Thursday, 31 January 2008

Quotes IV

For hundreds of years we have believed that if something is logical in hindsight, then logic should have been enough to get the idea in the first place. This is complete and total rubbish. - Edward de Bono

I found this in a new book of mine. A book which I have fallen completely, utterly and deeply in love with. I want to have it near me all the time and will wax lyrical about it in a post in the near future, but I love that quote. How often do we punish ourselves for not realising that something was obvious. The thing is, it's only with the benefit of hindsight that it becomes obvious.
It hides behind something opaque, only revealing itself when hindsight is applied.
Hindsight is able to make so many opaque matters completely transparent. It doesn't give you 20/20 vision, but it works as well as a pair of the best made spectacles.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Random Facts

I purr.
No really.
Just as I'm on the verge of falling asleep I start to purr. Sometimes I wake myself up wondering what the noise is. I'm wondering if this is why my cats always sleep so close. I AM catwoman. Only I look terrible in a cat suit.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Flavour Of The Month

There's been a few things going on recently that have been getting the better of me. I think with different people, different things happen or get affected. Some lose appetite, others don't sleep. I'm in the latter category.
My sleep has been shot to hell recently.
The nightmare the other night left me afraid to go to sleep in case it returned or another took its place.
So, last night, I laid, tossed and turned, read for a while, turned out the lights, turned them back on, turned and tossed, pleaded with my mind to please stop thinking.
Tried counting sheep. But found that instead of sheep jumping fences it was speech bubbles with my thoughts in. Which just makes you lose count quite frankly.
Eventually I gave in, resorted to medicinal help. Now, the sleeping pills taste bad, but you sort of expect that. With the exception of Bonjela and Buttercup Syrup all medicine tastes bad.
What I always seem to forget is the really weird taste that they leave behind afterwards, all water tastes a little like some kind of molten metals, which isn't entirely pleasant.
I got lost in thought, what on earth is in those things that makes water taste so bad? What does it do? What purpose does it serve? If it's the ingredient that makes me sleep, then I can forgive it the nasty aftertaste. Although I guess, all the ingredients are there to make you sleep.
But what if it's the ingredient that sticks all the others together? Couldn't they use something else? I'm full of questions.
And full of hope that my lovely, delicious, king size gothic iron bed is going to hold me as I sleep soundly tonight.
Without medicinal help.
And without a metallic taste all day tomorrow.
I'm like a huge bundle of fun today aren't I?
Joy pours from my pores.
Just so long as zzzz's pour from my head tonight, I don't care...

Friday, 25 January 2008

Song Of The Week VII

I remember loving the album Pieces of You by Jewel from the first moment I heard it. All of the songs feel like masterpieces. This one moved me to tears when I heard it and it still has the power to do the same each time I hear it.
It's one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever read, seen or heard.

I'm probably an old romantic, well I am, I can't help it.
There's something in the words and the way she sings it that makes you feel that you want to experience a love like that. As though anything less, simply wouldn't be good enough.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, here it is, I just wish there were a video to watch too.

Jewel - Painters:

I've also, for the first time, included the lyrics because it would be a shame not to:

Eighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porch
Watching the clouds roll by
They remind her of her lover, how he left her, and of times long ago.
When she used colour carelessly painted his portrait
A thousand times
Or maybe just his smile
Her and her canvas would follow him wherever he would go
'Cause they were painters and they were painting themselves
A lovely world.

Oil streaked daisies covered the living room wall
He put water-coloured roses in her hair
He said, "Love, I love you, I want to give you mountains, the sunshine,
The sunset too
I just want to give you a world as beautiful as you are to me
'Cause I'm a painter and I want to paint you a lovely world
So they sat down and made a drawing of their love,
they made it an art to live by
They painted every, passion every home, created every beautiful child
In the winter they were weavers of warmth,
In summer they were carpenters of love
They thought blue prints were too sad so they made them yellow
And they were painters and they were painting themselves
A lovely world.

