Saturday, July 31, 2004

The animals went in two by two

Why is it that so many words for female animals are used in a derogatory way when applied to women, but the equivalent terms for male animals are often used in an admiring fashion? I mean, when someone wants to be really offensive to a woman she is called a bitch, a silly cow, a stupid mare or a spiteful vixen.

What impression do the terms 'stud' or 'buck' convey? Virility, power, sexiness. Not sweat, stench, hairiness.

But why are some female terms universally disrespectful while others, although screamingly patronising, aren't intended as being so? 'Pen' for example. Or 'duck' (eek!) or 'hen' (considered perfectly okay north of the border). Another thought: in the 1960s 'bird' or 'chick' was an eminently acceptable appellation for a man's female companion. Now it's likely to get a chap thumped!

Friday, July 30, 2004

We're busy doing nothing

First thing this morning (well, not actually first thing – that involved getting washed, dressed, jogging to the newsagent’s to buy the paper, having breakfast then checking the internet for interesting overnight happenings) I phoned the doctor’s surgery to find out when my morning appointment was. Oops. I replaced the receiver and immediately set off, hoping I wouldn’t be too late. For once my timing was perfect and I arrived a minute before my name was called. Shame. The waiting room was empty of drunks and ill people so I wouldn’t have caught anything.

It turns out my only physical problem is slightly raised cholesterol (Yay! The liver-function’s fine! Open another bottle!), and I was advised on a suitable diet to correct the potential problem. The trouble is, the advised diet is my normal diet, so I can’t see a lot of change there in the immediate future. This also means that my other physical symptoms are psychosomatic. Fair enough. I can deal with that.

The rest of the day was spent pottering, then we went to a localish (3 miles away) pub to see if there were any cachers hoping to log a first-to-find. Two pints later (no luck, but nice beer!) it was home-time, to eat more hastily-cooked-before-it-goes-off-accidentally-thawed-out food, and for Ned to take part in (and win! Hurrah!) SimonG's Dressing-up Competition.

The Boy’s at his mate’s party and will return to sleep then load the car (my car!) for his drive to Cornwall on Sunday. I bet he won’t phone to let us know he’s not been mashed on the road. I will worry until he’s home safely. That’s my job.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Here, there and everywhere

Our second cache has been in place for nearly a week, and nobody’s found it yet! Ned was astounded to get an email from one person who related his attempt-to-find, what figures they’d used from the waypoints (all correct), described where they’d looked for nearly two hours, and yet still failed to find. He then asked if he could log it as a ‘First to Find’ anyway! Now, I’m not quite certain how “Completely failed to find” can possibly equate with “First to find”. Maybe it’s a strange new use of English which I’ve never come across before. After all, we are still very much newbies at the caching game. Anyway, we said no, better luck next time! Cheeky so-and-so! (I see he’s logged it as a ‘Failed-to-Find’ now. Come on boys and girls! Who’s going to take the prize?)

CNPS: 102

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Wherever I wander ...

Our break was successful. On the journey down we saw car number 99 as we left our village, and 150 miles and 3 hours later saw 100 as we entered my mother’s village. Since then we have driven to Dover, around Calais, back to Mother’s, around the area this morning caching and back home still without seeing 101 (of which we saw plenty before we needed it). At least we know one lives outside the Red Lion in the village – what’s the betting they’ve gone on holiday?

This morning we notched up four caches (darn, ‘team Minstrelcat’ had done them last October!). The first was quite amusing, because we were treated to a guided tour of the site by the resident gardener. Now, I’m interested in history, and old buildings, and gardens and plants, so half of me wanted to carry on chatting to this bloke, and the other half wanted to get on with hunting! But patience won through, and we found it. (I wonder if he was the one who placed it? We must check the placer’s profile.) The next two went pretty much according to plan, but the fourth was again made more of a challenge because we had to pretend we hadn’t seen where another cacher was emerging from! We walked on down the path and waited round the corner, but they caught up with us and we got to chatting. It was only the chap’s second cache, which made us feel like old hands at the game! After they’d gone, we turned ourselves around three times and tried to forget where we’d seen him coming from. I’m pretty sure we’d have looked in that spot anyway – it was a place I’d have hidden something.

