31 December 2006
Betty reviewed Fanny Craddock
Pop told us about show and tell at Catholic Kindergarden
DraGnet is Two
Lee covered computer history
Presents for the little tykes - Conservatives For American Values style
Becky explained the true meaning of Santa
If you don't read Bad Science already then really you should start now. This blog closely reflects Ben Goldacre's Bad Science column in the Guardian but he often blogs more often than his column appears and it isn't edited for space so he can go into greater detail. I recommend it highly. Like Marcus Brigstock, Ben has his axe sharpened against that awful poo lady Gillian McKeith - snake oil sales woman and emotion vampire, passing herself off as a nutrition expert on C4. The blog entry I've linked to, however, isn't about the old harridan rather it he explains why we should always be careful of statistics.
As Chairman Tao put it July 2007 would seem a good time to plan a holiday as far away from the UK as possible. Beware, Wembley Stadium (if operational) is going to host a "Concert For Diana" It's gonna be ghastly, worse than the awful "Brenda: fiftieth on the throne" concerts for the young people especially as the chances of a bewildered appearance from Ozzy Osbourne are not high. Expect over the hill, middle of the road toadies and that's just the audience, the bands will be worse. Far worse.
Finally the year's Highlight.
We got engaged. :D
30 December 2006
Pop about being a day late
I also found a new blog The Razorblade of Life, Z produced this beautiful writing on motherhood.
Sim, did Monsters
You know you have friends when they do something like this for you
Most Wrong Thing Evah
Kim gets the dibs for linking to this
MLIGCS loved her roomie
Russia: it's not always that bad as Val's friend Mila found out
Chixulub would like to warn you not to do this at home. I laughed so hard I hurt myself.
29 December 2006
I first became conscious of James Brown when I lived in the states, MTV had "Living In America" on heavy rotation for a lot of the time, but they never bothered to play his good stuff. This was in the days before MTV had discovered black music or rather that advertisers would still pay good money when they played R&B, rap and hip hop.
I didn't hear any more of James Brown until I got to University in 1989, "The Funky Drummer" had started to feature in almost every tune with a sample in it, even the indie ones. For lunch we used to go to Bar One in the Union, a lot, as it was comfy and cheap. The bar juke box would automatically play sixties soul, Motown and R&B if no one had fed it, we got to hear a lot of James Brown, Smokey Robinson and The Four Tops, as it was music that offended no one, it was rare of a lunchtime that anyone would pay money to listen to anything else. We all knew the words come the spring term, to all the songs. A sight I will always cherish will be of a willowy thin Punk lad who was about 6 foot 6 in his stockinged feet before he spiked up his mohichan, absently mindedly asking all in sundry if he could "take it to the bridge?" in time with James as he queued up for his pasty and chips.
I became a tranny pop after several hours of pleading pay off.
Iggy celebrated Independence Day in the states in his own imitable way!
Urban Chick highlighted the latest Edinburgh taste sensation.
Gordon ate all the pasties. Gordon is one of those bloggers who consistently writes at high standards. Worth the visit just for this line: "This is usually said in a tone that suggests that if you don’t place your order in the next three seconds, somewhere a kitten will meet a brief yet painful death. Probably in a blender."
Becky did cartoons
Lee pondered the street stoppers. I found Lee through pure luck, I was flicking through flickr when I saw this picture. I had a look at his profile, saw he had a blog which I enjoyed immensely as I bimbled through his archives. Then I saw that not only does he know Kim from Mildly Diverting he had shared a flat with her. Which all goes to prove that really there are only about 5 people in the world.
Not a blog but art instead, Bex has blogged about her and I really admire her work too, check this out - Choose Love by Bridget Love
Dear John letters are so hard to write.
28 December 2006
I'm feeling a bit nervous, which I haven't done before when talking about it with other people but this is official, outside friends and family.
Right all I've got to do is drag Si away from Back To The Future II. (one day I will get to see it all the way through from the beginning)
Wyndham The Triffid reviewed Vidal Gore's Pamplist saving the rest of us the bother of reading the book.
Becky and I watched the "50 Greatest One Hit Wonders" on the box, some of the music was very ropey to say the least but Becky was inspired.
I could have stuffed this round up with loads of Pluto's cartoons.
27 December 2006
Becky went for the ultimate mash up of overblown popular entertainment ie Queen and Lord of the Rings and gave us this. Lord of the Rhapsody
Frieya was the first blogger on my particular street to get in with a review of the new Dr Who
Pop at Pop's Bucket enjoyed the Easter Vacation
Johnny Virgil explained stuff
26 December 2006
Selina placed that bit from Deutronomy in its proper context.
Becky and I went to Amsterdam for her birthday. It was bloody cold and grey but we had a wonderful time, Bex summed it up here Gellizig.
25 December 2006
I hope that you have had a peaceful and enjoyable day. For those of you who celebrate Christmas with presents I hope that you liked what you got and what you gave has given pleasure.
I have a rule about presents for Christmas and birthdays, it's simple, easy to understand, of long standing and I like to think grounded in sense. - Don't give me anything for the kitchen - no fancy microwaves, baking dishes, kettles, toasters or bins. I know lots of people love receiving stuff like that, but not me, it feels more like a present for the kitchen than for me, and as far I as know the kitchen has never celebrated Christmas and it doesn't have a birthday.
This rule shouldn't be broken but there are a couple of exception clauses; mugs, cookery books and small silly things don't really count, nor do things that I've pointed to and lusted after.
