Friday, April 21, 2017

Earthquakes in London

Last night I went to the theatre. On my own. 

It was an amateur production of a play called Earthquakes in London and I knew two of the people appearing in it. It was a last minute decision to go: I'd been dithering but wanted to support them, so I checked the start time on their Facebook page and went.

And arrived just after it had started - 15 minutes before Facebook had said.

I slid into a seat, which happened to be on the front row. It's one of those trendy small theatre areas that don't have a raised stage and you're eyeball to eyeball with the performers. And then I noticed it. The strange smell. No, not strange, downright horrible. Rather like stinky fish but worse. It was so bad it distracted me from the play.

I tried to sniff my neighbours - subtly of course - but couldn't work out from where the smell emanated so I was greatly relieved when it came time for the interval. It happened that I knew three women sitting in the row behind. One of them said she'd noticed the smell and thought it came from the little woman on my right.

There was a spare seat in their row so for the second half I joined them and, apart from the odd whiff, it was happily pong-free. I can only assume the poor woman had a problem - in university there was a boy who although always scrupulously clean and smartly dressed had a strange odour that was alleged to be hormone related - and I do feel sorry for her, but, oh, I still had the smell in my nose when I got home and went to bed.

As for the play, well, it was long and quite depressing but very well done.

I was looking for something else and came across this from January 2008

George makes a break for it

Yes, that's right, George 'Don't make me go out of the front door on my own' has discovered the joys of 'other people's gardens'. 

He loves the postman. As soon as he spots the post-van pulling up he gets excited, then, after the postman has been to our house (or made a fuss of him even if he isn't delivering to us), George stands at the front of the garden and watches him on his way.Our garden has a drop at the front as you see so he can't get out that way but, a few minutes after the postman had gone, I realised he'd disappeared. I wandered round the garden and house, calling, but there was no response.

Outside on the road there was no sign of him and he didn't appear when I called. At that moment, the postman came along, returning to his van. 'Have you lost him?' he said. 'Geeoorrgge!'

At the sound of the postman's voice, George comes round from the back of the next-door-but-one-neighbour's house, looking innocent as the day is long.

We - the postman and I - figured he'd squeezed round the very front of the wall separating the neighbours' garden from ours; I've put a bucket there temporarily until Husband comes home at the weekend and can fix it.

Our garden is beginning to look like it's been done-over by one of those trendy television gardening programmes. Wire mesh is the new decking, don't you know?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Incomplete without ice cream

A while ago I complained about my mouse. Last week, just before the bank holiday, I said, 'Right, that's it! I'm getting a new one. This one is driving me crazy.'

Imagine my delight then when the next time I came to use my mouse it was working fine. Husband had worked his magic on it.

'How did you do that?' I asked him.
'Bit of spit and a tissue.'


* * * * * * * * *
Having been assured by the doctor yesterday that going away on holiday was fine - even with my 'condition' - Husband has booked us a week in Lanzarote in May. Since the end of November at least life has been a bit full on what with one thing and another. It's no wonder several people have remarked on how tired I look. (And there was me thinking I looked as gorgeous as ever!)

Within the Canary islands we've visited Fuerteventura and Tenerife but not Lanzarote. Apparently there's a live volcano and you can eat in a restaurant that uses the heat of the volcano to cook. I'll be glad just to lie in the sun/shade and read and swim and sleep. And eat ice cream. I just hope we can find an ice cream shop as good as the one run by an Italian lady in Fuerteventura. The success of my holiday depends on it.
In Italy in March 2012

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Calm after the storm

If I'd been a premenstrual grammar pedant instead of just a grammar pedant I might have done serious damage in the waiting room at the hospital today. 'One in three women suffer premenstrual tension.'

Still, arguing with Husband about its correctness or not took my mind off my up-coming appointment. And when we'd finally agreed to disagree guessing the make-up of the British Lions squad (due to be announced at noon) took us through another thirty minutes.

The registrar apologised when we eventually got in: she was doing the clinic on her own. And it's the same old, same old. My cyst or whatever it is is the same size but my blood markers have gone down - so that's good. Generally the registrar suggested it's better to avoid surgery and as I'm very low risk that's what we agreed I'd do. Go back in four months for another scan, blood test, check, and so on. 

I'd gone there thinking I'd say yes to surgery to avoid having this hanging over me but, hey, I'm fine, so let's carry on as we are.

'You should have the coil removed though,' the registrar said.
'Will they do that if I have surgery?'
'I'll do it now for you.'

Oh no, really? You don't have to do that. I'm fine. It's been there donkey's years; it can stay a bit longer, I don't mind. Honestly I don't ... 'Go in that examination room? Really? It will hurt.'
'No, it won't,' she assured me. 'If I can't see it easily I won't do it.'

Then when the nurse says, 'You can squeeze my hand,' you know it is going to hurt. But not for long. So now I am foreign-body-less.

