Round the bend

The Wash, Lincolnshire, England | Images of england, Lincolnshire, England




Oh,Mary is in horrid pain
It’s her sciatica again.
No pills can cure but nettles might
She will roll in them tonight
Emile is aware of this
He gives her a loving kiss


Emile, I’ve told you it’s not done
To kiss your mother though in fun
What would Stan think,were he here
Drinking from a can of beer?
What would Annie think of this?
Go, give her a big wet kiss

Oh,mother I might bite her lip
As my teeth are made to nip
Take my emery board and smooth
Your pointed teeth and any grooves
Can I use Stan’s old toothbrush
No, I threw it in the Wash

Maybe seals will use it there
Send them combs and do not swear
I did not mean to curse again
My back is aching,I’ve no pluck
Mother, dearest, don’t say fuck

Well, that’s Irish, it’s ok
The Catholics wlil offer prayers
I pray too for all my friends
Those bereaved or round the bend
Do you mean those who see ghosts ?
Maybe it’s the heavenly Host

As long as you look clean and neat
Noone will see your hooves or feet
Noone will know you see and hear
Emissaries from other spheres.
Don’t meet eyes nor stare at men
And always write with a good pen

You may be in another realm
Dave can see you’r overwhelmed
He will pat your head this day
For this he gets his kicks and pay
When you feel yourself again
See it you can spot old Stan


Where is Annie,Mary’s friend?
Where the Spirit which descends
Where are our neighbours whom we love?
Singing with the turtle dove
All the Saints will chant along
As Jesus sings his ancient songs

Spirits rise and Love is here
Drinking in the atmospher
e

Buying the blue coat

In the year 1989 I learnt that one of my students a young woman called Heather who was married to another student was diagnosed with cancer of the bone.. she had told me in the summer term that she had a pain in her thigh.

I think I may have told them if I had surgery on my foot in 19 78 for a tumour between the bones

When we started the autumn term Heather told me that she has cancer and she was going to the Royal Marsden hospital for treatment that was the end of September l

ByChristmas time Heather has died leaving a young husband devastated

Before she got so much worse I went to see her in her flat on about the 20th floor of a tower block.

She was sitting at the table Open in front of her a text book and she show me that she waskeeping up even though she could not come to the classes.

When I was coming back from seeing heather the last time I went into Marks and Spencer’s and bought a blue coat.

I had the urge to take something in because I was going to lose someone.

It would have been more rational to give the money to Jeather who was very poor or to donate to an appropriate charity.

I remember after leaving Heather’s tower block I had to walk along the street in a very rough area and young men were swearing at me even though tears were running down my face like rain.

But Heather had never complained about that. But I realise why she had bought a dog

If I had not bought the blue coat I suppose I would have forgotten about it but we don’t know do we ?

