Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm walking backwards to Christmas

Right. So we now have a DVD player, and some stuff to watch on it. The picture quality's fine, but it's nowhere near as user-friendly as video. If you realise you haven't got time to watch the whole thing you can't take it out and two days later put it back in and it'll play from where you left off. And you can't even rewind a minute or two after saying "Ooh, did I really just see that?".

No, it's not Progress.

Oh, before I forget - Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm glad I spent it with you

When I was at school I never got to be a prefect. I was Ink Monitor once, which was quite fun. In those days we all sat at proper desks with inkwells for real ink, which had to be carefully poured from a large bottle to avoid a disastrous spillage. Quite often some bright spark had stuffed the inkwell full of blotting paper, which had to be winkled out with the point of a pair of compasses. Another term I was very proud to be Pencil-Monitor, which involved the great responsibility of sharpening all the pencils in a marvellous machine with a turny handle which went kerchunka-chunka-chunka; you had to be careful not to get too enthralled and grind a pencil down to a stump. (Milk Monitor was a position nobody relished - although you got to leave class early before break in order to fetch the crate of milk, you didn't half get some stick if you brought the one that had been too close to a radiator and the milk was tepid. And those horrid waxed-paper straws, that went all soggy long before your third-of-a-pint was finished and no matter how hard you sucked nothing would reach your mouth.) Once I was even Form Vice-Captain, which seemed to be a courtesy title only - I don't remember having any task to perform, and certainly not one involving any sort of vices. For all those positions there was a cool enamelled badge to wear on your jumper next to your house (Constable, Chicheley or Dereham at one junior school; Courteney, School or Newton at a senior school) badge, so that everyone knew how important you were. But I was never a prefect. However I've gone even better now. For Christmas I was given a beautiful shield-shaped enamelled badge. Modern schoolchildren won't notice the difference.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

She tied you to a kitchen chair

As you may or may not know, Ned's beard has been a vital feature at his work, despite my serious dislike of its extravagant fullness and flamboyance; in fact I only tolerated it under protest and with the promise that everyone else at work would dress up as elves (they bottled out, the worms) and that I could deal with it as a present. So I was delighted to receive this lovely stiffkit.

I started playing straight away.

Just before my four months of control end, I might wax him from top to toe ....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You'd better be good for goodness' sake

Or you might find a strange bearded man in your bedroom tonight ....

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You won't be seeing rainbows any more

This morning we saw 999 in a car park in Banbury. After four years, eight and a half months it's over!

*wonders how long it will be before we stop automatically looking at every numberplate we see*

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's the final countdown

No, not till Christmas, although we're certainly counting down the shifts we need to work until the big day. (I have 6 to go, Ned has 7, then we both collapse exhausted.) No, I'm talking about consecutive numberplate spotting. Way back in the mists of time (2004 actually) Stu told us about this stupid pointless timewasting addictive obsessive pastime and we laughed. And promptly began playing the game (not 'The Game', but the CNPS game). I'm not certain of the exact date we started but by April 27th I'd spotted #3. We had the occasional good run, spotting one or two most days, and the occasional bad run, where we spotted 10 in order but were missing the one prior to that run. But we're nothing if not persistent and tenacious, and stuck at it, although it became more difficult when our weekly mileage dropped from about 400 miles a week to 40.

We now only have to see 999 and our mission will be complete. I wonder what we'll do next.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How bizarre

Today a foreigner asked me how to spell R.S.P.C.A.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sleeping in the hedgerow

Some weeks ago at work I had a deputation of two teacher and two small children with a box containing a very weak young hedgehog they'd found in the middle of the playing field. It had no obvious injuries but was very cold and very small, so I took it in to start its care by warming it. At close of play that evening I took it home with me to continue the intensive care with hot water bottles (covered to avoid piercing!) and rehydrating fluid. As it warmed it became more active, and after a few hours was swallowing the warm fluid thirstily. It was left overnight with warmth, special invalid food and drink. When I went down in the morning I opened the box, the patient took a few paces then promptly died, which was very disappointing.

A few days ago during the bitterly cold spell there was a ring on the doorbell, and outside was my neighbour with her small daughter earnestly clutching a cardboard box. Inside was another small hedgehog they'd found and brought for me to look after. Unfortunately even warming this one up would have done no good, for it was totally frozen solid and as stiff as a board. It felt a little strange to be given a corpse.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ground control to Major Tom

I don't know why this experiment filled me with utter delight when I read about it, and I wonder why I was so concerned about the two without helmets! I'd love to do something like that - and they got them back safely too!

Monday, December 01, 2008

You better hurry cos it may not last

Did you know that credit card companies insist you should pay, including all accrued overdue interest charges, even though they send your bill to the wrong country?

'Nuff said - legal action possibly pending.