Saturday, 27 December 2008

Christmas And All That Went Before

It has been a while!
I have been both poorly and busy. Which is not an ideal combination.
Christmas came at a very inconvenient time to be fair.
I managed to pick up a mean cold/cough type of bug and was laid out for a whole weekend. On the upside I got through lots of lovely television that I had recorded on the hard drive so it was a good use of time really.
When's all said and done though, I'd rather the snot monster went next door in future.

Anyway! It is a testament to what a good girl I am that I was very lucky at Christmas, Santa looked fondly on me.
In fact our whole house appeared to have been good all year judging by Santa's kindness.
All manner of lovely gifts had my name on them, I've been able to reduce the size of my wishlist somewhat and am very grateful!
I'm also planning to finally get some new tattoos done, which is quite exciting, although it'll take time as the tattooist is renowned for being booked up for ages and ages.
What am I saying? I'm really bloody excited about getting them done and talking to the tattooist about some designs I have in mind that I haven't been able to draw up myself.

I'm just taking a moment to jump up on my soapbox.
This morning I popped downstairs, remembering the men were coming to empty the bins and that I had several sacks of recycling in the boot that needed to go into my bins.
I ran downstairs and upon going outside realised that someone had moved my bins which I though was odd. Thinking little more of it, I opened the boot and took out the sacks. I hauled them to my bins. Opened my bins, which I knew to be virtually empty and discovered them to be full to the brim. It's just bloody rude. Everyone has their own bin, so why the hell do they think they have the right to fill mine up too? I hope they get nits. And other itchy ailments, preferably ones I won't catch. They're going on the list.
But seriously, how hard is it to knock on my door and ask if I mind them shoving all their crap in my bins. Maybe I should give them a key so they can use my fridge if they run out of room in theirs?
And breathe.

I've just finished reading The Llama Parlour by Kathy Lette.
What I most regret is that I'll never get back the time I wasted on that book.
What I also regret is that I am also hating the current book I'm reading, but after 300 pages I still feel an obligation to finish it, despite the fact the central characters are two of the most shallow women I've ever read about. There were a few funny lines at the beginning, but now I just hope it bucks a trend and there's a terribly unhappy ending. I can but hope.
I need some fire bricks so that I can put a grate in my fireplace, so that I can make kindling from these 'novels'.

As a belated Christmas gift to the world I am giving you these:



I admit I have a celebrity crush on Adam Savage. I can't help it. He makes me laugh!

And that has to be my favourite explosion.

Now I have to think about New Years Resolutions......

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Here Comes The Bride

Not me. Obviously. No one is that crazy. Well a small handful might have asked. I only said Yes once though, before I changed my mind.
Anyway, for a change, I digress.

A friend of mine is getting married.
We have been discussing alternatives to the wedding march.
What should be her music for the aisle walk?

Today we toyed with The Kinks - You Really Got Me.
I was late out of the house because I was contemplating the lyrics to The Air I Breathe by The Hollies.

Most Bob Dylan has been contemplated, along with a bit of Elvis and Chris Isaak. To be fair, the latter might have just been an excuse to watch Wicked Game on youtube, along with a number of his other videos. Just for research you understand, ahem.

So here's my question, what do you recommend for that walk down the aisle?
If you need to suggest more Chris Isaak songs for me to view, that's just fine too.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Songs Of The Week XXXXI & XXXXII

This past week has been manic. If I were a fly, my arse would be blue, to completely ruin an old saying.

On Friday I went to see The Levellers and my goodness did I dance. I am very sore. Very, very sore. Dancing is bad for your muscles.
Anyway, enough of my ridiculous injuries, the support acts were excellent and I'm choosing them for some overdue songs of the week.

This song is about his friend dying of breast cancer and it just really touched me.

Frank Turner - Long Live The Queen:


After Frank Turner were Divokej Bill, a Czech band, so whilst we couldn't understand what they were singing it was really excellent music!

Divokej Bill - Lasko

Notice the guy at about 47 seconds in, as they were playing, Gary nudged me and yelled into my ear that he was the most beautiful man he'd ever seen!

I'm absolutely knackered at the moment, last week I had plans for every night of the week and I'm just not used to it! Usually being a solitary creature, suddenly being in demand was a shock to the system!

We had the Lincoln Christmas Market this weekend too which makes Lincoln absolutely manic. The sudden influx of around 150,000 people causes havoc with the traffic, but I love it, I'm so incredibly proud of where I live, it just feels so beautiful to me that I like showing it off!
I ventured up there on Saturday and by Jove it was chilly. It reminded me how close we are to Christmas, not as I've mentioned before, one of my favourite times of year!

Also this week, I had a really random conversation with a police officer. Possibly one of my strangest conversations as we discussed music and he said he'd have gone to more gigs if he hadn't spent so long procreating. The rest of the conversation went on in that sort of vein, you need not know more!

I also embedded some chipboard in a fingertip which made typing really quite painful.
I've also got an impressive bruise on my right leg, I'm not sure if that's from the gig or not, I never bruise, I just like to show them off as proof my pain is valid.