Like posh espresso coffee makers.
Which is a good thing as that is what Simon got me for my present. I'd been quietly lusting after one for months, it's great I can pretend that I work at Costa (alotta) Coffee, froth milk to my heart's content and make enough espresso coffee to keep the Italian fleet sailing. Si has spent most of the last two hours experimenting with different coffee types, which he has also drunk. As he doesn't normally drink coffee in the evening he is now sat on the sofa lightly vibrating with caffeine, he would have been shimmying a great deal more but for the dampening effects of the Irish coffees he made us not so long ago.
That's all I wanted to say really so night night y'all.
24 December 2006
OK they are something I have thought about in an idle moment over the last 34 years or so but not really even a day dream. There have been long periods in my life when I thought that I would never arrive at the circumstances where marriage was a possibility so even when I did think about it, it wasn't with napkin colour and designs in mind. So now that I am going to get married we've got a lot to decide and think about.
I want to be married to Simon and soonish, I know what is important to me - stating in front of our families and friends that I love Simon so much that I want to spend the rest of my life with him and because it is something that we believe in I want to enter into the marriage contract with him. That is all that really matters the rest is "just fluff"™ However deciding which bits of fluff we want to discard and which bits we want to keep or invent new for ourselves, needs thinking about so I bought a couple of "Wedding" magazines for "inspiration".
They are bloody awful.
Materialistic, obsessed on the trivial ephemera that surrounds weddings, they seem to have an agenda to tell brides that their weddings will be pitiful thin things that no one will have enjoyed or remembered unless a lot of money has been spent on pointless shite . Some are awfully icky - referring to the future groom as "h2b" yuck :-s.
I suppose I was being naive to expect these magazines not to champion the old wedding clichés but I was very disappointed at how light they were on useful information. Personally I don't think just saying you must wear waterproof mascara is good enough, tell us which one is best and prove it. All in all I haven't been inspired just depressed at all the crap that seems to surround getting married.
23 December 2006
22 December 2006
As I am not the only one in my family who hasn't a scruple when it comes to the shaking, fondling and sniffing of presents I have over the years developed the habit of not putting names on presents if I'm going to be there to hand them out as there is no point in shaking a present if you don't know if it is going to be yours.
20 December 2006
Simon and I braved the local Tescos this evening to do the "big shop" it was surprising less grim that I had first expected although the car park was full the shop wasn't rammed we could manoeuvre around the glassy eyed shoppers who clutched bags of sprouts to their bosoms as the trolley they had been pushing started to buckle under the hundred weight of dry roasted peanuts and cheeses piled within it.
We were able to resist the worst of the temptations and have got our Christmas tree, real, in soil and about a foot high, food and drink for when we are here, a litre of Baileys for medicinal purposes but no sprouts.
19 December 2006
Or a funeral.
As the bus slowly whisked me to work this morning, we passed an empty funeral hearse, of the horse drawn type going in the opposite direction. Two undertakers in Victoriana garb sitting on top, black horses with black plumes, the long white plush pad where the coffin would rest. All a stark picture in black and white against the black skeleton of trees and the enveloping mist. Normally I think they are naff but today it made perfect sense.
18 December 2006
I promise that I will try to avoid being a wedding bore, but I am reserving to blog anything funny, outrageous, bizarre or "come-the-revolutiony."
Return To Normal Service
I've been feeling a bit of an unwell bunny recently, very sore and tender throat on the left side, jaw ache and ear ache, probably a virus but... it's been going on for a wee while now and it's effecting my sleep and it hurts to lie down.
So I go to the doctor's and get told either it's a virus andthere'salotofitabout or I've managed to scratch my throat eating fish or something. Now I'm quite prepared to accept that I don't need an antibiotic as they won't do any good when the doc says that s/he thinks it's a virus and I agree with the idea that sometimes warmth and plenty of fluids are the best thing but I was told in such a peremptory way. I left the surgery feeling that I had completely missed out on the magical "Seeing The Doctor Will Make It Start Getting Better" effect that I normally get when I've been to see them before in situations like this.
What didn't help was that the sodding bus didn't turn up, I was there, at the bus stop, with about 5 minutes to spare, 45 minutes later I was still at the bus stop, slowly freezing and getting crosser and crosser.
The bus company is so bloody useless
16 December 2006
And we were able to celebrate in style.
Because we have something to celebrate as earlier that night Simon asked me to become his wife. I said yes.
12 December 2006
11 December 2006
Flouncing Tenor - oh how many stereotypes does storming off stage of La Scala in a huff fulfil?
John Denver and the Muppets - Go one you know you want to.
And if you are not already subscribing to this here's the best on-line Advent Calender you'll find this year.
10 December 2006
Anyway here's the link mind you I'm not giving it because I want to be nominated, I really don't I'm not good enough for that sort of exposure, mind you neither is Dooce but that's another blog post I will write one day.
07 December 2006
Yesterday lunchtime I had my lunch in the canteen of one of the contractors I deal with. By mistake I took a pudding that had bananas in it, instead of leaving the pud when I discovered this I thought, "ack, it will probably be OK as they've been cooked or something" It wasn't I had the usual symptom a burning feeling in my mouth and my lips and tongue feeling funny which I've had before and it's dealable with. What was not dealable with was the stomach cramps and diarrhoea that hit that evening and I had cramps for the rest of the night and woke up with them today. So although it now seems to have passed, I was up to work today and I've been feeling more than a bit sorry for myself.