Mary needs a lock on the door

The doorbell rang yet again.Mary crept into the hall and saw through the  little window  a young man with a van marked Maypole Locksmiths.She opened the door and explained she could not lock her door with a key but only with a  twig from the maple tree.In winter it was not sensible
The man who had looked rather glum brightened up
So where did you buy this lock? he asked humorously
I have no idea
Up ran Annie her late husband’s mistress who  still  lived next door.She was wearing  a lime green faux fur coat over a  purple track suit.The locksmith’s eyes rotated in fear
My husband made that lock from a teak bread  board,just before he eloped, she told them
Well ladies,I have news for you
Mary plucked at  the darning on her wool skirt,looking agitated
Doors are  wood but locks are metal and have metal keys,he informed them
Goodness me,  we are still in the Dark Ages, she cried nervelessly
Yes, the days are short in winter he whispered.My name is Jack by the way
I don’t want any more men,she murmured mutinously
Why, how many have you got? he inquired tenderly with a hint of laughter.
I am not sure but it is not a rational number,Mary declaimed
But what IS a rational number,Annie asked? Three,four,ten, a thousand?
It is zero but I am happy with a ball of wool and Emile, my sweet cat
Miaow,cried Emile
Up the path ran Dave, the transphobic ,asexual paramedic
Emile, are you ok? he muttered in Welsh
Well,I could just  eat tin of salmon, Emile muttered, but we have none
That is a tragedy.I’ll get you some for Xmas
We usually have meat,Mary  told him, but I don’t mind.I hate roasting turkeys.What  have turkeys done to deserve that fate? I’d prefer t adopt some
No, cried Emile.I don’t want any here.
So selfish, said Annie.They are  alive just like we are.
I don’t  give a fig,  the cat boasted
I know a lot of turkeys have died in  refrigerated lorries crossing the channel
But it’s horrible here.I don’t see why a turkey would want to live here,Annie replied
They want  to see Buckingham Palace,I expect and get given free cars  like all our immigrants are given, said Emile.Not to mention free flats in tower blocks covered in asbestos and lead
I’ll  have to change your name to Oswald,Mary said
That is insulting,I am only saying what all the people are saying.Mosley was a an aristocrat,I believe
I am very sad we taught Emile to read and speak.He is getting his news from Facebook, the Mail on Mondays and gossip.
Yes,Stan was a fool.He should have left him like a wild animal.Do you know he watched Stan and me in bed through a mirror
Well,I hope  he didn’t watch me,said Mary.I have to put Nerisone oily
cream on my private parts if I have a flare up but to a cat it might look suspiciously like
self pleasure
Well, why not enjoy it since you have to use it?
Very wise,Mary replied.I’ll have to think abut  that
The locksmith coughed
Madam shall I put this brass lock on the door and a handle so you can pull the door shut more easily
You are very clever,Mary said thoughtlessly.But don’t do a degree.Many minds  have been ruined by studying Rousseau one week , Bertrand Russell the next and Wittgenstein in 10 days.It only makes people seem educated because they now words other people don’t but  wisdom and thought have not  entered their being
I’ll make us all a nice cup of tea, Annie shouted.That will enter all our beings
I thought you’d never ask, cried Dave
And so did all of us

Mary Adair 2

Instead of going to the pub to meet men,Mary went on FB and changed her name
Unfortunatly  her name was also changed on the Page where she was insulted  and every where she had been.
I have learned something useful, she said to Dave who had come because Emile had rung 999
Better if you had not visited their page,he told  her sensibly, then Emile would be happy
Yes, she said,each side is as bad as the other,You must either totally agree or be called a vicious Monster.There is no space for debate so why even try?
Just then the phone rang
Hello, it’s Noreen ,she heard
Mary, I am so happy you have changed your name
Are you,Mary asked in suprise
Yes,my grandparents were Scottish and  none of the relatives are left,
so as you are partly Scottish too it’s lovely you chose to emphasis that
Well, stone the crows,Mary thought.How unpredictable life is.And how one unexpected event  led to a   good talk with Noreen
Well, since Stan is not here,I’d better do some housework. she told Dave
On the hand if Annie and  you,Dave, accept my untidiness, why  should i worry?
After all it’s wonderful finding books I had  forgotten I had.Not to mention 30 pairs of tights and my reading glasses
Emile looked at her turquoise glasses
Can I have some reading glasses Mother?
Why? demanded Mary angrily
Then they will read stories to me as they can already read
Mary wondered how to explain to a cat that  the lenses of humans’ eyes become less flexible with age like their minds, perhaps
Then she thought of Donald Trump who needs King Canute
to explain  that no human is omnipotent and that viruses are unable to distinguish between him and another  old person even Joe Biden
Why the family of the first virus might have relatives near Joe.
But how do viruses communicate?They  have no voices,eyes or hands
Might it be they live in another reality? Do they have minds withour having  brains?
Or brains without minds
Dave ran out of the house wondering how to help Mary
And so would all of us!

He said I can keep the box

Mary was in the teal coloured kitchen of her almost detached house making a jam sponge pudding when the doorbell rang.She wiped her hands on her new purple trousers because she didn’t want to dirty a clean towel.
She found her colleague Dr Rosa Benchez standing nervously outside shivering
Come in , Mary cried.

