Wednesday 29 February 2012

A Wednesday Wobble Around the Block

I'm not one for watching the Oscars though Son-who-watches-films does so - it's one of the highlights of his year and his evening is planned in great detail with lots of snacks and sweets and fruit to see him through it. This year the Best Short animated Film was won by 'The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore'. I think it is brilliant and have watched it twice now. If you have fifteen minutes to spare please pop over to the Once A Librarian blog and watch it. (Thanks to Danielle for bringing it to my attention).

(Photo from the Web)
Liverpool Football Club won the Carling Cup (League Cup as it used to be called until sponsorship ruled sport) on Sunday. Hip hip hooray, more silverware for the trophy cabinet and it means we will be playing in European competitions again next season having dropped out this season for the first time in years. Kenny Dalgleish, in his two reigns as manager, has now won as many trophies as the great Bill Shankly.

(Photo from the Web)

Even those to whom sport is boring used to enjoy Bill Shankly's reign because he had one of the quickest wits around. It's amazing to think it's thirty years since he died. I think one of my favourite stories is of the news reporter who asked him if the long-suffering Nessie, his wife, was taken to see Rochdale play to celebrate their wedding anniversary. "Of course I didn't take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present, it was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves." Probably his most famous quotations is "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that." Having said that he was realistic about life and a true socialist at heart - “"Pressure is working down the pit. Pressure is having no work at all. Pressure is trying to escape relegation on 50 shillings a week. Pressure is not the European Cup or the Championship or the Cup Final. That's the reward." "The socialism I believe in isn't really politics. It is a way of living. It is humanity. I believe the only way to live and to be truly successful is by collective effort, with everyone working for each other, everyone helping each other, and everyone having a share of the rewards at the end of the day. That might be asking a lot, but it's the way I see football and the way I see life."

On Sunday Jo and I went for a super meal and pleasant chat with friends. They have a miniature Yorkshire Terrier. Isn't that a sweet face. It's the sort of face that suggests half a ton of mischief inside a six pound body.

To change from dogs to cats I should mention that I've just sent a postcard to a cat - called Jeppe. His owner has put an entry on the postcrossing site for him!

One of Jo's clients or students (I can't recall which) gave her an Amarylis bulb last year and it has been flowering this last week. They have never been a particular favourite of mine but this one is excptional. So big and bold. A real colour statement at this time of year.

Sharp Little Pencil has just reached her 400th post. She's well worth visiting and if you want to know my favourite of her recent posts it is this one. It's a great example of her poetry, or if you want a very short story you could try this one.

I thought I'd check how many posts I'm up to – the answer is 2273 on this blog alone. What a lot of time I must spend on the computer and many congratularions to those who've been with me from the beginning of this particular blog in August 2007. Ironically I moved my blogs from Angelfire at that time because Angelfire was changing its format. I think Blogger must have done 2273 changes since I've been on it. Ironically, the one change I would like to see has never happened. I would like old posts, when you visit them, to show the sidebar and headers as they were at the time. That way I would not have lost the various award pictures I have had on at times.

Kay (Georgia Girl with an English Heart) has kindly awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. In the past I've had the Over the Top Award from Pauline at The Paddock; the Honest Scrap Award (for my word blog) from Monica at Dawn Treader; someone anonymous nominated me for the post of the day on David Mcmahon's Authorblog; Cheshire Wife gave me the One Lovely Blog Award; Shabby girl at A Fish’s Beach Wishes was kind enough to award me the Lemonade Award for this blog and a Crown/Queen Award for the word blog. I've only found out what awards I got by using Mark's postvorta search engine because at some stage I've deleted them from the sidebar.

I shall blog about the Versatile Blogger Award in the near future.

Tuesday 28 February 2012


Please share the following information with your friends.

I don't know WHY I didn't figure this out before. I wash my hair in the shower and the shampoo runs down over my whole body. Printed very clearly on the label is the following warning:


So no WONDER I have been gaining weight !

Well, I've got rid of that shampoo and I am going to start using Fairy Dish Washing Liquid instead. Its label reads


Problem solved. If I don't answer the phone . .. . I'll be in the shower!

Sunday 26 February 2012

Partner-who-drinks-tea and what she has done...

