Tag Archives: Marmaduke

Scenes on Sunday ~ The Adventures of Marmaduke

there are a lot of adventures out there, waiting for us to live them

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke is upset about Mr. Trumps travel ban.

I’ve told him we will go to America soon.

Food on Friday ~ Healthy and Easy

the basis of all happiness is good health

It’s all very well my trying to eat a very healthy Paleo diet, but face it, if the recipes are too difficult or too time consuming I’m just not going to make them.  There is a limit to how much time a chap living alone is prepared to spend in the kitchen.

All of these recipes are healthy and easy, so enjoy.

First up this week, from Ali at Gimme Some Oven we have chicken and wild rice soup.  May as well face it, it this viral epidemic gets worse we may all be glad of some chicken soup.  This is real comfort food.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

Next, from Joy The Baker we have a roasted lemon chicken soup. This looks and sounds fabulous.  I’ll bet this is a great pick-me-up too,

Roasted Lemon Chicken Soup

From Well Plated by Erin there this great looking but deceptively easy salmon wellington, (although I would have called it salmon en croute). I’d serve this with roasted asparagus.  What a fabulous and fabulously easy meal to serve for dinner, or for a dinner party

Salmon Wellington

Another salmon dish, sheet pan chipotle salmon with cilantro lime special sauce, this one from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; .  I like sheet pan cooking, a lot.

Sheet Pan Chipolte Salmon with Cilantro Lime Special Sauce

With St. Patricks day coming up what about trying this Irish Stout beef stew with herbed dumplings?  This recipe is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats.  (To be honest, St. Patricks day is a non-event in most of English England.  And right now the last place I want to spend any time is in a crowded bar.)

Irish Stout Beef Stew

And finally for this week, from In Dianes Kitchen we have a really simple recipe idea for sugar snap peas and bacon.  What a smashing side dish, or with rice it would make a good light lunch to take to work, perhaps.

Sugar Snap Peas and Bacon

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

even on his little boat, Marmaduke is quite the chef

It seems that I am still very unwell

the infinite elation, pain, and terror of a psychological illness

friendless and nowhere to go but here

About a month ago I was in hospital, and so ill that the nurse said that I looked like a bad advertisement for death.  I had lots of scans, tests, and examinations, some treatment, and after a few days I was discharged, supposedly fit and healthy.  I believed I was cured of my ills ~ I don’t believe that anymore.  I think I’m still very unwell.

Whatever ails me does not seem like a physical illness ~ I’m still meeting my 10,000 steps a day meditative walking target, I’m not sitting in the armchair all day, too knackered to do anything but watch TV, I haven’t taken myself to bed, and I’m not on any medication at all.  I don’t think my body is sick, I think it’s my mind.

(I take some of that back, when I comes right down to it I’m physically not that strong.)

I have a very strange set of unmatched symptoms.  To begin with there is the red V shaped mark on my forehead.  It’s prominent, angry looking, and if you met me it’d be the very first thing you noticed.  I’ve had that red V shape appear on my forehead ever since I was a young boy, and it has always been a certain sign that I was pretty poorly.

It’s like having the mark of Cain, and it tells me that in one way or another I’m fucked.

The headache I’ve got now I’ve had for three or four days.  Everything I eat tastes like cardboard, (apart from chocolate).  And I’m dropping things; keys, books, a full mug of coffee, (that makes a hell of a mess), and this morning while I was doing the laundry I dropped the electric iron.  That thing was plugged-in and hot, but I didn’t want it hitting the tiled floor in my kitchen pointy end first, so I caught it before it hit the tiles.  How the fuck I had the presence of mind to catch the iron by its power-chord I have no idea, but I did and I didn’t get burned.

Oh, and another thing, I am saying and writing the F word a lot, (and a few other choice cuss words), and that is just not the polite English Gentleman I am usually.

Generally I feel like a young boy who has been sent to see the school headmaster for a dressing-down and some corporal punishment, and that young boy hasn’t a clue what he’s done wrong, or why he’s being punished.

You know what?  I think I haven’t been so well lately.

Some say that the sick never truly lose the chaos within.  And that a sick thought can devour your being more thoroughly than a fever.  All I know is the bravest thing I ever did was continue to live when I wanted to die.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

feeling like that lost little boy today

 

2020

Happy New Year

All the very best of health, wealth, and happiness to you and yours in 2020

From all here, Marmaduke and me.

Please listen responsibly.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

we’re both alone and lonely

I still have nothing at Christmas

for it is in giving that we receive the most

Marmaduke relaxing in the garret.

During this festive season I have nothing arranged, and expect to see nobody at all on Christmas Day.  I’d rather not be spending another festive season alone in the garret, but a little while ago my plans for Christmas were thrown into disarray.  I had arranged to take a trip to visit a friend, however my friend is now spending Christmas with their family, rather than with me.

