Monday, 30 April 2007


Fucking typical. I wash my car for the first time in 9 months and it breaks the next day.

On the way home from work all the door locks started clicking on and off completely randomly and with no input from me. I parked up, and was unable to lock it. Called the excellent and v helpful local guys at the local garage (for local people) and they said it sounds like my "control module" has broken. Which sounds expensive and annoying. Bollocks.

And I still have what may or may not be a chest infection which is both annoying and painful. Arse

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Clean at last

Me and the car. Hurrah.

I washed my lovely car today for the first time since I bought it (last July, if you're interested). It's been so dry for so long that the floods I used to drive through on the way to work have finally receded. This meant that the mud on the car was staying there, rather than being washed off by the deep puddles and splashdown zones all across Salisbury Plain. I can see my car from my bestest mate's sitting room window, and it looked pretty scabby, to be honest. So we went out there this afternoon and washed it. Mmmmm. Clean.

I was very good and resisted the urge to recreate the Zoolander "freak gasoline accident" scene with the hose too. I am definitely going to heaven.

We had intended to go the the famer's market this morning ("I'll have a tall blonde one please") but the parking was atrocious so we baled out and went to Sainsbury's instead, where I bought a wide selection of cough medicine (drowsy and non-drowy so I can keep myself awake OR asleep as I choose) and some truly evil looking (and smelling) throat lozenge thingies. They're black, smell of menthol and myrrh, and work remarkably well. The lady in the pharmacy assured me that the choristers at Winchester cathedral use them, so maybe my singing will improve too.

I have really missed playing my guitar over the weekend. Next time I will ignore the voice in my head saying "your mate hates to hear you practice" and just pack it into the car before I set off. Especially as I was getting the hang of "Chance" by Big Country. Only the chords and the vocals, but it was sounding pretty good.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

End of the World (as we know it)

So. Earthquake in Kent, eh? Well, if anywhere was due a good smiting, I'd say Kent had to be up there in the top 10. All that "Garden of England" bragging. And letting the French stick their tunnel RIGHT into us. Gah.

I have had a lovely day out with my girlie mates in Winchester today. We met for lunch, which then evolved into a shoe-buying spree, then a tea-drinking event, and finally a walk through the cathedral green in the sun. Very nice. I blagged a lift back to my bestest mate's house with one of the girls to save me a long walk.

We went to pay for the car parking in one of Winchester's many multi-storey car parks and the machine ate my fiver! Outraged, we pressed the "Help" button and got through to a very cross-sounding Northern bloke. We explained what had happened. He said "Where's your parking ticket?" We told him that the machine had spat it back out.

"Go to the exit" he said. We tried to explain that we hadn't paid the full parking fee, that the machine had eater the fiver but not the rest of the money.

He cut us off with a very brusque "Don't be talking! Go and buzz me at the exit!"

We obeyed, giggling. At the exit we buzzed him again and he opened the barrier and freed us, so we had £1.50 worth of free parking! Hurrah!

I've just watched "Napoleon Dynamite" on DVD. I'd forgotten what a nice film it is.

And now I'm going to have a bath. I can do that here, unlike at my house where the cold tap stopped working and we have yet to find a plumber brave enough to try and fix it. Mr WithaY emailed photos of the busted tap to the plumber who installed the bathroom. He's said he'll come over "next week" to have a look. I love showering but miss a good bath. Sigh. So I plan to make my mate's house smell of lovely Lush stuff - heh.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Nurse! The screens!

I am feeling much much better today. Thank goodness. So, back to work tomorrow. I was good and did some work at home today in the afternoon as I felt so much less crap than I have done for ages. It might explain why my sleep has been so disturbed over the last week or so, too. Having a temperature at night is horrible. I mean a high temperature, obviously everyone always has a temperature all the time. Unless they're a zombie. Or a vampire.

It's rained properly today for the first time in absolutely ages. I walked across the village earlier and it smells wonderful out there. Unlike last night; I was sitting in here, minding my own business, when a hideous unearthly stench filled the room. No, not from INSIDE, but from a huge tractor (with a shite-filled trailer) parked directly outside the house, stink emanating from it and filling my living space. Gah. Farmers.

I want to walk up to the woods to look at the bluebells. They must be out by now. We haven't been up there hardly at all since we lost the dog. It isn't the same, walking, without one. I still miss him. He was a mad bugger who bit people (hence the final sad, sad trip to the vet's) but we loved him.

