Friday, 13 December 2013

Life's a bum - but at least I'm still here

I went up to the surgery this morning as my leg ulcer (despite being officially signed off) was not quite as it should be.  I think my skin is so fragile now that anything will set it off. But I can cope with that.  I'd quite like a skin graft, preferably of some industrially hardened plastic skin, but that's not going to happen. 

Anyway, the lovely Kate (my nurse) who I've known for the best part of 20 years asked if I knew Maggie R, who of course I did know because my daughter went to school with her son and they are sort of friends.  For as long as I've known her, Maggie has had MS and latterly she's been riding round in a motorised scooter thing, but I haven't seen her that recently.  I've often seen her husband Brian chatting with friends in local coffee shops (of which we have more than a few).

So today Kate said that this afternoon there was a memorial service for Maggie.  It would seem that the MS had deteriorated so far that she had no control over her bodily functions and that, whilst she wasn't in pain, she had got to the point where the loss of dignity was too much.  So two weeks ago she did the one-way trip to Switzerland.

Her children knew (20/21 year old son and 24-ish daughter).  But I can't even begin to imagine the anguish that all of them went through.

I'm glad Kate told me about it.  I wouldn't want to see Brian and say something totally inappropriate.  I'm really bad at funerals, I cry at the slightest emotional bit.

And it just set me thinking.  My sister-in-law died (of bowel cancer) six years ago a week before Christmas.  Jo Yeates her body was discovered on Christmas Day (of all days!) three years ago.  And that was at spitting distance almost.  And we had lots of snow which really didn't help.

This 'everybody being jolly ho ho ho' over Christmas is actually the worst time of the year for some folks.

Oh, and in case you're thinking I'm being overly schmaltzy - my washing machine has died (I do at least ten washes a week) and needs a new outlet pump and a new soap hose - total cost in the region of £180 plus VAT.  And that's not to mention all the other crap things I have to pay for.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

What should you allow a 15-year-old to do?

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.”

William Shakespeare, “Hamlet” (Prince of Denmark – but strangely enough not a tragedy in this case)



Several months ago, younger son (R) who is fifteen started corresponding (if that’s the correct word) via Skype with a girl called Anna who is Danish.  At first he told me that she went to the same junior school as him but moved to Denmark when she was seven, however he has subsequently admitted that she is Danish through and through.  Now, by walking into rooms unannounced. I have caught sight of her on Skype and she is a genuine teenager and quite pretty.


A couple of months ago they hatched a plan.  She was coming to London with her school on a trip and they arranged they would meet up.  By chance British teachers were going on strike on the day they had arranged to meet and so therefore R’s school would be closed.  Well, that’s lucky, otherwise I’d have had to ring up and pretend he was sick.


And then her friends also started Skype-ing R so now he had three Danish girlfriends and he started saying he had to bring them all presents, not just one each but TWO each.  One girl wanted pink and green nail varnish.  One was very into Harry Potter and we happened to have two copies of one of them so she was given that so she could practice her English plus a bookmark/light.  And Anna was given a Union Jack hipflask (as being very English) and a horse’s head mask (no, I don’t know, either).


I was a bit concerned about the Danish teachers’ reactions, how they would take to a 15-yr-old English boy stalking them but the only way for me to contact them would be through the kids so I couldn’t see that happening.


He wanted to go by train but that would have cost £51 return (at least) whereas the coach was only £18.50.  He wanted to catch the 5.00am coach which would get to London by 8.00am to give him time to meet them at their hotel by 9.00am.  On the Saturday before I sent him down to walk to the coach station to make sure he knew where it was and which bay his coach would go from.


Print out tube map, bus map, map of Victoria coach station, printout of birth certificate (on the coach 14-yr-olds have to be accompanied, 16-yr-olds have to buy adult ticket, so therefore he needs to prove he’s 15 to get a child’s ticket but not need to be accompanied, gosh this is so complicated!).  Give him letter “to whom it may concern” saying who he is, how old he is, how I’ve given permission for this tomfoolery, etc and here’s all my phone numbers.


