Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Just when you thought there was no more rain, it rained again.
Oh and there's been thunder. Lurcher No.2 is a wreck and has camped out under the dining room table.
Still, everything is looking lovely and green. That's my new motto....always try to see the silver lining. And there's certainly been a lot of clouds to have a silver lining.
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
If I can tell the world how overweight I've become then there is every chance I will find the motivation to do something about it. Failing in front of the world is simply not acceptable. Well, OK, maybe not the world but failing in front of my blogging friends is not acceptable either.
The guys at work keep insisting that they like their women curvy. Firstly, I'm not one of "their women", although as there are 21 men and only two of us women, they do tend to be a bit protective of us and consider us "theirs". Which is nice in its own way I suppose! At least, it is when they're not taking the piss out of us. Which they do, quite regularly. But that's allowed. If anyone else tried to take the piss out of us they'd come down on them like a ton of bricks.
And despite them liking their women curvy, even though that's irrelevant, I'm only about 8lbs shy of the weight I was when I started work there 5 years ago. And, not that long ago, the guys told me that then I was definitely overweight. There is, it seems, a very fine line between curvy and overweight.
When I lost nearly 25lbs last year, it went from all over. But the weight I've put back on is all on my stomach, which is pretty easy to hide under loose-fitting fleeces and jumpers through winter. Not so easy to hide under skinny-fit t-shirts in summer.
I got on the scales this morning and topped 154lbs. I've put back on all the 25lbs I lost last year....and some. So diet it is.
Monday, 28 April 2008
I had my walk all planned out for this weekend. The parents were visiting and I was going to take them on the walk too so we could all enjoy it. Then Saturday dawned bright and beautiful but by the time the parents arrived, it was too damn hot to take The Lurchers out - they don't cope with heat very well. Then Sunday dawned grey and overcast and the heavens opened for most of the day.
So instead of my very favourite walk, we're going on my next favourite. Which is just as lovely but misses out the bluebell wood.
Sauntering Soul says I live in a quaint cottage and that I have beautiful walks. That is very true, we are incredibly lucky to live where we do. I just have to open the gate and a world of walking is there on my doorstep. But, on the other hand, how many photographs of trees do you want!?
So, here we go. Setting off heading out from the back of the cottage.
Next, we lose Millie the Whippet who has taken it into her head that she wants to go for a run and we can call until we're blue in the face. She knows where we are and can see us but will come back in her own sweet time thank you very much!
Then we head off across the golf course. Because this golf course is in the middle of a public open space, the golfers that play here all have to wear red shirts so that they can be easily seen.
From the golf course, we head down into the woods and cross a little stream
We follow the stream up to its source so that Lurcher No.1 can have a lie down in the water.
There is also an old well here, which has been filled in now. You can see from the stones that they were laid in 1872.
It is called Caesar's Well after the remains of an Iron Age fort which is some 400 yards away which was fancifully named Caesar's Camp - there's nothing to see there now but on an aerial photograph you can see a very faint outline of the two walls of the fort.
Next landmark on our walk is Bluegates Gravel Pit Pond. As the name suggest, this is an old gravel pit that was, up until a few years ago, fairly shallow and it always dried up in summer but we had it dug out and now it retains water all year and encourages a lot of pond life.
We then head back across the Common to the Windmill. This is a very prominent local landmark which was built in 1817 to serve the local community. The mill stopped working in 1864 and was turned into accomodation for 6 families - it's not that big so they must have been pretty cramped. About 30 years ago it was refurbished and turned back into a functioning mill, although it's not used commercially, and it's now a museum open to the public but children can still have a go at grinding wheat.
OK, onwards from the Windmill we go down the hill and arrive at Queensmere Pond.
We had a pair of swans breeding here last year...until some local hooligan killed the male of the pair. For their own safety, we had them moved by a local wildlife group to another colony of swans a few miles away.
Then last but not least we head past the wonky tree...
...past some lovely clumps of bluebells...
...and reach home again for a well-earned cup of tea!
I'm looking forward to joining you all on your walks!
Sunday, 27 April 2008
My mother is stubborn as a damn mule.
She has a problem with her hip, and has done for a few years. It's obviously getting worse, to the point where she didn't even come for a walk with us this weekend. I could see her favouring it slightly and giving the odd wince as she got up from the sofa. My step-father confided that she almost had to haul herself upstairs and asked me if I'd have a word with her because he was at his wit's end.
