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Archive for November, 2009

Tired Now

Friday 27 November 2009

I’ve spent the week cleaning.  Not flicking-a-duster-about-pushing-the-vacuum-around kind of cleaning, but real deep-down-move-everything-wash-everything-throw-lots-of-things-away cleaning.

This was all caused by the demise of our old television and once it was removed to the tip it left behind an empty and very dusty space.  That made the rest of the room look dusty too, which of course it was since old TVs are not best-known for lightness, therefore making cleaning behind and around them impossible.  Lots of other old electrical equipment started to look a bit nervous, as indeed it might, for with the space cleared we were able to see the majority of them properly for the first time in years.

We advertised the first, a laser disk player, on Freecycle where it was snapped up in under an hour.  This led us to think that perhaps it was valuable as a collector’s piece since it was the forerunner of the modern DVD player (only a lot bigger).  We checked on Ebay, but fortunately it wasn’t!  They were being offered for about £5, local collection only and we figured if that’s all they were fetching it wasn’t worth the aggrevation.  The guy that came to collect it clicked with Gordon straight away after shaking his hand as he got out of his car.  They discussed the merits of LPs over CDs and other men-type things and this guy told us he liked fixing electrical items.  To say that in the presence of a man who’d made up his mind that it all had to go was probably a mistake on his part as he ended up with the TV stand (with built-in speaker), a record player, a video player and the laser disk player, none of which were guaranteed to work.  Lots of space then, with lots of dust underneath.  I have wiped, washed and scrubbed in some cases, and the room now looks a lot cheerier.  It still isn’t finished even though the new flatscreen arrived this afternoon.  Gordon’s much happier and once again has settings to fiddle with.  He’s in his element.  I’ll watch it when he’s finished!

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Friday 20 November 2009

I didn’t mention my two main birthday presents so thought I would now even though my birthday seems ages ago but was in fact four days!  My daughters bought me a Nintendo DS and the Brain Training pack and Gordon bought me a new LG phone.  I had such trouble with my last good phone that it ended going back to the shop almost a year after I’d bought it.  It had a wonderful organiser and camera, it just had lousy reception and was constantly informing callers that the phone they’d dialled was turned off.  It wasn’t of course since I am the mother of girls for goodness sake!  Everyone knows you have to be constantly reachable when you have offspring, especially of the female variety.

Anyway, I digress – yes, again!  This new phone has a great organiser, a great camera and has so far rung three times!  It’s not that it doesn’t ring, it’s just that no-one has tried to contact me.  The girls have corresponded via text messages – a little disappointing since I have a wonderful ringtone.  But hey-ho.

The DS is something I’ve quietly been hankering after for a little while and already I find I’m totally addicted, so much so that I think I may have given myself something resembling arc-eye.  That or I’m coming down with a severe cold and my eye is a warning sign.  I’m kind of hoping it’s the cold because then I can carry on using the DS without permanent damage to my eyesight.  In the meantime I’m wiping my eye with a tissue to keep it gunk-free.

Nothing much else has been going on around the farm this week.  I’ve had a fairly quiet one, sorting, freecycling, clearing.  I’m up-to-date with the accounts, all the correspondence and even the majority of the housework since the girls were both home at the weekend and helped me get the house ready for friends to visit on Saturday evening.

The tube on our TV went last week so we’ve ordered a new, all-singing, all-dancing flatscreen which won’t arrive for another week.  In the meantime I’m using the lack of one to thoroughly tidy the room we euphemistically call ‘the study’ where it lives.  It’s full of books we never read, videos we never watch, an old sewing machine, various bits of audio-visual equipment that don’t work and Gordon’s enormous speakers!  Something has to go.  When I suggested the speakers Gordon went into some strange denial thing that men do when you suggest getting rid of old familiar things.

“No”, he said.  “There’s nothing wrong with those speakers – they’re very good ones.  They cost a lot of money when they were new.”

