31 December 2009

The end of an era

Today is officially my last day of employment with the University at the back of beyond; one of the advantages of a job in HE is the hols and I gave enjoyed having a long holiday to recuperate after getting a sinus infection. Still it was nice to sit on the seafront at Portrearh yesterday, hot chocolate in hand, watching the surfers in the sea and I am looking forward to having a go later next year.

This is also the end of the first decade of this century, if you take 2000 as year 1, and it is a good time for a fresh start leaving all the problems behind where they belong. No bad thing, remember the good things that have happened and leave the bad things behind and use the new year as a new beginnning.

I have some work lined up, and am looking forward to neing the new girl on the block. I brought a large diary to use for work details and feel as excited as I remember I was when starting a new year at school, just thankfully no homework.

I dont make many new year resolutions, but this year I am making an exception. Mine is Carpe Diem or sieze the day and moment.

Hpw about you?

28 December 2009

Time to remember the past

My granddad, who was ex-army (Royal Engineer) passed away on the 28th December 1989. He hadn't been very well with diabetes related illnesses causing him to first of all have one leg amputated and when he had to have the second one amputated he simply gave up the will to live. Though he did live life to the full and one memorable moment was him telling the dietician that he had to die of something, and that he would eat what he liked as she was trying to stop him eating so many bananas.

Being a diabetic, he had to watch his sugar intake and he wasn't a huge chocolate or sweet eater, but he did like his fruit and I can remember buying a large bunch of bananas, a couple of pounds of pears and various other fruits every week.

He was very victorian in his way, though he was born in 1903. I am in contact with my Uncle who now lives in Australia and he remembers his Dad as being somewhat strict, my Mum on the other hand used to tell me that her relationship with her Dad was quite different, and it was her Mum (my grandmother) who was very strict with her. Uncle P and his wife hope to make a visit over here to catch up on some family history in 2011 if finances permit; it would be good to meet them, I haven't seen him since I was a little girl and it is fascinating to hear the other side of the story of my maternal grandparents.

27 December 2009

The Hunt

I saw the Hunt yesterday, not up Carn Brae, but riding up Seleggan Smelting works which I can see from a nearby hill. While I may not always agree with the old style hunt, I do believe it is an old English tradition (and by that mean British rather than strictly English) and love to see the horses and dogs out. Back up country in the Back of Beyond I hadn't seen the hunt since the ban was introduced and it used to be a monthly event, the hounds being large in variety and nearly up to the window of the car. It was such a shame that it and they very rarely venture out any more.

Boxing day was also another event, watching Camborne RFC play a local derby match against Redruth at the Camborne ground. It was fun if not rather wet and cold, though that only happened late in the match and by then Redruth had beaten their old rivals.

We had dinner in a pub, sitting near to a coal fire so I could dry off my jacket I was wearing, drinking a pint of St Austell Tribute.. there is a lot of very positive things about living in Cornwall :-)

26 December 2009

Saturday Satire - Migraine Treatment

A man with a history of migraine headaches goes to see the new doctor .

When the doctor looks at his medical notes, he discovers that his poor patient has had practically every therapy known to man for his migraines but has had no improvement.

"Listen," says the doctor,"I have migraines too and the advice I'm going to give you isn't anything I learnt in medical school, but it's advice that I found out from my own experience. When I have a migraine, I go home, get in a nice hot bath and soak for a while. Then I have my wife sponge me off with the hottest water I can stand, especially around my forehead.This helps a little. Then I take her into the bedroom, and even if my head is killing me, I have sex with her. Almost always the headache immediately goes. Give it a try."

Six weeks later, the patient returns with a big grin.

"Doc! I took your advice and it works! I've had migraines for 17 years and this is the first time anyone has really helped me get over these migraines."

"Well," said the physician,"I'm glad I could help."

"Thanks again Doc,"the patient adds,"by the way, you have a really nice house."

25 December 2009

Nadelik lowen ha blydhen nowydh da

Just as it says

Happy Christmas and a Good New Year to you all

Lots of peace, fun and happiness xx

24 December 2009

Christmas Greetings

I want to send a greeting but it is so difficult in today's world to know exactly what to say without causing offence.

Please therefore accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, nonaddictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practised with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious / secular persuasions and / or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great, not to imply that the United Kingdom (apologies to those of a republican persuasion) is necessarily greater than any other country, and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By reading this greeting, you are accepting these terms :-

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her / himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.

23 December 2009

Four Seasons

Today has proverbially been the four seasons, everything from wind, rain, snow, hail, sleet, ice and frost has passed by my doors.

A quick trip into Redruth saw me tucking into a turkey and cranberry pasty from Rowes, and it was as good as it sounded. I had been sent on an errand to get some stripey tights but to no avail, still I did manage to come away with a fetching pair of stripey leg warmers; all that needs to come back now is the 80's power pads in the shoulders for a real retro feel.

I had a quick look out for a memento to remind me of my times at the University of the Back of Beyond as they had taken a collection out on my departure and I am torn between a piece of cornish tin or a painting/photograph. I have a couple of pictures from back up country, one of the village church and the school which I brought for my dad one Christmas and Birthday but I am sure I will come up with the right goods eventually.

Back in my nice, almost warm caravan, looking out at the rain, I remembered last night hearing the helicopters flying overhead; sadly it was to the coach accident near Hayle due to the dangerous conditions on the roads last night when two women were killed and many will carry injuries to remind them. Still compared to the rest of Britain, Cornwall has had it relatively quieter and the weather forecast for the next few days is for milder weather.

22 December 2009

Christmas is a coming

All is ready, well ok not the large christmas tree with lights, but you can still get a christmas tree up in a caravan and while not large it will still be christmassy.

While the snow showers are aggravating the rest of the country, here all is not completely free of snow and ice, but it is limited to hail storms and rain rather than the higher levels up country.

I hope people manage to get where they want to go for Christmas, to be with the people they love and to have the friendships. I know I am where I want to be and am looking forward to the new job in the new year which is in a new location.

Seasons Greetings to you all, Happy and Peaceful Christmas

21 December 2009

Some good news

I have got some work to go to on 4th Jan, only a temporary contract for a few months but better than nothing and will continue to pay the bills until the house is sold. I am looking forward to being the new girl on the block, just wished 'i had remembered to bring my lunchbox with me. Still I did remember to bring the plastic containers.

Gus and Barnie have settled in to their new home with Raz, Gus was happy to be held and has quickly settled down, Barnie is more nervous but I think will love it and I feel confident at leaving them with Raz who has another 20+ rats and is wonderful at handling them. I haave to think of their welfare not mine and the are only 30 odd miles away so I can visit them and have some rat time.

Still sorting things out, need some plastic containers for storage, no matter how many you think you need, you will always need more. I'm sure there is a scientific name for this but for the moment I am calling it Sage's rule lol

20 December 2009


is where you put it, and in my case now a caravan is my temporary home, but it is a start lol.

Arrived yesterday at 5pm after leaving the Back of Beyond at 11am. It was -3 at BoB and the snow and ice were hazardous until I reached the outskirts of the wondrous Milton Keynes then as I drove South and West watching the temperature rise up to 6 before drooping to 1 just outside Launceston where there was a fair amount of snow on the A30. By the time I reached my final destination it was back to a balmy 3 and this morning we are blessed with blue skies and sunshine at the Edge of the World.

The ratz seemed to enjoy the experience, they sat in their cage on the passenger seat and popped their heads out to see what was happening throughout the journey and today they are going on a further trip back up to Bodmin where they are going to stay with a friend until I can accommodate them. They dont know how much they are going to be missed.

19 December 2009

Saturday Satire - Party Time

A couple were invited to a swanky costume party. The Mrs got a terrible headache and told her husband to go to the party alone. He being a devoted husband protested, but she argued and said she was going to take some painkillers and go to bed, and there was no need for his good time being spoilt by not going.

So he took his costume and away he went. The wife, after sleeping soundly for an hour, awakened without a headache and, as it was still early decided to go to the party.

Since her husband did not know what her costume was, she thought she would have some fun by watching her husband to see how he acted when she was not with him.

