Monday 31 October 2022

Halloween smiles


My wife said to me yesterday, “Honey, I think we should do something really scary for the kids this Halloween.”

I said, “Well, we could always take them to your mother’s.”


Whoever said "nothing is impossible" clearly never tried slamming a revolving door.


My mother used to say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Lovely woman. Useless surgeon.


Last Halloween there was a knock on the door. I looked out of the window and then shouted upstairs to my wife, “Honey there’s a witch at the door. What shall I do?”

She shouted back, “Just give her some candy and tell her to get lost.”

My mother-in-law hasn’t spoken to me since.


Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts. I like families. If it was not for my family I would be arguing with perfect strangers.


My wife felt like she’d seen a new caring considerate side to me after I spent the day making treats for the Halloween callers.

I really hope they appreciated my home-made toffee onions.

Did you hear about the crazy person who fell into the French river in Paris? He was in Seine.


The best part about Halloween is that the cobwebs in my house look like decorations.


If you’re in need of a job, you could try Search and Rescue. They’re always looking for people.


The recipe said, “Set the oven to 180 degrees.” I did just that and now I can’t open it, as the door faces the wall


What language do oranges speak? Mandarin.


In hospital, I was forced to swallow some purple coloured liquid. I feel violated.


I’ve spent the past week indoors learning escapology. I need to get out more.



Sunday 30 October 2022

Believing with eyes closed


Sister Georgina came to see Father Ignatius in his office. She was a nun living in the Convent nearby and whilst it was not unusual for the nuns to visit the Parish House from time to time this visit was somewhat formal. The nun had phoned the priest that morning and asked him for an appointment.

“Hello Sister … come in … come in …” said the kindly priest, “would you like some coffee … or some tea perhaps!”

“No thank you Father …” she said somewhat shyly as she sat down.

“You know you don’t need to phone to make an appointment …” he said as he closed the door and sat at his desk, “just pop in any time …”

“Well Father … I wanted to make sure you were available … and we would not be disturbed.” She said. “The thing is … I’m finding it very hard believing …”

“Are you having doubts about your Faith Sister?” Father Ignatius asked gently and soothingly.

“No … no … it’s not that. I believe in God and Jesus and the Trinity …” she hesitated, “Can someone be selective in their beliefs?”

“Well Georgina …” he smiled, “it depends on what one is selective about … I do have my doubts about some of the changes we’re making as a Church … What is troubling you exactly?”

“Well Father …”

“Let’s dispense with the formalities for now …” he interrupted.

“Well …” she hesitated again, “for some time now I’ve had great difficulty in believing in the true presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.

“I can’t quite explain it. Did Christ in the Last Supper ask us to celebrate Communion in His memory … or is it really His flesh and blood? And why would He want us to eat and drink His very Being?”

“It is one of our fundamental beliefs as a Church,” said the priest calmly, “one that has been tested and debated for centuries. You’ve no doubt heard of the Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano?”

“Yes Father … but how can I make myself believe?” she replied, “I could shut my eyes tightly and convince myself to believe … but at the end of the day my mind says differently.

“I have no difficulty in believing the existence of God … I accept that as fact. I believe in Christ’s Virgin birth, His resurrection, the Holy Spirit and so on … Somehow these beliefs cause me no difficulties and they are part of my being … they are me and have been me for sometime.

“And I suppose that at some stage I must have believed in the Eucharist too. How could I not have?

“I became a nun … studied for years and took on my vocation … and all was well … Yet now, it’s this one aspect of my Faith that I find difficulty with.”

The priest paused for a while and said a silent prayer before going on.

“We’ve all had our moments of doubts and our little stumbles every now and then …” he said.

“It’s our human nature coming to the fore. We’re programmed to think, to analyze … to ask questions and yes … to doubt too.

“It’s what some people call Free Will … and I’m sure you’ve heard the many debates about that and God’s pre-destination of our lives!”

She smiled as he continued.

“God does not want us to work hard at our beliefs. He does not want us to shut our eyes tightly and convince ourselves to believe in this or in that.