Inspired by a wonderful post of Marcheline's I decided to mention some of the jobs (paid and unpaid) that Partner-who-drinks-tea has had over the years. I should perhaps point out that for the last fifteen years she has been in the one (well three simultaneous but I guess that counts as one) job and so she is not as apparently flaky or inconsistent as the posting might suggest... Oops, just realised that suggests Marcheline is flaky or inconsistent. Didn't mean it, honest!

Regional and National volleyball player.
They wore more clothes and didn't play on sand in those days but she still saw pink elephants occasionally.

A record breaking shorthand typist

A trainee court recorder
(They didn't use stenography like the States – they had to use shorthand).


Marketing and Sales Manager

(This illustration by Teemu Matinlauri, a Finnish graphic designer and illustrator.)
Including selling chainsaws and the country's first moving walkway (at Heathrow)



 Freelance Jill-of-all-trades

Helpline phone operator

Charity Fund-raiser

Charity Regional Co-ordinator

Self-employed businesswoman - selling crafts


University Lecturer

Psychotherapist and Counsellor

Self-employed business owner and Counsellor Trainer

Wonderful wife and mother

Friday 24 February 2012

Friday My Town Shoot-out – Motion

I'm back - hopefully my postings for FMTSO will be a bit more reliable again.

This week's theme is Motion. I've interpreted 'my town' rather liberally and these were shot throughout England.

Fomula One - Nigel Mansell, Ferrari - Silverstone, 1990s.

Benetton (I think it's Thierry Boutsen driving) - Silverstone, 1990s.

Gigi Fernandez, Wimbledon semi-finals, 1995

Amateur show-jumper - Liverpool Show, 1960s

Bonfire Night, Liverpool, 1960s or early 70s.

Mersey Tunnel entrance early 1970s.

As you can see from the dates I've had to dig deep for these.  Hopefully next week's will be more local and more recent.  For more FMTSO bloggers please visit this link.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Pretty as a picture (post card)

It would be nice to be able to put the debate about Weird Defecation to bed but I couldn't let this one slip by...

I thought that said it all really. Incidentally, if you think the first word is uterdsa, guess again. That got rejected... Upon reflection I can only assume it was lIterdsa... Did you get that? Putting a comment on the blog of Son-in-law-and-friend-who-loves-otters took five attempts and that was even using the trick of cycling through to find 'easy' ones. OK, I know my eyes aren't all they should be but when they are two inches from the screen they're as good as anybody's!

Do you expect a reply to your comments? I wonder how many people actually read the follow ups to their comments. Sometimes, when it's obvious I need to reply, I do so but as a general rule I don't bother. But I do appreciate your comments (abusive ones excepted). Those on my sketches were especially appreciated (buzz for repetition) but beware – asking for more art work could result in you getting bored of it! I find life is sometimes too short to go back and see if someone has followed up my comment with a reply and I couldn't cope with the hundreds of e-mails that I'd get if I ticked the little box on people's blogs! I know GB does but he has access to the internet on his phone and seems to follow about 200 blogs and read their replies as well. He always did manage his time better than me.

There is, as Adrian mentioned the other day, one thing worse than no internet connection. It's one that keeps going on and off. This old laptop I'm using keeps doing it. That was one of the main reasons it became my 'old' laptop last year. The worst aspect of all is typing a long comment, pressing the button and finding no connection.. In the process one loses the comment. For the next few comments I copy the comment before pressing the button. All works well and then comes the time I forget to copy it. Usually a really long and probably rubbishy comment but it took me a lot of effort – especially as writing in comment boxes is one place I can't increase the font size to see it properly for spelling errors. Needless to say that is when the internet connection chooses to give up the ghost again.

(Not my photo - source unknown)

Does one go back and re-comment when one has a connection or does one say bugger it and give up. Depends upon the mood in my case. So if you think I'm ignoring your blogs at the moment I may not be, I may just have reached the end of my tether.

Since January I seem to have done nothing but complain about technology and yet I do so love what it brings me. Almost instant communication with a brother in New Zealand, friends in the US, and even Partner-who-drinks-tea in the next room (she's working and in 'Do Not Disturb' mode). I can even help a fellow blogling identify a North American butterfly

Hugo Simberg - Flicka - a study of a girl

My first postcrossing cards have arrived including some from Finland – as a thank you for the ones I sent there to Pirrko.

