Monday, 30 June 2008

Fun Monday - Quirks

Our hostess for Fun Monday this week is the lovely Lisa at Lisa's Chaos and this is our assignment:

A quirk is defined as a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism. We are all unique individuals, having quirks that help make us who we are. I would like to know what your quirks are. Confess to one, confess to ten, you decide. Just come back Monday ready to spill the beans, the rest of the world may look at you like you are from Mars, but you‘re among friends here. We won’t laugh, in fact that eccentricity just may endear you to us more.

Quirks. Hmmmm.....if you asked me if I had any quirks I would have said I had them in spades. But now I come to write about them, I can't seem to bring them all to mind, they are probably such an integral part of my nature that I don't think of them as quirks any more! But here's a few:

1. If we're having dinner where I put food in serving bowls on the table, I cannot bear to have other people put food on my plate, even if they are being helpful because I'm running round getting the things I've forgotten to put on the table. I HAVE to serve myself. Himself used to do this for me and it used to send me into a complete tizz.

2. I have to serve food steaming hot. Himself despairs and has to wait 10 minutes before he can eat his dinner.

3. My last mouthful of food from my plate has to be a small bit of everything that was on it.

4. Trousers must be folded at the seams and NOT creased down the middle of the leg. Himself does that and it drives me insane.

5. Toilet rolls on the holder have to unroll "over" not under.

6. If I'm driving and I'm turning right, please don't tell me that the road to my left is clear. I'M in control of the car and will check for myself, thank you.

7. To me, baked beans are breakfast food, so having them for tea is a bit of a treat. Himself says that's definitely one of my quirks because everyone knows baked beans are meant to be eaten at tea time and having them for breakfast is just plain silly.

8. Eating fried eggs on toast - I eat as much white as I can without disturbing the yolk. Then I carefully remove the rest of the white from around the yolk, then spread the yolk over my toast.

9. Boiled eggs - If they've been over done and aren't runny any more, I add a little knob of butter to make the yolk runny again. We were staying with my mum and step-father once when both my mother and I did this. My step-father and Himself just looked at us with the jaws dropping. Mum and I looked back and asked what the heck their problem was. They still don't get it.

10. Ketchup goes on the side of the plate..not all over the food. Unless it's mayo on salad, then it goes all over.

I'm sure there are a lot more and I shall update the list as they come to me!

Now head on over to Lisa's Chaos to find out about everyone else's quirks!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

My Princess!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Strike me down

Did I forget to blog on Saturday. I might have, yes. But thank's to Blogger's Post Options I can cheat and make it look like I didn't forget. Not that I have much to say, but it was a relief to know that Blogger 365 doesn't send lightning bolts down from the sky if you miss a day.

Lurcher No.1 is all better again, thank you for your good wishes for her. She's still on a restricted diet of chicken and rice and all we can do is sit tight until the blood results come back.

I sold a few of my collar charms at the show today, which was terribly exciting. You'd think at my age I'd have better things to get all excited about. I really must get a life one of these days.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Look what I made!

Having admitted in a Fun Monday a couple of weeks ago that I didn't have a single craft gene in my body, I decided to have a go at something. Anything! Just to prove myself wrong.

And this is what I made......and in case you're wondering, they're collar charms! A little bit of bling for our canine friends! Greyhound Gap has a stall at a show tomorrow so I shall see if they sell. But even if they don't, I am so damn proud of myself!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

This is not good

Having fully recovered from whatever upset her tummy last week, Lurcher No.1 started throwing up bile again on Tuesday evening. So, another visit to the vets on Wednesday morning and this time bloods were taken to test for Pancreatitis, something the vet did mention last week but, as Lurcher No.1 seemed to make a full recovery, that thought was put to one side unless we got a recurrence. Which we now have.

We returned for the results this morning and they showed a moderate increase in amylase and lipase - which is indicitive of pancreatitis, but not conclusive. More bloods were taken, which is all a bit stressful because Lurcher No.1 is just like me....she hates needles! This second test will hopefully prove more conclusive one way or another. If it is pancreatitis, then we need to look at a change in diet for her. At the moment both the Lurchers are fed on a raw food diet which has, up to now, suited both of them. But it can be high in fat. I am loathe to move them onto a commercial pet food but, having done some research, there are many natural alternatives around these days.

Any spare good thoughts for Georgie would be much appreciated. Having a poorly pet is so much more worrying because they just can't tell you what's wrong. Although the filthy looks I'm getting tonight because she has to be starved for 24 hours do communicate her feelings towards me quite clearly!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

So here's a thought.

