We’ve only just returned from an ‘Indian Summer’ holiday along with the canine timebomb puppy going by the name of Rosie…we do love her by the way…hence I’ve not been around on WP for a shortish while. Regrettably said break was not to my beloved France instead an English shire called Wiltshire our destination…retched Brexit and the irksome corona virus made travel around foreign climes far too complicated for an old fool such as me. Our specific venue a charming cottage in a town called Mere where the pace of life in England’s south west is as slow as snail on opium. I’d previously lived in a similar West Country town, Dartmouth, Devon some years back hence I’d seen it all before. On the good side one does get to unwind in such laid back communities and the scenery is, in its typical countryside English way, delightful. What was a nuisance at first, namely an internet connection that was as much use as a fart in a thunderstorm soon became a blessing. I eventually found relaxation devoid of a living computer’s canny pressure.‘Tis a long time since I’ve had no access to the dreaded ‘net’.

The smiling, indeed some with an eternal grin, locals tend to talk…a lot…for the main about the values of irrelevant distant wasp nests, recent deaths, withered arms and unfortunate critical injuries that can last for months or years.  An example. I had been sent out to the local butcher’s shop, an ancient establishment, the simpering butcher himself cursed with the ability to talk the hind leg off a donkey…then some…let alone that of his verbose customers. In this instant my visitation a worst vegetarian’s nightmare, namely pork chops. There were only the two patrons, me and a well-built talkative native. While I stood there like a drying prune, once their 17 minutes 43 second pointless conversation apropos vascular ischemia of the toes, dumb ferrets, smart bumble bees and dwindling supplies of turnips was done with, the customer’s sack of various meats long since bagged, the purchaser announced, “I’ve just remembered I need the toilet so I best pop out and pop back later, besides my wife is still sat in the car,” at which he departed. My inbred PI train of thought within concluded he must have considered a visit to the loo prior to entering the bloody shop so why not enter with an empty bladder? As to mentioning his wife banged up in his motor, infinity only knows. I had no answer to that, moreover, 25 minutes 47 seconds of what’s left of my time on earth I’ll never get back had passed.

At last it was my turn. The butcher did his level best to talk at length with me, only giving up the idea when it had become crystal clear small talk was not my forte. Out came a massive chunk of pork. “A beauty this is. From which end of the meat would you like me to cut?” My reply, “Both ends look the same to me.” “They are the same” his quizzical riposte. What an utterly witless question. Rather than spitting out a four letter word follwed by ‘sake’ I answered, “Whatever.” Returning to base having imparted my tale to dear Shirl she replied, “You really are a miserable old sod.” Such is life. Later that day, in hindsight, I admit to laughing a tad.     

Anyhow, herewith a few snaps revealing Wiltshire’s undeniable beauty as well as our time there. I live in hope that said snaps don’t bore you ridged…aka ‘cakes, cats and kids’ Facebook style…if so my sincere apologies.   


Should you fancy any of my books, then if you ‘click’ the appropriate book’s front cover to the right of this page, then it’ll take you direct into Amazon where both print and Kindle options are available.   

Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, and lending, prohibited although in a crisis I’ve no issue with any reader using the pages of said book as emergency’s loo roll.



  1. Oh, my dear! Happy to see and have you back again: (with that amusing anecdote and nice pics). You were so suddenly disappeared that I got a little worried… Anyway, welcome back.
    PS: Latest, I had shared a small tell of my past, and I was a bit cheeky and mixed you in.

    1. My thanks. Wiltshire is a gentle county for sure. As to my book I’m so glad you enjoyed it. The plus in terms of my mother was…thankfully…as an only child I always thought all other kids thought the way I did. Regards, Mike

  2. Loved it. The pork, the pondering Shirl, very entertaining. I laughed more than “a tad.” And beautiful photos, what a lovely place!

    Our pup is now eleven, still quite spry. We take her everywhere we can.

    1. My thanks, Kelly. After Skipper the sheep dog died we decided we’d never get another dog such was the trauma following his death. Then, 8 years on Rosie arrives. Believe it or not, the arguable end of ‘lockdown’ caused Rosie’s very being with us. On a hot evening sat in the garden, on the cusp of too much red wine I spotted dear Shirl on her iPad pining for the local dogs on sale. For my part and out of character these days, I said ‘do it’; for her part she told me that’s what she wanted above all things for ages…I wish she’d told me before. Happy floods of tears immediate thereafter Rosie arrived. Mad as a hatter, silent as a lamb we love the wee thing. Importantly, I was truly touched by your comment. You have my respect, and thank you. Regards, The Old Fool

    1. My thanks, young Ms S. A break is what we needed and with Rosie with us life is good. We did so much walking that both Shirl and I came home a couple of pounds lighter. Result!

      1. Aye nowt like a good walk. Alas we tried to do one on Friday to loch lee ..we have been doing this every month since we are not in Glencoe , but alas after a puncture the walk was from the garage back to the house!

