Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Where i stole the margarine

Shrove Tuesday again (already?) and once more I wish that I was better at making pancakes. It’s not until I get to the last of the batter that they’re turning out reasonable, although I’ve never (yet) made such a pig’s ear of them as Yvette Fielding did on Blue Peter all those years ago. It doesn’t help that, although we have four, I don’t really like any of our frying pans. Two are designed for a range and are too big for the hob; one’s too heavy for me to handle and the third, although a nice weight, has a warped base because it’s basically too cheap and starts melting on application with heat. Not ideal really. I used to have a nice frying pan but the bakelite handle (that dates it!) finally perished and fell apart at critical places, so that when you lifted the pan off the heat to dish up your creation it tended to spin round and deposit its contents on the floor (if you were lucky. If you weren’t you got scalding food landing on your foot after it bounced off your front). However blaming the tools doesn’t get around the fact that I really need to make twice as much batter as we need so that by the time the first half’s been used up in making crud to give to the dogs I’ve got the hang of it and they’re turning out properly. And no, I don’t even attempt to toss them.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I always feel like somebody's watching me

Is there to be no privacy anywhere?

It made me chuckle gently to myself and go "Ooh! It goes crosseyed!"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

You say goodbye and I say hello

There was a cache meet arranged quite locally to us (12 miles or so) today so we thought we’d do a couple of caches and go and meet people. It was flipping cold, with the wind seemingly straight from the Arctic, although in the sunny intervals between the sleety showers it was quite pleasant. So we did – found the caches without any great difficulty, although signing the logbooks was tricky because our hands were so cold it was almost impossible to hold the pen. The cache meet was odd, though. The pub was bursting at the seams with obvious geocachers (the GPSs, travel bugs and printouts on every available surface gave the game away), some of whom were deep in conversation and others lurked shyly at the periphery. There was nobody we recognised from photos, so we bravely introduced ourselves to a couple of total strangers who politely responded then wandered off. So, chuckling to ourselves at the similarity between us and ‘someone’ who drove miles to meet strangers watch the dawn and then was too shy to actually take the plunge and say hello, we drank up and went away too.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

And send them homewards

For many, many years I've known I'm a rugby jinx. Whenever The Boy was playing in a match, if I went along to support, his team lost. If I stayed at home, they won. I don't even have to be there in the flesh; it's the same with watching on TV. If I watch to support a particular team they lose (or 'come second', as I suppose we're meant to say). The only matches I'm safe to watch are the ones where I don't care two hoots who wins; but there's not the same excitement, no adrenalin rush, so I generally don't bother any more.

So when, like today, there's a match on TV where I support a particular side, I'll busy myself doing something else in another room (today I cleaned the bathroom) and trry to keep up with events by listening to Ned's commentary ("Would that be an English tosser or a Scottish tosser, dear? Ah, I thought so.").

Later on I asked whether we won. I could tell by Ned's disconsolate expression that we had. :D And as there were two local soccer teams that also won their matches today, the only safe quiet places to drink in Edinburgh tonight will be the gay bars.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In the middle of the night

It was all very confusing. There I was fidgeting, unable to get back to sleep after waking suddenly in a panic (rats in the tunnel, or something) at 2.36am. I rearranged the pillows, had a drink of water and lay down again, but that was no good. I turned over and tried not to think about all our worries; and besides, even if I could remember Boy’s UCAS total there was nothing I could do with it in the middle of the night. Next I got out of bed and went to the loo, hoping that being more comfortable would help. It didn’t, although feeling the warmth of the bed seeping back into my bones after getting chilly out of bed was very pleasant. But although I felt exhausted I still couldn’t sleep, and I made the mistake of looking at the clock again. 2.20am. Eh? That’s when I gave up rational thought.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And the ship sailed on

Not a lot happening really. I still feel pretty ghastly, Ned's got to contact the Union again to find out how to word the whatthefuckhaveyoudonewiththepensioncontributionsyouthievingtwat letter, and I've got to quickly pay in the cheque he's been given for January (February's pay's due on Friday, by the way); Ned's only ever had two cheques bounce before, and coincidentally they were both paycheques signed by this same bloke. We're not holding our breath.

Also we're still waiting to hear what decision The Boy's come to, having been told by 2nd-years that the bit he has trouble with gets worse, not better. Still, as I pointed out to him, my eldest brother changed course from geology to Biology; my other brother changed from Mech Eng to Physics; a niece changed from Town Planning to Publishing (or vice versa); and a nephew changed from Psychology to something else then dropped out entirely and is now doing an Open Uni course, so changing tack seems to be a proud family tradition.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pinch me to see if I'm sleeping

A body can only take so much before it breaks. When your bones are made of lead and an elephant is sitting on your chest that point is getting very close.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Talking about me

Today I have mainly been updating my CV, having been for a careers interview (!) and completed the computer questionnaire only to have it suggest I’m best suited for the sort of jobs I’ve been applying for anyway. So that’s good, but not really helpful. I’ve found it’s very difficult, when you’ve known from an early age that it’s very bad manners to boast about yourself, to ‘big up’ your abilities and personal qualities without feeling like a bighead who needs a slap.

Monday, February 13, 2006

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

I've just been chatting to The Boy who seems to be planning major changes in his life. It seems the more he does of the course he's on, the more he realises it isn't what he wants to do with his life. He'd imagined there was more architecture and design involved, not merely working out what strength and size of girder a particular project will require, although I'm sure that'd be useful, and the more interesting stuff would come later in the course. With the physics part of the course he's been told he's heading for a First, but with the maths part (which doesn't involve numbers - no I don't understand either) he's looking to fail. But changing to a purely physics course doesn't seem to be right either.

