Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Rolling rocks

Clearly this is going to be a difficult week. It's only Monday (well, for another 15 minutes) and it already feels as though the days have been dragging on endlessly, running into each other like headless chickens on a windy day*.

I spent much of the weekend weeping and swearing, the aftermath of a trying day on Friday, related to the recent SSFH** stuff. Things are slowly being resolved but boy is it hard to deal with while it all happens. And, of course, with Mr WithaY away and unreachable on his luxury dive boat*** in the Red Sea, it's all felt far harder than I expected it to.

So. How am I dealing with all this, you ask? I managed to get through to the doctor's surgery on the phone eventually this afternoon and made an appointment. A week on Friday. I couldn't bring myself to lie and say I was an emergency, but having to wait 10 days to see the doctor is pretty poor I think.

Anyhoo, I am going to ask him to refer me to a psychiatrist/counsellor again. It helped the last time I went bonkers, so hopefully it will help get me through this particular episode of stress and horror. I have hardly slept since Thursday last week, so I decided not to go into London today, as originally planned.

Instead, I had a long and embarrassingly tearful telephone conversation with my colleague (who is an absolute star), then went through my email with the laptop, and then went off for a restorative cup of tea and sandwich at lunchtime. I came back to a message telling my that my password had expired and I need to login to a different machine to set a new one. Fucking great. So I need to try and call the system administrator tomorrow and ask them to sort it out remotely for me.

But their phone number is on the computer. Which I can't login to. But I need to login to get the number to call the help desk to tell them I can't login.

There's a hole in my bucket.

Actually no. I feel like that bloke who had to roll the giant rock up the mountain every day, then watch it roll back to the bottom every night. Who was that? Except my particular rock at the moment is made of cat shit and broken glass****.

*I know it doesn't make much sense but it's a great image.
**Shit Storm From Hades.
***It has a hot tub. In my book that equates to luxury.
****Worst combination ever.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


So, long time no see.  To be honest, it's all been a bit too stressful and depressing here, so I haven't felt much like writing anything.

I'm cold. And tired. And grumpy. And a bit sad because Mr WithaY has headed off to live on a boat in the Red Sea for a week, for more shark-tagging high jinks.  He's back at the end of next week and I am really looking forward to it.  The house feels too big.  And the cold I had last week that seemed to fizzle out has fizzled back in, so I am snotty as well.  Nice. 

Anyway.  It occurred to me the other day that the funky visitor counter that I was all excited about is merely recording the number of times this blog is accessed from that particular country. So arse. I might only have 4 readers in the UK, but they check back often.

Thanks to the lovely people who responded to tell me where they at, though. The Canadians, especially. Aren't you all polite?

Today I have mostly been cleaning up, as Kevin the Decorator has finished.  The hall, landing and stairs look lovely.  The walls and celing are pale cream  (yes, alright, magnolia) and the woodwork and doors are all white.  The loft hatch, which has been a grubby stripped wood eyesore for 8 years is now a thing of beauty.  I put the pictures back up yesterday, and that was nice.  Moving them all round a bit means you look at them as you go up and down the stairs, they look different somehow.  Trouble with all the decorating is that everything in the house is dusted with very fine, well, dust. 

And, talk of the devil, he just came to drop off the house key and his invoice.  Money well spent I think.

I'm off to see Father-in-Law WithaY, who will be fretting about shark attacks. It's a rock and roll lifestyle I lead here.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Pleased to meet you...

You know what I like most about my funky new people-counter thingy? Down on the right, keep going, bit lower, looks like an iPhone...that's the bunny. Anyway, know what I really like about it?

It tells me where all the lovely, lovely readers are.

Mostly in the UK, but far more than just my family and friends would account for, so yay for that. But the most exciting part is all the people from Other Places. Bermuda for example. Sri Lanka. Switzerland.

It's amazing. Who are you all? How did you find me? Are you a regular, or a once-only visitor? Although, clearly, if you're a once-only you won't see this post, so I'll never get an answer. Heh.

Drop me a comment and tell me, I am nosy and bored.

Thank you.

Other news: The fool who disrupted every train in the West of England apparently wasn't flattened in the accident. But his car was.

Mystery Train

I'm on my way to Southampton. I'm supposed to be going to London. Somebody has managed to crash their car off a bridge, get hit by a train, and block the railway line serving much of the West of England.

I hope they're all ok of course. But I also hope they get scraped off the line before it's time for me to go home tonight. I will be at least 45 minutes late for work, my meeting with our project manager will be missed and I will have to reschedule it. Gah.

