Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Fucking heating's broken.

Mr WithaY goes away, the boiler decides to break. It is bloody freezing here.

I am tired, lonely, cold and grumpy.

Off to bed to try and get warm. Will hopefully have something worth reporting tomorrow.


Sunday, 28 October 2007


Hey, guess what kind of local produce-related event I went to today?

Apple Day! Hurrah!

We have been having fun, here in Wiltshire.

Our visitors arrived safe and sound on Friday, having crossed the Atlantic in about 5 hours. They had a monster tailwind and apparently were doing about 700mph. Their plane got to Heathrow by 5am, and had to circle for an hour before they were allowed to land.

Still, they managed the train journey to Salisbury and were met by Mr WithaY, and were safe and sound at ours by 11am. Marvellous.

And since then we've been for a walk round the village, to the local farm shop, to the Olives et Al food show at Sturminster Newton (mmmm...olives), to Tescos, and to Apple Day.

And we've had a dinner party and a party party. Sooo busy.

No wonder I'm knackered.

Back to work tomorrow, while Mr WithaY and our guests fly off to the South of France for a few days. Gah.

We were given a new toilet seat as a gift by some of our demented neighbours. They refused point blank to take it home with them again at the end of the evening. So, I now have plans. Mwahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Anyway, Apple Day. I took pictures.

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There were many, many different apple varieties. This room smelled absolutely lovely.

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There were apples that sounded like a grumble:

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Apples that sounded like porn films:

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And apples that were just gorgeous:

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We also met some pigs:

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Which reminds me. Roast pork and apple sauce for lunch. Bloody excellent.

Thursday, 25 October 2007


Been to see Stardust today. It bears an intermittent and passing resemblance to the book, but it's lovely nonetheless. Robert de Niro* was entertaining, especially.

And at the end, the whole cinema went "Awwww" which was nice.

Spent a happy hour or so in Salisbury, buying a variety of exotic stuff** for the weekend. Am getting very excited about our friends turning up tomorrow.

Also found a few bits and bobs for the downstairs loo. It looks great. Kevin the Decorator deserves some kind of medal for services to the incompetent people of West Wiltshire. The whole downstairs feels different now. Cleaner for a start.

I found stuff in there in various boxes that I think we moved house with, almost 6 years ago. And if we haven't needed it in 6 years, I think we can live without it now. Mr WithaY feels differently, however. So we have a big box of stuff in the garage to be sorted out at a later date "in case we need it".

One thing made me laugh while I was in the butcher's in Salisbury. There were two or three young chaps serving at the front of the shop, chopping up meat, making sausages, selling chicken etc, and an older one out the back, doing something mysterious with a cleaver or meat hammer or something.

There was a loud "whack" noise, and an anguished cry of "Ow fucking hell!"

After a few minutes of frantic whispering, he stuck his head round the partition and apologised to me for his language. I said it was no problem.

"I'm very sorry" he said. "But it really, really hurt". I could hear one of the younger lads in the background: "Cor, it's really swelling up now..."

I wonder what he'd hit.

* Like an idiot I had put Al Pacino....thank goodness Mr WIthaY pointed it out before you noticed. Oh bollocks.
**Food, mostly

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Printer error

Was watching The New Adventures of Superman the other night. One of the episodes where Nazis try to take over the world. There was some kind of a complex plot involving cryogenic freezing, political skulduggery and a bomb, but I wasn't giving it my full attention.

Until this struck me...

Whenever an evil organisation attempts a coup involving the overthrow of the media (especially the Daily Planet), they always have a huge supply of posters, billboard hoarding thingies, pre-recorded videos of themselves gloating and dishing out orders, and those huge building-sized fabric wall hangings, ready to be unfurled at the drop of a hat.

All nicely printed up with their evil logo, in this instance, swastikas.

Why don't the printers just call the police and foil the plot? Tea and medals all round.

They get a rush order in for ten thousand huge banners saying "All Hail the New Evil Regime, Death to All Who Oppose Us, Especially Superman, The Bastard" or something similar, but they never blow the whistle.

Presumably an evil mastermind turns up at the print shop with a badly-sketched image on the back of a fag packet, demands they design a decent one, tells them how many posters etc he wants, and by when ("My Evil Plan comes to fruition on Wednesday, so by 11am would be great, thanks"), and the printers just take the money and get on with it.

What are they thinking? Tch.

