Archive for Nov, 2008

What Big Teeth You Have

Sunday 30 November 2008


Gordon’s telling everyone he has my Christmas present sorted!  Odd that: I had something smaller and more sparkly in mind, preferably something I can wear about my person.  Besides which, who wants a Christmas present that causes so much work?

This is the bit of the soon-to-be-ours forager that chops the grass/maize/whatever as it’s picked up.  It probably has a name and at some time I’m sure Gordon’s told me what it is, but guess what …… I don’t think I was listening!  I have an automatic shut-down facility in my brain that flies into action as soon as he starts talking about what makes things work or how they work.  I don’t want to know.  All that concerns me is that they do work.  The rest is academic.


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Friday 28 November 2008


Yesterday we all hit the ground running.  Milking, the funeral of Daniel’s paternal grandmother in Bridgwater, the unexpected and very sad death of Stephanie’s cat Willow (due to an unknown tumour as it turns out), a doctor’s appointment that should have taken ten minutes but kept us hanging around for forty-five minutes (and you know how much I love to be kept waiting), a flying visit to my slimming group (three more pounds lost this week), home for a very quick tea then into mum and dad’s for the evening.  My Auntie and cousins were visiting and we left around ten o’clock.  That was the day gone!

Today, Gordon decided he wanted to go and look at a possible replacement for our (vintage) forager after all the trouble she gave us this summer.  We went to Yatton to visit a dealer we’ve frequented before and mooched around the above forager for an hour or so before deciding we would buy it on the conditions that he replaced the very cracked windscreen, tracked down a manual and cleaned the interior of the cab, which was seriously filthy.  Gordon kept trying to tell me this wasn’t important, but as far as I’m concerned it is.  If I’m going to be driving it next year I don’t want to sitting in with someone else’s dirt!  Call me picky, but there it is.

We stopped at the Cadbury Garden Centre on the way home for lunch and arrived back here at about 3.30 pm to a pile of post, including one from the Rural Payments Agency to tell us they ‘overpaid’ our Single Farm Payment in 2005 by £2000 and could we pay it back within one calendar month or else they’d start charging interest?  How come when we owe them money it has to be paid back so quickly and yet this year’s Single Farm Payment (due in October) still hasn’t arrived?  They need to get their act together!  To quote the letter: “We are very sorry for the amount of time it has taken us to write to you about this but we have only just finalised the details of your overpayment.”  It’s been three years folks.  How much time do they need?

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Evil PC

Wednesday 26 November 2008

No blog yesterday as I went off computers for the day.  Gordon’s PC tried, but luckily failed, to kill me.  It must have done it on purpose because I don’t think I’ve ever known a computer to do what it did, but if you know better please tell me and then I can be friends with it again as long as it’s not personal.

I decided to upgrade from the operating system it was running to something more in keeping with this decade.  Firstly, the keyboard didn’t work.  We overcame that.  Then, neither the DVD-RW or the DVD-Rom would work.  I’d like to point out at this stage that Gordon rarely uses his computer even though he originally had grand plans for it.  I hunted around and found an old CD-Rom drive that was obviously left over from an upgrade at some time and rather than disembowel his computer, simply took the side off, disconnected one drive and reconnected the old one.  That worked.  “Ah-ha” I thought to myself.  “This is progress.”  I asked it to run the disk, which it did and then asked it to upgrade to XP, which it didn’t.  However, in the attempt it managed to corrupt the data already on the hard-drive, so then it wouldn’t run anything.

I decided to start all over again, which went well until I put the disk in.  The computer said it couldn’t read it and did I want to Abort (A), Retry (R) or Fail (F).  I pressed R which started the disk spinning again.  Suddenly, there was a loud bang like a shotgun and something whizzed past my ear.  When I stopped cowering under the computer table I looked around to see what the heck it was.  The front of the drive was over by the door and several large pieces of the CD were in the opposite corner of the room.  I’m still not sure what happened, but whatever it was I’m now without an operating system on Gordon’s computer or a disk to install it from.

