Saturday, 17 November 2018

A Splendid Breakfast

Some may remember my story of my visit to Lowestoft, Suffolk when I was about ten years old.

Lowestoft (which was then, but is not not now, a relatively prosperous east coast fishing port) was my mother's birthplace.  

We went there to visit her (maternal) Aunt Ada and Ada's second husband Jim.

The 253 or so miles journey from my home town of Bristol, U.K. by coach (long distance 'bus) via London took all of twelve hours.

On my first morning at Aunt Ada and Uncle Jim's home I came down the stairs to be greeted by a sweet smell.  Aunt Ada was cooking **bloaters for breakfast on her old fashioned coal fired range.


I was hooked!  Nothing like a bit of fish  (bloaters, kippers, smoked salmon etc.) for breakfast.

A local SRQ market has been selling another kind of fish -  North Atlantic Hake.

I've never before seen it in an American market, but when I was a kid it was thought to be a somewhat upscale alternative to Cod in the local fish and chip stores.

I like Hake!

So I bought 3lbs of it at a very reasonable price for ocean fish ($6 per pound).

I cut and froze the fillets into one person meal sized portions.

And with my first fish breakfast (Lowestoft, more than sixty years ago) in mind I had Hake for breakfast today.  

Baked hake and poached eggs with a couple of slices of sweet and juicy heirloom tomato for a garnish.


(Eat your hearts out General Mills, Kellogg's, and C.W. Post!)

Friday, 16 November 2018

And they let me go home

This morning Zion and I were doing our therapy team rounds at a local Assisted Living/Memory Care facility.

Anthony, an always cheerful young man was on duty.  He is training to be a physical therapist.  I asked about his plans for Thanksgiving.   (Thurs 22nd). 

(He will be cooking at the home in St. Petersburg, FL which he shares with his girl friend).

He in turn asked about my plans. (SRQ and Bristol friends -  I'll be with the Chrismans.)

As I said good-bye he said "Happy Thanksgiving" 

I replied  "but I'll see you before Thanksgiving because I am here every Wednesday"

He responded with a smile and said "today is Friday".

And they let me go home!

MAJOR anxiety attack yesterday morning (15th November 2018)

I wandered outside this morning at 5:45 a.m. to check on the weather before my first walk of the day with Zion.

He joined me as he usually does. 

But with no warning Zion did not stay near me as he usually does.

Instead  he took off, faster than the departures of  Anthony Scaramucci from Trumpland and  Dominic Raab from Theresa May's Cabinet.

I didn't see him move.  I heard a whoosh and then he was out of sight. Evidently there was some pest he wanted to chase out of the neighbourhood - maybe a squirrel, or a fox, or a republican.

I grabbed a flashlight and wandered about, whistling and calling his name.  He did not respond.  He was nowhere to be seen.

I did.  My response was a mental dialogue of sheer panic.

"of course he will come back"
"but what if he gets lost?"

"of course he will come back"
"But what if he gets hit by a car?"

"of course he will come back"
"but what if he gets into a fight with a possum?"

"of course he will come back"
" what time does County Animal Control open for business?"

Twenty minutes into my panic attack and got into my car and drove around the neighbourhood headlights on full beam, peering into every car port as I drove.

As I got back to my place there he was, trotting down the street, his nonchalance matching my fear.

When I got out of the car he gave me a warm and enthusiastic
 greeting.  I know what he was thinking.  "Dad, I didn't run away, you deserted me!".

We went into our home.  

I gave him a biscuit.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

In the money

Met Life Insurance Co wrote last week informing me that they had over charged me for auto insurance, and that the check/cheque was in the mail.

It arrived today  -  $109 -  a bit more than I had anticipated.

Not a fortune, but better than a slap in the face with a wet fish! 

Rib Eye Steak for Zion?   Not a chance.

Rib Eye Steak for me!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Fat Boy

When Zion adopted me back in January 2018 he weighed 50 lbs.

No doubt he was underweight, having spent many weeks as a stray in Lafayette, Louisiana; and in shelters in Lafayette and in Sarasota, Florida.

He and I were at the HSSC Veterinarian Clinic today to pick up some anti-flea meds.  Just for the sake of it I took him to the scale where I found out that he now weighs 73 lbs.

Fat Boy

Oh dear.  Despite our many daily long walks (most days 100 minutes in total) my dear boy is a bit over weight.  In the long term this is not good for his health.  And I want him to be my best pal for the long term.

The Veterinarian technician recommended that I should cut down on Zion's twice daily portions of kibble, whilst adding cooked carrots or green beans to fill his belly without adding calories.

Of course I will do this for the health and benefit of my best pal. 

I cannot imagine life without him.

It would also be good for me to move t'wards a more vegetable centred diet.

We all know that a healthy diet is more efficacious for weight loss than an "ton" of exercise.

'Tis true, no doubt about it.

But who can measure the emotional and spiritual benefits of a long walk with a beloved pooch?

Monday, 12 November 2018

Fighting for your country (or your colonial masters) BUT EXPENDABLE OF COURSE


The ultimate betrayal of  ** American  Negro Soldiers and African fighters from British and French Colonies in the Great War.

This is a long and important read. I beg you to PLEASE  read it and add your comments to my FACE BOOK page


**  I use the word Negro in a neutral sense because it was the language  of those times and right up to the days of the Revd. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Well I never: I am an "American Commie"

I enjoyed my Sunday morning  walk at Arlington Park with my friend and neighbour Barbara B. (and Zion of course).

As we got back to the parking lot we met a forty something man with his lovely and lively two years old Golden Retriever, named Aspen.

Zion and Aspen did their thing  (lots of bum sniffing!). 

We chatted to the man about the dogs and about the wonderful Arlington Park. 'Twas good.

Our conversation moved to Veterans Day.

Then out of the blue the Aspen's owner said "American Commies hate Veterans day and all Veterans".

I had some idea as to what he meant so I retorted "I've never met an American Commie".

He replied "I mean the Dems". 

I said " I am a Democrat".

Barbara said "I am a Democrat".

The man snorted.  Barbara, Zion and I went back to my car. There I let loose a string of expletives which I will not post here!

Shades of these great "patriots"


How I wish that I'd had the presence of mind to tell Aspen's owner that I (a proud Democrat)  had plans to visit two of my veteran friends on Sunday and Monday .

(a) Captain John "Jack"  Chrisman (aged 85)  (U.S. Navy, ret). (today- Sunday 11th). I did so, and toasted his health.

(b) Betty Mullen (aged 94) a WWII Marine Veteran. She and I will raise a glass on Monday 12th in honour of Veterans. 

'Tis amazing how "American Commies" such as I (a.k.a. Democrats) can honour  military veterans.