Thursday, June 29, 2006

What's the difference between me and a zebra?

A zebra is meant to have stripes.

Okay, well, the first time I tried the fake tan, it was fine. Smooth and just enough colour to make me feel less like an under-cooked pasty. I don't think I did anything different this time, so why the stripe up the front of my leg?

I noticed it yesterday evening but this morning the colour has brewed a little more and it's really quite stunning.

I'll have to put some more on and try and smooth it out. Is this going to end up like one of my haircuts? Whoops, scissors slipped. Never mind, I'll just have to trim the rest a little more. Oh, bother, just a bit more, nearly straight ... oops ... soon.

Will I end up like the man who wears shorts all year and has skin the colour and texture of antique leather?

If you see me in roasting in trousers on sunny days, you'll know why.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Incidentally, today is Remote Control Day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wild Child

I am pleased to say that I have a 'story' published in the latest edition of the e-magazine of Wild Child

I put story in quotes as it's fictionalised non-fiction.

Big thanks to ME Ellis for editing, encouraging and submitting it on my behalf.

Helps make up for the latest rejection to wing my way (I'm averaging one a week).

All queued out

I have spent the afternoon in queues.

I queued at the garage to find out if they sold additive.
I queued to pay for the additive.
I queued for petrol.
I queued to pay for the petrol.
I drove to the Post Office; I queued and queued at the PO.
I didn't queue at the chemist's but their machine wasn't working so I had to go back and queue at the PO to see if they would give me money: they wouldn't.
I drove to the bank and queued there.

I was so queued out I had to buy a bag of Maltesers. I spent so long looking at it in the PO I felt committed. It was either that or Hello.

A big bag of Maltesers.

How rich are you?

I just visited (yes, I know I am up ridiculously early but younger son has a dentist appointment and I want to make sure he gets up - yes, I know, he's 21 and should be organising himself, but I am a mother) Barro's blog

He includes a link to the Global Rich List.

According to that I am the 828,237,415 richest person in the world!

That may not sound too amazing until I say that it puts me in the TOP 13.8%richest people in the world!

And that's on the money they pay me at Linden.

Am I using it wisely? Generously?

How rich are you?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Here's to you, little Spider

This morning a spider climbed out of our bath.

Have you ever seen a spider succeed in its attempts to climb out of a bath? I haven't. Not before now. But this was the Edmund Hilary of spiders.

Not satisfied with climbing out of the bath, he set himself the task of climbing up the tap. I said, 'I don't think you should do that, little spider!' But he ignored me and this is the result.

The little photo is to show you the tap - he climbed up the inner curve, if you see what I mean - and the large photo is Spider, King of the Mountaineers.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Miscellaneous thoughts

Did I mention that Jules, our circuit trainer, was knocked off his bike a few weeks ago? His broken collarbone meant that we have been without our regular exercise since. So that we don't turn into complete jelly-bellies he's arranged for Simon to take the rest of the sessions in this course.

The first one was tonight. Simon spent eleven years in the Navy, ten of those as a PT instructor. At the end of the session I asked him how many recruits he'd killed. He thought about it and said, 'None, but I made some very ill.'

I can believe it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Why is it that Wayne Rooney who looks like a character from a soap (Coronation Street not Neighbours) takes his shirt off at the first opportunity while David Beckham, whose body we wouldn't mind admiring keeps his on until he's almost in the tunnel?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Two food thoughts.

Sainsburys Taste the Difference Caramelised Red Pepper Chutney is delicious. You can't eat too much of it as it is a tad sweet but yummy nevertheless.

If you're a fan of Seriously Strong Cheddar don't bother with Seriously Smooth Cheddar. It's a waste of space even if it is on special offer at Sainsburys.

It doesn't pay to upset me

Daughter was married three years ago on Valentine's Day. In the weeks before (our organisational skills lack ... organisation) they were trying to decide where to spend their wedding night, and I suggested Norton House, a rather posh local hotel complete with four-poster beds.

Harvey, daughter and I were on our way back from a walk around the cliffs one day and we decided to call into Norton House and make enquiries (Harvey stayed in the car). There was a man on the desk to whom we explained what we wanted; I could tell from the way he was looking at us that the hotel was going to be full for the likes of us. Sure enough, without even making the pretence of checking in the book,he said it was fully booked what with it being Valentine's Night.