She joined the party and soon spotted her husband cavorting around on the dance floor, dancing with all the women, and copping a feel here and a kiss there. His wife sidled up to him and being a rather seductive babe herself, he left his dance partner high and dry and devoted his time to the new babe that had just arrived. She let him go as far as he wished, naturally, since he was her husband.

Finally, he whispered a little proposition in her ear and she agreed. So off they went to her car for a quickie.

Just before unmasking at midnight, she slipped away, went home, put the costume away and got into bed, wondering what kind of explanation he would make for his behaviour. She was sitting up reading when he came in, and she asked what kind of a time he had.

He said,"Oh the same old thing. You know I never have a good time when you're not there."

"Did you dance much?"

"I'll tell you, I never even danced one dance. When I got there, I met Pete, Bill Brown, Dave and some other guys, we went into the den and played poker all night. But you're not going to believe what happened to the guy I loaned my costume to....."

18 December 2009

Hmmm Bah Humbug

I have a long journey in front of me tomorrow, and have snow and ice today and overnight... it couldn't have held off until Sunday and given me a break lol still never mind, I have now written out my christmas cards, baked two desserts to take with me and dismantled the ratz cage having transferred them into temporary accommodation for the trip.

Just need to finish packing, tidying up and hoovering then a clean up before I am ready to leave. Still can't quite believe it, and today is technically my last day at work as I am on holiday next week. After nearly 30 years, I still remember my first days and have many highlights of my time at the University of the Back of Beyond, though there have also been many downs; one recent one was hearing of the recent death of a friend and colleague, tragically he was diagnosed with an agressive form of cancer and I only heard yesterday that he had passed away on Sunday. Charlie was one of the drivers in the MT section, and could always be guaranteed a smile and a joke when you met him, I think he would like to be remembered that way by all that knew him.

I will miss some of the people, but not the new regime that is in place. Where once the University was education with a sideline of business, now it seems to be a place where business rules with education on the sideline and in the long term this will do them no favours as staff are leaving with experience and skills much needed. Still not my problem any more, and I am looking forward to a fresh start.

I have my P45 and am ready to hit the work market at the Edge of the World, so anyone out there want a hard working, multi skilled person able to put their hands to most things IT (would have said most things but hopeless at DIY) please get in contact.

17 December 2009


I look outside and see light snow gently drifting down, hmmm I have a lot to do today and don't fancy being surrounded by a lot of snow. Fortunately I believe that the bulk of the snow is going to be East of here, but as nice as it is I cannot stand and admire the prettiness only to get on with what needs to be done.

I am making two puddings to take with me, a peach sponge and an apple version. These are simiple win win recipes and are quite light (until you serve them with clotted cream, cream, ice-cream or my favourite custard).

I use a tray bake tin, which will serve 8-10 people each, for the peach verion simply take 2 tins of peaches in juice (you can use them in syrup but I don't like the extra sweetness), drain them and pour them into the tray. Make up a sponge mixture, you can cheat and use a packet mix, or I use a recipe for victoria sponge recipe courtesy of be-ro.

100 g (4 oz) margarine
100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100 g (4 oz) Be-Ro Self Raising Flour

Mix up the sponge mix, and pour over the fruit, cook for 45 mins and the top should be nice and crispy almost biscuit like.

You can ring the changes with the fruit being used and to make it more christmassy, use mince meat and apples for a lighter version of a christmas type pudding.

16 December 2009

Time to say my goodbyes

I have but a few days left here, and today is the start of the long farewell. I might not see some of these poeple again as visits will be intermittent in the future. Some will be harder than others, but there are many methods of communication, and I am certain to keep in contact via facebook with some, with phone calls and emails for others and some by letter.

I am savouring the memories, and at the same time I am looking forward to the new start. Leaving the problems I have encountered over the past 6 months here though not forgotten nor fully dealt with and I will be talking over these with people to see whether it is worth pursuing further action.

On a happier note, Kalem Murphy entered the world yesterday weighing in at over 9lbs (ouch) congratulations to Kathryn; hope you recover quickly and enjoy your new son.

15 December 2009

S'no fun

Having seen the weather forecast for tonight into tomorrow, and having just got in from outside in the bitterly cold weather I foretell a dusting of the fairy dust that is the winter fairytale of a white christmas.

I hope so as it is so fun for kids to see snow on christmas day and it doesn't happen very often in this country or even in the back of beyondshire. Even at the Edge of the World it doesn't happen very often, the winds blowing off the atlantic are wamer so it can be wet but very rarely cold. This year is different the winds are blowing in off the Scandinavian Eastlands and bringing bitterly cold winds which mixed with the moist air will lead to snow showers, how much remains to be seen but it is certainly a christmas wish for me.

A Christmas Meme

I got this from Kathy over at The Second Half of my Life - thanks hon xx

Since there are now only 10 days until Christmas is here, I have answered 25 questions to let you know more than you could possibly want to know about me. If you're reading this post, then you can either :

(a) leave a comment and answer the 25 questions below,
(b) write the answers to the questions below in your own blog post (if you have a blog, that is) or
(c) call yourself a scrooge in the comments below and refuse to answer them.

I hope you choose (a) or (b) but if you choose (c) then I'll just let the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future deal with you. If you do decide to write your own blog post about it, please mention Mandy since she is the author of these important questions. (Writers credit and all that jazz - thanks!)

1) What is your favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge. That man is gorgeous lol

(2) What is your LEAST favorite Christmas movie? anything cartoony, except disney cartoons

(3) What is your favorite Christmas song? White Christmas by Bing Crosby et al

(4) What Christmas song(s) drives you crazy? I wish it could be Christmas every day

(5) What is your favorite Christmas drink? (i.e. egg nog, hot chocolate) Strong coffee with a slug of Jameson's in it.. lovely on a cold winters morning or after midnight carol service

(6) What is your favorite Christmas memory? Watching my Mum and Dad open their presents and just being with them, just wished I had known how much I would miss that.

(7) What is the best toy/gift you've received on Christmas? All of them, all given with love

(8) What is the worst toy/gift you've received on Christmas? None of them, they were all give with love and affection and have come in useful, though I will admit to a preference to being given things which are more personal that just functional/

(9) What do you LOVE about the holidays? The time to recharge the batteries and being able to go out for long walks without having to watch the time.

(10) What annoys you about the holidays? The greediness of the shops, starting way too early and TV adverts pushing the holiday too much too soon.

(11) Do you prefer star or angel on top of a Christmas tree? Or something else? Star

(12) What is your family favorite recipe at Christmas? Home made mince-pies with home-made mincemeat.. and I am not a huge fan but I love these

(13) Are you a Grinch or a Who at Christmastime? Bit of both

(14) Christmas light displays? Love them, but hate them... prefer less ostentacious displays and not very carbon friendly

(15) Santas at the mall? No, dont like them

(16) Christmas cards? Yes I send them, but no longer handmade ones as I am not very artistic

(17) What is the best thing about Christmas, in your opinion? Time with friends and family

(18) What is the worst thing about Christmas? The pressures and stresses

(19) When do you put the tree up and take it down? Up on Christmas Eve and down on 12th night

(20) Out of the 12 days of Christmas, which day and item would you want your true love to give to you? Two Colly Birds, only because I have no idea of what they are

(21) Why do you think that Grandma got run over by a reindeer? No carrots to give to Rudolf and the gang

(22) Who is your favorite reindeer? Donner and Blitzen, who could separate them

(23) Do you believe in Santa Claus? No

(24) What is your favorite smell at Christmastime? Mince Pies baking

(25) What would make you happy at Christmas this year? Good food, good company and a toast to happier times

14 December 2009

Visiting Sunday

I visited friends in Derby yesterday, to take up christmas presents, and to say farewell to them. Not goodbye as we will be meeting up in the future when the house is settled and I am finally down in Cornwall. It was fun to meet up with them and catch up with the news.

Even better was being able to go out in her car, she is competent enough to drive with L-Plates on and other than a few nervous moments she did extremely well and I don't think it will be too long before she will need to tear up those L-Plates for good.

