Tuesday, 30 October 2007


A quick Google and.......

Night sweats - check

Hot flushes - check

Palpitations - check

Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, difficulty coping and forgetfulness - Oh...check, check, and double-check!

Insomnia - check

Joint and headaches - now you come to mention it. Check.


Oh well, bring it on I say, let's get it all out of the way sooner rather than later!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

There's nothing like a drizzly horrible day to induce some Sunday afternoon Zzzzzzzs

Lurcher No.1 "Bugger Orff!"

Lurcher No.2 "Yawn"

"Sleeping. Leave me alone."

Ruby the Foster - "Get that thing out of my face"

Millie the Whippet (the parents are staying for the weekend which means a visit from Millie - my very first Greyhound Gap foster) - "Muuummmm....tell her!"

"Don't care. We Whippets sleep through anything"

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Bye Bye Blackbird

A blackbird, harassed by crows, crashed into my office window this morning and broke it's neck.

I'm usually a bit hard-nosed and matter of fact when it comes to nature in the raw like this, but for some reason it made me feel incredibly sad this morning.

Fly free little blackbird.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Is it really necessary?

Have you noticed the propensity of advertisers to advertise deoderant by showing people with extreme sweating problems? Such as being able to keep fish alive under their arms, or having to change their shirts every 2 minutes or, and this is the worst of the lot, soaking crowds with underarm sweat?

It's gross and I feel queasy just thinking about it.

They might as well be allowed to advertise tissues by showing people picking their noses or toilet paper by showing people crapping.

It's so unnecessary. What happened to subtlety? Or do advertisers think the British public are incapable of getting subtle message so they have to be completely in your face.

I feel a complaint coming on.........

Monday, 22 October 2007

Not the afternoon I'd planned

It was one of those glorious Autumn afternoons on Sunday so we decided to have a late brunch sitting in a corner of the garden that is a real suntrap.

I'm sipping my coffee in a post-bacon-and-egg haze, and contemplating a doze under the Sunday papers, when I hear a "sploosh". The kind of sploosh that sounds like a bucket of water being thrown. Being otherwise occupied with dealing with my full tummy, my brain took a little while to register what it had heard. I looked at Himself and said rather lazily

"That didn't sound good"


"I'd better go and have a look"


So I sauntered into the cottage to be greeted by a stream, nay a veritable river, of water pouring out of the kitchen door. The post-bacon-and-egg haze rapidly disappeared to be replaced by fast-thinking and action! Splashed over the the machine and turned it off, yelled for Himself to come and help. Which he does. Slowly, as he thinks I'm exaggerating.

I'm not. There is water pouring out of every available oriface of the washing machine. Apart from the oriface at the back of the machine out of which water should be pouring.

Dilemma. The machine obviously can’t drain any water but it is full of water and too heavy to move. We have no option but to crack open the door and try to catch as much water as we can in a bucket. It works, after a fashion, but not without adding to the pool of water on the kitchen floor. We then manhandle the machine outside to get a better look as it's obviously blocked somewhere.

"Well, it's not working is it so we've nothing to lose by taking that bit off and seeing if we can unblock it" says I.

So he removes that bit of the machine. Nothing happens and we scratch our heads and then remove something else.

Ahhh. That'll be the problem then. The filter's blocked.

The problem is with the chenille throws I bought for the sofas in the cottage. They are supposed to be dry-clean only. Well bugger that when you've variously got three or four dogs about the place. You can't be doing with dry clean only so everything goes in the machine regardless of what it says on the label. I've got away with it up to now but this time it's come back and bitten me on the bum, so to speak, and the throws have shed all their chenille inside the washing machine.

One washed filter and several buckets of water later the machine is as good as new and my kitchen floor is lovely and clean! Every cloud has a silver lining as they say.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

So there I was.......

.....swanking around the supermarket in my Cats.

I love my Caterpillar jeans. They fit. Like jeans should fit. Boot cut and tight. Holding everything in place where it should be.

I feel good in my Cats so I swanked a lot.

When I got back to the car I realised I'd been doing all that swanking with my flies undone.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Kitchen tiles. Or not as the case may be.

How difficult can it be to choose kitchen tiles?

Let me tell you. Very difficult.

The kitchen was installed last Christmas and still requires some finishing touches, none of which can be done until I've decided what tiles I want on the walls. I thought I knew. Black. I had a picture in my mind before the kitchen went in and it would look perfect. Then once the kitchen went in I realised that, actually, black tiles would over-balance the kitchen and make it top heavy.

So back to light colored tiles then. But with cream units and cream walls, I needed to make sure we didn't go the other way and go too bland.

