Monday, 31 March 2008

Miss Bimbo

There's been a lot of coverage about a website that some people consider inappropriate.

I think that Miss Bimbo is a classic example of spotting a gap in the market.

And I disagree with the criticism. The site is great fun. I can't really believe that anybody would take it seriously. And if there are young girls that do take it seriously then they are probably the sort of girls who would fall victim to the belief that the cult of celebrity is one that needs worshipping.

I am not in favour of a nanny state. I believe that parents and children need to take on some responsibility for their actions. is a fun game for teenagers or adults. I won't hear criticism of the concept.

I will hear criticism about the site though. Site availability is shocking.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

My ticket out of this hellhole

Received in our mailbox today:

From: Mr.Martin Newman Accra, Ghana.

Hello Friend

I got your contact during my search for a reliable, honest and a trust worth person to entrust this huge transfer project with.

My name is Mr. Martin Newman, Branch manager of a financial institution here in Ghana. I am a Ghanaian married with two kids.

I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of $7,550,000.00 Million United States dollars only. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which am the manager made as profit during the 2005 financial year.

I have already submitted annual report for that year to my head office here in Accra Ghana as I have watched with keen interest as they will never know of this excess I have since, placed this amount of $7,597.864.00 Million United States dollars only to an Escrow Coded account without a beneficiary (anonymous) to avoid trace.

As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money due to civil service code which formits civil servants from owing or operating foreign currency account coupled with the fact that the fund is huge thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account on my behalf.

I intend to part 30% of this fund to you while 70% shall be for me. I do need to stress that there are practically no risk involved in this. It's going to be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be legally processed to your name and be transferred to your account. If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to my private email:

With Regards,

Mr. Martin Newman

Saturday, 29 March 2008

In lieu of

I'm very much like my mum.

When my mum fell pregnant with me she didn't know anyone else expecting a baby. The midwife told her that Penny at number 73 was pregnant. So Mum went and knocked on the door of number 73, introduced herself and so started a great friendship.

This was in Pelsall near Birmingham and we moved to Devon when I was four.

Mum and Penny kept in touch, writing frequently. I remember Mum sat in her chair in the sitting room writing sheets and sheets to Penny.

I'd love to know what was in those letters. I imagine there was family news but I wonder how much emotion was written down. Did she share hopes and worries, joy and frustration?

I can spot Penny's handwriting. I received birthday cards every year from Penny, Cliff, Julia, Simon and Drew and they were always written by Penny.

Penny has died. She joins her husband and my mum. It's at times like this I'd really like to believe in an afterlife. Penny was bereft following the death of her husband. I'd love to think they're together again and I'd love to think about best friends being reunited too.

Mum can't be there for the funeral but I'll be going. I'll be going partly for me, but mainly for Mum.

Friday, 28 March 2008

I'm not better than you

I hate it. The one person in a room that has to have been where you've been (but stayed in a better hotel), lived where you lived (but lived in a better house), been out with your boyfriend (but the sex was better), married your husband (but the engagement ring was bigger - not difficult really because I don't have an engagement ring), had a better job than you (and of course it paid more money).

I don't care. I don't care that you're better than me, I really don't. I just hate the insecurity that drives you to point it out at every opportunity.

I'm not better than you. I'm really not. In fact let's compare lives and let's just find all of the ways in which me and my life are inferior. And then, once we've got the competitive crap out of the way, can we just have a normal conversation?

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Princess rubbish

I've known about this for a while but I freely admit it had slipped my mind.

There had been a note in Hannah's school bag about a hat competition. The rules were simple; the hat must be made from recycled materials.

There was nothing specifying the involvement of children, which was just as well because I remembered it this morning and needs to be completed for tomorrow.

I am not good at this sort of thing.

I cut some cardboard into a long crown shape. I made some glue with flour and water (that is what it's made from isn't it?) I stuck magazine pictures with a pink hue onto the cardboard and used a hairdryer to dry it all. The cardboard lots its structure and went floppy. Not very princess-like.

I started again. Cardboard crown (same construction as previous) covered in foil. Tied a few ribbons on and added some shells, some beads, feathers.

Now this shouldn't have taken long did.

It looked crap so I figured it looked like it might have been recycled.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The drugs don't work - again

So I took the antibiotics and I'm still ill.

I'm fed up but don't know whether I have the energy to go back to the doctor. It's all such a faff.

I'm sort of used to being ill. It's almost a habit. Trying to get well just takes energy and that's an investment in a resource that's just not at my disposal right now.

I've stopped going to the gym because I couldn't muster the enthusiasm anymore. I think my body needs a holiday. Now it would be difficult for my body to take a holiday without inviting me. There's food for thought.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

What to do with Daddy

Dad needs to go into a home.

Ian has been looking around because a) Ian's a star and b) he's local to Dad.

He looked at one last week which ticked all of the boxes. It was clean, nicely decorated, conveniently located for the local town and had a spectacular seafront location. It had activities for residents and was comfortable to boot. It didn't do it for Ian though.

As Ian walked in he was shocked. All of the residents were in wheelchairs.

Even though Ian knows Dad is pretty much immobile it just hasn't really sunk in. Seeing a sea of elderly people confined to wheelchairs hit home. All of a sudden Dad's situation became more apparent.

As it happens this particular home decided that their product offering and Dad's customer needs were incompatible so the search continues. At least now the initial shock hurdle has been overcome.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Call the police!

Our broadband is being purloined to the tune of 5-10 gigabytes per night.

We've upped security to the point where there is nothing more we can do without buying more hardware or employing some heavies to knock on doors and intimidate the potential perpetrators among our neighbours.

If it carries on should we call the police? I mean it's theft isn't it? It's like someone stealing a locked bike just when you need it to get home from the pub.