“He understands our struggles between total acceptance and the natural desire to examine and evaluate what we’re told to believe.

“He did make us after all … so He knows what makes us tick and how the cogs in our heads constantly turn.

“What God asks of us is to believe like a child. A child never questions the veracity of what he’s told … he just accepts it.

“There’s no need to believe with eyes tightly shut.

“Just accept … like a child. Trust him … like a child. Love Him … like a child.

“And when your mind questions … as it certainly will … just say … Get behind me Satan.

“Look up at God and pray … I believe, Lord; help my unbelief.”

She left with a much lighter heart and a heavy weight off her shoulders.

REFERENCE: Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano


Saturday 29 October 2022

What the ...

I'm not sure whether you have these where you live, but over here they are all over the place. They are little remote controlled trolleys which run slowly on the side-walk from a shop all the way to your house. Once they arrive you open them, (presumably with a pre-set password), and you take the groceries you have ordered on-line. 

In theory, a good idea. In practice, I don't think so. 

They do away with a big van delivering to your door, and thus less pollution and no need to employ drivers, (more redundancies and people out of work - hooray for technology!). But in practice they are too small and you can hardly put more than a tin of cat food in them. No room to swing a cat, as they say around here. So unless what you need is a few emergency essentials, like a tourniquet because of an unfortunate accident, then these driver-less robots are of no use. Anyway, the average grocery shop does not sell tourniquets so don't bother ordering one. 

They are generally very quiet when driving slowly, and the other day I nearly tripped on one at night when walking the dog. She/he/it stopped suddenly. I did not bend down to see what sex these things are; but it stopped suddenly as it detected me. The dog sniffed it a few times and then proceeded to do what dogs do when they see a tree or lamp-post. I pulled him away quickly and looked for a tree before he chose my leg instead. And that's another reason why I don't like these machines.

It realised the way was clear and it moved on a little further to the end of the road. It wanted to cross to the other side. There was a car coming. The car stopped. The robot-on-wheels stopped. The driver of the car flashed his lights to indicate to the contraption to cross the road. Obviously it does not see nor understands "driver talk". It did not move. The driver beckoned with his hands to cross the road. The machine sensed the presence of the vehicle and remained still. Stale-mate. No one moved for two or three minutes. Eventually the driver moved on shouting various expletives out of the window at me, thinking I was controlling the diabolical delivery box. And that's yet another reason why I don't like these machines. 

As the car drove off and I approached the box on wheels it started pirouetting 360* as the GPS system it was linked to tried to relocate its position. Then it talked to me. I jumped out of my skin. I never expected these machines to talk. It detected me and the dog and then said, "Which way to Acacia Avenue, mate?"

"Mate? ... Mate?" I hate it when I am addressed as mate. We have hardly been introduced and this 21st Century piece of crap is addressing me as mate. What should I call it? Mechanical Moron? 

Taken off-guard by this talking box, I proceeded to give it directions pointing with my finger which way to go, and to turn left at Elms Crescent then right when you reach Oak Road just by the petrol station. Can you imagine the scene? Me talking to a box and pointing which way to go.

The machine then asked, "Do you know if the petrol station has a toilet or not?"

"What?" A delivery motorised trolley losing its way and asking for a toilet. What is the world coming too? I'm not sure I like all this modern technology. Anyway ... ... ... which toilet will it go to? Male or female or ... ... ...

Friday 28 October 2022

Ideas to improve the world


I often spend time thinking of ways to improve our lives as individuals and a society. For the benefit of all, here are some ideas I came up with:

1    Socks should be sold in threes and not as a pair. This would increase your chance of picking up two the same colour when searching your drawer. I wrote to three sock manufacturers, in triplicate, suggesting that this would increase their sales by 50% - all three ignored me. Three times.

2    Consequent and supplementary to the above idea, I think trousers should be made with three legs also. When one leg wears off and is damaged by a hole, you just tuck it into your pants and pull out the third leg and wear that instead. Same for shirts, pullovers and such like.

