What with it being so close to Christmas, coupled with the fact that we are moving house shortly after the festive season I shall be taking a short break from blogging.

The thing is my lovely wife is, even as I write heavily into packing things away; choosing new curtains and other stuff for the new house and generally – and quite rightly – making note of the fact that I am affording her little practical help. The cheek of it!

It’s the premature packing up that is doing my head in. As of today the Christmas tree in the lounge is cardboard box camouflaged – I occasionally get more confused than usual (and that takes some doing) in the pulsating shadows of the tree lights in epileptic mode, although I suppose the plus is that at least it gives me a pointer as to where the bloody thing lurks. Whatever, its boxes, boxes and more boxes than you could shake a stick at. Indeed the place is turning into a maze of sorts…must remember not to hold on too long when nature beckons (I’ve written that in biro on the back of my hand just in case). Additionally she has made mention of her desire to flat pack me to prevent me getting in the way! I’d rather like to be flat packed yet have thus far refrained from telling her this.

I shall return though, and in the meantime I shall at long last see if I am able to work out how to use my ‘tablet thing’ thus enabling me to at least read and comment upon the blogs I follow during the duration of her frantic endeavours. I might add I say this only because I can no longer find my desk upon which my laptop sits!

So then, to one and all MERRY CHRISTMAS – HAVE A JOLLY GOOD ONE!

I shall leave you with my short post from last year – words that mean as much now as then I hope;

The simplicity of love

Is beyond all rhyme and reason

Do not complicate it my friend

During this, the festive season

Also, they say the old ones are the best so do remember,

‘Santa comes but once a year and when he does he fills your stocking’



  1. The worst thing about packing is uncovering all the things you failed to unpack on your last move (even if that was decades ago).

    Merry Christmas, Mike. Give our regards to your wife and thank her for the time you have spent here.

    1. We have so much stuff in the attic from two moves ago – and we don’t move that often! Lord only knows what we’ll do although charity shops seem a good idea. That said a memorable, fine Christmas to you and yours.

      1. Most birthdays I buy my wife a power tool or such like as she does all that stuff on the DIY front – mind I’m a capable cook so that makes up for it – I hope!

    1. Both Shirley and I wish you and yours the most splendid of times – I am hoping she’ll leave me a small corner of the house to read blogs from the accursed tablet – there will be no point in me writing using the tablet as, having tried previously it is quite beyond my capabilities. Have a great time.

    1. Have a truly splendid Christmas and keep up – I know you will – the valued and important work you do making sure the good, brave souls who put lives on the line for freedom. You and your comrades really do the most important work on WordPress.

      1. A splendid Christmas also,and an unenventful moving day Mike.
        I enjoy your friendship and your blog.

      2. Absolutely hate moving if the truth be told – haven’t got an exact date to move yet but it looms about me like the curse of a plague – I hate the actual moving bit and being disorganized for weeks thereafter!

    1. Hamsters! Did they take the move well? Whatever, stay insane and have a wonderful Christmas – I shall try and work out the wretched tablet and keep reading blogs once I’ve figured out how to turn it on – only had it a year mind!

    1. Have a splendid one Sir – three at the back and still winning game after game! Bet you have to pinch yourself as the results come in! In any event have a great Christmas and New Year.

  2. Yes, I was wondering what happened to you and even checked your page yesterday evening to make sure I wasn’t missing your blogs. (If they don’t get in my email, chances are I won’t read them.) Anyway, yes, happy holidays and all that. You will be missed. See you on the other side.

    1. ‘See you on the other side’ – surely you don’t want me to top myself? What have I done that is so very wrong young Marissa? That said have the most splendid of times – and I shall try to make the bloody tablet work so I can at least read the blogs I like.

      1. Well, I just thought our suicide pact meant something to you. Oh well, now that I know that, I’ll let you know that I never really intended to keep my side of the bargain anyway.

        Good luck with the tablet!

    1. Clegg the dirt swine! Just how does one ‘back’ a face sitter. Thought I’d heard it all. Having recently purchased enough wine to run a bar in France I think I’m going to have to drink a good measure – can’t have it getting damaged in any move! Have a good one Sir.

  3. Hope your move goes well, see you sometime in the new year… all the best and have a great Christmas!
    To you, and your lovely wife.

  4. I don’t mind moving, it’s the packing and the unpacking that get me. Best of luck to you and hope your Holiday season is great and your New Year even better.