Other news: The WithaY house is uncannily tidy. Mr WithaY has been slowly but surely sifting through several years worth of crap in his study, and we can now see the floor again. Just as well because our mate Big Les is sleeping in there on Saturday night.

Kevin the Decorator has played an absolute blinder and the downstairs loo is stripped, pipe-removed, scrubbed, wood-clad and painted, and looks the biz. He is coming back tomorrow to fit new under-stair shelves, and it will then be finished.

I am going to move one of my stained glass panels from upstairs to cover the window in there (for privacy as otherwise it's a clear view out into the garden...and back in of course), and it is all ready.

Our American guests are actually turning up on Friday, not Thursday as we originally thought. They leave Boston on Thursday, but don't get here till Friday. I hope they're not too horribly jet lagged. Still, the spare room is lovingly prepared for them. I plumped the pillows up specially.*

We're off to Salisbury tomorrow to get some Big Town shopping and hopefully also get to the pictures to see Stardust.

I re-read it on the train the other week whilst trying to get to London. It is a lovely, lovely story. If you haven't read it, do so. And then read American Gods. Go on. You'll thank me one day.

Shamefully, I realised that I love that Take That song from the film. Gah. How embarrassing. I like a Take That song.

But (hasty attempt to re-establish some feeble rock chick credentials) I can now play "Teenage Kicks" on the geeetar, and it sounds bloody marvellous.

*Not a euphamism. Tch.

Monday, 22 October 2007


Also, my mad mate Lorraine successfully completed her joust at the Tower Armouries. Brilliant.

She raised a stack of cash for the charity and isn't too badly injured apparently. So well done her.

Mad as a hatter.

And brave.

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Check out the bits of smashed lance flying in all directions. Brrrr.


As I have a few days off work, and therefore have more time at my disposal than usual, I thought I'd post up the pictures of the weekend's Wood-related excitements.

All in the heart of the Wiltshire/Dorset borders area. Lovely.

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It was a glorious day, which meant that we wandered around for a couple of hours in perfect autumn sunshine, not too much mud underfoot, and the relaxing sound of chainsaws all around us.

So. This is where we were:

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There were lots of people doing stuff in the woods:

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Making great stuff out of, well, wood.

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There were some scary bits of wood-gripping machinery.

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Also many people bodging, making chair legs, dibbers, rounders bats and other such long thin things.

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We saw the Great Bustard Project people, which is where I met the dog who I voted "Most Likely To Win A Horseshoe Bat Look-Alike Contest".

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And when I scooched down to take his picture he got really excited and jumped up to say hello, letting out the most evil smelling fart I have ever been unfortunate enough to encounter. Bastard.

There were a lot of people doing stuff with willow. Animals:

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And coffins. I am getting one of these*. Bloody great idea.

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And, just to demonstrate my juvenile and reprehensible mindset, this made me laugh quite a lot:

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A grand day out. There was even a stand selling toasted sandwiches which were really excellent. If Manuel wants to do a review, I can recommend the cheese, ham and pineapple without reservation.

If you are in the area next year, go along.

*For after I die, not just as a talking point. Or to sleep in.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Hurty paw

Gah! Am typing with one finger encased in huge plasters, after almost slicing the tip off with the world's sharpest knife. Arse. It was so sharp that I didn't realise I'd cut myself for a few made a horrible "meat slicing" noise and I thought I'd cut the washing up sponge thingy. But no. It was me.

Bled for absolutely ages. Was starting to think I'd need to go to Casualty and get stitched, until I remembered that I have no idea where our nearest Casualty unit is...might entail a 50 minute drive to Salisbury. The strategic application of a wet tea towel and some elevation* sorted it out.

Other news: Been to the Wood Fair at the Larmer Tree Gardens today.

I know, I know. Cheese, Wood, what don't we see at Fairs round here? Took pictures, which I will share in due course.

On the way home we called in to look at carpets for the bedrooms and stairs (how much more exciting can this get, you wonder?), then went and bought teak oil and woodstain. And THEN we repainted the shed, a seat, a fence (and my camellias) and oiled all the garden furniture ready for it to go away over the winter. What busy bees we are.

Off out tonight for supper, watching the rugby with some of our lovely neighbours. Which will be nice, as we're both knackered now after all our painting and oiling activity, so somebody else making us a meal is very welcome.