3    We should wear more wool. All hats should be made of wool. This way it would be easier to pull the wool over peoples' eyes. And easier to tell a wolf in sheep's clothing. Have you ever seen a wolf wearing a woollen hat or scarf? 

4    Tattoos should be made with invisible ink so no one could see them. Or with florescent ink so you could see them in the dark. Can you imagine having whole-body tattoos in florescent ink and standing there naked in the dark? All you'll see is the wonderful designs. Alternate between switching the lights on and off and you'll have a great trick to perform at your next party. That will certainly get your friends talking. You'd be the life and soul of the party. 

5    Aerosols and body sprays should smell of garlic, fried onions or other foods. This would not only be original but would also enhance the appetite when going out on a date. There's nothing more aromatic than going out to a restaurant with a beautiful lady smelling of herring or pickled onions in vinegar.

6   More people should be encouraged to wear hairnets. It was quite the rage years ago. Now ... not many people do wear them. I remember years ago having a girl-friend who disliked hairnets and never wore them. I had an open-top sports car then and as I drove fast her hair used to blow in the wind. I had to stop often and pick it up and return it to her. A hairnet would have solved the problem but she was very stubborn. Eventually we broke up and she became a solo synchronised swimming performer.

7   Another idea of mine that would improve the world is political in nature. These days at elections a lot of money is spent on campaigns and politicians come on TV and radio and discuss their views politely and with mutual respect even if they don't agree. It was not so in my days in politics. In my days things were different.

When I was involved in politics years ago, in an open debate with a live audience in a packed hall, the other politician accused me of lacking vision because I wore socks of different colour.

I explained that I was open-minded. He replied, “There’s no point in being so open-minded that your brains fall out!”

At a radio interview during the election campaign I was asked by a caller what I wanted for Christmas. I said “A pair of slippers”. The following day the newspapers said, “Victor wants a pair of slippers whilst his opponent wants to improve life for the community of this town”.

Needless to say I didn’t win the election. Even my Electoral Agent refused to vote for me.

The thing I hated in politics is calling on houses to deliver leaflets or to introduce myself as a candidate and ask whether they'd vote for me. One has to keep a cool head, look and be interested in the individual you're talking to, and above all, be honest - not tell fibs like some politicians do.

I knocked at a door and a young lady opened it and she was completely naked. I kept a cool head and looked interested in her. She stood there totally nude smiling as she said, "What can I do for you?"

I was honest ... I said, "I forgot!" and ran away.

Anyway, my political idea does away with such potential embarrassments and having to run long campaigns. I think the candidates should come on TV and play rock paper scissors. You can have as many candidates as you wish and eliminate them until the last one wins and is elected. No  need for policies, promises, and wasting everyone's time with debates and TV and radio appearances.

I wrote to the political parties over here with my suggestion and they ignored me. I am not appreciated I think.

So there you have it; seven ideas to improve our lives and our world. What do you think? Tell us of your ideas also.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Don't you just hate it ...

Don't you just hate it when things go right the first time? It just catches you unaware and puts your whole day out of sorts.

The other day I got up as usual to go to work and guess what? The bathroom was free. Both of them in fact. Usually I have to wait for ages to have my turn in my own rest room in my own house and home where I have welcomed my family with love and affection ever since they were born. Today, the rest rooms were free; although the family was beginning to stir from their sleep. I got there first HA!!!

I got dressed and down for breakfast. My wife had got up first and made me a coffee. That's unusual. Normally I take up her coffee upstairs in my pyjamas. Is she ever grateful? No ... she prefers it in a cup.

Not having to make coffee saved me a few minutes. I put a couple of slices of bread in the toaster. It worked first time. It did not burn it as usual. The toaster normally burns the first two slices which I give to the dog and I try again. Not this time. Perfect first time. I gave the dog two un-toasted slices. He said grace before eating them.

Breakfast finished I set off to work. The car started first time. Normally it coughs and splutters and it takes my swearing to coax it into action some ten minutes later. Not today. It started first time.