Until one day the rain fell as thick as black oil
And in her heart she knew something was wrong
She went running through the orchard screaming,
'No God, don't take him from me!,'
But by the time she got there, she feared he already had gone
She got to where he lay, water-coloured roses in his hands for her
She threw them down screaming, 'Damn you man, don't leave me
with nothing left behind but these cold paintings, these cold portraits
To remind me!

He said, 'Love I leave, but only a little, try to understand
I put my soul in this life we created with these four hands
Love, I leave, but only a little this world holds me still
My body may die now, but these paintings are real.'

So many seasons came and many seasons went
And many times she saw her loves face watering the flowers,
Talking to the trees and singing to his children
And when the wind blew, she knew he was listening,
And how he seemed to laugh along, and how he seemed to hold her
When she was crying
'Cause they were painters and they had painted themselves
A lovely world.

Eighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porch
Watching the clouds roll by,
They remind her of her lover, how he left her and of times long ago,
When she used colour carelessly,
Painted his portrait a thousand times,
Or maybe just his smile,
And her and her canvas would follow him wherever he would go
Yes, her and her canvas still follow
Because they are painters and they are painting themselves
A lovely world.

Bad Dreams

I don't recall ever having one of those Hollywood bad dreams where you wake up drenched in sweat, sitting up in bed whilst screaming into the night, but this morning I came pretty damn close.
I know I woke up really quickly, eyes flying open to confirm my surroundings were safe. I could feel my heart racing, almost like it had grown to twice its normal size, beating hard against my chest.
I'd always imagined nightmares to be of the variety where big scary monsters tried to eat you.
But I can honestly say I had a nightmare last night.
I still have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and a dull ache in my chest the way your muscles ache after a workout.

I do have very strange dreams at times. I've had three recently about being attacked by big cats, I need my very own dream interpreter.
I also need a very big hug, as much as I love Mifford, her ability with bear hugs is somewhat limited.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Voices & A Century

I had a bit of gadding about to do yesterday. I drove hither and thither and upon finally arriving home I stood in my lounge and re-read a letter, in total silence. Well, almost total silence.
As I stood, reading the letter for instruction on why my new meter wasn't working, I realised I could hear voices. Or a voice rather.
I stood completely still, the voice was clearly not coming from outside but rather within the room I was in.
"Oh my god" my brain reeled in shock, "this is it, I've finally stepped over the line into total madness and am hearing voices."
I scanned the room, I may have glanced behind the TV, well you know, in case there were any elves or such. Ahem.
I heard it again. It sounded like my name.
This was serious, not only was I hearing voices, but they were talking to me.
I pondered momentarily if perhaps this was what schizophrenia was like. Does it sound like the voices are outside of your head?
I gingerly reached out my arm and picked up my cordless phone, but it was dead. No secret voices there.
I reached into my pocket and retrieved my mobile.
I have a very clever pocket that had somehow unlocked my phone and answered a call, although I don't think its conversational abilities were that great. So, I sincerely apologise to you, Steven, for being forced to converse with my pocket for a minute or so while I debated if my inherent eccentricity had dissolved into real madness.

As an aside. This is my hundredth post. I'd like a telegram please. Maybe not from the queen. I just really like the idea of receiving a telegram. Are they even sent any more? And if they are, do they still say 'stop' instead of using that useful little punctuation mark that is a wee dot? I need answers to these questions!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Song Of The Week VI

I saw these guys at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2007 and they were excellent. They caused a great amount of chortling and all of it was deserved.
I struggled to choose one of theirs to add here but it had to be this one as for years I was guilty of mishearing the lyrics to this song. Although I don't think that the blame can lie entirely with me, Ms Bush wasn't exactly enunciating clearly.
I was sure she was singing "It's me, I'm happy". I then also failed to realise that she was singing real words I thought she was just doing a lot of 'aaahing'.
Hey, in those days the Internet didn't exist to check song lyrics!

