Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Monday, 29 December 2008
So why, when my house was clean and tidy two days ago, is it now a complete and utter tip? Two days ago everything was where it should be and now? Now there is just stuff everywhere.
I really wish I had been born with the tidy gene.
Sunday, 28 December 2008
I've heard about this before of course, but I've never been big on conspiracy theories. I'm a take things at face value kind of gal and, I mean, come on, with the number of people involved, how the heck could they have kept it quiet all this time?
But, as a mere mortal whose knowledge of science is minimal, I have to say that this programme put forward a convincing argument for the hoax theory. I was on the way to being convinced.
That was until I did a little more research and found equally convincing arguments from NASA that debunked the conspiracy theories.
So now I'm just plain confused.
But why, when something significant happens, are there always people who will try to find a dark and sinister side to it? Human nature I guess.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Now that Christmas is done and the shops, given that we are in the midst of a credit crunch, should be nice and quiet, I can go and finish my Christmas shopping.
Yes, I said I can go and finish my Christmas shopping. In plenty of time for Christmas on Thursday.
You will be forgiven for thinking that you have stumbled into a temporal paradox but there is a very simple explanation. As my family couldn't be with me on the first Christmas Day, nor I them, they are coming for New Year, so we are having our family Christmas Day on New Year's Day. And because I have been so completely disorganised this year, I get a little extra time to finish buying my family presents. Although I suspect that New Year's Eve will still find me running round like the proverbial blue fly trying to find a unique and witty, yet useful, gift for my impoverished step-brother and his girlfriend. If you have any ideas, throw them over this way please.
Friday, 26 December 2008
Boxing Day dates back to past centuries when it was the custom for the wealthy to give gifts to employees or to people in a lower social class, most especially to household servants and other service personnel. As with Christmas itself, some elements of Boxing Day are also likely related to, and ultimately derived from, the ancient Roman Saturnalia, which also had elements of gift giving and social role reversal. The name 'Boxing Day' originates from the tradition of putting gifts in boxes for the less fortunate.
Although, given the state of my house yesterday with boxes everywhere after I'd been shopping, you could have been forgiven for thinking its meaning was more literal!
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
I will raise a glass to you all tonight and wish you a very merry Christmas. May tomorrow be everything you hope it will be.
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
I have nightmares over this damn quiz. Trying to be tactful here, we have quite a mix of intelligence amongst our staff so I have to try to balance the quiz so it's not too hard but also offers a bit of a challenge.
Then there are the teams to be organised. Bad enough when you have odd numbers but trying to get the intelligence mix right on each team also gives me nightmares.
Right now I am in a cold sweat just thinking about it all and the thought of eating lunch is making me quite nauseous.
Although that might be the bad back which is back with a vengeance this morning. But at least it's just my back and it's not spread to my shoulders and head yet. That I can live with.
Monday, 22 December 2008
At this point, those that know me will fall over in complete shock. For those of you that don't know me, I am an athiest. So you can see why the fact that I went to church would come as something as a surprise.
Now don't get me wrong, I realise that faith is important to many people and I have a great deal of respect for that. It's just not for me.
So why was I in church? My colleague and I decided, it being Christmas, that we would like to attend a carol concert, which just happened to be in the local church. I think we both had visions of choirs and children singing carols and someone dressed as Mary riding into the church on a donkey.
Except it wasn't a carol concert, it was a carol service. By the time we realised, we were penned in to the pews and couldn't get out without making a bit of a scene, and neither of us wanted to do that. That would have been rude after all. So we sat through it, and it was absolutely lovely!
The church was lit with hundreds of candles and looked wonderful, And there was indeed a choir singing carols, and they were superb. There was a lot of religious stuff in there too, but I let that slip by me and enjoyed the singing, and watching parents trying to keep toddlers amused through the hour and half service!
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
I woke up with back, neck and shoulder pain and it rapidly spread to my head. I attempted to get into town to finish my Christmas shopping this morning but after 20 minutes I couldn't cope. The pain was making me feel nauseous.
So I gave up, headed home, lit the log fire and have spent most of the day on the sofa, wrapped in a duvet watching tv.
Fingers crossed I feel better tomorrow.
Friday, 19 December 2008
I was in two minds whether to go. Someone had apparently invited ex-Himself and I was really not in the right frame of mind for that confrontation. And I dare say he wouldn't be either. But one of my colleagues rang to say he hadn't turned up and why didn't I come over? So I half-heartedly threw on some tidy clothes and headed out, despite not really feeling terribly sociable.
But, as is ever the way, the evenings you don't really feel like attending turn out to be the most fun!
It was a very simple evening. A curry and snooker. I haven't played snooker in 20 years but I discovered it was like riding a bike and I won both the games I played!
I is a happy bunny this evening.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
An hour later there is mockery.
There is mockery across our radio waves as to the need to watch out for loose teeth when partaking of the said mince pies.
OK, so my pastry is not the soft pappy stuff that shop-bought mince pies are made of. It has a bit more substance to it. But a danger to loose teeth it is not. I learnt how to make pastry at my mother's knee and it's tasty and yummy. She says adamantly.
But it does lead me to ask all you pastry makers out there what your recipe is. I would like to make a slightly softer pastry sometimes.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
So quite why I thought I could take my first tentative steps into the world of plumbing by plumbing in my spanking new dishwasher is completely beyond me. But that is what I did.
