Monday, 28 February 2005

Going, going.....

I have become something of an e-bay addict. There. I've said it.

It all started when I wanted to buy a USB Memory Stick and e-bay seemed a good place to get one at a reasonable price. Then a friend called up and asked for my opinion on something she was bidding on. We spent the next hour on the phone each surfing through the items for sale and imploring each other to go look at this bargain and that bargain. That was 2 weeks ago. Since then I have purchased not only the USB Memory Stick but:

a dog bed
a suit for me
a tennis ball chucker
a fleece
a pair of trousers
a couple of jumpers
another fleece
a travel water bowl
an in-car charger for my mobile
a talking pedometer
Terry Brooks' "Tanequil"
a sack of 50 pigs ears (for the Lurchers I hasten to add)
and a 5litre water carrier for camping.

Gosh, that all looks quite impressive written down! Especially when I tell you that that little lot came to under £70 squids! My only bad one was buying Going Postal. I've paid and the seller seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth and isn't responding to my e-mails. I feel a massive stamping of feet coming on tomorrow.

Some of the items were easily won, others involved a down to the last second, nail biting fight to the death. The adrenalin rush is quite something!

All of which leads me to conclude that I really do need to get out more.

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Ponders the missing marbles

I've been pondering what to blog about. I have an unfinished assignment to complete but, quite frankly, I think this cold weather has atrophied my brain and it's having problems operating.

Take this morning for example. I get up to take The Lurchers out for a walk before work. Something not quite snow and not quite rain was falling out of the sky but, regardless, it was wet so much dressing up in outer gear was required. Put on my walking boots and my coat. Could I find my hat and gloves? No I couldn't. Emptied out my bag that I'd just packed up with all the daily necessities thinking they might be in the bottom of that - given that just about everything else is - not there. Looked where they ought to be - in the dresser drawer - no, not there either. Not in the bedroom, bathroom or chucked on my desk. With much exasperereration I asked OH if he'd seen them. "What? Those ones there?" he said pointing at the gloves and hat I'd put on the radiator in the hall last night, right by the front door in plain view, so they'd be nice and warm in the morning.

Waterproof leggings are in the car though - that much I do know. I saw them there yesterday. Drive to where I'm going and look around car for waterproof leggings. They're not in the car at all. They're at home. So not quite sure what I thought I saw in the car yesterday. Fortunately I find some gaiters lurking under the passenger seat so at least the bottom of my legs will be dry. Then I look for the gloves that I'd had such trouble finding about 10 minutes earlier. No sign of them. Bugger, after all that I must have left them at home, so scrabble about for the spare pair that I know are also lurking under the passenger seat. Find those and put them on...cold and damp but hey ho, they'll soon warm up. Put hands in pocket to get keys...oh, there are my nice warm gloves! Hiding all the time!

At that point I gave up on the day.

Monday, 21 February 2005


Last week Milk Monster's Mum blogged about the changes Nestle are making to Smarties packaging. I sent off a suitable "disgusted of Wimbledon" e-mail and I've had the following response:

Dear Angela

Thank you for your email regarding the new hexatube packaging for Smarties. As with any change to a long established and much loved product there are bound to be loyal users who feel upset.

Smarties have been available in markets throughout Europe for many years now, starting in the UK 67 years ago. We are, however, always looking at ways to improve our products to give more to the consumer in terms of both taste and value for money and we are obviously concerned to maintain the highest possible standards for our products. This is the first ever change to the traditional Smartie tube.

We are aware that people had a lot of fun with the tube and the plastic lids however, the new hexatube is a great development for Smarties, the flip-top lid is resealable and we will be placing quirky messages, stickers or images on the flip-top lid.

With regard to using the tubes for fundraising, we are aware of a great number of fund-raising schemes involving Smarties tubes as 'collection' boxes. Because of the need to ensure that tubes which have been partially filled are not mistaken as containing sweets, resulting in a coin being swallowed, we have always declined to offer support to such schemes.

I hope this explains some of the reasons for the change.

Kind regards

Karen Short

Consumer Services
International Freephone 00800 63785385

Friday, 18 February 2005

Test your reflexes

Best I can manage is "Bouncing Bobcat"!

Thursday, 17 February 2005


I am being thwarted at every turn. I'm probably not but it damn well feels like it at the moment.

Sometime ago I blogged that I'd bought a new peecee and bemoaned that I now had to work out how to transfer the data from my old one onto my new one. A dear friend was coming down to help me celebrate my birthday and was going to bring with him a USB memory stick. As the celebrations were cancelled, said transfer of data never happened. So this week I took a very daring plunge into the technermalogical world and purchased my own USB memory stick (£8 from e-bay :))

It duly arrived and I booted up the old peecee, inserted the stick and all seemed hunky dory....until I tried to install the driver. My cd-rom didn't want to work. So I took the base apart to try and find out why. No apparent reason and then I discovered that if I right-clicked on something or another I got an "eject" option. Hurrah! It ejected!

So CD duly inserted and lots of clicking and whirring ensued. However, it seems that the driver is not on the CD-rom that comes with it - you have to connect to the intermaweb to do that. Except I now have broadband and old peecee isn't set up for broadband. So, I thought I could connect it to the normal phone line and access it on a pay as you go basis. Nope. Old peecee only wants to connect via my old BTAnytime account which, of course, I don't have anymore.

So far and so bloody thwarted. Boo hiss.

And now I can't get the base unit back together. Boo bloody hiss again.

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

Stupid Guilt

One day a month I work at home so that I can have peace and quiet to write the Board minutes. Yesterday was that day.