02 December 2006
I cancelled going out on the big group Christmas lunch, mainly because it is one expense too many, but also if I'm gonna spend my hard earned cash on going out I would rather do it where I know I'm going to get a decent meal instead of the dried out slops that pass for Christmas Party Lunches in the hotels in Fenlandshire. I would also rather spend the money drinking with people who are not going to talk about work, who hates who and the imminent disappearance of all our jobs.
I haven't withdrawn from my office party because well, it would get all a bit too political if I did and young Ady wouldn't like it. The organisers were discussing the seating plans the other day, they have hit on the "bright idea" of making everyone swap round seats for each course. A recipe for chaos and my idea of hell. I did suggest that the idea wasn't that brilliant, it was said that you don't get a chance to talk to everyone at the meal. That we all work in the same small office, will be mingling before and after the meal so it's only going to be 2 hours at the most and that by the time the coffees come round people start moving about anyways doesn't seem to have hit them. I have no faith in wiser heads prevailing on this one.
I am still looking forward to the Christmas Ball though because for one thing the drink is free. Also I don't have to mingle with people I've spent all year with. This is why I'm also looking forward to Si's Office Christmas meal because I don't meet his colleagues that often but when I have, I've had a good time. Perhaps it's just a case of familiarity breeding ennui or I've lost the Christmas Enjoyment Fairy.
01 December 2006
But on the flip side we are a multicultural society but to assume that non Christians would take complete offence at being wished Happy Christmas is daft. Most people don't I'm an atheist to my knowledge I've never thrown a strop at being wished happy Christmas. I've never met someone who complains about a free day off. When I lived in the states Yom Kippur was a day off from school, I wasn't offended.
Often, rather than actually talk to someone who is different from ourselves we make assumptions about what will or will not offend them, because it's easier than actually engaging with people who might actually be a bit different from ourselves. That is the truly daft thing.
28 November 2006
Actually it's not that bad down this end, not now the local pub has really convinced the local alkies that "They. Are. No. Longer. Welcome." The people who live round here seem to be mostly quiet, nice, ordinary people. The drug pusher, he was an aberration, and more than a little thick. He had chosen possibly the most public place to push his drugs from and the half the buildings that did over look it were public ones including the best hotel here in Fenlandshire.
It must have been a dream for the police to stake it out.
A few months after I had stopped that fight, I came home one evening to find a police man standing on the road near my house moving on loiterers and stopping people passing. I explained that I lived "just there" so he let me through. I rushed upstairs, got myself a cup of tea and watched as the police went to and thro from the pusher's house to their cars carrying bags of evidence and with huge grins on their faces.
The pusher didn't come back, his house was used as digs for ambulance crews for a while before it was finally sold. It's been sold and sold again since.
Yep I live at the posh end of road at least I don't live next to a brothel like a boss of mine did. What got her was she never realised that it was a house of ill repute until it was raided by the police. Oh how we laughed.
27 November 2006
"poem describing what a conservation officers does"
Although I did recently invest in some English Poetry I don't know of any such poems. But being the helpful sort I thought I could write some so channelling the spirit of McGonagall I did this
I like to save the bees,
They are very important,
as they fertilise the trees
26 November 2006
Don't buy a Zune - That's the advice from the Chicago Sun-Times (via Bad Astronomy), of course it isn't available in Britain yet but that hasn't stopped it being news here too. Mostly on how much it sucks and when it comes to suckage apparently the Zune has that in spades. I have an iPod Nano which I'm very happy with, it's intuitive to use, I like the look of iTunes, especially now that 7 is out and the iTunes store is bearable.
Maybe not kittens but the CS Monitor had an interesting take on Borat's origins.
24 November 2006
One of the subjects I was doing at high school was physics, the teacher immediately changed tack so that we could study the causes of the explosion and rigged up the school's Geiger counter so that it was measuring the radiation of the air. Of course being so far away there was no perceptible change over the time that he monitored it. It was quite a scary time mostly because of the lack of information coming out of the Soviet Union, not knowing what was true and what wasn't or whether there were more reactors ready to go off like this.
Nuclear power is back in news as it is being touted as the only way to provide all our power requirements if we are to reduce carbon emissions. But it is so expensive, has a huge footprint in terms of time and when it goes wrong it contaminates land for centuries. Maybe the electric windmills and other renewable sources can't replace oil, gas and coal yet so we do need to have a nuclear power station building programme but we will need to be so so cautious in order to avoid future 3 Mile Islands, Windscales and Chernobyls.
23 November 2006
22 November 2006
21 November 2006
"Too many" is a concept that I don't really understand, how can anyone have too many books? Surely it is not possible, even the most trashy sci fi, romance, police actioner or spy novel will bring delight to someone. Books contain knowledge and imagination, easily portable by the smallest toddler, they do not need electricity to work, notes can be made in the margin and a well made book can be a thing of beauty in itself. Nope, the concept of too many books does not make sense. I will admit that the concepts of "Not Enough Space" and "And You've Said Yourself, That Book's Rubbish" do have some validity so I have been slowly weeding out some of books I've no intention of reading again. In the registry we have a permanent book sale and Di the lady who runs it, always welcomes contributions.
Today she did a swap of books that hadn't shifted with another section who have a permanent book sale, because my office are her best customers she gave us first dibs. I've got poetry, 1970's cook book, what could be rubbish chick lit or something better and two murder stories, they may be fun.
I don't normally do poetry but for 50p how could I resist "The Penguin Book Of English Verse", it's got examples of the work of almost every major English language poet of the last 450 years. No McGonagall though, so it isn't perfect.
