?

It might annoy?

Getting there

Got closer to being sorted yesterday helped by a power cut which gave me nothing to do but tidy. I have a few boxes to take to the garage – electrics mainly that J used to use but I never would now.
The spare room is next – more stuff to the garage.
After that is done, it’s the roof space. That’s a big job but I have some time off in a couple of weeks so I’m aiming for then with that task.

The more I get these tasks done though, the more I get the house looking how I want it to be the lonelier I feel. But I need to get the work done to move forward, to reduce clutter and dust gatherers. I suppose it comes with the territory after losing someone. It’s not like I can keep a bedroom looking exactly the same.

Two events I had planned to go to later this year I have cancelled. Not ready. Would not enjoy. The opposite very probably.

Started reading Mr Nice by Howard Marks. Neil – at Inkling – recommended Senor Nice by the same guy so it makes sense to read the first book first.

Tattoo work from Thursday has settled very nicely.

Significant live event yesterday which I so wish I could tell Jacqui.

The pic? I just like it. Still experimenting with macro and lighting.

Session 8

I have added another part of the body to the Do Not Get Tattooed! list
The upper inner arm is ouchy. It was when outlining and the shading will be more ouchy. Anyway, here’s one of a few pics

More colours yet to go in, it’s not finished.

Had another cardiac event yesterday early evening. My Apple watch has heart monitoring on since the hospital visits. This time though it lasted only a few minutes so no calls needed. I suppose a GP visit might be in order.

And I have sorted the dining area of downstairs at last. It’s much tidier, more functional. One emotional task down, more yet to go.

A recurring bad dream

About once every 10 days I have a bad dream where the locations change but the problem is always the same. I am lost.

I am wearing a coat, I have bags, I have a suitcase and I’m trying to get to my room. I’m not at home though. Last night I was in some massive hotel in a country that did not have English as even a second language. I knew my room number – 25 – but I had no clue how to get there. The hotel was complex with malls, bars, many many corridors, many floors, many odd lifts, signs I could not understand. Previously I’ve been in a huge holiday complex, in a city, in blocks of flats, in a university.
I never get to where I need to go. I walk and I walk and I ask and I try many routes but I never get closer. I just get more and more tired and confused.
And every morning after these dreams I wake up with a headache, feel sick and feel absolutely drained. I want to stay in bed and sleep but if I do that the dream carries on from where it left, so I have to get up.

I suppose it’s my mind trying to make sense of where I am in the world. I am lost in many ways without Jacqui and I have no-one to talk to. Despite 4 different health agencies being involved in her care not one asked me about bereavement counselling, I have since asked and been told No, to call Cruse (and they are permanently engaged on the phone). I think I know why they have said No, but I’m not writing that here.

I hate these dreams though because they plague the following day too, and I have no way of stopping them.