Maybe things are looking up!

And the news is…. Yes, Commander Riker, on bended knee, finally proposed to Miss Décolletage on Christmas day and she graciously accepted. The happy couple are now engaged after an eight year romance and set to tie the knot sometime in 2011. Of course the idea of a private wedding on a beach somewhere in exotic lands has for now gone out of the window with the world and his dog wanting to attend the ceremony. I have of course come up with a proposal that will meet all of their needs and at a budget they can afford. As most people know I am a Bona fide Jedi priest and as such I have offered to perform the ceremony for them on the local shore at low tide and throw in a hog roast on the local common and all for only 2 cases of Stella. To my surprise this did not provide the undying gratitude I had initially hoped for but they have said they will get back to me.

So what else is new? Well Roger Moor knocked at my door the other day clutching a bottle of Jack Daniels and said take a look at this. He had the bottle in one hand and the top in another. The top had a spike in it and the bottle smelt of fruit. Emails to JD headquarters in Lynchburg Tennessee resulted in a phone call from the top man at the UK head office. It would appear that the latest wheeze is for someone in the distribution chain, IE at one of the supply warehouses in the UK, to implement the brilliant idea of drilling through the stopper of a bottle of JD. They then siphon the JD out of it, replace it with apple juice because it is the same colour and seal it up with a section of cocktail stick and disguise the offending wood with black marker pen. The end result was that RM received two bottles of JD as compensation and the offending bottle was taken away for forensic examination.

This is hardly a new idea but the ingenuity of disguising the hole that was drilled is. I well remember someone telling me a long time ago about bottles of whiskey that had the same treatment. As the top was a cork that did not need drilling a syringe was all that was needed to draw out the contents of a bottle. Cold tea was then injected into the bottle to make up the contents and the cork would self seal. It is the reason why many bottles now have metal caps with a tamper proof seal however it seems JD has stuck to time and tradition and is still using cork with a plastic cap.

As I mentioned in my last post I am now back at work and after four weeks it feels as though I have never been away. This is in no small part thanks to my colleagues who have been wonderful. I still get pains in my stomach and I think it will be some time before they subside if they ever go completely. I finished off the work in my shed at the weekend just gone and as I was putting the tools away I lifted a toolbox to stow it in its home and I felt what can only be described as a tear in my belly and I felt sick almost immediately. The pain went a couple of hours later and I decided that I could not let it run my life for me or dictate what I could or could not do. So I arranged with the Prince of Darkness to go swimming last night. The first length was ok and the second one was not bad but after that it went downhill. I got out of the pool after only 20 minutes and came home. This morning I could hardly move and my stomach muscles felt as though a cannon ball had gone though them. The pain is easing off as I write but I think only a course of gentle exercise will toughen me up. I intend to go swimming again and it may turn out to be a regular event. I will know more in a week or so.

So far the year has gone well and it has certainly been an improvement on the last few years even at this early stage. As usual I have splashed out on my credit card as I always do in the January sales. (More about that in the travel section) A plan of work for the house and dates for that work to be implemented has been completed and work has already started. The shed being one of the many jobs to be completed by the end of September has already been finished. It is now leak free and tidy. A gutter goes up around the shed this weekend coming and new blinds are being fitted to the windows in a fortnight’s time. The Traveller who has just gone back to the South of France has a drawn up a plan and timetable of when each room is being decorated and that will start in March.

In spite of the pains in my stomach I feel good about myself and the prospects for this coming year. I feel full of hope and things that would have got me down last year now seem like a challenge that can be taken on and completed. With the news that the recession is finally over in the UK maybe things are looking up!


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