Friday, December 31, 2004

Everybody's gone surfin'

A pub discussion about potato varieties lead to the discovery of The Idler.

See if you can find out what gorillas eat (hint: see 'Unfinished jokes').

Happy New Year, everyone! :D

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Didn't we have a lovely time?

Well, I don’t know about you, but we thoroughly enjoyed the Mongers’ Meet. I was a little concerned in the several weeks’ run-up that it might be a total debacle, but consensus is that I can safely be relied upon when breweries (okay, pubs then) and piss-ups need arranging in whatever order. So that’s good. Loads and loads of refreshments were partaken of, games played and zillions of photos taken – sadly, all of mine are complete rubbish.

But it was a Good Do; I thoroughly enjoyed meeting more chatroom loonies inhabitants (especially the Monster, who undoubtedly stole the show). The absentees were missed, though Stu seems to have gone to extreme measures to avoid mixing with us! Just kidding – hope you’re feeling more human now.

Then everybody started drifting homewards, though the King of Swede and his Maritime Minion Chauffeur extended their Midland tour with a night enjoying the dubious pleasures at Genie Towers (sorry I forgot about the pudding, chaps!). A late breakfast today was followed by a quick cache (while Ned and I waited in the pub garden, giggling at an overheard argument about today’s date. One woman’s Christmas has obviously been too much for her, and the realisation that her New Year’s Party is tomorrow night and not the night after was proving very traumatic.)

After that we had a slight problem trying to find a nice pub that hadn’t shut for the afternoon, and finally ended up back at the Wobbly Wheel, where the car keys were slung in my direction and Ned and Mally tucked away the beer and got gigglier and pinker in the cheeks than usual. (Hint to all those of a sensitive disposition: if Mal goes to find cocktail sticks, make your excuses and leave!) I guess the Merman’s travelling companion was less than chatty on the way home!

When’s the next get-together then?

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Everybody's having fun

Wrapped by a man ... Posted by Hello

My brother wrapped that ^^. D'you know what it is yet?

Friday, December 24, 2004

Fa la la la la, la la la laaaa

We’ve decked our hall with boughs of holly (and fir), and the way the holly bites at your hands as you go upstairs means I suspect it may be repruned well before Twelfth Night. The cards are artfully arranged and the tree’s been brought in from its cage in the garden, which is supposed to protect it from the attentions of the dogs. Unfortunately they seem to be wising up to this, because as the tree warmed up in the sitting room there wasn’t only the usual exciting piny smell, but there was also an underlying hint of pee …

Anyway, a few drops of Advent oil in a burner seems to have sorted that minor hiccup and now the tree’s either partially or fully dressed, depending on whether we decide to stick with a minimalist look or throw caution to the winds and bung on the lot.

The cards have been distributed around the village (including, sadly, a condolence card to a dear neighbour whose wife died yesterday – please send up a thought for them); the gammon for tonight is simmering, tomorrow’s goose is thawed, the pudding is made, along with more mince pies, and the wine is mulling. I know where all the veg are, but I won’t start those till tomorrow. The presents are wrapped and soon to be placed around the tree. Then I think it’ll be time to make a start on the hangover.

So a merry Christmas, everyone. Love to you all from Genie Towers. Have a wonderful time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

All together now

Click on the reindeer and join in!

Monday, December 20, 2004

You've got a friend

You know who you are. You know where I am if you need to unload. {{{{hug}}}}

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Do you hear what I hear?

Okay then, here's a little puzzle to keep you all off the streets for a while! They're all songs with a festive theme. How many do you know?

3. JB
4. SN
7. LD
8. WC
12. DTH
13. FTS
15. JTTW
17. TFN
21. GKW
24. TCC
27. WW
29. JBR
30. TLDB
31. MBC
32. OCT
36. WITA
37. ISTS
38. LIS
42. ITBM
44. MXE
45. LC
46. SB
49. G
50. AIAM
51. CTYE
52. MAW
54. DHFC
55. ASCT
56. IDJ
57. LTC
58. LSN

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Who do boys like they're girls

On TV recently, because I suppose it’s seasonal, the travel programmes (and a cookery programme!) have been to Northern Scandinavia to feature reindeer. I’ve learned that while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl. Or a cervine cross-dresser.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Home again, 'cross the sea

A busy old day today. Ned’s alarm went off at stupid o’clock so that he could drive to Dover to do a booze-cruise. He left the house at 4am, forgetting to take the mobile so I have no idea where he is, and I only managed to doze from then till my alarm went off earlier than usual because of having to walk the dogs before I left for work. Of course it was pouring with rain and we all got thoroughly drenched, and by the time we got back it was nearly half past eight, and time to see if the Boy had managed to get up in time to be at work for 8am. No he hadn’t, so a certain tenseness reigned while he crashed about, slamming doors and cursing at the Unfairness of Life. I quietly ate breakfast and let him get on with it.