Would you like a cup of tea? You need to sit by the fire and get warmer
I’d love that, Rosa said politely but distantly
A few minutes later they were sitting looking out of the bay window watching a blackbird sitting on the fence;they hoped it would start to sing
May I talk to you,Mary? I have got rather more agitated than ever before

.I am wondering if I need counselling or maybe shooting, she joked morosely
OK,said Mary cautiously.Has anything unusual happened ?
Yes, my sister has had her driving license taken away because of big panic attacks she had crossing the Humber Bridge …. you know how huge it is.She got out of the car and screamed,Help! Help!
That was dangerous with so much traffic about
She is furious and says we live in a Nazi state and is writing to the Times
Well, it can happen that you lose your licence,Mary said,but when she has learned to deal with the attacks she can re-apply and get her license back.Simple things like not eating and being tired can bring that on so I have heard.And fear of fear, too.
As well as that,Rosa said,my son has got a recurrence of cancer and is going onto some new drug-type chemo.My ex husband is very distressed and so am I as it was unexpected.
And even worse my new fiance Prof. Charlie Blogge has broken off our engagement with no reason.I can’t think of any at all.Shall I ever trust a man again?
He said I can keep the ring which is a blue sapphire ,supposedly, but when I had it valued they said I was mistaken and you can buy them on amazon for £57 and less.
So she took off the ring and hurled it into Mary’s coal fire where it looked very nice as it got hotter and hotter glowing like a lighthouse off Portland Bill in a sea storm or a banger about to explode

Good grief, said Mary.No wonder you are agitated.We may have to phone Dave the bisexual lovable paramedic available on the NHS 24 hours a day.Or we could have our hair permed and dyed red instead, she murmured to herself
Which of these events bothers you most,Rosa? She continued gently while hoping she would cope.
It is my own feelings that worry me most.I wake up feeling very sad and nervous;I wonder if I am having a breakdown.Then I feel worse as I turn it over in my mind trying to decide what to do.Then I get up and get food into me and think it all over and over again while drinking my tea.
Well, you know it is normal to feel sad, anxious or distraught when bad things happen,Mary told her.
But most people look happy when I see them in the town , Rosa shouted angrily
That is because being outside they put on a mask.They could be feeling worse than you.Anyway, why bother about that? We are all different.Some people think I am very calm but they don’t see me when I’m not.I go stiff like a piece of wood.Then I pass out
So what do you do? Rosa asked her nervously,twirling a golden ringlet around her finger as she watched her engagement ring melt in the fire.
I don’t do anything,Mary said.This is one of the fundamental errors in our society that action is needed for so many things and especially for negative feelings.But it’s usually part of life.Things pass.
I pretend I have a big round box inside me and I let the anxiety live in there nice and cosy until my mind has absorbed and dealt with the pain.Once my box was quite small but it has grown bigger now and so it has room for mad or bad feelings.I do little tasks and listen to music.
Then if I feel really bad I listen to Leonard Cohen and tell myself, he had it worse.But he made money out of it! Not that you can make money out of yours. though it’s worth musing about
Well,Rosa replied.Thank you,Mary.I am glad I am not the only one who feels so anxious sometimes.I shall try to get a box like yours.
You are welcome,said Mary jovially.Come round on Sunday for tea.Emile is out hunting but he loves to see you and so do I
The women hugged cautiously and Rosa went out looking less cold and nervous as she bravely carried her box away .It was invisible to the people walking nearby

Teach me how to cry

Daddy, how we missed you when you died
None had understood but one of five.
Come back,Daddy,miss your sunny eyes

I imagined we must never cry
When the cancer took your life
Poor Daddy, how you suffered,then you died

When you wanted company, I tried
I was too articulate for my age
Come back,Daddy,miss my Daddy’s eyes

By the flower beds, you wanted a guide
You wanted me to talk.I really tried.
Daddy we fell down a hole, why did you just die?

You slept all alone when pain arrived
We girls slept with mammy, on your side
Come back,Daddy, don’t you miss our eyes?

I always hum like you did, though I’m shy
You are singing through me, close and wise
Daddy, we have missed you all our lives
Come back,Daddy, teach me how to cry.

