Monday, 29 September 2008

Sunday, 28 September 2008


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?
"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 - 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 and blew me away, I didn't expect it to be as it was and I'm still hooked.

Jim Moray - Lucy Wan:


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,
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 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:


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.