I do believe that is the extent of my misadventures, I'm hoping to be back properly this coming week as my social calendar is back to calm normality.

On a final note, I have a bottle of Cream Soda on my desk. I love it, I almost never drink anything but water at home, but damn that stuff is good. All it needs is a spoon of ice cream for perfection to be achieved.

I lied, this is my final note, I dreamt I ran over a puppy whilst driving in reverse. In my dream the puppy was largely fine apart from a bone sticking out at the base of its tail. I took the puppy to the vet and was told the puppy would be fine, even though it screamed every time you touched the exposed bone. That's messed up right?
It's no wonder I'm tired when my sleeping imagination is throwing this shit at me.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Gratitude

I have been across the border.
I went to a new country.
For the first time in my life.
I went to Wales!

Anyway, more on that later, but I had a little tale to tell.

The other day I was wandering around Sainsburys, I was in the fruit juice aisle and noticed a young lad of about 11 standing with his mother in front of the juice, hands clasped as though in prayer whilst uttering the words "Please, please, please."
His mother reached out, selected the Pomegranate & Blueberry, at which the lad fell to his knees, reached his arms to heaven and fairly yelled "Yes! Thank you!"

I really have to try that Pomegranate & Blueberry juice.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Loving Lovehearts

Some time ago I wrote about how I love a Love Hearts tale.
I still do, only I have noticed, on my recent purchases of Love Hearts that there are some really odd updates.
They always said things like 'You're hot', 'Call me', 'Gorgeous' and the like.

But now there are ones that I simply don't understand.
'Happy Harry' - is that a joke I don't get? Is it a phrase those hip youngsters are using? I just want to know what it means! And what it has to do with love!
Similarly, what on earth does 'Granny P' have to do with love? I don't get it! And I want to!
At least when the majority of Love Hearts do at least spell correctly and have a little grammar.
But then I found the sweet 'Me Julie Best Mum', I don't have words. I just don't. How can I invent a Love Hearts story around such ridiculous sweets?

By the way, after I took this photo I found another sweet, which had the words 'Mermaid Eloise'.
Seriously, would someone please, pretty please, explain this to me?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Drumroll

My friend Gary came for tea tonight and less of him left than had arrived.

It had nothing to do with my cooking either!
Not that I've ever caused lasting damage with my cooking, at least not that I'm aware of!

I made a toad-in-the-hole, then established that he is not a great fan of Yorkshire Pudding. I love Yorkshires I do! I thought everyone felt the same!
So we ate, we had a little pudding.
We watched a little TV and had a little chatting.

I have an old travelling trunk in my lounge that serves as a coffee table of sorts. I love it and in the middle of it is a glass bowl, in which sit a selection of sweets. It's nice to have friends come round, have them dive in and feel like big kids.
Gary dove in and reappeared with Drumstick Lollies clutched in his fist.
Unfortunately the aforementioned lolly went on to clutch one of his fillings and refused to relinquish its hold.
Oops.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Pig Drawing

I found this link in stored away in my favourites and feel the need to share, but I think you should all share in response too.

You know you want to.
Draw a pig that is.

I drew one and I'm even going to share that too but you don't look at mine till you've done yours.
Promise?
Cross your heart?
As an added bonus you'll even get a personality report.

Feel that anticipation?

Ok, so, did you draw a pig?
Have you linked to it in the comments?


I'll believe you... here's my artistic effort.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Not Dead, Just Crippled

It's been a day or two. Maybe a week or so.
But I have returned, I have not gone, but my back has.
Honestly, what use is a back if it's going to misbehave. Does it not appreciate how central it is to your general mobility.
Admittedly my grunting appears to entertain those around me as I move from sitting to standing positions and back again, but even that will grow old.
To be fair it's much improved and after the next day or two I think I'll actually get some time to rest it and let it recover.
Also, on another upside, it is no longer waking me in the night every time I wiggle a toe. There's something disheartening about waking up and realising the time on the clock has barely changed since the last time you saw it.

I think, anyone who has read my rambling nonsense will appreciate I have a tendency to lean towards the eccentric. Sometimes I keep it in check, other times it just sort of runs off and I am unable to rein it in.
It snowed yesterday. Just a few inches, but enough to turn my world a pristine shade of white, to make the kids squeal and Mifford shake her feet in displeasure.
I was invited to Mum's for Sunday dinner. I'm not sure if my assembled outfit was eclectic, eccentric or just bonkers.
One thing it definitely wasn't was thought through.
I threw on a pair of jeans, my favourite pair were residing in the hamper waiting to be washed. My second favourite pair sit a little low and so need a long top to prevent indecent, builders bum, exposure. I pulled out a top. A strappy top.
You'd think the freezing temperatures would rule this out, but no.

I added a huge cardigan. Up until now I was pretty co-ordinated as everything was blue.
Then I realised I needed to leave the house and appreciated the fact that my Capri length (second favourite) jeans might not keep those ankles toasty, so I opted for a long pair of pink & green striped slipper socks.
Sexy huh?
But wait, there was snow and ice on the ground.
I added my green wellies.