I remember the day he got stung by a wasp. Mr WithaY had gone out shooting, and the dog and I were having a quiet day together at home. This meant that the dog would sit by the back door, sulking, then walk in to look at me, sigh heavily in a "You're not who I want" kind of way, then pad slowly back to lie by the door to continue pining and moping for Mr WithaY.

Anyhoo, he was out in the garden, leaping about and being an idiot when all of a sudden a small car came screeching round the corner much too fast. The driver lost control and it careered through next-door's front garden wall, scattering blocks and trees and debris everywhere with a huge crash. Of course, loads of people came rushing out of the pub and the petrol station nearby to see what was going on.

The passenger (a young bloke) leapt out and legged it off up the road, hotly pursued by a posse of big lads from the pub. They caught up with him by the river and brought (firmly but kindly, you understand) him back. The driver was more or less trapped, trying to drive the car out of the neighbour's garden, and failing because it was balanced on a pile of rubble with most of the wheels off the ground. Eventually he managed to kind of rock it back and more or less fall onto the road, but then the engine died. He sat there trying to re-start the car with transmission fluid and oil pissing out from underneath.

I went out and suggested he get out because the car was obviously completely fucked and he might well blow himself up if he kept trying to start it. He was in shock I think so did as he was told. At this point, the back door opened and a young girl scrambled out, very bruised and distressed. She hed been riding in the back with no seatbelt on and had smacked her head on the driver's seat. Lucky she didn't go through the windscreen.

Anyway, an ambulance turned up, followed by no fewer than seven (yes, count them - SEVEN!) police cars. The police started to haul the driver and his numpty mate off, the local posse happily explaining how he'd tried to do a runner and it was only due to their quick thinking that they were both still there. The girl got loaded into the ambulance.

And it was at this point that the dog started howling like a banshee.

I ran back to the house and he was spinning round in circles, shivering, a big old wasp stuck in him. I held him still and extracted the wasp, squashing it flat before the idiot dog tried to eat it. Comforting the dog, I went back to watch the action outside.

And it was to this scene that Mr WithaY returned from his trip. He'd driven past, seen the entire on-duty police force of Wiltshire and an ambulance outside our house, and parked up round the corner before coming home to see what had happened.

He walked past the crowds of uniformed guys, the broken car, the smashed wall, the weeping girl being bundled into the ambulance, the huge crowd of onlookers and said to me "What's going on?"

"The dog's been stung by a wasp!" I replied. Heh.

Currently Listening : No Quarter: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded By Page & Plant Release date: By 26 October, 2004

24 Apr 2007


I still feel crap.

Monday, 23 April 2007


To celebrate St George's Day, I have a cold. It came on very suddenly (while I was driving home from work) so I thought it might just be pollen related, but as the evening's gone on my throat has got more and more sore, and my nose is blocked. Ugh. That's a week of feeling and sounding horrible then.

Apart from that (and being shattered) I am fine. Had a great weekend visiting family and friends, and feel very positive about life in general at the moment.

I'm hoping that we get a major milestone sorted out at work this week, which would be fantastic. But if I get a bloody cold that will more than likely slow me down. Gah. So, better search out the vitamins and try to stay healthy.

Overheard something in the supermarket that made me laugh yesterday. A little boy was looking at one of the fruit and vegetable displays, saying "Mum, mum, can we get an acorn?" His mum was busy, and not looking at what he was doing, and she said "No, there are no acorns in here." He carried on asking until she (and I) looked round the corner to see what he was on about. He was waving a coconut about. Heh.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Out and About

Am home now after a few days around and about. Took Friday off work to go and see my Mum, make sure she is ok after her trip to hospital. She was very well, so that was great. Slight change of plan in that my bestest mate came with me down to Sussex, and the two of us ended up babysitting for my youngest nephew whilst Grandma and his big sister went to a funeral at church. My niece is in the choir so had permission to be out of school for the day so she could sing at the funeral service.

So, the three of us (me, my mate and 3-yr-old nephew) had a jolly time together. We played "cars" - a game of depth and strategy which entails driving small cars around on the floor, making the appropriate noises. When we got fed up with that, we watched the Johnny Depp version of "Charlie and and the Chocolate Factory" on DVD, which rather to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed. Although I have to point out that the usually beautiful Mr Depp bore a more than passing resemblance to Michael Jackson which was frankly disturbing. Mum and my lovely niece arrived home after the service which they said went well, we had a cup of tea, and then me, my mate and my niece all went into town to have a look around.

