JohnSimpson - Once more into the breach 2015, The Final Countdown

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JohnSimpson - Once more into the breach 2015, The Final Countdown

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Oct 19, 2015, 3:51pm

Welcome to my new thread, please pop along and leave your thoughts as we countdown to the end of 2015.

Oct 19, 2015, 3:51pm

Welcome to my new thread, please pop along and leave your thoughts as we countdown to the end of 2015.

Oct 19, 2015, 3:51pm

Editado: Dic 24, 2015, 8:54am

Books read up to 199 pages.

1. Lambs to the Slaughter by Graham Yallop, 174 pgs
11.Something Borrowed, Someone Dead by M.C.Beaton, 198 pgs
21.A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh, 176 pgs
31.Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh, 191 pgs
41.Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith, 191 pgs
51.The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh, 187 pgs

Editado: Dic 28, 2015, 4:38pm

Books read, 200 to 299 pages.

2. To Davy Jones Below by Carola Dunn, 276 pgs
12. Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham 271 pgs
22. The Case of the Murdered Muckraker by Carola Dunn 262 pgs
32. The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers, 297 pgs
42. How it all Began by Penelope Lively, 248 pgs
52. The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith, 248 pgs

Editado: Dic 29, 2015, 3:40pm

Books read, 300 to 399 pages.

3. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik, 391 pgs
13. Summer's End by Danielle Steel, 318 pgs
23. Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson, 372 pgs
33. Silent Night by Jack Sheffield, 334 pgs
43. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, 390 pgs
53. Jubilee by Shelley Harris, 325 pgs

Editado: Dic 31, 2015, 12:23pm

Books read, 400 to 499 pages.

4. The Chevalier by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, 414 pgs
14. Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer, 466 pgs
24. Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson, 491 pgs
34. Gone by James Patterson, 471 pgs
44. Toys by James Patterson, 449 pgs
54. Unlucky 13 by James Patterson, 460 pgs

Editado: Oct 19, 2015, 3:59pm

Books read, 500 to 599 pages.

5. The Titans by John Jakes, 586 pgs
15. Love Hunt by Fiona Walker, 536 pgs
25. The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling, 568 pgs
35. A Line in the Sand by Gerald Seymour, 510 pgs
45. The Cry of the Halidon by Robert Ludlum, 526 pgs

Editado: Oct 25, 2015, 5:23pm

Books read, 600 to 699 pages.

6. Revenge by Martina Cole, 612 pgs
16. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, 670 pgs
26. Patriot Games by Tom Clancy, 616 pgs
36. Private Desires by Elizabeth Adler, 640 pgs
46. On Secret Service by John Jakes, 614 pgs

Editado: Nov 8, 2015, 3:05pm

Books read, 700 to 799 pages.

7. The Apocalypse Watch by Robert Ludlum, 751 pgs
17. Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones, 742 pgs
27. A Glimpse of Stocking by Elizabeth Gage, 755 pgs
37. Flavour of the Month by Olivia Goldsmith, 764 pgs
47. Word of Honour by Nelson De Mille, 752 pgs

Editado: Nov 15, 2015, 3:23pm

Books read, 800 to 899 pages.

8. An Absolute Scandal by Penny Vincenzi, 890 pgs
18. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, 888 pgs
28. Kiss and Tell by Fiona Walker, 883 pgs
38. The Decision by Penny Vincenzi, 877 pgs
48. The Aquitaine Progression by Robert Ludlum, 847 pgs

Editado: Nov 28, 2015, 4:54pm

Books read, 900 to 999 pages.

9. Duncton Quest by William Horwood, 916 pgs
19. Duncton Found by William Horwood, 978 pgs
29. Red Rabbit by Tom Clancy, 928 pgs
39. Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer, 915 pgs
49. When Christ and his Saints Slept by Sharon Penman, 904 pgs

Editado: Dic 20, 2015, 3:40pm

Books read, 1,000 + pages.

10. New York by Edward Rutherfurd, 1017 pgs
20. Hawaii by James A.Michener, 1130 pgs
30. The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton, 1225 pgs
40. The Company by Robert Littell, 1281 pgs
50. Spangle by Gary Jennings, 1276 pgs

Editado: Dic 30, 2015, 3:51pm


1. Private India by James Patterson
2. The Affair by Santa Montefiore
3. Last Voyage of the Valentina by Santa Montefiore
4. Death in Florence by Marco Vichi
5. Seagulls in the Attic by Tessa Hainsworth
6. Sanctus by Simon Toyne
7. The Key by Simon Toyne
8. The Tower by Simon Toyne
9. The Death of Kings by Conn Iggulden
10. Warrior, Brother, Hero by Conn Iggulden
11. The Bourne Objective by Robert Ludlum
12. Arena by Simon Scarrow
13. Sworn Sword by James Aitcheson
14. Lustrum by Robert Harris
15. The Ancient Curse by Valerio Massimo Manfredi
16. The Coming of the King by M.C.Scott
17. Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith
18. Hannibal, Enemy of Rome by Ben Kane
19. Tackling Life by Jonny Wilkinson
20. The Legion by Simon Scarrow
21. Parky by Michael Parkinson
22. Oskar Schindler by David M. Crowe
23. Infinity's Shore by David Brin
24. The Last Secret of the Temple by Paul Sussman
25. Recalled to Life by Reginald Hill
26. Pictures of Perfection by Reginald Hill
27. Hunger, the autobiography by Sean Kelly
28. The Seafront Tea Rooms by Vanessa Greene
29. Texas Vendetta by Elmer Kelton
30. The Benevent Treasure by Patricia Wentworth
31. Vanishing Point by Patricia Wentworth
32. Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
33. Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley
34. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
35. The Perfect Match by Katie Fforde
36. Silent Night by Jack Sheffield
37. Home to Roost by Tessa Hainsworth
38. Up With The Larks by Tessa Hainsworth
39. His Majesty's Hope by Susan Ella Maclean
40. Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Ella Maclean
41. Mr Churchill's Secretary by Susan Ella Maclean
42. Sidney Chambers and The Problem of Evil by James Runcie
43. The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan
44. Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan
45. 10 for 10 by Chris Waters
46. A Cold Blooded Business by Dana Stabenow
47. Play With Fire by Dana Stabenow
48. Blood Will Tell by Dana Stabenow
49. Toll The Hounds by Steven Erikson
50. Invisible by James Patterson
51. The Ivory Dagger by Patricia Wentworth
52. A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi
53. Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
54. In Enemy Hands by David Weber
55. Echoes of Honor by David Weber
56. Field of Dishonor by David Weber
57. Ashes of Victory by David Weber
58. The Storms of War by Kate Williams
59. One Mile Under by Andrew Gross
60. Honor among Enemies by David Weber
61. Flag in Exile by David Weber
62. The Short Victorious War by David Weber
63. Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer
64. The Noble Outlaw by Bernard Knight
65. A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
66. The Evening Star by Larry McMurtry
67. The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri
68. O'Hara's Choice by Leon Uris
69. The Stand by Stephen King
70. The Black Cabinet by Patricia Wentworth
71. Coyote Walks by Tony Hillerman
72. In The Presence of Mine Enemies by Harry Turtledove
73. Fortunes Favourites by Colleen McCullough
74. The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch
75. The Reckoning by Sharon Penman
76. The Brother's Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
77. The House on Carnaval Street by Deborah Rodriguez
78. Mystery in White by J.Jefferson Farjeon
79. The Lake District Murder by John Bude
80. Through the Wall by Patricia Wentworth
81. The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas
82. Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas
83. Esmond by W.M.Thackeray
84. Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
85. Toast and Marmalade by Emma Bridgewater
86. To The Last Man by Jeff Shaara
87. Treachery by S.J.Parris
88. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
89. Private Vegas by James Patterson
90. The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth
91. Talking God by Tony Hillerman
92. Crowner Royal by Bernard Knight
93. Tideline by Penny Hancock
94. The Good Life by Martina Cole
95. The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
96. Burn by James Patterson
97. Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
98. Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
99. Still Alive by Lisa Genova
100. Sometimes a Great Nation by Ken Kesey
101. Streets of Laredo by Larry McMurtry
102. The Shadow Sorceress by L.E.Modesitt jr
103. All The Grey Cats by Craig Thomas
104. The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum
105. Caesar by Colleen McCullough
106. Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri
107. A Grave in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope
108. A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
109. Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
110. 1022 Evergreen Place by Debbie Macomber
111. Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber
112. 50 Harbour Street by Debbie Macomber
113. The Fallen Kings by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
114. Falls the Shadow by Sharon Penman
115. The Dandelion Years by Erica James
116. Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley
117. Head of State by Andrew Marr
118. Grey Mountain by John Grisham
119. The Truth about The Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
120. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
121. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
122. Summer at Tiffany's by Karen Swan
123. Summer at Shell Cottage by Lucy Diamond
124. NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson
125. Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett
126. Time and Time Again by Ben Elton
127. Scenes From Early Life by Philip Hensher
128. Beaumont's Up and Under by Bill Beaumont & Mark Baldwin
129. The Summer Wedding by Debbie Macomber
130. Confessions- The Paris Mysteries by James Patterson
131. 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson
132. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
133. The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick
134. A Cornish Affair by Liz Fenwick
135. A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick
136. Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen
137. Death of Riley by Rhys Bowen
138. For The Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen
139. A Death at the Palace by M.H.Baylis
140. The Tottenham Outrage by M.H.Baylis
141. Black Day at the Bosphorous Café by M.H.Baylis
142. Mrs Jeffries Plays the Cook by Emily Brightwell
143. Mrs Jeffries Takes the Cake by Emily Brightwell
144. Mrs Jeffries on the Trail by Emily Brightwell
145. Mrs Jeffries on the Ball by Emily Brightwell
146. Mrs Jeffries Takes Stock by Emily Brightwell
147. Mrs Jeffries and the Missing Alibi by Emily Brightwell
148. Mrs Jeffries Stands Corrected by Emily Brightwell
149. Mrs Jeffries Takes the Stage by Emily Brightwell
150. Mrs Jeffries Questions the Answers by Emily Brightwell
151. Mrs Jeffries Reveals her Art by Emily Brightwell
152. The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith
153. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
154. The Grim Reaper by Bernard Knight
155. The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
156. Revelation by C.J.Sansom
157. Dishing the Dirt by M.C.Beaton
158. The Woman who Walked On Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith
159. Antartica by Kim Stanley Robinson
160. The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough
161. Anna, Where Are You by Patricia Wentworth
162. Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
163. Snow & Steel, The Battle of the Bulge by Peter Caddick Adams
164. Alex Cross-Hope to Die by James Patterson
165. Fear in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope
166. The Fingerprint by Patricia Wentworth
167. Skinner's Rules by Quintin Jardine
168. Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster
169. The Day of the Dissonance by Alan Dean Foster
170. Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise Walters
171. Colours Scheme by Ngaio Marsh
172. Death and the Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh
173. Surfeit of Lampreys by Ngaio Marsh
174. Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh
175. Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh
176. Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh
177. Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh
178. Declarations of War by Len Deighton
179. City of Gold by Len Deighton
180. Mamista by Len Deighton
181. SS-GB by Len Deighton
182. Goodbye Mickey Mouse by Len Deighton
183. XPD by Len Deighton
184. Neither Nowt nor Summat by Ian McMillan
185. The Handsome Man's Deluxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith
186. When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
187. The Gunslinger, (The Dark Tower Bk 1) by Stephen King
188. By The Mast Divided by David Donachie
189. A Shot Rolling Ship by David Donachie These three books were a Xmas present from Paul C
190. An Awkward Commission by David Donachie
191. Last in the Tin Bath by David Lloyd
192. Absolute Pandemonium by Brian Blessed
193. The Bones Beneath by Mark Billingham
194. The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker
195. The Hit by David Baldacci
196. Maximum Ride Forever by James Patterson

Editado: Dic 31, 2015, 12:24pm


Oct 19, 2015, 4:19pm

Another relaxing day, after breakfast I put the washing out whilst Karen finished off some knitting for a friend's baby. I had to pop into town to do some banking, banking done I got home and made us both a drink of tea. After finishing my drink of tea it was time for me to go to school as I had a meeting with the headmaster and the head of the Visual Impairment unit to see how they had gone on in the past year and what plans for this academic year were in place. This meeting lasted about an hour and once finished I went home and had a bit of lunch.

While I was out Robert had rung to see if I could pick him up from the railway station at 5.30pm so that he could get home quickly and sort some things out before he had to go to the cricket club AGM, this I did and then got home and had a late tea. I managed to get some reading done in the car while waiting for Robert's train to arrive.

Oct 19, 2015, 4:48pm

Happy New Thread, John. Glad to hear that Karen's knee makes good progress.

Oct 20, 2015, 7:50am

Happy new thread, John!

Oct 20, 2015, 4:50pm

A nice sunny and warm autumnal day here in Walton, had to get up a bit early to get to my doctor's appointment. Saw the Dr and we had a chat about my shoulder and he now wants me to see the Orthopaedic specialist to determine what type of scan/MRI he would like and what area or to look more at the arthritis I am suffering from. After leaving the Dr's I got home and had breakfast with Karen, following this I had to call at the chemist to pick up a prescription and then go and do some banking. Once done I got home and realised they hadn't given me all my prescriptions that I had asked for, I rung the clinic that I had been given to see the specialist. The clinic couldn't get me an appointment until the 19th of December so they are going to get the hospital to contact me. After a bit of lunch I got on with the upstairs housework while Karen did the ironing, once I had done the housework I popped to the chemist to sort out my missing prescription. It turned out that the doctor had not passed my script to the chemist, I nipped across the health park to the doctor's and picked the script up and then went back to the chemist and got what I needed. Once home I read for a while until it was time to eat before I took Karen to her Bariatric meeting.

Oct 20, 2015, 6:25pm

We have had some really wonderful autumn days here in the American South. High's in the 70's F and lows in the 40's and lots of sunshine.

I had a real humdinger of a day yesterday. I got in my car to go to work and I felt the gear shift break as I put it into gear to get out of my driveway. I had to have it towed to the mechanics. They gave me a loaner car as the repairs will take about 3 to 4 days to get. It isn't the nicest car on the block but it is getting me back and forth so I can't complain. Last night my mother called me and let me know that the insurance settlement from the bad hail storm in Kansas a couple of weeks ago had come in. Unfortunately, it won't be enough to pay for the damages to the roof and the siding on the house. Now we have to get an independent assessment of the repairs and then get the insurance adjuster back out to the house. My mother, who is retired and has all the time a day gives her, wants to deposit the check now, so that she "doesn't have to worry about it anymore." Since I own the house, I am opting for restraint. Life. It's weird sometimes.

Oct 20, 2015, 8:16pm

Congratulations on your new thread, John. Reading in the car is a must for me but I am glad I now have a driver as it is much less dangerous at traffic lights!

Oct 21, 2015, 4:03pm

>20 benitastrnad:, Glad that you are having some nice autumnal days my dear but what a day you had yesterday, hope things get better. Sending love and hugs.