I started about 7.45am, broke off to walk the Lurchers at 8.45am. Got back to it at 9.30am and then worked my butt off without a break (apart from making the odd cup of tea and grabbing some lunch to eat at my desk and well, OK..the odd quick flick around the intermaweb when I lacked inspiration) until 4.15pm when I finished. I delivered the draft to the Chairman (who also happens to be my next door neighbour and landlord) and then at 4.30pm departed in what was left of the wintry sunshine to walk the Lurchers again.

Now, I don't tell you this for plaudits. I tell you because of what happened next. 5 minutes out on the walk I met a member of the Commons' staff (that's the trouble with walking the Lurchers where you work) who looked at me, looked at his watch, looked at me again and said something along the lines of "I thought you were working at home....this looks more like walking your dogs". Now, it doesn't matter how much you protest that you've already worked more hours than you do in a normal day in the office, no-one believes you and they automatically think you're skiving off.

I spent the rest of the walk keeping to the trees and I actually hid behind my car as one member of staff went past so he wouldn't see me. It's pathetic isn't it!? Why do we feel such guilt when we know we've done a good days' work?

Monday, 14 February 2005

Ohhh my daaarling

Lurcher No. 1 received a Valentine's card. I didn't.

Not that I expected one, mind you, as we don't "do" Valentine's in this house, what with it's true meaning being lost in the depths of time and the profits of greeting card companies. And the fact that OH is possibly the least romantic person I know. Although he did excel himself the first Valentine's Day of our then budding relationship. I worked in town in those days and parked my car at the station, whence I caught a train. On my return that evening I found a single daffodil, my favourite flower, under my windscreen wiper. Awww....

The fact that it had been nicked from someone's garden somehow seemed to make it even more romantic!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, 12 February 2005

Dressing up

We went to a fundraising dinner dance last night - our local rugby club are raising funds to send their under 16s team on a tour to the southern hemisphere. We rarely go to any of these dressing up type of events and, as is ever the way, I had nothing suitable in my wardrobe to wear. So last Saturday morning I went and bought myself a little black number. I have to say it was quite a racy little black number and very daring compared to my normal attire. Well, let's face it, anything is a little more racy than jeans and a jumper. It was a very close-fitting, halter-neck all-in-one trouser affair with no back (yes I know halter necks don't have a back, that's the whole point of them, but this really had no back as what there was at the back was cut very low), plunged at the front and barely covered my modesty. The question of what supportive under-garment I was going to wear under it didn't arise, there was no way said garment could be worn under it. No bopping around the dance floor for me then! But it was one of those outfits that made me feel good as soon as I put it on and it had to be had.

There were, however, two things I forgot to bear in mind.

Firstly, trying something on in the morning, before you have eaten, is very different to trying something on at the end of a day when breakfast and lunch have been consumed. Especially when it's a very snug fit. OH managed to zip me into it but any breathing out on my part was possibly going to result in disaster. I spent a very uncomfortable evening sitting bolt upright and moving as little as possible.

Secondly, I hadn't given a thought to what going to the loo might entail. I discovered that what it does entail is the total removal of said outfit. In a drafty rugby club loo, this was not fun. Neither was trying to zip myself back into it. My arms simply do not bend in that direction.

Talking of dressing-up, when we got home, OH turned the TV on and the Rocky Horror Picture Show was on. That has to be my all time favourite romp of a film although it does always leave me wondering how Tim Curry manages to look sexier in a basque than I ever could.

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Ding dong..

So Charles and Camilla are getting married. Now is that ever creating heating debate! Personally I think good for them, they should have got married 30 years ago and a lot of unhappiness could have been avoided.

But people are getting so worked up about it....he had an unhappy marriage and did the dirty on his missus. So missus did the dirty back. Gosh, that puts them in a minority of one then doesn't it? How many other couples have been through exactly the same scenario then moved on and made a happier life for themselves? Lots I should think, including several of my own family. So why do people make such a fuss? Let them get on with their lives and be happy.

Tuesday, 8 February 2005


I never cease to be amazed about how the karma of the universe works.

The rescue I volunteer with has just taken on a lurcher bitch whom we suspect may have Laryngeal Paralysis. Treatment is a fairly straightforward operation but it doesn't come cheap...we're probably looking at close to £1,000 all in. We have the funds to pay for it although it will leave a rather large dent in our bank account. But we feel it's worth it because she is only 3 years old and will live a perfectly normal life afterwards....even if one well-known veterinary establishment, that shall remain nameless, feels that financially it isn't viable and we should just cut our losses and put her to sleep.

Then yesterday, we heard that a theatre group are closing down and want to donate the funds they have left to a deserving cause. And they chose us. £950 is what they are giving us. I can't thank these people enough for their generosity - how brilliant are they!?

It's a bit spooky though!

Saturday, 5 February 2005



Gavin Henson...we salute you!

Friday, 4 February 2005

Ups and downs

Down because we had to bury Chaz the Hamster today after she departed for hamster heaven last night. Little creatures that steal a big bit of your heart.

Up and down because I had to pull a greyhound from out of a home where he was not really wanted anylonger. His owner had to leave him on his own all day so thought it best to find a home where he would have company. Such a shame as he had been there for 4 years. He came away with nothing but his lead and didn't even glance backwards once. Loved but not really "loved". He's staying with me tonight and will be on towards his new home tomorrow.

And tomorrow the 6 Nations starts. England v Wales. I think this year that maybe Wales might have the edge and I shall be celebrating tomorrow night. Then again, I could be eating my words!

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

Some days are not so good

On Saturday afternoon, the police informed us of a missing person that they believed was last seen heading for the Common. We searched Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, we found his body. Some bits of my job are not so nice.