What do you mean it’s the New Year?

Happy New Year!


Some of you may have started your brand new year with a rotten hangover. Others may have slept in late or been up extra early, doing a New Year’s resolution sweaty work-out. I spent my morning at Urgent Care. Bloody viruses. One came uninvited to our Christmas celebrations and knocked four of us sideways. It was the gift that kept on giving.


Bunged up nose, inflamed lungs, hacking cough, and as a super nice bonus, my face broke out and I looked like I’d been in a bar-room brawl or had a bad case of the pubonic plague. Seriously, I really looked so awful, even my phone’s facial recognition didn’t know me. I could have gone to a Halloween party as a zombie/witch without using any makeup.

Oh well. Enough of my whining. Wait, not quite….

So, a new year.

I wasn’t impressed with 2023 on so many levels. It was crappy in a multitude of ways. There were so many who left this earth. I said goodbye to more friends and family than I have in any other year of my life. Some old, some young, many my age. Tragic. Never easy to say farewell. I miss every single one of them ☹

Milestones……The Gumpster and I made it to another anniversary. Gump, with most of his teeth, even though I wanted to knock a couple out from time to time. We made it to number fourteen, although we both almost forgot about it because we’re senile.

Scout the wonder dog turned a big, chunky four years old. Her weight-loss plan continues to lose momentum in direct correlation to my own. I suspect her ratio of chubby belly to skinny legs might align with mine. It’s lovely looking like a lollipop. It’s also great having the same figure as my dog. (Hopefully I’ve got better breath)

My greatest accomplishment in 2023 (other than allowing Gump to breathe) was mastering procrastination to such a high level, that I have a PhD in it. Dear God, what has happened to me? When did my over-achiever gene mutate into a sweat-pant-wearing, chocolate-eating lazy-arse gene? Who cares….I’ll think about it later.

The worst part about getting sick right after Christmas, was the loss of my sense of taste and smell (it wasn’t Covid) – somehow this condition only exacerbated my desire to eat. And of course, I had tons of tasty treats in the house, loads of English chocolate and cookies. Weirdly, I was constantly hungry, even though I felt like I was on my deathbed. In between sitting on the loo every time I had a coughing fit (I should have bought diapers) I had my head stuck in the fridge looking for something to eat that I couldn’t even taste.

Gump was sick as well. But of course, he didn’t lose his taste or smell, just his drive to go and get a haircut. Currently, he could braid his hair. I’ve told him he should get a mullet. It would go well with his accent and taste in clothes, but he says no to that idea. Seriously, the way we both look right now we could be featured on those horrid videos of ‘Walmart Shoppers’ – we just keep looking at one another and saying “ick”.

Okay, enough of the sickness……sorry.

2024 – it is ridiculous that we are already this far into the century. ‘Pretty Woman’ is 34 years old, and Saturday Night Fever is 47 years old…wait…what? Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ is forty. How the hell has that all happened? I have officially been trying to lose weight for thirty-four years. I think I can safely say I have failed.

I’m a book nut. Lately, whenever I’m reading one, sometimes they refer to a character as an old woman. Then I read said character is actually in their sixties. Gad. I’m in my sixties. So the world views me as an old woman? Bloody cheek. Am I really in that category? Of course not. Okay, that’s a lie. I know I am right slap bang in the middle of old age whenever I look in the mirror. I have so many age spots. If they ever merge, I will look Italian.

And BONUS….I am a card-carrying member of the diabetic tribe good and proper. I’m adjusting to a new life where in addition to the multiple pharmaceuticals I cram down my throat, I now take a diabetic pill about the size of a baguette every day – Are there calories in medications?

Positive news….I’m planning to start a beginner’s yoga class once I stop coughing like a heavy smoker, and no longer frighten people with my plague-ridden face. I’ll let you know how it all plays out, I know you’ll be on the edge of your seats for that one. First I have to see if I have any clothing to ‘yoga’ in. I am hoping yoga will help me become healthier, and also become more limber. I would to be able to put on shoes without sitting down first. Is there a move for that?

Poor old Gump is feeling his age in different ways to me. I look much older than him (bastard). His issues are mostly mental (no shock there)…he has become quite forgetful. In addition to the usual absent-mindedness, i.e. forgetting he is supposed to be submissive and obedient in my presence, Gump’s forgetting specific things and is convinced he has lost his mind. I remind him to lose one’s mind, one must have a mind to begin with. But then I try to be kind and encourage him not to worry. Secretly I am pleased. It isn’t fair that he is in better shape than me, or looks like my younger brother. Also, I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I am starting to see many opportunities present themselves. Not that I would ever take advantage of the man 😊

Living with Gump is like living with a teenager nowadays. Since he started some do-it-yourself projects, he has become utterly obsessed with YouTube and all their poxy help videos. Observing Gump in the wild, if he isn’t sleeping or eating, his face is buried in his phone or iPad. Gump watches tons of videos of interesting topics like, ‘How to wire ceiling lights in your garage’, and ‘How to use the correct nail’. Funny thing, as I write this I begin to see the connection between his dinginess and all these videos. It’s like he’s joined a Home Improvement cult. Where all he wants to do is measure things and then chainsaw them into bits.

