Friday, 30 October 2009

Gold gold gold gold gold

You know all those adverts they are showing on TV at the moment where they are trying to persuade us to send in our gold that we no longer need?  The ones where they ask us to just pop our rings and chains into the pre-paid envelope, and send it off, and then wait for the fat cheque to arrive by return of post?

From companies like this and this and this

The TV adverts are full of testimonials from delighted customers who sent off their unwanted gold, or the wedding ring from their first marriage, or that huge chain their ex-girlfriend gave them, and look! They received £258 in return!  The adverts are full of shots of people waving fans of tenners, grinning widely at their financial savvy.

Some of the adverts also show pictures of the huge smelting plant where all this gold is melted down.  Soft-focus images of chains and rings being poured into a crucible, fat sparks spitting out as they are rendered down to make a river of purest molten gold, it's like a scene from Lord of the Rings. 

I assume that all these adverts are a sign of the recession, and that a lot of people are taking advantage of the convenient way to raise a few quid by selling off their "unwanted gold".  The little list at the bottom of the screen of the items they take was revealing:  chains, rings, bracelets, dental. 

Wait, what?



Oh sweet lord, they are offering money for gold teeth. Is it just me, or is that an invitation for violence and theft on a grand scale?

Don't just steal their jewellery, knock out their teeth too! We'll take them! No questions asked!

Been out burgling? Send us the loot! All smelted down and untraceable in moments....hell, we'll send you cash back by return of post! C'mon! Don't be shy!

I don't see this ending well.

Unless, and I am not sure that this is likely, the police are screening everything as it is received, comparing the envelopes of golden trinkets to their database of stolen items. Easy to then pop round to the originating address...

*Knock knock*

"Who's there?"

"Someone with a huge wad of cash for up! Can you hear it rustling out here?" (whispers) "Ready with that taser, lads..." (muffled giggles)

Yeah right. That seems rather too pro-active and organised, to be honest.

The other option is that it's all a front for something else. Who else would want to gather up as much gold as possible, even sending out cash in return?

Hmm, let me think...

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Mysterious stranger

Hello Friend,   Ok, we've never met as far as I know, but already we are friends.  This bodes well. 

I am Mr.Yi Kwan, supervisor on investment in Standard Chartered Bank,Hong Kong.   *nods*  Nice to know.  A good, solid, responsible job, so you must be a responsible kind of man.  Again, bodes well.  I am feeling more excited about this as I read. 

I have a sensitive, confidential brief from Hong Kong and I am asking for your partnership in re- profiling funds ($18,500,000.00 USD).   Ooh!  "Reprofiling" - is that like "laundering"?  Because I kind of have a feeling that's illegal?  Isn't it?

What I require from you is your honest co-operation and I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach of the law.   Aah, no, clearly it isn't illegal.  My mistake.  Thanks for making that clear, Mr Yi Kwan.  And thanks for being so careful to reassure me that I will be protected from any breach of the law.  We don't want to get into trouble, do we? 

Please accept my apologies, keep my confidence and disregard this email if you do not appreciate this proposition I have offered you.   Of course!  Again, thank you for being so courteous and thoughtful.  I am trusting you more and more with every word you write. 

All confirmable documents to back up this fund shall be made available to you, as soon as I receive your reply via: I shall let you know what is required of you.  I will await your instructions.  Do I need to get a ski mask?  Or a speedboat?  Or some diamond-tipped drill bits that can cut through bank vault shielding?  Or anything?  Just let me know, I will be here, fake passport at the ready, money sacks poised to receive my re-profiled (but legitimate) huge piles of cash. 

I can't wait. 

Regards from,Yi Kwan

Mal de Dorset

This weekend I have done a lot of driving, most of it either in the dark, or in appalling low visibility due to heavy rain. It's been fun.

It took me over two hours yesterday morning to get to my lovely Mum's house. A combination of appalling rain, motorway spray and heavy traffic meant that I seldom managed to get much over 50mph, except for brief spurts on the motorway, in between the 40mph roadworks sections.

Ahhh travel in 21st Century Britain.

It was a shame that it was so dark and rainy, as otherwise it would have been a beautiful trip. What I did see of the trees in all their Autumn glory was lovely.