The drive back was full of muppets on the motorway, why is it that everyone (well mostly everyone) drives in the overtaking lanes, leaving the normal driving lane practically empty in places other than the occasional lorry. When I needed to venture out into the overtaking lanes, to overtake a slower moving lorry, I was then promptly flashed by a car speeding up behind me, wanting me out of her way. My answer, was to move out again into the outside lane and put a bit of distance between us; it was a needless, agressive move on her part and I don't do it to others as it is a form of bullying. Suggest to the lady in the Ford Ka if you ever read this, please read your highway code!!

Tonight I defrosted the chest freezer in the shed, it will then be left empty and save on electricity as well which is a bonus.

13 December 2009

A Victorian Christmas

The Victorian Farm made a re-appearance on the television screen in the UK last night with a special three part christmas edition and this time they have a number of additional activities on the associated website including making a victorian style christmas card, a paper mache box and the old mince pies.

So much better to be able to make presents rather than by them if you have the time. This will be the first year that I haven't managed to make mince pies, as I kept thinking I would make them in Cornwall when I had moved, thinking I would be there by October and now it is less than two weeks away it will be a bit late to make them now. But some of the other ideas I might look at including decorations.

I have already listened to a Christmas Carol, one of my favourite books at this time of year, I have it on CD and love the transition of Scrooge from grumpy old character to loving employer, friend and Uncle. I read it first when I was about 13 and usually have listened, or read it before christmas to enjoy the story and to make the season.

What do you do to make Christmas real to you?

12 December 2009

Saturday Satire - At the Barbers

A guy stuck his head into a barbershop and asked, 'How long before I can get a haircut?'

The barber looked around the shop full of customers and said, 'About 2 hours.'

The guy left.

A few days later, the same guy stuck his head in the door and asked,

'How long before I can get a haircut?'

The barber looked around at the shop and said, 'About 3 hours.'

The guy left.

A week later, the same guy stuck his head in the shop and asked, 'How long before I can get a haircut?

The barber looked around the shop and said, 'About an hour and a half .'

The guy left.

The barber turned to his friend and said,

'Hey, Bob, do me a favour. Follow that guy and see where he goes.

He keeps asking how long he has to wait for a haircut,

but then he doesn't ever come back.'

A little while later, Bob returned to the shop, laughing hysterically.

The barber asked, 'So, where does that guy go when he leaves?'

Bob looked up, wiped the tears from his eyes and said,........

'Your house!

11 December 2009

New Shoes

I decided that a new pair of shoes for my venture into the job market was in order, normally I shop at M&S who produce Footglove shoes which are amazingly comfortable but the cost of a pair was nearly £40.00, and while they fitted I didn't think they looked particularly nice. Instead I walked along a little way to the Clarks outlet, and lo and behold they had a sale on, I am now the proud posessor of two pairs of shoes for the price of one at M&S and they will be more comfortable than the pair I use for interviews.

Just need to sort out the rest of the packing and get the rats accustomed to their temporary home while they go into foster care, they are going to be missed but Bodmin isn't too far away and I will be able to visit them.

I am hoping to spend a lot of next year by the coast as I will be living in a caravan only 6 miles from Portreath and it is going to be a splendidly hot bbq summer next year according to the met men so I will be investing in a souwester lol

The raggle taggle gypsy oh

I am about to up sticks and remove myself to Cornwall, and therefore have now handed in my notice to the University at the back of beyond and will be in Cornwall from 2010. A brand new year and a brand new start.

Thanks to all of you who offered words of encouragement and support, it hasn't been an easy decision and not everything is yet in place but it is where I want to be and even though it is going to be tough financially it will be beneficial in the longer term.

Somehow today seems a little lighter, I feel less weighed down by the situation and even have a big smile on my face.. what could be more beneficial.

09 December 2009

Busy having some down time

Sorry to be absent without leave, having a few days downtime to consider my options will update the blog when I have made a decision (or two)

07 December 2009


Never mind about global warming, I think carpentry skills to build an ark might come in useful any day now. I can only commiserate with those people affected by flooding as the rain is practically non-stop for the past few days and shows no signs of letting up.

Christmas shopping is a wet bedraggled experience, and shows none of the joys of the season and my bah humbug persona is taking over. With less than 19 days to go, no wonder more people than ever are shopping on-line this year.

05 December 2009

Saturday Satire - Retraining

A Gynaecologist had become fed up with malpractice insurance and Medicare paperwork, and as burned out. Hoping to try another career where skilful hands would be beneficial, he decided to become a mechanic. He went to the local technical college, signed up for evening classes, attended diligently, and learned all he could.

When the time of the practical exam approached, the Gynaecologist prepared carefully for weeks, and completed the exam with tremendous skill. When the results came back, he was surprised to find that he had obtained a score of 150%.

Fearing an error, he called the Instructor, saying, '' I don''t want to appear ungrateful for such an outstanding result, but I wonder if there is an error in my grade. ''

The instructor said, '' During the exam, you took the engine apart perfectly, which was worth 50% of the total mark. You put the engine back together again perfectly, which is also worth 50% of the mark. '' After a pause, the instructor added, ''I gave you an extra 50% because you did it all through the muffler ''

04 December 2009

There is no hope :-)

I was listening to the radio this morning and found myself in agreement with John Prescott over the RBS issue of the directors wanting to pay bonuses. He says that if they can't accept that they shouldn't give out bonuses given that 75% of the company is now owned by us the taxpayer, they should all resign to a man.

Never thought I would say this, but well said John..

03 December 2009

What is NaNoWriMo and what happens next

NaNoWriMo was something that I hadn't heard of until Tom Reynolds mentioned it on his blog, I needed a distraction from real life and thought yes have a go.

The idea is to write a minimum of 50,000 words from 1st - 30th November 2009 and that means 1,666 words per day... easy peasy I thought. They aren't expecting to be edited so even if you change your mind, or see a problem you just carry on regardless.

You write with a region, and though I am not yet in Cornwall I decided to join their region and had an absolute blast and will stay in contact with fellow writers in Truro and surrounding areas.

I used to write with a group of friends, and posts between us could be easily 3-5,000 words knocked out in 2-3 days; but that was then and this was now.

I took an idea that had been knocking around in the empty creative spaces of my mind and decided to see what happens, not having set ideas helps because the character starts working with you on the creative process [for all those think voices, speaking to me - honest it is fine I'm used to it :) ] I very often start typing only to find that the persona who finishes the storyline is part me part character and it can be very enlightening and funny on occasion.

I did put a blog together for the posts and then thought if I ever wanted to publish it, it perhaps wasn't the best idea and the thought of other people reading it and making caustic comments wasn't something I felt comfortable with. Having said that I have put half of it up, and will put the rest of it up and if anyone feels a burning desire to read it I can add them to the readership.

02 December 2009

Swine Flu

I get my injection for swine flu today, hopefully this will stop me picking up this awful bug but you never really know. Friends in Cornwall have one son ill with it, and potentially their second son has it but we are keeping our fingers crossed that they recover soon.

Since my return from Cornwall at the beginning of October with a heavy cold, I have had no end of sinus problems and finally the docs have decided that perhaps a course of amoxycillin is in order to try and clear it up.

I had tried :

Steam baths
Steroid nasal spray
Reducing milk intake

Was there something else I could have done?

ps - grateful thanks for the grand annual christmas tea held in Aspen, I had a lovely time and arrived back in time thanks to my Fairy Godmother for her help and assistance.

01 December 2009


If you didn't know what the title of this post meant, you weren't the only one. Kath from Railway Cottage Blog had a post on recycling and offered an ATC (Artists Trading Card) as a prize for the best comment with an interesting recyling story.

I proposed the story of the fish in the fish pond made of a fibre-glass planter that was being thrown away and how I had ended up with fishlets after borrowing some pond week from a neighbours Koi carp pond..

Kath liked the story so much she awarded a prize of one of her ATC's and this morning it arrived safely, so for your viewing here it is.

It is truly beautiful and Kath wrote some lovely words on the back before putting it in a small cellophane bag to ensure it doesn't get damaged. Now all I have to do is find a small photoframe to suit the item and I will have my own piece of art.