You'd have thought, these being my first tentative steps, that I would have read the bloody instructions. Oh no. How difficult can it be? Screw a few pipes, turn on the water and off we jolly well go!
OK, first things first. Screw in the waste pipe. Except it isn't a screw in pipe. You put one pipe over the other and then fix it in place with a claspy thing (yes, "claspy thing" is a technical term). Except to fix the claspy thing in place you need a pair of pliers. Do I have pair of pliers? That'll be a NO. In equipping myself with all the spanners and screwdrivers that a girl might need, it seems I inadvertantly forgot about a pair of pliers. But, hey, this girl can improvise and the claspy thing was soon in place. With just a smidge of brute force and a minimal amount of swearing.
Then fix the inlet pipe to the water supply pipe. Ach...that was a piece of cake. At least, it was a piece of cake once I stopped the pipe disappearing down the back of the dishwasher.
Then plug it in. That I can manage.
Then open the dishwasher door. And find the instruction manual. Discover that I seem to have forgotten to attach the legs to the dishwasher. Dishwashers have legs? Who knew?
Not being able to face undoing everything I'd just done, I gave up, decided to call Mr Whizziness in the morning....and made some more mince pies instead.
Monday, 15 December 2008
Sunday, 14 December 2008
To those friends who leave their own partners and dogs at home to come and stay the night with me and mine and make me giggle; and to the friend that's always at the end of a phone and gets mad on my behalf (Lisa, I wish you lived nearer) and those friends I don't keep in contact with as much as I should but are there for me anyway (Niki, Ali, Em, I wish you lived nearer too). To these friends, I send you all big hugs.
With friends like these at your back, you know you can take on anything that life throws at you.
Saturday, 13 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
That is not good news.
It is particularly not good news when the beep beep beep is accompanied by an ever increasing puddle at your feet. I removed the kick boards to find not just a puddle, but a veritable flood of water. Bugger.
I could not see why it was leaking and I have no idea where to start to fix it. So I buckled, and asked for help.
Help duly arrived in the form of our Maintenance Manager who is a bit of a whizz with such things. He took all the pipework apart (which meant clearing everything out from the cupboard under the kitchen sink - and we all know what those cupboards are like) but nothing was blocked. So he poured some water into the dishwasher and whoosh! (as opposed to whoosh whoosh whoosh) it all piddled out of the machine and I had another flood.
He shook his head and informed me that to fix it was beyond his whizziness and that, basically, it's terminal.
I swore. A lot.
Update: Just to add insult to injury, where Mr Whizziness was fiddling with the pipework under the sink....it's now leaking. So every time I let any water down the drain it pisses into the cupboard. I don't possess a washing up bowl so will be washing up in a bucket. Which is just what I need when I have friends coming to stay.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
The regular stuff I've managed to filter out; the viagra, pills, erections....etc etc. But the spammers are getting cleverer. They now choose subject lines which, whilst easy to filter out, could actually be legitimate e-mails. The two current favourites seem to be "delivery failure", which does need to be checked...just in case. And the other is "Your order". When you buy a lot of stuff over the internet you do get a lot of legitimate e-mails with the subject "Your order" so they all have to be checked.
It's damned annoying and spammers should, IMHO, be put against the wall and shot.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Yes I forgot to blog on Tuesday. Although if you're reading this it will look like I blogged on Tuesday but it's really Wednesday.
I was just so busy. Walking hounds, working at home writing minutes of a meeting, walking hounds again, pottering about, watching a movie. You know the sort of day. The sort of day that well....you just forget to blog.
Monday, 8 December 2008
It's been a long day and I've had a Board meeting and a drinks party this evening so, in true Fun Monday tradition, I'm cheating! There are only two and they're not really carols.
I'm not usually swayed by advertising but there are two adverts on British TV at the moment that have some great music in their adverts.
The first is the Marks and Spencers ad which has Macy Gray singing a version of Winter Wonderland. It's a song that's been covered many times but this is most definitely my favourite version!
The second is an ad for the Co-op. Once the store of those on very low budgets, the co-op has successfully re-branded itself as the one supermarket with morals and ethics. Their Christmas ad has Gabriella Cimli singing a version of Warm This Winter and I've been singing it all day!
Sunday, 7 December 2008
You see? Disaster!
However, after I wrote my blog yesterday, I decided to have another go with some of the salt dough I had left.
The result is still not pretty, and they do still need tidying up around the edges, but you can just about see the glitter in them and I think they are sort of good enough to hang on my tree with some satin ribbon to set them off.
They do have a certain rustic charm don't you think? *said whilst snorting with laughter*
Saturday, 6 December 2008
I was so sure that even I could manage to do this but it was an unmitigated bloody disaster.
Friday, 5 December 2008
Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.
"In honor of this holy season" Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."
The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle", he said.
"You may pass through the pearly gates" Saint Peter said.
The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."
Saint Peter said "You may pass through the pearly gates".
The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.
St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"
The man replied, "These are Carols."
And So The Christmas Season Begins......
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
"No matter how much women want to be equal with men they simply cannot match their physical strength. It must have been wonderful to have fit able men help you. I would have loved it but then I have never needed to feel equal."
Lesley is absolutely right of course, most men are built stronger than women, but I do need to explain that this isn't just about being equal. I've no doubt that's part of it but there are other factors.
