Sunday, 29 July 2007

So kiss me, and cry for me....

...tell me that you'll wait for me, hold me like you'll never let me gooooooooooooo


Right. Bag's packed, guitar is safely stowed, spare pick in my handbag, phone charger remembered.

I'm off for a bit.

See you when I get back, all being well.

...I'm leeeeeeeeaving in a 4by4

Saturday, 28 July 2007


Another miserable evening (weatherwise at least), yet more bloody rain.

It is starting to get to me in no uncertain terms, this fucking weather. We had 6 weeks of glorious weather in April and May, then rain from then till now. And the Met Office have cheerfully told us not to expect August to be any better.

Thanks. Bastards.

Mr WithaY has headed off to Yorkshire for a week of summer school. I am heading to my lovely Mum's tomorrow for a few days, then she is coming back to stay here for a few days.

I heard on the news that the police are warning people not to travel because of the predicted terrible weather. Great. Better make sure I pack some wellies and a bar of Kendall Mint Cake just in case.

Am looking forward to spending some time with my Mum next week, we don't get as much time to talk as I'd like. I will take my guitar with me so I can impress all my young and impressionable nieces and nephews. Heh. I love kids.

Other than that, not a lot to say today. Have been very diligent, cleaning, tidying, making up beds, ironing etc, and as a result feel annoyingly smug. Even managed a bit of gardening this morning - cleared out all the weeds from one of the flowerbeds beside the front drive. It's been so wet that they came up easily.

Just as well, because if they hadn't I'd have left the bloody things where they were.

Capability Brown I am not.

Thursday, 26 July 2007


Was looking at the bbc website earlier and spotted a story* about a "dangerous heffer" loose in Darlington. I read the whole thing, and the word "heffer" appeared several times.

Hm, I thought. I wonder if that's a regional spelling, or a farm term I am unfamiliar with. I looked it up on, and it doesn't exist.

Just checked the story again, and it now appears that a dangerous heifer is on the loose.

So, two deadly bovine assassins, one of them presumably in a brocade dressing gown and slippers, smoking a pipe.

* Sorry, crap link. I will learn how to do it tidily, I promise.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Guitar hero

Had a bloody great guitar lesson tonight.

My barre chords are starting to sound something like they should, and I was able to knock out a slow and painful "All Along The Watchtower" by the end of it. Hurrah!

I am feeling confident enough to have another go at the Police's "Can't Stand Losing You" which is one of their songs I like best. Trouble is, it's ALL barre chords, and when I found the tab for it I gave up in despair after a few attempts.

However. That was a while back, and I have improved significantly since then.

Other news. We're still not flooded. Rather touchingly, many of our friends and relatives have been calling and texting to make sure we're ok. We are. I have taken the precaution of moving BOTH guitars upstairs though. Just in case.

Bands, bikes, tents

Reading Badgerdaddy's post about his old band getting back together has made me think hard about doing something similar. Again.

Trouble is, I know a few decent musicians but thay all live bloody miles away. Colin, move to Wiltshire, you selfish git. Heh.

Mr WithaY has a harmonica, but is a bit limited in his repertoire. He can play the bohdran too but that gets a little wearing after a while, frankly. It also lacks the pinpoint accuracy of AC/DC's rhythm section, which is the sound I aspire to.

I love live music. One of the very few downsides to living here is that there are limited opportunities to see bands. There's the Cheese and Grain in Frome, I suppose.

The best band venue location I've lived in (in retrospect) was Chichester.

We went to see loads of small local bands in various pubs and clubs in the area. There was also Chichester Rock Society, a bi-weekly rock disco with a live band every month. Loads of mates would get down there, the girls tending to dance all night and the blokes congregating in the bar to talk about their bikes.

The blokes would usually join us on the dancefloor later, either because their respective girlfriends had made them feel guilty for not dancing, or because they could see the end of the evening looming and were planning a desperate last-minute chat-up. Heh. I used to like that, always so entertaining.

