Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A strange coincidence involving George

On the very day that I re-posted that story about George escaping he did it again!

He hasn't even tried for ages. I think he's finally accepted that he's probably not going to get a better home plus the fact that everyone knows him now and they won't feed him. And to be fair I don't think he did try to escape it was just a series of unfortunate incidents.

Daughter came in leaving the gate open for Son-in-law. 
George went out for a quick sniff.
Son-in-law doesn't notice George and comes in closing the gate behind him.
George finds himself locked out.

What's a dog to do in these circumstances?

He could bark loudly; he is very capable of it when he thinks he needs to, which is usually last thing at night when all the neighbours are trying to get to sleep.

Or he could go around the block, find an open gate and go and peer pitifully through a window so that he is brought home by a neighbour who thinks what heartless creatures we are for locking out such a lovely dog.

No prizes for guessing which option he chose.

Why I'm not queen of the world

Uncle had a nice fountain pen that I thought I'd like to use it but the ink cartridge was empty. It's an old pen so I spent some time wandering around shops and asking questions about the right type of cartridge to buy. At last I managed to find one and took it home delightedly. 

I took out the old cartridge and replaced it with the new one. At this point Husband wandered in, picked up the old one and said, 'You realise this is a refillable cartridge, don't you?'

Two points arise from this.

First, the staff who advised me obviously didn't know their cartridge from their elbow. 
Second, the articles I read in magazines in the dentist's waiting room about how to make your life more effective - things like allotting dedicated time slots, focusing on one thing at a time etc - don't take account of innate stupidity.

If it were not for that, with my 'brilliant ideas' and optimism against the odds, I could be queen of the world by now undoubtedly.


Monday, April 24, 2017

What about a cement coffin?

Husband this morning uncovered a letter he'd had from a great-uncle of mine a few years ago. Like Husband, Uncle Woodie was interested in genealogy so he sent us a load of family information. Some of it Husband has disproved - or rather not been able to find any trace of actual evidence - such as Count Otto von Bismarck having an illegitimate child by a distant relation of ours, but other bits are more fact-based though less colourful.

Such as this cutting from an old newspaper. It refers to my great-grandfather, Hobart Pasha Honey. I assume it's from the local Swansea paper but have no idea of date. My great-grandfather died in about 1951 but I imagine it was quite a while before that.

The article reports that Mr H. P. Honey had invented a metal-reinforced cement coffin and was proposing it as an alternative to the traditional because of the current high price of wood. He suggests they are also much better from a sanitary point of view.

The article ends with Mr Honey saying he would be glad to consult with any interested undertakers.

As far as I know the idea never caught on except with gangsters.

And, on a separate note, I am dubious about the claim that all children love syrup of figs. 



Feeling fat, fat, fat

A lovely weekend in Surrey with Elder Son and his family. Good weather - but not as good as in Swansea and that is very unusual! - great barbecue and wonderful grandchildren. 

Now I don't know if the mirror in the hotel was one of those funny ones - that's what I'm hoping - but I felt hideously fat. Now I know I'm not actually hideously fat but I feel much better when I weigh about a stone less than at present so today I signed up for a Rosemary Conley online slimming course!

I did RC classes a few years ago and was successful at losing weight but they weren't online, we had a brilliant and fun teacher in Cherie, and included an exercise session, so I don't know how well I'll do with this. It's mainly the incentive value: I've paid for the quarter so I should jolly well make sure I lose weight.

Hence my shopping list for Sainsburys this morning included very low fat cheese spread, very low fat sausages and two packets of Mug Shots. Even as I'm taking them off the shelf I'm thinking, 'These are going to be horrible,' but I'm not very good at lunches. I like something quick and there are only so many days you can eat ryvita. And they contain less than 2% fat. In fact they probably contain very little of any substance or worth but I'll let you know what they taste like when I've sampled them.

Oh, that's a good idea: I'll copy and paste this writing into my Middle-aged, fat and frumpy blog. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Earthquakes in London

Last night I went to the theatre. On my own. 

