My new system for recycling ~ with weighted post ~ see text.

Funeral Plan ~ but not mine !

I've been working on my friend's jolly funeral plan all day ~ he has very small writing and there are 11 handwritten sheets ~ if anyone actually follows his plan, the funeral will take two hours or more, but he is a life-long friend and I did agree to do it for him even if it's driving me potty !   I've reached page 8 so with any luck I should finish it and get it off to him in Winchester tomorrow ~ if I can stagger that far !   Otherwise, Richard Eshelby came and sanded my bench and oiled it ~ it looks great ~ and he worked on other gardens in the yard too ~ nos 3, 4, 6 and 7 ~ and last year he won a cup for my garden ~ always so cheerful and helpful.

That's all I can manage tonight ~ time to snuggle down with my Kindle again and I'll try to have an early night.

Wednesday 4th : another sunny day ~ sorted fridge out ~ two loads of washing ~ Ellen arrived just as Steve the Postie came down from Keynsham House and between them they pulled the freshly oiled bench out onto the footpath so that I could sweep behind it ~ good chat with Ellen who has been so busy helping her neighbour Jeannie get packed up and back to USA ~ taxi was there at 6am to get her to Manchester airport ~ she will be glad to get home after these last three months sharing a pokey flat with the husbannd who is divorcing her.

Now I must get back to John's elaborate Funeral Plan ~ with any luck I can get it off to him tomorrow ~ it is proving complicated because he includes so many quotations both poetry and prose which means indenting, bold, italics, and underlining ~ and that's just for the titles ~ the actual quotes are in italics, and with a poem indented, and tighter spacing between verses than normal but not double spacing ~ with my (still) dodgy sight it has been quite a challenge, so let me see if I can finish it tonight, to check, print and post off tomorrow !   As Ellen points out, it is probably a complete waste of time, as ignoring his elaborate wishes, John's family will almost certainly do it their way !    Ellen says her own mother was regularly rewriting her funeral service, but to no avail ~ at least I've done it for John, done as he asked, though in truth it does seem like a bit of an ego trip ~ "look how intellectual I was, what an academic !"

Friday afternoon : Praise the Lord !   I got the darned thing posted off to Winchester this morning ~ Barbara took it for me ~ I must never undertake to do any typing for anyone ever again ~ I am too old and slow and my sight is not good enough, not even after first cataract op.

There were so many quotations and if I did not know them it was quite difficult reading John's small scrawl so I had to look some of them up which was no easy job searching through any of my anthologies ~ then had a brainwave ~ I could look up the poet on Google, find the actual poem and print it out to type into the document ~ but then (Wow ! ~ this will be a wonderful help !) I realised I could COPY the text from web (ctrl + c) and paste it into the Funeral Plan (ctrl + v) ~ and, YES, it worked ~ except that the copy arrived with its own layout and messed up the whole thing, and somehow I could not re-arrange the text ~ at one point the straightforward text turned itself into columns.   In the end I had to erase all these downloaded poems and type them up as normal !   Altogether, this wasted a hell of a lot of time, which is why it was only ready to post this morning, Friday ~ with any luck it will reach John in his Winchester Care Home tomorrow ~ he was intending to pay me for my efforts but No, thankyou, love ~ consider it my THANKYOU for many years of loving friendship.

With the bench looking so splendid after Richard had sanded and oiled it, I decided I should no longer keep a blue recycling bag on it ~ my system was this ~ a blue bag there on the bench into which I pop recycling stuff ~ junk mail, newspaper, yoghurt pots and other plastic ~ before tying the bag up and carrying it across the garden to my blue wheelie bin ~ which meant there was always a blue bin bag on the bench ~ after some thought, I looked on Amazon for one of those sturdy posts that people put outside their premises advertising a SALE or informing the public the cafe is OPEN ~ the post heavily weighted to prevent it falling over, right ?   Of course there were dozens of possibilities on offer ~ some in pairs to hold a scarlet rope like the one I put across the stairs here at night ~ some singles ~ the heaviest and most robust cost about £40 which sounds crazy when I think how much that amount would have meant to me until a year or so ago when George Osborne awarded me all these allowances ~ but now I could afford it and it should serve my purpose and so keep the bench for bums rather than bin bags ~ I trawled through several pages of these posts, all at roughly the same price ~ and then happened on a chromed steel one with heavily weighted base ~ @ £135 but reduced to £40 !!!    And that's the one I sent for ~ on Wednesday evening, right ~ and it arrived on Thursday at lunch time ~ amazing !!!  Buying anything by mail order in days of yore, it would invariably stipulate "Allow 28 days for delivery"   And now this ~ scarcely 24 hours, and here it is !   Obviously the parcel was enormously heavy ~ long and thin and heavy ~ I was afraid I'd made a Big Mistake but crashed out on the sofa for a flop while I worked out how to tackle the problem ~ an hour later coming to I decided I must at least try and unpack it, but hardly was I out on the yard with a sharp kitchen knife, than Johnny from number 3 who has been working on his cottage these past few days comes up to offer his help ~ he soon had it unpacked and assembled, and installed it happily on a very convenient ledge alongside the steps on which the heavy base fits perfectly ~ wonderful !    A vaste improvement on the look of my property, and the blue bin bag hangs from it with absolutely no danger of pulling the thing over !   (see Photo Album 17)

With all this going on, I'm afraid I did not get along to vote yesterday ~ poor Jeremy Corbyn ~ I do wish he had done better ~ let's hope Jon Snow's investigation on Channel 4 News causes the Other Lot some aggro ~ investigating their dodgy expenses from the General Election ~ these bloody tories !  

Crystal's house ~ with the scaffolding coming down