Anyway, I think it’s good to be home. The walls are still standing, so that’s a plus. There seem to be rather more empty bottles in the house than there should be (especially when you consider that the Boy had been very good and put the box out for recycling yesterday). Another slight problem is that, when he helped himself to some ice cream yesterday, he didn’t properly shut the door of the freezer, and so I have a load of lovely soft food. Salmonella, anyone?

CNPS: 100!! Woo! Yay!

Monday, July 26, 2004

I'm on the road again

I’ll be taking a brief blogging holiday cos we’re off to visit my Ma in Sussex, fit in a booze-cruise and do a bit of caching if we’ve time. The Boy will be holding the fort and, with luck, remembering to feed and walk the dogs in his rare moments of consciousness.

I wonder what chaos will greet us on our return.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The way we were

Ooh, that programme brought back memories. Now that there is no typical Sunday suppertime programme (Inspector Morse, Miss Marple, Hornblower etc) I concede that the best TV in the slot at the moment is Top Gear. Tonight's programme was brilliant, even for a non-car-loving girly like wot I am. There was a parachutist trying to land in a moving sports car (he did it at about the eighth attempt, with the car moving at 50 mph and him at 70 mph, dropping at 160 feet per second). Then there was the seasonally topical "What is the best car in the snow" slot. They showed archive TV footage from what looked like the winter of 62-63, which I remember vividly. We were living in Scotland, nearish to Inverness, and there was snow on the ground from the middle of September 1962 till the beginning of April 1963. The was even ice on the sea. But the memories were really triggered by the sight of Jeremy Clarkson, on skis, being towed along the roads behind a car. Because where we were living was very flat, although there was lots of snow, and we all had toboggans, there were no hills. We used to hitch the sledge to the rear bumper of the car and be dragged at speed along the roads and over the beaches.

Mr Health and Safety would have had kittens. We lived.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Who shall have a fishy ...

Tonight's supper was brought to us courtesy of Ned's New Toy. For months he's had a fixation for Cobb cookers - the result of an unholy alliance between a steamer and a barbecue. Apparently it can cook a chicken in an hour and a half using eight charcoal briquettes. Anyway, he's been scouring all the camping shops to no avail, and was recently watching some on Ebay, but before the bidding closed one was delivered to our door the other day. I wonder how that happened.

So rather than the first trial being 'experimental chicken' he cooked new potatoes and seabass (though chicken would have been cheaper. I just think undercooked fish is safer than undercooked chicken). The fish was very good indeed. The potatoes, cooked within three hours of being dug from the vegetable garden, weren't as good as they could have been, especially the ones that weren't foil-wrapped. But that's just being picky. 'Real' fresh food, cooked simply and served straight away, is the best.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Hooray! Hooray! It's a holi-holiday!

Hurrah! Ned and I have both got next week off work! It’s been a long time since Christmas, and although I love my job, I’m in need of a break. I’ve emailed the office manager about all the things I want checked on Monday morning (and the email hasn’t bounced, so I must have got the address right) so with luck it won’t all go belly-up and I find my P45 waiting for me on my return. I expect I’ll phone in on Monday to make sure. (Note to self: Let go. Switch off. Nobody’s indispensable.)

So what will we do with our break? Much to the Boy’s annoyance we haven’t booked to go away anywhere (he wanted to be paid to look after the dogs, and trash the place with a party), so I expect we’ll do exciting stuff like a booze-cruise, go caching, plant a cache and generally potter about unwinding. I want to buy a new washing machine, and visit my mother who I haven’t seen for far too long (not this year, anyway).

A week when we can be us. I like Us.