We could also go to the Wedgewood Rooms and the Guildhall in Portsmouth, the Southampton Guildhall (now Mayflower), and the Brighton Centre for the really big bands. I look back now and think "Why did I not take more advantage of this?"

And then I remember. I had no money and couldn't drive. And the boyfriends I had at the time were either not keen on the same bands as me, or had no money either. Sigh.

Having said that, I got to see Rush, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Bon Jovi (supporting Kiss, bloody brilliant), Jethro Tull, Magnum, as well as all the smaller bands like Spider, Dumpy's Rusty Nuts (still touring I believe), the Hampsters (likewise), and all the 3-gigs-before-splitting-up local bands.

Ah, happy days. Nothing is quite as much fun as turning up to a heavy rock gig on the back of a huge sexy bike, with a gang of mates also on huge sexy bikes, posing wildly before going in to dance like maniacs for two hours.

Well, nothing that I can think of offhand, anyway.

And of course there was The Years in Brighton. I loved that place. A heavy rock nightclub, now a bloody wine bar. Gah.

I can't remember the last time I went to see a big band. We've done a fair few festivals though, which seems to be a more West Country thing. Not huge ones like Glastonbury. Smaller ones like the Trowbridge Village Pump and the Larmer Tree Gardens. Not this summer, however. Too bloody wet.

We went to one in Donnington (not the big one, a smaller folky one) a few years back. About 8 of us went, taking two big canvas tents to sleep in. We got there and discovered we had no groundsheets. Bugger. We compromised by putting one tent up (using a rock as a mallet because we'd left that behind as well) and using the other tent as the groundsheet.

The spirit of invention was strong in us that weekend.

Obviously there wasn't enough room for us all in the one tent, so a couple of the guys elected to sleep in their van. Hurrah! Off we went to party, first setting up three large double airbeds in the tent so we could all crash out when we got back. Much partying and Jack Daniels later, bedtime came around.

So, me and Mr WithaY took one airbed, at the back of the tent. Two large male friends were sharing* the next double airbed, and another, smaller pair of male mates were on the double airbed nearest the door. Perfect.

Everyone settled down for a peaceful night's sleep.

Well, as peaceful as it could be with six people all crashed out after having been drinking heavily, laughing immoderately and dancing till everyone else had fallen by the wayside. It sounded like a Serengeti watering hole, all the grunts, snorts and other noises** that went on continuously.

Come the dawn, I woke up and looked down the tent to see if there was any way I could get out to go to the loo without waking everyone else up.

Mr WithaY was snuggled right next to me, I was wrapped around the tentpole (oo-er), and one of the large male friends had migrated across onto our airbed. Mr WithaY still has flashbacks about waking up with him snuffling in his ear in his sleep.

Other large male mate was spreadeagled across the entire middle airbed like a huge snoring starfish. The third airbed only had one occupant too....where was our smaller mate?

I picked my way carefully*** down to the door, and there he was - outside in the rain, fast asleep, wrapped in his sleeping bag like a little beardie angel.

He complained about that for YEARS afterwards. "Remember that night I got shoved out under the tent flap into the rain." Yes, we remember. Heh.

Ahhh happy days.

*as in sharing the space ONLY, they were very insistent on this point

**farting. Ugh

***treading on everyone as I went. I was careful in that I didn't stamp on them

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Skills, lack of

If anyone feels like emailing me an Idiot's Guide to HTML, I'd be grateful.

I can't even work out how to make my links tidy. Gah.

Tasty birds

Excellent news today about the Great Bustards on Salisbury Plain.

I still think it was hilarious that they spotted one of the first batch fleeing across the English Channel, heading (I presume) for his ancestral home in Mainland Europe. Check out the excellent photos at the bottom of the page. The entry for October 22, if you're interested.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Waterlogged baboonery

In the office today, following an eventful drive across Salisbury Plain this morning. I know we are relatively lucky compared to the poor bastards in Hull, Tewkesbury, Worcester etc, but the roads round here are hovering between "big puddles a bit too close together" and "flooded".