I have looked and searched and given up so many times I've lost count. The matter is not helped by the work surface I have. I love it but it's black with cream and silvery and gold bits in it. And shiny. Nothing quite goes with it.

Then on Saturday one of my friends dragged me kicking and screaming to a different tile shop. I immediately fell in love with a natural stone tile in a dark cream/brown colour.


Not in stock for three weeks!


And the delay has, unfortunately, given me time to think about it again and I don't think they'll go. Natural stone and a shiny work surface? Nope.

Cancel tiles.

I'm now going for wood. OK, it's not quite wood but some sort of MDF that is made to look like tongue and groove. A colleague has just put it in his kitchen and it looks really good. I figured it would be cheaper to start with that and live with it for a while and, if I find I don't like it, I can go with tiles again in the future.

I'm sure having the cottage almost but not quite finished is not helping my state of mind at the moment either. It's so frustrating when there are silly little things to be done, which I can't do so I have to rely on himself to do them. And I hate that.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Skiving? No sir, not me sir.

I have decided I'm going out this afternoon to take some stock photographs of the Common.

Yes I know the sun is shining and it's a lovely Autumn afternoon.

Yes I know I'll be trying out my new camera.

But I need the photographs so it's definitely work. Not skiving at all. No sirreee.

Friday, 12 October 2007

When I was a child, I was fascinated by supermarket check-outs.

Well they weren't really "supermarkets" in those days, they were still on the high street for a start and they only sold groceries. Each item was individually priced up with a little sticker and the check-out girls, for they invariably were girls then, tip-tapped the prices in to the glorified adding machines that passed for tills.

Then came bar codes and scanning and a succession of "beep, beep, beep, beeps" and my fascination deepened.

I can't begin to explain this. I never aspired to be a check-out girl and it wasn't the job itself. There was just something in the tip-tapping and the rhythmic sweeping of items past the till that just caught hold of something in my brain. I'm not sure if I thought these were "very important people" but it always struck my five year old mind that it was a position of great responsibilty and, well, it looked like fun. And I always wanted to at leas try it

Life moved on but I have never entirely lost that fascination, or rather, I have never entirely lost the memory of that fascination. So imagine my delight when my local supermarket installed self-service check-outs, complete with your own bleeping scanner.

And now I've tried it, I know it's not actually that much fun. In fact, it's rather tedious and I now always make a beeline for a manned till. I can't imagine what my five-year old self was so enthralled by. Which is rather sad really, I always used to smile at that memory and it feels sort of dashed by reality now.

Some things really should be left alone.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

A ramble through my confused meanderings

The title should be enough to give you a clue to my state of mind at the moment.

Despite, or even, in spite, of the fact that I blog, I am basically a very private person. Yes I have let slip what some would consider to be private matters fromtime to time but they've tended to be surface stuff. I don't intend to start revealing my deeper feelings to you all just yet, although it would probably do me good. But I do need to get some things down in black and white.

There are times when you need to get things off your chest. I have good friends I can talk to but the problem I have at the moment is that I am struggling to come to terms with what I'm really feeling. By saying it out loud I will have admitted it. And then there will be no turning back.

So right now I find myself in something of a downward spiral. I've shut myself off emotionally and seem to have stopped functioning as a caring human being. Instead I seem to be just existing, finding distraction in inconsequential or routine things so that I don't have to think. I find myself being short of temper and snappy and unable to cope with anyone not doing things in the "right" way. I don't speak to people so they can't hear the insincerity in my voice. I know that deep down I do care, I just can't quite plumb those depths at the moment.

This isn't a plea for sympathy - that would really be something I couldn't cope with at the moment. It's more an acknowledgement of my state of mind so that I can perhaps try to move myself up and out of this and do what I know I need to but won't admit.

But perhaps not just yet.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Well that was embarrassing

I would like to think that I don't get starstruck when faced with a celebrity, even a minor one, but today I excelled myself.

A lady came into the office on Friday to discuss some business-related stuff. She was really lovely and chatty and at the time I thought I had met her before but just couldn't place where: it might have been just walking dogs on the Common or something through my work with Greyhound Gap.

Thinking it might have been the latter and it would have been rude of me not to acknowledge the fact, I mentioned it to her when she rang this morning. We chit-chatted and giggled about our joint lack of organisation skills for a while and then I said:

"I'm sure we've met before but I can't place where"

In a quiet little voice, she replied "Oh, I do some stuff on the telly"

I was mortified. How could I have possibly been so crass!? I apologised profusely and she took it in very good spirit and said it happened all the time. She even invited me round for a cup of tea!

A lovely lady!

I'm still embarrassed though.