"Mum, why don't you go and see the doctor if your hip is hurting you that much?"
"He gave me painkillers."
"Mum, that was four months ago, why don't you go and see him again?"
"Because he'll only give me more painkillers."
"But if you tell him how much it's hurting perhaps he can refer you for a hip replacement."
"Oh it's not bad enough for that yet."
"But it is, isn't it? "
"They need to sort my chest out first" (another problem, she gets short of breath and, apart from minor asthma, the doctor can't work out why.)
"But at least he could get the ball rolling. Promise me you will make an appointment."
And you know when someone says something just to humour you? I know that's what she was doing and she damn well won't go and see the doctor about her hip. I really wish my step-father had said something before I let her do the weeding yesterday, but she wanted to do it and is never happier than when she's pottering around in the garden.....at least the beds she was weeding are raised so she didn't have to do any bending.
I think I might print out Wake-up's recent posts and send them to her and see if that will give her a metaphorical kick up the butt.
Saturday, 26 April 2008
This is particularly good when you don't know a weed from a flowerpot.
Fun Monday list will be updated as soon as I get a moment on Sunday...I'm not ignoring you, honest!
Friday, 25 April 2008
Fortunately I'm feeling much better today. I felt so dreadful yesterday morning that I ended up going back to bed and sleeping for most of the day. But it's done me the world of good.
Just damn typical that this would happen when I'd taken a week off work. Needless to say, I have hardly done anything that I set out to do this week. And the parents are arriving tomorrow. Fingers crossed the weather is good and we can all at least get out for some air and some breathing space.
From the comments, I know one or two others have been suffering as well this week. I hope you are all feeling better very soon.
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
I'm going to make it a nice and easy Fun Monday this week. All I want you to do is take me on your favourite walk. In words or pictures. Or both of course! Tell me why it's your favourite and point out things of interest on the way.
So go get your walking boots on!
Let me know in the comments box if you want to sign up.
Mama Drama - Min
Mama Drama - Stephanie
From the Planet of Janet
The Food Snob
Carrie & The Koehmstedts
Dreaming What Ifs
Jan - the Prytz Family
La Vie en Rose
Are we there yet Mom?
LordH's Seaside Notes
The Dust Will Wait
Dust Bunny Hostage
Rainy Day Diamonds
More to Life than Dogs and Blogs?
Colours of Dawn
Return of the White Robin
Betty's This and That
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
You go shopping, that's what you do.
Yesterday afternoon I came down with the migraine from hell and, after spending 24 hours on nothing but ibuprofen and sleep, it was just about going. If you suffer from migraine or bad headaches, you'll know that feeling you get as it subsides....someone once described it to me as feeling like a piece of chewed string. I've not found a better description.
I knew this morning that I needed to get the banking ready for Greyhound Gap. That hour or so in front of the screen was about all I could manage or the migraine was going to come zooming right on back. So I headed off to the bank which just happens to be a few shops down the high street from Waterstones. And as I had come across some book tokens I had been hoarding whilst searching through my desk draws for an elusive piece of paper this morning, it seemed sensible to go and spend them. A couple of hours browsing the bookstore shelves seemed a perfect tonic. And so it proved.
PS - Anyone know who's hosting next week's Fun Monday? If we're stuck for a host, I will volunteer.
Monday, 21 April 2008
My girlfriends and I all have Bucket Lists. I've been working on mine for several years now. Several weeks ago, Tiggerlane asked us all what was on our Bucket Lists. And what do you know, we ALL have them. But what is the point of the list, if you don't actually work to check things off of it? So here's what I want to know:
What have you done in your life that was worth doing? I want to know the moments in your life that you hope will be the ones to pass through your mind when your time comes. I hope that doesn't sound too morbid. This doesn't necessarily have to be items you have checked off your Bucket List, it can be those small moments that made you smile, or the time you got that huge promotion you deserved, or the first time your baby smiled at you out of pure joy. I want to know all the moments, big and small, that make life sweet! If you don't already have a running list of these in your mind, you should! These moments help you remember how much your life is worth living, and we all deserve to enjoy it.
Obviously there are many things that I'm proud of or am pleased happened but I'm not sure any of them are momentous enough that I will remember them when I throw off the mortal coil.