What with the surface water, the rain and the huge amounts of spray, visibility was poor, to say the least. I ended up toddling along at 30mph behind one of those boxy, ridiculously underpowered little 1.3 pretend Transit vans for a bit.

As I have said before (many times I expect, I do go on), there are a lot of fuckwits on the roads these days.

Not me, of course.

My driving is without flaw. Except when I get too close to the car in front. And go a bit too fast on motorways sometimes. And pull out at mini roundabouts when nobody else seems willing to take the initiative. But apart from that.

Anyway. Other idiot drivers:

Some drive too fast.

Some drive too slow.

Some talk cheerfully on their mobile phones, ignoring both the danger and the fact it's ILLEGAL, fuckwits.

Some eat three course meals with one hand whilst attempting to keep control of their vehicle with the other.

Some have dogs/children/sheep* flailing around in the back of their vehicle, causing them to turn round and shout at them, usually on a blind bend or coming up to a busy junction.

Some are just annoyingly hairy. Or wearing stupid hats.

But the ones who annoy me the most (today, anyway) are the ones who think they have extra special secret magical powers, making them appear to other drivers despite the prevailing visibility and weather conditions.

Why don't these BASTARDS put their lights on?

One of them almost ran me off the road this morning. I was stuck behind the slow van, he was stuck behind me. I was waiting for the soon-to-appear straight bit of road which would allow us both to overtake without causing a massive pile-up.

He, however had other plans.

He drove so close up behind me that I thought he was trying to see what earrings I'm wearing today, then pulled out (no indicators obviously, to match his "no lights" fuckwittery). This was on a left hand bend (is that the one where the road bends to the left?) with no forward visibility of the road, so no idea what, if any, oncoming traffic there was.

Instead of thinking "Oops, I'm driving like a blind halfwitted baboon, I'd better put my foot down and get out of this dangerous situation," he just kept pace with me, driving on the wrong side of the road as we went round the corner.

I looked across at him in some dismay because he was totally oblivious to both his own danger, and the danger he had now put me and the van driver in as well. Gah.

I pulled back as far as possible from the van in front of me, because I could see that this was all going to end in tears.

Sure enough, an oncoming car (with no fucking lights on, idiot) appeared. Halfwit baboon boy on my right visibly panicked, swung his steering wheel hard to the left and screeched into the small gap I had made in front of me, behind the little van.

He very nearly lost control of his car so I helpfully blared the horn at him (first time in anger, hurrah) and shouted "You fucking twat!" at him. I think he got the gist, if not the whole message.

Anyway, he paused for a few moments, then pulled out (again no indicators, continuing with the ongoing fuckwittery theme), screeched past the van and hared off across the heavily waterlogged roads of Salisbury Plain.

I know it's uncharitable but I really, really wanted to come round a corner and see him upside-down in a field.

Sadly not the case. Today, at least.

It was a dark green saloon car. Like an old Cavalier or similar. If you are reading this, idiot boy, learn to drive.


*really, seen cars with sheep in the back a few times

Friday, 20 July 2007


Remembered one of the conversations in the pub.....

One of our lovely neighbours works in the woods, all over the place. He was talking to another neighbour who works with the police, doing all the very unpleasant stuff associated with scenes of crime, who was enjoying a delicious-looking supper.

They were talking about the particular area of woodland where Neighbour 1 had been working that day.

Neighbour 1 extolled the beauty of the area.

Neighbour 2 (tucking into his supper): Yes, we've found a few people there.

Neighbour 1: Oh? Lost, were they?

Neighbour 2: No. Suicides. (demolishing his chips with gusto) Couple of cars, with hosepipes. Bloke with a bag on his head.

Neighbour 1 (a little crushed): Oh

Neighbour 2: Oh yeah, and swingers.

Neighbour 1: Swingers? (looking faintly distressed now) As in....

Neighbour 2: Swinging from trees...

I love living here. It's an education.

Pubs, greatness of

Hurrah! Just got in from a fun night at the pub. Am now full of Jack Daniels and coke. As in the drink, rather than some bloke and drugs.