Thanks Kath, I will treasure this and you never know you might get another person to tutor xx

An Event and an Achievement

Kathy pointed me in the right direction to Mr Toast's Blog and the 1st Annual Christmas Tea in Aspen Colorado.

I need to be there by 3pm local time, and it wraps up at 10pm so I figured that my fairy godmother would ensure that unlike Cinderalla that I would be back in time for work tomorrow and kit me out with something absolutely magical to wear and arrange the transportation too.

She came up trumps, the fairy godmother (FG), I have a black velvet gown and warm red velvet wrap which matches the shoes. Apparently I can get concorde direct to Aspen and arrive in time even leaving after work. FG has also arranged for hair and make-up to be done on the flight so I am going to look stunningly gorgeous. I love having a FG, and am looking forward to meeting up with some blogging friends.

I have always wanted to visit Colorado, it is just a shame that I won't have any time spare to look around and see the beauty. At least I will have a fun time meeting all the blogging faces I see are attending.

Yesterday saw the end of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month (all you had to do was write 50,000 words - simples), I had fun with this but it was incredibly hard work and not helped by me having a crisis of confidence a week in resulting in me starting again from the beginning (though I have kept my original 20,000+ words in case I want to revisit it. I tried to do as much as I could daily but even though the daily target was 1666 when it was hard to even think of 50 words to add to a story it was difficult enough. I took a week offline (except for blogging) to concentrate on what I had and my final tally stood at 56,211. I could have had more but I edited a lot of rubbish out in the end and felt it didn't matter as long as it was over the 50,000.

Time to put the writing tools away for a short while, think about other more pressing things..

30 November 2009

Is your world upside down today?

¡¡ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ uɐılɐɹʇsnɐ uɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐl ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

I couldn't resist this line above, borrowed from one of my many sources.

How is your world today?

Mine is bitterly cold, and no heating at work either so feeling the cold a tad. Not helped by a bitter wind outside though thankfully it has stopped raining hard overnight.

On a positive? note, the Met men have forecast a mild winter. Now this made me think, as it was the same guys who forecasted such a blazing hot summer that it would be permanently bbq time and look what happened there.. a veritable washout with a few very hot days but nothing spectacular.

With the Autumnal floods in areas of the UK having a major impact for those people who will not be able to return to their homes for months, it isn't going to be a fun christmas for any of them, many of whom have lost almost everything and insurance can only do so much.

So today's challenge is to guess what the UK has in store for Winter, and we can all have a giggle at what people suggest, after all, we have had pretty much everything this year except a dust-storm :-)

28 November 2009

Saturday Satire - Husband Hunting

A lonely widow, age 70, decided that it was time to get married again.
She put an ad in the local paper that read:



On the second day, she heard the doorbell. Much to her dismay, she
opened the door to see a grey-haired gentleman sitting in a
wheelchair.. He had no arms or legs.

The old woman said, 'You're not really asking me to consider you, are you?
Just look at you...you have no legs!

The old man smiled, 'Therefore, I cannot run around on you!'

She snorted. 'You don't have any arms either!'

Again, the old man smiled, 'Therefore, I can never beat you!'

She raised an eyebrow and asked intently, 'Are you still good in bed???'

The old man leaned back, beamed a big smile and said...

Rang the doorbell didn't I?

27 November 2009

Square Peg in a Round Hole

Increasingly I have felt as though I am the title of this post, a square peg in a round hole. What used to be a challenging and exciting job is now terrifyingly dull. It isn't helped by the changes orchestrated by the University, and the department, and while I have always been adaptable to change I am increasingly finding that there is no method of madness involved. I come in to work, I do my job and I go home.

I attended a meeting yesterday, where I tried to put my point of view over saying how I perceived things to be, only to be asked that what had I done to try and remedy things. I outlined some of the conversations I had taken part in, and those people were there at the same meeting; it was no surprise to encounter the total lack of support I have felt for over 18 months.

The team meetings attend provide a chance for individuals to say what they have done, but the concept of team doesn't exist only individuals and as for the departmental team building days, this year was cancelled due to lack of funding (and enthusiasm), they were a waste of time, after the day nothing had changed, no opportunities to work closely with other groups offered and all that happened was that we had a day out of the office in the sunshine if we were lucky.

When I left school at the grand old age of 16 I had no idea of what I wanted to do (well I did but I kept changing my mind), I was given two choices, either go to college or get a job.

My first job was at a factory making transformers, we had a set amount of work to achieve and in a set amount of hours and you were given a period of time before you had to start meeting your targets or face the wrath of the supervisor.

I lasted three years, worn out at the age of 19 by the sheer ugliness of the job. Yes you could have a laugh with the other girls, but the machines were a little noisy, you could listen to the radio when it was permitted to be on but it was soul destroying there was no opportunity to advance in skills or expertise and right now I feel as though I felt when I was 19 which is a square peg in a round hole.

Now like then, I know there is an opportunity out there and although I am not certain that the ground under my feet is firm I am going to be reaching out for it and taking the risk along with it because the excitement and challenge is better than playing safe

26 November 2009

The Best Days of your Life?

School is supposed to be the best days of your life, according to some wisdom often mentioned by adults when I was at school.

Not for me, I lost track of the number of schools I have attended, some for 6 months at a time because of army postings and being relocated to Malaya and Germany as well as various places in the UK. Not that I would have changed those experiences for the world. Zeltus and I did have the option to go to boarding school, but he had experienced that whilst in Malaya and I don't think enjoyed it very much, I was never one for the Mallory Towers books never mind the real thing.

The last school was particularly trying for me, Mill Chase County Secondary School in Bordon. Coming from an Army background this was the first civilian school I had attended in a few years and it was completely different from any other one I had attended. The teachers were ineffective in dealing with classroom issues and most of the time I just tried to keep my head down and not be a highlight for the bullies. I lost track of how many things were mislaid by me (taken from me) and I couldn't wait to escape as soon as possible.

I enjoyed the learning process, just not the place in which those processes happened. When the move to the Back of Beyond was due I was asked if I wanted to stay on at school and that was the easy answer - frankly I would rather pull my teeth out with a pair of pliers..lol.

So never one for an easy option, I started work at the grand old age of 16 years and 5 months of age and still working now. The Open University was a god send to me, I could enjoy the experience and get a degree while still working and even though I have my degree now, I can always be persuaded to continue my learning development.

25 November 2009

Yesterday's Post and More Ideas

I got a few comments on the learning Cornish post of yesterday, some positive some less so and each valid for their reasons. My main reason is because it is relatively cheap, keeps me occupied and since I am moving to Cornwall is in keeping with where I am living.

If I moved to France, Italy or Germany I would do the same, try to integrate to be part of the community and the only difference is that Cornish like Welsh is a regional language and signs etc would be bilingual. Dickiebo quite rightfully pointed out that this is in many cases just a means of jobs for the boys which I agree with but I also believe that there are too many instances where English/British individuality is being erased by eurobureacracy and that we often give up things of value which we should hold onto; whether Cornish fits better into this category remains to be seen but I hope it does and that it grows.

So where is this post going? Well Hadriana came back from London having visited the Language Fair (how I wished I had known this was on) and was saying about learning Latin. My old University (can one say that about the Open University?) got some government money for putting up learning materials freely available to all, which I remembered included a basic Latin course and I posted the link to Hadriana the link is here if anyone else is interested, as well as Latin it has more modern languages, French, German and Spanish as well as other snippets of learning materials in History, Art, English etc and all of it absolutely free.

So if you have every fancied having a look, learning a new skill or just browsing for free materials then please follow the link.

If you know of any more links, please let me know.

....and on a sad note, exactly one calendar month today will be Christmas Day ... sigh

24 November 2009

Learning Cornish

I decided to spend my time usefully in learning a smattering of Cornish, I might not be able to speak it but I hope by the time I get there that I will be able to write down some useful phrases and have some understanding.

You can learn Cornish by distance learning, and following a couple of links I found myself at Kernewek Dre Lyther.

They have a comprehensive list of materials, and you pay for a first level course, which includes an audio cassette and a tutor to mark your written work. I haven't yet taken this step, I downloaded the materials included some MP3 files so I can play them when it is a quiet moment and study at my own pace without feeling like I am falling behind a schedule.