The night before he had various phone calls from the girls in London which indicated that the following day’s itinerary was being reorganised.  Jokingly I said they must have got wind of R turning up, but he said the girls had told their teacher he was coming and he was going to be an honorary Danish student for the day!  In retrospect I think this was to avoid teachers’ rallies going on in London, but it meant he didn’t know where they were going (the original first stop was St Pauls).


We checked his bank card the night before in case I had to transfer money to him in an emergency.  He hadn’t used the card for several months and it appears to have been cancelled.  Whatever – it didn’t work.  Okay – here’s some cash, it’s for an emergency (I’ve yet to see this come back by the way).


Get up at 4.00am.  Make bacon sandwich.  Take your travel sickness tablets.  Bye.  There are so many things that could go wrong from this point.


Empty dishwasher.  Empty washing machine.  Put another load on.  Wait until 5.00am to get a text saying “I’m on coach.  It’s moving.”  Go back to bed.  Takes another hour to get back to sleep.


Get up at 8.00am because I have an appointment at doctor’s at 09.00am and by now he should have arrived at Victoria Coach Station and needs to walk up to Victoria Rail Station to buy a one-day Travelcard.  It’s then going to take him 45 minutes to walk across Hyde Park to meet them at their hotel.


No text.


Look at travel website.  M4 closed between Swindon and Hungerford due to accident involving car transporter.  Long delays expected.


08.35am R calls to say he’s just arrived at the coach station and where is the rail station?  Give him directions.  He says he’ll have to run once he’s got the Travelcard as he’ll only have half the time to get to their hotel.  I can see him playing catch-up all day.


08.45am – having left map of area on computer screen, tell his father he’ll have to give him directions if he rings up and set off for doctor’s.


08.55am – En-route to doctor’s I get a call saying “I’m not quite sure where I am”.  Tell him to ring home and speak to his father.


09.25am – Get home from doctor’s to find that the girls have rung R and said they’re setting off from their hotel but don’t quite know where they’re going yet so will ring him when they know.  Dad thinks he’s just waiting at Hyde Park Corner to find out where to go next. 


Ring R who is actually somewhere in the middle of Hyde Park but doesn’t quite know where.  We are reduced to can you see the sun, where is it? to ascertain that he is heading north.


R says Anna’s phone number doesn’t work so he can’t ring her and she hasn’t rung him yet.  Take her phone number and say I will try and ring her.  This is great, isn’t it?  Son somewhere in the middle of Hyde Park, girls have gone somewhere (who knows where) and they seem to be un-contactable by phone.


I now realise that the phone number isn’t long enough so understandable that it doesn’t work – but what to add?  It starts 45… and I wonder whether that’s the equivalent of us being +44…  Try adding a couple of 00s on the front and it rings and a girl with a foreign accent answers.  Phew!  She says that R is not answering his phone (hope that’s just because he’s in the middle of the Park) and that they’re going to Camden Market shopping.


Ring R back and tell him her real number and to ring me once he’s reached the edge of the Park.


09.55 – Okay he’s got as far as Lancaster Gate and has rung the girls who will be in Camden for three hours and will meet him “under the blue sign”.  Give him instructions to get the Central Line (the red one) to Tottenham Court Road and then change to the Northern Line (the black one) to Camden Town.  No, you can’t ring me when you’ve done the first bit because there won’t be any signal down there.  The boy’s never done Tubes before.


10.25 – He’s made it to Camden and the girls have found him. 


And breathe.  At last I can get on with my day.


15.45 – Text R “where are you?” 

 “London Eye”.

 “You ought to start thinking about saying goodbye and finding your way back to Victoria”.

“I think I’d like to stay here for a few hours more.  What time’s the last coach?”

“About seven” (I lie.  There’s no way he’s catching the last coach)

“Well can you check?”

“Yes, there’s one at seven”


17.45 Ring R.  I can hear girls giggling in the background.  “Where are you?”  “In their hotel room”.  Now R has done two school trips to Germany and one of the golden rules was no mixed sexes in rooms, let alone foreigners who have only just turned up on the day.  Apparently Leif (the teacher) is fine with him, has been chatting with him all day.  The trip seems to consist of 13 girls and 2 boys so probably quite keen to get a male take on things by now.