The main reason I wanted to split the logs myself, and do many other things, was that I need to prove something to myself. I'm rebuilding my life and my confidence in my abilities and trying to prove to ME that I can be independent and look after myself.
But it's also about work. When the majority of the staff you work with live on the job you tend to develop into a community. Most of the time it's like a small village and everyone gets on fine and we all look out for each other. But every now and again petty bitchiness raises it's ugly head.
When it first became known that I was going to be moving into my cottage, one person in particular went out of their way to create a lot of bad-feeling about it. It wasn't aimed at me per se but it affected me nonetheless. Although that person has now left, the whole incident made me be very careful about not taking advantage and appearing to be getting preferential treatment. Some of the staff can get quite bitchy about having to do things for other staff, particularly if it happens a lot, and I don't want to find myself at the end of that bitchiness by constantly asking for favours. I'm walking a fine line here and I'm very careful not to wobble off it!
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Including my pride.
I finally had to admit defeat on the log-splitting. I had to give in and ask for help.
I was so full of intentions of getting myself a chainsaw and an axe and doing all the log chopping myself. But I finally had to admit that a) my back is not strong enough to wield an axe, b) handsaws and me just do not understand each other, c) what the heck is the point of me buying myself a chainsaw and parting with the best part of £150 for the pleasure when I work with a team of men who play with chainsaws all their working day and d) we have a nifty tractor-mounted log-splitting machine complete with a man to operate it at work?
So this morning the nifty tractor-mounted log splitter and the man to operate it made their way to my back yard and split all my logs for me. But I did my bit by lugging all the logs to him and taking away all the split wood. Which is why I hurt. 3 hours of physical labour was a bit of a shock to my body!
But I now have more wood for the fire than I can....than I can....well, shake a stick at. My pride and my body will heal and at least I did my bit.
And I did at least try. Sometimes there is strength in realising your own limitations.
Monday, 1 December 2008
Tell us about your all-time worst Neighbors from Hell. You know, the family of Irish clog dancers who once lived in the flat/apartment above you? Mrs. Nextdoor and her banshee-like multiple orgasms? Mr. and Mrs. Hard-of-Hearing with their television on full blast? The guys across the street who set off 4th of July fireworks starting in March and didn't stop until the first real snowfall?
Ive been really lucky with neighbours pretty much all my life; from the lovely couple who used to look after me when I was a shrimp when Mum had to work, right up to the neighbours I have now. Despite my grumblings about Nosey Neighbour and Nosey Neighbour's Children, they could be a lot worse. Mrs Nosey Neighbour is lovely, and no nosey at all, and in some ways Mr Nosey Neighbour can't help but look over the fence, he is over 6'6" tall after all. I could do without the children screaming in the garden all summer, and the hammering on the walls at ungodly hours, and I could also do without what I suspect are the regular phone calls from Mr Neighbour to ex-Himself telling him every bloody move I make. But, on the whole, it could be a much much worse.
So, a very boring Fun Monday from me, but can you tell I am trying to not let myself get wound up by things these days!? I am trying to be calm, calm, calm, and not let anything get to me. I can rise above it.
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008
The "No-heel" high heel
Then we have the backwards heel
Although these are quite clever - a stiletto that coverts into a flattie
And then we come to the WTF!? category
Give me a pair of walking boots any day.
Friday, 28 November 2008
Dress is lounge suit.
Well that's the men sorted then. You know exactly what to wear. What us women wear is a whole other kettle of fishies. "Lounge suit" for women is not so easy. Over do it and you end up looking like mutton. Under do it and the other female guests glare down their noses at you like you're Cinderella.
I don't have the kind of wardrobe that contains the appropriate clothing for any given occasion. I can't just reach in and pick out the perfect outfit. Nope, I end up with clothes strewn around the bedroom because nothing will do. Which is why I shall be wearing pretty much what I wore last year.
But whilst I had the dressing-up box out last night, I decided to have some fun and try on all my evening dresses. Well, I say all. Two of them to be precise. I slid into my dresses, lvery chuffed that they still fitted, slipped on my heels and paraded around to a very unappreciative audience of two lurchers and a greyhound. Who all got terribly excited because they thought putting on shoes meant time for a walk. I really must teach them the difference between walking boots and heels.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
You remember on Monday I was bemoaning the fact that I was struggling to read a book? Well, last night I started tidying up my book shelves. I moved a pile of books from the bedroom and onto the shelves and, as I turned around, two books fell off the shelf. One was a copy of Schott's Original Miscellany, which is really just a browsing book, and the other was a book called The Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies.
I can honestly say that I have never seen this latter book on my bookshelves before. Obviously it must have been there otherwise it couldn't have fallen off but I have absolutely no idea where it came from. Whilst I would struggle to name every book on the shelves, I thought I had a pretty good idea what was there, particularly as when I moved here 2 years ago there was a major clear-out of books and much soul-searching as to what would stay and what would go. This book was published in 1989 so it's not new and judging by its worn edges, it has been read before.
So I picked it up, started reading it.....and it's brilliant and I'm hooked.
Spooky or what?
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
I mean, I do like to look reasonably tidy but comfort is the over-riding factor and I'm fortunate that jeans and sweatshirts are the order of dress at work. I am clean (before y'all start "ewww"ing at me!) and I shower every day. But I don't wear make-up and my hair tends to dry itself into a bit of a curly mop these days and usually gets pulled up into a pony-tail.