CNPS: 98

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Art for Art's sake

Ooh! I’ve been invited to a Private Viewing of a one-man art exhibition at a gallery in London! Trouble is, it’s on the 10th August which is a Tuesday, which will mean leaving work early to catch a train to the Big Smoke. I never used to understand this guy’s work years ago – what he saw, I didn’t – but it was powerful. He’s had years and years to either refine it or take it completely off the wall. I’m sorely tempted to go down and discover which it was, though I have my suspicions. It would be nice to see him again too – we parted company in Silver Jubilee year. I bet his hair isn’t thick and to his waist any more! Feel free to invite friends, he says ...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I can't keep it in

My medical tests were quite amusing in an odd sort of way. I had my usual discussion with the person who summoned me from the waiting room (“Actually, the surname isn’t Brady, but I suppose it’s near enough”. “Are you sure? I’m certain that’s what it says on your notes … oh no, you’re right.”). Then she took the blood sample, which wasn’t a bother as I’ve been a blood donor for more years than most us can remember, and I know the needle routine. I thought it was unusual the way she removed the needle before pressing on the vein, and when she went to get the sticking-plaster I pressed it firmer. The plaster went on, and she pointed me in the direction of the bed, told me to strip to the waist and lie down for the ECG. It was when I was lying there in the semi-nude that I noticed that the sticking plaster, although still stuck, wasn’t really stopping the flow of blood. My top-half clothes were unscathed, but my cut-offs, and the bed, and the nurse by this time as well, were liberally smeared. I reckon it was because my arm is used to pumping out a pint at a time, not a measly test-tube full. So it did. Of course, it could be because she didn’t press the vein shut before she removed the needle … Once I was mopped up and the flow staunched the ECG pads were applied and a recording taken, and I got dressed again.

A few heads turned and there were one or two gasps as I left through the waiting-room. I’m sure I’ll be able to remove the stains.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning

Tonight I was going to start my attempt at breaking Rich’s site by loading the pics of Genie Towers onto his Great Adventure Game. But as I was sitting working out what to do everything went all woozy and started spinning round, and now I don’t feel very well at all. I think I’ll have an early night.

CNPS: 96

Monday, July 19, 2004

Just my imagination

We are down to two outside clue-writers at work now. When I started there a year ago there were four - one who wrote synonym clues, and three cryptic writers. As the months passed, the synonym writer left (but that's easy enough to do ourselves, with frequent referral to our very large friend Roget) and recently we parted company with one of the cryptic composers, which was a mixed blessing; he had good ideas, and his well-written clues were excellent, but the pure opals were hidden in a lot of potch.

So then there were two. We have met one of the other writers and his wife (who checks completed crosswords for us) a few times, and get on well. The other day we met our final writer for the first time. We have got to know her through her work for us, and brief emails, and as you do we each had formed a mental image of her. She is clever, she has a sharp sense of humour, and she is a vicar.

No, she doesn't look like Dawn French!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Follow me, follow

After the morning's chores were done (mow the lawn, clip the hedge, weed a flowerbed etc) Ned and I set about recceing the site for our next cache. We used to visit this particular place frequently - generally once a week in fact - but we haven't been there for over 10 years, and needed to refresh our memories as to the layout. What we remembered as being there was still there, and various plans were mentally drawn up. But this is to be a multi-cache, so what about the final location? We decided to explore an area we only visited once in the old days. And we soon realised why we didn't bother walking the dogs there. Bear in mind that this is mid-July, and although it's not been very warm so far, it's not been particularly wet. That didn't stop the path being ankle-deep in mud in places - which means that it isn't particularly busy. Ideal, in fact!