Plus I get to spend much longer crammed into a seat that prevents me from stretching my legs. What a fantastic start to the day.

Still, it beats being hit by a train.

Update: Coach Six on the train are having a great time. Their engine has failed so they have a two hour journey ahead of them with no lights. Or heating. I just laughed out loud when they made that announcement so now everyone else in this carriage thinks I'm a heartless evil sadist.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Another brick in the wall

I went and had my hair cut yesterday. Well, it had been four months since the last time. I suppose I am fortunate having hair that doesn't actually need much doing to it, but it does need cutting every so often or I start to look like one of those old statues of Poseiden, all curling tendrils and seaweedy ringlets.

The girl who washed my hair was charming, chatty and friendly, asking me about my plans for the rest of the day, and what I did for a living. So I told her. There was a long pause, then she said "Oooh, I bet you have to read a lot for that, don't you?" Yes, I told her, I do have to read a lot. "And you need to be able to remember things, as well?" Yes, indeed. Remembering things is top of my list of tasks, most days.

I might insist it becomes one of my objectives for next year: Remembering Things. Coming up with some performance measures will be fun. It'll be like a magic show. "So, what was the number I first thought of? Yes! Correct. You have attained your objective, well done."

Anyhoo. She was telling me about a book she'd read, all about some high-powered career woman who loses her memory* and has to rebuild her life. She told me she'd bought the book at the airport on her way to her holiday, as her friend told her she had brought a book to read "and I couldn't just sit on the beach while she was reading, could I?"

She then told me it was the first book she'd ever read all the way through. I was honestly stunned to silence.

I guess she was in her early 20s. How on Earth do you get all the way through the education system, whether you get any qualifications or not, without ever reading a fucking book all the way through?

When I recovered my equilibrium, I asked her if she was planning on reading any more books by the same author as she'd enjoyed that one. She said she might, but the other book she knew about was the one that the film Shopaholic was based on. There was no point reading that, as she already knew what was going to happen.


Other news: I went to the music shop to buy some new strings for my gorgeous Rickenbacker.

Me: Can I have some steel strings for a 12-string please?

Music shop flunky: Um. Let me ask a colleage.

(Conference out of earshot, worried glances in my direction.)

Music shop flunky: Here you are. (Handing me the packet nervously) These are the only 12-string strings we have. Fifteen pounds please.

Me: O-kay. Thank you. Bye!

(Time passes, I wander Salisbury in the hot sun, look at jewellery and don't buy any, go to a few shoe shops but see nothing I like, fight my way through the market looking for cheap fruit to make jam but am thwarted by huge crowds of chavs and nutters, so decide to head back to the car. En route I look again at the guitar string packet.)

Me: (to myself in the street) Fuck it, these are for an acoustic.

(Back to the music shop, where I explain to the crowd of flunkies that in fact I needed electric strings, not acoustic. Sorry, didn't specify at the time, etcetera etcetera etcetera. More nervous conferences by the staff.)

Music shop flunky: We only have those strings. They'll be alright though.

Me: No, they are for an acoustic guitar, mine is electric.

Music shop flunky: (as senior colleague appears in the manner of the shopkeeper from Mr Benn) But they'll be alright.

Me: No, I don't think they will. If you can give me my money back, I'll try somewhere else. (waving the receipt at them)

Senior colleague: What's the problem? (Problem is explained to him) Oh! I can sell you a set of normal strings - you can just double them up!

Me: No, I'd rather get a new set of 12-strings thanks.

Senior colleague (getting more enthusiastic) But I can sell you a single string! Which one is broken?

Me: The B, but I don't want a single string, I could just use one of the spares I have at home if I was going to do that.

Senior colleague: And this is an electric 12-string? Really? They are very rare, are you sure?

Me: (with a touch of exasperation now) Yes. It's electric. It's a Rickenbacker 620/12. I'll find somewhere that sells the right strings, thanks anyway.

(Exit stage left, in a glow of smug fine guitar ownership pride, with my money back.)

They really wanted to make that sale. Must have been a quiet day.

I am waiting for Mr WithaY to return from a diving trip off the Dorset coast. He has suggested that he might be bringing scallops. Mmmmm hand-dived scallops. And if he does, we shall eat like fat greedy kings.