He's now considering environmental science - which they don't do at Warwick, but do at the local Agricultural College. So he's trying to decide what to do for the best - quit now and get a job till the autumn or complete the year then change. I've suggested finding out all he can about the courses offered at the various places, and if he wants to change, then apply now - they might not have room for him if he waits too long.

What I don't want him to think is that changing courses means he's a failure. Only a fool carries on down a path they know to be wrong. But things are never easy, are they?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I would walk five hundred miles

Or so it seemed. "Let's do a couple of caches" we thought "and then do the shopping on the way home." The first one was pretty straightforward; the second was a little trickier; the third claimed to be 'a short walk of less than a mile'. Great - plenty of time. We got the first waypoint easily, though reaching it was weird, going down a sloping tunnel without any light, and set off for the second. We walked, and we walked. And then we walked some more. There aren't many ways to get lost on a towpath, especially when you're going in the required direction. "Less than a mile" we reminded ourselves. When we'd walked 1.2 miles with no sign of the waypoint we decided to call it a day. We'd got back to within about 500 yards of the first waypoint when we spotted the second (missed because we don't have eyes in the backs of our heads and were looking where we were going!), took the figures, ummed and aahed, discovered the cache site was less than 0.2 miles back where we'd been, ummed and aahed a bit more, and went for it. Found it within minutes. Done properly, the walk would have been about half a mile, not just under the three that we did.

The shops were shut by the time we got there.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

It started when I was in the bank in Leamington having paid in a cheque (hurrah!) and went to the cashpoint to get some readies. That was when I discovered my bank cards weren't in my bag, no matter how many times I searched it. So I retraced my steps to the Jobcentre to see if the wallet was there, but despite upturning every chair I couldn't find it. It wasn't on the floor of the car either, so rather than shopping I tried to stay under the speed limit all the way home, and mostly succeeded. The cards weren't on the kitchen table, nor in my caching-bag where I'd stuffed my handbag the other day when we'd parked the car in an unsalubrious area and I didn't fancy having it nicked. So I went upstairs and tried not to wake Ned as I searched in the bedroom, but failed in that too. When he came downstairs I was on the phone to the last place where I remember having them, but that was two days ago, and they didn't have them either. All this time the panic was rising and I was consciously having to remember to breathe.

Then Ned found them in a bag of Christmas cards I'd taken to put into a recycling bin, but brought home again because the bin wasn't there any more. Just as well really. I love Ned.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Every time it rains ...

Hurrah! It's Christmas! I wonder when it'll be January?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It's a storm in a teacup

Wahay! It's raining! I think it's the first time this year. :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Over there, over there

The Geocaching site recently had a revamp, and since then I've noticed that the noting of the distances Travel Bugs has been is erratic to say the least. It used to be that there was a running total for each one, and also the distance between each cache that the Bug had visited was also logged. With the New Look those individual distances have vanished, and the totals seem to have got stuck. One of ours ( Puzzle the Donkey ) is now in Maryland, but his total's still showing as 713 miles. I hope they sort it soon or there'll be no point to moving Bugs on.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Happy talky talky happy talk

The Boy's been back this weekend, and he's been home tonight, and he's had supper with us (roast organic lamb, roast taties, roast parsnips, carrots, broccoli, redcurrant jelly and gravy, followed by a Vienetta) and his friend Dan's came round grumbling about how much further it is to ride a bike here than it used to be since he's been driving, and they went out to play and now he's back and we've been watching TV as a family and we don't have to take him back to Uni till tomorrow and it's lovely. My whole family happy in one room, all sharing, all together. It's the Best.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes

And I feel it in almost every place in between. Aches and pains, that is. It's surprising how tiring bananana-stuffification is, especially when you don't have a great deal of space and have to squeeze round and under pieces of iron whilst simultaneously (and at the same time) trying not to touch the glowy-red-hot curing element.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

It's brotherly love

Every day for almost their entire lives, Harry and Piglet have insisted on sharing a bed despite there being at least one each. And every day they grumble at each other as they settle down and get comfy (“Ouch! Mind your elbow” “Budge over a bit then, fatso” etc etc). So why yesterday evening, as the normal swearing went on, was there a sudden squeal from Harry, who shot out of the favoured bed (where he’d been first and Piglet had been getting in) and retreated to another one, cursing under his breath and glaring daggers at Piglet? Later on they both came into the sitting room to sit by the fire, but they weren’t their usual happy selves, and Piglet was sniffing at Harry’s shoulder, then leaping back with a horrified expression when he saw what he’d done:

I’m sure it was an accident, but it still meant a vet visit this morning, where Uncle Russ managed to thoroughly perforate Harry in attempting to staple the wound, rather than do a GA and stitches. Stitches are more secure, but the risk, not to mention expense of a GA, mean that it’s something to be avoided if possible. Russ’s parting comment of “Bring him back in if it all falls apart” didn’t exactly fill me with confidence, but so far, so good. So now it’s lead walking for 10 days. Harry’s not impressed at all! But they still love each other really.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Stuck in the groove

There’s something definitely not right. I’ve long been aware that I’m not at my best first thing in the morning, which is why I make a point of laying out tomorrow’s clothes before I go to bed, to minimise the risk of disaster. This system has served me well for many years with only the occasional mishap, which is usually due to there not being enough of a time-lag between going to bed and getting up again.

So why, all of a sudden, are my pants playing up? It doesn’t matter what style they are, skimpies or Bridget Jones’; and I’ve become very careful at checking them first, sometimes even going so far as to open my eyes or turn a light on, but by the time I’ve got downstairs I’m convinced I’ve put them on back to front. Where I hope for comfort I get a cheesewire effect, so I check and no, that’s not the problem. Perhaps it’s not my pants at fault after all - maybe something awful’s happened to my ostrich?