28 February 2009

Saturday Satire - Bubba

A small Wild Animal Park had acquired a very rare species of gorilla.

Within a few weeks, the female gorilla became very "in the mood", and difficult to handle.

Upon examination, the park veterinarian determined the problem.

The gorilla was in heat. To make matters worse, there were no male gorillas of the species available. While reflecting on their problem, the park administrators noticed Bubba, a biker and part-time grounds keeper, responsible for cleaning the animals' cages.

Bubba, like most bikers, had little education, but possessed ample ability to satisfy a female of ANY species. So, the park administrators thought they might have a solution. Bubba was approached with a proposition.

Would he be willing to have sex with the gorilla for £100?

Bubba showed some interest, but said he would have to think the matter over carefully.

The following day, Bubba announced that he would accept their offer, but only under three conditions.

"First," he said, "I don't want to have to kiss her. Secondly, you must never tell anyone about this."

The park administrators quickly agreed to these conditions, so they asked what was his third condition.

"Well," said Bubba, "You gotta give me another week to come up with the £100."

27 February 2009


While I don't particularly like the new format of Masterchef, I do enjoy watching it as the amateur cooks start off with a fairly high level to start off with and finish on a real high with professional looking food. I can only dream of attaining those sort of heights in my culinary tastes.

I was glad to see the winner was Mat, he of the big flavours and even bigger portions turn out to be the finalist who could serve up a starter of rabbit, a main of crab and a desert of lavender mousse with bramble coulis... I might just have to look up that last recipe for my other blog as I love the smell of lavender and enjoy the flavour in food.

This morning, I went to the gym before work, we are lucky having the facilities here at the University so afterwards I could stroll into the office. By my reckoning I have a lot of work to do in the gym to make amends for the food I have eaten over the past year or so.

This weekend, I am going to tackle the garden, hoping that the weather will hold up long enough for me to get out there and do some work, I still need to prune the other apple tree, the pear tree and also the hedge between me and my neighbours. The latter is of some concern as a) I need to do it before the birds getting any ideas of nesting and b) before it becomes too tall for me. I don't do heights and I would feel more comfortable if I knew someone could hold the ladder for me but I don't and the only other option is to pay someone to come in and do it for me... which I would rather not do.

Sunday, I have the last of the winter meets at Towcester and am determined that I will go by bike unless something else arises. A couple of friends are coming over to ensure that I don't have to go by myself, which is good of them. The support of friends is important to me right now and so are your encouraging messages.

25 February 2009

Healing Time

I am ok, getting there slowly. The shock is subsiding and the reality sinking in. It still seems unreal and strange but that is to be expected.

I have changes to make, some will be good, others will be less good but I have had so much support from so many friends both in real life and from the blogsphere that I am optimistic there is a light at the end of the tunnel - only if it turns out to be more work then I might just have to beat them up with a tickling stick.

I hope to be able to take the bike out soon, and am exploring doing some yoga classes something which I have always wanted to try but haven't found a suitable class nearby. The local council are putting on classes for the elderly (ok over 50's I lied) and it starts soon so I need to book on it pretty quick.

Holiday plans are up in the air, we had planned to go to Normand in June, and I mentioned to Zeltus (currently on holiday in Southern Spain) that I hadn't done anything other than book the cottage and was going to cancel it when he said he had always wanted to go so you never know what will happen, it's still a while until I have to make that decision.

23 February 2009


Love means letting someone fly free, no strings no attachments, no constraints..

Today I gave SOH his freedom as per his desires, not that anyone could restrain him when he wants to go.

I wish him a happy life back down in his beloved Cornwall and hope that he finds what he is looking for.

We had a happy 12 months together, achieved a lot, and experienced a whole lot more. He taught me how to laugh and how to have fun.

Thank you SOH, you still mean a lot to me and I am sad you are no longer a part of my life.

I won't be bringing this up again, what is done is done, the paths opened and the future is before me wherever it shall be - but I am sure you won't mind me taking a break from blogging to deal with the processes involved.

21 February 2009

Saturday Satire - Crime Story

It was 12 minutes past 7 when The Panda came through the front door of the Pho Bch Nga Restaurant and Karaoke Lounge.