I found this by Sir Philip Sidney (1554 - 1586) So beautiful.
My true love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for another geven:
I holde his deare, and mine he cannot misse,
There never was a better bargaine driven.
My true love hath my heart and I have his.
My heart in me keepes him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and sences guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his owne,
I cherish his because in me it bides.
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.
19 November 2006
But now, I have no one to eat oysters with. My nearest and dearest don't like them. Simon doesn't really do seafood and went pale when I once asked him if he like oysters. My mother doesn't like shellfish nor do my brother or sister in law. My niece might do but she will only be six tomorrow and would probably want them with chips.
I suppose it goes to show that people's taste in food are not hereditary I don't know where I got my liking for seafood from because I seem to be the only one in the family.
Where I am not the only one is celery. Now with celery both my brother and I like the stuff, but my father didn't like it and my mother loathes the stuff so much she was gobsmacked when she saw me happily chewing on a stick or six at my father's staff and families Christmas party when I was little. She tells me that she had thought that her dislike of celery was so strong that somehow I would have inherited it. She said that it taught her that children were not just chips off the old block and we did have our own quirks and tastes. That or I was a changeling, so she made me eggshell soup* until I pointed out that it wouldn't work as I had already learnt to talk.
I road tested this story on Simon and he had never heard of eggshell soup, so I googled on it and there seems to be no reference to the folklore on the net either. Now I'm sure I haven't made it up I even have images in my mind of illustrated pages of the story, so I'll recount the story to you, I was told it is Scottish folklore.
If you suspect that the fairies have swapped your baby for one of theirs, to prove your suspicion you must make eggshell soup making sure the baby is in the room watching you. The fairy bairn will be so curious about this that it will forget human babies can't talk and ask "Why are you making eggshell soup mother?" What you have then got to do is to stick the red hot poker, that you had prepared earlier just in case, down its throat. Miraculously the changeling will disappear and the human baby will reappear in the cot unharmed.
18 November 2006
17 November 2006
So I gave up to retreat to the living room and snooze. But couldn't and it has totally thrown my system out too add to that a largish lunch and a couple of glasses of wine all in celebration of a job well done, I was about ready for my beddy byes by the time Si got here from his big adventure in Milton Keynes.
I don't know what we are going to do this weekend, well I do know some of it, it's my niece's 6th birthday on Monday, I need to get her a light postable present, the card has gone ahead so that will definitely arrive on time but this week I've just not had a chance to get to the shops to look for a suitable present.
I was thinking about getting her a cheap and user friendly digital camera for her Christmas present, but I was wondering is 6 a bit too young to be able to manage a digital camera? Does anyone with experience of youngsters have views about this. She's an intelligent child but will she have the manual dexterity and patience?
Seems very mean spirited and arseholey to me, I'm amazed any solicitor would take this on.
The Royal Mail have a useful address and post code finder, you are limited in the number of searches you can do per day but for most peeps that isn't going to matter.
14 November 2006
Someone at work went round drawing little pictures of The Saint, all in different poses, on white boards a wee while ago. We don't know who did it, one of the cleaners? Or someone bored on the duty shift? Nothing was proven but then it wasn't deeply investigated after all was whimsical not destructive. Most of the stick figures have gone now but this one remains.
13 November 2006
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is back for its all too brief 6 week run up to Christmas. After what feels like several decades of "Quote Unquote", the funny stuff has returned to Radio4 on Monday nights at 6:30pm.
'Clue as its devotees have been known to call it, is probably very familiar to most of the Brits reading this but for the colonial types the basic premise is:- four comedians being given silly things to do by Humphrey Lyttleton, an octogenarian jazz trumpeter, comedian and Magpie's stalkee. Starring the best and cheapest (this is a programme for the BBC after all) that British Comedy can cough up, it's silly, stupidly funny, very often a bit norty and has Jeremy Hardy not singing.
Whereas "Quote Unquote" is unfunny in such an exquisitely awful way, smug, lame, scripted, and just shite. Nigel Rees must have some very interesting negatives to have been able to keep the programme away from the scheduler's axe all this time.
I'm going to go for fish and chips for dinner tonight I think, I really fancy some chip butties. Chip Butties are the nectar of the gods in my humble opinion. Simon is not so convinced and my Dad thought that they were a dreadful northern invention. I think I'm right, but what does everyone else think?
11 November 2006
Round up of some American bloggers views on Tuesday's elections.
The Lazy Iguana said good bye and good riddance to Kathrene Harris
Candace was smug
Pop's was poorly
The Bad Astronomer was pleased for science as was the New Scientist Blog
Herman got upset*
*This is satire.
10 November 2006
A joke that I saw and put on the other blog Rabbits
Saturnian Noises from the University of Iowa via Bad Astronomy Blog
The place where I work has always had a flaky power supply, the mains electricity seems to go with remarkable frequency considering that it shouldn't happen at all, and the emergency generators aren't beefy enough to take the strain. They've been upgraded, supplemented and the site's works services manager is rumoured to have sacrificed voles to the great gods of diesel power generators so that they will work when called upon.
I think he may be graduating up to rabbits.
Something blew on Tuesday evening, the building that houses most of the sites servers has been on/off/on/off/on emergency power ever since. We had to do a "power down" for this evening so that more work could be done over the weekend. The power was going off at 4pm the servers were going to be taken off line from 3.20pm, so our IT people were switching off our computers from 2pm and forbidding them being turned back on.