Surviving cancer is always something to be thankful for. OK, it wasn't the most immediately life-threatening cancer and the treatment fairly straightforward but, regardless of the type of cancer, dealing with the emotional effects is still hard. I hit rock bottom and, although I had friends for support (I think my family went into denial), I knew I had to find my own way to kick myself off the bottom. I did and I'm proud of that.
The Lurchers, of course. They make me smile every day. As the first dogs who have been my own, their memories will stay with me the longest I think. The unconditional love they give will be uppermost.
The work I do for Greyhound Gap. In the grand scheme of things it's not much, especially when compared to what a lot of the other volunteers do. But I hope I can look back and say "I did my bit".
Having the close friends that I have. For them I will always be thankful. I can only hope I am as a good a friend to them as they are to me.
So, for some more inspiring posts, head over to Tales of a Southern Doll to see who else is participating this week.
Sunday, 20 April 2008
When I was a child, if anything troubled me or my young brain couldn't get its head around something, I would curl myself up into a ball and completely wrap myself up in whatever was close to hand, a blanket, a throw, anything. I remember on one occasion, I curled up in a ball on the lawn and wrapped myself in my father's coat (he was, and presumably still is, a big man). It was very important that not a smidge of me could be exposed...apart from the teeniest gap so I could breathe. Then I was in a safe place.
As I was trying to get back to sleep the other night that memory surfaced from nowhere amidst all the other dross that was vying for my attention and I took stock of how I was lying. I was curled in a ball with my duvet completely wrapped around me (we have separate duvets as I need winter weight and Himself doesn't), and I had a pillow over my head with just enough of a gap for fresh air to reach my nose. If I try to clear my head to I can get back to sleep I imagine that I am surrounded by solid stone, apart from in front of me where there is a fire,...something like a sleep-size niche in a wall perhaps. It's all about visualisation - the walls are to try and stop thoughts bombarding me from all directions and the fire is to protect and keep me warm. Then I'm safe and can get to sleep.
Something that probably started as a silly little game has become refined into a sleep aid over the years!
So what little habits do you have from childhood that you still have today?
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
Thursday, 17 April 2008
n. One who speaks through the teeth, that is, with the teeth closed.
adjective: occurring before meals
To thicken, as by evaporation; make or become dense.
|a heavy curtain hung across a doorway|
1. To undertake; to take in hand; to receive.
2. To insnare; to circumvent.
3. To sustain; to support; to guard.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Now, I still have the central heating on and a fire lit. And there is still frost in the mornings.
Variety is the spice of life they say.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Back to the main feature:
This plant has started growing in my herb bed and I haven't got the slightest idea what it is. Anyone any clues?
UPDATE: Lesley came up trumps, it's Small Flowered Bittercress. Thank you Lesley!
Monday, 14 April 2008
FIVE PICTURES - FIVE WORDS PER PICTURE. Any 5 (FIVE) pictures, any subject, and any 5 (FIVE) words to describe and/or explain each picture.
Beautiful clouds in the skyOlives in bowls for sale
Head on over to the Nekked Lizards to see who else is participating this week.
Sunday, 13 April 2008
I wanted to capture a horse goiong over a jump, but at a very slow shutter speed so that I could give the feeling of motion. I had wanted to capture the whole arc of the jump but when I tried, I just got a ghosting blur that was completely unrecognisable as a horse.
This was the best that I could do. It's OK but not what I wanted.
I would liked to have tried tracking as well so as to get the horse clean and in focus but with the background blurred to convey the motion. Unfortunately it started chucking it down with rain and we had to abandon the exercise. Definitely something I want to try again though.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Friday, 11 April 2008
a. Given to laughter; inclined to foolish or incessant merriment.
From Abdera, a town in Thrace, of which place Democritus, the Laughing Philosopher, was a native.
A rumbling noise produced by the movement of gas through the intestines.
New Latin, from Greek borborugmos, of imitative origin.
1800, from Gk. kallipygos, name of a statue of Aphrodite, from kalli-, combining form of kallos "beauty" + pyge "rump, buttocks." Sir Thomas Browne (1646) refers to "Callipygæ and women largely composed behinde."
1. Botany To open at definite places, discharging seeds, pollen, or other contents, as the ripe
capsules or pods of some plants.
2. Medicine To rupture or break open, as a surgical wound.
From Latin dehīscere : dē-, de- + hīscere, to split, inchoative of hiāre, to be open.