A few days later, I phoned Norton House, spoke to a woman, asked if they had a room for Valentine's Night and she said, 'yes, we have several available.'

At the time I was writing a column on our wedding preparations for the local paper. I told this story but, to my disgust, the paper edited out the name of the hotel.

Still I vowed we'd never go there again.

Then last year my uncle, who lives close to NH, invited us for a meal and took us there. There was no sign of the snobbish man and the food was very good. It's also somewhere rather special for a special meal - like an anniversary.

We decided to go there on Saturday.

The first person we saw when we arrived was snobby man. He brought our menus and said the special that night was sea bass on a bed of apple and parsnip. I didn't really need to look at the menu (except for starters and puddings) after that: sea bass is one of my favourite fish.

When he came back for our order I said I'd have the sea bass special; he says, 'ah, yes, that's with apple and fennel.'
'Fennel?' says I.
'Oh, no, apple and parsnip,' says he.
'That's okay then because I don't like fennel.'

It's one of these places that gives you a 'free' appetiser, in this case, tomato with salmon mousse (grainy). Then our starters. Mine was fine, but husband - who has some experience of food - said, 'This is the worst starter I have ever had.'

It was supposed to be crab-stuffed ravioli with a tomato and basil sauce. The pasta was bland and tough; they had forgotten to put the crab in; and the sauce was glutinous.

Main course arrived. Sea bass on a bed of apple and ... you've guessed it, fennel.

After it all, did we complain? No, we crept away like good Britishers. But we will never ever go back there again. (Unless there is a change of ownership and chef.)

There, I have got it off my chest now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Husband tried to tell me that I didn't need a new computer, it was just the monitor and we had several old ones in the attic. He brought one down, set it up, and, what do you know? Exactly the same problem: terrible picture, stripey screen. 'You need a new computer,' he said. 'Or maybe we could buy a new disc or ...'

I pointed out that neither of the CD drives works properly, and then Younger Son joined in. He reminded me that, for the last eighteen months, we have not switched the computer off as switching it on again is a major problem.

Husband gave in: we have ordered one, on special offer, from Dell. It wasn't until after we had paid that Dell told us it would take up to 10 days to be delivered. Ten days of this screen.

Could drive a woman crazy.

And that reminds me of the comments made by Chris yesterday morning. To the church at large he said something along the lines of, 'To be on the same wavelength as Liz Hinds is not something we should aspire to.'

He could regret saying that.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

28 years ago

... we got married on Midsummer's Day.

Husband forgot to get a card but, at least, he is here this year, which makes a pleasant change. He spent our silver anniversary playing with the Marines. And the year after that he was away on another jolly with work.

Instead of doing nothing special, as is our wont, we went for a trip today! To the forgotten gardens of Aberglasney. Until a few years ago the house and gardens were derelict; then a Trust was formed and the gardens are in the process of being renovated. The house itself looks perfectly normal from the outside but is, in fact, only a shell. The central part of the house - the rooms around what was a small courtyard - has been covered by a glass atrium and all sorts of tropical plants are being grown in there.

But really it's the gardens outside that are the joy. Even though it was a Saturday and there were quite a lot of people there, it was still very peaceful. The timing of our visit could have been better, in that we'd missed the Spring-flowering plants and were too early for most of the others, but it was still a jolly good place to spend an anniversary.

And we're going out for a meal tonight. I think this marriage lark might be okay; I'm willing to give it a few more years anyway.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A is for trouble

My email is being delayed.

But only the mail that comes from people whose names/email addresses begin with A. That is taking about 24 hours to get to me. Does anyone else have this problem?

There is probably a simple explanation. Possibly my server has developed a fervent and irrational dislike of the letter A. Or someone has spilt coffee on the key A. Or lost the key to the mailbox in the sky so though mail can go in, it can't get out until the man with a spare key is on duty. I hope they hurry up and get a new key cut.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The longest day

Because of the very hot weather and Harvey's doubtful fitness, we've been restricting his walks for some time. Today, as it was grey and windy, and he was pesky, I took him back on one of our old haunts.