Wherever you are in the world, if you are watching the tennis at Wimbledon and you are watching it live and as it happens, then if you hear an aeroplane fly over the courts...that aeroplane is also flying over my house. So what you hear, I'm seeing. At exactly the same time. Yet we might be thousands of miles apart and in completely different time zones.

Now doesn't that bring us all a little closer together!?

Bizarrely, I also find it incredibly spooky.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Found it!

I knew I had a photograph of me wearing the jacket that featured in yesterday's Fun Monday, and I've just found it!

This was taken at Ali and Mark's wedding (and I still can't remember when it was! Ali, can you remind me!?). The girls in the picture are the core of The Crazy Gang, who featured in a previous Fun Monday about websites that changed your life. We met online and are still all firm friends, even if we don't see each other very often. To the left is Niki, a friend who featured in a Fun Monday about heroes, then me, then Ali the Blushing Bride, Sara and Em (who also comments here from time to time).

What a fun day that was!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Fun Monday - Clothes

Our lovely hostess this week is Hula Girl and this is our assignment:

I love prying information out of people...and I’m really nosey….ridiculously nosey. After much thought and consideration I’ve come up with the following topic….clothing…specifically clothing you can’t get rid of. We all have at least one or two items of clothing that we can’t part with, even if we can’t or don’t wear them. I want to know about yours. Show us if you have pictures or describe it in detail. Model it for us if you dare. Nothing naughty please-we don’t want to see your backside (or your front side) in that thong you foolishly bought in Cancun on vacation. Is it your old FFA jacket from high school (which my husband has)? A Grateful Dead concert t-shirt from 1978? A shirt from an old lover or that size *&! pair of jeans you hope you get into again one day? Or maybe the really large pair of jeans you wore before you lost 100 pounds or your grandma’s vintage wedding dress. Dig around in your closets and find something you want to share with us Monday. I can’t wait to see and hear about your choices.

18 months ago, this Fun Monday assignment would have filled a scrap book. Before we moved, I had a lot of storage space and I kept everything and boy where there some classic pieces of clothing that I couldn't part with. There was the metallic purple flouncy evening dress, the black and white taffeta ball gown and numerous other clothes from the days I worked in the city. Who knows when I might have needed that suit again? I had some lovely designer cast-offs from a friend that never ever fitted me properly but I just couldn't get rid of them.

And then we moved and my storage space shrunk to a quarter of what I had been used to and something had to give. I was so ruthless and if I hadn't worn it in a year, it went. So the items I have now are not those that have been with me for any length of time but are fairly recent purchases. It's not that I'm hanging on to them for any sentimental reason, it's that I bought them when I hit an all time low with my weight last year. Weight that I managed to put back on again last Christmas. So I have a yo-yo wardrobe, one lot of clothes for when I am a size 12 (US10) and another set for when I am a size 10 (US 8).

But there were one or two exceptions that I wouldn't get rid of and this is one of them

I bought this for a friend's wedding, I've lost track of how long ago it was but it must have been at least 7 or 8 years ago and I just love it. It's silk and has the most intricate embroidery on it. It was something which, left to my own devices, I would never have bought but said friend came with me and insisted it looked fantastic and she was right! I adore this jacket and I may only wear it once in a blue moon but I will always keep it.

Then there is a more recent purchase that another friend made me buy as she said it really suited me. There are two things about this top. One, it's pink and I really do not do pink. Second, it's flouncy and I really do not do flouncy either. But I bought it anyway because I can see what she means, it's just that it is so far out of my comfort zone that I'm really not sure I will ever wear it. I suspect it will become another of those long-term inhabitants that I can't quite bring myself to lose.

And then there's my slobbing about clothes. You know how once something is past it's best but it's so comfy that you just can't part with it? I have draws full of those. How many slobbing clothes does a girl need!? Some have stains that will never come out but I keep them to wear when I'm gardening or when I'm likely to get mucky because they couldn't possibly be worn in public.

I'm a lost cause, I really am.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Me and the Sat Nav.

Or should that be "The Sat Nav and I"?

But I digress...already. One line in and I'm already digressing. Oh..looks like I'm doing it again. Bear with me, it looks like it might be one of those posts.

So, I borrowed a colleague's Sat Nav for my little expedition across London today. I've not used one before so was a little unsure as to what to expect from the tinny little voice that would be my companion for the journey.

It was not what I had imagined.