It was an amateur production of a play called Earthquakes in London and I knew two of the people appearing in it. It was a last minute decision to go: I'd been dithering but wanted to support them, so I checked the start time on their Facebook page and went.

And arrived just after it had started - 15 minutes before Facebook had said.

I slid into a seat, which happened to be on the front row. It's one of those trendy small theatre areas that don't have a raised stage and you're eyeball to eyeball with the performers. And then I noticed it. The strange smell. No, not strange, downright horrible. Rather like stinky fish but worse. It was so bad it distracted me from the play.

I tried to sniff my neighbours - subtly of course - but couldn't work out from where the smell emanated so I was greatly relieved when it came time for the interval. It happened that I knew three women sitting in the row behind. One of them said she'd noticed the smell and thought it came from the little woman on my right.

There was a spare seat in their row so for the second half I joined them and, apart from the odd whiff, it was happily pong-free. I can only assume the poor woman had a problem - in university there was a boy who although always scrupulously clean and smartly dressed had a strange odour that was alleged to be hormone related - and I do feel sorry for her, but, oh, I still had the smell in my nose when I got home and went to bed.

As for the play, well, it was long and quite depressing but very well done.

I was looking for something else and came across this from January 2008

George makes a break for it

Yes, that's right, George 'Don't make me go out of the front door on my own' has discovered the joys of 'other people's gardens'. 

He loves the postman. As soon as he spots the post-van pulling up he gets excited, then, after the postman has been to our house (or made a fuss of him even if he isn't delivering to us), George stands at the front of the garden and watches him on his way.Our garden has a drop at the front as you see so he can't get out that way but, a few minutes after the postman had gone, I realised he'd disappeared. I wandered round the garden and house, calling, but there was no response.

Outside on the road there was no sign of him and he didn't appear when I called. At that moment, the postman came along, returning to his van. 'Have you lost him?' he said. 'Geeoorrgge!'

At the sound of the postman's voice, George comes round from the back of the next-door-but-one-neighbour's house, looking innocent as the day is long.

We - the postman and I - figured he'd squeezed round the very front of the wall separating the neighbours' garden from ours; I've put a bucket there temporarily until Husband comes home at the weekend and can fix it.

Our garden is beginning to look like it's been done-over by one of those trendy television gardening programmes. Wire mesh is the new decking, don't you know?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Incomplete without ice cream

A while ago I complained about my mouse. Last week, just before the bank holiday, I said, 'Right, that's it! I'm getting a new one. This one is driving me crazy.'

Imagine my delight then when the next time I came to use my mouse it was working fine. Husband had worked his magic on it.

'How did you do that?' I asked him.
'Bit of spit and a tissue.'

Oh. 

* * * * * * * * *
Having been assured by the doctor yesterday that going away on holiday was fine - even with my 'condition' - Husband has booked us a week in Lanzarote in May. Since the end of November at least life has been a bit full on what with one thing and another. It's no wonder several people have remarked on how tired I look. (And there was me thinking I looked as gorgeous as ever!)

Within the Canary islands we've visited Fuerteventura and Tenerife but not Lanzarote. Apparently there's a live volcano and you can eat in a restaurant that uses the heat of the volcano to cook. I'll be glad just to lie in the sun/shade and read and swim and sleep. And eat ice cream. I just hope we can find an ice cream shop as good as the one run by an Italian lady in Fuerteventura. The success of my holiday depends on it.
In Italy in March 2012






Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Calm after the storm

If I'd been a premenstrual grammar pedant instead of just a grammar pedant I might have done serious damage in the waiting room at the hospital today. 'One in three women suffer premenstrual tension.'

Still, arguing with Husband about its correctness or not took my mind off my up-coming appointment. And when we'd finally agreed to disagree guessing the make-up of the British Lions squad (due to be announced at noon) took us through another thirty minutes.

