Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
However for me to even get a chance, I need people to visit http://www.sportingo.com/home/all_blacks_need_get_back/1001,4164
read my article and comment on it. Discuss, agree, argue but comment.
I'd be awfully grateful if you would.
Harvey, as usual when we have this young visitor, felt obliged to put on a show so, after Husband had lifted him into the garden, he walked round a bit. Very slowly but he did it. We waited to see what he would do when he reached the top of the steps as turning causes him some problems but, very gradually, little step by little step, he managed to turn himself round.
Holly can't understand why Harvey is apparently standing, staring into space; she doesn't realise he's adapting my 'I'm just admiring the scenery' approach when I stop, panting, halfway up a hill.
And this evening he ate some fish skin and a bit of dog food - hand-fed by me. One is born every minute.
* * * * * * * * * *
A couple of posts previously I said I'd put my foot in it again. This wasn't blogging related although several people seemed to think it was. Does this mean I have blogged something for which I should be apologising as well?!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
But good intentions aren't always enough. I've done it again, said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I can't say any more than that because of the other people involved; suffice it to say that I am kicking myself again.
* * * * * * * * * *
No change in Harvey, although he did walk a little on his own while I was out.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
We got him onto bed in the kitchen last night and he hasn't moved from there. He hasn't looked for food since the day before yesterday and he doesn't raise his head when I talk to him. He did lift his head to take a couple of treats from me just now but it wasn't his usual grab'n'gulp.
Our community cafe is open for the summer holidays and I'm down there today. If it's very quiet this afternoon - as it might be with the rain we're having - I'll try and come home early.
I don't like to interfere with nature so I'm happy to let them get on with it. I did think about taking fatty and feeding him to Spid (now he is a BIG spider) but thought again.
This morning inspectors arrived at the Skanda Vale community to collect Shambo. They were greeted by crowds of protesters from as far afield as Switzerland and New Zealand. The monks are holding a service of worship in front of Shambo, saying the inspectors will have to desecrate a temple and interrupt an act of worship to get to him.
A spokesman for the Farmers' Union said, 'We do sympathise. I spoke to a farmer yesterday and he'd lost 80 cattle over the last couple of months and you know there wasn't any television coverage of 80 cattle going off his farm but yet he had to face that and was quite emotional.'
He also said that they welcomed the publicity that the disease was getting: TB is an ongoing problem and needs to be dealt with.
I'll keep you informed.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
At a dealer convention in Tennessee, a marketing consultant told her audience how to attract the girls.
"Neatly groomed hair is a good start. Always maintain eye contact. Keep those handshakes firm, but not too firm. Clean the bathrooms. Set up a play area for kids. And do not forget the little things that can help draw in passers-by. Put a plant out there to say you are female-friendly," she said.
Harley-Davidson is making a real effort to win female customers by adjusting the dimensions of bikes - making them closer to the ground for little legs - and making the seat softer - for delicate bottoms. Apparently they've even adapted the skull emblem to include wings and flowers (although I couldn't find any mention of that on the Harley site).
And they're advertising in women's magazines with an image of a female biker using the chrome plating on a bike for a mirror to apply mascara. Because that's what girls do.
I'm not a biker but I think they'd need to make the bikes not only smaller but lighter. I've seen plenty of bikes and I wouldn't fancy holding one between my legs.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
This week I decided to try asking Alun for inspiration. He suggested this:
Friday, July 20, 2007
Not long now. But I am still re-reading book 6 and have to wait for Younger Son to read book 7 first. Although he has said that he can't wait for it to be delivered on Saturday morning and will go to the shop at midnight and buy a copy. He intends to spend the weekend reading it.
Will Harry die, that's the question? Who else will? Will Snape finally be revealed for the goodie he really is? Will the Weasel twins become joke-shop millionaires?
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Husband came home from work and said we'd been invited out and he made me guess by whom. I went through the usual suspects: friends, a work do, family. No, none of those.
'Oh, I don't know. The Prime Minister?!'
'Close,' he said. 'We've been invited to tea with the Queen.'
Along with several hundred others, we'd been invited to one of the Queen's summer garden parties at Buckingham Palace. In those days, Husband was a civil servant, and he'd just battled with cancer, so I think that was why we got the invite.