But I have to say, much as I love Autumn, this weather is playing havoc with my skin and hair. The cold, the frost, the icy rain and the central heating are turning my skin into crepe paper. Red crepe paper at that. And it hurts! My skin stings it's so dry, and this is despite me slathering on the moisturiser three times a day.
And my hair!? Oh yes, we are really doing the dry straw static thing.
Such a fetching look.
I am trying to keep hydrated by drinking litres of water. Unfortunately your body has a way of saying "enough!" by then ensuring that you keep running to the loo every 1/2 hour and your colleagues are beginning to wonder what on earth is wrong with you.
You just can't win!
Monday, 24 November 2008
Books and reading are a lifeblood for me. Books take me away from my life and into another world. Somewhere I can escape to and become lost in, if only for 10 minutes before I go to sleep. Reading relaxes me and helps me switch off from the day.
But over the last month or so I have picked up and started five books and then put them down again because nothing is gripping me. I have at least a dozen books sitting here waiting to be read and one I am at least half way through, and I think it is that book that is the cause of the problem. It is the second in a very long series and half way through I reached an impasse. The characters aren't reaching out to me and the storyline is slow to develop. I've reached a particularly difficult chapter where the characters are just doing something really silly. I know if I can just get past this chapter, it will all start to fall into place and I will once again become gripped by it. But everytime I try I end up throwing the book down after a few lines.
I'm tired, irritable and out of sorts and I'm sure it's partly because instead of reading and relaxing before I go to sleep, I'm doing crosswords and Suduko puzzles, stimulating my brain which is resulting in a bad night's sleep.
If anyone knows how to get me out of this rut, I'd be grateful for your advice. Even if it's just "get a grip, woman, there are more important problems to worry about"!
Sunday, 23 November 2008
I am like a child at Christmas when it comes to snow. I just love it!
Shame it then started to rain and it all disappeared within an hour or two.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
I was still up early and spent an hour or so getting Greyhound Gap's banking ready. Took The Lurchers and The Greyhound for a stroll in the sunshine, although it was damn cold out there and I was very glad of my happy hat that my friend Niki knitted for me! Then headed into town, got the banking sorted, did a little bit of shopping and headed home, locked the front door and batoned down the hatches. I lit the fire, curled up on the sofa with the newspapers and stayed there until 3pm when we all went out for another lovely walk.
Sometimes you just need a day to unwind and relax a little.
Friday, 21 November 2008
I will be so glad when Blog365 is over. We're in November and the end didn't seem so far away. But today? The thought of blogging every day for the next seven weeks is a little overbearing
So what shall I blog about today. I think I will tell you about the thought that has just crossed my mind.
I belong to several internet forums but there are two that I post on more often than any other. In fact, I am a Moderator on both of them. One is frequented mainly, but not exclusively, by women. The other is frequented mainly, but not exclusively, by men.
I'll give you one guess as to which requires the most moderating........
And they call women bitches? Let me tell you ladies, the men have us beat hands down on that one. I've not seen so many toys thrown out of so many prams as I have on that mainly male forum.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
I woke up with a bit of a headache - I suspect from too much chocolate over the last few days...if you haven't tried Cadbury's Crunchie Nuggets, I suggest you do. They are to die for. And addictive. They look like little left over bits of Crunchie bar covered in chocolate and I suspect some bright spark at Cadburys saw these little left over bits and a lightbulb went on in their head. Whoever they are, they deserve a knighthood!
Anyway, I digress, I woke up with a bit of a headache and took a couple of Nurofen. Normally that does the trick but for some reason yesterday, I took a major turn for the worse and headed deep into space cadet territory. I have no idea if it was the tablets or the migraine taking its course but I felt dreadful. I ended up taking the afternoon off sick and sleeping it off. I felt better but the headache didn't really go until sometime in the early hours of this morning.
Firstly, a big huge thank you to Lesley Rigby who sent me a dvd on how to make curtains! Lesley, you are a lovely person and thank you!
So I set off to the fabric shop on Saturday morning...only to find that the fabric shop is no more. It's now a huge Lidl supermarket instead. Ain't that a sign of the times? I headed into the nearest town thinking that the local Department Store might have a fabric department. They did, but on the way to it I had to walk through the curtain department and there, right in front of me, were the perfect curtains. A deep maroon colour, that matched my bedroom curtains, fully lined and, the best bit...they were marked down by 50%!! What's a girl to do? She buys them, that's what she does. So for for £50 I had two pairs of curtains - one set for the doors and another for the office/dining room!
But Lesley, fear not, your DVD will still be very useful because I still have some more curtains to make in the Spring as I want to have a set of summer curtains for the doors as well.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Do you have a piece of jewelry or other item that holds great personal significance for you, and that you wear or keep with you every day? Show us a photo of your talisman, and tell us why it is so important to you.
Well, the easy answer to this is no, I don't.
I'm not big on jewellery and don't wear it very often - the only exception to that are my earrings, I have two holes in each ear with studs in one side and small hoops in the other; the other exception is a Celtic knot ring I wear on the fourth finger of my right hand. This was a 40th birthday present from the ex-Himself who (for those of you who know what's been going on and why he is an ex-Himself) was at pains to point out that this was just a ring and did not signify anything. In that respect, he is right, it did not signify anything in regard to our relationship.
