Monday, September 17, 2012


I left for England on Saturday afternoon.
The flight was good and boring, which is just how I like it to be.
I arrived at 7.30am on Sunday, obviously very tired, but glad to be here.

I have had a niggly pain in my left side for about a week but by Sunday afternoon it was much worse.
I didn't sleep much Sunday night even though I took pain pills.
The pain in my side and lower back was very bad.  Sometimes a wave of pain washed over me and made me feel nauseous.
So, this morning Donna took me to the local hospital, ER or Accident and Emergency as it is known here.
I was concerned in case I had some sort of infection that needed antibiotics.

I was seen really quickly.  They took blood and examined me.
We then waited for the results.
The results showed no sign of infection and the opinion is that I may have a trapped nerve in my lower back which is radiating the pain round to my lower left side.
Maybe the 8 hour flight didn't help.    So, I spent my first morning, after I arrived ,in the hospital.   They have given me strong painkillers and hopefully it will ease off soon.
Donna and I spent some time wondering how much it would have cost in the US.
I don't if I would have got much change out of $1000.
Thank goodness for the NHS.

I am hoping the rest of the week is better than today.

It is still lovely to be here with Donna, Glenn and Lauren.
And...I have some brill mates.

I had to buy a new phone as my ancient one won't work any more.   It was £12 in Tesco.
If anyone wants the number please let me know, maybe via facebook, and I will give it.
Or email me at  (this is the only email I can access).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Church Festivals....Milwaukee style.

Last weekend was our local church festival.
St. Gregory The Great.
Not your typical church fete (Midsommer Murders type).   Nope.  No ' guess the weight of the cake' or 'bring and buy' or Morris Dancers and not a coconut shy in sight.
I actually miss that sort of stuff.
St. Greg's fest is on for 4 days.  Thursday till Sunday.
There are 3 stages for bands of various types from rock to doo wop.
There are 3 or 4 bars selling beer, wine & spirits and tons of food.  Not my sort of grub, but typical fairground stuff....hotdogs, burgers etc.
It is a short walk from us so I dragged my other half over there Saturday night.
Of course, we haven't had any rain for weeks but as soon as we walked outside the heavens opened.
Not to be deterred, we still went but it was pretty miserable walking about in the rain and all the tents were heaving with people trying to get out of it.
So, we went home and decided to return on Sunday.

 Which we did.
The Doo Wop Daddies were on one of the stages.   They may be old but they are a lot of fun.
There was a rock band we really like on one of the other stages so we made our way there.
Only they weren't.  What was there was a band of the same name but with maybe one of two of the original members left in it.  The lead singer was gone, which was a shame as he was a real showman.  The singer they have now .........was ok.   On to the third stage, where there was a band playing who's blurb announced that they 'played in Las Vegas'.
After listening to them for a bit I decided they probably didn't play for long in Las Vegas.
Disappointed we made our way back to the Doo Wop Daddies and Philip had a couple of beers.

During their break I noticed one of the Doo Wop Daddies at the bar.  His trousers were shorts!!!
Wasn't he bold !

St. Greg's fest is huge.  There is a fairground and lots of places to gamble.   Look, sitting at the table on the left is Father Christmas. He likes a beer.
I expect this is his last chance of relaxation before he has to get those elves motivated for his busy season.

I wonder if he approves of 'this sort of thing'.
When I saw this I really thought that Father Ted and Father Dougal should be there with their signs saying ;
"Down With This Sort of Thing".
St. Greg's is a catholic church, but there's all sorts of gambling going on in the festival.
Not just for cake changes hands as well as liquor.
How does that work then?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Time flies

I finished this painting at last.
This is a commission.  I had done a similar one - and sold it - but was asked to do another, smaller version, by someone else.
This one is 14in x 11in and I found it harder to do than the bigger one.
Strange that.
It is by no means exactly the same but they seem very pleased with it.  It is mixed media, oils and acrylics, so it has to dry for a few weeks before I can varnish it.
I am now working on a painting for Glenn and it is proving to be quite a task.
He asked me to do Galadriel and Frodo from Lord of The Rings, but he keeps adding more to it.
This one is going to take some time yet as it is fiddly.   Plus, now he wants the ring in it.   He hadn't mentioned that before. I expect when I think it is finished he will say he wants Gandalf on horseback. wearing a blue wig and a tutu, waving a flag in the distance.

I find it hard to believe that in just over a week's time I should be in England.
It has been months away for ages and now suddenly it is just days.
I have a new suitcase that I hope the airline don't bugger up again, but I need to get bits and pieces before I go.
It has been two years since my last visit and I am really looking forward to it. 
I already have plans to see family, friends and a weekend away in Whitstable.     No doubt the time will fly while I am there too.
I shall be able to replenish my supply of Pot Noodles .........brill.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One of those days....

Take a look at this car.
This guy has been driving around like this since we arrived here in 1997.
We lived downtown for the first year and I got quite accustomed to seeing, and hearing this driving around Milwaukee.
The driver claims to have had some sort of religious revelation some years ago and has been trying to spread the word ever since.
He has a microphone and loud speakers.  He blasts out his message but, to be honest, no one can really make out what he is saying so it is mostly lost on the punters.
Looking at the car, I can see that it would not be legal in the UK.
'Health and safety' would have a fit.

A friend of ours went to a 'bit of a do' at the Harley Davidson Museum.
The city was heaving with bikes and bikers.
The ground shuddered and trembled under the rumbling of the formidable might of the Harley Davidson bikes.
There were fearsome sights to behold at the gathering.
Here is one of them............

This would strike fear into the bravest of souls.
I think the horns on the hat are a nice touch.

I went to see my doctor yesterday.
This is quite an ordeal in itself as I have to get two buses which do not connect very well.
Anyway, I had worked out the timetable and got there ok.
I told my doctor about the research I had done, re my angina, and the findings which pointed at the cause being a hormone deficiency, rather than blocked arteries.
She agreed totally with me.  In fact I think she was a little embarrassed that no one had thought of it before.
So she should be...if it turns out to be the case.
The so called specialists I have seen have never even mentioned that such a thing was possible.   I should not have had to find this out for myself when we are paying (literally) these doctors a lot of money (again literally) to do just that.
She has given me some new meds to try for six months to see if it does the trick.
I do hope it does.
On Monday I have to back to see the specialist.  I shall tell him all about it too.  I wonder what he will say?
Anyway, having got there reasonably well via two buses, I then had to return home also via two buses.
Hmmm.........things did not go so well this time.
The first bus was late.   I have a two minute connection time and it was obvious I wasn't going to make it.  The next bus was about an hour later.
Feeling clever, and possibly a bit flustered, I decided that if I got off the first bus at an earlier stop I could get another one from there.
This was perfectly true.  I could.
Well, I could have if I had got off  (notice I didn't say 'gotten')....over here people always say 'gotten'....I can't stand it, - anyway  I digress, -  I could have if I had got off at the right stop.
I did not get off at the right stop.  There was absolutely nothing right about where I got off.  What to do?
Walk..........that was all I could do.   I had a vague idea of the direction.  We had driven this way many times and it didn't seem far.
I walked, and walked and walked and walked.
The temperature was around 90F .....I don't know something in the 30s in old money.
My leg hurt and my knee hurt.  It took me ages.  It never seemed that far in the car !!!
When  I told Philip where I had walked from he said it was about 3 and a half miles away.
Plus, somewhere along the way I lost the order for the blood test the doctor gave me to find out if the statins I am now taking are doing me any good or harm.
I won't do that again.