My, how everything has grown! The grass was up to my shoulder in places. I stamped every so often as I walked to frighten away snakes. I don't know if there are any but I didn't want to find out.

It also gave me a chance to catch up with what else is happening round our way. The road behind the road behind our house is very much a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses road. First it was upvc windows, then fancy garage doors; now it's brick driveways. There are as many different styles as there are houses. Only two remain unbricked but it can't be long.

We have upvc windows but lack the rest. I would be thrilled just to have a garage door that would open without being bashed by my bum; I don't ask for much.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Yesterday in work I answered the phone and a man's voice said, 'hello?' Ready to put the phone down thinking it was one of those, 'Are you the person I should speak to about telecommunications in your organisation?' I warily said, 'Yes?'
'Have you heard of Rhys Howells?'
Hooray, a question I could answer. 'Yes!'
'Hallelujah, you're the first person I've found who has.'

It turned out they (I assume he had a wife with him) were over from New Zealand, he had read Rhys Howells, Intercessor, and he wanted to see the places concerned.

As I live next door to one of them it was easy (relatively, given my sense of direction and tendency to wave my arms to indicate left and right) to give him directions. He was very grateful and ended the phone call by saying, 'It's been a blessing speaking to you.'
Aaah, isn't that sweet?

Then Alun came into work and was rude to me proving that for every silver lining, there has to be a cloud.

A battle of wills

We are having a fight. Harvey and me that is.

I say if he's hungry, he will eat dry food; he says woof, woof, woof, woof, woof ... (he is refusing to argue sensibly and has resorted to petulant doggy ways.) I am ignoring him.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I had a manuscript returned this morning. My heart sank when I saw the envelope but then discovered it was the one for which I had already had an email saying no. The email also said, '... is very well-written and tells a fascinating story.' So?

It is the autobiography I am ghost-writing for an Irish man who was a disappointment to his father because he went straight instead of following in his father's footsteps.

Another day, another disaster

No poo to greet me today ... no, Harvey, I know it's not surprising as you didn't get fed yesterday ... no, I am not cruel; it is for your own good ... I say, that's who ... me and lots of experts who say that you shouldn't eat when you have an upset tummy ... it's no good grumbling, and you can have some dry food today ... I know you don't like dry food but neither do I like clearing up piles of smelly poo ... don't mutter under your breath!

Anyway as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, the day got off to a better start until I tried to have my breakfast. Then I discovered there was no milk. I LOVE my cereal; I cannot face a day without it. I am going to have to shower and go straight to the shop. I thought about waking younger son and making him go as he is the culprit, drinking loads of milk as he does, but then I remembered the two bowls of Frosties I had during the football last night.

I think I could live on Frosties (and bananas and grapes and cheese and ...)

There was enough milk for a cup of tea so while I'm drinking that, I'm typing this ... on a computer screen faded and covered in grey lines.
I've tried turning it off with no improvement so will restart the computer while I'm showering. But it has a terminal feel about it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Did I dream it or have Sweden decided to include the letter 'W' in their alphabet?

I'll have a look on the web ...

"Until recently the letter "W" was treated as a variant form of "V" and this practice is still commonly encountered. However, in 2005 the Swedish Academy separated the two letters in conformity with international lexicographic practice. They appear under separate headings in the 13th edition of Svenska Akademiens Ordlista, released on 10 April 2006."

So there. Where on earth did I read that today?

Anyway the Swedish alphabet consists of 29 letters: all of ours (the Latin alphabet) plus Å, Ä and Ö.

England 2 Sweden 2

The Motson School

I have nothing against Wayne Rooney (admittedly he looks like a thug but I'm sure his mother loves him); it's the ITV commentator that is making me feel murderous.

If Rooney so much as goes near the ball, he's wonderful. Everyone else is giving it their all, doing well, and they just get a mention in passing, but Rooney, oh, that was nearly a wonderful shot. He missed but wouldn't it have been a marvellous shot if it had gone in?

I think his name is Clive and he is a complete idiot. I just thought I'd mention that as it's half time.

Monday, June 19, 2006


I have just configured my software to automatically ping Technorati with each content change.

I wonder what that means.

It's strange how these things come about. It all started when I was reading the latest issue of Writers' Magazine; I came across an article about a playwright called Cathy Crabbe. The name seemed familiar so I did some raking through my memory vaults and remembered that she was a regular on Blank Slate, a writing website I used to visit.