Its significance to me is that it is made, at least partially, from Welsh gold . Welsh gold is very rare, very expensive and very exclusive - the wedding rings for the Royal family are traditionally made from pure Welsh gold - which is why mine is only partially made from it. In fact, the percentage of Welsh gold in it is probably miniscule but I don't care, it's a little bit of my heritage right there on my finger.
I do also have a couple of small pieces of jewllery that I don't think I have worn for a long, long time, but are special nonetheless.
This is a gold locket that was left to me by my great-grandmother
This is a silver locket that contains a lock of hair from my first step-father. He was a very special man and died from a heart attack when he was only 32 and I was just 11.
So that's my rather tame Fun Monday this week! Pop pver to Mariposa's to see who else is participating!
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Damn but I am getting organised! I have another list of things to do this weekend...
1. Get sorry ass out of....oh wait, you remember that one from last week - DONE!
2. Walk hounds. - DONE
3. Measure front door, back door, hall shit tip cupboard door - DONE
4. Go and buy fabric – to make curtains! Oh yes, my sewing machine is going to see the light of day for the first time in more years than I can remember! - Ahh That will be a blog post in itself
5. Buy louvre doors for hall shit tip cupboard door. This might be fun because it's not a standard size door. FAILED!
6. Buy curtain poles, curtain hooks, and thingies for fixing to the wall (for those of you not in the know, "thingies" is a technical term) DONE
7. Buy a bolt for the office door which won't close....that's the door that won't close by the way, not that I want to buy a bolt that won't close. Because that would just be silly, right? DONE
8. Buy pole and hooks to hang toilet rolls. OK, this one might need explaining. I don't have a conventional toilet roll holder. I dislike conventional toilet roll holders. I have a long pole that sits under a shelf that holds about 6 toilet rolls. It's an ace system but the pole there at the moment only just fits, so when I undo one end and try to put the toilet rolls on, it always falls out and I have toilet rolls rolling around everywhere. I need a longer pole.
9. Come home and wonder what the heck I was thinking about when I decided to make my own curtains.
You may well hear the screams across the globe.
Then somewhere in there I have to:
Change the bed linen (DONE), throws on the sofa, wash the window blinds, and I still haven't got my chainsaw.
Friday, 14 November 2008
Tracy Lagondin grew up in Hawaii as a female. In her 20s, she decided she really wanted to be a he. So she started living as a man and went through the "gender reassignment" process and legally became a male.
EXCEPT... Ms Lagondin, or Mr Thomas Beattie as we should now call him, decided that at some point he would really like to give birth to a child so opted to keep her reproductive organs.
Now, herein lies the dilemma for me. If you're born a female and feel very strongly that you need to be a male (or vice versa), so much so that you go through the gender reassignment, then fine. Whatever makes you comfortable in your own skin is just fine and dandy by me. But, HOW can someone who is so desperate to be male that they go through the procedure, but still feel female enough that they want to give birth to a child (one has been born and a second is now on the way)?
Am I the only person to whom that just does not make any sense?
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Guys, please! Have a heart for your poor readers! We can't keep up!
Oh yeah, and next year, try signing up for Blog365!
No, wait, don't......Google Reader would definitely not cope!!
Apologies for the overload of exclamation marks in this post.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
“I’m one of those people who believes you just can’t regret things in life. You have to feel confident that it was all part of the journey.”
Not overly original perhaps but it struck a chord with me nonetheless. It's something I need to take on board.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
At 11am today, this blog is holding a minute's silence in rememberance of those who have lost their lives fighting for their country, and for us.
By Vicky Poxon (13)
For every red poppy
That grows in the field
Marks the bravery of men
That the battle did kill
For every soldier
That lay down his life
He left behind
A family, a life
For every red poppy
That sways in the breeze
Remember the men
Who died for our peace.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Since next Tuesday is Veterans Day, I thought it would be nice to salute our Veterans and show our appreciation. Photo requirement of something patriotic.
It's not called Veterans Day here in the UK but we do still remember those who lost their lives in the two world wars and, indeed, in any war. Yesterday the UK marked Remembrance Sunday with services held at war memorials across the country. On Tuesday we also hold a minute's silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
I am too young to remember the World Wars but despite that, it is vitally important that we remember those that lost their lives for our freedom. I am old enough to remember the Falklands War and the invasion of Kuwait - those that lost their lives in those wars must also be remembered. And, regardless of what you think about the wars that are being fought now, whether our troops should be there or not, their lives, their bravery and their loyalty to their country must be equally honoured.
These are some photographs that I took at a local Remembrance Service two years ago. I thought long and hard about taking these photographs. These are men who fought in the Second World War and Remembrance Sunday is their day. Their day for remembering their fallen colleagues and what they themselves went through in that war. But taking these photographs was my way of honouring them, that the pain that showed openly on their faces was noted and remembered. They deserve to be remembered.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Why can't Guy Fawkes "night" be just that anymore? Just one night?
Lurcher No.2 is a wreck, afraid to walk out of the door once it's dark. The Greyhound is just about holding it together. He's OK but when the bangs start he runs around wondering what the heck the noise is. He looks to me for reassurance and I ignore him, and the noise, and pretend there is nothing out of the ordinary. You can see his brain thinking that if I'm not bothered, it must all be OK then and he can go back to sleep. Until the next bang. Thankfully Lurcher No.1 doesn't give a monkey's whatsits and sleeps through it all.