Because I left home early I did not get caught in traffic. I missed that guy in the moustache who always pulls out from a side street and drives ahead of me at snails miles an hour. Today the road was clear. Even all the traffic lights were in my favour and let me through. Surprising how that extra ten minutes saved put me in a totally different parallel universe. Same routine waking up and going to work but much smoother.

I got to the office and the car park was empty. I parked nearer the door rather than in that corner of the car park under the tree where all the birds leave their deposits on my windscreen. Not today. It was perfect.

I got in the building and the elevator was there waiting for me; rather than me waiting for it to arrive and standing next to Miss Snooty Pants our accountant. She is so mean she counts every paper clip we use before buying new ones. Not today. She was not there and it saved me a false smile in her direction.

The whole day went perfect. Everyone agreed with me at the meeting I dreaded would be full of arguments and disagreements. I got two major contracts signed for our firm. The boss cancelled the weekend conference which I was not looking forwards to. And all in all it was an excellent day as I went home to a lovely meal and a loving family.

I hate it when things work out perfectly well. I think it is a bad omen that something will go wrong.

I'll wake up and discover it was all a dream.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Time For Smiles


Every morning, I find that somebody has quietly put a bunch of celery on my front door step. I think I’m being stalked.


My mother-in-law was very pleasantly surprised by the shepherd’s pie I made for her.

"This is brilliant," she said, "But tell me, what kind of meat did you use?"

"Dunno," I replied, "But there was a cat on the tin."


I asked my grandmother how she’s enjoying her new stair-lift.

She said, “It’s driving me up the wall.”


Remember when plastic surgery was a taboo subject?

Now you mention Botox and nobody raises an eyebrow.


A man walks into the newsagent and says "can I have the paper please?"

The fellow behind the counter replies "Sure, you want today's or

tomorrows" The man said "Ummm, I'll have tomorrows then thanks." 

The fellow replies "Well come back in the morning".


French food ... gives me the crepes!


As it was a Holiday Weekend I've just come back from Furniture Store  with 4 Sofas, 3 Dining Tables and 18 chairs! Well they might not have another sale soon!


Five ants rented an apartment with five other ants. Now they are tenants together.


What did the daddy buffalo say to his son when he left for work? Bison.


I had to change dentists. The last one hurt my fillings.


How does a penguin build its house? Igloos it together


Tuesday 25 October 2022

Love your local spider

OK folks ... it's time you learnt to love your local spider. Many people suffer from arachnophobia. This is an intense fear of spiders. Many fears seem reasonable. We all try to avoid things that make us feel uncomfortable. The difference between a fear and a phobia is that a phobia is an intense and irrational fear toward one or more things or situations.

Note the word irrational. A spider will not kill you, not directly anyway. There is more chance of being killed or injured whilst driving a car than by a spider. This is because spiders do not drive cars. But if you suffer from arachna-whatever and a spider appeared on your windscreen whilst you're driving you are likely to drive into a tree and cause an accident. 

So let's learn to understand and love spiders. There are 50,356 spider species as of the last count in 2022. Note the precise number which is likely to change as you read this. Most species are predators eating insects or, the large spiders, take birds and lizards. It is estimated that the world's population of spiders kill and eat 400–800 million tons of prey per year. So if it was not for spiders you'd be up to your neck in insects like flies, mosquitoes, and other nasties such as moths, cockroaches, wasps and some politicians. Spiders do not eat politicians because it makes them sick; but some spiders can jump in the air and attack a locust in mid-flight. 

Very few spiders are dangerous or poisonous. Scientists are researching the poison of some spiders in use in medicines or as natural pesticides. 

The strands of a spider's web is very strong considering what it does catching insects in flight, yet it is very light. If you were to take one strand of a spider's web and run it all around the world on the equator it would only weigh a few grams. 

The chances are that most of us have swallowed a spider in our lifetime whilst sleeping. We sleep with our mouths open, sometimes snoring, and this attracts their curiosity and they fall into our enormous open cave. 

Spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them. But in their language there is no word for irrational fear of humans because their fear of us is quite rational the way we behave towards them. So let's grow up and learn to love spiders.

Have spiders as pets and look after them. I tried to buy one from a pet shop and it cost £10; so I got one cheaper off the net.

Monday 24 October 2022

Where is my conscience?

Father Ignatius was often faced with very difficult situations where his advice, however well-meant, would mean more pain and distress to the individual who came to him for help. It was a very thin line he had to tread as a priest between giving practical friendly advice and yet keeping within the strict rules of the Church and, more important, obeying God’s Word.  

One day Mr Clements had come to see him for advice. He and his wife were regulars at Saint Vincent Church and even helped on the church committee when needed. But then, one day some six months ago, Mrs Clements was hit by a car and left in a coma in hospital. The accident devastated the whole family, especially Mr Clements who loved his wife very much. He nearly suffered a mental breakdown as a result and was nursed back to health by his two daughters; both married and with families of their own.

Eventually, slowly day by day, he regained his health and visited his wife in hospital on a daily basis. He sat by her bedside and just talked to her about this and that. No one knew whether she could hear him in her coma; but yet he sat there and told her what he had planted in the garden, how their daughters and grandchildren were doing in life, what was happening in life in general, and especially about her favourite soap opera which she had listened to on the radio.

Daily for the past six months since the accident he visited his dear wife in hospital and sat there sometimes for the whole day. The nursing staff knew him as a regular and dispensed with the official visiting schedules and left him by his wife’s bedside for as long as he wished. Sometimes he’d spend the whole night there asleep on a chair, however uncomfortable it was.

One Sunday morning, after Mass, he asked Father Ignatius if they could talk in private.

The two men went to Father Ignatius’ office and the priest asked how Mrs Clements was and whether there had been any improvements in her condition. Painfully, Mr Clements explained that she just laid there in bed, often with breathing apparatus connected to her, and not responding to any stimulus.

After a few moments of general discussion Mr Clements said, “Father, I need your advice about something …”

The priest nodded gently to encourage him to speak. The elderly man continued, “as you know, for a while now my wife has been in a coma. Technically, and medically, she is still alive … but to me I feel as if she is dead. I visit her every day, and I pray and pray to God to bring her back to me, but nothing seems to happen. There has not been any progress since her car accident.”

He stopped and sipped some tea to ease his dry throat. “The doctors and nurses have been very kind to me. Friends and neighbours too, especially when I was not well myself!”

The priest nodded gently and said nothing.

“One nurse in particular has been very kind,” the man said, “often when I was there for the whole day in hospital she would bring me a cup of tea.

“We got to know each other over time … she is my age and a widow. She told me how she felt when her husband died suddenly of a heart attack. The thing is … Father … we became close friends over time. Often … on and off … she spent the night at home with me. It is so lonely being alone at home. Especially at night … that’s when I miss my wife most. This nurse said she feels the same about her husband since he died.

“Am I doing wrong Father?”

Father Ignatius knew that he had to be very sympathetic and loving towards this man in his dire situation. There was no point to preach to him and tell him what is right and what is wrong. When a man is starving you give him food, not read the Bible to him.

“I believe Jesus is suffering with you about what happened to your wife Josie and how it devastated your whole life …” he said.

“I feel as if I am cheating on her,” interrupted Mr Clements, “after all she is still alive and she is my wife. But to me … she is dead if you see what I mean, Father. My friendship with this nurse … Rita … was not intentional. It just happened. We were two lost souls both suffering the same loneliness and despair and then somehow … fate brought us together.

“I know I may be doing wrong in the eyes of God … Rita and I have so much in common. She is Christian but not Catholic. My daughters … our daughters … know of my relationship with Rita and they approve. They said that this is what my dear Josie would have wanted. They understand that she is as if she is dead.

“But I don’t know what to do, or whether God disapproves of my behaviour.”