All that aside, once I got there, we had a relaxing comfortable day doing little more than chatting, doing the Saturday Telegraph crosswords, watching films* on TV, and eating a rather splendid Chinese takeaway.

It was excellent.

When I got home, Mr WithaY was collapsed full-length on the sofa, post-bath in his tracksuit bottoms and a huge sweatshirt, watching "Watchmen" on DVD. He was knackered, having got up early and spent the day tramping across the countryside, shooting. He brought some pheasants home, so I expect they will feature at a Dinner Party Near You** soon.

I watched the last 40 minutes or so of the film with him, and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite having seen it before, and missing the first two and a bit hours this time. If you haven't already seen it, you should. It's long (almost 3 hours) and there are some icky "look away" bits, but the story is great and I love the way it's filmed.

Today we went down to check on Father-in-Law WithaY's house (still standing, still full of all his stuff, still not for sale, gah) and then called in at Tesco in Shaftesbury on the way home. Unfortunately, I was overcome with what can only be described as sea-sickness on the way there, and spent much of the trip feeling myself getting paler, tremblier and cold-sweatier. As we drove through Shaftesbury I was having nighmarish visions of having to stick my head out of the window and vomit copiously all over the scenic streets and merry tourists.

I managed to not do that, but it was a close run thing.

Walking around the Tesco car park taking big breaths*** restored me to more or less normality, and we were able to get all the groceries AND another digital radio (£25! Bargain!) without any vomit being involved.

The radio I bought at Asda is now living in my study up here, as I can get Planet Rock on it. Hurrah. The one in the kitchen is currently tuned to BBC Asian music. Mr WithaY and I were dancing around to bhangra music as we put the shopping away.

Before I felt as though I was going to die, I took a couple of pictures out of the car window of a fabulous poppy field in full bloom.

You can't see just how big that field is.  It's HUGE.  Take my word for it.

*"A Passage to India", which I had read but never seen before, and then "What About Bob" which contains Richard Dreyfuss chewing up the scenery in a splendid manner.

**But only if you live round here. If not, get used to disappointment.

***Yeth, and I'm only thixthteen.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Perchance to dream

The endless rain and dull grey skies are making me tired. So very tired.

It might, of course, be partly due to the fact that I was still awake at 0400 this morning, seriously wondering if I ought to get up and do something constructive. I'm not sure what that "something" would have been, mind.

Ironing would have been noisy and steamy, thus disturbing to Mr WithaY, who was fast asleep. He is not a fan of noisy, steamy activities at 0400 unless he is an intrinsic part of them, and we are on holiday in a posh hotel, after an evening of fine wine and delicious food.

I could have read some work stuff, but I dismissed that idea as "too bloody dull." I could have read a book, but I couldn't be arsed to get up and find one that I wanted to read.

Baking a cake (despite my recent whinging about my fat arse) would have meant making delicious smells* through the house, also likely to wake up Mr WithaY. I suspect that even the most delicious of cherry madeira cakes would be insufficient to pacify him if I woke him in the wee small hours by baking one.

So, I lay there for a bit, then, too tired to get up and be useful, too awake to sleep, till I eventually dozed off. Then I had a great lucid dream episode, which was entertaining. No idea what it was all about now, but it was one of those dreams where you can control the action to some extent. I love those. You know you're asleep, but you also have enough of your brain still awake to be a film director in your head. Sometimes I dream that I have woken up, though, which is bizarre. Then when I really wake up, I am all confused.

My sisters used to sleepwalk when they were younger, possibly they still do. We all talked in our sleep, which I certainly still do. More unnervingly, I also laugh in my sleep. I once seriously freaked out my room-mate at college by laughing for over an hour whilst fast asleep. She said she just sat up in bed, wide-eyed and trembling, watching me in horror, expecting my head to rotate 360 degrees, or my entire body to levitate.

She once had to stop me climbing out of the window, having watched me open it and throw my boots into the garden. Again, no idea what caused that. I lost my alarm clock. She told me a few days later "You put it under your mattress, that night you threw your boots into the garden." Ah yes, of course I did...yes, here it is, safe and sound. Poor Clare. What a lot she had to put up with. No wonder she never kept in touch**.

Mr WithaY (and assorted mates who have had to put me up over the years) say that I have also woken them in the dead of night by screaming in my sleep. How nice for them! When they wake me up, terrified and distressed, I have no recollection of it, or indeed what made it happen. Not weird at all then. The perfect guest.