The registrar apologised when we eventually got in: she was doing the clinic on her own. And it's the same old, same old. My cyst or whatever it is is the same size but my blood markers have gone down - so that's good. Generally the registrar suggested it's better to avoid surgery and as I'm very low risk that's what we agreed I'd do. Go back in four months for another scan, blood test, check, and so on. 

I'd gone there thinking I'd say yes to surgery to avoid having this hanging over me but, hey, I'm fine, so let's carry on as we are.

'You should have the coil removed though,' the registrar said.
'Will they do that if I have surgery?'
'I'll do it now for you.'

Oh no, really? You don't have to do that. I'm fine. It's been there donkey's years; it can stay a bit longer, I don't mind. Honestly I don't ... 'Go in that examination room? Really? It will hurt.'
'No, it won't,' she assured me. 'If I can't see it easily I won't do it.'

Then when the nurse says, 'You can squeeze my hand,' you know it is going to hurt. But not for long. So now I am foreign-body-less.

Now the hospital is right next to Singleton Park so after the appointment we went to visit the botanic garden. It is a beautiful oasis of calm.

At first sight I thought this was a peony.




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Is Put in?

So there is to be a general election. The conservatives are riding high in the polls and are likely to win, which can only mean things are going to get worse.

And with education being one of the services to suffer we'll no doubt see more of the 'In Constant Use' signs in front of drives when they quite clearly are not in constant use. Frequent use, regular use, occasional use, yes, but not constant. Forgive me. One of my little foibles.

The NHS, which is under pressure now, will struggle even more with four years of Tory rule especially if they have a clear majority, so perhaps when I go to see the consultant tomorrow, if they offer me an operation, I should take it before waiting list times get even longer. Oh dear.

At 5.30 am I could think of a whole host of things that I urgently needed to do today but by the time I got up, after tossing and turning for two hours, I'd forgotten them all. 

I'm sorry, this post is very gloomy. I won't publish it just yet. I shall wait to see if I can think of something more cheerful. Oh I know!

Yesterday on the radio I heard part of a TED talk. Apparently back in the first half of the 20th century a psychiatrist did experiments on human brains studying the effect that electric currents had on different lobes. Nowadays they're not allowed to experiment on people so this particualr scientist is doing similar tests on the brains of drosophila. Do you know what drosophila are? I do but only because we studied genetics in school using them. They are fruit flies. Have you seena fruit fly? Can you imagine how small its brain is? 

Yet scientists are applying electricity to specific parts (?) and then, wait for it, checking to see if it affects the emotions. Of a fruit fly.

I think this scientist might have been exaggerating slightly because when quizzed it turned out that what they do is blow at them. 'Puff' 'And the more we puff at them the more agitated they seem to become. Like wasps when you try to swat them.'

Then he tried to say that in 50 years time they'll be able to apply electricity to certain parts of teh brain using a pill.

Either these people are extraordinarily clever or I am extraordinarily dumb.

And then there was the researcher - who presumably got paid money - who found out that shoe laces come loose because of the movement of the shoe. Now, who'd have thought it?

Finally my take on an old - but my favourite - joke.
What a beautiful day, the sort of day that makes you want to go and knock on the door of the Kremlin and ask, 'Is Put in?'

Okay, perhaps not as good as Ken Dodd's Lenin but I was pleased with myself.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The best little railway in town

Just watched the last episode of Homeland and more confused than ever.

It doesn't help that we're also watching Designated Survivor and I keep getting confused in what's happened where. Then switching to Grace and Frankie where Jed Bartlett is now gay and auditioning for musical theatre ...

Meanwhile back in the real world, we went on the little trains today! Yay! Twice! In the morning with GrandSon4 - his first ever ride on the miniature railway - and then this afternoon with the other local grandchildren. Social media has a lot to answer for. It used to be a quiet little place that only the locals and regulars knew about. Then someone mentioned it on Facebook as a great way to entertain children at a very cheap price - 50p a ride - and now the queues go round in circles. Great fun though.

Spent most of the rest of the day trying to design a poster for an exercise class. Tomorrow I'll have to start distributing it.