See how this look is coming together?
For a final touch I added my pink winter coat.
I'm like a fashion disaster.
But I felt so hilarious (ridiculous) I fairly skipped in the snow.

Moving on....
Last week, complete with uncooperative back I went to the NEC with Mum to visit the Hobbycrafts show. I love me some crafting. And some shopping. And some spending. It was good and I have come to realise in future I need a lottery win prior to visiting so that I can purchase all of my desired items. Or a really generous bank manager. I'll be sticking to my lottery dreams, as, even though I never buy a ticket, my chances of winning are still higher than finding the latter of those options.

I did come away with a sheet of cling rubber stamps, with which I am thrilled and am excited by their bargain price of just £4. I also got shrink plastic, which I remember using as a child. There's just something exciting about its transformation.
My friend Gary came over last week, I sat and painted a picture as we chatted, which I intended to then shrink.
The instructions clearly stated that your image could not be larger than 10cm x 13cm, so naturally I did one that was half A4 size. When it was finally finished I reached for my heat gun to see what would happen with my rebellious, outsized image. Gary said it was genuinely exciting.

What was less exciting was the damn thing rolling up on itself, sticking itself together and becoming all but ruined.
It's totally weird but I think the rules about 10cm x 13cm are there for a reason. Who knew!

However, I have since managed to unroll the shrink plastic, it's a little deformed but what the hell. I'm not sure I've learned my lesson now I've sort of fixed it.

I read a book every night (not a whole book, just part of one) before I go to bed but I left my current book in the car and it's really cold out there. I'm also wearing pyjama bottoms with my daytime clothes. But it's dark. Do I get the book and risk further bad clothing exposure or find something else to read?
My life is a whirlwind of complex decisions.

On a final note, I lost a whole hunk of hair to a necklace today. I have no idea how so much got trapped, but I have a feeling, were I to look, that I'd have a bald spot.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Song Of The Week XXXX

This band reminds of a time in my life that seems just so very many years ago. Probably because it was! Over a decade is a fair while, but there's something about the album that this song comes from that is still so incredibly fresh.
They were all songs that you could sing along with and with the obligatory occasional swear words so that you could feel pleasantly rebellious.

There are some great lines in this track and I can listen to it over and over, the same is true of the album.
This song actually gives me goosebumps, then it makes me chuckle with some of the lines, like: "grass is something you smoke, birds are something you shag, take a year in Provence and shove it up your arse", see, it was mild swearing but I loved it!

Every time I think about Pulp or hear a single track, I immediately want to listen to the entire Different Class album, which was my favourite, although I really must give the others a proper listen.


Enjoy!

Pulp - I Spy:

Oh and one last thing. I can't end this entry without a quote, namely the one that went along with the Different Class album.

"Please understand. We don't want no trouble. We just want the right to be different. That's all."
Absolutely, couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Cat Came Back

I have no idea why this popped into my head today but there I was minding my own business when my brain screamed 'I wonder if The Cat Came Back is on youtube?'
So, upon arriving home I checked, and yes it is!

I love this piece of animation and haven't seen it in ages.
However, I know for the foreseeable future I'm going to be singing 'The cat came back the very next day, thought he was a gonner but the cat back, he just wouldn't go away'.
Just brilliant.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The Doctor's In

I got a call last week from my doctor's surgery, asking me to come in to discuss the results of my nerve conductivity tests.
It's always a little unnerving having to go and discuss test results!
I arrived and saw the new GP, whom I have only seen once before, on his first day, which was quite amusing as he clearly had no clue how anything worked.
Anyway, I am converted and I think he's adorable. I shall be attempting to ensure if I'm ill, it's on a day that he's working.
The test results I had gone in to discuss were nowhere to be found, whilst the lady covering reception searched for them he and I had a bit of a chat. I got the distinct impression that he really, genuinely cares.
He wants to do some blood tests and I asked if I should just go straight to the hospital. I explained I have notoriously recalcitrant veins.
When I had my stint in hospital, it got to the point that one of the phlebotomists recognised my name when she saw it on boards on the wards. It wasn't a small hospital.
The last time I actually went to the phlebotomy 'ward' it took nearly half an hour and several different phlebotomists to get blood.
Anyway, after explaining the reluctance of my body to give any blood up, my lovely new doctor insisted that I book an appointment with him, so he can attempt to extract some from me.
Finally my test results were located. I have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Ooh Hurrah.
We chatted a little more, he rested his hand on my hand and said; "If at any time, you just want to talk, you come in and see me and I will listen and take care of you." Really. See how adorable he is?
I stepped out of his office, thanking him for his time and went to book the next appointment.
As I explained he wanted to do my blood test the receptionist expressed surprise "but doctors never offer to do those!"