>21 PaulCranswick:, Cheers mate, just hope the cops don't see me, ha ha.

Oct 21, 2015, 4:19pm

Up early today so I could have breakfast before dropping Karen off in town and then going to Normanton for my dentist appointment. It was just a routine check-up before I lost part of a filling a few weeks ago so it was a clean and polish and then a new filling, once done I went and picked Karen up from town.

Once home I had a quick drink before going to the supermarket to do the weekly shop, not a lot needed so it didn't take me long and I was soon home. Karen unpacked the shopping and put things away and then it was time for a pot of tea. Once the tea had been drunk I got on with the downstairs housework before having a sandwich and some cake. We watched a couple of programmes, Escape to the Country and Home away from Home. Whilst watching them we chatted about our visit to Janet and Andrew on Saturday, as we were leaving I said to them that it had given me pause for thought about moving into the country at some future point. Over the last few days we have both been thinking about this when our mortgage has been paid off in eight years time. We are going to keep a check on what properties are available in a few areas and see if it is a going option, Karen mentioned today that she would be prepared to do a small bed and breakfast or just find a property with an annexe so we could provide a self-catering option, this would be ideal in the Dales. Having lost one or two people who had plans for retirement but never made it has made us think about the future, we don't want to think down the line, Why didn't we take a leap of faith and do something for us. One thing is that we don't have to rush into this and can take our time weighing up the pros and cons.

Oct 21, 2015, 4:31pm

Nine days to the wedding and we are getting really excited but having really weird dreams.

Oct 21, 2015, 10:22pm

I am thinking about retirement as well and want to retire while I am still physically hale and hearty.

Oct 22, 2015, 7:35am

Nine days! Exciting!

Oct 22, 2015, 3:06pm

>25 benitastrnad:, Exactly my dear.

>26 scaifea:, Very.

Oct 22, 2015, 3:11pm

Yet another wedding guest casualty, Robert's partner Louise has broken her little finger and after she had seen a doctor at the hospital he told her she had done a really good job with it as it is a super break and she may need to have an operation done by the plastic surgery department. It won't stop her coming to the wedding but she joins a number who have had accidents or had major surgery close to the wedding date.

Meanwhile we have had a very relaxing day, I have done some reading but apart from that we have done very little. We are still having weird dreams but getting very excited for next Friday.

Oct 22, 2015, 4:35pm

>28 johnsimpson: Oh dear, I hope Louise get well soon.

Oct 22, 2015, 4:45pm

>29 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara.

Oct 23, 2015, 12:30am

Sorry to hear about Louise's finger break and potential surgery for it. The pressure does mount as the wedding approaches. I wish you happy dreams.

Oct 23, 2015, 4:13pm

>31 vancouverdeb:, Thanks Deb.

Oct 23, 2015, 4:36pm

Another steady day for us, after breakfast we hung some washing out and then went to the pet store to get Leo some medication for his joints, Karen also picked up some cat toys for his Christmas present. Once home we had a pot of tea and I listened to cricket on the radio. I had a bit of lunch before going to pick Hannah up from school, she was so excited as it is the start of the October half term break. Once we got home she ran into Grandma's arms and then asked for some cheese and a drink, she definitely takes after her daddy as she is always eating and never alters just like Robert used to.

I asked Hannah what she would be doing next Friday and had to give her a clue that she would be dressed up, after such gems as a pirate, a princess, Elsa, Anna I had to tell her she would be a bridesmaid and she said yes for Auntie Amy and Uncle Andy. She watched a couple of DVD's before Karen took her for a bath and got her into her pyjamas, she played for nearly an hour before it was time to go and pick daddy up from the railway station and then take her home.

Tomorrow Amy is coming over early in the morning and then they are going to the railway station to get the train to Leeds and they are having a girlie day, I may go into Leeds with them and then go off on my own or I may got to the Antique fair at Wetherby racecourse depending on the weather. We are now down to just under a week to the big day.

Oct 24, 2015, 9:04am

Happy weekend, John. Stay calm.

Oct 24, 2015, 10:01am

>33 johnsimpson: A girlie day at Leeds, John and it doesn't involve my misfiring football team!

Have a great weekend mate.

Oct 24, 2015, 9:03pm

The wedding is getting closer so rest up.

I have a bumper crop of tomatoes on my vine and hope that the long warm afternoons we have been having continue so that they will ripen on the vine. If not I will pick them and let them ripen in the kitchen window. The fall days here have been beautiful. If work was less stressful I would enjoy them more.

Oct 24, 2015, 10:02pm

I'm amazed by the number of "chunksters" you've read.

Editado: Oct 25, 2015, 12:19pm

There was an interesting story on Deutsch Welle TV this morning on the Rugby World's. It seems that Argentina is making a surprise good showing and has a impressive group. The game today should be exciting according to the German analysis.

Oct 25, 2015, 4:55pm

>34 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara.

>35 PaulCranswick:, Thanks Paul, I left the girls to it.

>36 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, the wedding is getting closer and closer now, nerves are tingling.

>37 thornton37814:, Hi Lori and welcome to my thread, I just love my chunky books and will be posting another one finished shortly and another being started.

>38 benitastrnad:, Benita the Argentinians were awesome last week against Ireland and really should have been playing Scotland in the semi-final today but from the little I saw this afternoon I think last weeks game took it out of them.

Oct 25, 2015, 5:07pm

Not too bad a weekend, yesterday I went with Karen and Amy into Leeds, they left me to have a pre-wedding girly day whilst I just went for a mooch around. I came home from Leeds on the 12.48pm train and just read for most of the afternoon before getting a text from Karen to pick them up from Sandal railway station at 4.40pm. Amy was staying overnight as it was Andy's stag do, I left Karen and Amy around 5pm to go over to their house for an evening with the boys. Andy and a few other went to a local laser quest centre and then went ten pin bowling and were due back home for an evening of drinks and gaming. I had a good evening an imbibed a few beers and so stayed overnight. I got back home at around 11.45am and saw Amy pass me on the motorway as she was making her way to York for the pantomime rehearsal. Once home I had a pot of tea with Karen and finished my book before we got an invite for Sunday lunch with Rob and Louise. We are now relaxing watching a bit of television.

Oct 25, 2015, 5:20pm

Finished book Forty-six this afternoon, On Secret Service by John Jakes. Jakes is one of my favourite authors and so I really enjoyed this one, his research of the American Civil War for his books is second to none and so adds to my knowledge of this period of American history. My next book is Word of Honour by Nelson De Mille, another chunkster at 752 pages. This will be my 22nd chunkster of the year so another for Lori to be amazed at, I will certainly have read 25 chunksters by year end but may get the chance to add a couple more if I can maintain my current reading rate.

Oct 26, 2015, 6:46am

It sounds like you had a great weekend, John!

Oct 26, 2015, 1:13pm

John, just to let you know, Diana (Wilkiec) is back under her new username DianaNL.

Oct 26, 2015, 3:09pm

Happy new thread, John!

Oct 26, 2015, 5:02pm

>42 scaifea:, Yes we did Amber, thank you.

>43 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara.

>44 connie53:, Thanks Connie.

Oct 26, 2015, 5:09pm

We have had a reasonable day, this morning after breakfast we went to the White Rose shopping centre as Karen needed to pick up a few last minute things for the wedding such as gift bags for the little ones, some tights for Shannon, a colouring book for George, a birthday card and an anniversary card and a couple of other bits. As we were leaving Amy rang an asked if we could pick up a picture frame as the one she had ordered has come but it is the wrong size. I hope there is no more to do as this week was supposed to be relaxing until Thursday. Two and a half days until we set off to the Hotel with everything needed for the wedding, starting to get a bit nervous now so I will just pick up my book and relax.

Oct 27, 2015, 4:54am

>46 johnsimpson: Exciting days, John! I hope you and the family will have a lovely wedding! Keep calm! Take deep breaths and read! ;-))

Oct 27, 2015, 4:56pm

>47 connie53:, Thanks Connie.

Oct 28, 2015, 4:59pm

A busy day in the Simpson household, up by Eight and then time for breakfast before I took Karen down to the hairdressers for her nail appointment, I then drove to the chemists to ask Raj if he could give me Karen's blood pressure tablets and I would put the prescription in as I forgot to do this last week. Raj is a good chap and he gave me the tablets and said he would put the script in for me, then it was time to go to the supermarket to do the shopping before getting back to pick Karen up from her appointment.
Once home we brought the shopping in from the car in heavy rain and then unpacked the bags and put the shopping away, we had just finished and made a pot of tea when Amy and Andy arrived. I made Amy a coffee and we had just sat down when the hairdresser arrived, I had my locks cut and left the girls to it as me and Andy made our way to the Macarthur Glen outlet just outside York to pick up the wedding suits. Once we had got all of them we headed to Andy's sister Dawn's house to drop off his Dad and brother Adam's suits, we then headed to Andy's where I dropped him off and the suits for him and his best man.

I then made my way home as quickly as possible with my suit and Rob's, once home I had a quick toilet stop before taking Karen to Ackworth to meet a lady who was giving Karen a witches outfit for Hannah to wear on Saturday when she goes trick or treating and then we went to the dress shop to pick up Karen's wedding hat. By the time we got home around 4.30pm we were ready for a drink and something to eat as we had had nothing since breakfast. Whilst me and Andy were picking the suits up, Karen had her hair done and Amy had hers trimmed and then they got on with filling the jars with sweets for the sweetie table, it would appear that there are enough sweets to set up a shop. I think the kids and even some of the adults will think Christmas has arrived.

Everything has been done and it is just a matter of us setting off to the hotel tomorrow afternoon with THE dress, sweets, our wedding clothes and clothes for Saturday, just 39 hours before I walk Amy down the aisle now. I have seen nothing so when I go to pick Amy up from her room I have no doubt I will shed a few tears and then some more as I walk her down the aisle and then finally probably some more as I do my Father of the Bride speech. Then I can relax and have a few drinks. We will post photo's as soon as possible of my little girls big day.

Oct 28, 2015, 5:06pm

Dear John and Karen, I wish you a wonderful wedding and John put an extra handkerchief in your trousers. It will be a GORGEOUS day.
Please, give my best wishes to Amy and Andy. I wish them all luck on earth for their future.
Love and hugs for all of you xxx

Oct 28, 2015, 5:09pm

>50 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara, I will have plenty of handkerchiefs and tissues at my disposal.

Oct 28, 2015, 6:41pm

Ohh, just enjoy the day John! give my best wishes to Amy and Andy! And all my love are with Karen and you!

Oct 29, 2015, 7:13am

Wow! Not long til the wedding now! My best wished to all of you on the big day! Big hugs to all of you! A special day indeed!Best wishes to Amy and Andy!

Oct 30, 2015, 6:39am

Happy wedding day!! Thinking of you and yours.

Oct 30, 2015, 6:56am

John you and Karen and especially the happy couple are in my thoughts today. Wishing all the best for today and always.

Oct 30, 2015, 11:30am

Have a very good day, John and Karen and of course Andy and Amy! I hope it will a splendid day.

Oct 31, 2015, 7:04am

I saw a couple of photos over on The Face Book - lovely!

Oct 31, 2015, 6:16pm

First of the wedding photos

Editado: Oct 31, 2015, 6:18pm

Very proud parents

Oct 31, 2015, 6:20pm

Andy doing his speech again for the people who came to the night do.

Oct 31, 2015, 6:21pm

Amy and Andy

Oct 31, 2015, 6:23pm

The Simpson family

Oct 31, 2015, 6:24pm

Another of the happy parents

Oct 31, 2015, 6:25pm

Andy's family

Oct 31, 2015, 6:26pm

Father and son

Editado: Oct 31, 2015, 6:29pm

Amy and Andy and the proud parents

Oct 31, 2015, 6:30pm

The young bridesmaids

Oct 31, 2015, 6:31pm

The cake and cupcakes

Oct 31, 2015, 6:58pm

Gorgeous photos. I'm so glad that you had a wonderful day. Love and hugs xx

Oct 31, 2015, 7:36pm

It is safe to say that I have had a fabulous last three days, we set off to the hotel at around 4pm on Thursday, the car was loaded with two suits, Karen's dress and Amy's dress, all the sweets and jars and all the favour bags. We arrived at the same time as Amy, Dannielle the chief bridesmaid was already there, we checked in and went to the rooms, we booked a table for an evening meal. The meal was gorgeous and we had a good night before retiring to the rooms, well all the girls ensconced in our room until Karen kicked them out.

Friday dawned at 6.30am, the hairdresser arrived at 6.40am and Karen disappeared next door, shortly after she was back and told me to get dressed as Danni wanted to go down to breakfast and wanted company. Off we went for breakfast, Karen soon joined us and then they were summoned back to Amy's room for the full works. I went for a smoke then drifted up to our room but first I had to get the key off Karen, with my back to the door and my arm extended through the door so I saw nothing I got the key, checked that Karen didn't need to come back and told her I was having a shave and a shower. After my pampering I was summoned next door to get something from Amy's car, by this time it was around 9.00am and I was at a loose end. The next twenty minutes dragged by until I decided that it was time for me to get Andy's sister Dawn and his three nieces, this journey there and back killed an hour for me and when back it was time to get suited and booted.

Once in my finery and with son Rob in his finery we made our way downstairs to get our buttonholes, once down Andy told us he had present for us, we both got super hero cufflinks as did Andy's dad, brother and best man and obviously Andy had a pair on, mine were Batman and Rob got the Green Lantern. Soon after I was told I was required upstairs to get Amy, remember I had not seen the dress, hair or make-up until this time, Karen met me at the door and made sure Amy was ready, I walked up a step turned right and saw my beautiful daughter and seven gorgeous bridesmaids, I cracked and was in a flood of happy tears. Amy said "Dad, you'll make my make-up run" to which I replies that I couldn't help it. The registrar and official recorder of the marriage ceremony came to see us to run through what was going to happen, we left the room with bridesmaids in both height and age order, photos were taken coming down the sweeping staircase and we made our way towards the room. The bridesmaids went in, first Hannah and Eva, then Felicity, Charlotte, Shannon, Emily then Danni, we were held back a bit and I had a quick glimpse of the room, as soon as we got to the door I filled up again and tried to compose myself as we walked to the table. The ceremony was lovely interspersed with three readings and then we made our way back out to another room collecting drinks as we passed. By this time the weather had picked up and so photos were able to be done outside. After what seemed a short time but was in fact about 90 minutes we went into the room that had now been extended for the reception. The food was second to none and the Hotel did us proud but soon it was time for the speeches.