      2. The curse of the tyre, young Ms S. I know it well although thankfully not recent. Walking is I find the best way to cure depression; to think; the imagine etc. We’ve some wonderful walks here in Dover yet we had being using our small gym at home. Now we have active Rosie…her father was a whippet, her mother a collie, hence she’s a gypsy gal Lurcher who runs like the wind…it’s walking that’s taken over. I’m enjoying every minute even when it’s raining. I hope you get to re-run your walk when the tyre has been sorted. Regards, The Old Fool

      3. yeah we will re run it. But it was too late that day. Generally that garage is dead fast but there was a queue. We have it pencilled in but what with this petrol stuff going on, we will see how it goes.

      4. The petrol stuff is a worry in some respects. Leaving Wiltshire we had no idea of the issue. The petrol stations there, totally normal. We filled up with ease. We’d deliberatly avoided ‘news’ so had no idea there was a problem. It was only when we left the motorway at Folkstone bang into a traffic jam did it all fall into place. Lunacy prevails in these parts presently, Ms S.

      5. Well I don’t think we were quite the asylum we have become swince the lunatics took over. We never use the car much and it is hybrid so petrol does us for weeks. BUT the Mr aye tops up if we are going a longer trip and he checks the tyre pressures –and right enough he had to put air in that one–the night before. Anyway he got it no bother. That was Thurs nite. What a diff 24 hours made. But having a full tank we are not willing right now to blow a chunk of it heading into the wilds. But what a mess.

      6. It’s Shirl’s birthday this day. We’ve half a tank left and now we’re off to Canterbury to by her presents. You know, if over the next few days we have to drive on feathers and dust so be it. ‘Tis a strange world in the asylum. Regards, The Old Fool

  3. Such a lovely destination for a bit of R&R. Shirl looks beyond herself with excitement, that beer looks good. I have to admit I’m green 🐸 with envy having been nowhere for a year. Rosie is a delight, belly rubs to her. Cheers and welcome back.

    1. My thanks, you Holly. We needed the break even if it was in England. It ook about 4 hours to get there and little Rosie was…thankfully…the perfect passenger in the car. We get back to Dover, into a storm and even today the rain falls…more time to finish the Mayday book I guess. ‘Tis good to be back, Mike

  4. In the 1970s, I had friends who had a ‘country house’ at Mere. (They were not rich. It had been inherited from a relative, and was indeed rather grand) So, I am very familiar with the area you show, and agree it is a lovely part of England. We also enjoyed an Indian summer 7-day break, though in the east, on the Lincolnshire coast. By coincidence, the butcher in that ‘time-warp’ town was also very char=tty.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed your Indian Summer as well. Most civilized for sure. I’ve missed France something chronic yet Mere is a peaceful town even if the butcher was more than a tad talkative. Regards, The Miserable Sod my wife now calls me.

  5. Welcome back to the disinformation highway!
    Remember, in the good old days, it was the information highway?

    The anecdote is hilarious! 😂🤣

    Beautiful place TOF! Rosie is gorgeous, and you auntie’s not too bad, either.
    Shirl is gorgeous! You must have done something right, somewhere, at sometime.

    When I sew my Art Gowns by hand, I forget about internet.
    Sometimes 2 days go by, before I log in and start catching up.

    I enjoyed George’s tune. I should head over and visit him!

    1. Well, young Resa, in reality aunt Maud was a raddled old boot who spoke badly of any and every one…plus she ponged more than a little. Yes, zero internet has its virtues. Time to think; time to consider; time to envisage what the land would look like without humans, and such like. The thing is, lovely as Wiltshire is I still want to spend a few weeks each year back in France simply because of it’s history, landscape, art, food, cafes to watch the world go by in etc. Even our monthly day trip for food shopping I miss. Rosie is a diamond gal, she loves to be chased and sleeps over 10 hours a night. However, she does rather pong when rolling in ‘things’…every other day we have to bath her. Regards, TOF

    1. My thanks, Paul. Butchers, bakers and the rest down in the south west talk for the say of talking…save for landlords, bissfully as miserable as sin. I rather like them. Regards, The Old Fool

  6. I thoughly enjoyed the miserable old sod version of the “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essay. You get an A+ for this sentence alone: “While I stood there like a drying prune, once their 17 minutes 43 second pointless conversation apropos vascular ischemia of the toes, dumb ferrets, smart bumble bees and dwindling supplies of turnips was done with, the customer’s sack of various meats long since bagged, the purchaser announced, “I’ve just remembered I need the toilet so I best pop out and pop back later, besides my wife is still sat in the car,” at which he departed.’

    1. My thanks, Liz. I think every nation has its nutters. Ours life in the south west. All gentle souls yet so incredibly slow when it comes to shopping and…having lived there previously I should add saying hello or goodbye also. Small talk wonderland. Time is irrelevant to them. Having said that, their lives are plainly happy ones devoid of stress. Regards, The Miserable Old Sod

      1. You’re welcome, Mike. Nutter factor aside, there is something to be said for living a life devoid of stress. (Although I’ve never been able to pull it off.)

    1. Thank you, LuAnne. Our meal was fine save for Shirl making due note that I’d become a miserable old sod and Rosie attempting to scoff the lot! There’s no justice, methinks. Regards, The Old Fool

  7. I had to click on your icon since it looked like a tiny vampire and of course I was curious as to why such a revealing photo. I didn’t think vampires could be photographed, so more curious😳😄 I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and have to follow to read more.

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