The dogs were very pleased to see me when I got home – they’re hardly ever left all day, and they’d been awfully good. We made sure that when I got my job that if I was at work Ned would be home, and vice versa, because no dog should be left for long hours. (A general rule of thumb is not to leave them longer than it takes a person to need the loo.) But there was no mess, no destruction through boredom – just ecstasy at having human company again. They’re wonderful – no matter how rotten your day’s been, or how rubbish you look, they don’t care. Non-judgemental love can massage the soul.

Oh, and thank you, Carol, for Raffy (aka Mr Snooty)!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

If I had a hammer

Actually, I think I have. And it's inside my head, pounding away at the back of my left eye. The first migraine of the festive season. Oh joy.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The winner takes it all

What a nice day it’s been! Although we’d intended to spend the day making Christmas puddings (one for this year, one for next) we changed our minds and instead did a short quest of three caches. They made a pleasant morning out; one was a particularly nice location that I’d like to go back to in the summer when the house and gardens are fully open and there isn’t such a bracing breeze. It was slightly disappointing that the Jeep Travel Bug that was supposed to be in the final cache had been taken the day before but not logged out (maybe they haven’t had access to a computer since), and when the mobile in my backpack rang as we were feigning invisibility past a bull the adrenalin levels shot sky-high.

It was a bit too late for a pub lunch after that, but BK filled a hole before we toodled homewards. I walked the dogs then we made a pot of tea while I perused the Net then went to log our finds. What’s this? A new multicache posted while we were out? Local and unfound? Slippers and teacups were discarded, we leapt back into the car (it’s not a very environmentally friendly hobby is it?) and sped back the way we’d come.

We pulled into the recommended parking place at dusk; horrors! Two other cars were there already! Had we been beaten? Who else would be bonkers enough to be roaming in the gloaming? Never mind, we were here now, so onward. We followed the stages, wondering whether every person we passed had beaten us to it, and got the final co-ordinates. And we were First to Find! Our first ever FTF! Woo, yay, and yippety-yip! I know, it’s tragic that such a little thing is so exciting, but it gave us a thrill.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

I told you once

As I was lying dozing this morning, listening to Brian Mathew and Sounds of the Sixties, I heard a very familiar tune being played. But I knew full well the tune I was thinking of was a fairly recent release, and I hadn’t known it was a cover version. The track being played was the Andrew Oldman Orchestra performing a slow instrumental version of the Rolling Stones’ ‘The Last Time’. To my sleepy brain it sounded identical to the music on The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’.

A little judicious googling tells me that they were both written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. I would never have thought the two songs had the same melody. Just shows what a change of tempo can do.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Things can only get better

(The following blog entry is shamelessly plagiarised because it made me laugh!)

When four of Santa's elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mum was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where.

More stress.

Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.

So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden the booze, and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider pot, and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritable Santa trudged to the door. He opened the door, and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

How much is that doggy?

A few weeks ago Ned realised that we ought to do a booze-cruise soon, to stock up for Christmas. To his horror he discovered his passport had expired, so I got him an application form from the Post Office, and we spent a merry morning trying to find a photo booth where the resulting mugshot failed to make him resemble an elderly serial killer. But at last we got a tolerable result, whereupon Ned made a mistake filling the form.

I got a replacement form, which was put onto the kitchen table and immediately lost. Meanwhile, Christmas was getting closer. I decided to blitz the kitchen, my energy levels and enthusiasm lasted long enough to disinter the application, so last weekend he duly completed it and took it into the Post Office for checking and sending off on Monday morning.

Much to our astonishment the shiny new passport (What happened to the 'European Community'? It now says 'European Union' – pah!) arrived back today. I reckon to be fast-tracked like that he must have had an affair with David Blunkett’s guide dog.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I think I am, I know I am

I don't know what it is, but I feel very very strange at the moment. It's a sort of fluttery, light feeling. After several weeks I've stopped feeling physically unwell. There's no sign of the Black Dog, no matter where or how thoroughly I look. Everything is the same on the domestic front as it has been since time immemorial, but even so this weirdness persists. There's something very odd going on.

Ooh, I've had a recollection! Now I think I remember this feeling, and I can recall its name.

It's called Happiness. Hurrah! :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Red hot chilli peppers?

Lunch was quite rubbish really, which was a surprise seeing that Leamington has a fairly high Asian population, and most of the curry houses are excellent. But this one was very bland – the food tasted mainly of salt and very little of spices. I think they must be catering for the sort of customer who thinks even the use of pepper is pushing the boat out. But I mustn’t look a gift horse in the mouth – it was free, and we got the afternoon off as well.

Tomorrow the Boy’s Christmas present is being delivered. I’m not sure where we’re going to hide it.