18.00 R rings to say he’s outside in the street now – how do you get to Victoria? Tell him to get on Central Line at Queensway, go west for one junction to Notting Hill Gate and get Circle Line anticlockwise to Victoria.  He can’t see tube station.  Well what can you see?  Eventually him doing real life and me doing Google Streetview coincide and he finds the station.  (That’s the trouble with Streetview, you don’t know how old it is and how much has changed since then.  Scaffolding certainly has.)


18.30  He’s got to Notting Hill Gate, can’t find Circle Line.  Has come up to street level to phone.  Tell him to find a station person and ask how to get to Victoria.  There’s really not much else I can do to help him.  When he gets to Victoria rail/tube station he’s still got to get to the coach station and then get his return ticket validated.  (I booked an open return because I knew there was no way I could guarantee he’d get a specific coach.)


18.50  Text him to say “Guess you’re getting the 8pm coach then”.  Answer “yup”.


Arrange that his older brother will pick him up at coach station at 10.30pm which still doesn’t work as by then his phone had run out of charge and they missed each other.  Finally picked up halfway home which is where he’d walked to.


Postscript:  I have just been told  “You know at the end of year 11, people go on holiday?”  “What, you mean they go to Newquay, get pissed and their parents are called by the police to pick them up at two in the morning, or else they’ve jumped off a cliff and are in hospital?”  (I’d just like to add at this point that my two elder children went to Newquay and this didn’t happen to either of them).


“Well I’d like to go to ….”  (Yes, you guessed it.  Denmark – or as his father would say ‘Pastryland’)




As I said when I was at my doctor’s appointment that morning, “just don’t take my blood pressure”.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

How to ruin your child's life

Despite our school "bucking the trend" and gaining a record number of As and A*s this year, the number of students (or their parents) who have applied for a re-mark has increased dramatically.

In the last couple of weeks I've been updating a spreadsheet in school recording the results of re-marks.  Despite costing £35 or £45 a time, parents with cash are willing to splash out to boost their offspring's grades. Some of them are spending well over £100. 

And do you know what - hardly any of them have gained as a result.  If you've got a B, then no amount of re-marking is going to make you an A* student.  Most of them stay absolutely the same, or maybe they gain one or two extra marks which makes no difference to the grade.

But the worst one of all I heard about was a mother who absolutely insisted that one of her daughter's 'A' level papers was re-marked because she only had an A.  It was re-marked and dropped to a 'B'. 

As a result she has now lost her place at medical school.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Race day

Brilliant!!  Jess has qualified for the 4x World Championships tomorrow!  I knew she could do it!  Better get ready to watch it tomorrow live on RedBullTV.

So happy that me and @[534866921:2048:Cara Murray] have made it through qualifying to race 4x world champs in Leogang, Austria tomorrow!! So excited!!

Sorry, this is crap positioning of pics and you probably can't even read the start list on the right, but this is my daughter, Jess (on the left), and her friend Cara who have just qualified to ride in the 2013 4X World Championships tomorrow in Leogang, Austria.  You can watch it here:

although, to be honest, she's qualified 16th out of 16 so may not last much longer than the first race which will take about a minute, so blink and you've missed it, but even so it's the biggest race of her life and as you can see she's really excited.  I think she's probably also the youngest female rider there, so - hey, scope for development.

And I'm her proud mum.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Time for a holiday (at home)

Daughter has finally left to go and race in Leogang in Austria (or at least I had a text this morning to say they were on the ferry, which is good enough for me).  I now know that staples such as bread and milk won't suddenly disappear whilst I'm not looking, that I don't need to buy any cranberry juice for a fortnight, and I shall have to completely re-think my laundry schedules.

She's gone to race in the 4X World Champs, having been picked by Team GB:,555

This may sound good, and it is indeed the biggest race of her life, but British Cycling are only paying the entry fee and providing some pit support there, the rest is self funded (by her, I can't afford it).  I'm sure she'll have the time of her life.  And it means I can get out the back door now without climbing over several bicycles.