“How do you think Rita, your friend, would feel if you suddenly broke up your relationship?” asked Father Ignatius gently.

“She’d be devastated,” replied the old man, “I’m sure of it. She said she has never known so much happiness since her husband died three years ago. I have not told her how I feel guilty about being with her, so she has no idea. I only discussed it with my daughters and now you. As I said, my daughters think I am silly and I should not worry. What do you think, Father? What would God want me to do?”

“Far be it for me to tell you what God wants you to do,” replied the priest still in his gentle voice, “there has been too much hurt in this situation already. The tremendous hurt to you and your daughters and family when the accident happened, as well of course at what your Josie has herself suffered. There is also the hurt that Rita suffered, and is suffering, since her husband died.

“I believe that God shares in this suffering. When Christ suffered and hung dying on the Cross God shared in that suffering also. There on the Cross was His only beloved Son dying at the hands of a cruel humanity.

“God allows suffering to happen. He does not make it happen, but He allows it as part of the freedom He has given us to act as we wish. It was not God who caused the accident which injured your wife so badly. It was the drunken driver. Of course, people would say that God should have intervened and stopped it from happening; but to do so would mean taking away the liberty of that individual to get drunk and drive. Once God has given us freedom to act as we want, He cannot take it back.

“But God is also loving and merciful. Sometimes, I believe often, good happens amongst all the evil and suffering that He allows to happen.

“It was through Christ’s suffering and death that we were redeemed and we found our way back to God.

“It is through what happened to Josie that you and Rita found each other. It would not have happened otherwise. And you would never have cheated on your wife had the accident not happened would you?”

“Of course not,” replied Mr Clements emphatically and raising his voice a little at the accusation, “I loved her … I still love her very much!”

“Yes, I know you love her,” continued the priest not reacting to the man’s outburst, “the point I am making is that through Josie’s tragic accident you and Rita met each other.

“I doubt that God would wish more heartache to be caused by you and Rita breaking up for no other reason than your feeling guilty!”

Mr Clements hesitated. “What … what are you saying? Does God forgive me for being with Rita?”

“I am saying that you and Rita need to have a long and serious grown-up discussion,” said the priest, “many relationships break down because of lack of communication and understanding.

“Tell her how you feel. Tell her you are very fond of her and that you wish to remain with her. Tell her what she means to you and how she changed your life since the accident. But discuss honestly what your conscience is telling you even though you might be confused as to what to do. 

“Discuss with her what would happen if at some time Josie regains consciousness and is nursed back to good health. You said a moment ago you still love your wife dearly. What then? Would you leave your wife for Rita? Or what?”

“I … I … I never thought of that …” he mumbled to himself. 

“You said that Rita is a Christian,” continued the priest as Mr Clements nodded, “then I suggest the two of you pray about this. God understands that two people in terrible situations found each other and fell in love. God is love, and He would not frown against your love of Rita. But at the same time God also loves Josie and what she has gone through and is still going through. We have to consider her situation in all this.

“As a priest, I cannot pronounce one way or the other as to what you should do. It would be wrong for me to do so. I understand that you consider Josie as dead and that leaving Rita would cause more hurt all round.

“It is not for me to decide for you what God wants you to do. But I shall pray for you and your family as well as for Rita.”

Mr Clements did not receive any definitive advice from Father Ignatius; but then it was probably too much to expect in such a difficult situation. The priest had to act sympathetically knowing full well that the Church’s position as set in the Bible is well understood by all concerned. 

Two months later, whilst Mr Clements and Rita were in London for the weekend, Josie his wife died peacefully in her sleep.

(Based on a true story). 

Sunday 23 October 2022

Communication with God


Once upon a time a very rich businessman entered an empty church and started praying silently. He had many business and other problems on his mind and had not been to church for a while. So he started praying, trying to re-build a relationship with God, seeking forgiveness, promising to do better in future and asking for help to the many problems on his mind.

As he was praying, a poor beggar came in and sat a few seats away in the empty church. He dropped to his knees and started praying loudly. "Dear God, help me and forgive me, I am a sinner."