Although it could be said that I was following in a family tradition. My great-auntie Vi had been twice in her position as President of the local WI, and my uncle John had also been. (Auntie Vi was well-suited to her role in spite of the fact that she swore like a trooper: she had a collection of hats and loved to talk. In fact most members of my family have the gift of the gab, unlike me. Even kissing the blarney stone didn't help in my case.)
But I'm wandering off the point.
It was all very exciting going to the palace, and remarkably relaxed. Apart from soldiers on guard at the front and men with guns on the roof, you'd hardly have known there was any security.
But what I mentioned last night was the fact that, although we'd been invited, we were just part of the throng; the 'important people' were in a little enclosure of their own. And the path the Queen walked down was wide and fenced off.
What's more, late in the afternoon, when I went to ask for a drink, the waitress said she couldn't serve me as the national anthem had just been played and that meant the Queen had left the party so no more drinks could be served. Seeing my disappointment - it was a warm afternoon - she glanced around quickly and surreptitiously poured me a glass of lemon barley.
So what I said last night was that I hoped it wouldn't be like that in heaven. No separate enclosures for the elite - the Mother Teresas and Martin Luther Kings - or the seemingly-superior - the pope and Cliff Richard. And I hope it won't be like a posh feast where I don't know which cutlery to use.
And most of all I hope God won't leave the building.
P.S. The food was very good though. As it will be in heaven. Where chocolate won't be bad for you.xx
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I'm off to a cottage retreat in the Breconshire countryside with Zac's Girls for the day!
I'll tell you about later as well.
Oh, yes, and I'll post a Photohunt piccie too!
Have a good weekend.
Friday, July 13, 2007
But I knew I was pregnant straightaway. It would have been more of a surprise if my period had begun as normal. I just knew it. It hadn't been like that with the other two; I'd waited anxiously, hopefully, then.
So when the doctor said my test was positive, I nodded and said we hadn't planned it. He looked worried; he knew we had two very young children. 'Are you all right with it?'
'Oh, yes,' I beamed. 'It's fine.'
We'd planned another one at least - just not quite yet. But it wasn't a problem.
Even though Husband was changing his job and we'd have to move to Southampton, it wasn't a problem. Even though I would be very pregnant by the time we moved, that was life: we'd cope.
I loved being pregnant. It was just the best time. I was fortunate to be healthy through my pregnancies and I thoroughly enjoyed them.
Is there anything better than feeling a new life kicking inside you? Than lying in the bath watching your belly be distorted this way and that as baby gets his exercise?
The first sign that anything was wrong was a slight blood spotting. I panicked and rushed to the doctor. 'Go home and rest. Put your feet up.'
I didn't move off the settee.
But it got worse. We called the doctor out. He hm-mmed and ha-hed and said to call again if it got worse. It got worse in the middle of the night.
A locum came. Said casually, 'You've almost certainly lost the baby. Let's get you to hospital.'
They took me in an ambulance while Husband stayed at home with the children. (I didn't have any family around - well, I didn't have any family.) The paramedic sitting with me made small talk; I stared at the roof of the ambulance.
In Emergency, a doctor fired questions at me. I couldn't understand what he was saying. At last the nurse sighed and said, 'He wants to know if you smoke.'
'No, no, I don't.'
They took me to a single room off a ward and left me there.
Sometime during the following afternoon a female doctor came in with a nurse. The doctor said, 'We'll just check what's happening.'
The nurse, before she came and sat at the head of the bed, put up a screen that stopped me seeing the doctor's hands. She sat down, took my hand and smiled at me; I smiled back at her. I was still innocent then.
The doctor said, 'It's halfway out.' The nurse squeezed my hand.
The doctor fiddled around a bit more and then that was that.
They took the screen away. And the bucket.
The doctor said, 'You'll be able to have more. Are you hungry?'
The nurse said, 'I'll go and see if I can get you a cup of tea, shall I?'
Then they were gone. With my baby. In a bucket.
* * * * * * * * * *
I had to have a D&C to clean me out properly. The ward I was on was full of women who'd miscarried. Some were childless and had miscarried for the fourth or fifth time. Nobody said anything but the silence after the questions, 'Is it your first miscarriage? Do you have any children?' spoke more than words. 'What are you so sad for? You've got a girl and boy already. What more do you want?' I'm probably misjudging them; it could be that no-one thought that but I only imagined they did. I would have done in their position.