Very very amusing evening. Am a bit pissed now, frankly. Hurrah!

One of our neighbours is planning to get up at 4am to drive to Bristol to get to the sales early. 4AM! In the MORNING! Fucking mental! We discussed this plan at some length, until one of our other neighbours announced "I wouldn't get up at 4am if I'd pissed the bed." Heh.

I really like the pub without fag smoke in it. Much nicer, and according to the staff trade has increased since the ban, which is interesting.

Aaaahhhhh booze. Great stuff.

Can;t think of anything even remotely interesting so am going to stop before I witter on all bloody night. Will try to have some adventures tomorrow.

Rain. And yet more rain.

Working at home this morning, watching the rain heaving down outside. It is really beyond a joke now, this summer weather. Those poor bastards who keep getting flooded.

Mr WithaY met a bloke in the hotel he was staying at in the Midlands this week who had had his house flooded out a few weeks ago. He was living in the hotel while his house got dried out and he tried to decide what to do next. As if that wasn't bad enough, he had only just finished decorating the house when his wife died.

Made all the things I grump about seem a bit less important.

On a more cheerful note, I have been very diligent practicing my blues riffs and they sound pretty good now, which is encouraging. I have asked a colleague if I can go over to his house and play with his son after work some time. His son is a pretty decent drummer, apparently, and my colleague is another aspiring guitarist, so that might be fun.

I have also been messing about with a bit of software called Audacity which allows me to record and edit stuff. I did a couple of songs the other night which sounded ok, so I will mess about with them a bit. Then I'll see if I can get the web broadcast software to work, so I can let some of my lovely online mates hear me in all my glory. Heh.

My three-dimensional mates are all sick to the back teeth with listening to me, so it will be nice to have a new audience to torment.

It is STILL pissing down out there. Bloody hell. It's more like October than July.

Maybe I'll make a cake later. At least the house would smell nice, rather than a bit damp and jungly, like it does at the moment. It's too warm to keep the windows closed, but as soon as you open them, it smells like Belize* in here.

*I assume. I've never been there.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Arrrrr gym lad

I am sitting at my desk in a rosy glow of self-satisfaction this lunchtime. Not because of anything remotely work-connected, that's all still shite. Gah. So shite I can't bear to think about it at the moment, to be honest.

This sickening warm feeling is because I went to the gym after work last night, and am planning to go again this evening. I didn't do a huge amount, only half an hour on a couple of machines, but it is a start. And I feel much more cheerful today than I have for a while, which may be a coincidence, but is more likely due to me releasing my inner dolphins through exercise.

The reason for my sudden re-energisation is not because I have a holiday looming and want to be a gorgeous bikini-clad beach babe.

No, no, no.

It's because I frightened the shit out of myself the other week by taking my blood pressure on a mate's do-it-yourself-at-home-with-no-medical-supervision blood pressure test kit. Mine was dangerously high, as was his, but I am not prepared to assume that the machine was faulty.


Action to take? Get down the gym and try to bring it down a bit before my head explodes and I start spurting blood out of my ears like a fire hydrant. I assume that's what happens when you have high blood pressure? Or maybe I'll have a fit of apoplexy and collapse all purple-faced like a Dickensian villain.

I am also trying to be less stressed about work. I am doing a good job, and I am doing it to the best of my ability, so I think I will try to be less hard on myself and relax a bit more about things.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Yes, much better.

I'm working at home tomorrow so don't have the hellish It's Friday So Let's All Drive To The West Country For The Weekend traffic to contend with, which is a huge plus.

Mr WithaY has a fun-packed weekend planned involving both shooting AND fishing. Not at the same time, mind. Unless he's bought a spear gun I don;t know about....hmmm....better check that.

He is the man who, when we were on our way to a re-enactor's market for me to buy linen and buttons stated "Oh yes, and I need a crossbow." He cunningly waited until we were two hours from home, therefore too far away to turn round and abort the mission before making his announcement. We arrived, I bought some linen, some pewter buttons, and some thread, he bought an oak and steel Sixteenth Century pattern crossbow. With bolts. Thank goodness, as the lack of one in the house was getting seriously embarrassing.