So here, for your viewing and listening pleasure this week is The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performing Wuthering Heights:


Thursday, 17 January 2008

Feeling Blue

I woke up yesterday, poked my head above the covers and decided there was a distinct chill in the air. I rolled out of bed and touched the radiator. A block of ice would have emanated more heat.
There followed brow furrowing as I wandered to the bathroom, where the radiator was also cold. I threw on a pair of jeans and jumper, knowing I'd have to brave the weather outside. I checked the boiler on the way out and there was a big red light shining on its front. Never a good sign.
I opened the door and scurried down my drive in the fine drizzle to check the level of oil in my tank. I love living in the countryside, I make a fine bumpkin, with or without straw on which to chew, but it does mean there's no gas and you have to rely on oil for your heating. I went and trod down the nettles surrounding the tank, grasped a twig to move it out of the way of the gauge and quickly realised this was no ordinary twig. No, this was a bramble and the grasping of such a thing was not entirely smart.
I poked my head towards the gauge, poked it, flicked it a little my fingers and the level appeared to remain the same. My last tank had this little fluorescent ball so you could clearly see the level, not so with this one. So, after poking, flicking and prodding I determined I had not, for once, run out of oil.
This could only mean my boiler had gremlins. And there's one thing that you can count on with gremlins. They cost you money.
I made the call, a man would be dispatched in my direction 'this afternoon'. I added extra layers, I did all the housework I could. Damn my recent houseproud-ness that left me little to do.
Finally the lovely engineer arrived, just before 5pm. I crossed my fingers as he poked and prodded my boiler. We then took a walk down to my oil tank.
Did you press the button? he queried.
There's a button? I replied with a vaguely flummoxed look on my face.
I pointed at the oil level I'd determined.
He pressed the button and the oil vanished.
So, there's a little air lock that makes it look like you have oil when you really haven't. Seriously, so even if I had remembered to check the level (despite reminders so numerous that I really should have done - you know who you are you oil fiend you!), I wouldn't have known I was nearly out, although the very distinct hollow sound when you tap the outside of the tank ought to have given the game away.

This little revelation made me strangely happy. If I'd run out of oil, the engineer visit would be costing me the grand sum of zero pounds and zero pence. Hurrah. See, my oil suppliers have this grand scheme where they guess how quickly you'll run out and theoretically time it so you never run out, but if they get it wrong they can't charge you. Double hurrah.

Less hurrahs over the fact that they wouldn't be able to bring oil until Friday. I'm a cold creature. Even when the room temperature is nearly 30 degrees I'm to be found with my blanket. The engineer took pity and complained. Oil was thus promised for first thing this very morning.

So, I went out for dinner last night with Harriet, not particularly relishing the return home to the cold house afterwards. Dinner was excellent by the way, I have a thing for salad and mine came with artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, olives and goats cheese. Mmm Mmm and once again Mmm. I really love the menu at Prezzo, helped by the fact they have a huge vegetarian choice with which to tempt me!

Finally late last night I prepared for bed. I ferreted in the chest of draws and found my flannelet pyjamas. They're blue with snowmen and Christmas trees on and just as sexy as they sound. Ahem. Underneath I wore a Guinness T-shirt won at a pub quiz. On my feet the fluffiest pair of pink socks ever seen. It was like two little pink chinchillas had made my feet their home. Then I put on my rather gorgeous (and girly) pink sequined slippers. I spent a little time contemplating gloves too.

I was so warm it was lovely. Less lovely was leaving that wonderfully warm bed to my hideously cold room this morning.
Oil has been delivered and I await the return of the lovely Kevin to bleed my boiler and return heat to my wanting and waiting radiators.

It's a good thing I have a sizable ass, because I'm freezing it off right now as I turn slowly blue.

Monday, 14 January 2008


I've been going mad with the sewing machine and it's been brilliant.
It's also been somewhat more successful than my crocheting.
A couple of new cushions now grace my little sofa and I'm really pleased with them. I care little that they don't co-ordinate as I love their respective fabrics so much. And check out the button in the middle of the first one. I love buttons. Deeply. (Unnaturally).

This second cushion was almost completed when I needed to change the bobbin in my sewing machine. In my efforts to do so I caused havoc with the machine, somehow making loose the bobbin housing and ending up with bits of machine in my hand. Chewing my lip I did my best to put it all back together but an hour later it still wasn't working so I decided to wait until morning. So after another hour the following morning I pleaded for help. My mother came round, we agreed I'd put it back together right, I started to re-thread the machine and she pointed out I'd missed a vital point. Once I'd fixed that, ta da, a working machine. Hurrah. More sewing!