Still unbelievably tired though, and feeling a bit low and weepy as a result which is a shame. Yesterday was a significant family anniversary, which made the day feel a bit odd and sad. So, a few glasses of wine and some cheerful company is just the ticket tonight.

Even with a big bandaged finger. And green woodstain all over my arms.

*i.e: holding my arm over my head, rather than climbing onto the roof of the shed. Anyone walking past our house at the time might have concluded that we are Nazis, though.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Infrastructure, lack of

I have had two days of nighmarish travelling, and am exhausted. Should be reclining on a chaise longue with a teeny lace and satin hankie in my trembling hand.

First travel nighmare: London.

Left home to catch the 0715 train, which gets me to London by 0915, plenty of time to get across town and have a cup of tea, brush hair, slap on some lippy etc before the meeting.

Or so I thought.

Train got to Salisbury. I hopped off and onto the big fast London train as planned. No problems thus far. Arrived at Basingstoke only 10 minutes late. Still not too bad.


The nice man sitting opposite caught my attention* (was listening to my iPod and reading Neil Gaiman) and said "I think we have to get off here...there are problems with the signals".

Hm. Not good.

So, a whole trainful of people disembarked and scurried down the tunnel, under the lines, up the other side and across to the waiting train on the opposite platform. The already-full waiting train. Which had been held back for 20 minutes so it could meet our train.

How the delayed, crammed-in passengers laughed as an extra trainload piled in around them.

I was fortunate enought ot find a seat (not First Class, but I wasn't going to push my luck), but there were dozens of people who had to stand up all the way from Basingstoke to Waterloo.

Oh yeah, and there was an extra stop at Woking to pick up even more passengers, who should have caught the first train. The one still sitting at Basingstoke, presumably. Bloody nightmare.

We finally crawled into Waterloo at 1020, over an hour late. I scampered across to my meeting (taking some funky escalator photos on my mobile on the way) and was only 30 minutes late.

Four hours from leaving my house to getting to the meeting. Sheesh. FOUR HOURS. Not impressive.

Coming home, I got to Waterloo, found the right platform, had to use a different gate as mine was shut, and ran onto it just as my train pulled away. I thought about running along beside it, waving my arms and shrieking, but couldn't be arsed.

Went and bought some chocolate buttons and a Telegraph instead, and sat quietly for 40 minutes till the next train arrived.


Almost 7pm by the time I got home. That was Wednesday.

Today. Shrivenham. By road.

Only 60 miles from home, not brilliant roads but hopefully not too busy if I left early enough. I had to be there for 9am, so thought I'd allow 2 hours. Just in case of delays.

In the event, I was out of the house and scraping ice off the car at 0645. Gah.

As I'd predicted, the roads were full of large, slow lorries, all doing between 30 and 40mph, with nowhere to overtake, so I was glad I allowed plenty of time. Got there by 0815, cup of tea, nice and relaxed, hurrah hurrah hurrah.

Left at 5, and thought "I'll go home the same way I came this morning. It was nice and straightforward."

What a FOOL I was.

The police had closed a road just as I came off the M4, so I sat (along with about 5000 other people) in an ant-speed** queue, winding down a tiny back road for an hour. Got home at 7pm again, seething.

Other news: Mr WithaY had his exam today and is very pleased. He said he could answer all the questions, and didn't run out of time. Results in a couple of months. We went to the pub for dinner to celebrate.

Also. Kevin the Decorator is going great guns on the downstairs loo.

I came home tonight to find the toilet cistern on the front lawn. I assume he will put it back at some point, and wasn't just having a rock star moment.

*He waved at me, trying to attract my attention without disturbing me. How British.

**An ant with several broken legs. Carrying a huge suitcase.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Decorator II - the Developments

Hurrah! Kevin the Decorator is coming round early tomorrow to make a start on our downstairs loo. Excellent.

I will be out of the house well before he shows up as I have to be in Central London by 1000 which means a bloody early train.

Other news: Curtain fabric samples arrived today. Two sets, no idea why. I might make some very tiny cushions.

John Lewis. Can't fault their fabric sample delivery system.


The morning started off slightly bizarrely.

Kevin the Decorator turned up unnanounced at 8am to measure up for a job we asked him to do ages ago. He said his dad had promised to call me to tell me to expect KtD this morning. Perhaps he'll ring later tonight.

Not a big deal in itself as I was up, not naked, didn't have wet hair and was halfway through breakfast when he rang the doorbell.