  5. You know of course you could offer to be as helpful as possible simply by taking a vacation break while someone else packs up – less stress for you, and peace for her, the move is accomplished, plus you then have time to choose which short poem of mine to scrawl on bathroom walls of various pubs (which you’d only be visiting for research purposes) thus enlightening the pissers, improving an already fine literary understanding, and providing relief for the wife, and a joyful reunion

    1. Poetic graffiti upon the wall of the gents in a pub! What a splendid idea. Back in the day there was (maybe still is) a pub close to Putney Bridge on the Thames famous for it’s artwork in the gents. Probably the finest one liner resided on its wall namely, ‘This is where Napoleon pulled his bone apart’! As to escaping for the duration as much as I’d like to something tells me it won’t happen sadly as the missus is in organisation mode and son will not want to lose track of a dozen guitars (why a dozen I’ll never understand). Still if he does turn up Christmas Day with your book then plainly I’ve material to write upon our own walls – if not then I guess it’s Amazon to the rescue. Have a good one.

  6. I miss you already, Sir Mike! But if Shirley’s going to flat pack you, then why not let her knock you out first, then flat pack you and ship you over to the states for a visit. She could pack in peace, or better yet hire a man to pack for her, then accompany you and we could show you both a great time, though not at the theme parks which you detest. And since by then you will have conquered your fear of flying, she could enjoy your awake company on your way home to the new house after your visit! Okay, there it is! You wouldn’t dare turn down such a sweet invitation, would you? 😉

    I can’t wait to see how you fix the new house and what miracles Shirl works in the garden! I just know it will be gorgeous! I’m so happy for you both that you finally got the deal to go through, despite the awful cat lady! Merry Christmas, my friend! HUGS to you both! ❤

    1. Well the important thing is that you yourself have the best of Christmas’s. My mortal fear of flying still persists (I am presuming I’ll be awake in my flat packed mode) yet one day would like to cross the Atlantic by ship as they did in the old days – that has great appeal. The actual move likely won’t take place until the end of January – it’s just that she’s got her teeth into the organization presently (far too early really). Still she’s enjoying herself. Me? This is just a short break from posting for oddly as much as a try to take a break from writing I keep getting ideas out of the blue for skits and poems – really good surreal and weird ideas at that. Must be the pressure of blogging that was thwarting my creativity lately, plus the fact I’m back to pen and paper like before. I’ve told her you want before, during and after shots of the move – maybe get George to film it as we are bound to have a mega (and if it runs true to form ‘funny’) row somewhere along the way! Just watched the movie of the book The Book Thief on the TV – brilliant stuff by the way) and, for one who finds a lot of the American shows aired over here disappointing I am still marvelling at the sublime series Newsroom and Olive Kitteridge – when you lot do something well you do it very well indeed. Right then it’s off to the cross trainer now – I’ll be in touch via your blog and by email. Like I said, do have a great Christmas young Rachel.

      1. You have a great one too, my friend! Have you ever actually looked into taking a ship over here? I would love to play hostess and give you guys a room and take you out and about for a tour! (Though we’d have to visit more than just Florida for you to appreciate things here, unless beach and more beach is your ideal holiday.) Yes, I definitely want to see before, during and after photos and/or video of the move! 😀 I don’t think we have many very good shows on TV these days here, except “Once Upon A Time”… must be the British Rumpelstiltskin (actor Robert Carlyle) that does it for me. 😉 Don’t forget to find and watch “Catch Me If You Can” with Leonardo DiCaprio. I just know you and Shirley will LOVE that one, especially in light of your career in finding people like that and it being a true story. I think a break from writing or at least blogging is a good idea once in a while. When it feels more like a chore than enjoyable, a break gives your brain a break and adds new perspective. A few months ago I started a new book… I got about 5,000 words in and just HATED it. I was tempted to toss it completely, but just put it aside and started on something else. Recently, I re-read what I had written on the one I wanted to toss, and as it turned out, I loved it and now want to get back to it. But at the time, I had so much outside stuff going on, I just couldn’t stay focused. When you ran your agency, did you ever have one of those hand-held dictation machines you could talk into and have your secretary type notes into? I wonder if you use anything like that when you cross train? If you’re like me, you have your best ideas when you’re either driving, walking, showing, or in bed with the lights out, and there’s no way you can write them down!

      2. It is funny how mood changes the way one looks at something that felt good writing but then looks rubbish on a re-read! I still keep going back to the Bobby Bob Bob thing I wrote a months or so ago – the one Shirley didn’t like but I did thinking ‘shall I post it or not’ – still can’t decide.
        Where do I get my best ideas? Generally with a glass of red inside me! As to how I’m going to write them down the cross trainer or the treadmill is the place where I think. Sometimes in a cafe over coffee also.
        A lot of TV to catch up on over Christmas I reckon – the standard of writing and acting in Newsroom is something else though – have you followed it? It is in its third and final season going out on a high note. Often the US series things go on far too long and get ruined in the process. ‘Dexter’ was a good example of this – brilliant the first couple/maybe three series but then ran for an age getting more and more tired all the time – I’m guessing the sponsors and advertisers demand this. Our best TV comes from the BBC which has no ad’s or sponsors which is handy. Our commercial channels are rubbish.