"Can I help you, sir?"
The Panda held up shaggy paw with one solitary digit extended.
"Table for one, sir?"
The Panda gave a solemn nod.
"Follow me, please."

It was 7:14 when The Panda eased his not inconsiderable bulk into a booth in the far corner of the dining area. The waitress handed him a menu.
"Would you like anything to drink, sir?"
The Panda held out two paws, one perpendicular to the other, bisecting it.
"Tea? You want some green tea?"
Again, a solemn nod.
"OK. I'll be right back with your tea."
When she came back, The Panda was pointing to various items on the menu with a chopstick.
"OK...one veggie spring rolls, one angel wings, one lemongrass chicken, one tom kha gai, and one waterfall beef?"
A nod, and a motion to the teacup.
"And more tea? OK, I'll be right back with the tea."

It was 7:23 when the spring rolls and the angel wings arrived at the table. The Panda ate wordlessly, unaware of the stares being directed his way by diners both curious and cautious. The spring rolls were top-notch, and the tom kha gai that came shortly afterwards was very nearly heavenly.

It was 7:35 when the Entrees came to the table, along with yet more tea. The Panda inclined his head to the waitress in the very slightest gesture of appreciation. He made a rubbing motion with his thumb and foreclaw.
"You want the check?"
The Panda nodded. He was halfway through the waterfall beef when she came back with the bill. He handed over his AmEx card silently, chewing slowly, the patience of centuries contained within his jaws. She came back again just as he was digging in to the lemongrass chicken.

"Here you are, sir. Just sign right here. has everything been to your liking?"

The Panda gave a dismissive nod, as if to say that over the grand course of his lifetime he would have meals both better and worse, but that this one would suffice, thank you very much. He wrote in a generous tip for her, signed the slip, and handed it back. It was 7:57. At precisely 8 o'clock, The Panda stopped eating. He stood up abruptly, causing his table and all of its contents to come crashing to the floor. The patrons looked around nervously as The Panda reached into the pocket of his sportcoat, then pulled something out.

He shot the waitress first. He hadn't liked the scent of her perfume one bit, and she wore FAR too much of it. He shot her just above the left breast and watched a small bloom of blood begin to ruin her white silk dress shirt. Predictably, panic ensued. In the midst of the chaos, The Panda stood silently, taking deliberate aim and shooting until the clip was empty. When he finally ran dry, he had shot and killed 5 customers, 3 employees, and a VERY expensive fish tank. He casually pocketed his gun, grabbed a mint out of the tray at the counter, and with a tip of his hat to the terrified but unharmed doorman, The Panda disappeared into the night.

It was 8:19 when Detective Cavanaugh arrived at the crime scene. None of the remaining employees spoke english, and all of hte remaining customers were completely hysterical. Cavanaugh took some notes, grabbed some chicken satay skewers off the grill, and went to clear his head. In the bathroom, he found a young boy hiding in a stall.

"You can come out now, kid. It's all over."
"Is he gone?"
"Is WHO gone?"
"The Panda! IS HE GONE?!"
The kid was on the verge of hysteria.
"Listen, I'm a police officer. Whoever shot those people is gone, and I need you to help me find him. Did you see him?"
"What did he look like?"
Cavanaugh's pen stopped moving.
"Did you say a giant panda?"
"yeah, a big giant panda! and he shot my mommy!!!"
"OK, kid, you just hang tight and I'll send someone in to take you home, or wherever you're going."

Cavanaugh could barely keep himself from running as he headed for the phone. He picked it up and dialed the station.
"Captain O'Mara's desk."
"IS the Captain there? This is Cavanaugh."
"Hold please."
"This is O'Mara. Cavanaugh, what do you want? I'm testing out my new putter right now. This had better be good."
"Captain, I think I have this case solved. I've got an eyewitness, and I've got motive."
"Already? how can you be sure?"
"The eyewitness said he saw the shooter clearly. Said he looked like a giant panda."
"A WHAT? Cavanaugh, if this is your idea of a joke..."
"Sir, having seen the carnage here, I can assure you that this is no joke. The details of the crime support it. It fits The Panda's MO perfectly."
"Cavanaugh, what are you talking about? Have you been drinking?"
"Sir, think about it for a second. It's a giant panda."
"What does a panda do?"
"I give up, Cavanaugh. What does a panda do?"
"Well, sir...a panda eats, shoots, and leaves."