I took the afternoon off, I did my deep cleanse of my in tray and desk draws last time the network went down 6 months ago.
So I got to see the Christmas lights in daylight for the first time. When I say for the first time I mean this year, the same strings of lights have been hung up ever since I moved here.
It's not impressive.
08 November 2006
Writing prose of any form doesn't come easily to me, I tend to trip up over the words. The seamless bit of prose I had conjured up in my head turns into poo as my fingers type it out. I have this problem at work as well, I agonise over writing letters to customers and contractors how words are used is very important in what I do, so care has to be taken by everyone. But again I can't turn the carefully crafted phrase I thought about in my head into the writing on the the page because the words seem to run away from me when I start committing them to hard disc.
My old boss would stare at the screen with a pensive gaze for about 5 minutes as she thought about the letter at hand, then her fingers would be a blur as she tapped out her thoughts on the page, apart from perhaps the tweaking of a comma or the double check of the specific meaning of a word it would all be there as she wanted it, making sense, in not much more than half an hour. Me, I know what to say, I understand the problem but I can't get it onto paper without a struggle.
And I blog.
I must be an idiot.
05 November 2006
At the risk of sounding like the idiot teenager from the fast show
Isn't YouTube Brilliant, it hosts loads and loads of content from original stuff like the smiley bit above to the wee films I took on holiday recently to copyright infringement stuff like the fast show bit to the bits the beeb is actually pushing like the BBC2 idents in the last post.
Of course as most of its users seem to be semi literate 14 year boys the comments on most of the films are shite. I've decided that I'm all for free speech but only if the person taking advantage of this right, can prove to the satisfaction of an independent authority they can write in their native language without resorting to text speak.
Apart from them idiots, YouTube rocks
I love it.
Set to moving music allegedly may make you weep, unless you are a hard hearted sod like what I am.
Other cool things I have seen today:- Waitrose have started selling eggs in boxes of 4s which is rather cool, I don't eat eggs enough to justify a six box
Er that's it.
04 November 2006
He is looking a lot perkier now, working out how to use Aperture 1.5 on his laptop, So hopefully he'll be strong enough to pour us both a drink come yardarm time, I've still got some of the rum left or there is some Pimms from summer and there is coke and lemonade cooling in the fridge. Si has a very sensible attitude to drink; he is most abstemious compared to past boyfriends and I like that. I've reached the point where the night before doesn't justify the hangover the next day. Thankfully I think I've found my groove where I can have a sociable drink or five but not get lairy or maudlin Si not being a huge drinker is nice because he encourages me in this sensibleness.
Having said all that though - Charm and Poise has the perfect book in her vintage collection.
03 November 2006
01 November 2006
30 October 2006
29 October 2006
27 October 2006
This evening Miss K's new band Deathline will be playing their first gig at the Hope and Anchor pub, Islington. Their myspace area is here for downloads and stuff. Unfortunately I can't go as poverty (end of the month) and having to slave as a Tranny Wallah™ for Bex. I have to make a tutu more sticky out I made the basic one last night but it now needs the embellishments but I managed to break two sewing machine needles in the process so will have to finish it tonight.
I'm not sure how old my sewing machine is, my grandmother gave it to me about 10 years ago and I think she got it second hand, it's a singer machine the body of it is metal I'm thinking early 60's late 50s. It's very basic it doesn't have the switches and knobs for all the fancy stitching but that suits me as I'm a basic and infrequent seamstress, straight lines joining things together no need for me to do much more.
Update - just had a phone call from Becky all pirate stuff has been sold out in King's Lynn so I am no longer going to be doing my Johnny Depp Impression I'm gonna be a witch! which is nice.
It's "Wear It Pink" day today I'm not wearing pink (I don't have anything pink that's suitable) I still got churned for money this morning. I don't mind the fund raising it's a very laudable cause though so is prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK and I don't see any "Wear It Blue" days going on which is a shame as men's health issues tend not to get the exposure that they should do.
No I don't mind giving to various charities at all what I mind is the sense of enforced jollity and "you must join" in about it. I don't want to, I don't like the ostentatiously wacky fund raising for charity and I loathe with a passion all these sponsored treks for charity. That's someones holiday dressed up as being altruistic. It is bollocks. It's a puritan streak in me I know, but I just feel that people making a big song and dance about the "charidy" they are doing are more interested in getting the kudos than the cause, I also think there is something wrong in people expecting to get something in return for giving to charity above and beyond the inner glow of knowing that you've done something right. No doubt I'm not being realistic but it's how I feel
26 October 2006
Basically I was going to do about 150 words on how lovely autumn was, but it was pissing it down this evening as I went home, I got thoroughly soaked and cold and I felt miserable.
Then I remembered Torchwood was on BBC2 tonight - double bill.
Yay it's not the complete dog I was worried about.
First episode introduced the Torchwood team through the eyes of an innocent outsider who will become one of the team by the end of the episode. A stock introduction to many a new series so sit back and enjoy how they do it rather than whys of the plot. Episode two of the series was another stock episode outline "Newbie's first, disasterish day at work" So again sit back and enjoy and I did, muchly.
Torchwood may be more adult in theme and tone: swearing, orgasmic energy, some violence and on screen suicide at it's heart it is pure joyous entertainment rather than challenging, stroky beardie Drama. But that's entertainment with a capital E, very high production values, a witty script and a good cast. And they managed to make Cardiff look sexy which is a bit of a feat so props to the editors.
It's going to be an OK autumn after all.