She has won awards for her playwrighting - no, that's not right, but it should be - playwriting, and, most recently, has had work performed in Manchester's Comedy Store. She is the second of our old gang of Blank Slaters to achieve success. Kate Harrison, author of Old School Ties and Starter Marriage, was also one of us before becoming famous.

Cathy's latest play, Paperboys, is on 11-14 and 17-18 July in Buxton. I'm up in Derbyshire at the beginning of July and doubt if I'll be able to get up there again for it, but I hope it goes well.

Anyway, amidst all this, I looked up the Writers' News website, and another author on there mentioned his blog and Technorati. If I ever find out what I've done, I'll let you know.

As Brian said,

Always look on the bright side of life, ba boom ba boom ba boom.

The good thing about getting up to a pile of dog poo and a rejection letter is that the day can only get better.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

A couple of years ago I was asked to write something to be read in church on Father's Day. I wrote two pieces, one a Joyce-Grenfell-style nursery-schoolmistress talking about Father's Day with her class - that needs to be heard rather than read - and this one:

I can call him Lord, God, faithful one, saviour, creator, anything, except Father.
I can’t call him that.
I never knew my father. He disappeared before I was born. I can only assume he didn’t think I’d be good enough to make hanging around worthwhile.
When you’ve never known a father, it’s hard to accept a father’s love. When all you have is an empty space how can you relate to one others call father?
All the parables, all the stories in the world, don’t make it real, can’t fill a void, make known the unknown. You can say, ‘Our father, who art in heaven,’ without feeling a word of it.
And yet.

Most of my life, I’ve lived a half life. But now, I is becoming me. I’m learning how to uncover the person I was created to be.
Through my words, written and read, I’m discovering who I am. My writing is an extension of me, it makes me whole
Through it my thoughts are given shape and substance. I have something worth saying, something worth hearing.
Through my writing I can view myself as valuable, worthy, not because I write or because of what I write but, by its very being, my writing earths my existence. My words are as much part of me as my eyes or my toes. Before finding them, I was missing an element as vital to my well-being as calcium is to my bones.
Releasing them allows me to be me, wholly me.
And the key to that release has been meeting God, being accepted into his family.
So I live in that new life, no longer a fatherless child. Instead one whose family has demonstrated a father’s love and allowed me to experiment, learn, develop and build confidence without fear of being knocked back.
I used to think that growing up without a father was my loss but maybe it was his.
I still can’t call God Father but one day, when we meet, it’ll be the only word I’ll need.

Don't cry for me, Argentina

It was a bad week for England and Wales in the sport that really counts.

England were soundly thrashed by Australia (twice) and Wales, after losing well (if there is such a thing) in the first Test against Argentina, went on to be thoroughly outplayed and beaten in the second Test.

There could be lots of excuses I have no doubt but a major part of the problem was the fact that Wales must have given away a penalty every 5 minutes at least. And what do penalties mean? Points.

Roll on the Autumn Series (against the All Blacks, is it?)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I was wearing a short denim skirt and strappy t-shirt to loaf around the garden in the sunshine yesterday. Husband commented that I could pass for a thirty-year-old ... from behind.

He has not yet mastered the art of complimenting.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Sean Stillman spoke in church this morning. He has recently spent time in the Ukraine and the Mid-West of America starting the setting-up of God's Squad chapters (Christian Motorcyclists) and he spoke of the amazing differences between an eastern European country and the West. In particular he mentioned the huge rolling fields that are still farmed by hand in the Ukraine - not a tractor in sight. He went on to contrast the generosity of spirit of those who have nothing with the attitudes of some in the west who feel under-privileged if they can't have the latest model of Cadillac.

But what I really wanted to say was that he reminded me of the book I'm reading at the moment: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (it's not). I was so reminded of it that on my way home I passed a woman and thought to myself, 'Good heavens, that's Valentina.' It wasn't, of course, as Valentina is simply a character in the book - a very unpleasant character at that.

I don't recommend the book: it is rather tedious.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Maverick is alive and well ...

and living in Swansea.