I suppose I can’t complain about that, after all Christmas is the one time of year that you should really spend time with your family.  Sadly, for me there is only my sister, and she has her own husband and children to spend Christmas with.  I’d I be like the ghost at the feast if I went there.  I guess I can count Marmaduke as my family, so I won’t be totally alone here.

Some kind people have invited me to visit over the holidays….. I don’t know if I can do that.  Finding a flight just before Christmas, returning just after is very difficult this late in the day, actually it’s a’most impossible.  Any flight I’ve been able to find carries a hefty premium ~ like 50% above the normal fare, (or much more) for a really crappy set of connecting flights.  So, anyone travelling for Christmas will have had to have booked their flights some time ago.

Also, spending Christmas with someone I don’t know so well seems uncomfortable somehow ~ as though I would be intruding.  (My strong sense of ethics always stop me from having real fun.)

Whatever Hollywood might say, making last minute arrangements for Christmas Day is somewhere between difficult and impossible.  If you want to travel over the Holidays you have to book your journey well in advance ~ unless you are willing to pay double the normal fare for bad seats on flights that are the most difficult and inconvenient as possible.

Some say that their Christmas visit to the family was a last-minute idea.  And that the whole thing was quite spontaneous.  All I know is that flights over the Christmas Holiday have to be booked well in advance.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke still thinks we’re going away over the holidays

Lonely Christmas

I have no one to talk to, and I’m alone

With only one month to go until Christmas Day I’ve been thinking about all those people who will be lonely over this Festive Season.

In England this Christmas, one in five adults will be spending the day alone.  And the Salvation Army say that almost a million elderly people, aged 65 and over, will be alone on Christmas Day, and most of them will be very lonely.  Tradition and Hollywood both say that Christmas is a special time to spend with friends and family, and yet millions of people don’t even plan to leave their homes at Christmas.

If you are a mature adult the chances are that you have spent at least one holiday season by yourself.  There are many possible reasons for this, you may live far away from family and old friends, you could have been divorced, or your relationship might have fallen apart, or you may have lost a loved one, or you may be suffering from your own problems such as alcoholism, drug addiction, severe mental illness…..  Or it just might be that you had plans and for some reason they fell apart at the last minute.

This year I will be alone in the garret, and you can tick several of the reasons I’ve just mentioned as to the cause of my solitary Christmas.  I wonder how many of you reading this will also be alone over the Festive Season, and how many will be spending it with an aching heart looking back at the mistakes of the past.  Life can be viciously unkind, and not everyone we have ever met and loved was going to be worth the tears we shed.  How many times do we have to say that we’re sorry for the things we have done or not done before we are forgiven?  And when will we ever learn?

Not all need be doom and gloom if you are going to be alone at Christmas with nobody to talk to and nobody to even care.  There are some positive things you can do;

  • Don’t get drunk or high or take to much mood-altering medication.
  • Don’t spend Christmas day unwashed, unshaven / not made up, with your hair uncombed, in dirty clothes or your night attire.
  • Don’t stay in bed all day feeling unutterably melancholy or depressed.
  • At least go out and take a short walk to some place that has special meaning for you.
  • Make use of the empty streets to take some different photographs.
  • Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself some positive self-talk.
  • Trust yourself, even if nobody else does, things will get better, nothing stays melancholy and depressing forever.
  • Contemplate the past, the present, and all possible futures while listening to some inspiring music.
  • Cook yourself a special meal and be thankful that you are safe, warm, and eating well.
  • Reach out to those you would have truly liked to be spending Christmas with.
  • Clean up the administrative dross from this year, and make positive plans for the future.

Some say that Christmas Day is just another day.  And that it’s not being alone that makes you lonely, it’s that nobody even cares.  All I know is that I intend to make the very best of being on my own at Christmas.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

White Christmas Mojito

Scenes on Sunday ~ Winter Mirror

the sea was as hard and grey as a winter mirror

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

and now the sea

but through a glass, darkly

now that she’s gone

I pushed her away, into the evening light, a million miles away

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from afar

where the night ended

a happy cry said it wasn’t over

and all at once I had it all

nothing else mattered

but my tears

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

wait ’till you see me cry

with tears of joy over my smile

Scenes on Sunday ~ Marmaduke in Americia

he who lives sees much, he who travels sees more

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jack collier

jackcollier@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke is a very cool dude

 

 

Marmaduke’s Vacation

I am sorry I’m going away, you can accompany me some other day.

Marmaduke isn’t coming to the USA with me tomorrow.  This time he has to stay home and look after the garret.  At least having my friend taking care of things while I’m on vacation means I don’t have to worry about the place.  Anyway, Marmy likes being on sentry-duty.

He’s a bit sad about not coming along.  Marmy likes the wide open spaces in America.

Sadly, there just isn’t enough room for him this time around.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Awwwwww.

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