The action of a horse, when, to get rid of his rider, he rears, plunges, and kicks furiously.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
We have cars a planes to make travel faster. We have hot water on tap, electricity at the flick of a switch. We have vaccuum cleaners, washing machines and tumble dryers No more "Monday is washday". Although, now and again, I have to confess that the thought of washing clothes by bashing them on rocks or up and down a washboard has a certain appeal when it comes to relieving stress.
We also have dishwashers.
Before we moved to the cottage, I didn't have a dishwasher. Or, to be more precise, I didn't have a pile in the dishes and press a button dishwasher.
What I did have was Himself.
We had a division of labour. I cooked. He washed and dried up.
We seem to have lost that somewhere along the way. Himself has a problem with loading a dishwasher. Nothing gets put in with any logic and I end up having to restack it so the crockery has some chance of getting clean.
So now I cook and I load the dishwasher. And unload it again and put all the dishes away.
What was that about labour saving devices?
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
That said, there are lots of lovely blogging people out there that do read and comment on my blog that I would be happy to share that stuff with and whose advice/thoughts I would often welcome.
So what's the answer? Do I set up a new totally anonymous blog that is accessible by anyone and hope these lovely people come across it or do I set up a new blog and just give access to a privileged few, with the fear of offending those that might want to read it but I don't want them have access for a particular reason, even though they are lovely people?
That's a dilemma isn't it? Anyone have any thoughts?
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
Monday, 7 April 2008
I want to know about your first ‘celebrity’ crush. You know, the one you fancied from that band, or that film, or who read the news, or who won Gold at the Olympics.
Did you have their pictures on your wall or in your locker?
Did you dress like them, style or colour your hair like them, follow them, meet them, marry them? (It could happen.)
Photos of THEM would be good, photos of YOU at the time you liked them would be even better.
Also, if you have time, I’d like to know whether they had any influence over your life, the person you became, or if they were just an embarrassing blip you would kind of rather forget about.
I had posters all over my bedroom and his records never left my record player. I had a David Cassidy jigsaw as well. I'll always remember that jigsaw, it's one of those memories that has stuck with me right through to adulthood.
I seem to recall that Donny Osmond came a close second but nothing could beat that twinkle in David Cassidy's eye. I think I might just swoon even today if I ever crossed paths with him.
As a slight addendum to this....despite the schoolgirl crush, I could never understand what all the screaming and fainting was about. Anyone remember when the Osmonds arrived in the UK and there was mass hysteria and girls were falling down all over the place? I just never got that. But one of my teenage heart-throbs was Bryan Ferry.
A couple of years ago I managed to get some tickets to a small concert he was recording for the BBC. It wa a very intimate theatre and we were only a few rows back from the stage. Well, he walked out onto the stage dressed in a black tuxedo and, girls, I had to shove my fist in my mouth to stop myself from screaming. I finally got it.
Head on over to Jo's to see who else is participating.
*SNOW UPDATE - Having woken up to 3 inches of snow yesterday morning and it still falling fast, by 3pm the sun came out and within an hour it had just about all gone. So fickle.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Nora because she is boss lady chicken and Himself had a bossy aunt called Nora. Flora because she needs a bit bigger name to make up for a distinct lack of tail feathers and looks a bit oven ready from behind.
And Dora and Cora? They rhyme.....what can I say. It's late!
Friday, 4 April 2008
What are rules for if not to be broken!?
Have a lovely weekend all.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
A leader of a movement or activity; also, a leading indicator of future trends.
Bellwether is a compound of bell and wether, "a male sheep, usually castrated"; from the practice of hanging a bell from the neck of the leader of the flock.
Diablerie \dee-OB-luh-ree; -AB-\, noun:
1. Sorcery; black magic; witchcraft.
2. Representation of devils or demons in words or pictures.
3. Mischievous conduct; deviltry.
Diablerie comes from the French, from diable, devil, from Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos, "slanderer," from diaballein, "to slander," literally "to throw across," from dia-, "across" + ballein, "to throw."
Triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun:
A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.
Triskaidekaphobia is from Greek treiskaideka, triskaideka, thirteen (treis, three + kai, and + deka, ten) + phobos, fear.
In Christian countries the number 13 was considered unlucky because there were 13 persons at the Last Supper of Christ. Fridays are also unlucky, because the Crucifixion was on a Friday. Hence a Friday falling on the thirteenth day is regarded as especially unlucky.
Gustatory \GUS-tuh-tor-ee\, adjective:
Of or pertaining to the sense of taste.