We held our long-promised poker evening last night. It is amazing what you can learn from a game of cards about people you thought you knew. It's the quiet ones you have to watch. It was also rather worrying to see the way the church's finance officer bid (and lost) her all on a bluff. Still it wasn't real money.

Maverick is a financial adviser in real life, which makes you wonder if he takes such risks with his clients' money.

I say the finance officer lost her all but not quite as stupendously as I did (or should that be stupidly?); by the end people were giving me chips they felt so sorry for me. It would have helped if I had grasped the rules earlier. My late rally came too late.

Foodwise, my bread and butter pudding didn't look like Gary Rhodes's but it tasted very nice. As long as you didn't look at it.

Then as a bonus, just after everyone had left, Gogol Bordello and the Gypsy Punks appeared on Later with Jools Holland. We're going to see them in Nottingham in a couple of weeks and, as I've only ever heard them, seeing them was something of a revelation. The lead singer, Gogol, I assume, wore a belly dancing skirt over his trousers. I was wondering what one wears at a gypsy punk concert; now I know. I shall wear mine. We'll be a long way from home: there will be no-one I know there.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The joy of msn

I've just been introduced to the wonders of Messenger and it's a revelation.

This afternoon the sons and I had a three-way conversation using it. Admittedly younger son was only upstairs in his room but older son was in Madrid and it was totally groovy. (I am turning into Eddie Izzard: I will start wearing frocks next. Although skirts are more likely as we are probably both more of separates sort of people. Me because I'm a funny shape and him because he's not a typical woman shape.)

So anyway, back to Messenger. It is great fun - although I only have three friends at the moment - I am trying to persuade Alun to get onto it so we can abuse each other with ease and speed - but does have the potential to take up hours of your life. But more enjoyably than watching England play football.

I was getting glassy-eyed, and cheering for Trinidad and Tobago by the end. The only good thing is that Wonderboy didn't score. I would have hated to have seen all the stupid commentator's stupid comments come true. He was so bad I thought he was John Motson.

It might be important

So I'm cleaning (see how industrious I am) when I come across this:

Is it anything?

Obviously it's something but is it anything important? If I throw it away, will tomorrow be the day that I discover it holds the answer to life, the universe and everything? Or even more importantly, is necessary to keep my hoover working.

I will have to add to my little store of 'Things that look as though they might be vital but probably aren't'.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Secret intelligence

I saw a boy on the street today; he was carrying a duffel-bag. On it was written, 'Does my bomb look big in this?'

Should I alert MI5 or the police, do you think?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Profound thoughts

I was listening to the Goon Show yesterday and Eccles and Bluebottle were timing each other to see if they were getting older and it occurred to me that I am ageing minute by minute. That came as quite a shock.

I suppose I tend to think of getting older at birthday times: you're another year older. But right now I'm a minute older than I was when I started writing this post. This is a good argument - if one were needed - for making the most of each minute.

It will be my new resolution.

I must have aged over an hour while I was trying to get photos from our new camera onto the computer. I was trying for half an hour yesterday and longer again today. I even got the manual out and followed that, only to find it still wasn't doing what it was supposed to.

Then I realised the camera wasn't plugged in to the computer.

But it's done now. Although it says it has put the photos in a file that appears to be untraceable. I managed to save this one though.

On Sunday we went to father-in-law's 80th birthday lunch. Here he is with some of the fourteen bottles of malt whiskey he received. No wonder he is smiling.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Just another Friday

It's rather disconcerting when your boss is using your phone and she starts rummaging around in and taking things out of your rubbish bin.

Not unusual though.

What is surprising is the fact that Diet Flora is unsuitable for vegetarians.

Another interesting food fact: the Co-op coleslaw I bought yesterday used British cabbage and EU carrots. That struck me as interesting anyway.

What happened to Neighbours today? Is it being sacrificed for the World Cup? Nobody warned me.

First of the year

First drive of the summer in Brian. Like the - oh, dear, I can't think of a bird that flies south for winter ... swallow maybe? - he only comes out in the summer.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Recognition at last!

Trawling the BT Yahoo website for help in sorting out my email difficulties (yes, again) I discovered, on their Homepage, a horoscope, just for me!