Speaking of which, time to go and prepare things for dinner. We have some mates coming round. Marvellous.

*Oddly, we both hate being woken by any kind of smell. Although a delicious one might be a nice change.

**To be fair, neither did I.


The Excellent Dagenham Dave seems to have deleted his blog. That's a bit of a shame, I liked it a lot.

Dave, if by any chance you read this, I'm sorry you left. Come back soon and keep your chin up.

That is all.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Lady who lunches

I took a lunch break in between my working at home stuff today, which felt like a real luxury.

Usually I just switch on the work laptop in the morning and get on with whatever I am doing till hunger strikes. Then I go downstairs, forage a meal/snack/pathetic cry for help from whatever I can find kicking around, come back up here and continue with the business of the day until either I get bored, go cross-eyed or Mr WithaY gets home.

Today, though, I thought I'd take an actual break. In between toasting, spreading with Marmite and eating a bagel I also:

a) Emptied, then refilled, the dishwasher

b) Tidied up all my shoes that were taking over the house

c) Went over the cooker hood underside with some Flash wipes (and they were a real discovery, let me tell you), horrifying myself with the layers of greasy fudgey filth that were removed. I did wash my hands before continuing to eat my bagel, in case you were worrying.

d) Put a load of washing into the washing machine.

I am good at multi-tasking. Sadly, my bagel was dull and unappealing, as they sometimes are, so lunch itself was a bit of a disappointment.

I am also time-limited in terms of working today as my gorgeous guitar teacher is due over soon, so I need to make sure the place is reasonably tidy. Those amps take up a lot of space.

When I staggered home last night, late and tired and train-dazed, Mr WithaY had made the World's Largest Lamb Biriani, with the remains of our Sunday roast lamb. By Swansea it was good. We're having it again tonight; there is still enough left to feed at least six people. I may then freeze any leftovers. Four days of lamb in a row is enough, I think.

Hopefully we are having some mates over for dinner* tomorrow night, all being well, but as I won't get home till 8 at least, Mr WithaY will have to manage the food. Which, to be fair, he is spectacularly good at.

I am the underchef in our kitchen. Maybe even just the kitchen porter. The one who peels potatoes and carrots, and tidies up as the Master Genius Creative Talent works his magic. I put stuff away as we go along, and keep the surfaces clear and check the timers on things. Sometimes, if I am feeling especially brave, I make a pudding, or bread, or maybe even a chilli. The arrangement seems to work.

One of my sisters pointed out the killer logic flaw in my "I am fed up being fat" whinge that I indulge in from time to time. She pointed out that I often bake.

And what do I bake? Bread. Cakes. Biscuits. Quiche. Pies. Chocolate torte. All the stuff I'm good at. Doesn't take the brains of an archbishop to work that particular cause and effect spiral out, does it?

Gah, that list reads like the "Never Eat These" elements of a nutritionist's chart.

So, today it's a bagel and then later on, some biriani. And I think salad. There's salad in the fridge, at the back, behind the cheese. Somewhere.

*We're not having lamb

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Moon River

When I was out and about socialising with my mate Tall Richard on Thursday night, I took a few pictures of the Thames, as it was looking particularly scenic. Can't actually see the moon though. Sorry.


I like how the little bridge out to the boat is all lit up.  Very pretty.

And on the left, among the blurriness and poor light levels, you can make out St Paul's Cathedral.  Faaaar away in the distance.

The London Eye, all lit up and artfully bisected by a railway bridge.  I'm quite the photographer.

This is the north side of the river bank.  The Embankment, in fact.  Again rather blurry as I was using my phone to take the picture, and more of a concept than an actual picture of scenery.  The lights are pretty though. 

This weekend has been very pleasant.  Mr WithaY and I went over to the pub for dinner on Friday night, as he was home from his business trip rather later than anticpated, then we scooted home to watch the new Armstrong and Miller TV show, which we both found very funny.  Saturday was a constructive and enjoyable day, I did laundry, ironed, baked bread rolls, and in the evening we went out for dinner with some mates in the village.  Mmmmmm deicious dinner.