I was called upon to start the proceedings and with some good natured banter from the guests was able to go a little off piste with my speech and then I passed over to Andy. Andy did a fantastic speech and unfortunately buried his best man the poor lad. After the speeches Andy's uncle Graham did an acoustic number for them, we had asked if he would do this and Amy and Andy knew nothing about this. I will say that the speeches are worth a view as is the acoustic piece from Graham and they can be seen on my facebook page or Karen's, Andy's has been viewed 409 times already and mine 209 times. Graham's acoustic has had 206 views, Jaren has jus told me this minute. The room emptied and we moved to other rooms and the bar whilst they re jigged the room layout and got the DJ in and put down the dancefloor. We went back in around 7pm and the night festivities commenced, around 8pm Amy and Andy did their first dance, they have been practicing with the Panto members. They started and then five other Panto couples joined them on the dancefloor, this was brilliant and again this can be viewed on my facebook page, just look for John Simpson shared Grace Cook's video, it is well worth a look. We had a fabulous evening and we cleared up the memento's of the evening around 12.15 am this morning. I have no idea how much I drank but it was a lot but I was running on adrenaline and although I felt a bit ropey I was not drunk.

Today we packed the car with wedding stuff, we took three suits back to Moss Bros and had a quick look around the macarthur Glen shopping mall and had a coffee before going to Amy and Andy's with wedding bits for them and the cake and cupcakes. We had a couple of hours with them, they opened cards and a few gifts but with having a lot of stuff they had asked for money to go towards their honeymoon. Their friends have been very generous with a mix of cash and cheques they received £1,650 plus tickets for Harry Potter World. They go tomorrow to the Lake District until Thursday and then they go to London on Friday for a few days and they have booked to see a couple of shows. We shed a few more tears on our way to them and some more with them as they opened cards and saw what friends had given them. We had to pop back to the hotel to pick up a couple of items that they had forgotten to give us this morning before we set off for home, we arrived back around 5pm, tired but so happy that we had given them a really special day. We have been perusing photos that friends have posted on facebook and viewed the speeches and acoustic videos and getting a bit teary. I will close for now as I think it's time for bed as we are a bit tired and I will post more tomorrow.

Oct 31, 2015, 9:38pm

So glad for all of you. I love weddings and this sounds like it was a good one. congratulations on a new member of the family.

Nov 1, 2015, 7:21am

Congratulations, John. It sounds like everything fell exactly into place. Many good wishes to the young couple and you and Karen. I am not on facebook so it was nice to see some photos here. Everyone looks lovely

Nov 1, 2015, 8:20am

It sounds like everything went really well, and the photos are lovely!

Nov 1, 2015, 8:48am

Well done extended family Simpson.

Wonderful to share in the joy from so far away. Thanks John for posting the photos and your impressions of the day.

Nov 1, 2015, 11:40am

So glad you had a perfect day, John! It all looks very pretty and gorgeous!

Nov 1, 2015, 1:52pm

The photos are great! Thanks for putting them up here as I don't do Facebook it gave me a chance to see the whole family. Thank you for sharing the day with all of us. Karen looked great! (You did too - but Karen's outfit was outstanding and looked so good on her.) I hope her knee held up during all the action.

Editado: Nov 1, 2015, 4:19pm

>71 benitastrnad:, >76 benitastrnad:, the day was fabulous and we are still feeling emotional today, it is a shame you are not on facebook as there are about 800 photos posted and all the speeches, Amy and Andy's first dance, the exchange of vows and one of the bridesmaids and then me and Amy walking down the aisle. Andy's speech is really one to view even if I say so myself. Amber Scaife thought it was so good that she could hear my voice to add to the photo of me. Karen looked so lovely in that outfit, as soon as she tried it on I knew that was the one for her and then the hat just set it off. Karen had plenty of painkillers on hand if the knee started to play up but she did really well and danced quite a bit.

>72 jessibud2:, Shelley, the day was fabulous and again it is a shame you are not on facebook (see the above post).

>73 scaifea:, So glad you liked my voice my dear, if you get chance have a look at the other videos, they are well worth a look.

>74 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, I had to post some photos and as I am writing this we have found that around 800 photos have been posted by guests and by luck all the speeches have been posted on facebook as well as Andy's uncle Graham's song for them and then the happy couples first dance and then within the last two hours a video of them doing their vows and one of the bridesmaids and me and Amy walking down the aisle, we are still quite emotional watching and looking at them. My speech went down well as the guests were really good and I went off piste and will pay for it at some point, lol but Andy's is superb even if I say so myself. We are joined to a lovely family now mate and I love my son-in-law to bits.

>75 connie53:, Hi Connie, we had an absolutely fabulous day my dear and now there are lots of photos and videos of the day on facebook. I know I am repeating myself but Andy's speech is well worth a look at and Karen looked fantastic, in fact all the main players were absolutely gorgeous. Feeling a bit teary as I write this post but we have been looking at loads of photos and the videos most of the day and they are still being uploaded, can't wait to see the official ones from Nikkipix who was fantastic and was with us for around twelve hours.

Thank you all for your lovely comments and I will post some more photos over the next few days, I hope I am not boring everyone.

Nov 1, 2015, 4:35pm

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-10-15 - 2120
Books added in October - 9
Books read in October - 6

Revised book total - 2123

Pages to read at 1-10-15 - 916,930
Pages added in October - 5,254
Pages read in October - 2,418

Revised total pages to read - 919,766

Nov 1, 2015, 8:29pm

Wonderful pictures, John! What a lovely event and all of you look fabulous! Great account of the happy day! I'm not so adept at putting photo's on my thread, but yesterday my son and his wife ( July 2015) brought us over a 12 x 12" album of their wedding day , taken by the photographer. Such lovely memories, as you have had so recently! I love the cake and cupcakes!

Nov 1, 2015, 10:58pm

Oh, John, what wonderful photos! You and your family look so very happy! I'm thrilled for all of you. What a touching moment you had when you saw Amy in her gown. xo

Nov 2, 2015, 2:48pm

>77 johnsimpson: I bet you will get teary eyed looking at all the pictures and video's and reliving that beautiful day! Just enjoy those things. They are so precious.

Nov 2, 2015, 3:35pm

>79 vancouverdeb:, >80 lit_chick: and >81 connie53:, Thank you ladies for your lovely comments.

Nov 2, 2015, 11:14pm

What wonderful pictures. I'm so glad things went well.

Nov 3, 2015, 3:42pm

>83 drneutron:, Thanks Jim, everything went as we had hoped it would.

Nov 4, 2015, 3:43pm

Well after all the build up to the wedding and then from last Thursday until Saturday evening we are now back to normal. Monday was a bit of a strange day for us, we pottered about during the early morning before we had to get ready to go to the funeral of Jez Horsley, the headmaster of Crofton Academy. The turnout for this lovely Gentleman was amazing, the church was full and people had to stand outside with the service relayed to them and that was without any pupils there. The school are organising an event to honour Jez so that pupils can pay their respects. The rest of the afternoon seemed to pass by in a blur, I think we were still in wedding mood.

Tuesday things got back to normal, after breakfast we took Karen's hat back to Diva's and had a coffee with Lynette and Judith and showed them a few photos that Karen had managed to print from her phone. Once home we had a bite to eat and then I got on with the upstairs housework.

Today we went to the supermarket to do a light shop and Karen had got a memory card of Chief Bridesmaid Danni's dad with about 150 photos on so she is having those printed, meanwhile I did the shopping. We got home and unpacked and put the shopping away and then I got on with the downstairs housework while Karen went and washed her hair. Once all this was done we had a bite to eat and watched a bit of T.V.

Nov 4, 2015, 3:56pm

Back to the post wedding era we are now putting thoughts towards Christmas, we have booked tickets for the Joseph Rowntree players pantomime. Karen is compiling another of her (in)famous lists, food required, presents to be bought etc. At the moment we have six for Christmas lunch and this could end up at eight or ten depending on what the new Mr and Mrs Welch decide to do and whether or not Louise's mum and dad decide to come.

Nov 4, 2015, 6:44pm

I have couple of days off (thursday and friday) and had planned on a weekend trip to Atlanta. However, that fell though as my car is in the shop for a computer chip repair that has kept it there for almost two weeks. Fortunately, the garage has loaned me a car to get around town in and to get back and forth to work, but I don't want to drive it to Atlanta. If I get the car back by Friday I will take a one day drive to North Alabama to visit a friend and go to the Orbix Hot Glass Studio. This glass artist is located in the hills of North Alabama and he makes wonderful things out of beautiful glass. His work was featured by Oprah Winfrey a few years ago and since then his studio has become very busy. I don't begrudge him his success as the items are beautiful craftsmanship. It will be a nice one day outing.

Nov 5, 2015, 5:02pm

>87 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, hope you get your car back so that you can take that trip to North Alabama and see the glass artist, it sounds wonderful and if you get there let me know how it was.

Nov 5, 2015, 5:10pm

Today we went for a drive down to the Meadowhall shopping centre, Karen picked up a couple of presents so now the Christmas list can now begin to be ticked off. We also saw a few things that could be good presents but need to check with spouses etc before we purchase.

For those that have seen my wedding speech I have a bit of news, if you saw it you will have seen that I told Andy to make sure that when they go away to make sure that he fully checks nothing is left behind, sadly to say he failed to heed his Father-in-law, they left the cottage in the Lake District this morning to make their way home, Amy put the laptop on a chair that was black, the laptop was in a bag that was black, Andy didn't see it and thought Amy had already packed it. The lady who owns the cottage went to clean it before the new occupants come and found the laptop, she then tried to ring them on more than one occasion finally getting in touch when they were twenty miles from home. The upshot of this is that she is sending it to Andy's mums by courier as they are heading off to London in the morning for a few days. Andy should re watch the speech and take his FIL's advice in future.

Editado: Nov 5, 2015, 8:01pm

Hello John, I have not been keeping up on here ad much as I would like. I love all the wedding photos and it sure looks like it was a lovely wedding and a lovely time had by all. I hope you are doing well. I'm doing well and was at a Wedding recently myself. My nephew got married in Riner, Va. Therefore, that gave me a really good excuse for another vacation in the south. I had an awesome vacation and the wedding was beautiful. Checkerboard out the pictures on my Facebook page if you haven't seen them already. Hugs from Angel and I.

Nov 5, 2015, 8:54pm

I had a great day off. I had lunch with my retired lady friends and we laughed and laughed about all sorts of things - politics and religion included. I am very happy that I took the day off. When I got home I had a message from the garage that my car would be done tomorrow morning and I can pick it up at noon. I called and the bill is going to less than I expected but still close to $1,000.00. That did not include the $100.00 to have the car towed to the repair shop. All-in-all, I am satisfied with it and am sure that this chariot will get me to the glass studio on Saturday.

I also had a very nice chat with a school teaching buddy from way back. She and I taught in a very small town in Kansas 30 years ago, and I always have a good time talking with her. She, and all the laughter at lunch buoyed me up.

Nov 6, 2015, 10:49am

John--So glad the wedding went off so well. Absolutely beautiful!! You and Karen look stunning, and more importantly, very proud and absolutely happy. Congratulations! Thank you for posting all the wonderful photos. Big hugs.

Nov 6, 2015, 4:57pm

>90 MonicaLynn:, Hi Monica, Thanks for popping by my dear, the wedding was fantastic. Glad you had a good wedding and vacation, sending love and hugs to you and Angel.

>91 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, So glad you had a great day off my dear and now you have the car back. Enjoy your trip to the glass studio.

>92 Berly:, Hi Kim, thank you for your compliment on how we looked, we scrubbed up well for my little girl. I will be posting some more photos soon when we get them sorted.

Nov 7, 2015, 5:16pm

We have had a lovely day in York doing a bit of Christmas shopping, it was raining when we arrived but soon cleared up. First off Karen took an item back to Next and while we were there she told me to look at some boots for myself and a short while later a pair were purchased as part of my Christmas box. I bumped into Andy's Uncle Graham and we had a chat about the wedding and shopping before we parted. We also got a couple of stocking fillers for Andy, two coffee table books, a Marvel A-Z of characters encyclopaedia and Star Wars year by year chronicle. Andy is a big Marvel and Star Wars fan and is sorting my Star Wars education out. Karen also picked up a few small items for presents and she is ticking things off her list now, That's my girl. I also purchased a couple of books that are part of series that I am reading, so a good day was had.

Amy sent me a couple of text messages about their time in London, they went to see Matilda last night and this afternoon they saw a matinee performance of Phantom. Think they were going to the cinema this evening to see the new Bond film, Spectre. They return home sometime tomorrow and are back at work on Tuesday.

Nov 8, 2015, 4:14am

Happy Sunday, John. I hope it's a relaxed one. xx

Nov 8, 2015, 3:11pm

Finished book Forty-Seven in the late afternoon, Word of Honour by Nelson De Mille. This has been a really good read highlighting the brutality of war and one man's fight for his honour as a soldier eighteen years after he ended his army career.

Nov 8, 2015, 4:08pm

We have had a very quiet steady day, after a lovely breakfast Karen got on with some ironing and I popped to the farm shop to pick up the Christmas catalogue and order form. Once back I then tidied up the third bedroom and made it a bit more habitable although there are still a LOT of books stacked in front of the bookcase. This afternoon I read and watched a bit of football while Karen made a gorgeous Sunday dinner.

Amy and Andy set off from London mid-morning and arrived home around 2pm, they were shattered apparently after their two centre honeymoon break.

Nov 8, 2015, 7:46pm

I met with my real life book discussion group this afternoon. We discussed Smilla's Sense of Snow and had a great time. We had six people who attended and most of them had read the book so we had a good discussion. I will have one more day of vacation tomorrow to enjoy and then back to the salt mines.

Nov 8, 2015, 8:06pm

>94 johnsimpson: York! Jealous I am. Waterstone's in York is a fairly decent branch of the place.

Nov 9, 2015, 6:38am

Happy Monday, John! Things are looking up at Scaife Manor, now that this weekend is over... Hoping you have an equally promising start to your week.

Nov 9, 2015, 3:44pm

>98 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, glad you had a good book discussion and enjoy your last vacation day before you are back to the salt mines.

>99 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, Waterstones York is a decent place and there are a number of book places to visit in this wonderful city. We may be popping off to Harrogate on Thursday and I have a lovely secondhand book shop that I like to visit there.

>100 scaifea:, Hi Amber, glad things are on the up at Scaife Manor now the weekend is over and I believe your MIL from hell has disappeared. We have had had a decent Monday and the rest of the week looks very promising.

Nov 9, 2015, 4:09pm

The weather has been miserable most of the day yet the temperature is pretty good for this time of year. After breakfast we went to the opticians for Karen's eye test and her prescription has stayed just about the same but she wanted some new glasses and so chose two pair as they had a good deal on them. Once home we had a pot of tea and then a bite to eat before I got on with the upstairs housework and Karen started to wrap some Christmas presents up. Once I had done the housework I made us both a pot of tea and I read whilst Karen continued with the present wrapping.

If the weather is ok tomorrow we are going to go to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to see the Poppy display and hopefully when we get home I can get some more reading done.