It's a crafting bonanza! This is the embroidery I mentioned yesterday. Seriously, it's cute right? I embroidered it onto calico and then made a cushion from an old tweed jacket I picked up at a jumble sale for 10p! I'm really chuffed with how it all turned out. I want to make another one now!

I've been having a huge tidy up so that I can really craft properly in my craft room, it was such chaos for such a long time I couldn't get in there to really do anything and it was frustrating. Anyway, in the tidy up I found lots of bits and pieces and lots of needles and decided to make a needle case, well I decided to make two as Mum has had hers I think, longer than I've been alive. So now she has a replacement. They're kind of cute I think!

I'm quite miniature and when I buy jeans I always have to hack the bottoms off in order not to appear as if I lost my feet in a tragic industrial accident. So, being the hoarder that I am, I kept those chopped off parts and they were perfect for the needle cases. Inside I used three pieces of counted cross stitch material, sewed it all together down the spine, added a button and a ribbon closure and bob was indeed my (fictional) uncle. I love that they're a little naive. Anyway, that completes my crafting section for today!

Sunday, 13 January 2008


I decided I wanted to get back into crafts. I really used to enjoy the time I spent on various crafts and with the exception of card making have done very little for a long time.
So, for Christmas I completed a cross stitch design for my Mum and remembered how much I enjoyed that too.
I bought myself a crochet book and decided to teach myself to crochet.
It all starts with a slip knot. I followed the instructions in the book. It didn't work. I followed the instructions again. And again. I followed the instructions for half an hour. It didn't work. I know I'm an intelligent woman, how could this be so complicated? How could wrapping wool round my fingers twice be complex?

I put my crochet hook in my pocket and wandered round to my mothers to ask advice from her guest, Jean, an avid knitter. Unfortunately the crochet hook failed to make it the whole journey and abandoned me, never to be seen again.

Jean taught me how to make a slip knot though so I was wiser and went back and looked at the book, realising that they failed to point out that I needed the second wrap-around to be below the first in order for their slip knot to work.

I headed to eBay and bought more crochet hooks, determined to make this into a hobby. The hooks duly arrived and I am queen of making that first lot of chain stitches. I can even turn it over and crochet a second row. Then it all goes horribly wrong, it becomes misshapen and I really have no idea what I did wrong. I've given up trying for a week or so, resorting to some embroidery - which I will share with you shortly.

However, this morning I decided to sit down with youtube and learn how to make a crochet flower with the help of the tutorials. I sat, I watched, I paused, I practiced, I huffed, I puffed, I wrinkled my nose whilst saying 'whaaat?' on a slow exhale and below find the results of my efforts:
It's safe to say I haven't the faintest idea how this crochet lark works. I'm going to attempt some perseverance, really I am. Just not right now.

Friday, 11 January 2008


It's worth mentioning that I dropped a wheelie bin on my foot last night. Making a neat little hole which is developing an attractive indigo aura.
Which, incidentally, co-ordinates brilliantly with the bruise resulting from dropping the vacuum cleaner onto myself a day or two ago.

I'm accessorising with bruises. It'll be de rigueur before you know it.

Song Of The Week V

I heard this again the other day and it jumped to the top of the list for this lovely feature.

Seriously, it just rocks. I challenge you to listen/watch and not develop a huge smile.

Are you smiling yet?

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Start As You Mean To Go On

We've barely scratched the surface of 2008 and already my minor injuries are coming thick and fast.

Today I dropped the vacuum cleaner on myself. I'm cultivating quite a bruise on my arm and it's damn sore.

I may have also dropped a craft punch on my foot.

However, in my own defence I have manage to use scissors today without injury, I have also used pins and nothing bad happened. Although... I did stick myself in the finger with a safety pin. Hmmm.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Random Facts

I have this love for random trivia.
I like saying 'tell me something' because you never know what you might be told.

So, in a totally narcissistic way I'm sharing random facts about my good self, and obviously any good trivia that comes my way.