Although, to be fair, I think my expectations were a little high.

You see, I am comfortable with a map. Give me a map, plonk me in the passenger seat and I can get you anywhere. I know where we are at any given time and can tell you what to expect around the next bend or what station we should be passing. Trouble is, I'm the same when I'm driving. I constantly need to be sure I'm on the right road so everytime I stop at a set of traffic lights I have to check the map to be sure I'm doing OK. Yep, there's the railway bridge. Excellent, there's Avenue Road on my left. Three roads to go before I have to turn right. Good stuff. I had expected the Sat Nav to do something similar. I expected that at every junction it would tell me "Straight on. Don't turn here, you've two more roads to go".

It doesn't. And I had to relinquish control and all knowledge of where I was to this machine. My teeth were clenched and my hands were gripping the wheel. It was stressful.

The other problem is that I am a hopeless judge of distances. An inch? No problem. A yard? Easy. Any bigger than that? Not a clue.

So the Sat Nav comes up with these little gems

"Turn left 500 yards". This being London, there are any number of left turns before the one the Sat Nav is indicating. Which one does she mean? How far is 500 yards for pity sake?

This is followed by "Turn left 200 yards". That's no better. Then we get "Turn left". What? Now? Oh, that's 200 yards. OK. My distance reckoning improved no end by the end of the journey.

Then the one that periodically scared me to death.

I'd be travelling on a fairly straight road and she would announce "Turn right" What?? Now?? But there isn't a right turn, what are you talking about woman?? And then she'd calmly continue with "2 miles". Why do I need to know I have to turn right in 2 miles? Tell me when I'm 500 yards away. I can do 500 yards now.

Then we get to the point where I have to turn left into the road I've programmed in. Except the road has been dug up and there's this great big hole which I am obviously not going to turn left into. And because I haven't programmed in a house number, she kindly tells me "You've reached your destination" and that's that. She isn't going to help me any longer and I'm left to my own devices. Drat.

But I got there, the homecheck went well and we're keeping everything crossed.

And the return journey? I relaxed and let the lady do her stuff. Far less stressful.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

A raindrop.

Carolyn and Swampy want, nay, they demand, a raindrop.

Here you go girls.

And just for the heck of it, I had a play with some more water drops. I haven't been so amused by a kitchen tap since I was a child!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Camera bore!

I've bought a new macro lens.

Well, new to me anyway. Yes, I know the observant amongst you will remember I impulse purchased a Sigma 50mm F2.8 macro lens a few weeks ago but I've never been entirely happy with it. To get a decent shot you had to be within an inch of your subject. Fine when it's a flower, not so fine when it's a bee. A friend of mine decided to sell his Sigma 105mm F2.8 and I resisted for a week but caved in when he accepted my silly offer. The beauty of this lens is that you don't have to be quite so close. It's arrived today and I would have shown you some sample shots. But it's raining.

The thing is, he might also be swapping all his Nikon gear to Canon and he might just have a 10-20mm wide-angle lens for sale shortly. I already have my name on it as that will nicely finish of my lens collection. But I am going to walk firmly away from the chance to upgrade my Nikon D70 to the Nikon D200 he will also be selling. Probably.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

OK, this is very funny.....


see more dog pictures

But what kind of person would think to grab a camera to take a photograph of their puppy pissing on their laptop rather than grabbing the puppy and saving their laptop from probable extinction?

Some people are weird.

Unless, of course, it wasn't their laptop. Or it's been photoshopped. But if it has, it's a damn good job and I wouldn't mind having that level of PS skills!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

This and that

Lurcher No.1 is much better and almost back to her usual self. Thank you so much for all the good thoughts for her. And for me. I'm almost better too, apart from the snotty nose....but you didn't really want to know that did you!?

It looks like we might finally have a potential home for Brodie the Foster and I'm off to take him to meet a family on Sunday. Unfortunately it means I have to drive across London....something I usually avoid like the plague. Driving and trying to read a map at the same time is not conducive to safe driving. But I'm hoping I can borrow a sat nav to get me there in one piece. So fingers crossed for Brodie, he so deserves his forever home.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

patience patience.

"He that has patience can have what he will" - Benjamin Franklin.

This is a quote I must take on board because patience is very thin on the ground here today.

Monday, 16 June 2008

No FM today

My apologies to our lovely hostess Jan at The Prytz Family, but today has been a nightmare so no FM from me unfortunately.