Nov 10, 2015, 2:33pm

Hi John, sorry to hear that you had terrible weather. Fingers crossed that it will improve. How is Karen's knee? L&h xx

Nov 10, 2015, 3:46pm

>103 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, the weather today has been lovely. It has been sunny and warm all day and last night it was quite mild, so much so that the record for the highest night time temperature in the UK was broken at a place in Northern Ireland with 16.1 C. The weather for the next few days is to be much the same as today so that is good news.

Karen's knee is improving day by day and she is back at work on Saturday although she is starting on reduced hours to see how she goes. Sending love and hugs to you and the family my dear.

Nov 10, 2015, 3:53pm

We have had a lovely day, after breakfast we went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to see the Poppies Wave over the historic Cascade Bridge. It is a wonderful display that is touring various places until the end of 2018. It was nice to stroll through the park and Karen's knee stood up to the rough ground and muddy paths. We took quite a few photos and when Karen sorts them out from her camera I will post on here. Once we left the bridge we strolled through more parkland back to the YSP centre and had coffee and cake in the café. We have had a relaxing day since we got back from the park and it is back to the food shopping and housework for me tomorrow.

Nov 11, 2015, 4:25pm

Another sunny and warm day here in Walton, after breakfast we went and did the supermarket shopping, not a lot was needed and we were soon home. After it had all been unpacked and put away we had a bit of lunch and then I got on with the downstairs housework. After all this I did a bit of reading and Karen watched a bit of T.V, a nice relaxing evening then. Tomorrow Karen has to go for a blood test and then we are going on to Harrogate, it is the monthly farmer's market so hopefully we will be able to pick up some Buffalo burgers and other nice food treats, I will also pay a visit to my favourite secondhand bookshop in the town.

Nov 12, 2015, 3:43pm

Another sunny day in West Yorkshire, after breakfast we went to the doctor's for Karen's blood test appointment before setting off for Harrogate. We arrived at 10.30am and parked up and set off for a coffee, once we were refreshed we headed to the farmer's market. Karen picked up some nice bread before we found the stall with the buffalo burgers, I left Karen to it as she packed me off to the book shop, not that I was complaining. I picked up two Alan Dean Foster books before heading back to find Karen. We had a good mooch around and picked up one or two small Christmas presents before finding another coffee shop for a break. After this we mooched around more of Harrogate and I found the Oxfam book shop and picked up another book. By this time Karen was tiring a little bit so we headed for the car and made our way to an antique centre that was on our way home, Karen found a nice brooch which had 50% off and so cost the princely sum of £4. Another good day had out and now it is raining quite hard with high winds forecast.

Nov 12, 2015, 6:51pm

It seems that your weather and ours are very similar, John. An "extreme rain warning" by Environment Canada. There was a high winds warning as well, but it has been cancelled for now. Fortunately I own a gortex jacket and rain pants for walking the dog each day and the dog owns her own rain jacket.

I enjoy reading about your lovely days! Happy for Karen that she found a nice brooch for L4 . Not easy to do!

Nov 12, 2015, 10:28pm

Weather here has turned very autumn. Cool at night and warm at midday. There is also that beautiful golden light that is peculiar to autumn.

I spent the last two days presenting a half day workshop to my colleagues, and of course, the technology failed. The computer attached to the projector went kaput and when we hooked a laptop to the projector it fried that one along with the memory stick on which we had our power point slides. We ended up winging it - and our audience thought we had done a fine job. I confess I was a bit nervous about this presentation as this one was too my colleagues, and they are tough critics. It doesn't bother me that much to present to students but my colleagues? That is whole different ball game.

Nov 13, 2015, 4:02pm

>108 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, it does seem as if our weather is the same, the rain set in early morning and by afternoon it started to get heavier and the winds picked up. Presently it is raining quite hard and the wind is blowing at about 50mph, we are lucky as the west side of the country are getting it really bad from Liverpool right up to the Hebrides. The higher parts of Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and Scotland are getting the first snow of the season.

I am glad you enjoy reading about our days, I sometimes think they can be a bit boring until it is Karen's days off and then we go visiting some nice market towns and the lovely parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. As for the brooch Karen is good at bargaining but in this case the sign said 50% off the marked price, normally when we go to antique fairs I see something and Karen does the deal, she is far better than me.

Nov 13, 2015, 4:06pm

>109 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, your weather seems a bit better than ours at the moment. I see that technology isn't always the best but at least you were able to get the presentations done. Like you I could talk to students but colleagues or guests makes me nervous, this was how I felt with my speech but the guests were good and I was soon at ease and then went off piste just a bit and had a dig at Karen which I am paying for.

Nov 13, 2015, 4:13pm

Today the weather finally broke, it started to rain a bit this morning but by the afternoon it was coming down quite heavily and the wind picked up, presently it is raining quite heavy and the wind is blowing at about 50mph. We had a quiet morning with just a quick break out to go to the doctors to see the practice nurse for our flu jabs. I listened to the cricket on the radio and read for a bit before we had some lunch, after this I read for a while before going to pick Hannah up from school. Because it is the annual Children in Need fundraising day Hannah was in her Frozen dress, all the children had dressed up to raise money. Hannah is such a star bless her and soon she wanted me to listen to her read her reading book even though Karen had made her some tea. We then ended up watching some Peppa Pig DVD's before it was bathtime for her, she then had some milk and biscuits before it was time for me to go and pick her dad up and take them home.

Karen starts back at work tomorrow, she is only doing a three hour shift to see how things go and four hours on Sunday. I will report how she has coped with being stood for that length of time after a lay off.

Nov 13, 2015, 7:33pm

>112 johnsimpson: Finally a little good news with the cricket. I don't understand why they didn't give Hales a game in the Test Series in truth.

Have a lovely weekend and I trust that Karen will cope admirably with being back in the saddle.

Nov 14, 2015, 4:25pm

>113 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, I have to agree that Hales should have been given a chance in the recent Test Series but as usual with the selectors they mess around and he will get his chance against South Africa, just what he needs an easy series (not).

Karen had a reasonable shift but was a little tired by the time we got home, things are a bit mad from now until Christmas and the staff double discount started yesterday and this year lasts for eleven days. Hope you are having a good weekend mate.

Nov 14, 2015, 4:43pm

The weather has been horrible today with heavy rain and winds. Karen went back to work this morning after her recent time off due to her knee op, she is staring with three hour shifts for the first three or four days to ease herself back in and will quickly build back up to her normal hours. I went to pick her up at 12.30pm and then we went into store to get the booze and chocolates that we need for Christmas as it is double discount for the staff. They have limits for certain parts of the store and so we still have some booze allowance left so will get Amy some next week and will take Louise to the Pudsey store on Tuesday.

Once we got home I watched the Rugby League international on T.V before getting some reading done whilst having a nice pot of tea.

Nov 15, 2015, 6:23am

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday, John!

Nov 15, 2015, 6:34am

Have a good Sunday, John.

Nov 15, 2015, 3:29pm

Book Forty - Eight finished this afternoon, The Aquitaine Progression by Robert Ludlum. A fast paced thriller and another Ludlum that raced up the bestseller list, I have read three Ludlum's this year after a long gap since the last I read. In the mid-eighties I read a number of Ludlum's amongst other thriller writers and having finished this one I remember why.

Nov 15, 2015, 4:10pm

The weather has been miserable again but the day has been pretty good. After breakfast I took Karen to work and then drove into town to Sainsbury's supermarket, I was early but had my book with me so that wasn't a problem. The store opened for browsing before the 10am serving time and I picked up two copies of Mog's Christmas Calamity by Judith Kerr, one copy is for Hannah and for us to keep here to read to her. This year's Sainsbury Christmas advert is based on this book and all monies from the sales goes to charity, the advert is the hit of Christmas which normally goes to the John Lewis advert but Sainsbury's has beaten it hands down, go online to check it out, it is three and a half minutes of fun and had us laughing our sides sore.

Once home I had a pot of tea and finished my book before putting the washing on the airer's to dry although the towels had to go in the tumble dryer. I selected another book to read and made a start before doing a couple of small jobs before it was time to pick Karen up from work. We had a pot of tea as soon as we got home and then made a late lunch. We watched a couple of programmes on T.V before Karen decided to wrap some more presents before Strictly Come Dancing, the results show came on. Not a bad day despite the weather and we will see what tomorrow brings.

Nov 15, 2015, 7:38pm

I've played the advert for myself 3 times, can't wait to show it to the kids in the family. Thanks for telling us about it!

Nov 16, 2015, 6:36am

Hi, John! I hope your Monday is off to a good start! Is Hannah still a Peppa the Pig fan? I thought of her as I was setting up the book fair - we have a couple of Peppa books for sale.

Nov 16, 2015, 1:24pm

It has been a few days since I checked in with you. Glad to see you and Karen are still perking along.

It has turned cold and fall like here in Tuscaloosa. I had a very busy weekend and didn't get to cook my comfort food soup that I wanted to make. I like to use squash in soups and found a new recipe for butternut squash, sausage and black beans in a soup. It sounded so good, but it will have to wait for another night after work this week.

Nov 16, 2015, 4:15pm

>120 clue:, Hi Luanne, so glad you enjoyed watching the ad and the kids will love it.

>121 scaifea:, Hi Amber, Hannah still likes Peppa Pig but she also likes Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. When she wants a book she just goes into the bedroom to the book box and picks a book out, Room on the Broom is a favourite read at the moment although she does read her reading book to us. She likes granddad to read to her as I try to give characters voices which she likes. Monday has been a good day.

>122 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, we are both perking along nicely. It has been cold and wet around here with some more storms expected over the next few days and it may be turning even colder from the weekend.

Nov 16, 2015, 4:21pm

It has been a pretty good day here in Walton. I took Karen to work this morning and then got back and had some breakfast before noting down the last two books read in my stat book and wrote the blurb on the back of the books on record cards so I can refer back if I need to. Next job was to put the washing on the airers before printing off an e-mail for our seats for the panto, after doing this I then started to clear Karen's e-mails. This e-mail clearing was a job and a half as it has been awhile since I did it last, she had nearly 2,550 in the inbox.

The next job was to check the bank statements before it was time to pick Karen up from work, we then popped into Aldi to pick up some Christmas food items that can go in the freezer before getting home for a nice pot of tea. Karen did the ironing whilst I read before we watched a bit of afternoon T.V before having a nice evening meal. We are now having a relaxing evening.

Nov 16, 2015, 4:55pm

Thanks for the friend request, John. I'm off to walk the dog in the rain and the wind. She is an energetic little thing, so like it or not, I'm off in my gortex jacket , rain pants and Poppy the dog will need her little rainproof jacket, which she loathes. I just finished a cup of tea to fortify myself for my outing, and wrote my nephew. He is studying at Cambridge in the UK, and I think it's a bit of a big change for him. He is 25 and a wonderful young man, but I can't help but think he likes to hear from home . He has been " across the pond " to the UK in the summer of 2014, but getting used to such a new life in the UK must be a bit of a challenge. It's ironic that my sister has been sending him care packages from here in Canada that include his favourite Canadian made tea, since I think of the UK as the tea centre of the world! :)
Ah, I'm much like Karen. I so seldom clear my email and my son gets after me for my 5000 emails. My son, being in the IT business gets after me for my very full inbox. I clear it out when ever my computer seems to be running to slow , on the orders of my son.

Nov 16, 2015, 5:03pm

Hi Deb, I hope your walk isn't too bad for you and Poppy and you will both need to be wrapped up well. I must admit there is nothing like a nice cup of tea to fortify a person. I hope your nephew enjoys his time at Cambridge and gets time to explore parts of the UK. Karen deletes her e-mails on her phone but forgets to mention to me that they need deleting on the laptop, she get quite a lot each day from the bariatric support group and they soon rack up. I will close down for now as it is near bedtime and we like to have a read before turning the light off and the alarm will soon be going off at 6.30am. Talk more tomorrow when I get back from the schools awards evening which I am attending as a governor.

Nov 17, 2015, 6:42am

Oh, Charlie is a Fireman Sam fan, too, and we both love Room on the Broom!
Ooof, now I'll have the Fireman Sam theme running through my head all day...

Nov 18, 2015, 6:24am

Editado: Nov 21, 2015, 4:44pm

Yesterday was quite a busy day for me and so I didn't get to fire the laptop up last night. After taking Karen to work I got back and had some breakfast and a pot of tea, once done I cracked on with the bank statements and once this was done I set of into town. On my way I called into the post office and then to the chemist to pick up my prescription, I was delayed a bit at the chemist as they didn't have my prescription so I popped across the way to the doctors who had held it up as I needed to make an appointment for a medication review. I booked the appointment and went back to the chemist with script to get my morphine patches. Once done I drove into town and did some banking before going to the pet outlet to get Leo some food. Once home I just had time to have a pot of tea and a quick read before going to pick Karen up.

Just before picking Karen up I filled the car with diesel as once Karen got in the car we were going to pick Louise up so we could go to the Asda superstore at Pudsey. I mooched around for a while before I left the girls to it and went back to the car and read. They came out loaded with goodies for Christmas but at least they had saved some money with double discount. We dropped Louise and her shopping back home before we set off for home. Once in I made us a pot of tea before making us both something to eat. Once done I went upstairs to get changed as I was going to the Crofton Academy awards evening in my role as a governor.

It was a good evening for the class of 2015, they played a video looking back at their five years at school before awards were given out in a number of categories and special awards. I even shed a tear at the end of the video as they were showing stills of their prom night to the tune seventeen by Ed Sheeran, the tears were not for the video but that was the tune of Amy and Andy's first dance at the evening do on their wedding day.

By the time I got back home I was ready for a pot of tea and then it was time to watch The Great Pottery Throw Down which has been good viewing. Normal service will resume today.

Just as an aside, If any body would like to see Amy and Andy's official wedding photos you can go to from there click on client pix a box will appear and then click on view all galleries. From there click on the picture of the arch with lego Mr and Mrs and then you will have to type in a password in client box, this is AAwelch46. If you go on you will find one or two photos of me crying as I see Amy and the dress for the first time. I do hope people will not think me a bit twee for this but the photos are better than the ones I posted.

Nov 18, 2015, 6:52am

Oh, John, the photos are just lovely! Thanks so much for sharing them!

Nov 18, 2015, 6:56am

>130 scaifea:, Glad you like them Amber, we think they are lovely and Amy and Andy are very pleased with them.

Nov 18, 2015, 10:22am

"Great Pottery Throw Down?" I that like the Great British Bake-Off? The latter show has been a hit here in the U.S. with several of my friends watching it on PBS and some getting it via Netflix.

Nov 18, 2015, 3:42pm

>132 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, it is quite similar and we are really enjoying it. It is so nice to see something like this and to see how complicated pottery can be. The male judge is a really good potter but he gets so emotional bless him.

Nov 18, 2015, 3:48pm

So normal service has resumed after a busy day yesterday. After taking Karen to work I got home and had some breakfast before getting on with the housework. As nothing on the housework front got done yesterday we decided to do the weekly shopping on Thursday and I would do all the housework today. I began with the upstairs , dusting and vacuuming the bedrooms before cleaning the bathroom and then moved downstairs to dust and vacuum the room and dining room before cleaning the kitchen. I just had time then for a pot of tea, another viewing of Andy's speech and a quick message on LT before going to pick Karen up from work.