“Yes”, I pointed out “but that was almost forty years ago now.”

“They’re aren’t that old” he said, affronted.  “I bought them in the 70s.”

I rest my case.

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Wednesday 18 November 2009

I received an e-mail from a friend this morning and had to share it.  She sent it because she knows how I feel about circular e-mails, but it did make me laugh and it’s true – all of it!  So be warned!

I just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel or have lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can’t use the remote in a hotel room because I don’t know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can’t sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one’s nose (although mobile phone usage may be taking the number one spot).

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans-fats I have consumed over the years.

I can’t touch any woman’s handbag for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public toilet and the bottom is contaminated with faeces.

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge for every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the huge cheque that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me and St Theresa’s novena has granted me my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I can no longer buy petrol or diesel without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won’t crawl into my back seat when I’m filling up.

I won’t stop for a police car unless I’m in a busy place in case it’s someone pretending to be the police who really intends to abduct and murder me.

I no longer use clingfilm in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Fanta since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put ‘Under God’ on their cans.

And thanks for letting me know I can’t boil a cup of water in the microwave any more because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Woolies since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my bum.

And thanks to your great advice I can’t ever pick up a £5 note dropped in the carpark because it was probably placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can’t buy petrol from certain fuel companies.

I can’t do any gardening because I’m afraid I’ll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

I’ve learned that if I don’t forward an e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes a large dove with diarrhea will land on my head at 5.00 pm this afternoon and the fleas from twelve camels will infest my back, causing me to grow a hairy lump.  I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next-door neighbour’s ex-mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s beautician.

PS – I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because water splashes over 6ft out of the toilet every time you flush.

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Birthday Weekend

Tuesday 17 November 2009

I’ve been busy having a birthday!  It was a long one this year.  Alex came home from university on Friday evening, I had presents on Saturday as well as friends round in the evening, had my actual birthday on Monday with lunch out, then went out this evening for a proper birthday meal.  I think that might be it now.  Birthday over.

Normal service should resume shortly.

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Meh

Thursday 12 November 2009

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Last Friday Terri, Dad and I took ourselves off to watch Bridgwater Carnival from the comfort of a grandstand seat booked several months ago.  We were tucked into the corner which made it difficult to actually get to our seats, but once there we found that we were warm and dry, something the poor people standing beside the road were definitely not able to say.  Up until now that’s been us: standing beside the road soaking up the atmosphere, heat from the illuminated floats and the rain.  Bridgwater calls this a Guy Fawkes procession, but why Mr Fawkes couldn’t have had a date named after him earlier in the year (say the middle of the summer) is still a source of annoyance.  At least in the grandstand the wind didn’t howl at our backs so our already wet clothes didn’t chill us to the bone, but I found the procession lacked something for me this year.  Perhaps it is the heat of the lights and the experience of standing that close to a large illuminated float that makes it.  Who knows?  The entries were good as usual, but the photo above was one of my favourites.  These dragons were fitted with gas pipes which produced a jet of flame from their mouths that was both impressive in appearance and noise.  I tried for a photo but all the floats rushed past this year and timing on the flame-throwing was random, so I wasn’t able to catch it.

I’ve had a something and nothing kind of week.  We went to Cheltenham to visit Alex on Monday and spent the day mooching about dabbling with Christmas shopping.  On the plus side, I bought myself two rather nice pairs of boots which were very reasonably priced: one pair knee-length with heels and the other flat-heeled with studs and buckles around the ankles.  The flat-heeled ones jingle when I walk and make me sound like a cowboy with spurs, but they’re very yummy.

Alex is coming home on Friday evening for the weekend when we’ll be gathering for drinks to celebrate my birthday (not until Monday) with a few friends.  By Monday Alex will be back in Cheltenham so the weekend will be the best time.