I made a rather splendid curry the other night. You had to put an onion, loads of garlic, tomato puree (although I used tinned tomatoes it as we had no puree), turmeric, chilli, loads of cashew nuts and garam masala in the blender, whizzed it all up, fried it in oil till it made a thick sauce, added diced chicken and cooked till the meat was done. Bloody lovely.

Also, I made fudge. It's very nice, thanks for asking.

*I can't remember what it was called or who it was by, which is rather ironic.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Living in the Past

I was at a huuuuge Departmental conference on Thursday, where I took the opportunity to chat to as many of my colleagues as possible. I work in a fairly small team, and it is easy to end up only interacting with the people who you deal with professionally, or who happen to sit near you. 

Mind you, the alternative would be to wander the building tapping strangers on the shoulder and demanding that you both spend some time getting to know each other.  I can't imagine too many office environments condoning that kind of behaviour.   And I am fairly certain I wouldn't want to work in one that did.  Ew.  Touchy feely.  Ewwwww.

Anyway.  I was chatting with a group of people as we all sat around a table doing some brainstorming, or transactional analysis, or neuro linguistic programming, or possibly blue sky thinking.  I wasn't paying attention at the start of the exercise, a habit which has got me into trouble at work on many occasions in my long and chequered career.  I just nodded wisely, and said we should run stuff up the flagpole to see who saluted it, and that seemed to get me off the hook when they asked me a question. 

We finished whatever it was we were doing, went to get a cup of tea, and then chatted for a few minutes.  We did that "Where do you live?  Gosh, that's a long/tiresome/awkward journey" thing, which I like, because I ALWAYS win.  My commute is easily the stupidest.  Yay me.  People look at me as if I'm mad, and say "Three hours?  In total?"  and I say "No, three hours each way."  And then I sigh a little and look noble, and as if it is something that only the truly dedicated would ever undertake.  But inside I am going "I WIN!  Hurrah!  It's a stupid, pointless contest that nobody else even knows they have entered, but that doesn't matter, because I WIN!"

I don't get out much. 

The conversation then turned to that old chestnut "So what's it like, living in the country?"  I am always tempted to tell them we have to do our washing on rocks in the river, cut down trees with bone implements for fire, and trap all our own food, wearing the resultant skins for warmth in our fusty, dank, smoky turf-roofed hovels. 

I usually manage to resist that.  Usually.

I did impress them with the news that we are neither on mains gas or mains drainage, and that we have satellite dishes because of the crap TV reception round here.  And that we have next to no public transport.  "What if you need to go out?" they asked.  "Do you get a taxi, or use the bus?"  I explained that to get a taxi entails summoning one from town, so it's only really worth doing if there's a gang of us and we book a minibus.  I think we have three buses a day, but I'm not sure.  The only one I ever see is the school one in the mornings sometimes. 

"You do have electricity, though?" asked one of the ladies, looking horrified at the thought of a home with no access to cable television or a decent mobile phone signal.

"Yes, except when there's a power cut.  We get them quite often in the winter," I said, only exaggerating a bit.  "But we have lots of candles and an open fire so we can keep warm."

She looked at the tablecloth in silence, then back at me, trying to equate the normally-groomed, non-pelt-wearing person in front of her with the shocking image of deprivation she now had in her head.  After a bit she shook her head in wonderment.  "I just can't imagine why anyone would want to live like that," she said. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


Hell of a story on the news lately about the young Army officer who ran out of ammunition. It's very easy to imagine conflict going on at arm's length, all remote and technical like a video game, till you hear about this kind of thing.  Blimey.

I was at Salisbury hospital a while back, hanging round the plastic surgery department while they assessed how well Mr WithaY's fingers were healing. 

He got the thumbs-up* from the surgeon, and we headed back to the car.  To get out of the hospital you had to walk along a huge corridor, passing many different side wards and rooms and so on. 

As we walked, a nurse came out of a side corridor pushing a wheelchair.  In the wheelchair was a young man.  Well, most of a young man.  He'd lost one arm, one leg (on the opposite side to the arm), most of the fingers on his remaining hand, and his face and body were a network of scars.  He looked about 21.  As they passed us I heard the nurse asking him "So, what medal are they giving you?"

I had to stop in an alcove and blow my nose for a few minutes. 

I'm feeling a bit grumpy and out of sorts today, with a scratchy sore throat and a headache.  It may just be because I am tired after the weekend and a couple of bad nights since, but if not, then I am getting a cold.  Which, with my track record is bound to turn into chest infection.  Ah yes, look on the bright side, I always say. 