Once home we had a pot of tea before Karen went to wash her hair and I read before we did the shopping list and then had some lunch. We watched a couple of T.V programmes before it was time to take Karen to her bariatric meeting, I got home and had some tea before going back to pick her up. We are now back home and Karen has had something to eat and we are relaxing now.

Nov 18, 2015, 4:29pm

Karen has just reminded me that I will need to get my overseas Christmas cards off soon so a few people will be getting a missive and a card from me in the near future.

Nov 18, 2015, 6:24pm

I usually write my annual Christmas letter during the Thanksgiving break, so I am sure that most of my overseas friends will have to wait until after Christmas to get their letters. But every year I have hopes that I will actually get them mailed off earlier than that.

Nov 18, 2015, 8:12pm

What a beautiful and happy wedding! The pictures are just wonderful! How could there be any dry eyes looking at that beautiful bride and her handsome groom! Thanks for sharing!

Nov 19, 2015, 11:22am

> 137, Thanks Diane, glad you enjoyed looking at them. I know I am biased but Amy did look lovely. I hadn't seen the dress until I went to collect her and walked into the room and saw seven gorgeous bridesmaids and my beautiful daughter. Andy is a fabulous son in law and his family are wonderful.

Nov 20, 2015, 4:44pm

Yesterday was reasonably good apart from the weather, we did the weekly shopping before getting home and having a nice pot of tea. We had a relaxing afternoon and Amy arrived around 5pm, Amy and Karen were going to the theatre in Leeds courtesy of my chauffeuring skills to see Girls which is the musical of the Calendar Girls. Because they would be late home Amy was staying the night, they really enjoyed the show and we got back home around 11.20pm.

Nov 20, 2015, 4:54pm

Today has been pretty good, Amy left at about 7.20am although she wanted to be off earlier but forgot to set her alarm but luckily Karen woke up just before 7 and thought she hadn't heard Amy leave. It was a good job really, we got up at about 8am and had breakfast before popping to the supermarket to take back a couple of blouses that did not fit but she got the next size. Once home we had a pot of tea and I read for a while before we had some lunch. Rob and Louise arrived at about 2pm and we had a pleasant afternoon, it is Rob's birthday on Sunday and they are going off to York and are staying overnight at the Hotel where Amy got married, we are having Hannah for most of the day before we drop her off at her other grandparents. We are taking Hannah to see Santa at a large garden centre that has just had a major re-furb. Rob opened his presents from us and his sister but we made him leave his cards un-opened until Sunday. Rob and Louise left at about 4.30pm to go and pick Hannah up from Louise's mums. We are having a nice evening. Tomorrow we are going over to Amy's to take the wedding cake and cupcakes that have been in our freezer whilst they were away.

Nov 20, 2015, 5:34pm

I was able to view the pictures Amy and Andy's official pictures via your link. They are wonderful! Amy is certainly a beautiful bride and it looks to have been a wonderful day for all. My son and his fiance were quite private about sharing their pictures from their July 2015 wedding, so I had a limited ability to share their pictures. I was only able to share a few via social media.

Well, off to wash my hair and get out for a walk and do some shopping etc. Yes, Christmas is coming!

Nov 20, 2015, 7:06pm

>129 johnsimpson: Thanks for the link, John. A bit of emotion is never a bad thing, mate, if we are not able to feel we cannot be real.
Have a great weekend.

Nov 21, 2015, 8:07am

>129 johnsimpson: Password doesn't fit :-(.

Hi John, I'm so far behind. I finally find time to do some weekend greetings. Wishing you and Karen a most lovely weekend. L&h xx

Nov 21, 2015, 4:52pm

>141 vancouverdeb:, glad you liked the photo's Deb.

>142 PaulCranswick:, You are so right Paul and I am not afraid to show my emotions.

>143 Ameise1:, I think I put a space between the AA and Welch46 so it should be AAwelch46 Barbara.

Nov 21, 2015, 4:59pm

We have had a good day, after breakfast we set off to Amy's with the wedding cake and cupcakes. Once we got there we had a pot of tea before we set off into Selby, I wandered off to the charity shops looking for a book (surprise, surprise) and Karen went with Amy and Andy. I got the book that Karen was looking for from WH Smiths along with a Rail magazine and the Cricket Paper. I met back up with them and Andy and I made our way back to their house while Karen and Amy went looking at the shops for a while.

When the girls got back we had some lunch and then chatted for a bit before we set off for home calling in at Andy's mums with some cupcakes, we had a pot of tea with Pat and Mike and then made our way home. We have had a relaxing evening, tomorrow we are having Hannah for a few hours and are taking her to see Santa at Tong garden centre.

Nov 21, 2015, 5:08pm

Great photos, John. Thanks for sharing them.

Nov 22, 2015, 10:48am

>146 Ameise1:, Glad you liked them Barbara.

Nov 22, 2015, 12:34pm

It turned cold yesterday and there are frost warnings for the area for tonight, so I hurriedly repotted a couple of plants and moved them inside. I usually don't have to move plants indoors until around December 1st. I guess this is close to December 1 so I shouldn't complain. It just seems early.

I took some time at work on Friday and looked at the wedding pictures. I didn't get through all the pictures but got to the banquet and dance. I looked to be a wonderful wedding with all who attended having a great time.

Nov 22, 2015, 3:37pm

>148 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, glad you liked the photo's my dear.

Nov 22, 2015, 3:53pm

We have had a lovely day, after breakfast we set off to pick Hannah up, once we had picked her up we set off to Tong Garden Centre where we were taking Hannah to see Santa. Karen booked Hannah in and then we looked at the Christmas decorations and trees that were on sale before it was time to see Santa. When we got to the Grotto desk Hannah decided to cry and said she didn't want to see Santa as she was scared. Karen had a word with her and soon we were heading to see Santa, Hannah sat next to him and told him her name and when asked she told him what she would like for Christmas. Once this was done we went into the Elf workshop to pick a gift, Hannah picked an A to Z puzzle, this had wooden letters and inset cards to put the letters in. We then had a quick drink in the café before we set off for home.

Once home Hannah had some lunch and then she read her school reading book to me before playing with the puzzle, she made a number of words before she saw the Sylvanian house we had been given yesterday. Hannah played for a long time with the house and the pieces that came with it, time seemed to fly by and it soon came to the time to take her to her other grandparents where she is staying the night.

Nov 23, 2015, 4:24am

Morning all from a cold and chilly Walton, had to scrape ice off the car for the first time this Autumn/Winter.

Nov 23, 2015, 7:06am

Happy Monday, John, from snowy Wisconsin!

Nov 23, 2015, 2:06pm

Hi John! Happy week for you and Karen!

Nov 23, 2015, 3:45pm

Apart from the chilly start to the day it hasn't been too bad a day. After taking Karen to work I got back and had some breakfast before putting the first lot of washing on the airers and putting the second load of washing on. I then had a pot of tea and read for a while before putting the second load of washing on the airers and then popping into town to get some vitamins for Karen and then having a quick mooch around for some ideas before heading for home. I had time for a quick pot of tea and a read before going to pick Karen up from work. Once Karen was in the car we headed for Tong garden centre to have a look at the Christmas decorations as we didn't really have time yesterday, Karen picked up a few small items and then we headed home.

Robert had a good birthday yesterday and they had a lovely stay at the Pavilion hotel where the wedding was held and then today they went into York to do some Christmas shopping.

I got a notification about the Yorkshire pen fair on the 29th, think I may pop along after I have dropped Karen off at work, I am looking for either a Conklin or a Pelikan as long as they are a decent price. I can pick up a new Pelikan pen if I am prepared to pay £240, which I am not and to my knowledge there are no stockists of Conklin pens in the UK.

Nov 24, 2015, 3:48pm

Not a bad day here in Walton, after taking Karen to work I got back and had some breakfast before having a bit of a read. After finishing reading I popped to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for Karen and to find out about missing medications. It would appear that when I took scripts in and they said they would hold Karen's back a week as they were not due they forgot this and passed them to the chemist, I went to pick my meds up and never asked for Karen's as they were not there as far as I was concerned. The pharmacist Raj said they had been done on the 12th and I told him I hadn't picked them up, after relating what I thought had happened, he said he would re- do them and then after going into his office to take a call he brought out the bag of meds that had been made up on the 12th. At least this has been sorted out and we have our medications.

Once back home from the pharmacy I had a shower before doing the upstairs housework and then had time for a pot of tea and a bit more reading before it was time to go to the supermarket to pick Karen up and do the weekly shopping on the last double discount day. Once we got home we unpacked and put away the shopping before having a well earned pot of tea. Karen then did the ironing while I read and then we watched a bit of T.V before making something to eat. Having a nice relaxing evening, tomorrow I will start writing some Christmas cards for overseas and letters to go with them to make sure they get to their destination in time for Christmas.

Nov 24, 2015, 6:55pm

It has been very cold here in Alabama for this time of year. It froze all of my outdoor plants last night and I was sad as I had hopes that those in the shelter of the house would not freeze. Alas, it was not the case. I choose not to cover my tomatoes, so I will not have any more fresh tomatoes, but they were about done for the year anyway. It is early in the year for this kind of freeze, so that does not bode well for my future power bills. Last winter was very hard on my pocketbook, so I guess I will see what this year brings.

We are coming up on the Thanksgiving holiday and I will have two days off from work. There are no classes tomorrow so that meant that I had a very busy day at work today. Students who want to get work done over the holiday came in with questions and problems with their research. This kept me hopping today - this afternoon in particular. I have to go shopping for my groceries for Thanksgiving and plan on doing that tonight. I will be making balsamic glazed onions, and making a parsnip puree. If I get time I will do sweet potatoes as well. The next two days will be busy but I plan on staying far away from the shopping stampede on Friday and Saturday as I have most of my Christmas shopping done. I checked out four books from the library yesterday and will be spending those two days reading and far far away from the shopping hoards.

Nov 24, 2015, 11:16pm

Wow! L240 for a Pelikan Fountain Pen! I had no idea that the pens could get that expensive..I've had a nice lazy day doing not much of anything. Dreadful of me, but I enjoyed it! Just loafed around.

Nov 25, 2015, 4:03pm

>156 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, shame about your plants but not good that it is that cold where you are. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving my dear and it is a good idea that you are staying away from the shopping stampede. A number of retailers here are not having Black Friday and bookshops are promoting Civil Saturday.

>157 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, Fountain pens can be very expensive, at the Penshop website they have a Montegrappa that is £41,500. I have a Montegrappa Expressione that Karen got for my Fiftieth and that was £180 but it is a gift that I use regularly and will always remember when I got it.

Nov 25, 2015, 4:09pm

I have sent my overseas cards today so some people will be getting a nice surprise and that is all I will say. Not too bad a day, the usual start by taking Karen to work and then home for breakfast then I read for a short while before writing my Christmas cards for overseas and then going to the post office to send them on there way. Once back home I did the Vacuuming in the room and dining room but then had to rest as my back was playing up. I had a pot of tea and read until it was time to pick Karen up from work. We have had a relaxing afternoon but by early evening Karen had to go up to bed as she was feeling unwell and it seems as if she is starting a cold. This time of year seems to strike Karen with a cold as she got a memories message on facebook that said she had a cold at this time in 2012 and 2013 and last year she was just home from hospital after her stomach operation. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Nov 25, 2015, 5:42pm

I will spend part of my day on Friday writing my Christmas letter. It is a custom for me to do that on Thanksgiving weekend. I will also be making a few last minute on-line purchases to take advantage of some sales. It is a sorry thing to say, but most of those will be book purchases and, of course, I need more books. I decided to participate in the 75'ers Christmas swap again this year, and so will order those books on Friday as well. I have narrowed my choices down for that selection and will get the books on the way on Friday. I am going to devote the weekend to my letter, some cooking, and reading two YA novels Divergent and Lantern Bearers. I hope it will be a quiet weekend.

Nov 26, 2015, 4:00pm

A pretty good day, after breakfast we went to the doctors as Karen had an appointment with the nurse for her B12 injection, we popped back home and put the washing on the airers before going to the dentist in Normanton for Karen's check-up. From there we headed into Wakefield as Karen wanted to check something out at Sainsbury's but she was unsuccessful. We then decided to head to Costco in Leeds as we wanted a couple of bulk buy items and we got what we wanted.

We headed for home and had some lunch that we had bought in Normanton before watching Escape to the Country, once this had finished Karen began the preparations for the Panetonne she is making, in fact she has just checked the dough as it has to go in the fridge for at least 7 hours or overnight and it is rising really well. Looking forward to the end product but will have to wait until Christmas for the main one but Karen says she will pop two lots of dough in Dariole pots that she got recently.

We are having a nice relaxing evening now.

Editado: Nov 26, 2015, 7:52pm

Wow! That is special, the fountain pen that Karen got your for your 50th! Really lovely! I had a lovely day of shopping yesterday - no books, but just some new hikers for walking in the rain and few other bits and bobs. I stop into the library though and found some books I think I will enjoy.

Also sent an email to my nephew. He is at Cambridge in the UK studying for his PHD.Though he is 25 and has lived away from home attending university here in Vancouver , close to my sister and her husband ( he could have driven each day ) , I think he might be a bit lonely settling into Cambridge. So far he has seemed to be pleased to receive my emails and I get newsy fun emails back from him. We've been discussing the merits of Canadian made tea vs British Brands, ISIL, pubs, the older building that he is living in etc - quite a lot of fun. He is an avid reader, but his reading time is mainly technical sort of books. He is currently attempting to read Ulysses by James Joyce. He is actually a science guy, so I admire him for trying to read serious novels.

Editado: Nov 26, 2015, 10:09pm

I did some cooking today. Actually I didn't want to work to hard today so I started putting together some of my side dishes for the Thanksgiving meal I shared with friends today. On Monday evening after work I parboiled the onions for my balsamic glazed onions and put them in the fridge. Last night I cut up the parsnips and leeks for my mashed potato parsnip dish and made the dough for my dinner rolls. I tried a new bread recipe that called for putting the dough in the fridge overnight. I baked the rolls this morning and they turned out great. I give friends baked goods for Christmas and I think this recipe will be what I bake for this year. These rolls were great. I got everything done by noon and spent the rest of the day with my friends. I will end the day with reading. It was a very nice way to spend a holiday.

Nov 27, 2015, 4:19pm

We have had a pleasant day here in Walton, after breakfast we popped into Wakefield as Karen needed a couple of bits and I needed to find a shop that sold very small watch batteries. Once home we had a pot of tea and both read for a while before having some lunch. Once lunch was done with I read for a while whilst Karen cleaned the fridges out, I then had to go and collect Hannah from school. Hannah was a little bit tired but when we got here she picked up and played with the Sylvanian house, she made me laugh as she created stories with the figures. After a while she then snuggled up at the side of me and read her school reading book to me, her reading is coming along well and she isn't five until the end of February. Soon it was time for bathtime before she had some milk and a biscuit before I took her to pick her daddy up and took them both home.