Now normally I don't give horoscopes a second glance but I was so surprised that they knew when my birthday was, plus the fact that it was so ... apt and wonderful and fitting and appropriate, that I felt I had to share it with you. This is what it said:

Remarkable! That's the kind of word to best describe you today, dear Scorpio. So, don't be modest about it, be proud of yourself! You deserved some kind of recognition, and today you will get just that. Even if you tend to deny it, the people around you are very sensitive to your wonderful energy, to your dynamism and to the wonderful magnetism that you give off. After all these years, you deserve to bask in your own glory for once!

I've always suspected that my mother lied about my birthdate.

Church committee meetings

Linden is famed for its concerts. We are very good at them as we have loads of highly talented creative people amongst us. What we are not good at is forward planning.

After the Christmas concert the techies threatened a walkout. They'd been asked to do way too much complicated stuff at the last minute (although they did it all!)

To avoid that happening again there is now a committee who plan the big events in advance. Before the Easter morning meeting we had a conception meeting, a pre-production meeting, a production meeting, a technical run-through and a post-production meeting. Rich, our wonderful techie, said, 'It was like a dream.' Presumably as opposed to the nightmare of Christmas.

Now Linden's committee meetings are unlike most church committee meetings, I imagine. For a start, we meet in the pub. As we did last night for our conception meeting for the Harvest Spectacular. (Cath and Andre were invited to join us but Cath said they were going home for their conception meeting.)

Then Chris and Aly (should I change names? Too late) drank best part of a bottle of wine between them and the meeting progressed from there.

After some distractions we got a rough plan for Harvest together - mostly involving eating and drinking - and then we digressed onto the planned Auction.

(I should explain that this year we have set ourselves the target of raising at least £10,000 to fund a new building for Mutende Children's Village in Zambia; we don't normally collect money with such enthusiasm.)

Alun suggested one lot for auction should be a four star dinner with Chris. I snorted, 'Chris? Who's going to want to go out with Chris? You want someone like ... Tim Oakes.'
'Yeeees!' Aly said. 'An ice cream in Verdi's with Tim.'

Chris then suggested a sauna with Aly and somehow the two lots combined so that we ended up with a sauna with Tim covered in ice cream. Aly and I both said we'd bid.

No, not your average church committee meeting. Not if the Archers are anything to go by.

I wonder if I should have written this.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Jesus was Irish

1. He had 12 drinking friends.

2. He trained as a carpenter to work on the buildings.

3. He was unemployed.

4. He lived with his mother until he was 33.

5. He thought his mother was a virgin.

6. His mother thought he was God.

To any offended Irish I say, I bought this postcard in Ireland last year and sent it to the church office here. And if Jesus had been a miner, he could as easily have been Welsh.

Male menopause?

Husband told me he has reached an age when he no longer thinks that socks and sandals don't go together; I told him I know a good divorce lawyer.

Even Harvey looks askance.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The fatal blow

I mentioned yesterday that I had had a slight disagreement with a man at the petrol station; it was all about good manners. Or lack of them.

I was at the head of a queue for a pump and, as it happened, all three pumps on the island became vacant at once. Instead of going to the front (the first one), I stopped at the last one (I had my reasons). The man in the car behind me tooted and scowled at me as he drove past to get to the pump in front.

Now I had had a morning of frustration with my emails so really he chose the wrong day to upset me.

When we were both at the pay desk I challenged him to check his facts before swearing. There followed a brief - and unpleasant on his side - exchange of views, before he finally said, 'Why was it the only pump you could use?'

This is where I delivered the fatal crushing blow. 'Because it's the only one with ...' I wracked my brains - fruitlessly, 'red petrol!'

Fatal to me that is. I slunk out of the shop fairly quietly after that.

Girlies of the world unite!

Monday, June 05, 2006

I am like a kitten on triple doses of e-numbers only more grumpy.

Another attempt to get help from BT got me nowhere as my account is locked now for 12 hours. You'd think they'd be able to unlock for you, wouldn't you?

I am DESPERATE to get at my emails. I know today is bound to be the day that an agent emails me and wants an immediate reply and if I don't answer straightaway they will assume I have placed my manuscript elsewhere and not be interested any more. And it will all be the fault of BT.

I can't do anything; I am so edgy. Is this a sign of addiction I wonder? One day without and I'm chewing legs off furniture.