      3. Yeah, here a 1 hour show is now about 40 minutes after the commercials are deleted. Thankfully, we either stream it or DVR it and forward through the ads. The thing I hate about so much of our TV in the past decade is most of it is reality TV and I really just can’t stand those at all. I’d rather see real talent and feel good afterward than to see a bunch of hillbillies act stupid. I can look outside or go to Walmart if I want to see that.

        I hope you do post the BBB… I’ve missed Bobby Bob Bob. He’s a wonderful character. How’s the packing coming along?

      4. Reality TV – a bad thing indeed. Your son and mine I am thinking have more talent in their respective toe nails than those fame seeking morons. We get tons of reality shows over here yet I never follow them. A good drama and a bit of sport is all I need from a telly (and no ads of course).

        I think I will post good old BBB – you see I introduced his daughter in the story I wrote!

      5. OHHHHH!!! BBB has a daughter? WOW! I can’t wait to read that now!

        What kind of reality TV do you get over there? I’ve seen YouTube clips of some of your “talent search” shows like what Simon runs and a couple of others like that. But do you get the same types of other (stupid) ones we do that follow a family and watch them do whatever they do? Those are even worse. (Of course, I’m just guessing as I’ve never actually sat down and watched one.) In fact, I think I’d rather watch your son’s and mine’s toenails GROW than to watch those shows! LOL!

      6. We get a anything and everything on the reality front – most of our shows are copies of ones aired in the States. I only ever watched one series of reality and that was about gypsy’s and I only watched that because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Made me laugh as well but not in a good way. I will post that bloody BBB skit after Christmas and see how his daughter (she joins the police by the way) goes!

      7. Oh, great, I can’t wait! 🙂 Is her name Bobbie (with an IE by the way?) There’s this stupid reality show here called Duck Dynasty, which I think is about a family of rednecks that goes duck hunting or something stupid like that. Anyway, they’ve plastered their faces on EVERYTHING, so whenever you walk into a store, you see blankets, towels, lunchboxes, etc., with these guys on them. It makes me sad for the days when they used to put things like Adam 12 or The Partridge Family or The Monkees on those items.

      8. It would be giving too much away to name her just yet! Bring back Monty Python I say – I was in an evil mood the other day and quite forgot I was wearing an old t-shirt G had got me with a slogan thereon, ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ – my how we laughed when Shirley pointed it out!

  7. Good luck with your move – we just moved a month ago and we were in the chaos of it all it occurred to me that there should probably be an age limit on this!! Look forward to your return.

    1. I completely agree – one reaches an age when this moving thing irks. We still have a few weeks to go yet my wife likes to be organised hence anything that is not in current use she feels compelled to box up! Even as I speak a 100 metre roll of bubble wrap is due for delivery this very morning! Still by tomorrow night phase one will be over; Christmas can begin! Have a good one!

    1. Very kind of you to say so AJ – if the truth be told she’s bonkers. Even now, in the deep mid-winter as I write she is in the garden clad in just dressing gown and slippers telling off a spider for being foolhardy and placing itself perilously near a cunning robin salivating at the beak!
      Have a splendid day, The Old Fool

      1. Hahahaha.
        She is a spirited woman…😍Nice to hear about her!☺Would you convince her already to blog Mike? I am dying to know her😍

      2. I shall try again – she writes much better than I do. You never know if I tell her yet another blogger wants her to blog then sheer weight of numbers (there have been many requests thus) might just do the trick.

  8. I got a “tablet thing” for Christmas–there seems to be some programmed “generational impediment” to figuring out the thing. Teenagers keep ripping it from my hands, afraid I think that I’ll dash it against the wall in frustration. I’d tell you that I will miss your posts during your hiatus, but I’m so far behind reading and writing from my own holiday frolics that I’m just now reading this–and you’re back on the horse. I hope you had a good season and an easy move.

    1. Ah the wretched tablet! I did throw mine across the room in frustration yet – perhaps a good thing (?) – it landed upon a settee and merely bounced off onto a heavy pile carpet. And yes, I am back with my old toot! Trust this year is a good one for one and all.

  9. When you back in business? I kind of ‘got back into it’ this week, applied for a terrible job, submitted to a magazine, neighbour gave me his car. Good eh? Nice to see all those kind comments from people, all the best.

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