I wonder if my fellow LT friends can help me, I have been looking to see if I could pick up an old fashioned marble edged Ledger that I can write in. As a stationery geek I just fancy one as it would be ideal to log my books in as I like to do things the old fashioned way, I am probably on a wildgoose chase with this but you never know.

Nov 27, 2015, 6:00pm

Take a look at the Moleskins web site. Moleskins are so old school that they are popular once again. The college students love them because they are so retro. Hemingway used them to take notes for his writing and they are sold at Barnes & Noble stores. I don't know if they have the marbled edged accounting ledgers but they all kinds of notebooks. Lined, unlined, columned, no columns, green shaded paper, white paper, etc. etc. They have notebooks with 50 pages and those with 500 pages. They have notebooks to keep track of the wine you drink, and thank goodness, they have plain notebooks as well. The may have an old style accounting ledger that will meet your needs to a T.

Nov 28, 2015, 2:26am

Hello, sir. Just checking in on things here. Everything seems to be in order. : ) Good luck with the moleskin hunt and enjoy the pen!

Nov 28, 2015, 4:34pm

>165 benitastrnad:, Thanks Benita. I have a Leuchtturm Book Journal but fancied an old fashioned three column ledger. I saw a blog about a lady who loves her stationery and notebooks and it sounded like she had got just the thing but it was from a shop in Chang Mai, also there was a bit about a Japanese stationers that has NINE floors of goodies but I couldn't seem to get anything about the store online.

>166 Berly:, Hi Kim, I just love using my Montegrappa.

Nov 28, 2015, 4:45pm

It has been a funny day, because Karen didn't need to be in work until 11am we had a leisurely breakfast and then I popped to get my newspaper. Karen put a load of washing on and gave her Panetonne mixture a knock back before I put it back in the fridge. I came back in the house and asked Karen why three lights were flashing on the washer, she had no idea so searched out the manual. The diagnosis was that the filter was blocked, I took the bottom panel off and tried to unscrew the filter. It wouldn't move so I got my pliers and turned it a bit and water came out, we put towels down but they couldn't cope, we tried paper towels, same thing and by this time I needed to take Karen to work. I got back and tried again but not much luck so I had an idea to use a tin foil carton, this did the trick. I got it drained and then continued to unscrew the filter, when it came out I found two colour run catchers and a two-pound coin were the problem. I put the filter cap back, tidied up and put the wet washing back in and set it for final spin. The washer worked fine, the washing was a lot drier after the spin and put all the other towels that I had used to mop the water up in for a wash. I put the first lot of washing on the airers and tumbled dried the towels, job done.

By this time I was in need of a pot of tea and a read. The weather has been atrocious here with high winds and heavy rain but tomorrow after taking Karen to work I am going to the Yorkshire Pen Fair in Sheffield.

When I picked Karen up from work we had a pot of tea before she made another Panetonne mix and put that in the fridge overnight and the one she knocked back this morning she put in the oven to bake, it came out lovely and that is for Robert, the one she started earlier is for Amy.

Nov 28, 2015, 4:49pm

After my traumas this morning I managed to finish book Forty-nine, When Christ and his Saints Slept by Sharon Penman. This was a very interesting read about 12th century England and the fight for the throne of England with all the machinations and bloodfest that it entailed. Sharon Penman tells a good tale and I look forward to more of her books.

Nov 28, 2015, 5:10pm

What a day, John. You deserve a lovely Sunday.

Nov 28, 2015, 8:45pm

>169 johnsimpson: Penman is a safe bet, but always a long read.

Your tales of woe regarding washing machines reminds me of my own problems with similar equipment this week. We are doing an office fit out for an American client. They wanted a dishwasher for the kitchen/pantry but only confirmed this after the cabinets were made and installed. We managed to eventually find one that would fit and bought the thing cash but the client rejected it outright as it would mean, inevitably, modifying the cabinets. Now I am left with the bloody thing and nobody uses them in Malaysia much.

Have a great weekend.

Editado: Nov 28, 2015, 11:02pm

I like the Penman series on the early Plantagenet family. Penman really made Maud and Stephen come alive in those books. For being an American Penman does a good job with the history. I am slowly reading through the series and am now ready for Lionheart. I had planned to finish that series this year, but admit that I got distracted by the Poldark series and am working my through that series instead. I do plan on getting back to Penman next year.

No American would think a house furnished without a dishwasher. That might also be true of offices for Americans, but I would think the more important appliance would be a refrigerator. We have one and a separate ice maker in our break room at work, and the ice machine is heavily used.

Nov 29, 2015, 3:39pm

>170 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, I have had a lovely Sunday.

>171 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, they really should have stipulated what they wanted in the kitchen as well as the cabinets rather than just assuming that dishwashers are a staple in Malaysia. I enjoyed the Penman and it was due to a review of yours that I sought this author out. Cheers mate.

>172 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, I think I will probably read more Penman's next year.

Nov 29, 2015, 3:45pm

After a horrible Saturday morning today was fine. After a leisurely breakfast Karen knocked out another Panettone dough and placed it in the fridge for its minimum seven hours. Shortly after it was time to take Karen to work and then I set off to the Pen fair in Sheffield. I have never seen as many Fountain pens in one place and I soon found something I wanted, in the end the chap did a deal for me and I ended up with a Pelikan 100 and a Mentmore 46 for a combined price of £60 which I thought was a good deal. I left the fair and set off to a friends daughters to pick up a doll's house and furniture etc for Hannah. When I got there Vicky made me a nice drink and we chatted about Amy's wedding before it was time for me to leave and go and pick Karen up from work.

I am on my own a the moment as Karen has joined Mandy her work colleague for a meal out and a chat.

Nov 29, 2015, 8:12pm

Sounds like a lovely day , John. A couple of new fountain pens and a bargain as well! My son and daughter - in law stopped by this afternoon, so that was pleasant for us. My daughter in law, Serenade, teaches kindergarten and she often comes by to borrow from my craft cache to make things for her kindergarten class. For example, today she borrowed a circle punch and an oval punch , which she will use for the kids to create caterpillars and other bugs. I sometimes make home made greeting cards - less so this past year, but I have punches, paper, ribbon etc that would well supply a kindergarten teacher.

Nov 29, 2015, 11:41pm

Hello John! Glad you repaired the washing machine and that you found some lovely pens. I just wanted you to know that I am behind on books, but I did make my goal of 15,000 pages read this year! Yay!

Nov 30, 2015, 6:48am

I got one of my fountain pens out yesterday and thought of you, John. I need a fountain pen primer (i.e. basic lessons), I think, because I have a hard time getting mine to work properly...

Nov 30, 2015, 4:03pm

>175 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, What a lovely name your Daughter-in-law has, so nice that she is able to make things for her kindergarten class and that you make cards and have the equipment that she needs to borrow. What clever talented ladies you are.

>176 Berly:, Hi Kim, thanks for passing by my dear, well done on reaching your goal. I am going to be down on the number of books read compared to what I thought I would achieve but think I may make my 33,000 page total with a bit of good luck.

>177 scaifea:, Hi Amber, thanks for thinking of me when you got your fountain pen out, it may be that the ink has dried and the nib needs washing out with a bit of warm water, give it a go and see if that does the trick my dear.

Nov 30, 2015, 4:14pm

Not a bad day here for me, After taking Karen to work I got back and had some breakfast before having a bit of a read. Around 10.30am I got on with my job for the day cleaning and polishing the leather suite, whilst the suite was out of its normal position I also vacuumed the area getting the room ready for the Christmas tree being put up on Saturday. We have the tree by the front room window which means one of the armchairs has to move which also entails the music unit having to be moved. Once done I had time for a pot of tea and a read, whilst reading an amazon parcel for Amy was delivered, she has stipulated that all her orders are delivered here as they are both out at work all day and because she has had a lot of changes of neighbours she doesn't want anything to go missing.

When I picked Karen up we popped along to the pet store to get some arthritis tablets for Leo, we got home and had a pot of tea before deciding to have a late lunch/early tea, we popped the Lamb shanks in the oven and prepared the vegetables and popped them in the steamer, one hour later we had a lovely meal.

Dic 1, 2015, 6:42am

I know I've said it before, but I love reading about your day, John. All those pots of tea make it sound even better, although you deserve it (and that Lamb Shank, too!) after all that furniture moving and cleaning!

Dic 1, 2015, 11:03am

JOOOOOHN, what a wonderful surprise when I came home and found your lettre on the table. You are a true friend. Thanks so much for your lovely words and the magazine. I will read it. Big hugs to you and Karen. xxx

Dic 1, 2015, 3:50pm

>180 scaifea:, Hi Amber I just hope that my ramblings don't seem boring but this is how my days are and housework doesn't do itself unfortunately. We are getting things ready for Christmas at the moment and I have got the decorations out of the loft.

>181 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, I am so glad you liked the letter, card and magazine, I just thought I would do something different and send you a bit of Yorkshire.

Dic 1, 2015, 3:55pm

Not a bad day again, after taking Karen to work and having breakfast I read for a while before deciding to go to the post office and then into Wakefield but the queue was so long that I went back home and got on with the housework. I dusted and vacuumed the bedrooms and then cleaned the bathroom before having a quick pot of tea and a read. Once I finished the pot of tea I went back to the post office and still had to queue but I needed to pay a bill, get my money and post three more cards overseas. I then went to the bank in town before having a look at the antiques centre in the Ridings shopping centre, from there I went home and had a pot of tea and read before going to pick Karen up from work.

Dic 1, 2015, 4:53pm

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-11-15 - 2123
Books added in November - 21
Books read in November - 3

Revised book total - 2141

Pages to read at 1-11-15 - 919,766
Pages added in November - 7,109
Pages read in November - 2,503

Revised total pages to read - 924,372

Dic 1, 2015, 7:26pm

Hi John! Are you the "senile fellow" that posted on Nancy's thread instead of mine! ;) It is easy enough to post on the wrong thread by mistake - I'm quite sure I've done it. Glad you are enjoying your new fountain pens! It is my husband birthday today, but we are not celebrating til the 12, as one of our sons has a Dec 9th birthday, so we will do both together. Hmmm - not sure what to get for either one, but I have made reservations for 8 of us at a restaurant for the 12th. December birthdays are a challenge. Hard to fit it all in.

Dic 2, 2015, 4:01pm

>185 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb I would be that "senile fellow". I am loving my pens, they write beautifully. Happy birthday to your husband my dear and a happy birthday to your son, I agree it is a challenge with birthdays in December with Christmas being the big event. Hope you all have a lovely meal my dear.

Dic 2, 2015, 4:08pm

I haven't had too bad a day, I took Karen to work and then went to the doctors for my medication review. After leaving the doctors I went to the pharmacy to pick up my meds and then went next door to the Vets to pick up Leo's flea and worm treatment. Once home I had some breakfast and read for a while before getting on with the downstairs housework. I just had time for a pot of tea after finishing the housework before going to the supermarket to do the weekly shopping before picking Karen up. We then went a short distance away to the Aldi to pick up three or four items there before making our way home. Once home we unpacked the shopping and put it all away before having a pot of tea, I then read for a bit while Karen went and washed her hair. Karen made some tea for us before I took her to her bariatric meeting, I got home had a pot of tea and read before it was time to pick her back up. We are now having a relaxing evening.

Tomorrow we are having a drive out and will be heading for the Trafford Shopping centre just outside Manchester. We haven't been here for a few years so it will be nice to see what it looks like especially at Christmas time.

Dic 3, 2015, 4:43pm

We have had a long and tiring day but a fruitful one at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. We set off but a combination of bad weather and roadworks held us up and so we did not arrive until about 10.50am. We perused a number of retailers before stopping for a coffee break, by this time I had managed to pick up a bottle of Pelikan ink and looked at a few lovely fountain pens. Once our coffee break was over we resumed shopping and we found some lovely slippers for Hannah and Karen picked up a top that was very reasonable. We continued with our shopping and Karen picked up a couple of pairs of trousers. It was quite nice to move leisurely around the various shops and it gave us some ideas of what to look for in the January sales. By around 4.30pm we had had enough and as Karen had had a bad nights sleep and wasn't at her best bless her we thought it best to leave, the traffic was quite bad until we got onto the M62 motorway and then we hit traffic again trying to drive across Wakefield. When we got home we had a pot of tea and opened the first Christmas cards that arrived through the post.

Dic 5, 2015, 6:48am

Wishing you a lovely weekend, John.

Editado: Dic 6, 2015, 12:10pm

I have a stressful weekend full of holiday parties or which I have baking to do and lots of stuff to prepare. On Friday I attended the College of Education Holiday party. They have a new Dean who has been trying to get people to volunteer their talents for an old fashioned school-like Christmas talent show. So far it isn't working. I think the reason why it doesn't work is because those who attend are mostly people of a certain age. (those over 45.) Folks that age generally are reluctant to display their talents, or lack thereof. I decided that I could put on my "school librarian hat" and read a story. I was the only person who volunteered to do anything. I read a Christmas legend Legend of the Christmas Rose by Selma Lagerlof. She was the first woman to win the Noble Prize for Literature in 1909. I think the story fell flat because I was nervous. But it is done with. Today I just get to take cookies for my old ladies club. Then I have to read a story at the Coloring Party we are hosting at the library. I will be reading Day the Crayons Quit to a bunch of college students. That will be much more fun.

Dic 6, 2015, 12:28pm

Hi John, I hope your weekend was filled with joy and some reading!

Dic 6, 2015, 12:59pm

Reading stories, how wonderful. I would have been an attentive listener.

Dic 6, 2015, 4:34pm

We have had a busy but enjoyable weekend, Yesterday we had breakfast and after we had finished I brought the Christmas decoration boxes down so Karen could put the tree up. I left Karen to it whilst I went to Ossett for my appointment with the Orthopaedic surgeon about my shoulder, I just had time to read a few pages before I was called in. I told him the case history and then he examined my shoulder, after a number of exercises he sat down to tell me his thoughts, I need an operation to shave the bone as it is rubbing slightly and my tendons in the upper muscle are trapping a nerve and so causing the pain in my elbow. He asked if I would like the muscle re-attaching to the shoulder or just to let it sag a little and I opted for re-attachment, if it is only the shaving that is required my arm will be in a sling for a week but if it involves the muscle it will be in a sling for four weeks. I should have the op at the beginning of February and meanwhile I have to have an x-ray on the shoulder, it will be a day case operation and done by key hole surgery.

Once home I assisted Karen with the tree decorating and then we finished decorating the room. We broke off for a bite to eat and then finished off the room and then we had a pot of tea. Once done Karen went and washed her hair and after the sports results programme finished I went and had a shower and got ready to go out. We were going to our best friends for a meal and a chat, Geoff picked us up at 6.45pm and we had a lovely meal. Linda had made chicken liver pate to start followed by Beef Stroganoff with potatoes, green beans and peas, this was followed with tiramisu for dessert. We had a good catch up and a few drinks. We left them at around 11.30pm.