Gustatory derives from Latin gustatus, "taste," from gustare, "to taste, to take a little of." Other words that have the same root include disgust and gusto ("vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment").
Hardscrabble \HARD-skrab-uhl\, adjective:
1. Yielding a bare or meager living with great labor or difficulty.
2. Marked by poverty.
Hardscrabble is formed from hard (from Old English heard) + scrabble (from Dutch schrabbelen, "to scratch").
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
However, Ms Milne has dealt with this by venting her spleen in an article in a well-respected national magazine, Dogs Today. This magazine is edited by Beverley Cuddy, whose blog I have read for some time. I am extremely disappointed that Beverley has admitted that she didn't even read the article before it was published as she was too busy with VAT returns and that, had she read it, she would have pulled it. Beverley, you have done a lot of good work, particularly in respect of the "killer-poodles", but you have let yourself down badly on this one.
Ms Milne was understandably sickened by the attack, any sane person would be. But it is her knee-jerk reaction that is appalling everyone involved in greyhound rescue at the moment. Ms Milne is judging the whole breed on this incident and another she had previously heard about. Ms Milne states
"I am sure that there are thousands of greyhounds that have been rehomed successfully and I am by no means suggesting that they are all bad, but do the good justify the actions of the bad?"
"Greyhounds seem to attack other dogs almost without realising they are the same species. It is this instant, knee-jerk instinct to chase and kill anything small enough to be considered prey that makes them so deadly."
"Is it morally acceptable to breed a dog with this purpose in mind"
"...If a breed of dog kills animals on a regular basis, we should be asking whether this should continue?"
She goes on....
"If racing greyhounds are bred solely for racing then would it be more sensible to regard them as we would a beef cow or a sheep? We (the omnivorous of the population) accept that at the end of their working life, such animals are humanely destroyed. If we accept that animals have no anticipation of death, or fear of it, then humane euthanasia at any age and any state of health can be seen as acceptable."
"If it is true that greyhounds kill many more animals than most dogs, then this would be seen as unacceptable. If we find that we cannot ethically justify the euthanasia of all racing greyhounds on the off-chance that they will kill someones pet or livestock at the end of their racing live, then the logical conclusion seems to be that we should not be breeding or racing greyhounds at all."
So, on the basis of two incidents, Ms Milne is suggesting that we should seriously consider thinking of greyhounds as "livestock" and that at the end of their working lives it could be considered ethical to euthanise them.
Ms Milne is a vet. Someone whose first consideration should be the welfare of all animals. If she were calling for the euthanasia of one dog who had killed another, I could possibly understand her viewpoint. But she isn't. She is seriously suggesting that all of this breed be wiped out.
Has Ms Milne not heard of the phrase "Deed not Breed"? Greyhound rescues work hard to educate the public to the sorry plight that befalls racing greyhounds at the end of their working life. Yes they have a chase instinct that has been honed for racing. But many don't and that is why they end up in dog pounds because their owners don't want them if they won't race. Rescues work hard to educate people that greyhounds can learn to live with small animals and if they can't, that dog won't be homed to anyone with small animals. Rescues work hard to educate potential owners that some greyhounds should be muzzled when out and about - to prevent this very sort of incident happening.
Does Ms Milne condemn the owner for allowing these two dogs to be out unmuzzled? No, she blames the whole breed. And suggests they are all euthanised. With all the furore over Staffie/pitbull types I have never read anyone suggesting that they all be euthanised. It's generally accepted that Staffies are loving, if protective, dogs and that it is in the wrong hands that they become killing machines. Greyhounds are trained to race for the benefit of man's entertainment. Is it right that the breed be condemned?
You know that I know from experience what a greyhound can do.....again, man was at fault.
In one fell swoop, Ms Milne has undone all the work of all the greyhounds rescues across the country and condemned this wonderful breed once again.
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
It is indeed brilliant. It tells me who has new posts and lists them all neatly for me to read right there without having to click through each link on my blogroll to see who's posted. How organised is that?
But, as ever, there is a payback. Before Google Reader, I was happily in ignorance of any new posts on my favourite blogs. I usually caught up as and when I had time and tried to get to all of them at least once or twice a week.
But now, now I know there are blog posts to be read and I can see them starting to mount up. Instead of blissful ignorance, I now have guilt for not getting to everyone as soon as they post.
Technology...some days I really hate it.