24 October 2006
We laughed until we almost had minor accidents. Although some of the sketch endings were a bit abrupt, perhaps a sign that they haven't quite gained their stage show legs yet, it was ver' funny. Many of the sketches from the TV series were there in an expanded form, "Are We The Baddies?" Numberwang and "Oooh,That's a Bad Miss" they also staged sketches from the radio: a complete joy was their film about cricket.
Yes, Sir Digby Ceaser Chicken did appear as did "Big Talk", twice. The second time round it was after the interval and it was "audience participation time" remember the
Si got us good seats not too far back on the aisleWell it turns out that they were not far enough back, as I found out with a microphone thrust under my nose and orders to ask the boffins "A BIG QUESTION"
22 October 2006
19 October 2006
18 October 2006
I really really dislike Yahoo ugly and avaricious is my feeling about the site still, I shouldn't get a feeling of grim satisfaction when they post iffy results.
One of those clever chaps from B3ta's been directing videos, sweet, geeky and very in the spirit of C86. The Gay Train
17 October 2006
Today is the History Matters Great Big Blog day. Write a diary entry send it to them and they'll bung it in an archive for evermore, except the more interesting or bathetic ones which they'll put into a coffee table book in time for Christmas no doubt. Very worthy it's sort of a bit like the mass observation project that ran from 1937 until about the mid 50s then was restarted in 1981, but I can't see how much real use one day from many people will be. Also I read their terms and conditions and thought nah not for me.
So my drivel will have to stay outside of academic archives for a little longer.
Anyway my day, well the bits of my day that I can repeat to yous out there, was dull. Go to work talk to people, shuffle bits of paper, answer questions and give advice, draft emails and letters. In the inbetweenie bits, that is lunch, I had a look at flickr check out this marvelous dress. The young lad in the office is thinking of a tattoo so has been drawing designs on paper and his hand to see how they look. He says that he's not going to have it on his hand it was just so that he could show the lady who is going to do the design for him his ideas.
a. The lady who does tattoo design is "quite hawt" apparently
b. We would have let him take a sheet of paper out of the office but he said that this helped him to remember.
On the way home I saw the poster for the nightclub stuck up in the bus shelter near work. I've pixilated some details as I don't want to give the oxygen of publicity to them more than I can help it. I've no idea who they are trying to attract with this. :-/
And there you go quite a blah day really I think better out of any serious depository than in.
16 October 2006
Bloody bastard power cut has just happened about 3 spellings before hitting "Publish"
So instead I'll just have to point you at this
And point out that I looked rather good for 5 seconds on Saturday Night
Photo as what was taken by that rather talented Becky
15 October 2006
05 October 2006
It's this sort of weather, wet, dreary and damp that makes one realise that summer holidays abroad happen at the wrong time of year, you don't need to go to Cyprus in summer it's warm enough here. So OK the sea is a sort of dirty green here, cold and smells slightly of pee and it's warmer in the Mediterranean but that's just being picky. NO the right time to go abroad for a summer holiday is now, which is exactly what Bex and I are doing we are vacating Goth Towers and EnVérité Acres for the duration to go to Portugal, the Algarve to be exact. I will be the first member of my family to visit Portugal since my Grandfather walked there from Dunkirk in 1940.
I think it may have changed.
02 October 2006
01 October 2006
30 September 2006
- Nena - 99 Luftballons
- The Human League - Don't You Want Me
- EMF - Unbelievable
- Mel Brooks - Springtime For Hitler
- M.A.R.R.S - Pump Up The Volume.
29 September 2006
The church was beautiful, it smelt old and comforting a mix of bees wax candles, old books, dusty kneelers and incense. Having been made to go to church throughout my youth, the call and response of the service was semi familiar (it was an Anglican service not Catholic) I knew where I was and what would happen next. I can see why we have these routines in times of great emotional stress it gets us through the moment we don't have to think what to do next just follow the tracks worn by people who have gone through this before over the years.
Smells, bells, hymns, talking about the deceased and even the shrieks ands shouts of the children playing during their morning break in the school playground next door. In this northwestern European country they all make it easier to handle the dreadful.
- St Barbara is the patron saint of armourers
- Bavarian food is rather better than I had assumed it would be.
- Dachau is almost a suburb of Munich
- I learnt how to programme the sat nav system in a VW people carrier from a standing start that was in German without the aid of instructions or the back seat navigators sat in the back of the van.
- I may have forgotten most of my schoolgirl German but I had more of the language than any of my British based colleagues with me.
- Abfall is the German for rubbish or litter.
- I remembered that the Germans do have a sense of humour and a funny one at that.
- German TV leaves a lot to be desired.
- South Park in German is wrong.
- Bavaria is beautiful and has lots of churches.
24 September 2006
The BBC are running a trial where they are opening some of their archives to the general public, it is coming to an end on Friday 29 September as they have to review it before submitting to the BBC Governors for permission to carry on full time. Details here the archive material right now is probably more of curiosity interest to a casual blogger like me but I can see it becoming a very useful resource for many, teaching, historians, and casual bloggers like me who want to illustrate a point.
The point demonstrated here is that they didn't half talk posh back in the thirties.
I know many of you read Becky's Blog, but have you noticed the video ad that has been there for that last couple of days? Click on it and you get a short "rock" video with puppets after it ends you're invited to click through to a new page which links to either a MTV page or to what alleged to be their homepage but in reality is an advert for the Corsa, a vehicle so dull and nondescript no one can be bothered to take the piss out of it.