I may go into Bath and mooch round the shops. Or I may try to tackle the ridiculous jungle that has developed at the side of the house. Or I may do some stained glass as I have a couple of commissions for friends that I think I have enough glass to do.

Or, most likely, I will drag my unwilling self into the supermarket, buy enough food for the weekend, get the papers and then sit and read, listen to music and get all the domestic stuff done in a nice relaxed way.

So many options.

If we're lucky we might get a call from a neighbour inviting us out, as the weather forecast is looking encouragingly positive. I love having parties but it isn't practical if Mr WithaY is out on Saturday AND Sunday, so maybe we'll have another one later in the summer.

Summer. Ha.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


In the office today after a rather grumpy day working at home yesterday. Was trying to get the long-term objectives for the team sorted out which ended up with me writing "retire early" on a bit of paper in big letters after a couple of hours thinking, writing, crossing-out and rewriting.

The day was enlivened by my boss ringing me a couple of times with some bad work-related news, all adding to the general mood. I was very glad I had a guitar lesson booked because by 6pm things were feeling pretty bleak.

But once my lovely guitar teacher rolled up we had a hugely successful lesson. He taught me two different blues lead riffs, and by the end of it I felt that life was still worth living. And Mr WithaY arrived back safe and sound after a four-hour drive home from his trip to the godforsaken wastes of the Midlands, so another plus point for the day.

Looking back, one of the reasons for yesterday's mood may have been linked to sleep deprivation. I had a slightly later night on Monday than was sensible, and was still awake at 1am, helpfully. Finally managed to go under (so to speak) until 2.30 am when I was woken by the pub's burglar alarm going off.

Bloody hell it's loud.

And it has a vibrant blue light that flashes on and off, just in case you can sleep through the penetrating racket. I looked out of the window, saw that our security light was on, and wondered if it was :

(a) armed desperados from Bristol, after my valuable guitar collection to make a fortune on the second-hand Fender market
(b) some idiot local who'd set the pub alarm off and then run into our garden to hide
(c) a hedgehog

I decided it was most likely (c) and went back to bed very crossly.

Adding insult to injury, at 7.15 the following morning the bloody phone rang, forcing me to leap from my pit like a young springbok, dash downstairs, pick up the phone before the answering machine kicked in, and then find it was some bloke who needed to speak to Mr WithaY.

He deduced from my hoarse, grumpy, monosyllabic half of the conversation that I was not at my sparkling best, and asked cheerfully "Sorry love, did I disturb you?"

I was tempted to reply "No, it's fine. I've been up all night entertaining the band of the Welsh Guards, what with Mr WithaY being away," but refrained.

I think people who make burglar alarms should make them play loud music, rather than emit ear-splitting atonal shrieks. It would be just as disturbing for burglars and be far less annoying for people who are trying to sleep. Maybe change the tune according to the nature of the crime being comitted.

You could have Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law". Heh.

Sunday, 15 July 2007


Tired despite having a lie in this morning. Getting to bed at 1.30 last night may have something to do with that, of course.

We went out to dinner with some of our lovely neighbours last night. They rang us appallingly, hellishly early on Saturday (9.30am) while we were still in bed (with cups of tea, mind) to invite us over. We said yes please, and had a very entertaining evening, crashing back through the undergrowth at 1 in the morning. I only ever wish we had streetlights when we're coming back home, late at night, a bit pissed.

One of our mates told us a story about one of the farmers who live here. He (the farmer) apparently had a noisy cockerel which crowed regularly and loudly, as they do, disturbing some of his neighbours. Said neighbours eventually complained to the Council, who contacted the farmer and told him off.

Our mate was in her garden a few days after this when the farmer came stomping in, hands on hips and demanded belligerently of her "You been complaining about my cock?"

She said she didn't know where to look.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Village life

The last week has involved a good deal of time over at the pub. So hurrah for that.