I'm special me. I have deep veins that meander like a river at its end.
Getting a canula in me is a special joy. I remember how thrilled they were at the hospital when I accidentally ripped them out. I'm an accident on the move, what can I tell you.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Song Of The Week XXXIX

I'm a little late, this is my wont!
I didn't have a particular song in mind this week, there wasn't something I'd been playing incessantly and for some reason this group just dropped into my mind and I spent a while wandering around youtube watching them.
I wish their song On Children had been available, for that has to be one of my favourites. Instead I choose this one:

Sweet Honey In The Rock - Peace:

They have such beautiful voices that just work together so very well. They must have had over three decades together and their sound is still so strong it takes my breath away.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Below Zero

Winter has officially arrived, it's cold out there, the leaves are largely fallen from the trees, so I don't know really why I even bothered to look at the weather forecast.

However, I now have the fear.

Come Monday morning I am going to have to wear all of my clothes if I am to survive the predicted sub-zero temperatures... seriously check it out:

-284.
That's pretty chilly right?
I mean that's like the scene where the library freezes in The Day After Tomorrow.
All I have to say is: Brrrrr.
No wait I have to say it again.
Brrrrrrrrrrr.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

A O Hell

Last night, as I disconnected from the internet, a little window flashed up. AOL were about to install some upgrades. I greeted this with a groan. Every single time this happens does it totally screw with my internet connection.

So, this morning, with a sense of trepidation I turned on my computer.
I clicked on the wee AOL icon. Nothing.
I clicked again. Nothing.
Again and again and again. Nothing.
I rebooted.
On this reboot AOL informed me it needed to install more files. I doubted the veracity of this but I clicked OK as I had no other option.
Nothing.
Imagine this repeated a dozen, two and three dozen times.
My temper. It flared.
I couldn't locate a helpline number.
No, because those can be found on AOL. Assuming the stupid program even bloody well opens.

I finally relented and called Directory Enquiries, or one of those services, dependent on who pays the most for advertising and which number sticks in your brain. It was so much easier when it was just 192. Which reminds me of a totally unrelated tale that I need to relate.

Anyway, I rang AOL. I got through to India. Which seems to be the norm of late and I know more and more people are frustrated by it.
I explained my predicament, that this wasn't the first, second or third time this had happened. That I wanted it restoring to exactly as it had been, that I did not want to delete and reinstall, that there was information I couldn't afford to lose. I explained I was really very cross and that I was doing my best to remain calm and civil.

She said she'd help me try to restore it but if she couldn't it would need reinstalling. Frayed temper did not respond well to this little statement.
She spent a while on the phone to me.
And you know what.
She went and bloody fixed it.
I did not need to scream and stamp my feet.
I did however need to thank her for putting up with my very cross voice.

Carphone
Warehouse have taken over/bought AOL. And what a downhill slide that has been.
They absolutely suck.
AOL Pictures, which they spent time advertising? Closed down.
AIM? Profiles deleted.
AOL Journal? Gone.
Ability to view all websites? Not a chance.

I am beginning to wonder why I'm paying for a glorified way to check my email.
But... the big question remains, are the other ISPs any better?

Monday, 3 November 2008

Will It Never End?

Guess what?
It happened again.
Oh Yes.

My phone started ringing.
Me: Hello?
Caller: You forgot your bear.
Me: I'm sorry?
Caller: Felicity?
Me: Um No, you have the wrong number.

Of course they have the wrong number. I am the eternal wrong number.
I'm now imagining Felicity as a bear wrangler though. And that somewhere a lady has a grizzly running riot in her lounge that she cannot control.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Song Of The Week XXXVIII

I can't explain what it is that I love about this.
I just know that I heard it and ran downstairs to check out my CD collection to see if I had somehow missed hearing this, but it wasn't on any of his Cd's I already owned.
It's not even a couple of minutes long, try it and see what you think.
Maybe I need to know I'm not alone in loving it!

Tom Waits - The Ocean Doesn't Want Me:

Monday, 27 October 2008

Seriously...

Can people not manage to complete a phone number in the right order?

I would like to let the world know that 5.50am is a highly inappropriate time to dial the wrong number. It's also very bad form to let the phone ring for just long enough to make sure the sleeping person is wide awake before hanging up.

What's even worse is withholding your number so that the poor, suddenly awakened victim isn't able to call the number back and shout viciously at the culprit.

Grrrr.
That's all.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Song Of The Week XXXVII

I remember hearing this on Radio 2 in the morning, whilst listening to Sarah Kennedy and just adoring it.

It's just so funny and tongue in cheek, whilst putting a good word out for the big panty ladies out there!

The Barefoot Man - Big Panty Woman:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The Fly

I used one of those self inking rubber stamps today.
I placed it over the item to be stamped and pressed down firmly.
I lifted the stamp to see the finished image.
Oh.
A fly had apparently climbed inside the stamp.
Now it was flat amongst the design.
It wasn't pretty.
I felt quite nauseous to be honest.