Younger son has gone to his first ever gig tonight (yes, I know, and he's got school tomorrow) but he's been planning this for months.  Although I know the mother of the friend he went with, I've never phoned her so when he set off to meet up at his friend's house we arranged that he'd phone me from there and that way we'd both have each other's number.  Half an hour later (it's only a ten minute walk away) I texted him and got the reply "On our way to the gig, they didn't have a home phone".  Is this common now, do you think?

Apparently they're walking back when it's finished.  The last time I can remember him walking back from town he got through Stokes Croft about 15 minutes before the police closed the road.  Let's hope it's less busy this time. 

Somehow, this being my third child, I'm less concerned about him.  When he was little I wanted one of those Lichtenstein T-shirts that said "oh no, I've left the baby on the bus".

Update:  he's just walked through the door, soaked with water which he has apparently applied himself as they were giving out free water and it was very hot, and says he crowd surfed.  (There's one for you, Z, if you're reading this, although I suspect the hips may preclude it.)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Signs of advancing age

Now that I've reached another decade, the first public acknowledgement of this arrived today - an invitation to take part in the bowel cancer screening programme, in the privacy of my own home.  Oh joy!   I'm glad that didn't say in the comfort of my own home. 

What other excitements can I look forward to, now that I've passed the magic 6-0?

Friday, 23 August 2013

I can cheat but I'm not going to PAY to cheat

Back in 2008 I made DVD copies (legitimately) for "Delia's How To Cheat At Cooking". 

One of the recipes was for Shepherd's Pie and when she got to the mashed potato topping she revealed the cheat for that particular dish.  It involved using frozen discs of mashed potato which you placed on top of the mince.  The next week I discovered they were part of a new range of her frozen food and that they cost an inordinate amount of dosh. 

Ever since then I've been making my own.  It's dead easy and means I always have mashed potato available at the touch of a microwave button.  I've been doing quite a bit of that recently as we are now into potato digging up season and I rather overdid the seed potato ordering at the beginning of the year.

Suffice to say that last weekend I dug up 35lb of potatoes (the result of one bag of seed potatoes) and that there's rather more to come.  When I sort them through all the ones that have been accidentally speared by the fork, or which don't look like they'll keep I turn into either mash or sauté (wow, that accent appeared like magic) and then freeze them.

What cheats do you have?

Friday, 16 August 2013

Shrinking wrinklies

Before they changed the rules, I could have retired next Tuesday.  Now I have to wait another 4 years, 2 months and 17 days.

As they're slowing down the rate at which people retire, but not also slowing down the rate at which those at the other end die, does that mean the grey voting population will diminish, and does that mean the politicians will care less about them?

Saturday, 10 August 2013

A quick catch-up

I have been very remiss in this posting lark.  But then I have been a bit busy.

I have spent eight days filming an archaeological dig, in the very hottest days of the year, in the middle of a field, lots of yards/metres (depending on your age) from the nearest trees.  Fortunately we did have a gazebo affair over the actual hole but still absolutely wilting weather. 

They had to go down two metres to find what they were looking for - the remains of an Augustinian abbey which was pulled down by Henry VIII's mob.  On the way they dug through several cess pits - full of broken potties and animal bones and hundreds of oyster shells.  It would seem that in days gone by oysters were actually cheap food consumed by the working classes.

One day we climbed over 100 feet up to the top of the adjoining church tower to film from up there. 

 Sorry, I should be able to find a better picture than that, but at least you get an idea. It did have rather splendid views but was a tad lacking in shade from the sun.

And then, following on from my previous post, I have been making strawberry ice-cream in industrial quantities, digging up potatoes in sackfuls and making redcurrant jelly and blackcurrant jam.  Not to mention the bottles full of "Ribena".  Those currant bushes were just groaning under the weight of fruit - the redcurrants especially just looked like glistening with jewels.

When I went to get more sugar and met Polish Charlie, one of the waiters in my son's caff, I said I was making jam and he said "Really?  Home-made jam?  Can I have some?" so of course I said yes.  And he made pancakes and put the jam on and said it was delicious.  So 48 hours from bush to plate.

In other news it would appear my daughter has been selected for Team GB in the 4X  World Champs in Leogang in September and has also been interviewed for hardtailnation:

Right, things to do ....