Other news:  Kevin the Decorator is back!  He is doing our hall, stairs and landing....walls, ceilings, woodwork and all.  We bought the paint ages ago, and were full of good intentions to do it ourselves, but what with everything** going on over the summer we just didn't get round to it. 

* heh
**involuntary amputation, bereavement, SSFH, all that stuff.

Monday, 14 September 2009


I have no idea why the formatting on that last post has gone to hell.  I have tried re-doing it a few times and now given up in disgust. 


New Blogger formatting options are clearly beyond my feeble grasp of technology. 

Festival time

There is a low, loud droning, groaning noise coming up the stairs from the sitting room.  Mr WithaY has bought a didgeridoo.

It's amazing what you can find to buy at a festival.  We came home with a selection of hemp clothing, some geckoes made of copper wire, a couple of CDs and a didge.  All the cool kids call them that. 
Indeed, I am sitting here wearing my new hempen t-shirt as I type.  I feel like a proper counter-culture heroine.  It's only 26 years since I went to my first festival*, and finally I feel like I''ve got the hang of it. Yay me.
We saw sooooo many bands.  Here, let me list them and make you go "oooh, they sound interesting".
There were several venues.  The Garden Stage is the big outdoor "main" stage, where we sat in the glorious sunshine and watched Mumford and Sons, then Loney Dear, a bonkers Scandinavian chap.   
Then there was the Tipi Tent.  This was a huge wooden and canvas venue, made up of about three big tents all linked together.  There was a bar selling cocktails (and cider) as you walked in, and lots of cushions and padded boxes and things scattered on the floor in front of the stage.  It was decorated with hundreds of strings of lights wrapped around the poles, and was really rather lovely. 
The cocktails were splendid.  They were offering a Hedgerow Something Or Other, which we decided to try.  I  asked the bar girl what was in it.  "Mostly gin," she replied, grinning widely.  Mmmmmm gin.
And raspberries.  And some sort of fruit liqueuer.  So probably at least one of the recommended five-a-day fruits and vegetables. 
We sat on the squishy cushions, drinking cocktails and watching an artiste called The Sliding Rule.  He was a youngish skinny guy with a mop of black hair, who played an acoustic guitar.  Well, eventually.  First he spent ages using what looked like a long twig, or possibly a feather, as a bow, then an actual violin bow to make loops of ethereal sounds, before playing his song over the top. It was interesting to begin with, but when he decided that he wanted to get off the stage to "be among the people" we looked at one another and decided to go and find another band. 
 We checked out the Big Top Stage, a huge marquee with a great light show, and saw The Tenebrous Liar, then later the Duke and the King, who were superb.  In fact, we ran into them later on, and had a quick chat, when they told us they were doing a "secret show" in the Tipi.  We went back there at about 10.30 pm and sat and chilled till they appeared, then watched them play again.
Apart from the horribly, noisily, clumsily drunk Australian girl who managed to spill drinks all over the place (including on me) it was pleasant and laid back.  Mr WithaY got chatting to a couple sat on the floor beside him, who had driven up from Plymouth, breaking down and getting lost many times en route.
They seemed pretty cheerful about it, and as the conversation progressed, the reason for their frame of mind was made clear to us.  It's amazing what people will tell you when they have absolutely no idea who you are.  They explained to us all about how they had grown their own dope, dried it, minced it up and turned it into festival-going fags.  For all they knew we could have been off-duty drugs squad officers.  We aren't, as it happens, but they had no way of knowing that.  Seems you get less clever the more stoned you are.  Who'd have thought it, eh?
Anyway, the Big Top tent.  We saw a young American band called Motel Motel who were superb, and then Beth Jeans Houghton, who stepped in to cover for a band who had cancelled. She and her band were excellent, and I will definitely go and see them again if I get the opportunity. 
I took some pictures of the tent itself, because I thought it was rather well done, and a very blurry picture of Beth Jeans Houghton which I like, despite the blurriness. 
The final venue was called The Local, and was a mouse-eaten marquee with a stage at the far end, nothing grand at all.  We saw Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo in there, an all-girl band who were lovely.  Again, definitely worth a look if you see them playing anywhere.
The highlight of the weekend for me, other than the Fleet Foxes, was the Saturday lunchtime session by The Leisure Society.  I've heard their stuff on the radio** before, and they were simply breathtaking live.  It was the session that everyone was talking about over the rest of the weekend, they are clearly superb musians and were just lovely to listen to.  The chat between them and the audience was good too, self-deprecating and cheerful, and most entertaining.  We bought their CD, and I am listening to it as we speak. 
Other bands we saw, or heard as we sat drinking tea, included Wildbirds and Peacedrums (very loud and clearly insane), the Dirty Projectors, Explosions In The Sky (hugely loud even with earplugs in), Alela Diane (sweet easy listening stuff), The Week That Was (not sure about them, we were drinking cider at the time).  And the Fleet Foxes, obviously.
We were right at the back, so the sound quality was excellent, but it did make taking a photo of the band well-nigh impossible. 
One of my favourite spots was the Tea Stop, a double decker bus cleverly converted into a tea room, with a garden outside.  We sat on their comfy double deckchair and enjoyed tea in the sunshine on more than one occasion.  Very civilised.
One visit was enlivened by the sight of a young man with extravagent Wolverine-stylee facial hair sitting on the top deck, having a cream tea. 
Me:  Look!  Up there!  It's Wolverine, having his tea!
Mr WithaY:  Where?
Me:  Up there...at the end of the bus!  In the window!  Look...he's pouring tea from the teapot.
Mr WithaY:  But his mighty metal adamantium claws will shear off the spout!  How will he grip the teacup?
Me:  But, looking on the bright side, he can use them to spread butter and jam on his scones.
We tried taking a photo but it was too far away and we were trying to be discreet, so you'll just have to imagine it. 
We met some amusing people, particularly the two chaps sitting on a bench in the woods, admiring a beautifully lit tree.  We stopped to admire it too, and then took some pictures.  They were hugely impressed.  "We've been trying to photograph it for ages," they told us mournfully.  "It keeps being blurry."  I think that may have been their eyes, not the tree.  
....although, now I look at it again....
The woods had been decorated with lights, which I am a sucker for, and we spent a long time walking through admiring the sylvan loveliness.  
I was taken by the woodland library, but particularly by their selection of books.  Struck me as incongruous, given the setting and all. 
They had set up a few funky little installations around the site.  This one was being utilised by some musicians for an impromptu session. 
This one wasn't.
A nice time.  Just what we needed, I think.   
*A very lovely folk festival at Goodwood Racecourse in 1983.  Donovan was headlining.  Happy days.  In fact it was the Sussex Folk Jamboree, August the 6th, thank you Internet. 