Chichester is fabulous. If you've never been, go. You can park on the edge of town, then walk all over the city centre because it is almost entirely pedestrianised. I remember when that was done, at the end of the 1970s, not long after we moved there. There were all kinds of gloomy predictions about how it spelled the end of civilisation as we knew it, death to all traders in town, fleeing of local shoppers to Portsmouth, loss of the city centre know the sort of stuff.

Well it is now abundently clear that all that was a load of bollocks. Chichester is beautiful, interesting, quiet and safe to wander around in, and has about the best variety of shops you could hope to find in a small cathederal city. And the Bishop's Palace Garden is lovely. Go there and admire the fish some time.

We then went to the world's finest bakery, which my Mum reckons is owned by Raymond Blanc and loaded up with bread and pastries, then back home to drink more tea, eat cakes and chat. Bloody great. I had the best almond croissant I have ever had in my life, so if Mr Blanc is involved I am not surprised.

I drove back to my mate's house the back way, i.e. not down the motorway; the woods lining the route were dark and full of bluebells. It was glorious.

Driving home this afternoon was glorious as well. The only downside to the weather being so fantastic is that the car is filthy. Not just "slightly dusty", I mean "can't see through the windscreen" filthy. Might wash it tomorrow.

And now I am happy to be home, looking forward to a night in with Mr WithaY.


Currently Listening : Love This City By The Whitlams Release date: By 04 November, 1999

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Weather, gloriousness of

Am working at home today to try and get some complicated stuff sorted out; as a bonus the weather here is completely fantastic. All I could hear for half an hour earlier were the birds in the garden shouting their heads off. Now of course all I can hear is huge juggernauts thundering past, making the house shake. Bastards.

In keeping with my hard-won domestic goddess status I have been doing the laundry (in between my PowerPoint creation). With any luck it will all be dry by the end of the day. So I not only get my work done, I get my household stuff sorted too, and thus free up the weekend for going to John Lewis in Southampton to buy curtains., Which, sadly, is something I am looking forward to doing.

Yesterday was Mr WithaY's birthday. To celebrate we had the world's largest roast beef dinner and a couple of bottles of wine, then all watched The Incredibles on DVD.

Not a particularly rock and roll evening, but we enjoyed ourselves. Ah. Middle age. It's great. And to be fair, I had a lesson with my lovely guitar teacher beforehand so there was a little bit of rock and roll involved, albeit played slowly and badly (by me, I mean...he's brilliant).

Ha haaaa - our mate Jim has just made me a cup of tea. What a star.

I feel really positive at the moment, which is great. I might even make a cake later if I get everything finished in time.

I bought some new stuff from Amazon yesterday, including the complete set of Eddie Izzard DVDs. He's just brilliant.

Currently Listening : Permission to Land By The Darkness

Monday, 16 April 2007


Was so dopey and sleepy that I forgot to say that my Mum came home from hospital on Saturday and seems to be doing well. So a huge sigh of relief there. And Mr WithaY's dad should be home today or tomorrow. Excellent.

Party, greatness of

Things are a bit quiet here in the WithaY household today. We're all slightly tired and more than a little hung over after a superb start of the summer season bbq last night. It was a spur of the moment (well, Thursday night) thing, and went remarkably well. We cooked a ton of food:

A whole smoked chicken, cooked in Mr WithaY's fab home smokery thingy that he bought cheap in the US and then spent a fortune shipping back here
About a hundred sausages, marinaded in cranberry and chilli
Venison, marinaded in soy sauce and olive oil
Satay chicken with homemade satay sauce (bloody excellent)
Vegetable kebabs
Herdwick lamb chops with rosemary
Thin slices of peppered beef
Tiny baby new potoatoes (British!) roasted in olive oil and rock salt
Garlic bread
Green salad with blue cheese, walnuts and pine nuts
Tomato salad (courtesy of some of our lovely friends)

And then a fanTAStic raspberry Pavlova, again from a friend, and a huge plateful of homemade chocolate profiteroles.

It was all bloody great. We sat in the garden with the fire lit till 1.30 in the morning. I played my guitar a bit, some people sang, nobody asked me to stop, and it was really very lovely.
But as a result, we're a bit dopey and tired today. So I'm off to bed.

Monday, 9 April 2007


I realised last night that it has been a few days since my last blog entry, so thought I'd spend some time today catching up. I have been busy setting up my funky new Blogspot page ( which has been quite entertaining. It's basically a mirror of this blog, but with a few links and things added to sites I like. I am too thick to work out how to do that on MySpace. I also hadn't realised until fairly recently that unless other people have a MySpace account they can't see my blog, which seems unfair to those who choose not to sign up to the service. Deprived of my life story! Cruel!