Today we got up and had breakfast before setting off for the Outlet just outside York to meet up with Rob, Louise and the girls. The outlet had a winter wonderland fairground and ice rink in the carpark and Hannah went on a few rides before Karen went onto the Waltzers with Hannah and Shannon, she really enjoyed it re-living teenage years. After the rides we went and had a coffee before having a look around the shops. We left the outlet at just before 2pm and made our way home, we had left a Lamb stew in the slow cooker and just had to make some mashed potato to complete the meal. We had the stew and it was gorgeous and have spent the remaining time just relaxing.

Dic 6, 2015, 4:42pm

It looks like you had a very relaxing weekend, John.

Sorry about the surgery. But if it helps it is worth your time.

Dic 6, 2015, 4:54pm

>194 connie53:, Hi Connie, it has been a lovely weekend and hopefully the op will clear the shoulder problem up and I won't be in pain and can do more with my arm.

Dic 7, 2015, 11:45am

I am not a big fan of surgery, but in this case it will end the pain, so I hope that it goes well. I am also glad that they got you on the schedule during a time of year when the weather will keep you inside and therefore allow you to heal. When you are as active as you are, it will be hard to stay put, but the February furies might help to keep you inside. Speaking of the weather, how are you holding up in the torrential rains that I have been hearing about over on this side of the pond?

Dic 7, 2015, 3:03pm

Glad to hear that you'll get help with your shoulder. I hope after the op it will be sorted out.

Dic 7, 2015, 3:57pm

>196 benitastrnad:, If the surgery goes ahead in February I will have time to read and heal whilst the weather can do what it wants. The heavy rain has seriously affected the Scottish Borders and Cumbria and there are problems in North Yorkshire. Cumbria is the worst and had 14 inches of rain in 24 hours and has caused a lot of damage and all this just before Christmas.

>197 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara.

Dic 7, 2015, 9:29pm

Thanks for letting us know. German TV showed the extensive damage and I was not sure how far, or close, you were to the damaged area. I guess I should try to find out exactly where Wakefield is located.

Dic 8, 2015, 12:06am

Sorry about all the rain and the damage! We have had a lot of rain also and heavy winds, and power outages, but it has not affected us personally, as far a power outages go - and as far I know, not a lot of damage anywhere. While I am not keen on surgery, it will be a blessing to have it done and things back to normal. A friend of mine just had knee replacement surgery and he is already out walking on it, with a walker for assistance. He seems to be having a quick recovery. I sympathize with you, as I have osteoporosis with a healed fracture in my spine, Despite it being healed, it seems to cause me constant pain. I also have pain in my ribs - perhaps also to do with my osteoporosis, but I need to go for an x - ray and I don't feel up it as yet.Pain is tiring, to say the least. It really slows me down. But one tries to function as best one can. I know you do the same.

Dic 8, 2015, 6:49am

I'm sorry to hear that you need to have surgery, but I'm also happy that there is a solution to your pain and that you'll be feeling much better post-February! I'll be thinking of you, of course.

Dic 8, 2015, 4:25pm

>199 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, we are about 80 miles from Cumbria but as I said North Yorkshire has had a fair amount of rain and a lot of fields near York are flooded and the River Ouse has flooded in York but it is not at its worst yet and so more of the streets near to the river will be flooded and will cause problems to the city centre.

>200 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, we both seem to be long term pain sufferers but as you say we have to function as best as we can. It seems that my problems are left sided, my back pain radiates to the left and then it started to affect my left foot and now my shoulder. My GP thought the shoulder prob could have been caused by my neck and I mentioned this to the surgeon and so when I have my x-ray he will include the left side of my neck just to make sure that is not the cause. Sending love and hugs my dear.

>201 scaifea:, Hi Amber, thank you for your message my dear and I hope the op solves the problem and I will get lots of reading done whilst recovering.

Dic 8, 2015, 4:30pm

Yesterday I got on with a few small jobs that have needed doing but took my time as the shoulder was giving me pain. Once Karen was home we got on with the remaining Christmas decorations and now everything is up and lit. Karen also picked up her new glasses and they look really lovely and suit her.
Today I have done the upstairs housework after taking Karen to work, once I had done this I made a pot of tea and read. We had a relaxing afternoon before having some tea and then our hairdresser arrived and we both had our hair cut nicely for Christmas, Karen also had hers coloured a little bit different than usual as she wanted something different.

Dic 9, 2015, 6:52am

>202 johnsimpson: Recovery Reading is the best part, isn't it? Well, beside the whole solving the problem/feeling better bit. But it's certainly a close second! *grins*

>203 johnsimpson: Oh, I love the idea of a hairdresser who makes house calls! I'm afraid that I've convinced myself that you and Karen live in a sort of Wonderland, with all of those pots of tea and Karen's baking, and now this! Tomm and Charlie and I *need* to come visit you sometime (yes, I'm inviting myself - horrible manners, I know, but what can you expect from a bloody colonialist, eh?)!

Dic 9, 2015, 3:57pm

>204 scaifea:, Hi Amber, it may sound like a wonderland but not sure Karen thinks that after she has dealt with some of the dummies that come into store. You are all very welcome to visit and I am sure we could accommodate you, and there is no problem in inviting yourself my dear. I am sure that Tomm, Charlie and good self would be well looked after with you two cooking up something nice in the kitchen.

Dic 10, 2015, 6:36am

>205 johnsimpson: Aw, thanks! We'll get there, someday...

Dic 11, 2015, 3:58pm

The last two days have been pretty good for the Simpson household. Yesterday morning after breakfast I popped off to pick up Karen's prescriptions and then went and put some diesel in the car before delivering some Christmas cards whilst Karen went on a baking marathon. Karen made the Christmas batch of biscuits and obviously when I got back I was the chief biscuit taste tester. We had a decent lunch before Karen finished off the last of the biscuits and then we had a light tea. We quickly got ready and then set off to York to see the pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Andy has co-written it again and was playing the part of the man in the mirror and Amy was in the chorus. Due to traffic problems we arrived at the theatre door at 7.23 with curtain up at 7.30, the show was great and we had a wonderful time. We arrived home at around 11.40pm.

Today has been pretty good too, after breakfast we went to the supermarket to do the weekly shopping, I normally do it on a Wednesday but Asda have re-instituted the double discount for staff for another week. Whilst I started the shopping Karen went to the photo department to try and transfer photos from a USB stick to a disc and to sort out photos from a disc, she couldn't do either so we finished the shopping but I had to use my holding account as my card was declined on the everyday account. We got home and unpacked and put the shopping away before going into Wakefield so I could sort out the account. I went to the bank whilst Karen went to another photo shop to sort the photos out. I sorted the account out and did other bits of banking and Karen managed to transfer the USB to a disc but the other disc she couldn't do. We then went to pick up a parcel from another store and Karen tried the garment on in their changing rooms rather than go home and find out it didn't fit and have to come back in to town. The shirt was all wrong so she got a refund and I picked up my art magazines from the newsagent. Whilst we were making our way home Karen texted Amy to find out about the disc and it turned out that the disc causing problems was not really causing problems as it was a slideshow to music of the wedding photos. We watched the disc and had a few tears in our eyes as it was like watching the wedding day but over just 30 minutes.

We had some lunch and then it was time for me to go to the post office to get 36 stamps and put them on the Christmas cards and post them and then I went onwards to pick Hannah up from school, whilst I was doing this Karen did some more baking. By the time I got back with Hannah she had finished baking and tidied up and we got the dolls house down for Hannah and the figures and played with her. We made Hannah some tea and then read her school book with her and then it was time for me to pick Robert up from the railway station whilst Karen got ready to go out this evening with her best friend, Hannah was keeping Karen company. We got back and had a bit of a chat before I dropped Karen off at the Pub/restaurant for the meal with her best friend Tina to celebrate Tina's birthday and I took Rob and Hannah home.

Dic 12, 2015, 6:55am

Wishing you and Karen a wonderful weekend, John. xx

Dic 12, 2015, 11:43pm

I spent the day baking for a Christmas party. I belong to a wine club and we decided to have a Christmas party this year. We have 14 members but most of them don.t come to the monthly meeting, but for some reason they are coming to the party this year. I was in charge of the wine program, so bought the wine today and took it to the home of our host this afternoon. Then it was a stop at the library to get my recorded books to take with me on my trip home. 18 hours in my car allows me to get lots of listening done. Then it was on to the grocery store for a few supplies. I got home and spent the next 4 hours in the kitchen. I baked dinner rolls for my Christmas gift to my neighbors. They watch my house and water my plants when I am gone, so thy deserve some home baked bread. Then I marinated a pork tenderloin to make cocktail sandwiches. The last thing I did was bake cheese dough wrapped olives. I will put the pork in the slow cooker tomorrow morning and by noon it will be ready for me to slice for the sandwiches and take to the party at 4:00 p.m.

Now I am relaxing and will read my Rosemary Sutcliff book for the rest of the eveningg.

Dic 13, 2015, 1:37am

>184 johnsimpson: Our respective TBRs are not looking any slimmer, John!

There is a good chance I will be back in Wakefield over Christmas so it would be great if we were able to catch up.

I will PM you my local number when I get one there.

Trust that you and Karen have a great weekend.

Dic 13, 2015, 4:08pm

The weather this weekend has been atrocious, constant heavy rain both days. Yesterday after taking Karen to work I went to pick Shannon up and bring her back to ours to help her with her schoolwork, she had asked Robert if he would ask me to help her out as she is struggling a little bit with her reading and her maths. I said I would gladly help and do it here so she had no distractions from Hannah. We had a good session and started it with a pot of tea (surprise, surprise) and after just under two hours I took her home.

Once I got back I made a pot of tea and read for a while before having another pot of tea and some lunch and more reading. It soon became time to go and pick Karen up from work, we had a pot of tea before she went and had a shower before finishing off icing the buns she made on Friday.

Today I took Karen to work and popped back home to get the washing out of the machine and putting it on the airers before setting off to Meadowhall shopping centre to do a bit of Christmas shopping for presents for Karen. Whilst shopping I picked up a cd, The best of Slade and also picked up two DVD's, Le Mans with Steve McQueen and Convoy, unfortunately they didn't have Grand Prix with James Garner so I will have to look out for this. When I got back I had a customary pot of tea and listened to the cd before popping the slideshow DVD of Amy and Andy's wedding photos and then when that had finished Toy Story 2 was just starting. I really should be careful what I watch as near the end of the wedding slideshow I had a few tears trickling down my cheek and I forgot that this is the Toy Story film that has Jessie's song and that had me in tears. It must be my age or the recent events and the season where we have lost loved ones that has me a bit emotional.

Luckily it was time to pick Karen up from work and after a pot of tea when we got home we had a lovely late Sunday lunch of Pork, mashed potato and vegetables. We are having a nice relaxing evening now.

Dic 15, 2015, 4:10pm

What a dull and miserable day it has been here in Walton, it has been raining for most of the day and very misty. After taking Karen to work I got back and to warm up jumped into the shower before having breakfast. After this I had a pot of tea and read for a short while before popping into town to pick up a few small items, (Karen's Christmas card, some blue tac and some Zippo lighter fuel) and I wandered off to the market hall to see the book man and I picked up a couple of books for the princely sum of £1. Before all the shopping I had an appointment at the bank to review my credit card, everything is fine and to try and help finance my wildest dreams I have picked up a Euromillions lottery ticket for tonight, the jackpot is £51 million and I won a free ticket for the normal UK lottery draw tomorrow evening and that jackpot is £26.3 million. Winning a decent sum on either lottery would enable me to visit a number of special places and to see some LT friends.

Once home I had a pot of tea before getting on with the dusting and vacuuming of the bedrooms and the full clean of the bathroom. Once these jobs were done I made myself a sandwich and a pot of tea before going to pick Karen up from work. Once Karen was in the car we went to the Cemetary in Sharlston to put a wreath on mum and dads grave and then we delivered some cards to friends in the village where I was brought up for my first 21 years.

When we got back home we opened some cards that came with the post and then the cards we give each other, both with very soppy messages in them, ( who said romance is dead).

Dic 16, 2015, 4:03am

Best of luck on winning the Euromillions Lottery ticket! You will share with all of we 75's if you win! :) Books for everybody! About twice a year I pick up a lottery ticket here in Canada, but I have never won. :) Me, I got my hair trimmed today, sorted out some Christmas presents for other people today and did a bit of grocery shopping. Nothing exciting. Today was cloudy and rainy but not too bad. Tomorrow is supposed to be 4 C which is quite cold for here, but sunny at least for the day and then days of rain and cloud.

I find that the number of Christmas Cards sent is really declining. I have a few more to send out myself.

Lovely that you were able to take a wreath on your mum and dad's grave. My dad passed away 8 years ago of cancer, but my mom has chosen just to keep his ashes in the house , so far.

Dic 16, 2015, 2:08pm

I will be writing my Christmas letter today and then printing it off tomorrow. I usually send and give out about 200 Christmas letters. No decline in getting out my news. In fact, the number I send has increased in the last few years as the number of my relatives establishing their own households has increased. (one letter per household.)

Dic 16, 2015, 4:53pm

>213 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, I haven't checked my Euro ticket yet and tonights lottery has yet to be drawn. It was a bit brighter here today and had warmed up, 12C but has to get a bit cooler over the next few days. It is a bit late for this year but we will have to swap addresses so we can share Christmas cards if you like.

I can't believe it is 25 years since dad passed away and 20 years since I lost mum, it will be 8 years on Christmas day since Karen's mum passed away and 2 years on the 2nd of January since Karen's dad died.

Dic 16, 2015, 4:54pm

>214 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, I look forward to my Christmas letter my dear and see what you have been up to over the last year. I love sending Christmas cards and notes out, I think it is special and get annoyed when some folks decide not to bother.

Dic 17, 2015, 6:44am

Well, I suspect your Wisconsin Christmas Card will be very late, since this nasty sickness has kept me from getting to the post office! It still counts if it gets there by Lent, right...? Ha!

Dic 18, 2015, 11:03am

I am hijacking your thread for one entry. Here is the link for the LT free passes to the American Library Association conference in Boston, MA. It will be January 8-11, 2016. The passes get you into the exhibit hall where opportunity abounds for free books. If you live anywhere near and can get there I would advise that you attend. There is no better place for book people than this conference. The note is from Abby Blachley, one of the LT Goddesses.
That's the link to use for free exhibit-only passes!

Dic 18, 2015, 3:33pm

>217 scaifea:, Amber don't worry about when the card gets here my dear just get over this dreaded bug and Charlie also.

Dic 18, 2015, 3:35pm

>218 benitastrnad:, Benita no probs hi-jacking my thread my dear, just wish I could get over to Boston for it.

Dic 18, 2015, 3:39pm

We had a nice steady day yesterday and then our best friends Linda and Geoff came over for a few drinks and a chat. We had a lovely evening chatting and we showed them the wedding slideshow DVD, they feature quite a few times. The photographer was really good how she caught some really natural shots throughout the day.