Monday, 8 July 2013

It's hot work, this harvesting lark

Yesterday, it being the hottest day of the year, I spent much of the day indoors wrestling with a webpage I was writing that constantly went wrong.  So by the time I'd finally got it working properly it was nearly five o'clock.  Hoping that the temperature might have  fallen ever so slightly (no of course it hadn't) I set off for the allotment as I knew there was some fruit that needed picking.  This took me two hours:


670g redcurrants (and that was just a fraction of what I could have picked, never mind the blackcurrants)
208g raspberries
523g gooseberries (and still plenty of those left)
2..66 kg (that's nearly 6lb in old money) strawberries.

I could have picked more but I'd run out of tubs - and I had to cook the tea.

Friday, 14 June 2013

In which I up the excitement stakes in my life

So, having spent the morning with the Year 11 Maths (calculator paper) - yep, I know how to live dangerously, I did actually write a short thesis on the incidence of twitching legs that spread across the hall in a sort of Mexican wave whilst I was there - so at lunchtime I went to the park.

And there I watched part of a bowls match which, by invigilator standards at least, was pretty exciting.  There were even little rounds of applause at particularly skilful shots.  When they'd finished one match, one woman got out what looked like a rather wide Zimmer frame and started to walk across the green.  I wondered whether she was using that to sort of spread the load so as not to damage the green by digging holes in it.  Turned out it was a mechanism to scoop up all the bowls and get them to the far side, ready for the next match.

Then my friend R came along and we walked back to school.  She's Spanish and she told me about a trip she'd had to Plymouth (she'd gone to get revenge on Drake for the Spanish Armada thing - no, not really) and she'd seen these people playing bowls (see, ties in with the Drake thing) but they were all old, and moving really slowly, and all dressed in white.  Being Spanish she'd never seen anything like this before and she was convinced they'd all escaped from a local care home or hospital.

I wonder what she'd make of Morris men.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Toilet or bin - you choose.

Me:  R. (younger son, aged 15)?   What are those white things down the toilet?

R:  Marshmallows.

Me:  ?

R:  I came home and had too many in my mouth so I spat them out down the toilet.

Me:  Well now you can fish them out again.

R:  Where shall I put them?

Me:  In the bin.

See.  I'm in control.  Now where did I put my bins?

(There then followed a discussion as to why glasses are called bins.  Feel free to contribute your own opinion on this.)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Do I look that gullible?

The Co-op is doing really well on its special offers:

Potato salad - 78p

Or 2 for £2.

Hard to choose, eh?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Oops, I've done it again!

In the days when MIL was compos mentis we often used to visit on Sundays, have lunch, come home again, and then in the evening I would cook a light meal.  Sometimes this was macaroni cheese. 

About, say, twenty years ago I did this - except one day I mistakenly used icing sugar instead of cornflour to thicken the cheese sauce.  It was completely inedible, of course, and since then I've been very careful about which one I use.  (I should say at this point that I buy them both loose and they live in very similar looking jars.)

Tonight I managed a similar feat.

A standard last minute dessert - only the OH usually has dessert - is a meringue nest with fruit (in this case raspberries out of the freezer) and cream. 

I tasted the raspberries which were a bit tart, so I added some icing sugar and served it up.

So what was wrong?

Clearly after x o'clock at night I cannot tell the difference between a jar containing icing sugar and one containing salt.

I am currently not that popular.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Men with funny haircuts

In order of world domination (see how many you know, answers in the comments box):




Sunday, 26 May 2013

What comes around, goes around - the theory of relativity in a musical context

I was talking to Little John yesterday.  He has a record shop, well half of it's on the pavement outside, and he was standing out in the sun.  We discussed the demise of CDs and the rise of interest in cassettes.  He was saying that vinyl was still going strong although the youngsters had to ask how you could skip to the next track, and had difficulty with the concept that you turned the record over to play the other side.

He then went on to tell me of a friend of his who was selling record carrying cases online. 
One potential customer had queried whether the 12" cases would be big enough for his records as they were 33⅓".  Oh, how we laughed, especially as his 45" records were going to be even smaller!