My nerves are on edge because I need quiet. I need to hear nothing. Absolutely nothing. My senses are going into overload with all this auditory input and I long for silence. And sleep. I need an early night but with the fireworks going on until gone 11pm, I can't. The noise has to stay until they stop. And because the hounds won't go out into the garden for their last night pees, they're waking me up at least twice in the night.
I hate fireworks.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Shame that I'm so crap at writing them then really.
But today, I have so much to do that a list is required. And in honour of the fact that I actually wrote a list, I'm sharing it with you.
Now aren't you glad you stopped by!?
So here goes
1. Get sorry ass out of bed - DONE
2. Get sorry ass away from the computer, out of jimjams and into clothes and get The Lurchers and The Greyhound out for a walk - DONE
3. Go to DIY store and buy chainsaw (that is on most people's list of Saturday chores isn't it?) - FAILED!! No-one has them on stock so will be trying again tomorrow.
4. Go to supermarket and nonchalantly swing chainsaw about - that should clear my way to the checkout (OK, OK, I'm joking!)
5. *ahem* Go to supermarket and get provisions - DONE
6. Go to Pets@Home for dog food, chicken food and hamster food. - DONE
7. Get provisions home and go to the office to pick up a Gator. I love these - if you've never driven one then add it to your to-do list. They are ace! - DONE
8. Load Gator up with logs and drive them home. - DONE
9. Move everything from under the lean-to into the recentely-vacated shed. - DONE
10. Move logs from Gator to lean-to. - DONE
11. Collect sapling trunks from where they've been dumped and return to the Cottage with them - DONE (and I accepted help with this one!)
12. Get out chainsaw and prepare to cut trunks into fire-size pieces. - FAILED (not being able to get the chainsaw stopped that one it its tracks)
13. Stop and read instructions for chainsaw.
14. Get back into Gator and go and collect wood chippings from where they've been dumped. Load into bags and return to the Cottage and spread chippings in chicken run.
15. Clean out chicken coop. - DONE
16. Sweep out the yard around the coop and the shed and tidy it up.
17. Rush back to DIY store to buy window locks. (If I remember to read this list on Saturday morning I might be able to skip this one because I will have remembered to get them when I buy the chainsaw - bugger, and I still forgot).
18. Walk The Lurchers and The Greyhound before it gets dark. DONE
19. Collapse in a heap. (Oh yeah, this one is really DONE!)
If I achieve all of this it will be a flippin' miracle.
Friday, 7 November 2008
Thursday, 6 November 2008
And this is one such thing for me......
Yes, dog tags. Go figure.
Of course, if you're serving in the armed forces then these are not silly and most definitely serve a purpose. But for me? Silly. But I want them nonetheless and quite by chance today I came across a site selling them. Stamped, apparently, by one of only two US Army dog tag stamping machines in the UK.
How can a girl resist?
So now I'm deciding what to have stamped on them and then they can be crossed off my list.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Well, yes, actually I probably do. Am I going to ask for that help?
Not on your sweet ass I'm not.
JoyT posted a really interesting blog yesterday about asking for help. She can't. Her husband does at the drop of a hat. Joy wants to know if the rest of us do. Or don't.
Rather than write an essay in Joy's comment box, I thought I'd try and sort this one out over here because this is a subject very close to my heart at the moment.
I have never been averse to asking for help. I've frequently had physical jobs in male-orientated environments (farming) and, whilst I've always pushed myself and done what I can, there have been times when I had to acknowledge my own limitations and ask for help. Though it pains me to say it, women are not always as physically strong as men, we're just not built that way – our strengths generally lie in other areas – but, as always, there are exceptions to that.
The ex-Himself was very good at doing stuff around the place – it's what he did for a living after all – and it was easier to ask him to do things. One of the reasons it was easier to ask him to do things was because if I tried to do things myself, there would be comments like "why are you doing it like that?" or "that won't work, let me do it" as the tools were taken out of my hands, or a wry smile and a shake of the head with "that" look. I gave up trying in the end, it wasn't worth getting worked up about.
The guys at work were also susceptible to a pathetic "girly" look and a plea for help. Getting them to do stuff for me was fun!
But since I've been on my own, I need to do things for myself. Because my cottage is owned by the company I work for, I can easily call on our Property Maintenance guy to do stuff for me, and my boss has said if I need anything just call in the Maintenance Team. But you know, these guys are busy already and I don't want to be seen to be getting special favours. When I mentioned I was going out to get a small chainsaw this weekend to cut my own logs for the fire, the boss gave me that despairing look and said "oh Angela.....you don't need to do that". Ditto when I go to collect the logs, "get the guys to help you" he always says to me. Why??
I need to do this stuff On. My. Own. I don't know if I have to prove something to other people or whether I have to prove something to myself. I'm guessing it's mostly the latter. It's not only an adjustment to single life but also a need to rebuild my confidence in my abilities after letting them sit and rust for so long. I may not be very good at doing some things and I'm learning a lot as I go along, but I get them done. The end result may not be pretty, but it's functional and does the job.
So, right now, I will not be asking for help. For anything. Even if it means cutting off my nose to spite my face.
Thank you very much for offering, it is appreciated, but I'm getting by on my own.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Just thought I'd share that with you.......
Monday, 3 November 2008
I'm relatively new to blogging, & I'm sure this has come up before, but I'd really like to know WHY you blog. Tell me how you got started or why you got started and why you keep it up. Plus there's a photo requirement: Post a picture of the one person/place/thing that most symbolizes the town or area where you live.
