Monday, February 24, 2020

No job? Just throw the dice

An article in The Economist, no less, reports that the most likely result when you throw two dice is ... wait for it ... seven.

When you roll two dice you have a greater chance of getting seven than any other number. In fact you have a one in six chance. (Or possibly seven; Husband told me and i don't recall exactly.)

Discussing this, and why such a report should be in The Economist, we concluded that it is Boris Johnson's latest financial strategy to get us out of economic peril.

'Don't worry if you don't have a job. Just hit the casino and bet all your money on seven and you'll be fine.'

A bit of this and a bit of that

We have a routine in the morning, George and I. I sit down to eat my breakfast, check Facebook, and play a game or too. At some point during that George will whine to be let out.

This morning I was at a crucial point in the game so I shouted, 'Hang on a minute, George.'
He whined again.
I called, 'Wait a minute, George! I've just go to do this.'

When I (eventually, George says) got up to let him out he lay silently ignoring me. 
'What? You're going to sulk now?'
He turned his head and gave me The Look.
I opened the door anyway and, very slowly, George got to his feet and ambled out.

We both know he's not desperate to go out when he whines; he just doesn't like to be kept waiting.

Well, guess what, George? Sometimes you just have to!

* * * * * *

This year's Six Nations rugby tournament has not been going well from a Welsh perspective. Won one, lost two. Usually I enter the season with great expectation but, strangely, this year I didn't have that. We have a new management team so it will probably take a while for everyone to gel.

Shaun Edwards, who is possibly the scariest man on the planet, used to be our defence coach, but with the new coaching team coming in he left and went to France. And my word he has had an instant effect on their style of play. France is usually quite good but erratic. Shaun Edwards doesn't stand for any erraticism. 

Even if he wasn't going to be part of the Welsh team I think the WRU should have paid him to stay on anyway - just to stop anyone else getting him!

* * * * * *
Elaine, my Monday fitness teacher, said I am looking trimmer. I don't care if it's a lie. I'll take it especially as I am not looking forward to Slimming World weigh-in tonight. I have had a whole series of bad weeks and I currently don't seem to have the enthusiasm necessary to diet change my lifestyle.

I keep telling myself health and fitness are more important than a flat tummy.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Spit in his eye

Have spent the day mostly writing. On my WIP for MyNoWriMo - up to 21,500 words now and six days left in February - but also preparing to lead bible study in Zac's on Tuesday.

In between I walked George and watched the England Ireland rugby game - and cheered for England. (Long-time readers will appreciate that still takes a determined effort.)

For bible study I'm looking at chapter 8 of Mark's gospel, picking out bits that might go unnoticed at first glance. There's a really weird healing done by Jesus. A blind man was brought to him and the first thing Jesus does is take him out of the village. When they're away from the crowds he spits in the man's eyes. And that's not even the oddest thing he does.

Next he asks the man if he can see anything. Now excuse me, this is Jesus aka God. He of all people should know if a healing's worked, and why for goodness sake, would it not have? Was he just having a bad day? Feeling a bit low on the self-esteem front? (Imagine Jesus having an existential crisis.) (Debra pointed out, quite rightly, that Jesus did in fact have existential crises, including a fairly major one in the Garden of Gethsemane.)

The man's reply doesn't inspire hope. 'I can see things like trees moving around.'
Oh oh, something's gone wrong here. Jesus puts his hands on the man's eyes again and this time the man can see clearly.

So I've done a bit of research and the answer I like best as to why this strange performance happened  is: the man's vision was blurry because ... he had spit in his eye. Jesus simply rubbed it out the second time.

Looking more deeply into it of course there's a lot more going on. Cue spooky music. Or there might not have been. Often we read so deeply into things that we discover stuff that was never intended. Possibly. 

It's good to put ideas out there to let others decide for themselves.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Postscript to last post

I thought my tribute went as well as I could have hoped. Then I made the mistake of asking Husband what he thought.

'It was okaaay,' he said. 'It was obvious you were very nervous.'

I don't know why I don't learn. Do not ask Husband if I don't want to hear the answer.

And then there was the inevitable greeting and hug and, 'How are you? Lovely to see you again,' from a complete stranger - although obviously not. Normally something in my brain registers a vague memory of a person but this time there was absolutely nothing. And no clues. 

I suspect this will happen more and more as I age.

P.S. Of course what I want Husband to say is, 'You were wonderful,' but he prides himself on telling the truth, as if it's some sort of virtue. 'Dinner wasn't very good tonight.'

Christmas jumper and hi-vis jacket

Seeing this photo now, after the event, I realise how tired my face looks. That's what happens when you're to speak at a funeral and wake up regularly the night before and find yourself practising the words.