The MEH of the title?  It’s what the girls say when I ask them how they are!  I get the impression it means something like ‘yes, ok, but nothing special’ and it’s how I’m feeling at the moment.  The fact that I’ve just eaten something from a tin that described itself as ‘beef ravioli’ but bore no resemblance to either beef or ravioli other than in shape, and has left an aftertaste that resembles the tin more than anything else may have something to do with it.  I feel like I’ve been sucking pennies or something.  I know it’s a taste that will linger, much to my disgust.  I knew it was a bad idea when I saw the horrible artificial tomato colour of it, but I was hungry and being lazy.  I’ll try not to do that again!

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Bridgwater Carnival Tomorrow

Thursday 5 November 2009

Happy Bonfire Night to one and all.  I hope the fireworks haven’t bothered your animals (if you have them) too much.  Our neighbours have been letting them off over the course of several days and apart from the odd cat tearing through the catflap at an incredible rate of knots there don’t seem to be any ill effects.  The cows are in at night now especially since it seems to have rained an awful lot during the past few nights so there isn’t a problem with a stray rocket landing on their heads.

Gordon’s mum was admitted to hospital yesterday in ‘respitory distress’ and the nurse who examined her before calling an ambulance said it might have been pneumonia.  I visited her last night in the Medical Assessment Unit at Musgrove Park Hospital and Gordon went this evening.  He tells me they’ve diagnosed something with a series of initials which he thinks may be CAPD, but then he is dyslexic!  I’m pretty sure he’s got that in the right order though and we think the PD bit stands for Pulmonary Disease.  If you know different, please let me know.

Terri and I are going to watch Bridgwater Carnival tomorrow evening and have grandstand seats for the performance.  We go every year with Dad, who generally takes along a folding chair because he finds it hard to stand for that length of time so we thought it was about time to move into the grandstand.  I think they’re under cover too so we’ll be OK if it rains.  If you’ve never heard of Bridgwater Carnival I’d recommend googling it as well as typing it into the search box at YouTube.  It’s the largest illuminated carnival in the country and we’ve been watching it since we were small.

Update: Thanks to Terri for pointing out that it’s COPD which stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  Now we know.

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Fixing

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Now and again I’m called upon by friends to come and look at their computer because it’s running slow, playing-up or not running at all.  I can go for months at a time with no-one contacting me, but I’ve come to the conclusion that computers play-up in cycles.  In the past week I’ve been asked to look at six computers, some of which won’t connect to the internet, some of which need reformatting and one that needed setting up.  This isn’t because I’m a computer expert; more a computer-geek who spends far too much time delving into what makes a computer tick.  I’ve always been like that even as a child.  I once took apart my mother’s tape deck to see why the reel-to-reel tape kept getting caught up.  I thought it would be a good idea to mend it so she would think I was clever, but oddly enough she didn’t, particularly since I couldn’t put it back together again.  It was the springs, you see.  I took the top off and it was holding down at least ten little springs, which leapt into the air simultaneously, leaving me with no idea where they’d come from or more importantly, where they should go back!

Anyway, back to computers.  The first pc I owned was temperamental and someone told me about a wonderful technique of cleaning everything up – reformatting.  It sounded like the perfect solution and he explained that you just typed in ‘format c:’ at the prompt and away it all went.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to ask him “then what?” and spent about a fortnight trying to work out how to revive my computer!  Both computers and I have come a long way since then.

I set up a new computer for my parents’ friends yesterday and today it wouldn’t connect to the internet so I made a quick decision, phoned dad, asked if he wanted to come for a visit while I sorted it out, then go on to lunch afterwards.  He’s fairly gloomy at the moment, feeling lonely on his own and shut in by the bad weather we’ve been having, so he jumped at the offer.  We went to The Maypole Inn at Thurloxton and had a wonderful lunch as usual.  We recommended the Sticky Toffee Pudding to the ladies on the next table and dad told James, the chef that it had been mentioned in Somerset Life – high praise indeed.

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