**  http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/3wgb The Leisure Society review by the BBC

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Rock star lifestyle

Tomorrow is a Big Day workwise. We are all going to some basement conference room in the Street of Power, and explaining to a large group of people Why Stuff Matters.

I am doing the initial chunk of the presentation, and the more time I have spent on it, the more I realise that I know NEXT TO NOTHING about it. I will have to deploy a sharp suit and some expensive makeup, and try to wing it on a wave of confidence and Chanel*.


Ah work. It's like fun, but with all the good stuff sucked out of it, and added stress and anxiety.

This week has been pretty good so far, to be fair. I walked bloody MILES through London on Monday, and fell sound asleep on the train home, waking up with a snort of alarm in Salisbury. Always attractive, that.

Tuesday was glorious. Warm and sunny, a bit like Abroad. I walked to the office in the morning from Waterloo, having overslept and caught the later train** which put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. It makes a huge difference, that extra half an hour. Mind you, the later train is jam-packed, standing room only by Basingstoke.

Come hometime, I started walking down Victoria Street, then on a sudden impulse I hailed a cab.

Well, it was great.

I felt like a rock star as we swept through Parliament Square and over Westminster Bridge, jumping out at Waterloo all relaxed and non-sweaty. And it only cost me a fiver. Well worth it for the buzz.

Tomorrow I am in London again, then we are off out for an Indian in town*** with some of our lovely mates. And on Friday (da-da-daaaaaaaa!) we are going to a festival. With music! And camping! And hippies, I expect. Been YEARS since we went to a music festival, so it will either be incredible fun or we'll utterly loathe it, and come home remembering why we stopped going before.

Mr WithaY is threatening to buy a didgeridoo.

I wish I was kidding.  

*The makeup, not the suit. I don't think Chanel make suits for women of my mighty girth.

**The 07:25. Lazy slacker that I am.


Sunday, 6 September 2009

Harvest time

Mr WithaY was out in the back garden mowing the lawn this afternoon. I kept one ear cocked the entire time, like a terrier puppy in a 1960s children's film, listening out for the sound of catastrophic personal injury.

We had intended to have a constructive day doing some garden stuff, but we are hampered by the weather and our almost complete lack of interest in gardening.