When I saw my doctor afterwards and told him that it had felt as if I were being gutted like a chicken, he said, 'Um. Well, you'll be able to have another one. It was your hormones not being in balance.'
Oh, so it was my fault then.
When I was pregnant with Younger Son, and we were living in Southampton under another doctor, I told him of my anxieties after the miscarriage. He asked how many months I'd been when it had happened and then told me that at that point, it usually meant that the baby was unable to survive because of problems with the baby, not hormonal balance.
I've written this post after reading on jmb's blog about tributes that are made to lost babies (miscarried or aborted) in Japan. There's nothing like that here. Miscarriage is something we treat as normal, an everyday happening. At three months it's not even really a baby, is it? Lots of women I've met who've had miscarriages have been able - or have said they are able - to treat it as unimportant.
I've never written this down before. I've written a fictionalised version but not the reality. Even now I'm hesitant about pushing the Publish Post button.
The only comment my mother-in-law made to me, the only thing she said about my miscarriage, was, 'Well, it would have been difficult to move if you'd been that pregnant.'
Though, thinking about it, she must have said as well, 'You'll be able to have another one.'
But I wanted my baby, my lost one.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The last couple of days he tells me there have been some suspicious characters about.
One asked if he could leave a bag there for someone. He changed his mind later and came back to get it but had to answer some questions from the police.
The other was spotted taking photographs of the airport and I'm told this is illegal now.
Now this would all be rather more worrying if you hadn't seen the airport. I'll let these two quotes from The Budget Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports tell the story for me.
"I lived in a tent off the runway for nearly a year after being evicted from Cork airport in Ireland. It's OK - but seems to lack general facilities, including aeroplanes. There used to be flights to London through Air Wales, but these have now stopped it seems. So if you ever get to the airport your only way out is by foot, bus or stolen car."
"Going to Ireland, rubbish airline delays, so I decided to sleep there. The airport has constant problems with sheep wandering onto the runway, and its facilities are more suited to battery farming than are conducive to a decent night's rest."
Husband set off for Hook at about 6.15 this morning; Harvey set off barking at 6.45 this morning. At 7.00 am I gave up and got up.
Later, I went upstairs to shower and as I reached the landing I heard angelic voices singing sweetly. Younger Son had already left for work and Harvey's bark is anything but angelic so I was slightly puzzled. I wondered if my time had come. Would I, any minute, see a dark tunnel with a light at the end? It would come as a surprise but I've always said that's the way I want to go. I just hadn't anticipated it quite so soon, or unexpectedly.
I mean, if it's my time, last night in circuits would have seemed a more obvious place. I thought my blood would burst through my face after the third time on the NZ station (so-called because it's an exercise used by the All Blacks rugby team).
[I just googled to find images of strong men and weak women to illustrate my point: plenty of strong men but not a weak woman image to be found. Not pc?)
Anyway, back to my imminent death. I followed the noise into my bedroom - and discovered it coming from the alarm clock. Husband must have feared I would sleep all day so he kindly reset the alarm before leaving. He and Harvey conspire against me.
To sleep, perchance to dream.
One of the emails has arrived so back to work.
Suggested changes to the curriculum include teaching cookery. When was it removed? Younger Son did it and that was only 6/7 years ago.
A survey has found that the public's perception of Islam has been adversely affected by the recent failed bombings in London and Glasgow. Well, d'uh. And people get paid to find that out.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
There are lots of intelligent and thought-provoking blogs already on the roll - but this isn't one of them. I would hate for you to mistake me for someone intelligent. (Although Harvey is saying to me, 'Speak for yourself.')
So welcome, and may you be very happy and active members our community.
'Have you ever heard a melon speak before?'
My point was proven.
And now I know where the inspiration for Zippy came from.
P.S. That is Husband's hairy arm not mine.
Monday, July 09, 2007
The film included a number of clips from interviews with a woman who was Tony Blair's personal assistant from 1997 till 2005. She was a first class bitch, who made it perfectly clear, in the most charming and subtle way, what she thought of Cherie. My guess is that she was in love with Tone herself and couldn't bear this intelligent woman having his ear. As well as the rest of him.