The attention to detail and effort that has gone into this is quite stunning, inventing a band "The Cmons" setting up a myspace account and getting some tracks recorded and putting stuff up on YouTube and linking up with MTV to punt them as an up and coming band it's just a shame the music is shite and they gave a back history to the band that can't be backed up which isn't surprising considering that they are a marketing tool thought up this summer. The press release is here it's the the most humourous bit of the lot.
Bring back flat Eric that's what I say.
Edited for sense 23:30 24/9/06
You can see the full sized picture here
23 September 2006
Apart from the Hoff.
He has a new single out "Jump In My Car" - I've heard worse, I've heard a hell of a lot better, it's a chuggalug song that is probably best not thought about too much. But the video is something else: The Hoff is fascinating, the only part of his face that moves is his lower jaw, the rest has been botoxed into submission. It makes his "advances" on the young women in the video rather creepy. Some say that David Hasselhoff is the Antichrist decide for yourself.
21 September 2006
20 September 2006
19 September 2006
1. One book that changed your life.
I don't think that any book I've read has changed me. The strong influences in my life have been friends and family. I can't even say "The Highway Code" because although I have a driving license I don't own a car and I don't drive. I suppose "The Female Eunuch" was an eye opener when I read it aged 16
2. One book that you’ve read more than once.
Ahh, this is the question that is supposed to illicit a deep and meaningful answer. Unfortunately that won't work with me because unless the book is absolute shite the chances are I'll read it a few times. However to play along one book that I've read over and over and enjoyed greatly is "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It's not great literature, yes it is a children's book but it's well written, humourous and not without humanity.
3. One book that you’d want on a desert island.
The "How To Get Off A Desert Island" book
4. One book that made you laugh.
Ooh there are many, for instance, I mentioned "Cold Comfort Farm" just the other day, I've enjoyed Terry Pratchett's Discworld series over the years but today Matthew I'm gonna choose Asterix The Gaul. It's the bad puns you know.
5. One book that made you cry.
6. One book that you wish you had written.
For the money any of the Harry Potter ones would do, for quality Persuasion.
7. One book you wish had never been written.
Oooh there are so many but Bridget Jones' Diary comes to mind for two reasons, firstly I loathed it, I didn't manage to finish the book it was that bad and two for becoming a lazy and inaccurate shorthand for all single women above the age of 21 it seems. And because I'm feeling generous Lord Of The Rings - for being shite.
8. One book that you are reading at the moment.
I've got several on the go at the mo including the Private Eye Annual for 2003 and an Autobiography of Peter Ustinov which I picked up for 50p in the registry's ongoing second hand book sale.
9. One book that you’ve been meaning to read.
I've got several in my bookcases that I've been meaning to read and haven't got round to doing so yet. I take "the classics" with me when going on holiday because I normally get a chance to actually get properly stuck into the book. Currently I've got "The Mill On The Floss" and "The Leopard" that need to be read.
10. Five others that you'd like to do this.
Not five others because they probably won't complete it, just one and she'll probably ignore it too - Becky.
18 September 2006
I was trying to describe David to young Ady in the office and all I could do was fall back on platitude and cliche it shouldn't be so hard to describe someone you like. David without being creepy or strange could compliment the "ladies" whilst treating us as rational, intelligent interesting people, he had a sense of fun and an interest in life that hadn't been diminished by the travails of life and work. I'm drifting back into cliche again I find it hard not too.
I would like to go to the funeral if possible but there is a chance I will miss it because I'm supposed to be going to Germany (it's work not fun, honest) tail end of next week.
Sometimes it does not seem fair.
14 September 2006
I would have said more but I'm still stunned at the wonderment that is Extras the second series and The Michell and Webb Look on BBC2. Highly recommended both of them
13 September 2006
I bought Don't You Want Me by the Human League as my first free tune.
Second off iTunes 7 has come out, Si and I have spent most of the evening enjoying one of the new features, it now streams the album artwork in a manner that reeks of Apple Mac. It looks lovely, iTunes can now find most artwork if you don't mind Apple knowing your dodgy taste in music. Now if they could only add tagging to iTunes then I think they would have a really tops product.
12 September 2006
While I'm at it, another book that I would strongly recommend to anybody is Cold Comfort Farm it's a masterly comic piece from the 1930s which as the plot develops, (girl meets disorganised and melodramatic farm and farmers. Girl organises farm and farmers into rational beings with nothing more to aid her than good sense and a slender ankle), sends up royally the heaving bosoms, gloom and misery and "fear of forrin" that occurred with monotonous regularity in the works of the likes of Thomas Hardy and DH Lawrence.
11 September 2006
Second Hand Night was wasn't called that by its promoters, no they called it something like "Connections" or "Cupid's" You had to be single and over twenty five.
It was awful.
The smell of desperation and unsubtle aftershave would hit you as you entered. For many people there it must have felt like the last chance to meet someone, in the Lavs there would be gaggles of thirty something forty something divorcees slapping on the slap and tweaking their outfits, discussing unsatisfactory exes and the lack of talent without.
The dance floor was circled by men supping their pints as they scanned the gloom for fresh meat to pounce on. Once on the dance floor it was really hard to get off because the watching men would surround the area, to get to the bar or the loos you had to push past them never knowing if they would try to cop a feel.
To make it worse my friends would insist that I had to try to chat up at least one man. There was no one there who I would have touched with a barge pole. So they would give me a choice of one out of three targets and make me talk to him. It was hell, I'm not good at small talk, they didn't want to talk to a brunette in black, drinking pints, when there was a small bubbly blonde behind me gurning like an idiot and looking like fun (Wee Jock who was engaged, happily so, to the man how is now her husband.)