Mary meets her neighbours

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Sitting on the high backed,v Ercol sofa in the large sitting room of her new neighbours Tom and Edina, Mary sipped at the PG Tips tea she had been given in a pseudo-art deco mug.The tea tasted pseudo as well!
Would you like some delicious cake,Mary? Edina asked her rather loudly
Mary jumped.
Oh excuse me, my nerves are all on edge, she cried.I’d love some home made cake
Edina took out a penknife and cut a slice of the large cake.Alas it was coffee flavoured and Mary was not fond of that.This was agony to her especially coffee flavoured butter cream filling as she liked all the other flavours..Suffering from this is a new psychiatric disorder called uncakeophilia disorder
Why are you using a penknife in here ,Tom asked his wife angrily.We have lots of kitchen knives and other silver ones
I found it on the floor,Edina said pensively
I don’t suppose you washed it, Tom answered wildly
Mary leaned back and shut her eyes for a moment.I hate noise, she thought.
No, dirt is good for the immune system, Edina murmured
What rubbish, you are so lazy I can’t believe it! her husband told her.
After 39 years you should be used to it,Edina told him sensibly.Who made all these new curtains and vacuumed the roof? she went on languidly
Did you vacuum the roof in your last house,Mary asked her?
We lived in a flat before so I never had to do it.
Well, it’s unneccessary,Mary said , why not learn Esperanto?
Where do people speak that?
I have no idea but it’s a language,Mary cried decisively
But can it really be a language if it’s not the native tongue of any country?,
Well Yiddish is a language yet few people speak it,Tom told them
It would be difficult for the dead to speak,Mary said in a sad voice
It used to be spoken by millions of people in Central and Eastern Europe.
Why didn’t Hitler teach them English,asked Edina?
You think he only hated their language,said Tom in surprise.I’ve never heard that before.
It is bloody ridiculous,Mary said in her soft yet vibrant voice…he didn’t kill them because of their language and they spoke German as well,Maybe even French,Polish and other tongues
Just then they heard a strange choking sound .It was Emile the talking tomcat trying to get out of Mary’s large plastic handbag
Good grief ,Tom shouted.Did we invite this cat? Does he drink tea from cups? Is he real?
Well, yes , I love tea, Emile mewed.And don’t shout at Mary like that!
I am not letting a cat order me about,Tom screamed like a lunatic
But it’s not nice for Mary.She is a highly sensitive person and I love her
Now, they tell us,Edina whispered.She is married to her cat
I didn’t hear you,Tom said,Is she harried ,did you say?
No I said married
But her husband is dead
Well, now she has taken the cat, for better or for worse.Edina said in a humorous yet angry manner.