Today we have got on with a few little jobs and Karen has finished her Christmas baking by making some cranberry scones. After lunch I went to pick Hannah up from school and she is sleeping over tonight, she is quite excited about Christmas.

Dic 18, 2015, 3:59pm

Starting to think about how my 2016 thread will look and what I want to include on it, I won't be setting it up until after Christmas day but want to give it some thought.

Dic 18, 2015, 4:11pm

Now I know that you are all aware that I suffer from spinal arthritis and that I am awaiting surgery on my left shoulder but today I appear to have picked up another slight injury. Now please don't laugh but this lunchtime I was leaning in the kitchen lobby to get some towels out of the tumble dryer when I felt a twinge in my right thigh, I got the towels out and leaned back to straighten up and the pain was not in my thigh but my right buttock. It is quite painful and I have never had anything like this before, Karen has chuckled a few times but has said she will massage it later whilst trying not to laugh.

Dic 19, 2015, 7:31am

>223 johnsimpson: Oh, that laundry can be a big pain in the rear, no? *snork!*

Sorry!! I just couldn't not. I do sympathize with the pain, though, and here's hoping you find some relief soon!

Dic 19, 2015, 8:36am

>223 johnsimpson: - Oh, John, I know that well. It's the sacro-iliac joint, where the leg bone meets at the hip joint. I have had that happen a few times, myself. It can be as painful as sciatica but it doesn't go all the way down the leg, rather, is confined to the bum area. I was just as my physio earlier this week, having it worked on. You can be walking just fine, then suddenly it will send a jab and stop you in your tracks, or be standing and turn or move a certain way and boom! Just breathe through it when that happens. But my physio gave me stretching exercises to do and she also said to ice the area (something I am not inclined to do in this cold weather!) She also did deep massage, which hurt somewhat at the time but felt better afterwards. Anyhow, I hope this episode of yours resolves itself quickly.

Dic 19, 2015, 8:59am

Oh gosh, I hope you'll feel better soon. Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Dic 19, 2015, 3:41pm

>224 scaifea:, Thanks Amber.

>225 jessibud2:, Thanks Shelley.

>226 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara.

Dic 19, 2015, 3:59pm

We are feeling rather tired now as Hannah had us up at 6.30am, we tried to persuade her to go back to bed but to no avail. After we had had breakfast we took Hannah home and then drove onto Batley and the Redbrick Mill which is an old mill that has been converted to house about forty upmarket designers and outlets such as Heal's and Kelly Hoppen. We had a lovely coffee in a vintage themed café on the top floor and then made our way back down and Karen spotted the cook shop. Karen had a good peruse and picked up some cookie cutters, a nice new knife and a cake tester. We then moved on to the main part of the mill and had a good mooch around before going over to the discount part of the mill and looked at mattresses as we need a new one for the spare bed. After this we made our way home but on the way we got a bit of bad news, my auntie Joan although she is really my cousin has had a stroke. Apparently it occurred around 5am on Friday and we are waiting to hear how she is and to what extent she has been affected, she is 82 so it might not be good. As most will know this is what happened to Karen's dad in 2013 and we got him home but shortly after we had to rush him back in on Christmas eve and unfortunately he never recovered and passed away on the 2nd Jan 2014, so this has brought back unhappy memories.

Dic 19, 2015, 5:58pm

I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin, John. I'll be thinking of you and your family.

Dic 20, 2015, 3:22pm

>229 scaifea:, Thanks Amber.

Dic 20, 2015, 3:52pm

Finished book Fifty this afternoon, Spangle by Gary Jennings. This is a monster of a book running to 1276 pages telling the story of Colonel Zachary Edge who after seeing the Confederate army surrender at Appomattox stumbles across a circus called Florians Flourishing Florilegium of Wonders and is offered a living as sharpshooting star of the circus. What follows is a journey across the Eastern United States, showing in small towns and picking up acts along the way as well as losing some both to new careers or death. They make their way to Baltimore and cross the Atlantic arriving in Italy and make their way through Italy and onto Hungary thence to Russia and then on a ship to Prussia and on into France. It is a story of triumphs and tragedies, love and loss, highs and lows and penury and fortune. It was a really good read and enabled me to finish my fifth reading cycle and was my 25th big read.

The next book off the rank is The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh.

Dic 20, 2015, 4:11pm

John and Karen! Such sad news! And knowing the story about Karens dad I can understand it brings back the not so good memories! Keep strong and I hope the news about your cousin will be better. L&H, Connie

Dic 20, 2015, 4:20pm

We have had a nice relaxing day at home, after a late breakfast we pottered about doing small jobs before we both started reading whilst listening to Christmas hits. We decided to have Shepherds pie for lunch, one of Karen's homemade specials before continuing reading. Karen later decided to make some biscuits for her work colleagues and there are some over for me. It is probably the news we got yesterday plus the fact that this time of year is hard for us at the moment that Karen has felt weepy all day and couldn't really settle to anything and as baking relaxes her she baked.

We have just finished watching the annual Sports Personality of the year show on BBC one and the top three were: Third, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Second, Kevin Sinfield and First, Andy Murray. I know for some readers these names will mean nothing most of all Kevin Sinfield who is the First Rugby League player to have been nominated and he came Second which isn't a bad performance.

Tomorrow whilst Karen is at work I will finish off getting her secret stocking presents, I have done this before for her and she was really surprised and pleased but as she said to me the other day she hasn't had one for a while so I thought I would surprise her again. It usually consists of the old style stocking of our parents with a brand new penny, an orange and then I just add small little bits that are all wrapped and put in a bag with shredded paper just to make it a little bit interesting.

As I finished my fiftieth book of the year I may get to finish another two or three but it is down on what I had envisaged but it has been a busy year for us one way or another.

Dic 20, 2015, 4:21pm

>232 connie53:, Thanks Connie and love and hugs to you as well my dear.

Dic 21, 2015, 4:18am

Congrats on reaching 50. You've read such large books this year. I guess you've read more than me.
I'm sorry to hear about your cousin's condition. Thinking of you and yours. Love and hugs xx

Dic 21, 2015, 8:55am

I'm sorry to hear about your cousin's condition. Thinking of you and yours. Love and hugs xx

Same here.

Dic 21, 2015, 10:01am

>235 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara.

>236 drneutron:, Thanks Jim.

Dic 21, 2015, 4:12pm

A good day for me, after taking Karen to work I got back and took the washing out of the machine and put on the airers before having breakfast. After this I called into the pharmacy to pick up Karen's prescriptions and then went into Wakefield . First stop in town was to Crossley spares to try and get a new filter for the dishwasher, I had to order one and this should be ready to pick up tomorrow lunchtime. Next stop was the cobbler's to get some laces for Karen then I made my way to Batley to visit Redbrick Mill again to pick up a surprise gift for Karen plus a little kitchen piece that will make her smile. I then went to Castleford to visit the outlet centre to try and pick up a CD for her. I was successful and made my way home and wrapped all her presents, her main presents I need to put under the tree without her seeing as they are small and she may be able to tell what they are, the other gifts along with a new penny, apple and an orange will be in a gift bag with shredded paper covering and this is her surprise stocking.

I thought I had done well until 6.30pm when she got a text from Amazon to say her parcels had been put through the letter box, she opened them and it was the CD's she had ordered, one of which was the one I had bought earlier in the day. I should have listened to her when she made her order so I will take mine back and get something else.

Dic 22, 2015, 5:04pm

Finished my fifty-first book of the year, The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh. This is the third Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn mystery and gets better and better. These are well worth a read and I have the next nine on the shelves so plenty to get stuck into in 2016.

Dic 23, 2015, 5:03am

Congratulations on your 51 st book this year! I think I should be finished my 50th book perhaps tomorrow. Given the way my reading year started off, I am pleased to have made it to 50 books . When there is a wedding in the family, that does take a good deal of time . Wonderful that you are getting presents for Karen's stocking. I hope that your cousin is doing alright. Love and hugs and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Dic 23, 2015, 10:44am

To you and yours, John. Big hugs xx

Dic 24, 2015, 11:49am

Have a lovely holiday, John and Karen. xx

Dic 24, 2015, 12:47pm

Wishing you and Karen the merriest of Christmases, John.

Dic 25, 2015, 4:39pm

We have had a lovely Christmas day, Amy and Andy came last night and it was nice to get up this morning and have a nice breakfast before opening presents. I got a nice pair of boots, two pairs of funny socks, the new Aramis aftershave with cufflinks, a nice shirt and some winegums from Karen, a book Absolute Pandemonium by Brian Blessed and some Thorntons Toffee from Amy and Andy and then FatFace polo shirt, joke emergency moustaches and a book, Last in the Tin Bath by David Lloyd from Rob and Louise. We opened more presents after lunch when Rob, Louise and Hannah arrived, it was lovely seeing Hannah open up all her gifts.

Dic 25, 2015, 8:41pm

Merry Christmas

Dic 26, 2015, 9:11am

Merry Christmas, John!

Dic 26, 2015, 3:39pm

Dic 26, 2015, 5:00pm

A pleasant Boxing Day, we had a nice leisurely breakfast before watching a bit of television. At around midday we got ready to go to Andy's mums as all his brothers and sisters were going along with his uncle Graham and aunt Lesley, just before we set off we got the first news of floods affecting Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire. We had a lovely afternoon with Andy's family before setting off for home, news of the flooding had started to build and there was some flooding in Leeds city centre. As the evening has wore on a major route into Wakefield has been closed as the water could breach the bridge, unfortunately Karen has to go back into work tomorrow.

Dic 27, 2015, 2:40pm

I hope everything is all right with you and Karen. I've heard lots of scary stories about the floods in the UK.

Dic 27, 2015, 4:43pm

>249 connie53:, The floods have been bad Connie, first Carlisle and Cumbria suffered at the beginning of December and they are still having problems and then yesterday Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire were hit and even in Wakefield a major bridge into the city had to be closed and traffic diverted. Today it has got worse with parts of Leeds city centre being flooded and York badly affected although they have not finished yet as the high water expected will not be until midday tomorrow and York could be really badly flooded well into the city centre. Other parts of North Yorkshire have been badly flooded and although the weather for the next two days is going to be dry, heavy rain and wind are expected from Wednesday onwards.

Hope you and the family had a good Christmas my dear.

Dic 27, 2015, 5:02pm

Finished book Fifty-Two last night, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the Fourteenth in the No 1 Ladies Detective series and finds Mma Ramotswe having a couple of cases to close whilst working on her own due to Mma Makutsi being temporarily unavailable. These are delightful books set in Botswana and I have the next two to read on my shelf.

Dic 27, 2015, 5:07pm

>251 johnsimpson: I think Alexander McCall Smith could go into business writing titles for other authors. His are the best!

Dic 27, 2015, 5:10pm

>252 clue:, Hi Luanne, the titles are wonderful and I look forward to seeing what the next book title is going to be.

Dic 29, 2015, 3:27am

Popping in to say Hi!

Dic 29, 2015, 9:08am

Popping in to say hi, John . What dreadful flooding I am seeing in your area on the TV news. I hope you are faring okay. We are off to my son and daughter -in laws for dinner tonight. A relatively new experience for us, as they just got married in July of 2016. Got the news that the son of friends of ours got engaged over the Christmas holidays, which is lovely.

Take care! We are blessed at the moment with sunny weather.

Dic 29, 2015, 3:33pm

>254 Berly:, Hi Kim.

>255 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deb, we are ok but Amy and Andy were a bit worried with the situation in Selby but it passed ok but Andy could not get to work in York on Monday and today, he should be able to get in tomorrow. We have seen on the early evening news that the old stone built bridge in Tadcaster collapse late this afternoon and it was captured on a phone. The weather is to turn bad tonight and tomorrow so it will be Thursday and Friday when York may be in trouble again. I hope you have a lovely meal tonight with your son and Daughter-in-law.

Dic 29, 2015, 3:37pm

Finished book Fifty-three late this afternoon, Jubilee by Shelley Harris. This tells the tale of a photograph taken at a street party for the Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977. The story flicks between 1977 and 30 years later with Satish as the main character of the photo in 1977 and now in his career as a Paediatric Cardiologist. It took a while to get into the story but it was a good read.

Dic 29, 2015, 4:32pm

I cannot believe I have forgotten my Thingaversary, I celebrated my 4th Thingaversary on the 26th December and although I have only just remembered I did purchase three books this morning. Four years on this fabulous site with all the great friends I have on here, where have the last four years gone. Here's to many more Thingaversaries.

Dic 30, 2015, 3:58pm

A nice steady day for me, after taking Karen to work I popped into the store to pick up essential shopping before getting home and unpacking and putting the shopping away. Once this was done I had some breakfast whilst listening to the cricket on the radio, just after I had finished my breakfast England won the first test against South Africa by 241 runs, they now have a quick turnaround as the second test starts on Saturday.
I read for the next couple of hours in the company of a few pots of tea before doing the downstairs housework. Once the housework was done I read for a short while with a pot of tea to hand before setting off to the pet store to pick up some tablets for Leo and then on to pick Hannah up. Once I had got Hannah we went to pick Karen up from work and then we headed home. Hannah immediately got some toys to play with before having her tea and then she opened a present that Karen had put to one side, this was some princess Lego and she soon had me making up the little sets. Before long it was time to take her home which I duly did.

Dic 31, 2015, 12:29pm

Finished my last book of 2015 a short time ago, Unlucky 13 by James Patterson. Once again Sergeant Lindsay Boxer has a full workload to deal with as well as meeting up with the girls of the Women's Murder Club. Patterson knows how to keep the pace going and in this one throws another curveball into the mix with an incident that I did not see coming. Well worth a read for Patterson afficianado's.

I will be putting my 2015 reading stats on my new 2016 thread, so come on over and join me as I luxuriate in my stat addiction.

Ene 1, 2016, 3:39am

Ene 1, 2016, 3:06pm

>261 connie53:, Thanks Connie.

Editado: Ene 2, 2016, 10:19pm

Happy New Year John!!

Ene 3, 2016, 2:56pm

I am half way back to Alabama and should be there by 7:00 p.m. tonight. Hope you and Karen have a Happy New Year.

Editado: Ene 3, 2016, 2:57pm

I noticed that you and Paul and spouses had a meet-up. Aren't those fun! I had hopes to make a trip to England this coming year but will have some unexpected legal fees to pay concerning my father's estate so that probably won't happen this year. But I have hopes to meet you sometime.

Ene 3, 2016, 4:03pm

Hope you have a safe journey back to Alabama my dear and if you do get over to England it would be nice to try and meet up Benita. I have a new thread up now my dear, sending love and hugs.

Ene 3, 2016, 5:27pm

Can't find the new thread. Do you have a link? Or, what group is it posted in?

Ene 4, 2016, 3:36pm

>267 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita my new thread link is ,
I hope to see your comments on here soon my dear.