So far I am still on dsykans onan or lesson 1, the similarities between Cornish and Welsh (Cornish is one of the family of Celtic languages, closely related to Welsh and Breton and slightly more distantly to Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx so work that one out if you can) are there but there are differences generally in the mutations of the word.

According to records by the nineteenth century, Cornish had died as a spoken community language, although there are records of the language being spoken particularly at sea by Newlyn fishermen. During this century there was a resurgence of interest in celtic culture which meant that Cornish attracted some academic attention. The plays of the middle Cornish period were re-visited, and academics such as Edwin Norris and Whitley Stokes published them with commentaries and translations. It was not until early in the twentieth century, however, that an attempt was made to revive the language.

In 1904 Henry Jenner published his Handbook of the Cornish language, based on the texts available to him at the British Museum. This kick started the revival of Cornish as a living, spoken language, and Jenner's work was picked up and continued by Robert Morton Nance, who researched and gathered together more fragments of the language, finally developing a regularised spelling system based on the medieval texts, known as Unified Cornish. The revival continued to grow throughout the early twentieth century, with evening classes, events and examinations being established as well as some teaching in schools outside the formal curriculum. Books and magazines were published for users of the language. The 1980s and early 1990s saw a time of review and reconsideration about the theory of reviving a language, plus additional research on the texts. This resulted in the proposal of different approaches which moved the language on from the initial research that Jenner and Morton Nance had carried out in the early twentieth century. In the early 1980s Richard Gendall began exploring the Cornish of the Late period. He worked from the premise that a language revival should be based upon the last available evidence from when the language was last spoken, and the form of Cornish now known as Modern Cornish grew out of this work. In the late 1980s, Dr Ken George carried out a great deal of research into the phonology of the language, including how this could be better linked to the orthography by a rationalised spelling system, and the result of this was the beginning of Common Cornish. Finally, in 1995 celtic scholar Professor Nicholas Williams proposed an amended version of Unified Cornish, called Unified Cornish Revised, which takes the texts of the sixteenth century as its main source.

Despite what people (emmets) say, tiddy oggy isn't actually cornish in the current sense but a local term for a pasty...

So is Cornish, Cornish? There are those who would say that if a language is not spoken by anyone, then it cannot be resurrected successfully, but it seems to me that the basis for the language has been given its roots and that what we have is as close to the original as may be.

23 November 2009

What a Weekend

Full of wind, gales, rain and generally crap. Nothing on the gogglebox to entertain though thankfully I now note that the non-singers in the X-factor aka Jedward have now left the competition.

Quite frankly I literally popped in to see the sing-off and they were both sadly out of tune with the song; how they have managed to get this far is beyond me. Perhaps now the nation can get on with wasting their money and time in voting for the winner now whoever that will be.

I watched a couple of christmas movies on sky, and it is only November... I haven't got the christmas festivities at all this year, it is a real struggle to think about it never mind do something about it.

Otherwise I have been doing some studying, no surprise to Max therefore that this time my efforts have turned to Cornish. The similarity between this and Welsh is quite high as officially the original Cornish speakers have long since died out and this is the adopted form of the language which is derived from celtic forms. So far I am ploughing my way through Dyskans 1 (lesson 1), which is the equivalen of Janet and Yowann or John. I may not be able to speak it but I hope to be able to read and write it by the end of my studies.

21 November 2009

Saturday Satire - 20 Years of Marriage

A woman awakes during the night, and her husband isn’t in bed with her. She goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee. "What's the matter, dear?" she asks. "Why are you down here at this time of night?"

The husband looks up from his coffee, "Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 16?" he asks solemnly.

"Yes, I do," she replies.

"Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car making love?"

"Yes, I remember," says the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continues, "Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, 'Either you marry my daughter, or I'll send you to jail for 20 years?’"

"I remember that, too," she replies softly.

He wipes another tear from his cheek and says, "I would have gotten out today."

20 November 2009

Children in Need Day

Don't worry this isn't a plug for money, nor what events are on in the local area or even in the country and while I do support the charity that isn't what this post is about.

I was watching a programme on BBC3 The World's Strictest Parents, this time from Lebanon with Iman and her husband and family taking in two british teenagers Debbie and Daniel. It started off in the usual way, showing the teenagers at their worst with their family, swearing, drinking etc and then the time they spent in Lebanon including time at a school.

I started to really have some sympathy for Debbie, who uses make-up and the way she dresses to avoid bullying and this led also to some of the problems with her family and being able to apologise without feeling as though she has lost the argument. Even Daniel, as the week grew on, had a minor revelation in that doing something as simple as mending bikes (it might be for him but to me it is a major skill) for a children's orphanage.

Both of them benefitted from the experience, not just the change in culture but it allowed them to see for themselves the effect their behaviour had, not only on themselves but also on their families.

So what do Children need, well for certain it isn't carte blanche for bad behaviour none of us are angels, but they do need parents who care for them enough to set standards for them to adhere to and appropriate discipline when they go wrong. This won't please the politically correct brigade who have empowered the children in this country with so many rights that it is hard to do anything but stand back and let them self-destruct.

SOH when he worked as a prison officer, had to escort children as young as 10 to court, and not always for serious offences, though those happened as well. In this instance the child's case was thrown out of court but it was only brought because the adult in charge of him saw fit to involve the police when normally a discipline should and could have been used.

On the news today, there is an increase of over 900% of children receiving asbo's, incarceration orders etc since the introduction of Rights of the Child, so it plain to see that what we have is not working and what is needed is for all of us adults to ensure that the children of tomorrow are given better behaviour guidelines, protection from themselves and appropriate standards for them to adhere to or the situation will only get much worse in the future.

Don't get me wrong I am not advocating the bad old days of cane and belt where abuse was standard in most homes. But parents being able to say No and mean it, and following it up with appropriate discipline and not giving in for a quiet life. How many times have I heard parents say "No please don't do that" to children in public, only to repeat it over and over again. Somehow parenting seems to be evolving into bargaining with them.

19 November 2009

Just too funny for words

Sometimes you just come across something that is too funny for words, click on the link and enjoy the expertise involved (it is work safe)


I was fascinated by it and can't imagine how long it took the person to create.. but if I had half his/her talent I would be a happy bunny.

18 November 2009

True Friendship

What exactly is true friendship?

I think I know what it is, let me see :

Being there for you no matter what you do or say, always providing moral if not physical support. The first to cheer you on and the last to give up on you.. that seems to be my view of it but tell me if I left anything out here.

I know what it isn't, having lost two so called friends along the road during 2008. Not by my choice, theirs, they didn't like what I was doing, nor who I was doing it with and decided that if I continued along my route it was going to be totally separate from theirs; at the time it coincided with anniversaries that were difficult enough emotionally.

At both these times I was meekly accepting, not fighting for what I percieved was lost. Now after 18 months I see that these friendships were not real, both of the people concerned were at best superficial friends though at the time I thought different. I am sad always at the loss of a friend, but I am no longer grieving for something that was not what I thought it was.

Here's to new friends, new activities and new beginnings...

17 November 2009

Sergeant Howie RIP

I can remember the first time I watched the Wicker Man and the eventual death of Sergeant Howie played admirably by Edward Woodward who himself died yesterday. The world has lost a great actor and personality and although his memories will live on in celluloid and our minds, there must be a great hole in his family's life and that will be much harder for them to fill.

Mr Woodward, was in films from 1955 right up until his last appearance in EastEnders, but my favourite of all times was the Wicker Man. Yes it was a horror, had witchcraft, death etc and had sexual scenes with Brit Ekland in it. I would think it was cutting edge of what was permitted in 1973 and to a teenage girl it was an eye-opener.

I loved him as the Equaliser, and a part he played to perfection tough but fair and I hope that he knows how much people admired him.

I laughed at his performance in Hot Fuzz with Simon Pegg, you couldn't help laugh at this film, it was black comedy at its very best and I think drew a little on the Wicker Man film.

RIP Edward Woodward, RIP

16 November 2009

Leisurely Weekend

I will admit to taking it easy over the weekend, instead of doing everything I only did enough that was necessary, so the washing had to wait, as did pressure washing the front drive. Neither did I go supermarket shopping, and tea on Saturday was sausages in a roll - no onion this time.