CNPS: 91

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Thank you for the days

Bear with me, this may be disjointed!
Today was good. My ancient washing machine staggered on valiantly despite recently being 'sprung' smoking and duly undergoing 3 weeks of detention and hard labour. Once the laundry was on the line Ned and I went off to bag a couple of caches, the first of which was in a most beautiful area of woodland. There were massive sweet chestnut trees that must be at least 300 years old. I found the atmosphere invigorating and it seemed to recharge my batteries as I felt the stress fall away from me. My shoulders straightened and I felt like 'me' again. It was wonderful. When we got home I started taking photos of the rooms in the house for Rich's estate agency (thanks Simon) Great Adventure Game which might be viewable if he can sort out a way to smallify my pics, cos there's no way I can!
After that I played the Ironing Game while Ned popped round to his gang's houses to arrange a weekend canoeing trip (Teme work. Ahahaha) and was plied with beer at each house...
The lottery was pants as usual, so no new car this week, and the spuds were the wrong variety (Maris Piper) for mashing, and sausage-and-potato-soup isn't great. then we watched a brill programme about longbows and how we trounced the enemy on their own ground (after they'd won the toss and chosen ends) at Agincourt, then missed another about the trial of Dr Crippen. I wish I'd seen that because my grandpa attended the trial and was convinced of Crippen's innocence. If the latest revelations are true, he was right.
So today was a good day, and I'm a happy girl. :)
CNPS: Still not seen 90 (when we've been looking for it).

Friday, July 16, 2004

Picture this

I was going to blog about how pants it is that nothing ever works how you want it to, but that would have necessitated pointing out that Henry the Thirst always says that, so I’d have had to do a link to his blog to make me look efficient and au fait with technology, but I’ve lost the scrap of paper (it was in the pile of useful paper on top of the CDs) that told me how to do links. The event that prompted this realisation was our taking part in SimonG’s (insert link) Friday evening half-hour dressing-up game (insert next link). Tonight’s challenge was to dress up as Blackadder (link), and having almost got to grips with the workings of the digital camera we duly got the costume and took the snap (oh, let's bung one in here too). That took 5 minutes. The rest of the time was spent trying to upload/send/post the rotten thing to be able to enter the competition. That part took half an hour. It all sounds so simple in theory. The stress levels are astronomical.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Goodness gracious me

Today was the day for my regular medico visit which is required to keep me on the straight-and-narrow and prevent me going around biting the heads off strangers and sniping at Ned and the Boy for the simple, but otherwise punishable by death, reason of being male and therefore responsible for everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of the world, ever. He took my blood pressure (which was slightly raised from its usual rock-bottom "are you still alive?" level, but in my defence I had been trapped in the waiting room for half an hour with the village 'character' who smells of many things, only one of which (swig) is marketable. I was then asked me a few unusual questions, my honest replies to which prompted him to get out a form and book me in for blood tests and an ECG.

Oh heck. I wish I'd lied.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A movie or a measure

I had a real adrenalin rush this morning, that took me some time to recover from. I knew I should be sitting a very important exam, but I had no idea where exactly I had to go, what time the exam started, or even in what subject I was supposed to be proving myself. More time was wasted trying to decide whether I should wait for Ned to get home so I could take the big car, or upset the Boy by taking the small one he uses, but Ned got home before too long so I took the big one. I arrived at the centre where the exams were being held, only to be told that I should have been there yesterday. Aaarrrgh! Disaster! But to my relief the nice organiser-person told me that as it was not an academic exam that could be cheated I would be able to sit it today. We trailed round the building searching for an appropriate room for this test that I was by now resigned to failing. Eventually, after I’d picked up the loose change that people had dropped on the broad wooden staircase, a place was found for me in a room full of middle-aged and elderly people (mainly men) studying creative journalism, whatever that may be.

I still have no idea what exam I was meant to be taking, because it was at this point my alarm-clock went off and I woke in a complete panic. I think my brain needs de-fragging.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

And they swam and they swam

We have a problem with our goldfish. They seem healthy enough, and are swimming about in the pond quite happily, as far as I can tell. I mean, they’re not going around in a little fishy conga-line (or even conger-line. Sorry), blowing trumpets and letting off sub-aqueous party-poppers or anything like that. But neither are they obviously sulking and throwing tantrums (tantra?). There are about 40 of them, in a surprising range of sizes considering they’re all the same age.