For richer for poorer… a cat can’t earn a wage
Edina and Tom were shouting at each other not realising what impression they were making
Mary called out,
Why invite me to tea and shout like this?
Did you never shout at Stan?
No,I didn’t need to.He listened to me.
Well, you are very quiet, said Emile, so Stan had no fear you might shout
I might have shouted when I read Fermat’s Last Theorem.Mary admitted furtively
Was Fermat your teacher,Edina asked?
No he died a long while ago
Fancy dying and all you have to leave is a theorem
Well, it stops the family fighting,Mary said wisely
Suddenly the door opened and in flew Annie, the flame haired mistress of the late Stan
Why was I not invited to this tea party ,she asked rudely?Are we in Boston?
Sorry,dear,said Tom.Not many people like to come here because Edina has a bad temper
No I don’t she shouted.You have a bad temper
I get so tired of all these projective misperceptions,Emile said in his intelligent voice
My therapist was not a cat, but I kept projecting on to him and he looked just like a cat to me until he barked one day.He was in fact a dog.I realised
Was that the end of your therapy?
Yes, I stole all the money from Mary’s purse and there was none left.And I learned about projection, that was enough
Good heavens,Mary murmured.I thought Annie had taken the money
What!You thought I was a thief.Annie bawled What next?
Well, you’re more like a sister and I didn’t mind as I know it’s so demeaning to ask for money.
See, said Tom to Edina,I said you should not ask me for money after we make love
Why not, she enquired? I need some new art materials
Can’t you use the housekeeping money?
Well, if you are happy to starve,Edina said sarcastically
Don’t use sarcasm.Only prostitutes take money.,Tom added.I did say you can buy whatever you like in the way of clothes and so on on our credit card
How do you know it’s only whores? Many women do need the money as they may be single mothers trying to feel their family and not getting Universal Benefit on time,Edina told him But other women might demand jewellery, and expensive houses like Wallis Simpson
That’s a fair point,Tom muttered.It’s more complicated than I realised.
Money is a big problem in many marriages,Mary called
But I earned my own and Stan retired early and got a pension so I had no need to
beg him for money
But did he beg you,Edina asked?
No, we just kept in the bathroom under the soap.So it was clean.
I wonder if viruses can spread on money? Tom said
I feel sure it is possible but how would we test that out. his wife asked
Best to wear gloves but when you take them off the viruses might fly all over the place
I didn’t know they could fly, said Emile.Are they invisible?
Well, we don’t really know but people often get bad colds when they go on aeroplanes
Annie turned pale.
Are you ill, Annie? asked Tom
I am having a nervous breakdown.I’ve caught paranoia from a £5 note.
You can’t catch it,Mary said in her kind voice.It’s not a physical illness and they are plastic nowadays so they can be wiped down
Well where does madness come from? It is horrible feeling so anxious.
This is not much fun, said Edina.I thought it would be lovely meeting the neighbours but we go from tarts to paranoia and back.Is this wise?
They all sat looking glum,Then Annie revealed all
I am a Russian agent sent here by Putin.I befriended Mary on Putin’s orders
He must be stupid.Why spy on Knittingham?
Well, you will be surprised.Mary is an expert on differential operators
On bicycle chains, asked Tom?
How ignorant people are.Annie shouted.Did you never see anything odd about calculus and little things appearing and disappearing?
Well, to be frank, no!
I don’t believe we learned calculus said Edina
We learned quadratic quotations
Do you mean equations,Mary asked?
I don’t know what I mean,Edina said nervously
And neither do we, said the others
Calculus is a bit like the Mass.Important things happen but we can’t see them.Everything looks the same but it’s not
Then they heard a siren.In ran Dave, the heroic paramedic in his new pink dress. and coat
Don’t drop the bomb, he told Tom audaciously
I’m not President Trump,Tom informed him gravely
That’s what they all say,Dave said to Annie
Who can we trust
Just Emile,said Mary.And Annie.
Why don’t you trust me said Tom?
I am waiting to see how you behave,she replied
Like a kind of exam?
Yes, it’s called
Trust your neighbour and yourself? How to know the people who might be dangerous
to your life and mental health
There’s not much mental health in Britain now,said Tom.I’m a doctor!
Well, don’t shout at the patients, said Annie
I only shout at home,
That is horrible, surely those you love need kindness?
Tom burst into tears and Emile lent him his hanky
I don’t think we’ll meet any more of the neighbours Edina said
Enough is enough.Kindly go home
Pleased to meet you, said Dave.Do call me when you need coal bringing in or have a heart attack
No way,thought Tom as he drank a bottle of brandy in the bathroom
I feel we made a mistake… we will have to move as soon as we can

And so say all of us

Stan gets engaged to Emile

Stan fell asleep in front of the roaring fire.Emile lay across his lap.Emile was so limp he looked like a wet towel slung casually over the old man’s knees.It was Stan’s birthday but no party had been arranged.He was struck that Mary had not baked a cake..nor even bought one at the Co-op.

That was no surprise really as he did all the cooking including Bakewell tarts and Xmas cake,He was a versatile man who could also mend old radios and fix clocks that were stuck one time….usually the wrong one!
He also spent quite a lot of time giving statistics lessons to pensioners and kissing his blonde  mistress,Anne who lived next door.
He decided that being so near her was a big advantage given his age.
Suddenly he was awakened by chuckles and giggles,There were Mary and Anne holding a big iced cake and a pot of tea.The doorbell rang and in came all Stan’s friends from his Art class.Mary produced sandwiches and pork pies,sausage rolls and potato cakes.
How did you do this,he enquired dazedly?
We did it all in Anne’s oven.She has two so it was quite easy.
Mary was not jealous of Anne for Mary would rather read Principia Mathematica than go to bed with Stan.Apparently she was mildly autistic but she was happy doing maths as many of her co-workers had the same syndrome.
She did have one daughter whom she found hidden in a gooseberry bush in the garden.This was enough for Stan as he was 92.But luckily he did have a good gold plated pension of £390.09 per month.
Everyone was having a fabulous time until Anne tried to light the candles on the cake.No matches could be found.
Ring 999,Stan called childishly.Mary obeyed and soon the ambulance drew up.
In ran Dave the   trisexual paramedic.
Is it your chair? he enquired wildly.
No,it’s this cake.We can’t light the candles on it.Shall we douse it in petrol? We have a jerry can full of it in the spare room.
That is very dangerous,he shouted.
Well,we are old now and need the car badly.Risk assessment gave us evens on the odds.
Dave produced a silver lighter and lit the candles.Then he conducted them all as they sang,
”Happy Birthday” to Stan.Stan managed to blow out 90 candles before passing out on the rug.
Well,at least he didn’t break the chair,Mary said philosophically.
I wish he had,said Dave. I’ve got some superglue here.
Well,we do have a wardrobe that’s falling apart.would you like to mend it?
Sure ,he replied gratefully.This is why we have the NHS!
We are here for you 24/7
Or come to A and E if you get a mouth ulcer or a cold sore.No problem is too small!

