Sunday, February 07, 2016

Young Montalbano, Husband and Fitbit

Yesterday evening I did 7,000 steps while watching Young Montalbano.

This morning I was telling Younger Son when Husband interrupted saying, 'It's not the same though, walking back and for in the corner of the room.'
'I know but it's better than doing nothing.'
'Yes, but it's not the same. Look up your statistics.'
'It's still 7,00 steps and better than nothing.
'Yes, but ...'

At that point I sulked out of the room.

Husband is unlikely to be alive to watch any more Young Montalbano if he keeps this up.

The Dress Shop of Dreams

I can thoroughly recommend The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag, A delightful tale full of lovely characters. A bit of a mystery interwoven with magic and love. Super duper.

Why I hate pastors' wives

Back when I was a church administrator, every Christmas we (the church) would receive a card from a larger church signed, 'from the pastors and their wives.'

Quite apart from the implied sex discrimination it's offensive and I think it's a peculiarly religious thing. You don't get cards from the doctor and his wife or the accountant and his wife. You'd like to hope their wives wouldn't stand for it. I mean, what woman wants to be or is happy to be an appendage?

I assume it's to do with man and woman in marriage becoming one in the eyes of God. But if that is the case then surely the woman must have the same authority and power as the man. Which, of course, she doesn't. She is just the wife. Useful no doubt for making tea.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

No foot rot for me!

After at least 2 years of complaining and putting up with both holey wellies and walking boots I've finally bought some new wellies. It was a close thing: I even took a trip to town to buy myself some but lost interest after looking in a couple of shops.

It was being with GrandSons in their brand-new wellies at the weekend that spurred me on. I was so frustrated at not being able to splash through puddles with them that I came home and ordered myself some. 

But not until after some serious browsing and investigating. All the wellies I've had over recent years have been comparatively cheap and bought, as Husband put it, more for style (if you can have stylish wellies) than sturdiness. So we googled dog-walking wellies and I finally decided on these.

I'm really hoping these will be comfortable for walking - most wellies give me flat feet ache if I walk in them too much - and long-lasting. They cost enough!

Smart eh? I was very happy until Younger Son peered at them and said, 'They're not waterproof.'
'What do you mean? Of course they're waterproof. It said so on the website.' (I believe everything I read.)
'But the leg bit is made of wetsuit material and they don't keep the water out.'

So I set out to test them

They passed the squelching through mud test.
And they passed the wading through the stream test - even though the water came above the rubber bit. And I had to stay there long enough for Husband to take a photo with his phone and then realise it wasn't working so take one instead with the camera I was carrying. In other words I was standing there for a good few minutes.

Smart, warm and comfortable. All that needs to be tested now is longevity. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

Anteaters have long tongues

Spent the weekend with Elder Son and family in Surrey.

While pretending to be dogs I point out to 4-year-old GrandSon1 that dogs have longer tongues than people so can lick water out of bowls. He nods but says, 'But not as long as an anteater's.'

You can't argue with that.

Terry's Old Geezers

Back when I had to get up early in the mornings to get the children to school I listened to Wake up to Wogan on Radio 2. The phrase TOGs (Terry's Old Geezers) came to be the name for his listeners who would write in to tell Terry of their latest age-related calamity. The lucky chosen few of those whose letters he read out on the show received a t-shirt or later on a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words, 'Do I come here often?'

The one and only time I wrote (emailed actually I think) in was to tell Terry my joy at discovering that after I had spent best part of a year believing I was, say, 47 - I can't remember how old exactly -  I was in fact 46 and wouldn't be 47 until my next birthday.

Doing the school run meant my listening to the show was interrupted so I missed my email being read out! But I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks later when I received a parcel from the BBC.
Sir Terry Wogan will be missed. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

"It's their loss", no, really it is

So, a few days ago, I received my first rejection email of 2016 - or as I prefer to call it my first 'it's their loss' email. (Only reaching that stage after sobbing quietly for a few hours.)

