One week to Xmas. I assume you are all ready? No?!

Ok. I’ll keep it short this week to enable you to get the shopping done, and perhaps give you some shopping tips.

We spent the last weekend in North Wales, and watched Major Tim Peake launch into space from what looked like a load of old twisted metal in a field! Not very attractive but incredibly effective. You could see the design was robust and does the job. There are some important lessons to be learned from such design, and I will come back to them in a future post in 2016.

We started our drive back from North Wales to Hampshire, a journey of about 300 miles, just after the launch. We arrived at our Village, also co-incidentally Tim Peake’s home village, 2 hours after Tim had docked at the space station!!

Mind you, he didn’t have the A496 out of Barmouth to deal with! Nasty, I had to put the car into manual to avoid a sheep with some attitude.

So we are proud villagers this week. I just wonder how long Tim’s ever present smile will last!

On the subject of pressies, we have nice new neighbours, so we got them a home warming present.


Some nice Fizz and a can of WD40. Consider some similar combined home DIY and celebration gifts for your friends.

Careful with the WD40 though. I oiled a gate recently, and it was so slippy it wouldn’t shut. Mind you, I cured the darn squeak!

On returning from Wales, and battling the “We love you Tim, banners” and Union Jacks, I found a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (IRS or tax to my American readers). The letter claimed I had not paid a tax bill 2 months ago, when I know I damm well did.

So all ready for a slurred row on the phone, I dialled their handy tax line.  I had to enter my details using voice recognition! I was fearful that it would go like this

Question – “Please speak your name”

Me –  “leeeeee Mullard”

HMRC – “Wee, please now say your date of birth”

Me  – “xxxxxxx of xxxxxxx ninteeth whisky three”

I was staggered to find that I was fully understood, and was transferred to an advisor! I do actually tell people on the phone of my voice affliction. I really don’t want them to think that I have had a bottle of vodka by 9:30 am!

I was already for my slurred row and shouting, when I was told immediately

“Arhh, I can see what is wrong. I am correcting. Please ignore the letter”

What is the world coming to, when our tax authority can be so responsive!? I need a good argument, who can I phone?

Back to pressies. We have got our doggies, Poppy and Dora, some nice treats from Lily’s Kitchen.


Please keep quiet though, I wouldn’t want them finding out about them on social media! Do not post on WoofBook, as we are still getting over the incident with Dave the Dalmatian!

For the science lovers amongst you, last week saw the annual MND/ALS Symposium in Florida. I am just digesting the event’s presentations, and will write my thoughts on the latest research in a post soon.

Ok,  I promised a short post this week, so down to the life lesson learned, the big number 2 in the charts!

Always ask people questions about themselves in social situations.

This is a real serious one readers! “Lee, you serious!?”

I provide you with the following example….

Start of censored section

Unfortunately what I originally wrote here, as an example, was reviewed and censored by my wife, Jean! I must admit it was a rant! All I wanted to say, is that it is a great way to get to know people and people like to talk.

Jean has promised me that I will be allowed to write a future article on the Facebook post replies we all want to say but can’t!

End of censored section

Ok. That’s it folks until the now legendary, before its time, and totally fabulous


It will contain the number 1 life lesson and a whole stack of Xmas fun. I also have a special appearance from a dead celebrity to spice it up a bit!

‘Twas the week before Christmas…………