Now the hospital is right next to Singleton Park so after the appointment we went to visit the botanic garden. It is a beautiful oasis of calm.

At first sight I thought this was a peony.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Is Put in?

So there is to be a general election. The conservatives are riding high in the polls and are likely to win, which can only mean things are going to get worse.

And with education being one of the services to suffer we'll no doubt see more of the 'In Constant Use' signs in front of drives when they quite clearly are not in constant use. Frequent use, regular use, occasional use, yes, but not constant. Forgive me. One of my little foibles.

The NHS, which is under pressure now, will struggle even more with four years of Tory rule especially if they have a clear majority, so perhaps when I go to see the consultant tomorrow, if they offer me an operation, I should take it before waiting list times get even longer. Oh dear.

At 5.30 am I could think of a whole host of things that I urgently needed to do today but by the time I got up, after tossing and turning for two hours, I'd forgotten them all. 

I'm sorry, this post is very gloomy. I won't publish it just yet. I shall wait to see if I can think of something more cheerful. Oh I know!

Yesterday on the radio I heard part of a TED talk. Apparently back in the first half of the 20th century a psychiatrist did experiments on human brains studying the effect that electric currents had on different lobes. Nowadays they're not allowed to experiment on people so this particualr scientist is doing similar tests on the brains of drosophila. Do you know what drosophila are? I do but only because we studied genetics in school using them. They are fruit flies. Have you seena fruit fly? Can you imagine how small its brain is? 

Yet scientists are applying electricity to specific parts (?) and then, wait for it, checking to see if it affects the emotions. Of a fruit fly.

I think this scientist might have been exaggerating slightly because when quizzed it turned out that what they do is blow at them. 'Puff' 'And the more we puff at them the more agitated they seem to become. Like wasps when you try to swat them.'

Then he tried to say that in 50 years time they'll be able to apply electricity to certain parts of teh brain using a pill.

Either these people are extraordinarily clever or I am extraordinarily dumb.

And then there was the researcher - who presumably got paid money - who found out that shoe laces come loose because of the movement of the shoe. Now, who'd have thought it?

Finally my take on an old - but my favourite - joke.
What a beautiful day, the sort of day that makes you want to go and knock on the door of the Kremlin and ask, 'Is Put in?'

Okay, perhaps not as good as Ken Dodd's Lenin but I was pleased with myself.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The best little railway in town

Just watched the last episode of Homeland and more confused than ever.

It doesn't help that we're also watching Designated Survivor and I keep getting confused in what's happened where. Then switching to Grace and Frankie where Jed Bartlett is now gay and auditioning for musical theatre ...

Meanwhile back in the real world, we went on the little trains today! Yay! Twice! In the morning with GrandSon4 - his first ever ride on the miniature railway - and then this afternoon with the other local grandchildren. Social media has a lot to answer for. It used to be a quiet little place that only the locals and regulars knew about. Then someone mentioned it on Facebook as a great way to entertain children at a very cheap price - 50p a ride - and now the queues go round in circles. Great fun though.

Spent most of the rest of the day trying to design a poster for an exercise class. Tomorrow I'll have to start distributing it.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What do you call a starfish with four legs?

So it's Easter Sunday and that means Lent is over and with it my Lenten resolution to blog every day. However I think it's a good disciple so I shall try to maintain it.

As I write this my typing is even worse than usual as I can barely keep my eyes open. Up at 5.30 to cook breakfast in Zac's followed by prison followed by a lovely walk to Pobbles with family - and the inevitable bear hunt in caves - finishing up with leftover lamb and salad for dinner, an episode of Suits and an episode of Gilmore Girls and I'm ready for bed.

But here's the four-limbed starfish GrandDaughter1 rescued from a rock and returned to a pool where it perked up immediately.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Deadlines, flipping deadlines

Today, 15th of the month, is the deadline for my next article for The Bay magazine. While I can't imagine that anyone will do anything with it before Tuesday it's a matter of principle for me to get it in on time. 

When I was in Linden church I edited the local newspaper we published and the problems I had with people missing their deadlines ... I'm clenching my fists even as I think about it.

So I'm sitting at the computer finishing off the article. Yes, it's a bit late - 7.59 pm - but it's still the 15th and that's what counts. I'd thought a bit about what I would write and thought I'd planned it out but when I started writing yesterday the prose was very dull and glum so I had to rethink it.

The rewrite began well but floundered towards the end, which is where I'm struggling now. I think I've finished it to my satisfaction but I'm in such a state of panic that I can no longer judge whether what I'm writing even makes sense.

But I'm going to send it off now - in a minute. That good old Welsh time, which could be anywhere between now and when I go to bed. Which had better not be too late as I'm up at 5.30 tomorrow to go and cook bacon at Zac's. Every Easter Sunday people from a number of churches in Swansea gather for a sunrise service on the beach and come back to us for breakfast afterwards. And then I'm in prison.

I know how to live.