KtD was hacked off though. He left (after measuring and listening to what I want doing), muttering "Dad's always doing this to me. I'll kill him." Heh.

So, with any luck our downstairs loo with be made lovely before our mates from the States arrive, which would be great. It'll be a longer job than I'd hoped though. KtD scraped a bit of the hideous lumpy wallpaper off the ceiling in there and announced that there was no plaster underneath, just plasterboard.

Some fuckwit just stuck horrible wallpaper onto bare plasterboard. No wonder it looks so dreadful.

Not as bad as our last house which had expanded polystyrene ceiling tiles all over the place (well, on the ceilings, anyway). When we took them down we found extensive gaps and holes in the ceiling where internal walls had been demolished.

The kitchen, particularly memorably, had an old packing crate as part of the ceiling. Nice.

Taking the tiles down was tough in places too. They'd run out of the correct adhesive halfway through one room and used (we think) lino glue to attach them. We chiselled those buggers off inch by inch. Gah.

And people wonder why we pay qualified and experienced professional tradesmen to come and do stuff in the house for us.

Other news: There had been an accident on the way to work, so the road was closed, leading to massive holdups and tailbacks. Added half an hour to my commute, which I could have done without.

There was a very bored (and very young looking) policeman sitting in his car with all the lights going, blocking the road. He gave the impression that he'd already been there far too long.

Also. Watched "Bulletproof Monk" on TV last nght. Heh. I love films like that.

Off to London tomorrow. Can't wait. More train travel and tiresome pointless meetings. Marvellous.

Monday, 15 October 2007


After a relaxing weekend away, with my bestest mate. Even though he unkindly referred to my blog as "that moron thing". Git.

Mr WithaY is studying feverishly for his exam this week so I thought a weekend of me being out of the house was a smart plan. Not least because it meant that he didn't have me making helpful suggestions about what to do with the garden, the decorating, the car, new cushions, shall we get a cat/dog/aquarium, future holidays, shall we go to the pictures, yadda yadda yadda.

All things which I think are important and need to be talked about. Not always an opinion Mr WithaY shares, especially when he is trying to revise hard sums.

So. Off to see my mate and catch up a bit. We ate lots, watched some films on DVD and went for a couple of gentle strolls in the sunshine. All very pleasing.

Watched "Little Miss Sunshine". If you haven't seen it, do so. It's lovely. Also watched "I, Robot" which my mate hadn't seen before. I still find bits of it very scary. What a big girl.

Had the world's best late lunch on Saturday in Pizza Express (taking note of Manuel's advice we made sure to leave our tip in cash for the girl who served us). Then wandered along by the river for a while, admiring the late afternoon sunshine. Very civilised.

Saw an entertaining group of buskers in town. A bunch of young teenage boys with a drumkit (with cymbals), some bongoes, an acoustic guitar and (I think) a tambourine were sitting in the street playing, watched admiringly by a couple of teenage girls. Bless.

I didn't give them any money, preferring to let them learn that the world of commerce is hard and cold. It'll be good life experience for them.

Went to Southampton on Sunday and mooched round the big John Lewis there. I love that shop. Found exactly the thing I've been looking for for ages, and was very pleased. Ordered some fabric samples to be sent home so I can ask Mr WithaY which one he prefers for the new bedroom curtains we're having. He doesn't know it yet, but we are. I am fed up with being kept awake by next door's security lighting so we're getting blackout linings. Oh yes we are. Shame we can't get soundproof curtains too, block out the road noise as well.

Had splendid high tea in the restaurant at John Lewis, flushed with success, and then wandered around the park for an hour, where we saw about 15 squirrels. And several big rats, unpleasantly. The squirrels were really tame, not at all bothered when I walked up quite close, although they legged it (pawed it?) as soon as I tried to take a picture of them. Bastards.

I liked that there were groups of people playing football, cricket and the fool, respectively.

Looked at the Lutyens War Memorial, and the Titanic memorial which is most impressive, commemorating the engineers and crew who went down with the ship. Lots of names on it.

Also, there's a splendidly ornate obelisk in the park which was erected by public subscription to thank the bloke who paid for the lamp posts in town. It occurred to me that perhaps they could have just raised the money for lamp posts by public subscription and saved the cost of the obelisk? Anyway, it's worth a look if you're in the park in Southampton.

Missed playing my guitar. Should have taken it with me. My fingers have gone all soft, so it'll hurt like hell when I play it later.