I didn't really want to talk to Gary from accounts from the big company on the trading estate who fancied himself as a bit of a mobile DJ and thought that the birdie song and a Beatles megamix was the acme of sophisticated entertainment at a wedding. For fucks sake he hadn't even heard of the Pixies! It was disastrous I didn't learn how to do "small talk" and "pretend flirting" I just learnt that I hated provincial second hand men nights with a passion.
My friends said that I was too picky I said no I wasn't. It was just that I had my own set of criteria that had to be met and these blokes weren't doing it. They also said that my drinking pints (I could cope with about 3 rum and cokes before saying sod this and reverting back to the bitter) and wearing black all the time would put people off. I said that I couldn't fake "girly" for very long and I wasn't prepared to pretend in order to trap a bloke.
In the end they gave up, but only after I had blown out a "nice young man" from the Rugby Club because of the small detail that he had a girlfriend. I think they decided that I could do it if I wanted to but I was just too fussy.
So what if I am, I've found it pays to be because you get the best results in the end ;)
10 September 2006
Edited for sense 23:09 10/9/06
The cat - Kitty has been rather a trial Wednesday night she was fine, demanding food and hiding under my bed as is her wont on the first night being dropped off. Kitty has an overactive thyroid and she tends to throw up the food that has her medicine in it so it's pretty hard to treat her condition. Because of this Mum tends to feed her on demand and she is still very skinny.
Thursday morning I put food out for her and head off to work, knowing that when I get back she will be starving and a tad cross with me because I would be late, a semi formal semi work do. However what I found when I got back was a flat that stunk of cat shit, no sign of kitty but I could hear her. She was making a dreadful wailing sound and chocking noises as if she was trying to sick up something caught in her throat. I found her in my living room hiding behind the sofa in a pitiful state, she had been sick on the carpet once and suffered from diarrhoea a few times I could follow her path round the living room by the increasing runnyness of the mess. She it didn't look like she was chocking on anything but her breathing was awful, and when I picked her up she was shaking.
I don't have a car so there was almost no way I could have got her to the emergency vet fortunately Mum hadn't set off and she was able to come over to take Kitty to the vets. She was not in a good way the vet, a rugged good looking Australian chap, put her in an oxygen tent because of her breathing difficulties and said that he would like to keep her in over night, he blamed the state she was in on her hyperthyroidism and said there could well be underlying heart problems which would have been made worse. What caused it? Could be anything a cold or an upset tummy. They would then transfer her to her regular vets the next day to continue the treatment.
We left Kitty at the vets along with a multitude of phone numbers for them to contact us with, the vets decided to use my mobile number. My mobile was on silent all during the day and I didn't think to look at it.
The emergency vet had handed Kitty over to her normal vets saying that they thought that she was still a poorly little animal and shouldn't go home that night, her normal vets said that they had taken blood and were running some tests. So I called them, they said I could take her home. So when Simon got here we did, I wish we hadn't to be honest she still was not at all well, She barely ate a thing and spent almost all her time under the bed listlessly almost in a stupor although she did totter out for some water and food last night..
So this morning we took her back to Mum's, she showed more interest in her surroundings on the way to the car than she had on Friday but she is most definitely still not herself. I find it sad it very hard to see her looking so poorly, although she is not suffering so badly that the kindest thing would be to put her down by a long chalk, I am not good with serious illness I've decided, I can not do the strong supportive rock act. Not for human nor pet and it's more than a bit embarrassing, I've always been easily effected by emotion unfortunately I'm not growing out of it. I'm not wishing to be cold and emotionless I just wish I didn't cry so easily.
Here is a picture of Kitty last year healthy and not complete skin and bones.
*Update* 6:45pm My mum has just rung she is taking Kitty back to the emergency vets as she really isn't happy with how the cat is doing. She still hasn't eaten and she couldn't make it up the stairs with out help. We'll see how she does.
05 September 2006
R4 is trying to convince us that Greenham Common was feminism's finest moment.
Yeah, that's ridiculous. Madam Cholet was the only female one in it!
04 September 2006
Little things have struck me as being blog worthy but when I've sat down to write them the urge goes, or someone else has written about it in a more entertaining/knowledgeable/intelligent way.
I've not taken any interesting photos to bung up on flickr, at this rate my membership of the interweb generation will be revoked.
Gah or is it Meh?
27 August 2006
Thanks to the tablets above I no longer have to put up with oedema in the feet. Well I've still got it but the symptoms have been dramatically reduced after 2 days after starting the medicine. Oedema can be caused by too much protein in the blood - liver or kidney failure or by heart failure I don't have any of the above three I had blood tests to make sure. It can also be caused by having high blood pressure or being pregnant again neither apply to me. Or it can be just one of these things that happen which I have a feeling is gonna be me.
I went to the doctors about it first of all because it was also making my feet hurt, I kept saying that I wouldn't have minded so much if it was just the cosmetic look. However now that I've finally got treatment that works and my ankles and feet no longer look so bad I've realised that I was lying to myself. It was beginning to get me down no end, it looked ugly and I couldn't hardly find shoes that were nice and fitted me.
It has cheered me up no end that this medicine is working. Loosing weight will also help, but the diet doesn't start til September. I gave up smoking on 6th September 2005, I've decided the diet to loose that weight and more shall start on the 6th.