And this is my  first randomly received one - from Kseniya in Belarus. Aren't these great cards. You may not enthuse as much as I about the second one but I'm mad about letter boxes so it was perfect for me.

Monday 20 February 2012

With Love...

How do you sign your e-mails to folk? I have a fairly well-worn routine. When I first start communicating with someone they end with Regards, then maybe All the Best, Kind Regards and then become Best wishes and often that is where they stick. At a push they may then develop to getting the occasional 'Luv' which is a cop out. It's not exactly 'Love' but it's better than Best Wishes...

If someone is a friend they get 'Love'. Some people then get something weird like 'Love in kettles', 'Love in tea-pots' or whatever happens to be the topic of the day – or even something totally unrelated to anything like 'Love in space shuttles'.) A couple of folk, mainly family, get 'Lots of Love'. Partner-who-drinks-tea not only gets Lots of Love but also xxx. It has to be at least three xxx's following a conversation she had with someone where the woman in question mentioned her husband having received a text with xxx from a girl. “It was a three x' message”, she said, as if that explained in detail how intimate the text had been. (And yes, I do e-mail Partner-who-drinks-tea sometimes. It may be the only way to communicate when she's working long hours or I want to send her a link that's not urgent.)

There are some people I know in 'real life' that I e-mail and they get 'Love' just as they would get a kiss or a firm handshake is they turned up at the door. But what about people one has met through blogs?

The big decision is when does someone graduate to receiving 'Love' because one has to be aware not only of whether one means it but also how they will feel getting it. Is there any point in sending them it if you don't really know them or don't especially feel love towards them. But also you have to think about their reaction. There are so many weirdoes out there that one worries about being classified with them if one graduates to 'Love' too early. Who is this 62 year old bearded fellow who thinks he can 'Love' me?

Having taken the momentous step with a new friend – yes, she's definitely a friend already, we didn't bother with the acquaintance stage – I got this reply:-

“YAY!  We've graduated to LOVE!  That's always a good sign.  I agree, all the "regards" and such are just a sort of cautionistic essay forth, in case the other person turns out to be a complete turd.  But really, I think love is the right word.  The Beatles said it, and they were right. “

Says it all really.

So Kind Regards / Best wishes / Love / Lots of Love (delete as appropriate) to you all.

Saturday 18 February 2012

Making do...

My laptop is likely to be in hospital for another 28 days. I'm not a happy bunny. 'Making do' is not something I'm good at.

I have taken Word Verification (or Weird Defecation as I have decided to call it) off those few blogs that I still used it on. I can hardly decipher a single one of the new WVs. Perhaps, as one of my staff once suggested, I really am a robot. However, if you use WV please don't take that as a criticism. Having had so much spam and abusive comments I can sympathise with anyone who uses it. Sadly, I didn't find WV helped reduce the abuse though it does stop some of the spam. In case you are wondering what the WV I created above says, it's 'Silly Robot'. What, you couldn't read it? Is that my fault??

What really annoys me is that complaining to Blogger about abuse by a person with a Blogger account has no effect. She doesn't have a blog so one cannot complain about that by using the top bar (not that her blog would necessarily be abusive anyway) and there is no other way of complaining beyond sending an e-mail to blogger and that never has any result. So Amy, and others, if you are out there today, I really would appreciate it if you would blog off... I am so fed up of you and your racist and ableist comments..

No doubt it was problems with someone who was issuing her abuse that caused Secretly Skint to change the settings on her blog but I wonder if she realises (as Marcheline has pointed out)  that she has now made it only available to invited users and shut all her fans out...  

On to happier things...

There I was, sorting through some old folders on a backed-up drive and I found the scans I did of some of my art work. I've been looking for those for ages. I knew they were on there somewhere.

Here are some people you might (or might not) recognise.

Augustus John

Giovanni Bellini

Charles Bronson (painted in pastels for Partner-who-drinks-tea who can't help licking her lips when his name is mentioned).

Sean Connery

Francisco de Goya

Graham Hill

Käthe Kollwitz

Arthur Miller

Pytor Iliych Tchaikovsky

Have a good week-end and, if you are in the States, enjoy Washington's Birthday – especially if it lets you share a day with your loved ones.

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