And now back at work, looking forward to seeing Mr WithaY when I get home later. Hurrah.

Friday, 12 October 2007


Yep, I'm off for a bit. Back next week.

Don't forget to feed the fish.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


Interesting drive across Salisbury Plain this morning in the fog. I left home about 15 minutes later than normal (due to sloth and lethargy, mostly) so got stuck behind the bin lorry as it wended its way through the village. That added an extra 10 minutes to the trip, which was tiresome. I did get to watch how the binmen handle wheelie bins, though, which was mildly interesting.

In a "stuck in the fog behind a lorry in the village" kind of way.

And then across the Plain, every bend, dip and hill a new adventure as fuckwit after fuckwit risked not only their own life but mine too by overtaking in the fog. Where are these people going that is worth dicing with death like that?

It was ridiculous. I was doing 60, it's not like I was toddling along painfully slowly.

Not only were they driving on the wrong side of the road in low to zero visibility, many of them did it with no lights on. Gah! Fuckers.

Other news: Watched an episode of The New Adventures of Superman on TV last night. It was (I think) unintentionally hilarious. There was an "Oirish" character with probably the most appalling accent I have ever heard in a professional production.

I genuinely had no idea he was supposed to be Irish until he said something along the lines of "My Ancient Oirish Druid Ancestors would be proud of me". Made me laugh out loud, which frankly was a tough thing to achieve yesterday*.

Went to the gym after work, too, even though I didn't feel like it. So hurrah for me.

Off to the dentist later. It's a social whirl, I tell you.

Peg bucket still looks nice, by the way.

*Just Googled that episode. It's called "When Irish Eyes are Killing" which made me laugh out loud again. And the guilty actor is English. Which makes it even better.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Shopping. And dropping

At my desk trying to keep my eyes open. And it ain't easy.

No idea why I feel so exhausted, other than waking up at 5am and not managing to get back to sleep until 30 seconds before the radio came on.

I still hate the local radio station with a passion. Fuckwits. They're so smug. So self-referencing. So inane. So bloody pleased with themselves and their fabulous talent. Fucking chimps.

It is painful to listen to, really. If only we could get Radio 2. Gawd, even Radio 1 would do for the alarm clock. At least it would get me out of bed within moments of it kicking in.

So. Bit grumpy today. And my hair looks shite because I didn't wash it this morning, as I am off the gym after work. Being a girl is a pain in the arse sometimes. Ah well.

On the plus side, I took the afternoon off yesterday and went shopping for an iPod docking station. Found one in John Lewis in Salisbury (I love John Lewis. I'm so middle aged now) and it sounds fab. It's smaller than a bit of A4 paper and not a lot fatter. Amazing.

Also bought a huge pile of new towels (for when our visitors come over from the USA...I hear they like new towels in America), some posh guest soap (The soap is posh, the guests are well-balanced and relaxed) some Christmas gifts (not saying what as members of my family might read this...heh), a funky little bucket to put pegs in (yes, I know exactly how sad that is) and a load of groceries. A most satisfyimg foray into town.

Mr WithaY was happy that I found him some nice jerk seasoning. We'd managed to use ours all up. 5 different sorts. All eaten. Incredible. What fat greedy gannets we are.

Then had a very enjoyable guitar lesson where we played Cream's "Badge" rather well. My gorgeous teacher taught me the bridge so I can now play it all the way through, which is satisfying.

Also discovered the "dedicate songs" feature on Facebook. Have been annoying my mates by sending them inappropriate dedications. Well, it amused me for an hour.

It is proving expensive though. I hear the little snippet of the song they let you have, and then I have to go and buy it on iTunes. My collection of 1980s heavy metal continues to grow at a terrifying rate.

Looking forward to a weekend away this weekend. Going to see my bestest mate who I've not seen for bloody ages. And I might get to catch up on my sleep.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Have had it confirmed by an amphibian expert that it was a frog. Not a toad. As I thought. Hurrah for me.

But I won't gloat.


Sunday, 7 October 2007

Busy weekend

Busy, busy, busy. Yes indeed.

Saturday was a domestic blur in the morning, which was all very pleasing. Went and got the 4-monthly haircut in the afternoon*, and then Mr WithaY and I went to see "Run, Fat Boy, Run" at the pictures.

Very entertaining.