Thing is... Why do I suspect this has never happened to anyone else?!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Self Congratulations

I am very proud of myself.
On Saturday I went to the garden centre and bought a few plants to update the dying ones at the front of the cottage. Whilst not essential, these are sensible purchases.
On top of this I managed to resist the purchase of this bag:
Which showed enormous personal strength for I love this bag. I want it still.
Today I saw Harriet, she was looking for something fancy for an upcoming jaunt to the Big Apple and I found these shoes:Do you see that bargain price of just £18? They're bonkers. I love them. I have no idea who Blythe is, but Harriet informs me that there's a Blythe craze. I'm so behind the times. But, I did not purchase these shoes and I have a little ache inside me, for I want them.
It has to be said that I'm a collector, I collect various things. One of those things is Hippos, although to be honest, much less these days, which made it easier to resist this fellow:

However, my willpower failed me when I found this apron. I had thought I would like a new apron and with the picture and saying I just couldn't resist.
1 out of 4 isn't bad. Is it?

The best things in life DO have fleas. Sometimes.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Square Eyes

I like television. I like being entertained by good quality shows. Sometimes I like being entertained by bad quality shows too.
But I am, along with many others, totally addicted to Strictly Come Dancing.
I watched the results show this evening with my heart in my mouth.

Heather and Don in the dance off.
I really liked both of them, but then it came to the judges decision and I disagreed. When the first vote went to Heather I felt bizarrely incensed, I didn't think I had an opinion until that point. Then she got the second and third vote and Don was out of Strictly.
How do you get so involved in a tv programme?
How do you come to care about the outcome? I don't care enough to actually pick up the phone and vote but enough to become incensed when it's not the result I wanted!

I do have Sky tv, I like having all those channels to choose from, but I never cease to be amazed there are hundreds of channels with nothing on. How is that possible?
But then I love drama mostly. Getting totally absorbed in a storyline and feeling my heart start to race as the adrenaline pumps as tension builds.
It's the same at the end of Strictly as they stand there waiting for their names to be called out. Saved for another week of torture, perspiration and choreography.

Rachael and I watched Arlington Road last night, after Strictly had finished of course. I had to make someone watch it so I could discuss it. The twists and turns the movie make just make your mind reel, never entirely sure where it's heading to. Afterwards I still feel left with questions unanswered and I had to discuss them with someone who had seen it too. They're still unanswered so maybe it's time to hit IMDB!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Song Of The Week XXXVI

This week I've been clever. Well, in my mind I've been clever.
Check me out.

So first of all we have this song, which I love. Adore. Etc.
It's Chris Isaak and, correct me if I'm wrong, you can't be a heterosexual female and not go all goosebumpy at the idea of Chris Isaak. Watch this video, look at those eyes and then tell me you're not goosebumpy.

Goosebumpy, is, by the way, my word of the day.

Chris Isaak - Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing:


Secondly we have this video:

Now this features Adam Rayner. On whom I have a crush. I do. I admit it. Look at him, he's just beautiful. The leather doesn't hurt either. But seriously, he may be one of the most beautiful men in the world.
I've been watching him in Mistresses which I'm loving, and he is just superb.

Spot the clever part? It's the same song. It was meant to be.
My crushes on Chris Isaak and Adam Rayner dealt with in one fell swoop.
I thank you.

Oh and on a last note, just so you can further understand my love of Adam Rayner, you must click here seeing as it won't let me embed it.
Mean BBCWorldwide.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Song Of The Week XXXV

This week is a dedication.

On Monday I met a very cute little black and white cat. It came up to me, it rubbed itself around my ankles purring softly.
I bent down, stroking it from head to tail, whilst quietly making those clucking noises one seems to make around animals and small babies.
For about a minute I stroked the cute cat as it purred happily away.
Then suddenly, with no forewarning and like a ninja, the black cat span round onto its hind legs clasped its front paws and claws around my wrist and attached its mouth to my hand.
Little bastard. To you black cat I dedicate this song.

Presidents of the USA - Kitty:

Sunday, 5 October 2008

It's All Good

On Friday I got the call to say I was definitely to collect my Dad from Nottingham. Again. We're of high hopes that this is his last stint in hospital for chest pain, that he is finally sorted. And on a myriad of medication.

Friday also heralded the arrival of the oil tanker. Hundreds of litres of the expensive stuff spilled into my tank. As the tanker left, I went to my boiler and the red 'Lockout' light was shining brightly. I pressed the reset button. The boiler went on and off. Again and again I tried. Keeping the fingers on the other hand crossed that it would roar into life, without the need for an engineer and the hideous call out charge. I started to do the I-need-to-pee dance and decided I would have five more presses of the reset button before I commenced the I-desperately-need-to-pee dash to the loo.
First press. It died again.
Second press. It died again.
Third press. It died again.
Fourth press. It roared into life. Whilst completely the I-desperately-need-to-pee dash I pressed a hand to the radiator. Heat was starting to work its way through. I combined the I-desperately-need-to-pee dash with a Hurrah dance. You can't conceive of how attractive it was. Mifford looked as though she wanted to join in. Possibly.
But. I have heating! It's warm. It's toasty.

That afternoon I rang a man.
"Hello"
"I'm looking for a chimney sweep."
"Are you now?"
"Well I think I am."
"You think you are?"
"Well I lit a fire and instead of the smoke going up the chimney it filled my entire downstairs with a vintage London smog. That can't be good? Right?"
"I bet you've got Jackdaws in your chimney."