20 February 2009

Home again

We got home last night, too tired to do much other than say hi to the ratz, offer them a bribe just in case they thought we had abandoned them for ever and have something to eat. SOH had done all the driving home, as I could barely stay awake on the journey, and as he has to be up for work at 4am we had an early night; but trust me when that alarm went off, it was way too early.

The funeral went as funeral's do, friends and family coming and a chance to see people that you only otherwise do at weddings. The family flowers were beautiful, with a book from the children, and a gateway from the grandchildren, and the great grandchildren.

Sadly we couldn't stay for too long, as work commitments were too much in the way, so we had to come home yesterday and we will miss the scattering of the ashes; though I am sure when we are down again we will get a chance to visit the location that the family have chosen.

18 February 2009

Another Meme

I have taken up Jo's tag and will write six random things about me.

  1. My favourite place in all the world is wherever SOH is (all together now... aaahhhh bless).

  2. I studied history at school.

  3. I once met Prince Andrew, and shared a buck's fizz with him, his valet Mick and my mate Cathy on Christmas Morning at Windsor Castle

  4. My favourite shop is Waitrose.

  5. I am not very good at sewing, so making my own clothes is out, can't make curtains, or cushions or any soft furnishing. But I do like to cross-stitch (there my big secret is out), I quite like making scarves (knitting) and I like painting (though my artistic ability is right up there with my sewing skills!)

  6. One of my favourite meals is Cornish Chicken Curry

I would like to tag all lurkers. Come on- let me know something about you!

17 February 2009

A trip

SOH and I have to be away for a few days, for a family funeral, so I will have to catch up with you on my return and hear all your news.

In the meantime, for your entertainment, and because I think it is a smiler

I give you ...

Bottle of Wine
(Women will LOVE this one!)
A woman and a man are involved in a car accident on a snowy, cold Monday morning; it's a bad one. Both of their cars are totally demolished, but amazingly neither of them is hurt.

God works in mysterious ways. After they crawl out of their cars, the man is yelling about women drivers. The woman says, 'So, you're a man. That's interesting. I'm a woman. Wow, just look at our cars! There's nothing left, but we're unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should be friends and live in peace for the rest of our days.'

Flattered, the man replies, 'Oh yes, I agree completely, this must be a sign from God! But you're still at fault...women shouldn't be allowed to drive.' The woman continues, 'And look at this, here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune.'

She hands the bottle to the man. The man nods his head in agreement, opens it and drinks half the bottle and then hands it back to the woman.

The woman takes the bottle, puts the cap back on and hands it back to the man.

The man asks, 'Aren't you having any?'

The woman replies, 'No. I think I'll just wait for the police...'

Women are clever, evil people.
Don't mess with them.

16 February 2009

The Victorian Farm

I was sad last week to have watched the last programme in the series The Victorian Farm an eagerly awaited sequel to Tales from the Green Valley which was shown in 2005.

I welcomed back Peter, Ruth and Alex to another period of farming history, they don't just tell you about it, but actually live in it and if I ever had the chance I would jump at the opportunity to join in with them so fast that they might find themselves a hand missing.

The first series Tales from the Green Valley was set in a Welsh farmhouse in Tudor times andwas of twelve thirty minute long programmes and each covering a month of the farming life. Unfortunately due to Health and Safety restrictions they were not allowed to live at the farm but had to live in accommodation nearby.

But the joy of the Victorian period was that they could live and be the farmers of the day, even down to the animals and machinery and food. Ruth's domain was the house and dairy, while the lads Alex and Peter managed the farmwork with the help of specialist people such as the blacksmith, the printer, the ploughman, the beekeeper etc.

I think because it was so recent that the people advising on the use of the machinery and how things were done, were still using some of this equipment in the 1930's when my Dad was helping out on Charlie Well's farm just down the hill.

The only shame about it, was the fact that it was only 3 episodes long, admittedly of one hour in length but both SOH and myself thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to visit Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, where the series was filmed and I know they do courses there as well.