It was fun playing "Oooh, what else has he/she been in?" but the story was good too. And it made London look like a place you'd want to live in, and it's been a long time since I've seen anything that made me think that.

Afterwards we went to the Thai restaurant on the Marketplace and had a fab meal. It took bloody ages to get our main course because they were understaffed. They were very nice about it. Several different members of staff came over to apologise, check we were ok, had drinks etc, and the food was so lovely that it really didn't matter.

The lovely lady from the kitchen was helping to clear tables and so on towards the end of the night so Mr WithaY (who is a bit of a top chef on the quiet) engaged her in conversation about the mysterious green leafy ingredient he'd found in one of the dishes. Holy Basil, apparently.

Which, incidentally sounds like a great chef exclamation. "Holy Basil! Will you look at the size of that onion!"

Today has been spent mostly outside which has been fab, what with the glorious autumn weather. We went picking quinces** this morning at Mr WithaY's dad's place, and then strolled through the village distributing them to our neighbours.

Whether they wanted them or not.

It was all very sociable, as we were invited in for tea and cake, and got to chat with many of our lovely neighbours. A walk of about a mile and a half took almost 3 hours. Marvellous.

We have about 40 pounds of quinces in the kitchen now though. If anyone wants any, let me know. I'll email you some.

*Looks fab, hurrah for me

**Not a euphamism

Saturday, 6 October 2007

A request

While I think of it...

My lovely but completely mad mate Lorraine is going to take part in a joust at the Tower Armouries on Oct 14th.

It's in aid of a young rugby player who very sadly broke his neck and now needs intensive support.

If you are near Leeds, go and watch.


Just look at her armour! It's fantastic!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Why is it...

...that the day you have booked an appointment to go and get your hair cut, you wake up and it looks fantastic? Better than it has for weeks, possibly ever before in your life.

For no apparent reason.

Anyway, off to town later to get it done, and hopefully get in to see "Run Fat Boy, Run" at the pictures afterwards.

Been faffing about on Facebook today. Lordy it's a timewaster.

However, it has reunited me with a great mate from when I was at school (hello Paul the Evil Barbarian), allows me to keep in touch with my lovely ex-reenactment mates who otherwise I would hardly ever get a chance to speak to, and find out when Spencer is going to be heaving-to so we can go and admire his mighty craft. Yarrr.

Have also been a domestic goddess this morning and done the ironing, cooked a HUGE breakfast and sorted out my finances*. Mr WithaY was up at the crack of dawn to go stalking so I did a monster fatboy brunch when he got home. No venison, but there was black pudding involvement.

My original plan was that it would see us through till suppertime but I am starving now. Might go and have some toast or something before we go out.

Had a text from a mate yesterday. He's been dreaming about my blog being made into a film, involving Robbie Williams.

Several points came to mind after reading his message:

1) If I am to be dreamed about, please try to make it either erotic or amusing, not just bizarre. Cuh.

2) If this was a film it would be far too long, extremely dull and have no point. Plus I want Catherine Zeta Jones to play me and I bet she'd be busy. The music would be good though.

3) Robbie Williams. Robbie Williams? Why? As what? I mean, sheesh. No. It's just WRONG.

No sign of the frog/toad today, by the way. Saw a wren though, which was lovely.

*paid some bills, rather than "sorted out" and magically became solvent

Thursday, 4 October 2007


Gosh, I've been lax not posting since Monday.

Sadly it's not been because of all the fantastic interesting stuff going on in my life. I have been pretty busy though.

Tuesday night was a guitar lesson. I am learning to play the intro to "Stairway to Heaven". My longtime fantasy of being flung out of a guitar shop on my ear draws ever closer.

Got hold of Kevin the Decorator's dad to ask when he was coming to sort out our downstairs loo. We have some American mates coming to stay in a few weeks so I want it done either before they come over or after they've gone. Not while they're here. That would be a bit crap, frankly.

Mr WithaY and the American mates are then off to France to see Motherinlaw WithaY (I have to stay here for work, long sad story), so maybe it could be done that week. It depends when Kevin the Decorator is available.

In case you were thinking how feeble and rubbish we are for not decorating it ourselves, in our defence, it will involve some fairly significant restructuring, pipes removed, walls cladding, shelves building. Not just slapping a bit of emulsion over the walls.

Plus we hate decorating.