Oh good. What worries me is not that they're living there. It's that they might be dead there. I can't even bring myself to look up there in case that's the exact moment the dead thing drops out, because in my world that's just the way things happen. I hope he doesn't charge extra when he discovers that Mifford used to pee in the fireplace. I know. She's nuts. It's why I want a fire. A singed backside will put a stop to that little escapade.

Well, it's almost all good. I should like to tell you about my right arm. It's the one they shot electricity down in an attempt to establish why it hurts. Anyway. It hurts these past few days. Possibly exacerbated by the cold which makes the arthritis in that hand get aggravated. On top of this I managed to swipe my little finger across the serrated blade on the sellotape dispenser. Twice. That smarted. I also have a cut on the back of my hand, I have no idea how it got there. Nor the large bruise that's immediately to the right of the cut. My right arm is in the wars. My left arm? Right as rain.

I cooked last night. Radiatori in a Pumpkin Sauce. I must add it to What's Cooking because it was oh so fine. Delicious. I'm going downstairs soon to reheat the little that's left and wish I had piles of it. Rachael cleaned her plate too so I think she enjoyed it too.

Another good thing. I got new jeans. They fit great in the shop, then after a couple of hours wearing they were loose. In that I didn't need to undo them to remove them, which wasn't so great, but with a belt, they're great again. I love my new jeans. I would like some black ballet pumps. I don't know why, I just feel I need some.

Oh! You know what else is good? I have four avocados sitting in my fruit bowl. I love avocado. See how easy I am to please!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Scarecrows

It's the first annual Dunston Scarecrow Festival this weekend.
From the look of the street outside it's been nice and popular.
I admit I didn't build a scarecrow, but I rather like that the first fellow below resides immediately outside my cottage so it appears as though I participated, although to be fair some of those flowers are mine. I sort of helped.
There have been something like 70+ scarecrows and I feel a little sorry that I didn't have time to make one myself. There are all manner of chaps stationed round the village and seeing as you couldn't make it, I thought I'd share a wee handful with you. See how generous I am.
They're pretty cool eh?










Out To Get Me

I'd been having this weird feeling I was going to have a car accident.
I haven't had a car accident, but I am starting to feel that the universe is conspiring to scare me on the roads as many times as possible.
Check this out.

I drove to collect my Dad from hospital in Nottingham, on the way there I reached a cross roads that I use regularly. The view to the left is clear for a long, long way and I could see no traffic, the road straight ahead was also clear, I turned my head to the right, there was a queue of traffic, at the front of which were two lorries slowly turning into my road, heading for the quarry. I went to move but caught sight of movement. A genius had decided that on a junction would be the best place to overtake. It's a pretty sure thing it would have been lights out if I'd made the manoeuvre.

Just 15 minutes or so later, I sat in the outside lane of the dual carriageway, overtaking a number of vehicles, about to overtake a white van and lorry. Only, the white van decided that as I drew level with its rear bumper it should pull out. I mean, it had mirrors, why check there was nothing there? I sat on the horn and made it clear I was displeased. On the upside Mrs White Van Driver did have the courtesy to apologise as I glowered at her on finally passing.

So, Dad collected, we commence the journey home. We enter a roundabout, clearly signalling, only someone thought this would be an excellent time to pull out in front of me. And then change their minds. Blocking my lane and forcing some serious fast thinking as there was traffic in the next lane too. I gave him a forceful beep and you know what? The bastard beeped me back. Upon telling my friend Harriet, she immediately spoke the thought in my mind: "The injustice of it!" He did wrong and I got beeped. Pfft, I hope he gets piles.

You'd think that would suffice right?

Then yesterday, I'm driving round the block in my village. I reach my own road, I see a car coming towards me. Which decides to turn. Immediately in front of me. No signal, just a turn. My handbag left the front seat and slammed into the dashboard as I squealed to the most serious emergency stop I can remember completing in a while, even surpassing the previous three events. I sat for a few moments, shaking quite violently. Before the road rage overcame me, I leapt out of my car and the damn woman ran in her house before I could have words. Grrr.

I went for drinks last night with friends, as I don't drink it was pineapple juice and lemonade for me. I drove my friends home quite late and as I drove, doing the speed limit, I noticed a taxi behind me, closely examining my rear bumper. Clearly contemplating giving it a kiss. I drew close to my friends road, I indicated, that I was intending to turn right, across the carriageway. The taxi decided that this would be an appropriate time to overtake. Had I made the turn, he would have completely slammed into the side of my car. I sat on my brakes and horn. Again.

I pulled up outside Rachael's house, turned to her and said "Seriously, is it me or are they out to get me?!"