Don't know whether there will be another programme quite like this, but I hope they do as it is far more entertaining that most reality programmes. I for one have had enough of :
  • I'm a celebrity anything
  • Big Brother, celebrity or joe bloggs from the street.
  • Dancing, Ice or Ballroom
  • Celebrity Conductors
What happened to 'real' programming on television?

15 February 2009

Catchup Day

Sunday was our catchup day:

Clean the ratz out thoroughly with the two rats helping by coming to see us and try and get some titbits so the process took longer than usual. The cage is cleaned daily, with the litter tray emptied and the shelves wiped, the water bottle refilled and the food container filled – those little critters can eat so much considering their size; they ought to be the size of effalumps.

Catch up with the laundry, because of the snow, ice and freezing temps we have been saving it up so the weekend was full of laundry drying as I like to air it outside and funny enough it did actually dry even with snow under it; wonder if it had anything to do with the reflective affect.

Prune the Apple tree, the buddhlea and the spiky plant, all of which had sustained damage from the weight of snow and the frost.

Check the carport for damage, we may need to put in a claim for this as two of the struts bent badly under the continued weight of snow.

Tidy up the garage, put things away as we have just been too busy and it has been too cold to spend much time out there.

Clean and tidy the house, making a wonderfully rich barbeque beef that just melted in the mouth.

Watch the last of the 6 nation matches and then followed up with Leicester Tigers vs London Wasps. NB the less said about the referee in the England v Wales match the better but Mr Kaplan was his normal usual self in penalising England

All in all a good weekend.

14 February 2009

Saturday Satire - The Retreat

Some retired deputy sheriffs went to a retreat in the mountains. To save money, they decided to sleep two to a room. No one wanted to room with Daryl because he snored so badly. They decided it wasn't fair to make one of them stay with him the whole time, so they voted to take turns.

The first deputy slept with Daryl and comes to breakfast the next morning with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot.

They said, "Man, what happened to you?"

He said, "Daryl snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all night."

The next night it was a different deputy's turn. In the morning, same thing--hair all standing up, eyes all blood-shot.

They said, "Man, what happened to you? You look awful!"

He said, "Man, that Daryl shakes the roof. I watched him all night."

The third night was Frank's turn. Frank was a big burly ex-football player; a man's man. The next morning he came to breakfast bright eyed and bushy tailed.

"Good morning." They couldn't believe it!

They said, "Man, what happened?"

He said, "Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Daryl into bed and kissed him good night. He sat up and watched me all night long."

13 February 2009

How do you feel today?

Paraskavedekatriaphobia (Fear of Friday 13th) not to be confused with triskaidekaphobia (Fear of the number 13)

Apparently, it isn’t as unlucky as you thought, as before the 19th Century, there seems little evidence to support that it was considered unlucky. One mention in literature involves Rossini, in 1869 biography it stated that he believed Friday was an unlucky day and the number 13 as an unlucky number; unluckily for him he died on Friday 13th November 1868!

This is not to say that there are some folk-lore, or theories about the the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. 12 is considered complete in numerology, as reflected in the twelve hours of the clock twelve months of the year, twelve Apostles, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular and disliked because of this. Possibly the superstition might derive from the idea of 13 to dinner which comes from the Last Supper and the belief that having such a number of people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners or betrayal by one of their number.

Charles Panati, believed that it all stems back to Norse mythology and the fact that Frigga (whom Friday is named for and who is the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility). Supposedly at the time of the Norse and Germanic tribes converting to Christianity, Frigga was banished and labeled a witch. It was thought that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil - a gathering of thirteen - and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week.

Or it may have more to do with King Philip’s envy of their wealth and power that the Knights Tenplar had which led to their arrest and persecution.

Personally, I think today is just another Crunchie day!

ps and just for thosetechies out there... you know you are there!!!! :-)

Tonight at 11:31 and 30 seconds (GMT) it will be exactly 1234567890 in unix time.

12 February 2009

Pictures from our Winter Blues

I wonder why we are still in snow and ice, but we haven't had temperatures above 3 degrees for over a fortnight and the forecast is the same for the next few days then we might go to a balmy 9 degrees next week which will be good as SOH and I have to do some travelling as we are going down to Cornwall to visit family and the wintry conditions would not be ideal.