What I did was, hoover, polish, clean. Gave the ratz a good spring clean, not that they appreciate it as they have shredded the paper already lol, replenished their food, water and treats and generally spending a bit of time with them playing. Gus is quite happy to come out of the cage and on my shoulder, even snuffling into my ear as though to say what's in there then? Barnie on the other hand is a little more retiring and is happy to come out onto my hand but any movement sends her scuttling back into her shelter.

It's black bin day this week, so I also spent yesterday filling it to the brim with unwanted items, all needing to be cleared out and not suitable for freecycling, I also made a list of things to be freecycled all of which are going on the list today.

I made time to watch Twilight which premiered on Sky this weekend, and it is good fun, not really a romcom, nor a horror but an interesting take on the two and I can see why there is so much attention being played with the new follow up film. It is nice to see a film, which addresses the fantasy world with much better direction than has been done in the past in War of the Worlds, somehow I felt that film really lost it's way - badly done.

I also caught up with Doctor Who, Water of Mars, disappointed the first time in a long while I just wanted to get to the end and see where it was going next... We all know David is leaving, but this was dull and uninteresting from start to finish.

14 November 2009

Saturday Satire - Mother

A young man shopping in a supermarket noticed a little old lady following him around. If he stopped, she stopped. Furthermore she kept staring at him.

She was infront of him whilst they were waiting in the checkout queue, and she turned to him and said, "I hope I haven't made you feel ill at ease; it's just that you look so much like my late son."

He answered, "That's okay."

"I know it's silly, but if you'd call out 'Good bye, Mum' as I leave the store, it would make me feel so happy." She then went through the checkout, and as she was on her way out of the store, the man waved his hand and called out, "Goodbye, Mum."

The little old lady waved and smiled back at him.

Pleased that he had brought a little sunshine into someone's day, he went to pay for his groceries.

"That comes to £121.85," said the clerk.

"How come so much? I only bought 5 items."

The clerk replied, "Yes, but your Mother said you'd be paying for her things, too."

13 November 2009


Freedom is something we take for granted, yet it is a funny thing, it can mean something different to a number of people.

Today Traction Man gets freedom from hospital, and has left the traction behind but his freedom will be limited by his mobility for a little while; still at least the food will improve no end thanks to Mrs TM.

Jo from Life in Windermere, is free from her Gall Bladder at long last and hopefully free of the pain that went along with the little blighter as well.

Others are less free, I won't link to them but some of the blogs I visit either occasionally or daily are limited by their choices, (and not always listed in my weblinks) or by their needs and my hope is that they too find some happiness in their lives.

So my toast to you today, is freedom, may it give you joy and happiness and memories.

Bi-Lingual - Right or Wrong

Cornwall decided on Wednesday that in future the county of Cornwall is to officially become a bi-lingual part of Britain, with all street signs appearing in two languages similar to that which is used in Wales.

So in the future when an old street or place sign needs replacing the new one will have both languages on it including the ones on the border from Devon will now read 'Kernow a'gas dynnergh' - or 'Welcome to Cornwall'

Of course not everyone agreed with the decision, but that is democracy in action for you and it is more widespread than just changing the street signs, the decision to go bi-lingual calls for Cornwall County Council to recognise the county's distinctive culture and the place of the Cornish language as a unique cultural asset and asks for it to be promoted in line with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

I'm glad of this, to see a revival in the ancient language of Cornwall is always going to be a good thing to keep old ways and traditions alive particularly in the light of the European Union trying to make us all one Europe.

12 November 2009

Free Hugs

Today is Guinness World Records Day and in honour of this commuters hugged each other for one minute to set a new world record at a central London railway station.

The 122 people, many of them strangers, hugged each other at St Pancras station while, a Guinness spokesman confirmed the record afterwards he said: "People were a little bit nervous but at the last minute everyone sprung into action."

I always like a good news story, and perhaps the move will spread.... after all we all like a hug every now and again

11 November 2009

Armistice Day

While the commemorative services all took place last Sunday, as it was the nearest Sunday to the 11th, today is actually Armistice Day.

The cessation of hostilities by the Allies and Germany involved in the First World War Western Front took place 91 years ago today signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest. The Armistice was agreed at 5 AM on 11 November, to come into effect at 11 AM Paris time (that is 10 AM GMT), for which reason the occasion is sometimes referred to as "the eleventh (hour) of the eleventh (day) of the eleventh (month)".

The act of remembrance was actually suggested by George Honey in a letter to a British Newspaper, thank you George, and since about 20 years ago there has been a 2 minute silence kept on both Remembrance Sunday and also the 11th November and grows particularly with the current situation in Afghanistan as a way of remembering both those who serve and those who are currently serving.

So today at 11am I will stand quietly and remember those who were involved in the Great War, the Second World War, Suez, Korea, Malaya, The Falklands, Northern Ireland and now Afghanistan and hope that by the 100th anniversary of this sad day that peace will get an opportunity to change the future.

10 November 2009

I want to be ....

I can't help it, the long dark days, the cold frosty nights make me want to upsticks and move somewhere warmer...

I want to run on golden sands, with warm blue seas and the caress of warm sunshine on my back as I turn the page of my book I am reading. To sip a cold drink, and taste the sunshine sweetening the fruit on my tongue, to watch the sun slowly set over the sea before strolling home to my house on the shore.

Sadly, even if I could be at the picture today, it is more likely to be cold, wet and fairly miserable, and as for the house by the shore, I'm afraid that is just a figment of my imagination at the moment; and will be for a little while longer as I was not one of the two euromillions winners (wishing you nothing but happiness, joy and true friendship).

What do you want to do today?

09 November 2009

I Can't Abide Duplicity

I struggle to understand people who say one thing and mean another, either you mean what you say or you say what you mean is the right way.

There are too many instances of the former and not the latter in this country, but a prime example was that on last night's X-factor, don't get me wrong, I hate the programme but I always tune in for those last few moments to see who gets voted off and why and how.

This year's motley crew of aspiring stars are going to struggle out there in the real world, and I loathe the audition stage where humiliation seems to rank high; now it is at the level of the finalists leaving and the two jackasses of John and Edward who believe they can sing (they can but very badly) and buffoon their way through some classic songs were given a straight pass through to the next stage after going up against Lucie (who can sing beautifully if not necessarily rock star material).

How did this happen, well Louis voted for his act (obviously), Dannie and Cheryl voted for Lucie which meant that Simon only had to vote for her and Jedward as they are known would be back to the real world. After all his statements about their lamentable singing, dancing and buffoonery, how he disliked them personally and professionally and threatened to leave these shores if they won (can we wave goodbye to you now Simon?) you would think it was an easy decision for him and instead he decided to let it go to a public vote which ensured the more talented singer went home and it was clear that Lucie knew that even before the results were read out.

This is a travesty of an honest competition, for whatever reason Simon Cowell has for seeing these two buffoons continue on, it certainly won't be for their voices and for the unsuccessful competitors to go out against them it must be a huge disappointment.

Please let it get back to being a competition for a good singer, someone who stands a chance of making the big time otherwise you stand a good chance of losing public support for the programme.

08 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday

Today at 11am, and on Wednesday morning we will stand silently and think of the sacrifices that the men (and women) in the British armed forces, both today and in the past, have lost their lives so we may enjoy our freedom.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place;
and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.
Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved,
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Liet.-Col. John McCrae

07 November 2009

Saturday Satire - Smart Answers

6th Place
It was mealtime during a flight on a British Airways plane:
'Would you like dinner?' the flight attendant asked the man seated in the front row.
'What are my choices?' the man asked.
'Yes or no,' she replied.

5th Place
A flight attendant was stationed at the departure gate to check tickets.
As a man approached, she extended her hand for the ticket and he opened his trench coat and flashed her.
Without blinking an eyelid she said,
'Sir, I need to see your ticket not your stub.'

4th Place
A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at a branch of Sainsbury's but she couldn't find one big enough for her family.

She asked a passing assistant, 'Do these turkeys get any bigger?'

The assistant replied, ' I'm afraid not, they're dead.'