The rich man ignored him and continued praying silently.

The poor man went on loudly, "I am hungry Lord. And so is my family. If only I had some money Lord. I have no job. I have looked for work but can't find any. Please help me Lord."

The rich man continued praying silently, but the poor man went on, "Just some money Lord ... to feed my starving children ..."

At this the rich man got off his seat and went to the poor man and said, "here's some money ... now clear off this church". Then he dropped to his knees and prayed, "Now Lord, can I have your undivided attention?"

Perhaps we are like that rich man too in our prayers. We may start by praying for ourselves, then we pray for our loved ones, family, cousins, friends, acquaintances, various situations in the world like famines, earthquakes, wars and so on; and before you know it we are praying for a whole long list of requests and petitions.

I know it's like that with me. I also pray for all of you readers who visit this Blog. Often by name if you comment here, or anonymously if you visit but don't comment. And the list is growing bigger by the day judging from the statistics of visitors here. I hope someone in Heaven is up-dating the database every time I pray and adding to it. 

Unlike the rich man, I cannot afford to "pay you off" individually in order to gain God's undivided attention. So I shall continue to pray for you individually and collectively in the hope and certainty that God is listening and will respond to your needs in His time and way. 

Just be patient, will you!

God bless.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Oh What A Night !!!


Oh, what a night ... Late December I was thirty three ...  What a very special time for me ... As I remember, what a night

I had just been promoted to an important job. I was in Edinburgh on business and had spent a long day at our regional office. I got to the hotel rather late and I was very very very tired. I got to my room and planned to get a good night's sleep and fly back to London the following morning.

But it was not to be. They had given me a room next to the bridal suite, and there had been a wedding reception at the hotel that evening. What a lot of noise all night from the room next door. 

All the time the married couple next door were discussing the economic situation in Europe and the exchange rate of the £ against the $ and the €.

I tried to get to sleep but to no avail. I searched my luggage for my ear-plugs which I take with me everywhere, especially when I am at a Conference or Business Meeting with our Director. They are distinctive ear-plugs. A red one for the left ear and a blue one for the right ear. I could not find them anywhere. I must have loaned them to my Director who also likes to go to sleep at his weekly meetings.

I looked everywhere in my hotel room for something to put in my ears to cut out the noise from next door. Something led me to the little kitchenette in my room. Next to the coffee-making machine I found a bowl of small sachets filled with sugar to use when making tea or coffee. I scrunched a couple of sugar sachets in my ears in the hope of sweet dreams.

That did not work. In the darkness of my room, whilst I was in bed, I heard a noise in my room. The door opened slowly and someone or something knocked or stumbled against a chair. I my bravery, I quickly got out of bed and ran in the bathroom. For some stupid unthinking reason I hid behind the shower curtain and turned on the shower. Visions of the shower scene in Psycho crossed my mind. 

I was getting soaking wet, whilst in my bedroom the sounds of stumbling against furniture continued. Eventually, I decided that bravery plus courage equals stupidity. Especially when your pyjamas are wet all through. My best top of the range very expensive cotton pyjamas; pink with green polka dots.

I got out of the shower and headed for my bedroom with a bottle of hair shampoo in hand. I'm not sure what I planned to do with it. Perhaps wash the intruder's hair.

On my bed I found a man totally knocked out and fast asleep as a result of heavy drinking. He must have been a guest at the wedding reception given a duplicate key to my room by mistake. 

I was about to wake him up when the lights were switched on and another couple of guests came in. A man and a woman. They were very very merry with drink and no doubt looking for a room where they could discuss Europe's economy.

The woman recognised me. She was from our regional office and we'd been at a meeting at work all day. 

"Oh ... I see you're busy!" she said uncaring about her state of dress, "we'll find another room!"

What could I say? How do I explain my totally wet pyjamas and a sleeping man in my bed? Oh ... and a bottle of shampoo in my hand!

Oh, what a night ... Late December I was thirty three ...  What a very special time for me ... As I remember, what a night