Friday, 31 August 2007


I just don't like spiders! I don't mind the teeny tiny ones cos I can handle those, it's the big ones that freak me out!! So, when I saw this enormous web created by lots of spiders, you can imagine the shudders that went down my back!

I don't know quite what it is about spiders that make me go all funny, I have even dreamt that they were on my pillow, woken up and gone looking for them, only to realise that it must have been a dream because I could see the spider on the pillow and so how could I have seen it in bright light when my room is actually pitch black!?

Anyway we all have our phobias that seem perfectly rational to us and completely irrational to others!! Sometimes it is obvious that there is a link to our primitive brain, I mean - it makes sense to be frightened of snakes cos there are poisonous ones about! But I hardly think that there are any poisonous spiders in the United Kingdom, so quite where this fear comes from I don't know!

Enough about spiders, I am beginning to go a bit tingly!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Better late than never!!!

Yes, about eight months after I started this jigsaw (just before last Christmas!!) I have finally finished this jigsaw! But before you think that I am terrible at jigsaws, let me reassure you that I am simply just a procrastinator!! I do realise that being a procrastinator is no better than being slow at jigsaws!! But the jigsaw was all but finished sometime in January and I got fed up with all the difficult ones that naturally seem to be left til last, so I put it away and never got back to it until last weekend - ta-daaaah!

I like it too - I seem to have become rather a fan of the Ravensburger Christmas edition jigsaws, I think that I now have about six or seven of them - I bought a couple off e-bay and I have completed about three of them! Obviously, there seems little point in doing them at any other time except Christmas, and as they produce a new one each Christmas, I may never get round to finishing the ones that I bought on e-bay!

By the way - only 125 days until Christmas!!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

The West Wing

Hmmmmm, the things that people (i.e. me!) do when they are bored. I recently been spending quite a bit of time watching The West Wing - I just love that series and am currently waiting for the seventh (and final) season to arrive in the post for me!!

But that has nothing to do with what I get up to when bored - when I am bored - I go online and potter about doing rubbish stuff and I have discovered that, when I answer a bunch of turns out that I am most like Leo McGarry.

As the captain of the Bartlet Administration's boat, the chief of staff is a work-a-holic. As the captain of the Bartlet Administration's boat, the chief of staff is a work-a-holic. Although he is sometimes haunted by the demons of his past alcohol and drug abuse, because of his character and perseverance there is no one more admired on the staff than he.

:: Which West Wing character are you? ::

Clearly, I have too much time on my hands if I can be bothered to go online and fill out one of those online quizzes!! I have to admit that they are fun though!! If you are a fan of the series, then it is quite obvious as to which character would say what in each answer to each question, but I tried not to be too choosy about my answers! So, I'm Leo McGarry am I? Let's just say that other than the odd glass of wine, I am not about to be needing the 12 step program! Neither am I a workaholic (me - ha ha ha), I am however rather bossy (and my brothers would be the first to agree with me there!!).

I would love to say more about why I am (or not) like the West Wing's Chief of Staff, but I think that I would end up in Matt's very very bad books if I say too much about the whole series - he hates it when people drop spoilers to things that he hasn't seen yet!! I can understand that, but I also don't...I am the person who (occasionally) reads the last page of a book, particularly if the story isn't quite going the way I want it to!!

NB: have just discovered that, apparently, fans of The West Wing are called Wingnuts!! ;-)

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Face from the past

I had a most odd moment yesterday when watching the six o'clock BBC News. I wasn't watching intently, just sort of seeing what was going on in the world; when I suddenly realised that I used to go to school with the person that was currently speaking on television!!!

It was quite strange as it took me a few moments to realise that I actually knew this person sometime ago!! She is one of the Heathrow protesters and was giving a short interview on the news about her thoughts on the protest. That sense of dislocation when I realised that I recognised that face was most bizarre - almost a sense of "I know you, but what are you doing on television?!". Of course, I should not have been surprised really as the news that I hear from other friends is that she is heavily into that kind of thing - climate change and eco-warrior stuff.

It is raining at the moment, so I am sure that the Heathrow protesters are not very comfortable in their tents. I am not certain what I feel about this protest...personally I actually prefer to holiday in places like Devon or Cornwall, but as one sunshine bound traveller said, and I paraphrase, "as long as flying is cheap, I don't see why I shouldn't take advantage" - which I can quite understand. As long as there is no disincentive to fly, I think that people will always fly off for holidays in the South of France or Spain or some such warm place (which is a lot more appealing that the United Kingdom at the moment!!).

There are always ways around flying, but it takes sooo much longer (unless you factor in checking in time and the inevitable delays in the airport!). I have heard that there is a woman who was invited to a wedding in Australia and she has determined to make the trip from the UK without flying!! I think that it is going to take her a few months to even get there and would it actually be more carbon-negative? With all those buses, cars, trains, boats, etc, etc, I can't help wondering that it wouldn't actually save anything.