I love this particular picture of the garden, taken on the 5th of Feb it is almost perfectly blue because of the weather conditions, not because I have adjusted it with a software package.

The snow here was 5-6 inches deep, and then about 7am the following day we had another four inches making nearly a total of over a foot of snow, incredibly unusual but also dangerous for driving in.

Luckily over the next few days it stopped snowing and we even had some fun, I took the following pictures over the weekend of the scenes around the village. The dog is called Jake, and grinned like this when he was waiting for a snowball to be thrown for him to catch.

When we cleared the snow from the drive, we made a wall - other people build snowmen, not us we built walls and in fact one of the walls became a wine cooler for us. Actually still is as it is still there now over a week later.

11 February 2009

Heroes in Action

Last night on ITV SOH and I watched Doctors and Nurses at War, this was the second episode that we had watched but it was probably the most moving. The main story last night, was of Marine Dunning, who was severely injured in a landmine explosion in Afghanistan and the battle to save not only his life but ascertain whether they could save his legs which were very badly affected by the blast.

Sadly, though they battled for what seemed like hours yet could only have been minutes, they eventually had to amputate both of Marine Dunning's legs and you saw the Doctor's pain of failure knowing they had done this only to ensure his life wasn't also lost.

Many of the Doctors and Nurses who are serving in Afghanistan are members of the Territorial Army 203 Field Hospital Unit based in Cardiff; all experienced trauma specialists and released part-time from their job with the NHS to serve in the front line.

I for one want to wish those lads and lasses well, they are doing a sterling job out there and this programme highlights the dangers they face whilst serving; they deserve more reward than they will ever get from this Government.

Well done you...

10 February 2009

It's All in a Name

It's harder than it looks! Copy to your own blog, erase my answers, enter yours, and let the fun commence.

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real...nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

1. What is your name : Lis

2. A four Letter Word : Love

3. A boy's Name : Louis

4. A girl's Name : Loralie

5. An occupation : Lifeguard

6. A color : Lavender

7. Something you'll wear : Lace

9. A food : Lentils

10. Something found in the bathroom: Lather

11. A place : Los Angeles

12. A reason for being late : Locked out

13. Something you'd shout : Look

14. A movie title : Lavender and Old Lace

15. Something you drink : Lager

16. A musical group : Linkin Park

17. An animal : Leopard

18. A street name : Liverpool St

19. A type of car : Limousine

09 February 2009

Snow Joke

At last SOH managed to get me to work, though the roads were very icy and yet some drivers seemed to ignore this.. however the number of cars we have seen with front or rear end damage due to the negligence of other drivers tells you all you need to know.

The Uni had been out early salting the roads and the paths so at work we are safer than out there on the main roads. Bedfordshire are only salting main roads it seems, so us country bumkins are on our own as far as they are concerned.

The weather forecast is for a winter storm tonight, and possibly the threat of heavy snow tomorrow. SOH leaves for work at the ungodly hour of 4.30am and doesn't get home until 5.30pm which in Summer isn't too bad but in Winter can be cold and miserable especially when there are limited facilities for a hot drink or warm meal.

Last Friday he was out Buckingham way when the snow began to fall heavily and his lorry slid while going up a steep hill and that was when he was fully laden. He eventually got home just before 11am and then had to leave his car at the bottom of the hill as the snow was just too slippery to get him back to the house. Later on that day, a few neighbours cleared a path and he was able to get up onto the cleared drive that I had done in case he managed to get up the road.

If anyone doubts the ability of an Englishman (or Woman) to discuss the weather endlessly, then they must doubt no further than this blog... :-)

Be safe out there, as many NHS resources are being stretched by snow related injuries.

08 February 2009

I wish to order

  • Two days worth of warm sunshine
  • Temperatures in double figures (preferably positive rather than negative)
  • No wind!

Bring on spring, I don't even mind the gardening chores that will bring but enough of this winter weather..

After 6 inches on Thursday, with another 5 inches on Friday we had a cold but not snowy day on Saturday and so ventured out onto the ice roads to the shops in the village as we had heard on the gossip lines that the lorries had made it in to deliver milk and bread.