Our mates turned up on Wednesday and we all went over to the pub for a few, then back to the house for Pimms and tapas in the garden (ooh, get us) and then back over to the pub for dinner in the evening. Cod and chips, I had. It was lovely.

They didn't bring the spaniels so the garden remains unflattened.

It was great to see them again, and to sit outside in the sun talking bollocks and drinking. Marvellous.

Annoyingly, Mr WithaY had to go into work on Thursday and Friday so I spent those days meeping about on my own at home, wasting my life on the Internet and doing the least tiresome of the long, long list of domestic chores. Although a neighbour did pop in for a cup of tea one afternoon unexpectedly, which was very pleasant.

There was a big village event on Thursday, with the Grand Opening of a new pedestrian bridge. Ribbon cutting and everything. And then back to the pub for tea and cake. Hurrah!

We have a hugely busy road running through the middle of the village, which in some ways is great (plenty of trade for the pub and the garage, a bit of variety and plenty of spectacular accidents to watch out of the window) but in other ways is not (risk to local people being mown down by crazed fuckwit drivers who think that a speed limit is a kind of vehicular serving suggestion).

There are several rivers locally, hence bridges, and as most of the bridges are quite old, there are no pavements (sidewalks, American readers). The upshot of this is that you have to squash against the side of the bridge as huge juggernauts thunder past at 60 mph, 10 inches from your head. Not relaxing.

Anyway, we now have a lovely wooden bridge which crosses the river beside the road bridge. And as it is much lower down you can stand on it and watch the giant trout scampering about without being smacked in the back by some galoot's wing mirror as he tries to steer, change the CD, eat crisps and reset his fucking SatNav at the same time.

And we had cake. All in all a grand afternoon.

Other news: Have been seriously considering my future re: international rock goddess status. My lovely guitar teacher is asking me questions about what I want to do in terms of technique (eg: Lucy, you really should learn to play lead, it'll be good for you, here, let me teach you some Pink Floyd), which in turn has me wondering what, if anything, I will do with myself. In terms of music, I mean.

I am now halfway competent at playing songs, well, just the chords, and as I can sing a bit it is quite nice.

However, I am very aware that this is NOT ENOUGH. I need to be better.

It's funny. When I first started attempting to play the guitar, many years ago, I imagined that I would arrrive at a level of competence where I could play some songs and that would be sufficient. I thought once I could play and sing a few songs I'd be happy with that. And guess what? I'm not happy.

I am the "old woman in the vinegar bottle" of rock.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Wednesday, 11 July 2007


Can't find the great site which I was on about.

It was some guy's personal website which included a whole series of photos of his dog (a Dachshund) in a variety of hats, including a Pickelhaub. Bloody excellent.

If anyone else finds it, please send me the link.


Just waved off Mr WithaY's lovely mum, continuing on with her Queen Elizabeth 1 stylee progression round the West Country, saying hello to all her mates.

We plan to go back over to her's in October, by which time hopefully the temperature will have dropped down from the high 30s. Centigrade, American readers. About, oh, anything between 70 and 100 Fahrenheit. I think. Perhaps one of the rocket scientists among the readership could clarify this.

I just had to look up how to spell Fahrenheit. How sad is that?

Reminds me of once having to look up the spelling of the word "Pickelhaub" and finding a truly excellent website as a result. I will link it to here when I finish doing this. Heh.

We are now waiting for our mates to arrive, who are coming over to spend the day with us. I hope they bring their dogs. They have 3 gorgeous springer spaniels, who are always great entertainment value.

Last time they came over, the hounds romped delightedly about in the garden (securely dogproofed to prevent our much-missed but bonkers German short-haired pointer from escaping), while we sat chatting and drinking tea in the kitchen.

After a while it went suspiciously quiet outside. When we looked out to find out what atrocity had been committed, all three dogs were reclining comfortably on top of my once perky and glorious rosemary bush. Using it as a fragrant, aromatherapy spaniel mattress. Looking very relaxed. Like small brown long-eared Roman banquet-goers, in fact.