Anyway, I try to do my bit - recycling and turning lights off and other small things that will help, but if I wanted a holiday in France what would I do? I would probably want to take my car anyway, so would take the ferry - even then, I would think about flying and hiring a car, but if I wanted to go to Australia? There is just no way that I am not flying, but then again, I think that the point of the protesters is all those short-haul flights that are perhaps not quite so necessary. Especially if air companies are flying planes of missing luggage on to the passengers - yes, you read that right - missing baggage gets sent on in planes of their own!!! I think that BA is a culprit, but I am not certain as I cannot remember where I read this.

Hmmm - enough waffle for now!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Home from the Holidays!

Hi - we are all now home from Devon! Apart from one very very wet day (where we got rained out at the Donkey Farm!) we did quite well weatherwise, we even managed two, yes two, barbecues!!

Of course, the journey down and back was horrendous - lots of traffic going nowhere! We managed to take four cars between us!! See the photo of the four cars being packed for coming home! Still, it was good thinking as Andy's car misbehaved halfway through the holiday and needed a visit to the garage!

If we didn't have quite so many cars, we would not have been able to visit Kents Caves in Torquay or visited Paignton Zoo - where a tiger escaped!!

We also visited Finch's Foundry (which is actually a Forge, but why they have called it a Foundry instead, I have no idea!), Dingles Steam Museum - Matt and I actually sat outside the museum with the dog as she wasn't allowed in. Matt found it quite amusing actually cos we were at a picnic table with a pot of tea for two, I was reading and he was writing in his journal - he said something to the effect that we were a pair of old fogies!!

What else did we do...we didn't actually do all that much seeing as we had to ensure that the children got fed and had their naps! Still, it was nice to be with the family and just enjoy the company and have fun with the children!! I think that Grandpop got the biggest kick of the children, in particular with Tom, as he made a dragons nest (complete with eggs made from melons!) for Tom to find one morning; and one day Grandpop and Tom made some chocolate chip and smartie cookies - they were very nice indeed.

All in all, a very good holiday! I think that the only person immediately back to work is Matt!! Andy and Co. are off to France to see Marielle's family, Mum is on school summer holidays, Dad isn't back to work until Tuesday and I have another week off!!! ;-)

By the way, I should probably mention that, as ever, I said something funny!! Except that this was not a mispronunciation, but more of a malapropism - Marielle was given a late birthday present by Nana and Grandpop - a summer weight dressing gown, and I promptly said something like "oh, I have just bought myself a dressing summergown". I did not even twig the fact that I said it - I normally realise immediately and start laughing, but this time everyone just looked at me askance and said "pardon?!"

Friday, 3 August 2007


For the upcoming week, I am on holiday in Devon with what seems like most of the family!!

So, unless, I can get to a computer or the cottage has wireless capability and someone brings their laptop (I want one!), I wont be posting until I get back!

Anyway, I have been sorting out what I need to take with me - including a new picnic rucksack that has all the appropriate bits in it. What was very funny though - was the little note inside the rucksack - all about safety and washing stuff before using it, which I can was the little bit at the end that cracked me up! It said...
Bottle opener (if included) is non-food contact item,
please don't contact any food or drink.
Well, you can see why I laughed!! ;-) I hardly think that I will be phoning the sausage rolls, emailing the jam-tarts or writing to the lemonade!! I wonder what language it was translated from!?

It should be a fun holiday though - me, Mum, Dad, Matt, Andy, Marielle, Tom and Emily! (Tom and Emily being three and one respectively!) - oh, not forgetting Mum and Dad's dog Poppy! Who will have an interesting time of it at the cottage because at home she is not allowed upstairs, but apparently the cottage is an upside down one where the bedrooms are on the ground floor and the living accomodation on the first, so we will have to coax her upstairs and say that she is allowed to do that!! (and when they get home.....?)

I shall be taking my new camera and hope to get lots of good photos.

All that remains now is for me to hope for good weather - we have certainly had enough rain these past few weeks! The last few days have been promising and I think that the forecast does look good, if today is any indication (21 degrees and sunny) then I think that we should be ok!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Pinch Punch and it's...

...the first of the month, and no returns!

Andy and I live about 160 miles away from each other, but on the first of each month we try to be the first to say "pinch punch" by text message or email!! Usually text as this is fastest! Andy caught me out this morning as I had completely forgotten and it wasn't until I was watching GMTV news and they mentioned the date that I remembered, so I rushed to my phone, only to see a little envelope on the screen - it had to be Andy, and of was! He even said "pinch punch. ner ner ner ner ner" - cheeky devil!! But that is probably only because I think that I managed to be first the last two or three times!! (I will even admit to having a saved message on my phone that I can send as soon as I remember!)

The thing is - I want to know where on earth this tradition has come from? I had a brief look on the internet and even got a colleague at the local reference library to look it up, but neither of us could come up with a definitive answer!

Anyway, that very same Andy also sent me a link today - it is on the BBC website where, it would appear that a rugby player shares my name! How bizarre is that, of course, if you ever want to google me (!?!) all you'll discover is that I either play rugby, basket ball, lacrosse, or the double bass!! (there would appear to be more than one person out there with my name!)