Anyway, here's a random fact about moi, I love the way armadillos run.

I tried to find a video of them doing it but thus far the Internet has let me down.

Monday, 7 January 2008


I've been meaning to post this since I was sent it some time ago.

Amusing Places

Go on, enter your UK post code and prepare to chortle...

I live close to: Butt Mound, Fanny Hands Lane, Poke Holes, Cottagers, Rimswell, Butthole Lane, Jughole Wood, Salters Lodge, Shafton Two Gates, Hole In The Wall.

Fnar fnar. Hang on. What's funny about Salter's Lodge? Is there a joke I'm not getting? Probably.

Oh, while I think of it: Check out the Liff list. I have the books The Meaning Of Liff and The Deeper Meaning Of Liff and every time I open them I'm guaranteed to have shoulders shaking with laughter within moments.
I've also found that some of my friends and I use these imaginary words in real conversation. Grimbister, Lusby, Scamblesby, Mavis Enderby and Gweek are all words I use with varying frequency.

I've spoken to a few female friends and I think that we all harbour a secret desire to be referred to as a Mavis Enderby.

Go... peruse... it's worth it, I promise!


Rachael and I decided to go out to The Tap & Spile last night, one of my favourite pubs. There's a jam session every Sunday, followed by a Quiz. As I love music, I thought it'd be really nice to listen to the jam session - although I most definitely do not possess the talent to join in!
It was really nice, a guitar and harmonica played for most of the evening, slowly the pub filled up and it was harder to hear them over the chattering.
I sat at the end of the long bench and leaned back to hang our coats up on the hooks. When I went to sit back up properly again I realised that I had somehow managed to completely attach myself to the arm of the bench. The ties on my top had engaged themselves fully with the arm and I couldn't manage to get them undone.
Rachael took pity on me, walked round the table and knelt to unfasten me.

At Christmas I received a scarf that is snood-like and whilst putting it over my head to model it I managed to attach it to the funky ring I was wearing. I turned to my sister, Siobhan, and squeaked 'Help me?' After laughing at me for some time she freed me from my contortion.

Somehow today I missed the first step of my staircase and fell forward. I now have a minor carpet burn to the forearm from slamming into the stairs. I fear for my own safety sometimes.

Rather hilariously, I'm wearing a different top today (that's not the funny part - I do change clothes regularly) and I managed to entangle myself in my chair at the barn. I didn't realise until I stood to leave and the chair refused to be left alone. I had once again got the ties of my top attached to the chair. The thing is, with the ties behind you, you can't turn round to see what you're doing. It's a farcical life that I lead.

Sunday, 6 January 2008


I sat on my sofa this morning, toast in my lap and watched the tv. The adverts came on and a view of books was on screen, set up like dominoes, some squeaky thing bounced into view and knocked the books down, getting caught and squashed under the last one.
They were advertising Cadbury's Creme Eggs. It's January 6th and already the egg advertisments have started. Is Easter really, really early this year or something?

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Christmas 2007

I can't tell you how this pear made me laugh all Christmas.
I really AM that puerile. But then, it seemed, so was everyone else.

Christmas was good, there were plenty of laughs, unfortunately the donkey laugh I am not enormously proud of got an outing. And even worse, I was laughing at my own joke. That's not good etiquette is it now? But it IS a great joke.
Two parrots sit on a perch, one says "Can you smell fish?"
I'm laughing again. It kills me. I really need to get out more.

There was also much laughing as we played board games, which I am a huge fan of. I love Taboo and Pictionary and we played many a round of those. PIT also came out of hiding for its traditional Christmas outing. For anyone that hasn't experienced PIT, oh my god, you are missing out, your life is a little emptier for your not having played. Although it is worth pointing out, although this is a card game, I have seen injuries occur, blood drawn. Voices become hoarse and possibly your policeman neighbour may call round, drawn by the yelling audible from one detached house to the next. I made a video, I was going to share, till I realised that I'd held the phone the wrong way up and muffled the sound.