We looked out at them. They looked in at us, clearly thinking "What? We're being good...and we smell lovely too." Anyhoo, it's pretty much grown back now, so it is clearly time for a visit from the Dogs of Doom, to flatten it out again.

The sun has come out after what feels like months of endless grey skies and rain, so to celebrate we may drive down to the Dorset coast for a walk on the beach and a pub lunch. Or maybe go for a walk in the woods up here. We'll see what our mates fancy doing when they get here.

Other news: My back is much better. It just feels heavily bruised now, making me go "oooh" when I straighten up rather than going "Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah fuck it".

Saw the photos of the preserved baby mammoth in the paper today. I know it's a huge scientific discovery but I keep imagining Mummy and Daddy mammoth up there in prehistoric heaven, waiting for their little baby to arrive.


Tuesday, 10 July 2007

oops, forgot a title

Well, my back is still bloody painful, but at least it's not stopping me sleeping any more. Gah. I passed up a trip to London with Mr WithaY and his mum today as I thought a long train journey was not a good idea, and am now bored. They're meeting Mr WithaY's big brother for lunch. I hope they go somewhere fabulous.

Still, there's plenty of tidying up after last night's "last minute" dinner party". I will go and empty the dishwasher, refill it and then make some lunch. And then maybe watch the tv for a while. Ahh, plans, plans, plans.

Did some excellent guitar practice last night before our guests turned up - Mr WithaY's mum came in and said "Oh! I thought you were listening to a record!" which was gratifying.

Phoned my Mum for a quick chat, she is still not too well, but seems to be on the mend, thankfully. I have booked some time off at the end of the month and she is coming up to stay for a few days. We plan to take some day trips to Bath, Stonehenge, Longleat etc, so I hope the bloody weather improves.

I know I'm getting old, the thing I like most about not having to go to work is the extra sleep and no driving.

Ah well, time for some leftover lamb tagine and couscous for lunch. Mmmmmm. Spicy.

Saturday, 7 July 2007


of plan.

Started watching the LOTR but decided it was too depressing so we had "Churchill - the Hollywood Years" instead.

Very amusing. Martin Boorman is hilarious. And who'd have ever imagined those words in the same sentence? The casting is excellent. If you haven't seen it, do so. It is amusing.

Smug? Oh yes.

Am now lovelier than any woman in Wiltshire has a right to be, following my haircut.

I went in all lank and droopy (and the hair was a mess too) and my excellent stylist chopped about 4 inches off my layers, tidied up the ends, and hey presto, I look like a 1970s porn star. A fat, 41 year old one, mind. And it's a good look for me.

Actually, there is something of the 1970s Charlies Angels about it too, which is not to be sniffed at.

I always wanted to be the clever one - Kate, was it?

I am delighted. And as if to prove how funky it looks, as I passed a gang of Italian teenagers (male), one of them said "Hey, sexy!" to me.

Hurrah for me and my fab new "approved by Italian teenagers" hairdo.

Also bought some new shoes, which were in the sale, so a result there. And we got some great big loaves of bread from the market to have great big steak sandwiches with for supper. Could today GET any better?

Ooh - also plan to watch the next Lord of the Rings dvd tonight. I am a happy, happy geek.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Still grumpy.

Still suffering with a knackered back. It's one of the consequences of being too tall (6 inches above average for the British female) and a fat bastard to boot.

I think it's also a consequence of too many hours on a very uncomfortable bus last week, and 8 hours in the car last weekend to and from London. And the trip into town on the train on Wednesday didn't help a lot, either.

Whatever the cause, it's bloody painful and very annoying. I hate that feeling when the painkillers have almost worn off but it's to soon to take the next lot. I am alternating between lying on the floor complaining, walking round the house complaining and sitting at my PC, not complaining till I try to stand up, when I go "Ouch, fuck it" a lot.

It's been a crap week workwise, one way and another. Still, I have most of next week booked as holiday because Mr WithaY's Mum is visiting from France for a bit (she's not French though, so she is allowed in the house).