But they're not gold. They are, with one notable exception, black. The pond liner is black too, with the result that I find myself feeding invisible fish. What is the point of ornamental fish that nobody can see? Is there anything that can be done to goldify them, or should I start looking for suitable carp recipes?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Just another manic Monday

Nothing to report really. I woke up far too early, and managed to get back to sleep just before the alarm went off. A routinely busy day at w**k, routine failure to see Car Number 88, back home in time to wave Ned off to his work, mow the lawn, cook supper, and veg out watching University Challenge and Coupling.

And so to bed.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

And who would have thought ...

High above the planet he hovered, intently studying what he could discern of its surface. It was the most beautiful of the satellites orbiting this outlying star, gleaming like a pearl in the blackness of the void. Carefully he manoeuvred his craft closer. Despite its small size it had sustained him well since he had been cast out from his home world in punishment for his so-called crimes. He’d had no choice in his actions; at least no choice that wouldn’t have resulted in the loss of all he held dear. Which, considering his current situation, had happened anyway.

But now his situation was becoming desperate. His vehicle had never been designed to survive for such a time – how it had lasted as long as it had puzzled him intellectually, but emotionally he merely rejoiced. Perhaps the Guardians, if they truly existed, were watching over him after all.

As he prepared to enter the atmosphere of his new home he reflected ruefully that the ultimate irony would be if he made contact with water – the only substance against which he had no defence. Fortunately, however, it was found so rarely in the universe that he was unlikely to have been drawn to a place where it was abundant ...

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Wait a minute Mr Postman

Right then chaps, I’m calling for recruits for a retaliatory strike. We’ve had another of our mystery postcards (from the Algarve!), although it is slightly different from the others, and we’re 99% certain who is responsible. So now it’s payback time. If anyone would like to send this person an anonymous enigmatic postcard, please email me (or leave contact details in the Comments box) and I’ll let you have the name and address.

This is War!

Friday, July 09, 2004

Don't wanna be ... all by myself

Another quiet night at Genie Towers. Ned has been asked to work tonight (and Sunday night too, but I got in a strop), and the Boy has taken his girlfriend to the pictures, and won’t be back till morning. I shall open a(nother) personal bottle of Mrs Mort’s sepcial tonic and contemplate scribbling a novelette.

CNPS: 84

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I love to go a-wandering

I want to go away somewhere. I don't know where I want to go, or for how long, but I have suddenly been afflicted by a horrible restlessness and wanderlust.

I want to go and find fossils on the Jurassic coast, I want to go over the sea to Skye, I want to see the Himalayas at dawn and I want to see the Terracotta Army. I want to swim over the Great Barrier Reef and go white water rafting in British Columbia. I want to visit Machu Picchu, the rose-coloured city of Petra, the Valley of the Kings and save the orangutans in Borneo.

But "I want" doesn't get. Oh well. Bedtime. To sleep, perchance to dream ...

I'll be myself again in the morning.

CNPS: 84

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

All the pieces

Phew! The boiler service man turned out to be the last bloke who serviced it all those years ago, and who obviously had done a reasonable job in that it hadn’t blown up in the interim. He has now set up on his own rather than work for a company, and his bill was £12 less than the bill from 1999, so I reckon that’s a win (as long as the boiler doesn’t explode in the next 5 years). He also tinkered with the timer and valves to try to make the central heating turn off, but that doesn’t seem to have worked, in that the radiators are still getting hot. However with the weather as it is tonight, with a gale blowing and the rain lashing against the windows, I’m not too bothered. But I’ve let him know, and he’s coming back tomorrow to replace another part. For this extra stuff he’s only charging for the parts used, not his time. He will go on my list of people-to-recommend.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Time after time

Did I ever tell you about my run-in with the TV aerial man? We summoned him when our video went all wobbly due to rainwater coming down the aerial cable and soaking the electrics. The video seems to be beyond help, and we decided a new cable, with proper sheathing, might be a wise move. So I phoned around various companies in the Yellow Pages, and settled on the one who seemed willing to discuss the problem. He was also local, and I like to support local businesses when I can. Anyway, chappie duly arrived, put his ladders up to the chimney, and set about replacing the cable. This seemed to take a long time, but he neatly secured it to the wall, and descended to ground level to fix it in the sitting room. This was where the trouble started.