The exciting life of an exam invigilator

I've done the register of all the students - 62, a smallish size crowd today.  Not that I'm counting or anything.  It's only five past nine.

I've read the AS English Language paper, all 16 pages (okay, the last two were blank).  Not that I'm counting or anything.  It's only ten past nine.

I've counted all the students with glasses (six, since you ask) and those who are left-handed (ten) and I'm sure that the students taking Probability and Statistics  could compute the Pearson correlation coefficient of those (I've no idea what that is).  It's only quarter past nine.

I could count the number of ceiling tiles or the number of brackets holding the pipes to the wall - but that would be nerdy.

I could compute the number of squares there are in the cricket nets - but then I might lose count part way through  -  too risky.

Thing is  -  I'm going to be here till eleven-thirty  -  so I better think of something.

Monday, 29 April 2013

The perils of internet shopping

Recently I received a package from Ipswich, but I think the contents originated further east:
Just how many mistakes can you spot?  Although I'm glad to see the bag will co-operate with the washing machine.
Sadly the quality of the bag matched the quality of its wrapping.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The winning streak continues!

Third place in the 4x at Falmouth, being beaten by the 2012 champion and the 2011 junior champion so fair play.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Mud, glorious mud!

On Saturday I took my daughter to a very wet and muddy field on the edge of Exmoor, helped her put up her tent and then left her there.  Later I spotted a picture of her that had been posted online:

That's her on the right, in the brown.  Still at least she's smiling.  On Sunday morning she was snapped again, just before the race:

Still smiling, but at least she's changed into clean(er) clothes.  Later she had an even bigger, cheesier grin (her words):

That's her in the middle.  And what have I been doing since then?  Well, washing, obviously.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

I think it's my turn to do the five things thing

1.  I learnt how to do bitly and tinyurl this morning.  I'm quite impressed even though I do say so myself.

2.  This afternoon I planted one and a half bags of seed potatoes.  I'm quite impressed even though I do say so myself.

3.  I've got another new job.  Two mornings a week, local, doing the archives for a charitable foundation.  That's six jobs I have now.  I must want my head looking at.

4.  I'm spending most of this "holiday" weekend typing up the studio script of a recording of When Miranda Met Bruce.  It will be quite funny when it's an hour long programme.  At the moment it lasts two hours forty minutes.  I'm getting RSI.  I must want my head looking at.

5.  I'm being nursemaid to my daughter who has a splitting migraine and only pink Migraleve.  Apparently after 2 pink you're then supposed to go on to yellow, which of course we don't have any of.  And it's Easter Sunday night, so forget that.  I'm quite impressed my head hasn't come out in sympathy.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Mutton dressed as lamb?

Oh dear. Camilla really needs help with her appearance:

Whilst the Queen of Jordan cunningly wears a dress which makes her look even thinner than she really is, Camilla's jacket looks like it was a potato sack yesterday and it was made for someone with shorter arms.
Oh I'm such a bitch.

Friday, 1 March 2013

On the labelling of food...

So, how hungry are you?

1) Not very
2) Quite peckish
3) Absolutely starving
4) I could eat a horse

See how overnight one's use of language can change.

I took some parmesan out of the fridge today.  At a quick glance I thought the label said "Made using unpleasant milk" which I thought was mildly appropriate given that not everyone likes parmesan.  A closer inspection revealed it was "unpasteurised" which was nowhere near so entertaining.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The vegetarian option

Yesterday the Russians had a bit of trouble with a meat-eorite (sorry, meteorite).

In Bristol we had a bit of trouble with a potato-eorite:

All I did was put a potato on a piece of kitchen paper in the microwave.  And turned it on.  Yes, okay, the plate did have one small crack beforehand.

Friday, 15 February 2013

You're only as old as you sound

Went into living room today.  To 19-yr-old daughter: "Can you turn it down a bit please?"
(I've clearly turned into my parents) 

Then recognition kicks in and I realise that she's listening to Radio 1 Essential Mix.  Which she downloaded at least a year ago.  So actually I recognise all the tunes/songs/mixes/WTF do you call them these days?