I still have this cold and feel absolutely lousy and it took me ages to get to sleep last night. Then at 5am this morning Lurcher No.1 kept waking me up to go out and would not settle. When I finally got up I realised why, she'd been terribly sick and there was more on its way. She was really uncomfortable and every time she lay down she got up again. So I stayed up with her and took them all for a short walk as that can often help if it is a colic type problem. She was still not right so I took her off to the vets. She is usually such a "meet and greet" dog, roo-ing and barking at everyone but the staff at the surgery all knew there was a problem when she could barely raise a tail wag for them this morning. There was nothing obvious wrong but she's still not right and I'm taking her back this evening.

So I'm very tired, very concerned and, on top of that, I had to see a dental hygienist this morning. Now my teeth hurt.

Hopefully I'll be back on track next week.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I don't have children but that doesn't stop me from thinking that this is just wrong.

High Heels for Babies

Saturday, 14 June 2008

A quirky news story

As I'm feeling a little under the, hold that. Heck, if I'm going for sympathy I might as well milk it. As I'm feeling a lot under the weather (sore throat, swollen glands, sweats and all that coldy type stuff), I'm going to share with you a quirky little story I found on Ananova this morning.

An Italian nature reserve is claiming the world's first unicorn after a deer was born with a single horn in the centre of its head."This is fantasy becoming reality,'' said Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Centre of Natural Sciences in Prato, near Florence.

"The unicorn has always been a mythological animal.''

The roe deer was born in captivity in the research centre's park in the Tuscan town of Prato.

The condition is believed to have been caused by a genetic flaw, the deer's twin has two horns.

Mr Tozzi, who had never seen the condition before, said such anomalies may have inspired the myth of the unicorn.

The unicorn, a horse-like creature with magical healing powers, has appeared in legends and stories throughout history.

"This shows that even in past times, there could have been animals with this anomaly,'' he said. "It's not like they dreamed it up.''

Friday, 13 June 2008


I've just logged into my Facebook account for the first time in ages and ages. THere is a new application you can use:

Dope Wars - Be A Virtual Dealer
The object is simple: make as much money as you can by dealing dope on the streets of Dope City. To do this, you'll look for good dope deals, buy guns to protect yourself, fight and pimp your friends, and avoid the cops.

Am I the only person that thinks this is just plain wrong?

Thursday, 12 June 2008

In My Garden - Part Deux

Sorry, more flower pictures! You see, I went out last night. It was our company AGM and then we went to the pub and then a few of us went for a curry. Quite why I feel so hungover today I don't know, because all I drank was water. So as I am somewhat brain dead today, it's more pictures.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

In My Garden

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


I have spent a lovely day working at home today.

Sitting with my laptop in the sunshine makes writing Board minutes all the more bearable.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Fun Monday #26

Our host for this week's Fun Monday is Molly from Return of the White Robin and our assignment is this:

For your assignment tell us about a happy memory from your childhood. If you have pictures, please show us your pictures.

Hmmm...happy childhood memories. I have few recollections of my childhood and I think that is to do with being an only child. Himself has 7 siblings to bounce memories off and they all seem to be able to remember things that happened when they were younger. Probably because they each have other people who experienced the same things to talk to about them and that helps either keep the memories fresh or to jog memories.

My childhood was not blissfully happy. My parents divorced when I was 9 and there was a battle royal for custody of me. A battle my father only wanted to win because he couldn't bear to lose any argument. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't beaten or abused or neglected in any way. My mother loved me and I'm sure my father did in his own way too. But if I tell you my earliest memory is of me being bundled into a car by my mother and her driving to some remote place where she sat and cried her heart out, that will give you a taster of how it was in our house. I later put two and two together and was able to work out that that was the occasion when my mother found out about my father's first affair. At least, I assume it was his first. It certainly wasn't his last.

But I do have distant memories of staying with my cousins on their farm and being allowed to run free and wild as long as we were home for dinner. We climbed walls, picked gooseberries, ran with the sheep, stacked bales of hay in the barn then climbed them and jumped off them, we dared each other to go into the field where the bull lived and helped out with the sheep dipping and sheering.

It was idyllic and looking back now those were amongst the happiest and most carefree days of my life. I wish life could be so carefree now.

Go over to Molly's place and see who else is participating this week!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Cross Words

So there I was wondering what to blog about this evening when Himself reminded me of one of his most annoying habits. So I'm sharing it with you. Then you can be annoyed too. Is an annoyance shared and annoyance halved?