Wednesday I was off to Bristol for work. On the train. Startlingly, it was a straightforward and comparatively uneventful trip. I spotted (in no particular order):

Roe deer
Pheasants (ordinary and white)
Magpies (bloody loads)
A rat
A jay

Out of the windows. Not on the train with me, I mean. (That list would be much shorter: Students, more students, old lady, wasp, scary bald man).

On the way there we passed a field with a horse in it, eating a big pile of stuff off the ground. Grain, I suppose. Perhaps oats. Or pony nuts. Could have been spaghetti carbonara for all I know. I don't understand horses.

Anyway, there he was, head down, hoovering it up.

On the way home, same field, horse now in a different corner, mooching about. The much smaller pile of food was now entirely surrounded by rabbits, about 20 of them, with loads more running in at all angles from the hedges. It was like that episode of Father Ted. The one where Dougal's rabbit Sampras mysteriously produces hundreds more rabbits while Bishop Brennan is visiting.

There was a complete twat who was listening to music on his iPod so loudly that I could hear it through his headphones, through my headphones and over the top of Eric Clapton. I hope he gets runny ear scabs.

Went out with my Evil Twin Lucy last night for a Thai meal. We haven't seen each other for ages so it was great to catch up.

When we worked in the same building it used to make for some entertaining conversations. One day we were both sat in my office (talking about work, employment police), and a colleague stopped in the doorway.

Colleague: Lucy?

Me and Evil Twin (together): Yes?

Colleague: No, sorry, tall Lucy.

Me and Evil Twin (together): Yes?

Colleague: Um...(pointing) That Lucy.

I told him, specify blonde or brunette, we're colour coded for convenience.

Anyway, we ate a ton of lovely food in an almost empty restaurant and talked for ages, and it was very enjoyable.

Got our mate Owen coming over for dinner tonight. What a sociable week. No wonder I'm knackered.

Ah well, keeps me off the streets.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Oh yeah...

Forgot to mention.

I am really, really hacked off that The White Stripes have cancelled their tour. I got tickets to go and see them in Cardiff and was very excited about it.

About two weeks ago I had a text from the ticket people saying "Very sorry, the tour's cancelled, your money will be refunded".

So. Bollocks.

Maybe they'll come back when Meg's better.

Shed failure

In the office today. Very very tired. Once again failed to sleep well, which is my own fault for two reasons:

1) Spent much of Sunday sitting on my fat arse instead of getting any exercise.

2) Had cheese for supper. And crackers. And an apple. But mostly lots of cheese.

I had intended to give the enormo-shed in the back garden a coat of wood preserver but it was pissing down with rain for a lot of the morning. By the time it stopped I was outside of a splendid roast chicken Sunday lunch, and frankly couldn't be bothered any more.

Will go to Homebase this week to get a huge vat of green wood stain stuff though. Then if the weather does dry up enough, I can get out there and get painting. No excuses. Unless I can't be arsed.

I have to get it done soon because Kevin the Decorator is due back soon to sort out our downstairs loo, and he'll tell me off if the shed still isn't painted. I promised to get it done after he fixed the roof, a month ago.

Other news: Mr WithaY had to travel bloody miles on Saturday to pick up one of his dive cylinders. Very sadly, the shop in Westbury where he used to go to buy mysteriously expensive but apparently essential diving kit, and get his tanks cleaned and filled, has gone into receivership.

Annoyingly, they had one of his tanks at the time. He got a letter from the adminstrators (Solicitors? Receivers? Whatever) telling him if he wanted it back he had to contact the sub-contractor and go and fetch it. So, he rang them, found out they were on some industrial estate between Exeter and Taunton (look on a map, American readers) and off he went on a jaunt down to the West Country on Saturday.

I elected to stay home and get on with a few domestic chores* as I didn't fancy sitting in the Landrover all the way to nearly Exeter.

And then I watched the BLOODY rugby whilst ironing. Gah. Was a great game though.

Was told a fab story about one of Mr WithaY's colleagues. He was meeting a mate in a layby one evening to go stalking (deer, not celebrities). As he sat in his car waiting, a chap came and tapped on the window.

Colleague (opening window): Yes?

Mysterious layby stranger: You here for some cock?

Colleague: No! Thank you.

MLS: Oh. Ok. (Exit stage left)

Time passes, colleague still waits patiently. MLS returns and taps on the window again.

Colleague: Yes, what?

MLS: Want to give it a try anyway?

*wasting my life on the Internet, emptying the dishwasher, drinking tea, thinking about cleaning the windows