But then I also recognise the jingles.  Which leads me on to Annie Nightingale.  Hands up anyone who's never heard of her.

So I ask teenagers who are in the house how old they think Ms Nightingale is:

15 yr-old son:  29.

19 yr-old daughter:  22/23.

59 yr-old dad:  64.

Well actually on her birthday, April 1st since you ask, she will be 71.  (Shock, horror!)

"So why do you think she's only 22/23?"

Daughter:  "Well she plays music so loud".

Sunday, 10 February 2013

On the naming of things

We have a new name for these in our house now:
Vanessa Swirls.  Quite.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

I give you two pictures I saw today which made me laugh:


How much can you divide the populace by their reactions to these two?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Marginal, my eye!

*sighs*  I spent yesterday afternoon in the Eye Hospital (again).  Even though I'd rung up and made an appointment, when I entered the A&E waiting room there were 27 other people there.  Granted some of them were accompanying rather than actual patients, but still a lot.  And you never know whether a real emergency is going to come through the door, and push you all further down the queue.

I now realise that Nick Knowles has gone (probably back) to daytime TV as there was a programme called Perfection on the big screen TV in the waiting room.  I could only hazard a guess as to how this quiz worked as they never turn the sound up enough that you can properly hear it.  And as half of us were sitting there nursing a sore eye then I hope the programme was aimed at a target audience of half deaf, half blind people.

I should perhaps say that I've been wearing glasses since I was 7, and then contact lenses since I was 17.  Without them I cannot even read the big letter at the top.  About five years ago I first got an ulcer on my left eye.  Since then I've had two further ulcers, one on each eye.  They're quite painful, obviously you can't wear lenses, and you become very susceptible to light.  It usually means six weeks of eye drops.  I've also had marginal keratitis (which is what I've got again this time) which is not quite so severe as there's no infection but it still means four weeks of steroid eyedrops.  Which means I have to wear my glasses.  Which are not as good as my lenses.  Which makes me grumpy.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Happy birthday to you and you and you ...

I made chocolate brownies last night as a birthday cake for my daughter who was sent this message yesterday.

Her birthday's actually at the end of July, and her last contact with Scouts was about a year ago.  Sweet though, isn't it?

Saturday, 26 January 2013

All chequed out

I wrote a cheque this week for my allotment rent.

The stubs in my cheque book revealed that the last cheque I wrote before that was a year ago - for my allotment rent last year.

These days I do virtually all my banking online or paying by debit card.  No wonder youngsters today have no idea how to write a cheque.

How many cheques have you written recently?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Be careful who you know

A month or two ago OH got a form that he (didn't bother to) fill in from the BBC (as he's now a BBC pensioner, I'm not because I took all my pension out whilst I could but he wasn't allowed to) asking whether he'd been affected by the Savile situation..
Then yesterday there seemed to be a bit of a shot in foot situation.
My youngest quite liked The Tweenies.  But he liked Jake:
Apologies but I did have to rescue him from under the end of the bed.  JS had nothing to do with that.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

I can't get out of the house!

Finally, I have managed to persuade pictures into Blogger again.  This is the view from my front door.  That bush is usually about 8 foot up, but the weight of snow has brought it down to less than 3 foot:

And this is the view from across the road.  Yes, there is a house behind there!

This is the view up the road:

And this is the view from the pavement.  As you can see the postie's been already - he must have been a limbo dancer.

And just as a curiousity, we have scaffolding outside our house and some of the snow is attached to the underside of it which gives it a rather decorative appearance.  In fact from further away it looks like a giant spider's web.
 So how is the snow with you?
I texted my son to tell him to take care because the snow on the roads would be icy.  Predictive text turned that into the pony on the roads would be gay. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

I remember going there

I saw a news item yesterday about the museum of costume in Bath which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013.

I remember visiting there as a child, but as it must have opened in 1963 and I left home in 1971 then it would have been a fairly new museum when I went.  Not that I realised, although I suppose that's because it's housed in a much older building.

I remember getting several of these which I carefully coloured in and cut out. 

Did I mention my highest grade at 'O' Level was for Needlework?