Then in the afternoon we enjoyed the first two games of rugby of the 6 nations, and Sunday afternoon after a trip out, yes we left the village for the first time since Thursday. We had a meeting of the BMW club at Greetham where we held a bring and buy... well attended given the weather and everyone enjoyed their sausage and bacon rolls.

Roll on tonight and yes we have more snow.. no longer are the paths clear.. having cleared them late Thursday and again Friday they are now covered in the slippery white stuff. Hence my order to whoever is in charge of the weather, I will even pay for express delivery...

07 February 2009

Saturday Satire - What a Weekend

An older, white haired man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a beautiful young gal at his side. He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend.

The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a £5,000 ring and showed it to him. The old man said, "I don't think you understand, I want something very special."

At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over.

"Here's a stunning ring at only £40,000," the jeweler said.

The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement.

The old man seeing this said, "We'll take it."

The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the old man stated, by cheque. " I know you need to make sure my cheque is good, so I'll write it now and you can call the bank on Monday to verify the funds and I'll pick the ring up in the afternoon," he said.

Monday morning, a very teed-off jeweler phoned the old man.

"There's no money in that account."

"I know", said the old man, "but can you imagine the weekend I had?"

06 February 2009

One of the reasons

I like reading the book rather than watching the film is because my interpretation of the events in the book is like watching my own version of a film; that and the film-maker's version of events in the book tend to lose some of the detail due to the length or expense.

But occasionally, I will sit down to a film, knowing well as I do that I may be disappointed in what I was seeing.

Very, very occasionally I might even make it to the end of the film and be satisfied with the cuts that have been made, because at least they kept fairly true to the story.

But not with The Other Boleyn girl, whoever made it has made so many historical (I would say mistakes but that is giving them the benefit of the doubt) inaccuracies that it was impossible to get through more than 30 minutes worth.

Now unless I was mistaken, Anne Boleyn was the youngest daughter, and both her and her sister Mary were sent to France at an early age to complete her education at the court of Henry's sister Mary. Now history has it that Anne stayed in France longer than her sister who returned home and caught Henry's eye at court becoming his mistress until he tired of her and set her up with a pension.

Anne refused to consent to Henry's courtship, after he discarded her sister, holding out for more. The book The Other Boleyn Girl clearly had Mary being seduced by the King first then Anne who eventually married Henry - and I can't rate the book that highly for the amount of inaccuracies in it but compared to the film it was enjoyable.

However the film-maker's in their wisdom, had Anne being the older sister and being told that on a royal visit she was to make much of the King and try to seduce him; however Henry fell for Mary.

I hate it when they play with history.. in the sake of a better story for film.. save it for fiction but alas and alack these people are only interested in the dosh to be made.

ps - it's being snowing here since just before 7am, SOH went out at 4.30am to go to work and has said he has been slipping on the roads and is heading for base. I hope he will be ok, I would like him to get home in one piece but the roads are incredibly unsafe and hence I am working from home again today.

05 February 2009

They wos rite

Bad spelling an all..

Sage is sitting at home working on work, rather than having travelled the oh so far 3 miles to work because we had nearly 7 inches of the white stuff overnight and it has just started sprinkling more as I type this.

Just heard on the radio, that the Highways Office in Bedford has closed due to the snow. Well it is official there is no hope now at all. The roads are barely passable up to the main village so the few cars that tried have now returned home and unless the situation picks up it will be the same tomorrow but hopefully the forecast of the snow turning to sleet means that work will be on the cards.

As nice as it is to work from home, I miss the interactions with people relating to tasks and work and it will be good to get out and about.

Obviously I am not cut out for life in a cold climate it seems...

04 February 2009

In Between

Today we have

The Skies are clear and blue and the sun is shining. I would say brightly but I am not sure whether it is actually above freezing at the moment.

The next four days promise heavy snow, though whether GemmaK will see any of it since she seems to be living in the snow free capital of England (now having said that she will probably get 6ft and blame me for it).

The cupboards are stocked with food for an emergency, torches are to hand as are some candles.. but will it be needed?