I won't even mention how foggy it's been the past few mornings and that people aren't switching on their lights. Pulling out of my village feels like taking your life in your hands as they suddenly loom out of the mist, invisible to the last moment. I hope they all get piles too.
And I wish a slightly lesser punishment on those that go too far and never turn off their ruddy fog lights. When you're behind them, feeling your vision slowly slipping away as the light blinds you more and more each second.
I hate you all damn it! You're all going on The List.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Song Of The Week XXXIV

I'm quite disappointed in myself.
Some years ago, when I attended Cambridge Folk Festival, Nick Cave was playing and I didn't go and watch him.
Back then I wasn't really interested, then a friend sent me one of his albums and I was instantly converted.
Abattoir Blues & Lyre of Orpheus took my breath away and I listened to it earlier this week, deciding I had to choose a song for this week.
This one won... for no reason other than its sheer beauty.

Can you listen and tell me it's not beautiful?

Nick Cave - Babe, You Turn Me On:

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Unhappy Ending

I was just updating my Recently Read & Reading section.
I'm not sure I should have counted 'It should be you' by Josie Lloyd though. I didn't finish it. When I got to the point that I was hoping that the central character, Charlie, was either going to get shot in the head or have a deeply unhappy ending in some other way, I realised I probably wasn't really drawn into the book.
I hated her. And I hated her friends. But something told me that, with it being chick-lit, they weren't all going to be maimed in the way I was fantasising about.
So, I pulled out the bookmark and the book is going to be given away.
It ought to be a candidate for Book Crossing but I'm not sure it would be fair to inflict it on some unknowing stranger.
I've moved on to The Neon Bible and it's a vast improvement.

Monday, 22 September 2008

More Misdiallings

The ding-dong from my phone announced the arrival of a new text message.
It was a number I didn't recognise, using words I didn't recognise.
"Hey gawjus" it read.
I frowned. Was someone teasing me from a new phone number or was this a misdial?
"Gawjus?! Me?" I replied.
"O Yes" came the reply.
Anyone that knows me knows I loathe txtspk only a little more than I loathe bad spelling.
I replied again, "Hmm. I think you either have the wrong number or you changed your number."
Finally I received a response in English; "who is this?" they asked.
"Who do you think it is?" I asked, ignoring the rule about not answering a question with a question.
"Itd b easier if u told me haha" they said, swiftly followed by "Is dis Sheila?"
Ah, safe to say I am indeed not Sheila.
"No, I'm sleepyhead"
I thought this would be the end of it. But no. More terrible txtspk came my way.
"K kool, i got rong numba sori" Seriously. Who talks like that?
In my polite manner, I responded again "No worries. Cheers!"
That was the end. Surely?
No.
"Bye xxxxxxxxx mwah! X"
I wonder if he's as free with his kisses with all strangers?
I also wonder if my numbers are out there for all and sundry to call and text at their leisure. Surely this isn't normal? Oh wait, nor am I!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Song Of The Week XXXIII

Having a big update after a manic week which has barely left time to breathe.
I need to choose my seven blogs of brilliance. It's harder than I thought.

So, as it's been a couple of weeks, it definitely is time for my new nomination for song of the week.
I heard this on last.fm - which I'm still loving - although I wish all the artists I love had stuff uploaded!
Anyway, I've always liked Jim Moray since I first saw him performing with The Big Session crowd.
This popped up on last.fm and blew me away, I didn't expect it to be as it was and I'm still hooked.

Jim Moray - Lucy Wan:

NHS

I'm appalled by the current state of the National Health Service.
Well, I say current, it's been this way for some time.
My Dad is still in hospital, but thoughtfully they transferred him to another hospital on Thursday to have angioplasty. Then they cancelled it and decided to do it today instead. Then they cancelled that too.
So, there he is, in another hospital in another town which makes travelling and visiting very difficult.
Not only that, he's been told he shouldn't leave his room, which explains why the bitch nurse this afternoon told me I wasn't talking to him, she didn't explain, she just plain refused. That conversation didn't end well.
There's no TV in his room. It's a room he has all to himself. So there's no one to talk to. Just the walls, and their conversational ability is about zero.
I sense prisons have a little more interaction.

The best part about moving him to another hospital, now this is my absolute favourite part. They take him there, then he has to make his own way back. I kid you not. Here look, we're going to do some minor heart surgery, hop on a bus after won't you?

What to do? I have to drive over there to pick him up after the procedure - which has been re-booked for Monday, although Dad has little faith that anything is going to come of that. Another drive at the weekend to make sure he's not alone?
None of his friends and family are over there, going day after day without a familiar face is soul destroying, which isn't great when you're trying to get well in the first place.
I suppose petrol prices are the lowest I've seen in a while. I spotted 106.9 yesterday. It's still ridiculous and the Beastie is a hungry girl.

You can't believe that hospitals only really fully function Monday to Friday. I suppose those surgeons trained a long time and don't fancy working weekends.

I'm just so cross at this system, which just seems to have so many flaws.