3rd Place
The policeman got out of his car and approached the boy racer he stopped for speeding.
'I've been waiting for you all day,' the bobby said.
The kid replied, 'Yes, well I got here as fast as I could.'
When the policeman finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way without a ticket.

2nd Place
A lorry driver was driving along on a country road.
A sign came up that read ' Low Bridge Ahead.'
Before he realised it, the bridge was directly ahead and he got stuck under it.
Cars are backed up for miles.
Finally, a police car comes up.
The policeman got out of his car and walked to the lorry's cab
And said to the driver,
'Got stuck, eh?'
The lorry driver said, 'No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of petrol!'

A teacher at a polytechnic college reminded her pupils of tomorrow's final exam.
'Now listen to me, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow.
I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury, illness, or a death in your immediate family, but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!'

A smart-arsed guy at the back of the room raised his hand and asked, 'What would happen if I came in tomorrow suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?'

The entire class was reduced to laughter and sniggering.

When silence was restored, the teacher smiled knowingly at the student, shook her head and sweetly said, 'Well, I suppose you'd have to write with your other hand'.

06 November 2009

Thoughts of Remembrance

I don't mention much in the way of personal details on here, or at least I hope I don't mention too much.

This weekend is Remembrance Sunday, a time to pay our respects to those who have served and those who are still serving in Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

My toll is : My Great Uncle C, who lost his life during the first World War. At this moment in time I have no more detail than that as I haven't yet managed to track him down successfully and due to the family disposing of records we don't have any details of even which regiment he served in.

My Grandfather J, served in the Second World War along with my maternal Grandfather I; both thankfully came home to their families afterwards though I got a mention in Dispatches for Gallant Action he would not talk about his experiences save to mention he drove a lorry.

My Father E, who served in the Army for 24 years, served in Libya and had to be evacuated twice the second time was for good. My Mum also served with him her first posting abroad as an army wife and came back with Zeltus.

and now it is the turn of my Nephew, also a J. He is doing his first deployment in Afghanistan, he has done two deployments previously to Iraq, and one to Bosnia. He isn't one to talk about what he has seen or done but he grew up fast after his first trip to Iraq.

I have to admit to listening with trepidation to the news from Afghanistan, hoping that he will escape unscathed, unwounded in mind and body.

They will all be in my thoughts on Sunday while I listen to the last post.

05 November 2009

My Favourite Copper

PC Tony Stamp is leaving the Bill tonight, the last of the regular original cast from the beginning poor Tone has been unlucky in love, the butt of some jokes and the instigator of others.

Cheerful, larger than life, caring about his patch at Sun Hill is being moved on by the writers who feel he isn't quite the right material for the darker episodes being written. Poor Tone is being moved to being an Advanced Driving Instructor at Hendon, the police college at least this leaves the way open to his return or guest starring episodes.

I have to admit in not watching The Bill in recent years, feeling that somehow, rather like London's Burning it had lost its way, too many times the station had been blown up, held hostage, burnt down and too many good characters such as June Ackland, Sgt Bob Cryer; who could forget Jim Carver and my other favourite Reg Hollis which also was a sad dismissal.

They say that actors form a family, and I guess today the audience is the final part of that family as we say goodbye to Tone... and Graham Cole who portrayed him since 1987 so he served 22 years. A fan site has been set up to appreciate the character the link is here.

04 November 2009

Love Story

I will seek and find you.

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.

I will make you ache, shake & sweat until you moan & groan.

I will make you beg for mercy, beg for me to stop.

I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I'm finished with you.

And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days.

All my love,

The Flu

Sorry I couldn't resist this especially with the advent of the main winter flu season.

03 November 2009

Maybe, Just Maybe...

Thanks to the Hermit for his kind permission in recreating this here, I did ask first. The words mean a lot, as do all my visitors so this is for you guys.

1. Maybe . . . We were supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.

2. Maybe . . . when the door of happiness closes, another opens; but, often times, we look so long at the closed door that we don't even see the new one which has been opened for us.

3. Maybe . . it is true that we don't know what we have until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it arrives.

4. Maybe . . . the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

5. Maybe . . . the brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; after all, you can't go on successfully in life until you let go of your past mistakes, failures and heartaches.

6. Maybe . . . You should dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go, be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you dream of, and want to do.

7. Maybe . . . there are moments in life when you miss someone -- a parent, a spouse, a friend, a child -- so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real, so that once they are around you appreciate them more.

8. Maybe . . . The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

9. Maybe . . You should always try to put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that something could hurt you, it probably will hurt the other person, too.

10. Maybe . . You should do something nice for someone every single day, even if it is simply to leave them alone. Profound!

11. Maybe . . Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart; but, if it doesn't, be content that it grew in yours.

12. Maybe . . . happiness waits for all those who cry, all those who hurt, all those who have searched, and all those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of all the people who have touched their lives.

13. Maybe . . . you shouldn't go for looks; they can deceive; don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.

14. Maybe . . . you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy

15. Maybe . . . you should try to live your life to the fullest because when you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling but when you die, you can be the one who is smiling and everyone around you crying.

Maybe ...I could send this message to those people who mean something to me, to those who have touched my life, to those who can and do make me smile when I really need it, to those who make me see the brighter side of things when I am really down, and to all those whom I want to know that I appreciate them.

That, my friends, is why I'm sharing this with you! Maybe...it will be able to say just how special all of my readers are to me! Thank you just for being here!

02 November 2009


Yesterday was the start of the project NaNoWriMo, the idea is just to write 50,000 words (ideally making a work of fiction) shorter than a novel, but longer than a story. I got the idea from Tom over at Random Acts of Reality and someone who I have admired for a long time with two novels to his name already, but I also know a couple of others and if that doesn't tickle your fancy then In the Gutter is doing the NaNoBloMo which simply involves writing a blog post once a day for each day in November; easier said than done as I know I did it last year.

So a challenge is there, and I have decided to write. Why not, I have often said I have a book in me, and I used to write with a group of friends in an online RPG game, so now was my opportunity.

The minimum suggested word level is 1,666 per day for 30 days straight (though you can do more), and yesterday I reached 1715 without too much difficulty. NaNoWriMo do suggest that you don't go back and edit something but just continue as normal even if you do spot a glaring error that might cause a problem later.

My posts for the RPG group used to be in the region of 2-3000 but that was every couple of days, though I did do a solo excursion while I was recuperating for an operation and I think the total score on that was over 100,00 words but it was over 5-6 weeks.

So I am optimistic, excited even and plot lines keep whirling through my head something that hasn't happened in quite a while...

If anyone wants to have a peek, you need to drop me an email to get access to the site as I don't want to have it open wide for casual drop in's you never know this might be the book of my dreams or just the dreams of my book.

31 October 2009

Saturday Satire - The Wisdom of Doctors

A man goes to see his doctor feeling very unwell and is immediately rushed to the hospital to undergo a barrage of extensive tests.

He wakes up after the tests in a private room at the hospital. Then the phone by his bed rings, he answers it.

"This is your doctor. We've had the results back from your tests and we've found you have an extremely nasty virus, which is extremely contagious!"

"Oh my God," cries the man."What are you going to do doctor?"

"Well, for now we are going to put you on a diet of pizzas, pancakes and pita bread."

"So that will cure then, doctor?" asked the man hopefully.

The doctor replied,"Well no...... but its the only food we can get under the door."

30 October 2009

Wastage this weekend

For those of you who will buy pumpkins just for the ability to carve them and put candles in them on Saturday, please consider using the flesh rather than wasting it..

I don't celebrate Halloween though if the neighbours children want to tuck into some sweets that's fine by me though I don't like the idea of playing tricks as these can get out of hand with eggs being thrown and as a result being banned from sale at this time.. I know bit of a killjoy really...lol

Instead I see 31st October as Samhain (pronounced so wain) as Summers End, a time when we formally suspend the sun and warmth of Summer together with their harvests and head into the chills of wintertime brrrh.

I have been busy trying to come up with some useful ways of utilising the flesh and seeds..