Also stayed up on Friday night to see JK Rowling being interviewed by Jonathan Ross. She described Book 7 as a 'bloodbath', then obviously thinking that this might deter some parents from buying it for their children, she corrected herself, 'Well, more than two people die.'
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
As you can see, it's an ideal environment for him with all the dust and cobwebs on the floor. We don't intrude on each other's space and that suits me fine: Spid II is rather large.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Well, anyway, I was looking to see if I had previously written about something that came to me while I was doing the dishes and listening to the Archers. I can't remember what brought it to mind, but last year - or maybe the year before - we went to Ireland on holiday. (It turns out it was 2004!)
We stayed in a beautiful, quite remote, little thatched cottage on the Dingle Peninsula. The lady we were renting it from was there to greet us when we arrived, with a pot of tea and a fresh rhubarb pie. It had been her family home but she now lived in the nearby village. As well as the warmth of the welcome, there was a wood-burning stove, and the house was filled with personal touches, some of which were quite unusual, such as the collection of ornaments on the dresser.
Although the Dingle peninsula is quite small, it takes some time to get anywhere as its road are narrow and windy. There is a main thoroughfare that runs around the peninsula and two lanes that cross it, going over the mountains in the middle. One day we decided we'd go to the north of the peninsula via a lane that led over the top of the mountains.
We were driving along the bottom coastal road when we saw the sign for the first of the 'mountain crossings'. Husband slowed down but as we came to the turning, we saw there was a Road Closed sign. As we were about to drive on, a workman, a hundred yards or so up the road, saw us and signalled to us to come on up.
'That's good,' I said. 'They must be opening the road.'
We drove up and as we approached him, he signalled again, this time for us to stop. I wound down the window and he leaned in before saying confidentially, 'The road's closed.'
If you're not a pray-er, spare a kind thought.
"Some days. although we cannot pray, a prayer
Carol Ann Duffy
Now a short story.
A man lies in the gutter, drunk, and probably out of it on drugs. He's been punched about a bit by some youths who think he's an easy target. He is barely conscious and his head is bleeding.
A car comes down the road and the driver, a vicar, slows down when he sees the man. The vicar, is on his way to his parish council meeting. He is hoping they will agree to pay for some new gold goblets for communion; the ones they have at present are losing their sheen. It won't look good if he's late for the meeting. He drives on.
A priest comes along the pavement. He has just finished hearing confession and is looking forward to getting home and eating his dinner cooked for him by his loyal housekeeper. He is wondering what delight she will have conjured up tonight when he spots the man in the gutter. He hesitates, then tells himself it would be wrong of him to let his dinner go cold when the poor woman has put so much effort into it. He doesn't think the man is one of his congregation anyway. The priest hurries past.
Ahmed from the corner shop is stretching his legs when he spots the man in the gutter. He hurries over and asks if he's all right. He sees that the man is bleeding badly and pulls him onto the pavement and leans him against a wall. He runs back to the shop, goes upstairs to his apartment and fetches a blanket. He tells his wife to call an ambulance then runs back and wraps the blanket round the man. He stays with him, talking quietly, trying to reassure him, although he's not sure how much the man is understanding.
The next day he phones the hospital to see how the man is. The nurse says he is improving; Ahmed is relieved.
"Love your neighbour as yourself."
"And who is my neighbour?"
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The 120-mile route went from Greenwich, London, to Canterbury, Kent.
Out of those 5,000 cyclists, Son-in-law had the 56th fastest time, only 22 minutes slower than the fastest.
As someone whose hips ache if she rides a bike more than a mile, I am full of awe. Well done, S-i-l. We're proud of you.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Both provided home-made scones and a choice of home-made jam along with a proper pot of tea. What edged C&E into the lead was the dollop of extra thick cream (not clotted but next best thing).
The other thing I forgot to mention was that I had my first Indian head massage in one of the hotel spas. It was good - relaxing and enjoyable - if over too quickly, but not as phwoaring as my orgasmatron.
And now something completely different.
While cleaning the toilet floor, I started singing to myself, 'Little White Bull,' and for the life of me I can't think how the little white bull came 'trotting right behind them,', when 'only black bulls fight'. A case for Google I think.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
P.S. Looking for photos I saw a review in the Independent of this production: it was not so enthusiastic, but, hey, I'm a small town girl not a pretentious theatre critic. What do I know?