So to take my mind off it, I'll post some photos of the ramp. (You know you want to see it really.)

First tentative steps

His back legs give way and he needs a helping hand
Harvey approves of the ramp

Not a good morning

I have spent a large amount of time this morning trying to get at my emails. It's suddenly decided to ask me for my password (which I give it) and keep asking me until I give up (by now I've given it 24 times) and then it says the ISP rejects my logon.

I switched everything off and started again but no joy. In desperation I phoned the Helpline - you have to be really desperate to phone a Helpline that never helps. After some questions from her and some, 'sorry I didn't catch that; can you say it again?' from me, she asked if I had Outlook Express.
'No, Outlook.'
'In that case please contact Microsoft.'

Oh, no, I've been down that route before. I'm still waiting for the Gates' henchmen to come and get me for having an illegal version after last time. I don't want to remind them.

But it still leaves me unable to access emails.

And then I nearly had a fight with an arrogant driver in the petrol station.

I am not in a good mood.

Friday, June 02, 2006

On my way to work

It doesn't look at its best because the tide isn't in but the chances of me remembering to take my camera on a morning when the tide is high are low, so here it is anyway.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Three camels and a barrel of wine

Husband is tempted to trade me in. He thinks he would get a lot of camels for someone who can shift rocks the way I can.

I should explain: I have been dismantling and building dry stone walls. It will be my new vocation I think. Along with garden clearance. All this circuit training is standing me in good stead.

Tomorrow I will take a photo of one of my walls.

Our walkies

We've just come back from our walk. I waited until this evening as it's been hot today and it was still very warm. Has June brought summer with her?!

Our walk by Liz
These days when we walk I'm in the lead and Harvey waddles behind. I was ambling along merrily thinking happy thoughts when I glanced back to find there was no sign of Harvey. I shouted but his hearing isn't up to much so I doubled back and took the other path. Sure enough, Harvey had been so on another planet that he hadn't noticed the path I'd taken and was simply following a more interesting smell. For a slow dog he was quite a long way ahead of me but that was fine; I could see him.
At least it was fine until a jogger went past (incidentally, Harvey looked more likely to survive the evening than the jogger did).
This triggered something in Harvey and he started looking around.
I could see the anxious look on his face so I shouted and waved. Of course that was pointless as his eyesight isn't up to much either, so I ran until I was about 5 metres away from him and shouted and waved again. He looked at me in a panicky way and then ran in the opposite direction. I caught up with him in the end and we turned back soon after that. It was hot and I could see he had had enough.

Our walk by Harvey
First of all I do not waddle; I walk in a stately fashion. Secondly I was not on another planet; I just didn't want to go the way she wanted to go so I took charge. (It is an old dog's prerogative - and how many dogs do you know who can spell that?)
I agree about the jogger. What possesses these people to go running when they barely have the breath to sit still beats me.
But I was NOT anxious, nor was I panicky. I knew she had missed her exercise class the previous night so I thought she would appreciate a short run. I didn't make her run too far: I don't think she could have managed it. She was panting as it was - and tried to blame the heat. Huh!

More mysteries of life

Why is it impossible to clean the shower without getting wet?

Why would I start whistling the theme from Van der Valk, a seventies police series, when I am cleaning the bathroom?

How do they know fish only have 7 second memories?

It's a terrible thing

1) To have to check that your dog is breathing.
I've done it for a long time, way before he had his funny turns, as he does a very good impression of a dead dog. If he's not snoring I watch his stomach to see that it's rising and falling. Then he lifts his head and looks at me. I don't want to worry him so I so say, 'Hi, Harvs, all right?'
He rolls his eyes and goes back to sleep: he is used to me and my little ways.

2) To expose yourself on national television.
Last night, because I was feeling sorry for myself, I curled up on the sofa with a blanket and watched Ten Years Younger, Bikini Special. Ohmigosh.
If you didn't watch it - how wise of you - it was about a woman of 42 who had lost 5 stone and was covered in droopy skin and bits. They asked 100 people how old she looked and they said, duh dooh (the noise from Family Fortunes).
I thought Trinny and Suzannah's programme was blunt enough but this was no holds barred. The consultant had great fun with his felt pen, and that was before he started with his knife. Uuurrrggghh.