Today was a day of Sorting Stuff Out.  We cleared out rubbish and weedsfrom the flowerbeds, Mr WithaY mowed the lawn, I pruned the roses, and we pulled up all the stuff in the vegetable bed that had finished being productive.  Then, inspired by this diligence, we tidied out the garden shed and put the table and chairs away till next summer.

Very satisfying. My legs ache like hell now though. Time for a shower and getting stuff ready for my absurdly early start tomorrow.

Oh, and I can now play "She's Not There" by the Zombies. Which is one of my all-time favourite songs, so I am mighty pleased about that.

Friday, 16 October 2009


It's not that often that I read something on the news that makes me shake with fury. This, however, has made me incredibly, incredibly angry

Whatever one's views on the current conflicts, how cowardly and stupid do you have to be to mock someone who has been maimed horribly?

I can only assume that those cruel, spiteful, stupid boys gave no thought to what they were saying.  Not that that is an excuse.  Fucking scum of the earth, all of them.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


I often while away my long train journey to and from London by playing Scrabble on my iPhone. I usually win, even though it's set on the Difficult setting, which makes me feel very smug. Ooh get me, defeating a computer. One day it will of course turn on me and fire me out of the side of the train into to cold bleak emptiness of deep space. Well, maybe Basingstoke.


Tonight I began a game of Scrabble, or "Scrab" as we officionadoes (sp?) call it, and I noticed that my letters spelled ARRSENE.

Marvellous. If I ever get a job marketing rectal remedies, expect to see that name on an ointment tube near you.

Monday, 12 October 2009


Back up in London today, after what feels like years, what with my time off work and the recent trips to Bristol.  It was tiring, but no more so than I expected, and I felt far more able to deal with work stuff than  I have for a long time.  I even managed to consider some knotty work problems without deciding I ought to write a letter of resignation.  So, progress.

And, as a bonus, when I left the house this morning, there was a glorious bright moon, and a sky full of stars.  Lovely. 

Which brings me neatly to what I wanted to tell you about:  an iPhones application called Planets.  It shows you which planets in our solar system are visible at night - if you look at it during the day it just shows the Sun.  The two bright stars I saw low in the sky this morning were Jupiter and Venus, I learned. 

If you look at the Globe option, it shows you the Earth as it looks at that moment - right now it is dark over Europe and you can see all the lights on the continents.  The Americas are currently in daylight.  It's fascinating, and I love it.  You can also see photos (from giant space telescopes, I assume) of the planets, and rotate them around with your fingertip to see how they look from all angles.  It's hugely pleasing. 

Other, sad news.  Youngest Sis's lovely little dog Charlie passed away unexpectedly yesterday.  He was a charmer, and will be missed.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Big Bhangra

I am downloading bhangra music from iTunes. Tonight we are having a Curry Extravaganza, with people coming round, and naan bread and mango chutney and everything. I decided that something more appropriate than AC/DC, Chris and Thomas or Lynyrd Skynyrd from my iPod, or Pink Floyd, depressing Gregorian chant or 1950s do-wop music from Mr WithaY's would be nice.

I know nothing about bhangra, other than that when we have visited our lovely Indian friends, or been up to Southall to go shopping with them, I have enjoyed listening to it. So I more or less randomly downloaded a few albums, after typing "bhangra" into the iTunes shop seach box.

I am still toying with the idea of downloading "Bhangra Bloody Bhangra", a tribute to Black Sabbath. It has a certain appeal.

Other news:  We decided to put off going to the Wood Fair till Sunday, which means it will probably be raining when we go, but we have wellies and raincoats. I assumed we were putting off today's trip becasue of the upcoming Curry Extravaganza, but no, it is apparently because tomorrow is the day they are running didgeridoo workshops. Thankfully Mr WithaY is not planning to take his along, but I am sure it will require more than my mere mortal strength to stop him joining in when he finds the workshop.

Also, I have successfully uploaded a couple of sound files of Mr WithaY playing his didgeridoo. Well, one is of him playing it "properly" and the other is him trying to impersonate wild animals of the Bush. I leave you to decide if he is successful.

I think I need to add them as a special stand alone linky thingy though, as I can only upload pictures or weblinks here.  Gah.

Friday, 9 October 2009


Told him. Am being referred. And I only wept a little bit, which is an improvement. Yay me.