Why is it that this country mostly goes to pieces at the slightest bit of bad weather, especially the drivers, who either drive as though the roads were not covered in ice/snow/slush or other slippery component and then say not enough was done to keep them safe. Hmmm perhaps their driving skills (or lack of them) come to mind..

Personally, I believe that Dr Lisa Dorn who is a driver behaviourist expert has it right when she says the modern cars are almost too protective for their own good. With all the mod cons such as SIPS, airbags and crumple zones, drivers think they are invincible and drive like they would normally without regard for others or road conditions; relying instead on the vehicle to protect them.

In years gone by, cars were precious and took many months if not years of hard work to be able to afford and you looked after it like it was the precious thing it was, consideration was the name of the game and accidents were that, accidents. Nowadays, cars can be had for as little as £50 quid, or free if you TWOC them. Cheap and two a penny, who cars what happens to them, just get another...

Something has to happen to make these roads a safer place, but I am blowed if I know what it is..

03 February 2009

Sent Home

Despite only having a couple of centimetres of snow yesterday morning, by lunchtime the snow was coming thick and fast. SOH and the rest of the drivers where he worked were sent home at 1.30pm as it was too dangerous out on the roads for them.

I was in a training course, and we made the decision to finish early at 4pm, as by now the snow was about 3-4 inches deep and though I didn't have far to go it was still going to be bad enough. Just after 3.30pm the message was sent round that the whole department was being sent home at 4pm.

This isn't a regular occurrence, and the last time I knew of it was back in 1980 when we had a regular blizzard, myself and another walked across the airfield, being careful to keep the wind on our left and despite our best efforts we were way off course from our target area (it's surprisingly difficult to keep on track when your visibility is nil) and we arrived in at about 10.00am just in time to get the computers up and working for the day shift.

Another lad walked in from another town, about 9 miles in all, and just as he arrived in through the main doors at 12pm, the call went out for the Uni to close down as staff safety was considered at risk; so the lad had to walk back home again... I was lucky, one of the security guards was patrolling the airfield, and gave us a lift across to the main village and from there we could walk to our respective homes.

Overnight it has frozen solid, and I think the roads will be very icy out there today, take it easy, take your time and be safe.

02 February 2009

How things have changed

Many years ago, when Zeltus and I were nippers, Mum and Dad were away for the day and left us with Mr and Mrs Appleby who lived next door to us (or so it seems these many years later) who had what seemed like 5 or 6 children. After an energetic mornings play on the green opposite we were called in for lunch.

Now normally, lunch would have consisted of a drink, a sandwich and either a chocolate biscuit or some other treat like an apple.

I was astonished therefore to be given a plate of porridge, and told to help myself from the toppings of syrup, jam, sugar or salt..

At the time I didn't like readybrek, never mind porridge (fussy eater, wasn't I?) and probably made a big fuss, but Mrs Appleby took no nonsense... "If you don't want it, then you will go hungry" which many a 50's child will be fully aware of.

The reason I am writing this, I am about to sit down to a bowl of oats so simple, plain with brown sugar topping and a dusting of cinnamon.. how things have changed. I started to eat hot breakfasts in cold weather when I had a flat in Bedford with no central heating and the only way of keeping warm in winter was a hot breakfast which was filling and cheap.

Keep safe on the roads if you have to venture out, I am lucky, overnight we had a little snow but not too much however I will be in work early to miss some of the traffic.

01 February 2009

A little later

than expected and the snow has started to fall in earnest. We arrived home 29 mins ago from our regular BMW meeting in Towcester and ominous clouds were gathering in the East. No sooner had we parked the car in the car port and covered SOH's car ready for his early morning start than the blizzard began to blow.

The wind chill is massive and the temperature outside dropped from the balmy 3 deg C to just over zero deg C in just over 5 mins and now the white stuff tinges the ground. I hope we don't have too much as we have some important stuff going on at work tomorrow and it is a long trek round by leg if I can't take the car to work.

Zeltus, meanwhile, is in Sunny Spain in t-shirts and shorts enjoying a break from the Gites, though his journey down hasn't been all that good as the car suffered a catastrophic failure in an essential drive component and has been taken to Benidorm to be fixed... what you can afford least to happen, usually does when it causes most mayhem.

Have a good Sunday