I’m still contemplating the problem.


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Sunday 23 November 2008


This is Minx, scrounging at the table.  Gordon feeds her scraps while he eats his lunch so consequently, come lunchtime, she’s sat at the table ready and waiting.  She’s a lovely cat but she will just as happily bite fingers as food!  She’s very sociable with humans and hates cats, which is a bit unfortunate since we have others.

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Just Me

Saturday 22 November 2008


Luckily for you all, this is something I don’t plan to do on a regular basis, but this is me.  On my birthday.  I’m not really sure why I’m smiling – yes, that is a smile and not a grimace and yes, I know it’s hard to tell the difference – since I don’t relish the idea of getting older at all.  Someone took this photo of me (I think it was mum) with my new camera and I had a bit of a play with it, mainly to get rid of the red cheeks that resulted from the first of several glasses of red wine!  Despite sounding it sometimes, I’m not generally that fuzzy around the edges either, although my fantastic photo editing program calls it ‘soft focus’.  It’s very flattering for blurring out anything you might want to blur out.  The program’s called ‘Picasa’ and can be found amongst other Google treats.  It turns photo editing into something totally enjoyable, very easy, it’s free, and you should see what it can do with red-eye!  If you don’t currently use this and you like taking photos, you should definitely try it out.

Tell ’em I sent you – maybe they’ll give me commission.  Or not.

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Thursday 20 November 2008


Following my previous post and the mention of new shoes, a present from Alex, I received a request from a friend (you know who you are) for a photo of them rather than just a description.  As I get older it has to be said, I am developing a bit of a liking for shoes.  I never really got it before when friends raved about their new shoes, but know I am buying them nowadays simply because I like them rather than their practicality.  I think my friend has a shoe-thing going on too.

Leading on from that and for those of you who know how WordPress works, it always interests me to see which search words lead to this site.  Often friends and regular visitors come back by typing either my name or lavenderjack (my alter-ego) into the search box, but to those who type in slightly more obscure things, I apologise now.  This obviously includes the person who typed in girlie/tractor calendar today and found himself (I assume it’s a him) lumbered with me, probably because I have at some time used all three of these words.  I bet he was disappointed!  Therefore, with a smirk on my face I christen this post ‘Shoe Fetish’ and wait with baited breath to see how many I catch!  I’ll let you know.

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Monday 17 November 2008


It was my birthday yesterday and from fairly early on in the day we were entertaining, first family then later friends and neighbours.  Alexandra cooked a Sunday lunch for eight with Steph on peeling duties.  She was convinced she did a bad job purely on the basis of a failed Yorkshire Pudding but in fact the food was delicious and certainly enjoyed by everyone around the table, who continued to ‘pick’ at the dishes until the majority of them were empty.

I had a generous selection of presents: a pair of shoes with killer heels from Alex, socks and craft goodies from Steph, a dressing gown from Terri and Steve, an internet radio which plugs into a USB port from my parents and a selection of flowers, plants (including the cyclamen in the photo from mother-in-law) and smellies from my friends.  The main present of the day however was a new digital camera from Gordon to replace the weary one I have been using.  This one is an SLR with an interchangeable lens and more complicated than my previous one, but seems to take a pretty good photo.  So far it’s only been used indoors but if the rain stops for long enough tomorrow it may just get an outing.

After four weeks of my diet and eight-and-a-half pounds lost, I finally fell off the wagon today with a custard slice in the morning and a kitkat chunky this evening.  The girls planned all food yesterday with my diet in mind so everything was low-fat and healthy, including a Slimming World cheesecake made by Steph following a recipe she tracked down on the internet.  However, they know my favourite cake is a custard slice so bought a packet as a special treat.  I can never resist them and today was no different.  It’s gone now so temptation is removed.  The kitkat is another favourite and has been in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but if you can’t have a treat now and again (especially to recover from the shock of another birthday), then what’s the point!  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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