Yesterday I received a 'we'd like to see more' email, which, strangely enough made me feel worse than the first one. You see it was from a publisher. Again you'd think, 'Well, that's good, isn't it?' But I don't know; I am suspicious. And I became even more suspicious after I googled them.

On the original publishing website they did say that they may ask for a contribution towards publishing costs, which can be a sign of a vanity publisher but, on the other hand, is like going to a regular printer if you self-publish, but that unlike a vanity publisher they would only publish if they considered it of suitable quality.

The reviews I read however suggested that everything would be of suitable quality and that the financial contribution requested could be very high.

So, yes, my reaction was: the only people who consider my manuscript worthy of publication are scam artists. Hence my misery.

Anyway we're off to Surrey for the weekend so time with grandchildren will cheer me up. We're setting off this afternoon so I'll miss any more 'It's their loss' emails that arrive - I find Fridays to be a 'good' rejection receipt day. I am convinced agents come to the end of the week and just want to reduce their pile a bit so fire them off willy nilly. 

I hope my next post will be more cheerful: I'm not really as horrendously miserable and dreadful to be around as I may sound. At least I hope I'm not ...

P.S. Vanity publishers came into the news a few years ago because they were taking lots of money from people to publish their books. They played on people's vanity and desire to be published - much like self-publishing - but at a great cost - unlike self-publishing. I self-published This Time Next Year at no cost to myself, unless you count blood, sweat and tears.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Especially for my Russian readers

Vchaira ya goulyaya ce cebakoy : phonetically spelled means 'yesterday I took my dog for a walk. Very roughly. Possibly. 

For some reason I learned one sentence - that one - of Russian when in school. I can't imagine why, or why it has stayed with me. But that's for my Russian readers. It's not actually true as I had women's group yesterday and didn't have time to walk George but I hope by Sunday I will be able to say it truthfully.

Now hair. Most importantly I saw a photo of the new baby, born last night, and very lovely he is too. And Andrew took very good care of me. I think he was working on the wrap-in-cotton-wool principle, looking after me while Mark was away. The style is slightly different from my norm but will soon fall into droopiness when I'm left to dry it myself. 
Dear me, what big eye-bags you have, Granny!

An afternoon spent sitting in the hairdresser's, though it gave me a good opportunity to read Brennan Manning's book - the title of which escapes me - did nothing for my step count. I'm going to have to go a bit to fit in another 6,000 steps before bedtime.

Big in Russia

My blog page view stats:
Australia 11
UK 131
Russia 632

I look at my stats every now and again out of curiosity. Obviously I'm big in Russia - and that doesn't include the 'istan' countries. Perhaps I make more sense in Russian. 

Well, as we all know, statistics never lie so Спасибо and хорошего дня.

(Thank you and have a good day - according to Google translate.)

Phoebe and me

I should be in the hairdresser's now. I would be if my hairdresser's wife hadn't gone into labour. I mean, seriously, like she couldn't have waited until the weekend?

So, instead, I'm going in later on to be cut by Andrew. Andrew is rather more avant garde in his styling. I may return with shaved bits. 

(A pigeon is trying to work out how he can reach the fat balls without falling off his perch. It's all we get on our front garden bird-feeder: fat pigeons. 'Don't let the pigeon eat the peanuts!' A phrase recognisable by parents of small children.)

So I've been wearing my Fitbit non-stop since yesterday afternoon (apart from when I was in the shower). It begins counting again each day at midnight; so far today I have taken 1,374 steps. It's 30 from bed to the toilet - I know because I counted - so it must add up quite quickly. Slightly worryingly though is the fact that it thinks I slept for 16 undisturbed hours last night. Oh and the fact that when I woke up it already registered 11 steps. I know i wriggle a lot in bed but I'm surprised it's enough to count as a step.

I'm hoping that the Fitbit - I know, let's call her Phoebe - will magically make me lose weight without me having to do anything. Now the woman who invents that machine will be onto a winner.