Seeds, you can bake them in the oven for a tasty snack, try sprinkling on some spices to pep them up a bit. To see how to do this go to this site and prepare for some ooey-gooeyness from Ginny Larsen

Steam the flesh of the pumpkin and blitz in a food processor along with some stock (either vegetable or chicken) and then serve with crispy bread rolls - you can spice it up with chilli or with curry spice to give more depth.

Or you could do an Asian Chicken recipe or my personal favourite and one to try is these gorgeously moist Chocolate Brownies

29 October 2009

YoTs - Updated with new information

What makes a YoT 'Youf of Today' believe that it was cool to stamp on a puppy's head and kill it?

April had only put Sandy down for a minute and curiosity made the pup run over to the group of teenage boys who stamped on her with such force that her tiny skull was fractured. I can't think of a more callous act against a helpless creature, or the pain it would have inflicted on her young owner.

I hope that the local police catch up with them, but nothing will erase that memory from April's mind though I hope she takes solace with her family and get a new pup soon to fill the aching gap of Sandy's death.

Update :

An inquiry into the "kicking to death" of a 10-week-old puppy has ended after police found the animal had died from a virus and showed no sign of injury.

The Jack Russell was being walked by its owner, a 15-year-old girl, in Priory Park, St Neots, on Monday, when the RSPCA said it was attacked.

An RSPCA spokeswoman had called the attack "shocking and sickening".

But Cambridgeshire Police have now ended their investigation after veterinary tests.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said the charity had been informed of the ending of the investigation.

She said the first vet consulted had told the RSPCA that the dog's condition was consistent with the account given by the puppy's owners of the attack.

She said anyone with more information or any witnesses should contact the RSPCA.

I can remember thinking that a 10 week old puppy really shouldn't be walked in the park, before its innoculations had been done, but I would hope that they didn't make up the story of the attack to cover their actions.

28 October 2009

Happy Birthday

To a special person... there for me when I have needed you most... thanks xx

Have a great day, and most of all enjoy it

27 October 2009


The hidden truth... I watched (loose description of my tv viewing last night) the Channel 4 programme about the amount of sugar and salt in cereals and my flabber was well and truly ghasted..

They got a group of adults to place well known brands of breakfast cereals on a grid which went from low salt, low sugar to high salt, high sugar and every variety inbetween. Needless to say, two well known brands of corn flakes and rice crispies were placed in the low salt low sugar range and actually fell into one of the highest brackets. Now I love my cornflakes, and while I don't tend to now buy the premium well known brands (preferring the supermarket own) I was horrified to think that these were adding sugar and salt to my diet that I hadn't considered.

I don't add extra sugar to my cereals, finding them palatable enough, but even so I might have to reconsider what breakfast cereal to buy, and just to confuse you more, the little nutrition boxes on the sides of the cereal boxes can be really confusing. I prefer the traffic light system that Sainsbug uses on the majority of goods as that is really helpful.

One experiment they did do with a family was to remove all the high sugar cereals from one family with children, and replace it with porridge, fresh fruit and eggs.. in a week they went down from having 300g of sugar from breakfast alone to just 30g under the new diet.

Going back to have another look in my cupboard tonight... guess my shopping list in future is going to be up for discussion..

26 October 2009

It's an Official Rant

I don't have many, rants that is, but it really gets my goat up when the powers that be start talking we should fall into line with Europe on the clocks front.. why?

I am british, born british, educated across the world, lived in Europe for 3 years and loved it, travel in-frequently to world-wide destinations and done business with both the European Sector and Americans/Canadians during my time here at the University of the Back of Beyond.

First and Foremost : London, England is the home of Greenwich Mean Time which started when British sailors kept at least one chronometer on GMT in order to calculate their longitude from the Greenwich meridian, which was by convention considered to have longitude zero degrees

Shipboard time itself was still solar time. But this practice, combined with mariners from other nations eventually led to GMT being used worldwide as a reference time independent of location.

Most time zones were based upon this reference as a number of hours and half-hours "ahead of GMT" or "behind GMT". So when they talk about us joining the same European time as Spain, which is many degrees further South than London, or even Italy it makes no sense to me as their days will be different to that of London, in terms of daylight.

Secondly : On a business level, I have managed successfully the 12 hour differences between UK and Australia when talking to a firm providing software to us, likewise the 5, 7 or 8 hour differences between zones in the US and Canada so I can find no good reason to align us to Europe for the one hour that exists.

Not only that but our friends in Scotland would be heavily penalised by the time differences involved and yet another wave of power would be held in European hands..

There seems to be no pride in keeping Britain British, instead we weakly surrender ourselves to our European Neighbours and while their interpretation of the rules can be somewhat elastic, we Brits follow it to the letter of the law.

I want to keep Greenwich Mean Time, for the history of what it means to our country, for what it means to us as a people and not just surrender it meekly because of a weak excuse of business needs... What say you?

25 October 2009

Fictional Fear

I used to be absolutely scared stiff of watching Doctor Who, I remember peering out from behind the sofa in sheer terror at hearing the music yet drawn to the tv to ensure that the Doctor made it through the episode, particularly if the Daleks were involved (please note that I was only about 5 or 6 at the time).

I used to be an avid fan of Hammer House of Horror films, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee specialists in conferring fear into their watchers... but it was still good fun to watch as it wasn't so realistics as today's horror films such as Saw etc.

Nothing on television has been quite as terrifying as the above that is until the advent of Harper's Island which was shown recently on BBC3 and I watched it on the BBC Iplayer for which thank you very much BBC as I watched it with the same sort of fear as I had during my childhood.

The story is based on the wedding of Henry Dunn and Trish Wellington, which takes place in Harper's Island. Abby Mills, one of the guests is still haunted about the murders on the island that happened seven years before, caused by John Wakefield.

The murders are particularly shocking and horrific, and starts from the very beginning of the first episode until the last moment... and holds you enthralled as to who was the murderer and what are the connections between the victims.

If you like a good murder mystery, being scared witless and great scenery (it was filmed on Bowen Island - Canada) then do try and catch this series if it is repeated near you... and enjoy the fear.. just remember it is fictional and don't have nightmares..

24 October 2009

Saturday Satire - Marriage

On their way to get married, a young Catholic couple is involved in a fatal car accident. The couple find themselves sitting outside the Pearly Gates waiting for St. Peter to process them into Heaven.

While waiting, they begin to wonder: Could they possibly get married in Heaven? When St. Peter showed up, they asked him. St. Peter says, “I don’t know. This is the first time anyone has asked. Let me go find out”, and he leaves.

The couple sat and waited, and waited. Two months passed and the couple is still waiting. As they waited, they discussed that IF they were allowed to get married in Heaven, what was the eternal aspect of it all. What if it doesn’t work?” they wondered, “Are we stuck together FOREVER?”

After yet another month, St. Peter finally returns, looking somewhat bedraggled. “Yes,” he informs the couple, “You CAN get married in Heaven.”

“Great!” said the couple, “But we were just wondering, what if things don’t workout? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?”

St. Peter, red-faced with anger, slams his clipboard onto the ground.

“What’s wrong?” asked the frightened couple.

“OH, COME ON!” shouts St. Peter. “It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have ANY idea how long it’ll take me to find a LAWYER?”

23 October 2009

A Heavy Heart Remembers

Today, two years ago, my heart was heavy as I made the last journey to the vets with Sam my beloved Jack Russell Terrier who was 17 years old but had reached the end of his days.

He was struggling to manage, and working all day meant I couldn't watch over him to ensure that he was comfortable and coping with the day to day living. If he went out into the garden, he couldn't remember how to get back into the house, life became bewildering to him with the little sight that he had and I can remember crying when I came home to find him cold and in the garden not knowing how long he had been out there..

He didn't want his favourite treat of cheese, something he was always guaranteed to do. He just wanted to be held by me, and when I phoned the vets to book him in, he just turned to look at me as if to say I had done the right thing as it was his time to leave.

Sam was a dog who was always a people dog, but took no notice of the vets that day, and they agreed that the time had come.

I am in tears as I write this, just remembering that day, yet the pictures I have of him show his character, and one day I will again have a dog when I have time to give him the lifestyle he will deserve, it won't be Sam being replaced for how do you replace something so unique?