And Nottingham City Hospital - your phone skills suck. No, that's not fair the skills on Morris Ward suck. To be fair if they even practiced answering the bloody phone once in a while that'd be great. Dad insists there are some lovely nurses there so I'm not aiming this at them... I'm aiming it at the bitch nurse I spoke to and the other damn folk that ignored the ringing phone. Multiple times.
You're going on the list!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Up, Down, Up, Down

Last week I got the call to say that my Dad had been rushed into hospital with a suspected heart attack.
Ten years ago, on my birthday, I was sitting at work. During my break I rang home and spoke to my then fiance, who was decidedly odd in the way he spoke to me that day. On prompting he said he needed to talk to me when I got home, being an impatient sort I prodded him until he finally admitted that my Dad had been rushed into hospital with a heart attack, but he hadn't wanted to tell me while I was at work. I wandered back to my desk and sat for a moment, I took a few more calls before realising I had no idea what the people on the other end of the phone were talking about. I went to one of the managers and explained what I'd just been told and went home.
After that, Dad had a quadruple heart bypass and became fit. Really fit. I mean hiking 15+miles in a few hours fit.
In July he had his 70th birthday and can still comfortably outwalk me.
So to hear he'd been rushed into hospital was stressful to say the least.
I drove to the hospital, he was in bed on oxygen but seemed quite bright. They didn't have him wired up to anything so I thought that could only be good news. It didn't look as though they'd be keeping him long and I was sure he'd want to be home asap.

The weekend rolled over and left me feeling a bit morose as exhibited a couple of posts below.
Monday showed its face and I decided to be more positive. I remembered the talking cats and how much they made me laugh, so they got posted and I chuckled away to myself as I watched it through a couple of times.

A little later on I got a comment on that post and it's safe to say that it absolutely made my day.
The lovely lady who writes An Apron Away From A Straitjacket, mentioned me in this post. I haven't had time yet to fulfill the rest of the rules, but I will do when life decides to calm down a little! Or a lot!
I'm really looking forward to reading all the others that she nominated and having a good long lurk. Although, thinking about how much I enjoy getting comments here, I think it might be time to bite the blog bullet and start commenting.
Anyway, thank you, thank you, for the nomination and my next entry is going to be fulfilling all of the rules. I'm completely stunned that we can stumble upon one another in the blogging ether and find so many people that we enjoy reading. It's such a real delight.
I'm actually blushing.

Dad was released from hospital on Tuesday afternoon, then rushed back in on Wednesday with more chest pains. He's still there, waiting on more tests etc etc.
Today I am going to take my niece out for lunch and see whether talking and eating simultaneously can cause jaw cramp. Whilst also looking deeply unattractive, obviously. Then I'm going to the hospital with fresh clothing for Dad who rang yesterday to inform me he's starting to 'pen and ink'. Yes, my Dad is a cockney. Whom I don't recall ever using rhyming slang before.

What's really good is that the sun is shining, as it did yesterday. We gave up on Summer, before it gave up on us.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Talking Cats

Ok, so I was morose yesterday. It happens. Sporadically.
So, to lighten the mood and your viewing pleasure, behold:

It kills me, I mean makes me laugh so hard I fear for my bladder control.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

In Cahoots

Ever noticed how the universe gangs up on you sometimes?
You know, you're not having the best week.
Then you get bad news.
You feel miserable.
You turn to music.
You turn on your new friend, last.fm.
You ask it to find you some music.
It selects singularly the worst song it could possibly find and plays it to you.
Your bottom lip trembles a little and you curse the fact the universe is in cahoots and on entirely the wrong side.

I'm narrowing my eyes in an evil manner and directing my stare at the universe in general.
Tomorrow, if it sorts itself out, I'll go back to smiling at it.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Song Of The Week XXXII

I've been using last.fm a bit of late, I quite like hearing new tracks by some of my favourite artists which explains the little widget over there on the right somewhere. Funky isn't it? I like that it plays the things I really like and I can ban the artists I just can't abide. Excellent. Anyway, this song popped up and it just struck me as particularly beautiful. The following lyrics may have stolen a little piece of my heart.


" I'm always alone
and my heart is like ice
and it's crowded and cold
in my secret life. "

Leonard Cohen - In My Secret Life:


Complimented

I was complimented today.
It's not like that's never happened before, but it was a special compliment and I'm still smiling.

I went to the Post Office to send some parcels. Not my regular Post Office either, so it's even more special.
I took in my parcels, handed them over in order of size and weight and just as I handed over the last one the lady looked at me and said "Do you think you could stand there for a week or a fortnight and maybe teach everyone else that comes in how it's done?"

Oh yes. I wasn't complimented on my hair, eyes, boobs, clothes, jewellery. No, I was complimented on my organisation. I almost skipped out of there.

For a long time I've been happy enough to drift along letting folk believe I'm as ditzy as I appear to be. That I'm a dizzy mare. That I'm disorganised and a mess. But you know what? It's not true. I'm anally organised, I just can't help it. Even when I'm untidy there's an order to it. I know where everything is (well the Passport story is coming shortly) and I love that the stranger in the Post Office noticed how organised I am.

I know there must be better compliments in the world. But not to me!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

And More...

pics of my little jaunt to France can be found here. They're of the still variety, but something tells me they may be a little more interesting than the driving videos!
And... at some point I might even get round to relating my adventures, oh you lucky people you.