Why do I blog. That's a very good question. I started back in August 2004, yes, four years ago. Blimey, where does the time go? My blogging was a little intermittent to start with and I occasionally went months without posting. I think it started as a way of me being able to record the daily ins and outs of my life and to make sure I remembered the important things that happened - I have a terrible memory when it comes to dates.
I continue to blog because, somehow - probably through Fun Monday - I seem to have become a part of an incredible blog circle. The people who read my blog, at least those who comment anyway, are some of the most generous, warm-hearted and selfless people I have ever had the pleasure to interact with. They continue to read and comment here, and offer me incredible support, despite me being one of the rudest bloggers around because I just don't seem to have the time to get around to their blogs to comment - although I do read as many as I can.
Having people like that in your life, even if only in cyberspace, is precious.
Then there is the fact that late last year I was stupid enough to sign up to Blog365. WHich means exactly what it says - I will blog every day throughout 2008. It's been fun and made me focus on getting at least something onto my blog everyday, even if it's waffle, but let me tell you, it's stressful, and I won't be doing it next year!!
OK, so what symbolises where I live? There are two things. The first is this:
The Windmill on Wimbledon Common. It's historically important to the area and also a major feature and it's part of my job to help look after it, although I only play a minor role.
Secondly, and probably the thing that will be instantaneaously recognisable to you all, is of course the All England Lawn Tennis Club
The tennis courts are literally a mile or so away as the crow flies and, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, I can hear the cheering crowds from my garden.
Now head over to Bee Dancer and see who else is participating this week.
Sunday, 2 November 2008
I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
Never take life seriously Nobody gets out alive anyway.
There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead.
Life is sexually transmitted.
Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again
All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
In the 60s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?'
Who was the first person to say, 'See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its butt.
'Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests? (Think about it!)
Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Not content with letting you quietly get on with things, it has to throw a big spanner in the works and completely mess you up all over again.
Why does it do that?
Friday, 31 October 2008
I am finally getting around to sorting out my holiday photographs. Damn, but it seems like a lifetime ago already!
This is the first set that I am going to bore you rigid with over the next few days!
This is a sequence with the Lurchers playing on the beach. It was a grey and miserable day so I apologise for the pretty poor quality of the photographs!
The fantastic thing, or one of the fantastic things, about the cottage we stayed in was that it had an enormous dog-proof garden that meant the Greyhound got to really stretch his legs. One afternoon he took off for the sheer joy of it and I just managed to capture this one!
Thursday, 30 October 2008
At least now we know and we also know that her death was instantaneous.
A lot of people have put their lives on hold this last week to help find her and every single one of them is a hero.
Please hug your hounds tonight and be thankful they are safe.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Now that The Greyhound has found his forever sofa with me and The Lurchers, I decided that some dog-training classes might be in order. Not so much because he needs the training but more because I want to socialise him with other dogs, in a different environment, and try to get through to him that he doesn't need to lunge at other dogs. Not that he does this all the time, it depends on his mood, and the other dog – and even that can change from day to day. I also believe that the lunging is through fear of the unknown rather than out and out aggression. He's too big a softie for it to be aggression.
So along we toddled last night. Dog training has changed a lot since I last did it with Lurcher No.1 seven years ago. It's all very politically correct now. Don't get me wrong, I have always believed in positive reinforcement as a means of training and this is what we did with Lurcher No.1 – I want my dogs to do what I ask of them because they want to do it, not because of the fear of reprisal if they don't. That said, there have been times when a stern tone of voice has been necessary – particularly if what they are doing, or about to do, might put them in harm's way. SIghthounds, in particular, have a tendency to turn a very deaf ear when it suits them. But stern tones of voice are not allowed here.
These classes are all based on treat-training. Not something I've ever done before because the Lurchers have always responded better to praise and an ear scratch rather than treats. Both of them will eye up a treat as if it's poison, they may deign to take it out of my hand but will then promptly drop it and thoroughly investigate it again before eating it. Or, as is more usually the case, not eating it. Last night was all about conditioning the dogs to respond to a treat and getting them to associate it with a "bridge" word. In this case, that word is "good". If they did what was asked, they were told "good" and given a treat, although not from the hand. The treat had to be thrown to the floor so that they do not start to think that any food in your hand is theirs.
So we practised that for a bit and after 40 minutes took the dogs out for a pee break and came in again and moved on to "cue" words. Take "sit" for example. By holding treat in your hand and moving your hand slightly over their head, you can encourage a dog to sit. Once they twig that sitting gets them the treat, you start asking them to sit, "sit" being the cue word, then, if they do sit, giving them the "bridge" word, "good", followed by a treat.
And herein lies the rub. You see, sighthounds, and greyhounds in particular, do not generally do sit. Not because they don't want to but their body shape makes sitting particularly difficult and uncomfortable for them. We did try but The Greyhound was having none of it. Furthermore, by this point, he was exhausted. Not only did this very food-motivated dog lose all interest in the fresh ham that I had in my hand but he decided enough was enough and he was going to lay down for a snooze. Much to the hilarity of the rest of the class. To be fair to the trainers, they were brilliant. They understand that Greyhounds have their limitations and we were allowed to skip cue words and let The Greyhound have a rest.
And do you know what the little bugger did at the end of the class? Completely of his own accord? He sat.