I only had a short spot but one of the things I wanted to say involved the story-telling abilities of Mike, the deceased. As Janet had asked us to wear something that reminded us of Mike to the funeral I wore my Christmas jumper - Mike used to go to town on the Christmas decorations, every year adding a new singing fish or yet more flashing lights. And over it I wore the hi-vis jacket.

Here's why.

"Mike had a fabulous gift. I like to think of myself as a writer, a story-teller, but Mike raised the bar. He could spin a story out of the least thing. Something I would relate in two sentences he could make into an entertaining yarn.

I remember one tale in particular. Mike and Richard, his son-in-law, had been to a big football event at the Millennium stadium. I’m not sure of the details but there were definitely big teams, famous footballers involved. Mike and Richard were leaving when Mike noticed some high vis stewards’ jackets and he suggested to Richard that they put them on. Apparently you can get away with anything when you’re wearing a steward’s jacket. They made their way into the bowels of the stadium into all the No Public Access areas, and were able to meet and and greet many famous names. 

I’ve told that story in less than a minute minute; Mike made it so entertaining that it lasted an evening and three pints. That was his gift."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Why I borrowed a high-vis jacket

Being the granny monster on Tuesday I banged my knee into the back of the sofa. It hurt at the time but I forgot about it until later in the evening when I crouched - when I tried to crouch down and my knee really hurt.

It kept me awake through the night and I wondered whether to go to exercise class. I decided I would but wore a knee bandage just below my shorts so everyone could see I was wounded. Going for the sympathy vote.

Jim gave me alternative exercises where necessary and told me not to run. (Which was a great excuse. I hate running.)

The inability to rest on my knee did mean that I had to keep on trying the full press-ups. Still couldn't get very close to the ground but good enough for Jim to shout at the other men, 'I don't want to put pressure on you but there's a woman here doing a full press-up.' I wasn't popular after that.

Anyway much better today.

I am just adding the final touches and practising what I'm going to say at the funeral of our friend, Mike, tomorrow. Janet, his wife, has asked that people wear something that reminds them of Mike. I am wearing a high-vis jacket. I'll explain why afterwards.

One more thing: is it possible for your nose to get fat?
My glasses don't seem to fit as well as they did three days ago.

Monday, February 17, 2020

What is the matter with people?

We often used to walk George in Clyne Gardens. Not so much now because he can't manage hills very well but it's a very popular spot with walkers with or without dogs.

It seems however that someone who frequents the Gardens doesn't like dogs. Hates them might not be putting it too strongly.

Three dogs have died after eating poison at Clyne Gardens recently. Another dog has died at another location from poisoning. This has been confirmed by vets and police. What sort of horrible person does this?

There's a suggestion that it's connected with the problem of people not clearing up the poo after their dogs. Most people, especially the 'nice' sort of people you get in Clyne do clear up and I would guess it's only very infrequently that dog poo is to be found on the path. And, yes, I agree it's horrible, but the blame is with the owners not the dogs.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Fascinating Aida

Last night Husband and I ventured into Storm Dennis to travel to Cardiff to see Fascinating Aida. And what grim weather it was for driving. I was really glad I could relax and play games on my phone to pass the time while Husband strained to see through the driving rain.

Anyway, show was excellent, marred only by dodgy sound for the first few songs - and as the humour depends on the words of the songs that made it a bit difficult. Even when the echoing problem was resolved on occasion we still had to really concentrate to hear everything and still missed some.

That aside FA were as good now as they were last time we saw them many years ago. Apparently the group has been in existence in one form or another for thirty-something years, built on the founding stone that is Dillie Keane.

This is a recording from a solo show she did but she performed this last night and I thought quite a few of you might appreciate it. (Don't watch if easily offended.)



Another recording of a song that was performed last night but from 19 years ago. The premise of this song is that it doesn't matter if you can't keep a tune or sing in key as long as you're German. In prison this morning I tried this out (I have a dreadful singing voice) and it worked for me.

Friday, February 14, 2020

It snowed! Sort of

Just been visiting a few people who are surrounded by snow, and accept it as part of life. Snow here, on the other hand, is such a rarity that I get excited - and take photos - when we have a little bit of hail!
That little strip was about 3" wide. I noticed it when I was returning from town and couldn't believe it: how had it snowed and I hadn't noticed?!

Turned out to have been a hail storm but I still don't know when it occurred or how I didn't notice. Impressive size on those stones though. 

That's not to say that we never have snow. This was in 2010.
 In the garden.
And even on the beach.
But falls of snow seem to be becoming rarer. 

Oh, and Debra wondered if I were really a superhero. My secret is out.