He said I need to be aware that depression could strike me down like a huge, mace-wielding vengeful demon* once the SSFH** is no longer foremost in my mind, though, and I have to watch out for that. So I will.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow will be a nice day as we are planning a trip to the Wood Fair. See the link over on the right there to the one we went to before. Under "Grand Days Out"'s called "Wood." Can't miss it.

I also need to pick up my Rickenbacker from the shop. Apparently the bridge needed raising, as somehow, mysteriously, it was too low. Hmm, how can that have happened I wonder? Might it have been when it was restrung a few months back? We shall see what, if anything, they try to charge me for fixing something that I think they broke in the first place. Heh.

Other news: I have made several deeply moving recordings of Mr WithaY making beautiful music on his didgeridoo. Now I need to work out how to install them on the blog.

*I paraphrase slightly
**Shit Storm from Hades


Today is the day I go back to the doctor and ask for a referral to a shrink. I've seen one before, although last time I had to be more or less ordered to do it, believing as I did then that depression was something that weak-willed people allowed to happen to themselves.

Ha. How very interesting it is to learn about these things first hand.

Anyway, I'm not depressed again. I know how that feels and that is not what is going on. The doctor talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when I saw him last, but having no previous experience of that I have no frame of reference. What I do know is that I am still hugely unbalanced* and that it takes very little to set me off on an uncontrolled, prolonged weeping fit. Which is nice.

I am also struggling to get back into my normal work routine. The long, long, oh so long commute now feels like a hideous obstacle whereas before it was an inconvenience that I was dealing with successfully. I have lost a lot of my ability to focus, which is a bit of a shame given the job I am doing, and I am completely exhausted after a day working, to the point where I come in, collapse on the sofa and am usually asleep by 9.30. That is not how I usually am.

Right. Time to go and tell all that to the doctor.

*More than usual, I mean.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Hump day dump day

Ah, Wednesday. Known to some as Hump Day, according to the radio. Why? Are we all supposed to be out there humping people's legs like unruly dogs? I'm sorry, but I am simply not prepared to do that.

Plus it's raining really hard and I don't want to go out and get soaked.

In fact, it's been raining all day. Luckily for me I have not had to go out and walk around in it much. I popped out to the local garage this morning to get the be-beep key fob thingy for my car sorted out. It was becoming excitingly unpredictable, not unlocking (or indeed locking) the car on the first, second and sometimes seventh click of the button. I had nightmarish visions of getting off the train from London at 9pm one dark night and not being able to open the car, then having to walk all the way home, crying piteously.

So, a new battery seemed like a good idea.

They are lovely down there. They replaced the key fob battery and then refused to take any money for it, saying "We'll sort it out next time, love, don't worry about it." What nice people.

I then scooted to Morrisons and picked up a few groceries. Washing powder! Bleach! Onions! My life is a whirling fun-packed carousel of delight.

What else have I been doing lately? Apart from slowly getting myself back to what passes for normality, post SSFH*, I mean.

I spent Monday and Tuesday in Bristol, helping with a training/familiarisation course, which was interesting. Always nice to meet people who work in related but separate fields**.

There is a HUGE difference between the trains that go from my local station to Bristol, and the trains that go from my usual station to London. The people! My dears! Such dreadful, dreadful people!

I suppose the big difference is that the London train is stuffed to the gills with city types in suits, settling in for the 2-hour ride, reading their newspapers or working on their laptops quietly. They all have their usual seats (me included) and there is a degree of placid tranquil acceptance that we are all in it together. We simply chill out and tolerate the journey as best we may, each trying to be inconspicuous and productive. Well, I tend to play Scrabble and listen to loud rock music on my iPhone, but you get the picture.

The Bristol train, now, is a different kettle of fish. Indeed, the one on Monday smelt as though one of the many slack-jawed mouth-breathers crammed in there was actually carrying a kettle of fish. It was a dump.

The train was the same size as the London train***, but there were fewer seats, meaning that while those of us who had found somewhere to sit were not too cramped, there were many people forced to stand up for the duration of the journey. And they were bitching about it.

There were several people for whom the term "dangers of rural inbreeding" might have been coined. Four people sitting around a table had only 5 eyebrows between them. It wasn't pretty.