On Saturdays, the Daily Telegraph newspaper has a general knowledge crossword. It's a big crossword and, as the paper tries to aim itself at the more highbrow intelligensia of a Conservative inclination (not that we are, we just like the crossword), it's not always easy. In fact, we rarely finish it.

Now, Himself has the kind of mind that retains the sort of information that us normal people let in, register, and then let out again. In other words, he has a brain full of useless information. Which does, nevertheless, comes in useful for the crossword.

Woe betide anyone who attempts the crossword before he does. Apart from me. I am very graciously allowed to have a first look. You see, he takes this crossword very seriously and will continue to pore over reference books for the answers he doesn't have in his head already. He knows that my retention of general knowledge facts is hopeless and so I won't get far.

So I was allowed a first look this evening and began filling in answers. And therein lies the nub of his annoying habit. He can't just let me get on with it. He will peer over my shoulder and if I skip a clue, he'll start giving me clues in such a patronising manner that I end up chucking the paper at him and tell him to f***ing well do it himself.

Which is, of course, exactly what he wants me to do.

PS. Thank you all for your comments yesterday. Today dawned bright and cheerful and a friend and I went fundraising for Greyhound Gap and I got to snog lots of dogs.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Do you ever?

Do you ever have days when it all suddenly seems too much? For absolutely no reason it feels like the weight of the world has suddenly dropped on your shoulders?

It's been one of those days today. It started off well and but gradually the fug has descended and I feel really miserable. Hopefully tomorrow will bring a better day.

Although Jo's tale of the naked bike ride brought a smile to my face!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Daydream believer


n. A dreamlike musing or fantasy while awake, especially of the fulfillment of wishes or hopes.

Do you daydream?

I don't mean just sitting at your desk or wherever lost to the world in your thoughts but really daydream. You might be walking or going about your daily life but thinking about what you might say if that situation arises or if that person walks out of that door what you'd say to them or how you'd react? Do you muse about situations you know are going to occur and let your mind wander into what might happen and how you will respond, or how other people will?

Or is it just me?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Do Not Disturb

This blogger is sleeping.


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Beauty Hunt

A few weeks ago, Carolyn over at Laughing Alone in the Dark asked us to go on a Beauty Hunt. Well, I did, but have been a bit remiss in posting the pictures. So here they are

An unfurling fern

A lily


Cow Parsley.

And what would a blog about beauty be without a picture of The Lurchers?

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


I was meandering my way round the internet this morning when I happened upon a very interesting forum all about growing your own produce and the road to self-sufficiency.

One thread was problem of "wiggly things" [sic] in a water butt. "Wiggly things" turn out to be insect larvae and there are various means of dealing with them, such as putting gold fish in the water butt. One commentor made the unfortunate comment "I put a pond snail in my butt". Cue much hysterical laughter (It's been one of those days OK? I needed a laugh).

OK, no. What he actually wrote was "I put a pond snail in my water butt" but you know when you speed read and miss words out? Oh well, I laughed and it's good to laugh.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Fun Monday # 20 something

Our gracious host for this week's Fun Monday is Karisma. Our assignment is this:

I MADE IT MYSELF! I think the title pretty much says it all, but for those of you who may still be wondering, I would like to see or hear about things you have made with your own two hands (or feet, Im not fussy!) We all have different talents and abilities, maybe you like to sew or knit, chisel or sculpt, draw or paint? Whatever your talent is, please share it with us this week.

OK, as I mentioned yesterday, I was going to make something to share with you today. I do make a mean fruit scone. But we had a powercut and by the time the power came back on it was way to late to start baking. I'm not very good at making things you see. I've tried and failed at so many things that I don't even try now. I am just not very arty farty crafty.

So a bit of judicious rule breaking is going to happen.

Himself you see, is very good at making things.

He made this for me. It's a Welsh dragon carved from bone

And he built this - which was nothing more than a bank of earth before (although I did the planting!)

He paints too. This is my favourite. It looks simple but it's just perfect.

See? He's clever like that.

Mind you, there is one thing I'm good at making though. A mess. I could not be tidy if I tried, and I do try, often, but my desk still ends up looking like a bomb's dropped on it.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Honest I was!

I was going to make something so I could post tomorrow's Fun Monday, honest I was. But we had a power cut and I couldn't! Looks like I might have to break the rules again.

Do you know, I have had a lovely 24 hours. Himself left at midday Saturday and I have pottered and pootled and chilled and relaxed....but achieved greatness too. The neighbours were away as well so it's just been my and my dawgs and it has been bliss. There's something so peaceful about there not being another soul anywhere near.