I'll tumble 4 ya

11:21 pm : Saturday, 10 April 2021  |  ,

Almost 10 years ago we bought Hannah a tumble dryer for her then new flat. Hanging stuff outside is all very well when the weather is agreeable, but draping stuff on radiators is plain ugly, and clothes horses only succeed in getting in the way. Also, having moisture indoors only encourages mould growth. The couple living above Hannah dried their clothing on a rack above their bath, and the bathroom itself was just an absolute state in terms of mould. Having a tumble dryer is essential - even if your home does not provide space for one. We had hers in the bedroom, with the hose hanging out of the window.

That very dryer started showing signs of packing up about a month ago, when it appeared to only function on low heat. This made everything take longer, but we got through. Only yesterday did it decide to pack up, with ice-cold tumbling being all that was on offer. Outside was rain. Radiators were turned up and laden with underwear and socks. A clothes horse was draped in clothing and allowed to get on with it, while a basketload of wet towels and a just-washed bedspread had nowhere to go. Out with the credit card.

This afternoon a new 7 kilo dryer showed up, and finally allowed me to get on top of the backlog. How we got along with the old 3 kilo one, I will never know. Now I can dry a bedspread properly without having to hang it on the shower curtain over the bath. The satisfaction is immense. Hell, I can start washing pillows and not have to wait for a sunny day to dry them!

God rest, old bean

2:51 pm : Friday, 9 April 2021  |  ,

I know it was inevitable, but it is still a shock when it happens. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has died aged 99. Just shy of that magic number. My thoughts are now with Queen Elizabeth who has shared over 70 years of marriage with him. What a weight for her to bear.

As expected, Twitter is currently awash with ignorant and uneducated folk wishing him hell and damnation, all because he had a tendency to express the views of a bygone era. I also will not be surprised if The Sun newspaper decide to put the blame on Meghan Markle - or even Jeremy Corbyn! Nothing is beneath those b*stards.

Where do we go

3:39 pm : Monday, 5 April 2021  |  , , , , ,

I dedicate this post to Clair, whose estranged husband Braden died yesterday. He chose to take his life. Apparently divorce may have once been on the cards, but is now no longer a relevant course of action. Widowhood is the result.

Clair was from the UK. She lived in Manchester. She lived in Margate. Both places seemed to be pulling her in either direction. Where did she belong? That decision was finally solved in 2008 when she met Braden online - I assume through the once-popular Myspace. He was in the USA, and let's face it - how many of us are afforded the chance to toss aside the cold, grey, boring, conservative UK, and relocate to the Land Of The Free™? The UK had familiarity and predictability, and the same old motherfuggers day in and out! The USA is something else entirely. Bigger, stronger, faster, hairier, better! What's more, there was a thoroughly cool-looking guitarist with arms open ready and waiting. And an accent of course!

They married, and had three children over the years. Life was not always easy though. He liked his drink - to the point where it invariably came before all else. It is a situation that prompted my mum to leave my dad back in 1979, because when drink becomes that important to someone, there is just no winning. Wife and kids wind up taking a back seat. Duty and responsibility just became a millstone round the neck. As early as March 2009 he was starting to shirk responsibility, and leave her to wonder whether it was all worth it? Back in the UK, bearing their first child while he was p!ssing it up over in the USA.

I have no idea of the full brunt she bore during all those years that followed, but I only know there was unpleasantness. It only came to my attention recently that in November 2019 he subjected her to a vicious physical assault. For over a year he evaded justice, while all she wanted was civilised closure. What she got however, was a very final closure. Swift and shocking.

Now there are three children who will not be seeing their father again. I am sure that aspect of their life was always a bit of a lotto anyway. Would he be around when expected? Would he be reliable when present? Excessive drinking controls people and ruins families. She always had a difficult task raising three youngsters, and now that task has been made permanently hers alone. What's more, how the hell do you explain it to the kids? No one trains you for this in life. A child's mind is short and can only go so far. This is a lot for even an adult to consume.

Could he have conquered his personal demons? We will never know. What was it that made him choose alcohol over a beautiful wife and precious kids? Only he knew. Many questions will remain unanswered, having been taken with him. His inner workings were no doubt complex, but if he only took the time to stick around and share those inner workings in a responsible and safe environment, there would be fewer unanswered questions.

When my dad died, my mum felt a needless guilt. I have no idea why, because what could she really do for a man broken and unpredictable? They divorced, and he was his own responsibility. The fact that, before his death, he took a coach from London to Manchester and arrived unannounced on his sister's doorstep, dressed only in pyjamas - was not her damn fault! What could the poor sausage do?

I can only wish Clair and her kids all the strength they need in order to get through this rollercoaster of an event. I will also ask that - Clair - you do not blame yourself for his downfall. You did not push. You offered stability and sanctuary, and he strayed. You are not to blame.