Stan came to on the rug with Emile beside him.He gazed deeply into the cat’s green eyes.
I think I’ve fallen in love with you,he informed the Emile.
Will you sleep with me and let Mary have your basket.
Are we engaged,said Emile.
Definitely,said Stan.I’ll get you a golden collar with diamonds on it.
When shall we be married?
As soon as it’s legal,Stan answered honestly.
In the meantime,we’ll have to live in sin.
Then he fell asleep again with Emile in his arms.
What a lovely picture, cried the ladies.
Look at this.What a happy sight.
What love,what devotion.
How strange,what a commotion.
They’re in love,what emotion.
Don’t tell the Pope,we need caution

Emile and Smokey

Annie went into Mary’s kitchen to look at her new  grey kitten
Will Emile not be jealous of Smokey,she asked nervously?
No, he says he’d like to pass on his knowledge to  other cats,Mary sighed
What knowledge? Annie said intrusively?
Well, how to get on with me  like Stan,Mary murmured
Surely all  men are different,Annie said thoughtfully?
I suppose so, but they do have somethings in common,Mary rambled on
Such as?
I’ll have to be careful or I will be hounded by  the politically fairly correct,said poor Mary
How can you be fairly correct? Annie enquired
It’s like fuzzy logic….. a thing is no longer right or wrong, true or false,and so on
It’s a many valued logic,Mary said in her peculiar  manner ;  very rapid speaking  combining  a Northern accent with the vocabulary of a scientist thus rendering her unfit to read the Newsfor the BBC,ITV Israel, Al Jazeera
or indeed any  TV service anywhere at all especially  China.
I suppose in reality few things are just black or white , remarked Stan jovially.
I have made a cake he announced proudly
What sort, shouted Annie hungrily?
A chocolate cake.I  made icing by melting a bar of chocolate in a pan with some buttera
then it spreads easily.
So does my waist, said Mary.I used to be almost flat  but now I am 3 dimension.I know I was too thin but now I am obese
So it’s not just your waist,said Annie.
Oh,give over.Stop me feeling worse
Well, you look ok to  me, said Stan.I am proud to be your husband
And I am proud to be your mistress, Annie said to Stan
Surely you should not say that in front of me, Mary said
But you know,Annie said in a matter of fact manner,  her eyes gleaming with blue and gold eye shadow and green mascara
It’s one thing knowing something, another hearing it said  out loud,Mary told her sharply
So, if we don’t believe in God, we should not say so and visa versa.Annie added
My goodness Annie, your IQ is rising like bread in a hot oven,Mary exclaimed
On the whole it’s better to keep quiet and only tell people something if it is essential.
Stan’s brother was in South Africa, they say he was in the ANC
What is an ANC, a mental health unit?
Anxiety Not Conversation
Angst Never Converts
Anguished No Clue
Anxiety Not Condemned

Anguish Now Cool
It was a political movement to get rights for the black people in South Africa
Was Stan’s brother black?
Possibly but he died long ago.
Stan, was your brother black?
No, he was just a priest from England who got sent out there to  teach black students in the apartheid era,
Wow, why did you not tell us,asked Annie
As I said before, do you need to know?
No, but it’s interesting, she said
You should do something useful instead of gossiping,Stan cried
Annie hit him with a big umbrella which, alas, knocked him out
Oh,no, said Emile, how can I look after Smokey when  I will have to ring 999?
I shall call them, said Mary, and get the police here to arrest Annie
Stan jumped up.
I was not unconcious he said.Not totally, but don’t do it again as it is common assault
The doorbell rang and in ran  dear Dave, the transgender  gay and well dressed paramedic
We’ve not even phoned 999, said Emile
Dave cried,I just knew something was wrong
Well,Emile said,I am taking Smokey upstairs.And we will have a good sleep
Maybe you should all do the same
And so say all of us

o

 

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