We like hacking stuff down, laying waste, slashing and burning, decimating greenery and so on, but we both get very, very tired awfully quickly when it's time to clear up the mess.

Earlier, I gave the garden table and benches a coat of weatherproofing gunk, rubbing it well into the grain as ordered on the scary stern instructions on the tin. Sadly, during my efforts, it also managed to get rubbed well into the grain of my fingers. Despite washing with soap, three applications of Nivea and a good scrub with deep cleansing lotion, my fingers are still sticky and blackened in patches. Most appealing.

If I grip the mouse too tightly, it sticks to my fingers. Heh.

At least I should withstand the worst of the winter weather now.

Anyway, during the course of the gardenfest, Mr WithaY harvested more of Nature's Bounty...

Our tomato crop.

I also harvested some apples from our tree.

Please note the stoic form of Rosemary the sheep over in the corner. Our apple tree is on its last legs, as warty and knobbly as a Dr Who monster, but the apples are incredible.
And there are plenty more to go, still.
I am planning to do something exciting with them and some pork chops later.

Mr WithaY gave the dog/log shed a coat of green wood-preserver as well, hopefully proofing it from the worst of the winter for another few years. We built it when we had our bonkers dog, and it comes in handy for storing the annual log delivery, and also housing any visiting dogs. I keep wondering if it would better to demolish it, but the slab it sits on took 3 tons of concrete, mostly mixed by hand and transported by wheelbarrow by Mr WithaY and Bestest Mate. Happy days. Boy were they both knackered and grumpy when they finished.

It looks a lot like Autumn out there now, we've put the little solar lights away in the shed and I pruned the buddleia right back.  Hopefully it will be as lovely next summer - the butterflies were all over it this year, it was gorgeous to watch.  I have pulled up the Mystery Plants, which had developed huge numbers of golden flowers.  We never did establish what they were, or if they were of any use in the kitchen.  I know it wasn't Fat Hen, as the flowers were completely different.

Other news:  I was inspired to pick up some of my dressmaking that I hadn't even taken out of the box for 18 months this weekend.  A very positive sign, I think. 

And tomorrow, up to London for another week of high-powered stuff.    Whatever it is I do.  I forget over the weekend.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Picture this

I've given up on Photobucket, pile of crap that it is.

Every time I use it it slows my PC waaaaay down to below Impulse Speed, and then smugly crashes Windows entirely after about 3 photos have been uploaded and/or edited edited. Far too tiresome to tolerate.

So. Flickr. I hear good things about it.

Let's see.

Hmmm, ok, created an account, successfully uploaded some photos....

cakes! 011
Originally uploaded by livesbythewoods

Aha! The cupcakes I made the other weekend...yes, they look ok. Don't look directly at the scones though, your eyes will bleed.

I wonder if I can add more pictures to this post? Bear with me...

cakes! 005
Originally uploaded by livesbythewoods

O-kay...there is the mixture for our Christmas cake, as created by Mr WithaY last weekend. Please note the spoon standing up in it. This was prior to having to move it across to the preserving pan, mind.

It's a bit tedious though, I have to publish each picture to a blog post and then copy it back into this one. That can't be right, surely? Anyone know how to post multiple photos into the same blog post?

Answers on a postcard, or in the comments section would be most welcome.

cakes! 012
Originally uploaded by livesbythewoods

And here's the finished cake, ready to be wrapped up and stashed away for three months, only to be revealed to the daylight for a feed of brandy now and again. And, as I said before, that doesn't sound like a bad life to me.

Right, let's see how this looks. Brace yourselves.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The Final Frontier

I fear that Mr WithaY is in the grip of a strange and terrible addiction. Not drink. Not drugs. Not even sea fishing.

No, this is an addiction more terrible even than those.

He is carving vegetables like a man possessed. Look:


He's made a Spaceship. Out of a squash, mostly. It has chili legs, with little carrot footcups*, wings made of cardboard (so possibly an entry in the Office Stationery category of the Village Fete?) and engines made of champagne corks.

My personal favourite is the teeny alien pilot, made of a chili and some cloves.


It's mighty impressive, especially when viewed from the "Please spare our lives, o mighty alien overlords" position:

spaceship from below

I was preparing supper last night, and listening out for my gorgeous guitar teacher, and Mr WithaY was pottering about near the vegetable rack. I went to have my guitar lesson, and an hour later, bam! There it was, on the side, looking tremendous.

*thanks to Futurama for teaching me the appropriate name for those.