Going into town tomorrow to get a much needed haircut, and to have a confidential chat with my hairdresser about my encroaching greyness. Mr WithaY and I may also take a jaunt to the pictures, depending on what's on. I love going to see films on the big screen.

Also need to get some gardening done - there is a "Sleeping Beauty" stylee bramble encroachment going on at the side of the house that is threatening to take over completely. Trouble is, it's been so wet and miserable that I have had no inclination to get out there with my secateurs and trug and get on with it. Yes, I have a trug. Doesn't everyone?

I took up badgerdaddy's suggestion and opened up a Photobucket account, and am planning on trying to post some pictures on here before too much longer. They won't be very exciting, but there will be cake. And that's a promise.

Oh yeah, was listeining (under sufferance) to the local shit radio station this morning. The shrill female sidekick was wittering on about the fact that she was going to be performing at a local festival with Nick Harper. And she had no fucking idea who he is. Gah.

I saw him a few years ago at Salisbury Arts Centre (a fab local venue for a wide variety of bands) and he was excellent. Far better than his mad old dad Roy, in fact, who he was supporting.

Anyway, this dippy bint was saying "Ooh, I Googled him this morning! He's quite famous!"

Yes, far more so than you are ever likely to be I imagine. Now fuck off and read the weather report. Badly. Like you usually do.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007


Mr WithaY is sitting with his headphones on singing along to Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice".

He thinks I can't hear him.

But I can.

Bad day

Yes indeed. In fact, so bad I was in tears at my desk. Not a common occurrence.

And then a jolly trip into London for an afternoon meeting, so a bloody long day.

And I still have a headache.

Hurrah for my life.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


I feel crap. I have had a headache for 2 days which is not shifting with painkillers. Always nice.

Still, spoke to my lovely Mum this evening and she sounded better than she did at the weekend, which is a relief.

Other news: None. Didn't go to work as felt crap all day, am off to bed very soon and hope that in the morning I will not have a banging headache. Especially as I am off to bloody London again for a meeting.


Monday, 2 July 2007

Old, and grumpy

Oh yeah - I put my hair up differently at the weekend and discovered some grey hair. I was outraged! I am a vibrant brunette! Not someone with grey hair. Bollocks.

Mr WithaY was not sympathetic, merely observing that at my age it is to be expected, indicating his own hoary grizzled head as evidence. But he claims he has gone grey as a result of living with me, so not sure his logic is entirely sound.

Mind you, he also claimed his medication altered his DNA, making him tell rubbish and/or inappropriate jokes for 6 months.

I don't believe that man ever went to medical school.

Anyway. I am off to the hairdresser next weekend and will take her advice. I daren't get it all cut off now in case it makes me look like Germaine Greer when it grows back.

Mmmm cake

Back at work after the weekend's festivities in London. It was great to see all the family, plus a few mates, and the birthday cake was superb. I took photos*. If I ever work out how to post pictures on here, I will do so.

It took us four hours to get there on Saturday. 130 miles, more or less. Four bleedin' hours. I think the entire motorway network was a single slow-moving traffic queue.

One thing made me laugh though. Saw a white van driving along the motorway with "Crime pays. See driver for details" written in the dirt on the back. Heh.

The visit was marred slightly by the news from Glasgow, especially as Youngest Sis and her children and friends were all flying out to Spain for their holiday early (i.e. getting up at 4am) on Sunday. Not from Glasgow, but still. No word from them, so we assume they arrived ok, and hopefully are having a fab holiday.

I need a holiday. I really do.

Have booked a few days off work when Mr WithaY's mum comes over to see us but other than that I have nothing planned. I guess I should just book something and tell him about it afterwards or it won't happen. Trouble is, he does his scuba diving stuff so has holidays doing that. Two so far this year. And I had my week away with the girls but I would quite like to go somewhere as well.

Anywhere really. Amsterdam. Barcelona. Paris. Berlin. Padstow. I don't care.


Still, sent our huge 12-months-in-the-making report off to the publishers today so with any luck we can issue it before the end of the day. Hurrah for us. We are great. If a bit tired.

*Of the cake, obviously