What else? Been off work since Thursday which has been bloody fantastic. Went to see my Mum on Friday, and as a bonus also saw both my sisters and 4 of the 6 nieces and nephews. All seem well and happy, which was lovely. We didn't do a lot; spent much of the day drinking cups of tea and chatting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I then scooted back up the M3 to my mate's house, on the way to which I suspect I may have picked up a speeding ticket. There was a sneaky police speed trap van in a layby which I only saw as I went tanking past at the last minute. Ah well, it's a fair cop.

Saturday was spent mostly hanging around at my mate's house, drinking tea and making each other laugh a bit. I then pottered back home via the fantastic organic pig place to pick up Mr WithaY's "surprise" birthday present. It's a little model of a German Short-Haired Pointer made of wire which I comissioned. I am an art parton! Hurrah! It's absolutely lovely, and he is very pleased with it. The lady who made it has a wide variety of wire animals there, all really cleverly and accurately made. Apparently she's a retired zoologist so understands how animals fit together I suppose. Anyway, if you need a wire 3-D animal, go to the Ginger Piggery and have a look in the barn.

Yesterday (Easter Sunday) we went out visiting family, and ended up staying out till quite late. Mr WithaY's dad is in hospital at the moment so we went to see him for a while. The nurses came round with cups of tea, and also gave him an Easter egg which I thought was kind of them. After we left there we drove down to visit Mr WithaY's uncle and aunt, and they very kindly asked us to stay for dinner, so it was after 9 when we got home.

A very sociable day, beautiful weather, glorious Dorset and Wiltshire countryside, not too many idiots on the road (apart from us, obviously). We then devoured my Green and Black's Easter egg whilst watching "Zoolander" on TV in the evening. Great.

Mr WithaY is a bit grumpy today because his PC is buggered. He had a repeating error message saying one of his .dll files (?) was corrupt, so tried to fix the problem. As a result of his fixing efforts he now needs to get the whole operating system reloaded. And of course the computer shop is closed today, it being a Bank Holiday. He is therefore wandering about, sighing and looking WW2 submarine warfare for him today.

I had the great pleasure of being able to teach someone how to do some stuff on a guitar they didn't know how to do yesterday. I know I am still very much a learner myself, but it is gratifying to be able to show somebody how to do a little riff or scale or something and have them go "Oh wow!" when they get it.

And I'm off work tomorrow as well. Excellent. Could today get any better? Well, I suppose someone could turn up on the doorstep with a huge sack of cash and an amusing clock for me, but otherwise, no, not really.
Currently Listening : Sixteen Stone By Bush

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Holiday, greatness of

Hurrah - on holiday for a few days now. And in celebration, the weather is glorious. Bright, sunny, cheeping birdies in the garden etc. Apart from a trip to the dentist later, we have no plans. Marvellous.

I might even get some gardening done later, if I feel so inclined. Tomorrow I am going to see my lovely Mum, and then calling in to visit my bestest mate on the way home, which I am looking forward to. Haven't seen him in bloody ages.

And now I think I will go and be a domestic goddess for a while.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


Gah. Was driving home from work tonight, past Stonehenge (where the cats meow), and a damn fool in a tiny red car suddenly pulled RIGHT out in front of me from the car park. I wondered if he was about to pull off the road and into the lane, as he was veering about erratically on the grass verge, and slowing down more and more. No. He was driving like that, because he is a FOOL.

I waited till the end of the 40mph limit, thinking "perhaps he will speed up a bit now". No. He maintained a steady 28mph, still veering entertainingly onto the verge from time to time. Sadly there were cars coming in the opposite direction so I couldn't overtake him, having to content myself with hanging back a way and muttering abusive and obscene insults at the back of his stupid fat head.

Anyway, eventually he realised he was driving like a blind halfwitted baboon, and speeded up a little, managing to stay on his side of the road more often. And then we came upon a mighty tractor (well, it is Wiltshire). Did he slow down and hang back, wondering if the tractor was perhaps about to turn into one of the many farm entrances or fields along the road? No. He started indicating as if to overtake, randomly popping across the double white lines and checking that yes, it was still far too dangerous to try and get past. Fuckwit.

Apart from that, it's been quite a good day. Work was busy and constructive, our mate Jim is cooking what smells like a delicious dinner and another mate is coming over shortly to stay the night, so it should be quite a sociable evening. Hurrah.

Currently Reading : The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures: 1,001 Things You Hate to Love By Sam Stall Release date: By 01 September, 2004