Mum managed to get her hands on a Wii so we spent a good deal of time partaking of Wii sports. Come Boxing Day I thought I'd broken myself, my right arm was virtually useless and I'd pulled the muscles in my back too. After a damn computer game. It was the baseball that did it. I was too violent in my throwing I think.
I did wake up to this though:
Really, could she be any more adorable, curled up and cuddling my arm? I do so adore my Mifford.

I must say, because I've written many sentences and not really related any tales of my misadventures, that I did, perhaps, have a minor incident.
I was meeting Mum, Jean and Muriel at my house after a brief sojourn to the Post Office. I pulled up late, rushed into the house to grab my stuff, ran out to Mum's waiting car, leapt in the car and leapt out again squealing. I tore another skirt. That's three now. However, on this occasion it split from hem to waist. All I can say is thank goodness I was wearing a long coat. The world does not need to be exposed to me, well, exposing myself. I really feel the need to point out that these were not tight skirts, so I obviously need to address the way I enter cars.

We were really lucky this Christmas - Santa was kind. Yeah I still believe. What of it?
Check it out:
And here's one of the carnage after the wrapping was removed:

It was a lovely time!
By the way, you see the Christmas tree? That's one of four. Yes, FOUR at my mother's house. My Christmas decorations comprised three baubles. Have you seen those baubles that have names on them? I can do my entire name in baubles. I have no idea why I still find this cool. But I do. Possibly because I am inherently UNcool.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Song Of The Week IV

I've mentioned my love of Loudon Wainwright III before.
The first time I ever heard him was on the radio with Andy Kershaw and he sang his song IWIWAL (I Wish I Was A Lesbian). I was hooked from that moment and became a huge fan. I still don't quite have all of his albums, but I'm almost there. I've seen him live a few times and he never fails to make me laugh and give wonderful performances.
So, here's the wonderful IWIWAL:

The person that put together the anime for this is super!

This is a second song of his that I adore, because I couldn't choose, it's called The Acid Song and it still absolutely kills me. I love this live version, and it's a damn shame that there's just an album cover and not a real video!

There are some truly brilliant lyrics in this.
My favourite probably being:
"Driving on acid is easy, driving on acid's a breeze,
Just keep the car on the highway,
Don't laugh and don't fart and don't sneeze."
Oh the chortling.

I feel obliged to share the first time I ever met Loudon, which I'm still embarrassed by.
I was at the Cambridge Folk Festival and he was performing. Kim and I were browsing the CD stall when she prodded me and said 'Isn't that Loudon?' Obviously I was near apoplectic and I can honestly say it's the only time I've ever been star struck. I plucked up the courage, ambled over and asked him to sign my programme. It went a little like this:

Me: Hi, er, would you, er, sign my programme?
LWIII: Why haven't you bought the CD?
Me: Well I bought it as soon as it came out, so I have it already.
LWIII: Why aren't you buying a spare copy?
Me: Err....
LWIII: You know, if you buy three copies, you can ride my love bus.
Me: (fish-like gaping of mouth)
LWIII: (staring)
Me: (giggle)
Me: (more giggling)
Me: (still more giggling)

At some point Kim interjected and complimented him on the set he'd played. I continued to stand and giggle and occasionally utter the words "Great Set". This was not going down as my finest hour. Kim continued to chat with him and at one point she touched his arm. I remember my head going "Oh my GOD she's touching him. She touched him!"
I am suitably shamed.

He rocks though. He should be a household name and he should also hold private gigs just for me. Well maybe a select few as plainly I am useless around him and wouldn't be good company.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

More World Domination

This time I'm definitely going to find some kind of suitable punishment for the fitting room attendants who plainly judge you on what you are choosing to try on. You see the sneer work its way across their face as their thoughts appear in virtually visible bubbles over their heads. "You wouldn't catch me dead in that" or "Oooh that'll never fit love" or something equally irritating.

Maybe they should be forced to actually dress in the dark. Or to go against all clothing advice, the bigger girls should wear horizontal stripes etc, or maybe they all have to dress a size too small or a size too big. I shall wear the smirk then. Or perhaps I'm not being quite evil enough... I need to think laterally....
Any ideas?