But anyway, aside from wondering if I'd wandered into the canine equivalent of an "out of the box" corporate training course, it was good. The Greyhound behaved himself impeccably and did the best that he could. Which is all I can ask of him. I'm looking forward to next week and seeing what that brings. In the meantime, we have rather a lot of homework to do.......
Monday, 27 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Saturday, 25 October 2008
The Lurchers and The Greyhound have enjoyed a wonderful week of runnng on beaches and frolicking in the waves. They are now completely crashed out.
It's been a brilliant week and my heartfelt thanks to Nettie and Charlie and their Lurchers for making it such a good and relaxing holiday.
The only problem? It went too damn quickly and I'm already ready for the next one!
Friday, 24 October 2008
2. Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any.
3. No one is listening until you fart.
4. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
6. If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.
7. Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
9. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
10. If you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.
11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
12. Some days you are the bug; some days you are the wind screen.
13. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
14. Good judgment comes from bad experience and most of that comes from bad judgment.
15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
16. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
17. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
18. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
19. We are born naked, wet and hungry and get slapped on our arse ...then things just get worse.
20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Monotony means being married to the same person for all your life.
Use the word "judicious" in a sentence to show you understand its
meaning Hands that judicious can be as soft as your face...
How important are elections to a democratic society?
Sex can only happen when a male gets an election
What is a turbine?
Something an arab wears on his head
What is Britain's highest award for valour in war?
Who was it that didn't like the return of the prodigal son?
The fatted calf
What's a Hindu?
It lays eggs
Name the four seasons
Salt, mustard, pepper, vinegar
What changes happen to your body as you age?
When you get old, so do your bowels and you get inter-continental
What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
They'll insist you're well endowed if you're buying a house
What is a co-operative?
It's a kind of shop that is not as dear as places like Marks and Spencer
What is the first thing you would do to someone who has been involved in
a car accident and is immobile?
Rape them in a blanket and give them a sweet cup of tea
What is artificial respiration commonly known as?
The Kiss of Death
What are steroids?
Things for keeping the carpet on the stairs
What is a common treatment for a badly bleeding nose?
"Red, pink, orange and flamingo are the colours of the rectum."
I've said goodbye to my boyhood, now I'm looking forward to my
"I always know when its time to get up when I hear my mother sharpening
"Christians go on pilgrimage to Lord's."
"A sexually transmitted disease is gonorrhoea, the penis becomes
"A major disease associated with smoking is premature death."
"The equator is a menagerie lion running around the earth through
"Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead
of the bull."
"Cows produce large amounts of methane, so the problem could be solved
by fitting them with catalytic convertors."
"The process of flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes
large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists."
" The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader"
"Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them
"A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."
"Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas."
"The body consists of three parts - the brainium, the borax and the
The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs,
and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five
-a, e, I, o and u."
"Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."
"Planet: A body of earth surrounded by sky."
"Rhubarb: a kind of celery gone bloodshot."
"Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative
"To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose."
"For a nosebleed: put the nose much lower than the body until the heart
"For drowning: climb on top of the person and move up and down to make
"For Fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above
the hand instead.
Or put the head between the knees of the nearest medical doctor."
"For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not
recovered, then kill it."
"To prevent contraception: wear a condominium."
"For head cold: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your
"To keep milk from turning sour: keep it in the cow."
"The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects."
"The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana."
"The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and
the outsides have been taken off.
The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to."
"A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two
molars,and eight cuspidors."
"The tides are a fight between the Earth and Moon. All water tends
towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature
abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."
"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it
BENIGN...What you will be after you be eight
CAESAREAN SECTION...A district in Rome
COMA...A punctuation mark - a bit like a full stop
SEMI-COLON...Partial removal of the intestines
VACUUM...Large empty space where the pope lives
ENEMA...Someone who is not your friend
MAGNET...Something you find crawling on a dead cat
FIBULA...A small lie
MORBID...When there is a bigger offer
GERMINATION...The process of becoming a German
NODE...When you have known somebody for a long time
SEIZURE...A Roman Emperor
FERTILISATION...The fusing of the male with the female garments
TERMINAL ILLNESS...When you are ill at the airport
TIBIA...A country in North Africa
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
The Bacon Tree
Two Mexicans are stuck in the desert, wandering aimlessly and close to death. They are close to just lying down and waiting for the inevitable, when all of a sudden.......
'Hey Jose, do you smell what I smell. Ees bacon I is sure of eet.'
'Si, Luis eet smells like bacon to meee.'
So, with renewed strength, they struggle up the next sand dune, and there, in the distance, is a tree loaded with bacon.
There's raw bacon, dripping with moisture, there's fried bacon, back bacon, double smoked bacon... every imaginable kind of cured pig meat.
'Jose, Jose, we is saved. 'Eees a bacon tree.'
'Luis, are you sure ees not a meerage? We ees in the Desert don't forget.'
'Jose when deed you ever hear of a meerage that smell like bacon... ees no meerage, ees a bacon tree'.
And with that... Luis Races towards the tree. He gets to within 5 metres, Jose following closely behind, when all of a sudden, a machine gun opens up,and Luis is cut down in his tracks. It is clear he is mortally wounded but, a true friend that he is, he manages to warn Jose with his dying breath.
'Jose... go back man,you was right ees not a bacon tree.'
'Luis Luis mi amigo... what ees it?
'Jose... ees not a bacon tree...
Eees a Ham Bush.