And don't worry; I'll soon lose my enthusiasm for reporting every detail from Phoebe. She's already making my wrist feel itchy ...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Inherent Vice

So, to clarify: I think the covered cage was something to do with Roman Catholicism. The parrot was just my imagination. But a better idea I like to think.

Fitbit. It's took 24 hours for me and then Husband when I gave up to set up my Fitbit, to wirelessly sync it. (Don't ask me what that means.) It's still sitting on my desk looking at me in an annoyed fashion. Okay, I'll put it on, shall I? ... Right, it feels okay, quite soft strap, but the display seems to be a bit too far around my wrist but you can't adjust it because that's the way the gubbins is set up. Once I accept that and don't go to change it each time I look at it I'm sure it'll be fine.

Well, my heart rate is 65 and so far Fitbit is proving accurate in that it records my steps as 0. I've already argued with a till today so I can see me and Fibit having a few show-downs. The trouble with arguing with a machine is that you can never win. Even if you're right the machine won't admit it. I'd better decide on a name so when people say, 'Are you talking to yourself?' I can say, 'No, I'm talking to Hermione.' Or whoever.

I was going to take a photo of Fitbit on my arm but then I noticed how hairy my arms are. Dark hairs too. It's one thing to bleach your top lip, quite another to tackle two arms.

* * * * * * * * 

One of my Christmas presents from Husband was a dvd called Inherent Vice. Apparently it was on a 'recommended for over 55s' list. We watched it last night. The main character is a private eye called Doc - I only know that because I just read the write-up on Amazon. Prior to that I thought he was called Dug or Dog. In fact I should probably have read the synopsis on the web before watching the film: I may have known what was going on then. Here's an excerpt from one of the reviews:
Doc's journey takes him through a dead biker, Mental Asylum (Straight is Hip), Chinese smuggling, Dentist pedophile, massage parlor, and government conspiracy involving the FBI, DOJ and the Aryan Nation. Try to keep up.

I failed to keep up but having said that it's not an entirely bad film. To its credit you can't fall asleep while it's on; you have to concentrate. Younger Son just said we should have had subtitles on and I do think that would have helped because they did mumble so. And, apart from his sideburns, Doc was a reasonably nice person.

I see Netflix will be showing House of Cards season 4 this year. Husband is a big fan but we watched the first season just after Breaking Bad and I couldn't cope with any more horrid people so gave up. I like nice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I can understand the cover-up but why a parrot in church?

My style of driving Alfie Porsche is best described as 'Pick a gear, any gear'. Don't tell Husband though.

Today it was sunny. Good. But it meant I had to pull the sun visor down. Bad. It hits me on the head and covers most of the front windscreen meaning I can see very little of what's ahead. I also couldn't see what was behind me as the mirror was adjusted for Husband and if I move it it falls off.

So pity anyone following me on the road today. Still I got home in one piece. 

To play with my new Fitbit! Having said that, after the initial 'oh, isn't it pretty?' excitement I haven't touched it. I thought I could just put it on and hey presto that would be that but no, it seems it has to be charged and then, quite possibly, linked up to NATO HQ.

While it was charging I visited Sainsburys (how many times can one woman go to Sainsburys in one week? Better add on another once as I've just remembered what I forgot) and child-minded. I bought chicken nuggets and oven chips to try and tempt grandchildren to eat something other than bread and hummus or 'yellow' i.e. with butter, toast. 

The chips were cast aside as being too thin and crunchy and the chicken nuggets weren't even tasted. So I had finish off everything. As well as eat my dinner. I did intend to have a smaller dinner, honest, but the cheese and coleslaw just seemed to creep onto my plate.

Oh yes, the parrot.

In RC mass with Uncle on Saturday - a special mass was said for him in honour of his 90th birthday - and I couldn't help but notice the covered cage just behind the altar. Obviously you wouldn't want a parrot  - or maybe budgie - to be talking away during mass so the cover I can understand. It's just why have a birdcage on the altar at all?