He insisted that he could get the video working again, despite my protestations, but I humoured him and let him tinker with it. After half an hour I was informed the video didn’t work, and I agreed. So he set to work tuning in the TV. The conversation went something like this:

“I see you can only get 4 channels here, madam.”
“Yes I know, we can’t get Channel 5.”
“Oh Channel 5 is fine, it’s one of the others you can’t get.”
“No honestly, Channel 5 is all snowy. The others are fine.”
“No, it’s …let’s twiddle this knob … BBC1 you can’t get here.”
“Yes we can. We can get BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel4.”
“No, you definitely can’t get BBC1.”
“But I was watching it last night!”
“Are you sure, madam? Sometimes people get mistaken ...”

Well, once I had managed to control my rage I got him to keep twiddling his knobs, and lo! There was BBC1 in all its glory! Then apparently the wobbly picture on Channel 4 was the best possible in this area – “My machine doesn’t lie, madam.” In a chilling tone I asked if he was accusing me of being a liar, at which point he back-pedalled extremely hastily. I suggested that maybe the aerial needed tweaking, but he assured me he had put it back in exactly the same position on the pole as it had been before. However, I insisted he check, so he heaved a sigh, got the ladders off his van and put them back up to the chimney. This time he dislodged a tile from by the gutter, and then managed to damage the lath when I suggested he replace it. He fiddled with the aerial, and ... my goodness! Channel 4 was completely clear! I was right all along – what a surprise! It took him about 5 hours to do all this ... I don’t think I’ll be recommending him.

Tomorrow we have a man coming to service the boiler. He’s a local chap, because I like to support local businesses when I can ...

Ooh. I’m getting a funny feeling of déjà vu.

Monday, July 05, 2004

And the sun comes up like thunder

Knowing my fascination for the ancient Orient, and the romance (as long as you weren't actually involved in any way) of shipwrecks, Neddy gave me a lovely birthday present – a China bowl. Yes, really a China (capital C) bowl, not a china bowl. It is a piece of the cargo of the ‘Tek Sing’ - a Chinese junk, 60m long and 10m wide, carrying 1,600 passengers and over 200 crew, from China to Java in 1822. She never completed her voyage, and foundered on a reef with the loss of most of those on board. Her wreck was discovered in 1999, lying at 17 fathoms, and her valuable cargo of porcelain recovered. This bowl is a beautiful thing, and I am truly thrilled with it.

I have decided where I need the shelves constructed to display it safely ...

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Fings ain't wot they used t'be

It's funny how Life has a way of kicking you in the teeth. We were watching the fillum "Mrs Brown", starring Dame Judy Dench (whose late husband's surname I am striving to remember - his Christian name was Michael*) and Billy Connolly. Damned good fillum - well cast, great scenery and all the rest of it. It got me thinking of how my Granny reminisced about the day she saw Queen Victoria drive past in her carriage, and her surprise at how tiny She was. Now Granny was only 12 when Victoria died, and wasn't very tall herself, but obviously the Queen was such an important person that her spiritual stature far overcame her physical one.

Anyway, I was relating to Ned the story she told me of when she was on a train, with several prep-school boys in her carriage. They were very polite little boys, and she was one of the most open-minded and tolerant people I have ever known, and she delighted in chatting with these lads. They discussed many things, and the conversation touched on her reminiscences of the national celebrations on hearing the news of the Relief of Mafeking. The boys were duly impressed with her information (top marks due for a future history essay). One litle boy was so impressed that he asked her for her memories of the Crimean War (which was over 34 years before she was born). Somewhat crestfallen, she confessed that she wasn't that old ...