Anyhoo. People hop on and off all the time, only going one or two stops, so it's a constant stream of bags and coats whacking you as they shuffle past, knuckles dragging, personal steroes blaring, phones cheeping and chirping. Was worse than being in the cinema with a huge crowd of unruly teenagers.

Still, it took less than an hour and a half to get to work, and I was home before it was dark, which made a nice change.

Other news: Mr WithaY has been diligently practicing his didgeridoo since he got home from Egypt. I might make a recording and put it on here if I can work out the technology.

*Shit Storm From Hades
**Not like farmers, but in a professionally-related way

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Mixed signals

I'm still here. Just not filling this little corner of the Internet with quite as much trivia and nonsense insightful social commentary as usual.

I am, however, feeling much better than I was. I'm still going to see the doctor next week though, as I am pretty far from normal.

It has helped that the weather was glorious all week. It's colder, as you'd expect, what with being October and all, but it's been clear and bright, with the trees just starting to turn colour. Very scenic.

Bestest Mate very kindly came over and stayed for a couple of days, which was lovely, so the week didn't feel as lonely as I thought it might at the outset.

One afternoon we went out for a little walk. I wanted to show him the new bridge over the river, so we wandered down to it and stood there watching trout in the afternoon sunshine. As it was such a lovely day we decided to take a stroll round the village and enjoy the weather. We got as far as a mates' house* and decided to call in and say hello. Luckily (for us) we interrupted them having tea, so we were invited to join them. Mmmm tea.

We sat and had a cup of tea, chatting about all sorts of stuff, when our host happened to glance down at the plate of buttered malt loaf he had placed beside his chair. There was an anguished cry of "Cat! No! You're kicking the arse out of it!" as he lifted their cat off the table. It had snuck round quietly and amused itself by licking all the butter off each slice while we sat talking. Heh.

That evening we went over to another mate's for dinner, which was mighty fine. Bestest Mate had to endure a whole evening of intense cross-examination**, being a comparative stranger round here. At one point our host enquired of his wife "Would you like a slightly brighter light to shine in his eyes?" which made me laugh.

Friday night there was a band playing in the pub, so I wandered over to take a peek. They were pretty good, but it was a bit of a shame there weren't more people there to enjoy them.

I left at about 11, back home to await Mr WithaY's arrival. I'd been checking flight details online throughout the day, and his was supposed to land at Gatwick at 9.30pm. Allowing about an hour for baggage, customs and car park sorting-out, two hours for the drive home, I expected to see him back here about midnight-ish.

I sat up till almost 1am, then gave up and went to bed, leaving lights on so he would at least get to see the glorious new paintwork as soon as he arrived. Apparently he actually got home at around 2.30am; his plane was very late in arriving, so he thoughtfully took himself off to the spare room rather than come crashing in and waking me up in the wee small hours.

He knows that's a bad idea.

Anyhoo. He managed a week of diving in the Red Sea without having anything bitten off by sharks. He has got some spectacular bruises from falling down a companionway, or onto a belaying pin, or into a bilge or something***.

Other news: I had to take my gorgeous Rickenbacker back to the shop to get it looked at. It was unplayable, which makes me feel better about the couple of times I tried playing it (before the string broke) and sounded shite. I think the action got lowered when it was restrung a while back. It was ok when you played a string open, but as soon as you fretted it there was just a lot of buzz, and no music at all. Bah.

Also, I have bought a digital radio for the kitchen. The signal on the old FM radio has degraded rapidly over the last couple of months, to the point where I often had to switch it off in exasperation. Bestest Mate suggested we went to Asda, as we were in Frome anyway, so we called in. I bought some new pillows, as the ones in the spare room were apparently not hypo-allergenic enough, and then looked at their electrical stuff.

Digital radios for £25! Incredible. So I bought one, and it sounds great. I can't pick up Planet Rock on it, which is a bit of a blow, but the BBC stations are fine.

Asda had the world's biggest selection of horrible Halloween shite I have ever seen, including a "joke" severed arm that actually turned my stomach. Gah.

Back to Bristol next week for a couple of days, then London on Thursday. I need to renew my season ticket. Almost five grand! Gah again.

*Hello Lynn! Hello Richard!
**It began with "So what do you do for a living?" and gradually ramped up to "So you're really not gay?"
***I'm not a sailor, but I can get by with the lingo, as you see.