I give him a hard time about it. I used to say his Latin name was Dingus-dongus and call him that whenever he messed up a project. Initially, Gump thought the name meant he was a well-developed porn star, but of course I put him right. He is a ding-dong though. Take last night. We awoke to a crashing sound, like something had fallen over. Gump got out of bed, rushed out of the room and then went on a full house security check. Downstairs and upstairs. All the while muttering “I don’t understand it. What could have happened? Where did that noise come from?”

Meanwhile, I got out of bed, walked five feet into our bathroom, and in the pitch dark could see the shower curtain rod had fallen into the tub. I grinned and got back into bed. Gump returned, still as confounded as before. I took great delight in telling him what had happened, and now I’m calling him Clouseau.

Le Gump

Writer news….I’m still trying to be an author. Working on my 7th Victorian mystery and I have a few other irons in the fire – seldom on the ironing board. I’ll have some cool things going on this year, and I’ll be sure and let you know, even if you’re not interested….hah! Meanwhile, if any of you know people in media, I’d love a chance to get my name out there for something good, like a book I wrote, rather than all the naughty things I’ve done in my life…..

Truthfully, there’s probably so much more I could write about since the last blog post. But between the holidays and being puny, my brain has forgotten all the clever little quips I’d thought about saying. I suppose I am as bad as Gump when it comes to brain fog.

But I wanted to at least let you know I was still here, and to say Happy New Year and Hello.

I hope everyone is doing well. Stay warm over these next frigid days. Keep your pets inside, or in a warm place. Scout the wonder dog is cosy, Gump, well I might kick him out into the yard…..



18 Responses

  1. Christopher Slagle

    Happy new year to you both.
    Hope 2024 has you getting younger 😉
    Keep writing….
    You have a gift!


    • jude bayton

      Hi Chris
      Thanks so much for the kind words and encouragement.
      I hope you and yours have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year too!

  2. Rose Ham

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!! I was laughing out loud through most of it. You even made me happy that I intentionally was alone at Christmas with the sad tales of the horrible virus you shared! I loved the bit about Gump and YouTube videos. Now you can call him Frank Junior.


    • jude bayton

      Yes – be glad you weren’t sharing germs!!!
      I’ve been calling him Frank Jr for a while now! Agh!!!!!

  3. Gail Adam

    Nice to see you are back on blog, really miss your wit and stories.
    Hope your winter weather is better than ours, we in BC ,Canada (actually All of Canada) are in an Arctic blast of snow and very low temps. It was -10F when I got up this morning.
    Sunny, but no heat in the sun’s rays today, just looks nice.
    Take care and get well soon.

    • jude bayton

      Thanks so much, Gail.
      It’s going to get very cold for this area, though nothing like your temps. Our high today is 20F. Tomorrow it will be 6F for our high. BRRRR
      We’re all on the mend here. Thanks for reading the blog and your kind words as well.

  4. Kelly Crabtree

    Happy New Year! Glad everyone is on the mend. Laughed all the way through your blog as it reminded me so much of me and Charlie (especially the part about his face in the YouTube videos and on his phone). I keep telling Charlie he is worse than a teenager and threaten to take away the iPad. Ha! Keep up the witty writing and humor, it is a bright ray of sunshine!

    • jude bayton

      Hi Kelly!
      So pleased you enjoyed the blog. I knew some of you would know exactly what I was on about…..
      I appreciate the kind feedback. Stay warm and Happy New Year to you all.

  5. Karen Bayton

    Happy New Year to you both, I too am hoping it’s much better than the last one!
    Another great blog, sorry to hear you have been pretty sick, hopefully you will have no more lergies this year – well not as bad as this one was!!! Good luck with the yoga, let me know how it goes! Your tales of the Gumpster aka my favourite brother-in-law remind me of someone else close to both our hearts who constantly watches YouTube clips of all sorts of useless shit!!!!! 🤣🤣🤣
    Well it’s a cold & frosty morning here which to me is decidedly better than constant rain! We are expecting an Arctic week if you believe all the scaremongering from all the newspapers here – it’s January for gods sake, it’s expected!!!
    Anyway enough of my waffle, I hope 2024 is the BEST ever for you all! Take care, try not to kill dear John & look after yourselves! Missing you, loads of love Karen xxxxxxx

    • jude bayton

      Happy New Year!
      We are all feeling MUCH better, thank you.
      I am not surprised Gump has a twin in Scotland….
      I’ll report back on the yoga if I eve get there. We’re having a very cold weekend too – no snow yet (it’s supposed to come)- Currently negative 18 C…brrrr
      Thanks for reading the blog and I’m glad yo enjoyed it. Miss you guys bunches xxxxx

  6. Paula Jones

    Hi & Happy New Year to you both! I adore your updates as they really make my day & make me laugh out loud.
    Until the next time <3

    • jude bayton

      And to you as well!
      I’m so glad you have a giggle – that makes me very happy.
      Miss you.

  7. Lisa Coats

    I hope you are feeling better now! And I hope 2024 will be a healthy, happy for you! I love your Blogs and your books! I’ve read all 6 Victorian mysteries and love them!!
    Hope to see you in the new year! Happy New Year!!
    Take care ~

    • jude bayton

      Hi Lisa!
      We’re all better now.
      I’m thrilled you like the books! Thank you so much for reading them. Working on #7 right now.
      Happy New Year! Let’s do lunch!