It was at this point that Ned informed me that the 'King of Sweden' was born the year I achieved my majority. Ostrich. Surely that wasn't so long ago that people born then are now adults? Where is my life going?

*I've just remembered. His surname was Williams.

CNPS: 81

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Terror Firmer

The team Posted by Hello

I was aware before today that I’m not entirely happy when not standing on a good, solid surface, but I had never realised to what extent my pathetic wimpiness had developed. Now I know, and so does everyone else! It is only because I was damned if I was going to be the only one of the gang to bottle out that I managed to finish the course with any degree of self-respect, most of which I abandoned when I found myself rigid with fear about 5 feet off the ground on a rope ladder.

That apart, the day was brilliant fun despite the showers. The officials were a little startled to discover that we were an internet chatroom adventure, and that several of us had never met before. A major highlight was the sight of Bean managing to origami himself on the Tarzan rope and ending up crashing into the catch-net upside down. Shame we were all laughing too much to get out our cameras. Several involuntary splits ("Make a wish!" was the helpful advice from MM) were performed on some of the trapeze walkways, but the piratey scramble nets proved very popular with some. And the zip-wires were great – with the added bonus that they ended on the ground!

Once we’d all successfully completed the course we adjourned to the nearest hostelry for welcome refreshment and general unwindment. It was a top day out, but I need to restore my supplies of adrenalin before I try anything like that again!

Oh! Mally! Posted by Hello

Friday, July 02, 2004

Here's health unto His Majesty

Tonight we humble peasants are honoured to be graced by the presence of His Noball High-and-Mightiness the King of Sweden (may He live for ever), who has deigned to grace our meanly hovel during His current Royal Progress through this fair land. He arrived in His golden Carriage of State hauled by numerous sweating steeds who gasped with relief as He transferred His bulk from that regal chariot to the lesser conveyance that was to take Him on the next stage of His journey.

On arrival at this humble inn He was plied with all manner of dainty trifles and liquid refreshment, of which He partook with gusto. The fare seemed to be much to His satisfaction, for He did belch mightily, and indeed for ‘tis true, a Monarch such as He must at all times strive to maintain His doughty (or is that doughy?) stature. He graciously acknowledged our preparations for His comfort with a lordly blow from his Imperial Fist, which resulted in an insignificant concussion to Mine Host.

If Fortune smiles upon this unpretentious abode His Effulsiveness will depart on the morrow fully refreshed and in a suitable condition for any arboreal activities that may come His way.

Ooh, I must away! His Sublime Perspicacity is demanding that another flagon be broached. “I’ll be with you directly, Your Awesomeness!”

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Running up that road

It’s odd how the most inconsequential things can cause the years to roll away. Tonight’s supper of tagliatelle with bacon and mushrooms in a peppery white sauce took me back to the times when, it being a quick and easy meal to prepare, we used often to have it while watching ‘Treasure Hunt’ on TV, after the Boy had gone to bed. There we would sit trying not to slop sauce onto the maps and atlases with which we had surrounded ourselves, striving to solve the clues before the players. This was in the days when Anneka Rice was the Skyrunner who, although maybe not the most stunningly beautiful woman in the world, was at least in command of her own brain and could help out some of the dimmer contestants.

Unfortunately when Ned was involved in one episode of the programme with his Big Gun Anneka had left the show, to be replaced by Annabel Croft. Sadly, doing the tennis circuit as a girl had clearly not left Annabel with any time to study, and what she lacked in knowledge she made up for in vacuity. She duly simpered at the men in their trunkhose and squealed when the cannon was fired, but eventually managed to locate the clue which was hidden in plain sight.

The latest Skyrunner incarnation, Suzi Perry, is a girl who combines beauty with intelligence. Perhaps if the planners had scheduled the last series for once a week at primetime, instead of every evening during rush-hour, our tagliatelle supper might once again be a regular event.

CNPS: 79