We would be reporting it to Essex police which has to be a factor in the decision to make a complaint or not. Would they honestly understand the crime, let alone have the ability to investigate?

Sunday, 23 March 2008

As a Christian

Yesterday I was approached by a woman in Brentwood High Street. She was walking around doing her shopping and, by the way she approached me, I thought she wanted assistance.

She started "Can I ask you something, as a Christian."

"Ah" I replied "I'm not a Christian." and I started to walk away.

She called me back and re-started making it clear that she was the Christian and I have to admit I had guessed that was the case.

"Can I ask you, as a Christian...."

I waited and nodded encouragement. She continued.

"Why do you think they crucified Jesus?"

My reply does not merit a mention but, with hindsight, there are so many potential replies that could have been very noteworthy.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Is it wrong?

When your daughter tells you that she's been learning all about the Stations of the Cross at school, is it wrong to enquire "You mean Liverpool Street, St. Pancras, Paddington...?"

Fridge cake

Time for another recipe.

Grease a baking dish and line with clingfilm.

350g chocolate (I prefer dark)
150g unsalted butter
175g roughly chopped Digestive biscuits about 1cm sq.
300g dried fruit (e.g. cranberry, raisin, sultana, apricot, prune, date) with any large fruit chopped to raisin size.

Using bain-marie melt chocolate and butter and mix. When melted remove from heat.

Mix other ingredients in thoroughly with chocolate and butter.

Pour into lined dish and tap dish to help contents settle.

Place in fridge for a couple of hours and then turn out onto chopping board and cut into squares.


Thursday, 20 March 2008

Mis-spent youth

I discovered this week that a part of my youth has very likely caused me permanent damage.

As a child I used to do gymnastics for quite a few years. I never displayed any aptitude but it kept me quiet for an hour. This might explain why my parents insisted I persist even in the face of a talent void.

One of the things I have gained from gymnastics is flexible shoulder and hip joints. The one thing I also appear to have gained which is less desirable is a ropey couple of knees.

Gymnastics requires a lot of work with knees locked. A physiotherapist told me (this week) that this is very bad for the the knees as, even when the legs are straight, they should be relaxed and not locked.

This might not have been so bad if, when I left gymnastics behind, I had left locked knees behind. Unfortunately that didn't happen and I thought that standing was supposed to be done with locked knees.

My knees have clicked while I walk ever since I was about 15. I wonder when I'll be needing knee replacement surgery...

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

It wasn't going away

I've had a head cold since Christmas.

You know how it is; you just get on with life. Work needs to be done; kids need looking after. Basically there isn't time to be ill.

And these considerations aside it was a head cold so they go right? You can't have antibiotics; you just have to wait for the cold to outstay it's welcome.

Well I waited and waited and gradually just felt worse and worse. I just reached a point where I didn't feel my body had that much fight left in it. My immune system had spent too much time at full throttle and it had even used the fuel in its reserve tank.

Dave had been nagging me for a couple of months to make an appointment with the doctor and yesterday I felt so awful I did.

The verdict - an infection requiring double strength antibiotics.

"Do I have to take it with food, before food or...?" I asked and my lovely doctor said "You've got double strength, so just try and take them three times a day. You're supposed to take them an hour before food but I'm sure you've got enough on your plate without watching the clock to take tablets. They're double strength so even if you have them with food they'll still work."

He added later "And congratulations for waiting so long before coming in." He knows me so well, he knows I'm crap.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


Shenfield station car park has a habit of getting crowded. To be more accurate, "people" have a habit of continuing to stuff their cars into the car park even after all spaces have been filled.

The car park people, those nice but dim folk at NCP, have decided that re-doing the car park lines and flow of traffic.

In doing this they've reduced the overall number of spaces available. Clearly a winning strategy when, on a regular basis, demand exceeds availability.

The other thing they've done is to paint arrows to direct traffic flow where previously there was no direction.

I've illustrated this below. The red arrows are the direction in which traffic travels when it arrives at the car park and the black arrows indicate the new arrows painted on the tarmac.

Before and after the painting.
Perhaps you can spot the deliberate mistake.

Monday, 17 March 2008

An answer from the polite police

A little while ago I asked a question about etiquette on train journeys.

I had e-mailed Debrett's for advice. I thought I should share their response with you.

"Hello Ann

Sorry not to reply sooner, I have been out of the office.

Your query about behaviour on trains is very interesting. I’m afraid we do not offer specific advice on how to deal with such a situation but I would advise saying a cheery “I’ll give us both a bit more room” or similar before moving if you are worried about offending.

We do, however, give more general advice for how to behave on trains (please see below).

Kind regards


Rail travel etiquette

Respect fellow passengers and use your mobile phone with discretion and common sense. Conducting loud, lengthy conversations in close proximity to others is not fair on them. If you do receive a call that you must take keep it brief and monitor your volume. Some trains have ‘quiet zones’ and you should respect these by turning your phone to silent and leaving the carriage if you receive a call.

Seats should always be given up for elderly people, regardless of sex, and pregnant women. Never take up more than one seat, whether with bags, feet or other items. This is particularly important on crowded trains.

If someone is trying to engage you in conversation and you do not want to join in there are subtle signals you can employ without being rude. Give brief answers and smile politely before returning to your reading/listening to music etc. and becoming absorbed."

Sunday, 16 March 2008

National Literacy Strategy

Yesterday I mentioned Hannah's choice of Captain Underpants when give a choice of titles. I'd also mentioned that she'd read the first four chapters in a short period of time.

This morning, as I woke up, she announced she'd finished the book.

I think that the Captain Underpants series should be compulsory reading for all Year 1/Year 2/Year 3/Year 4 students. It is intended for ages 9-12 but frankly I think all ages will enjoy the lavatorial humour.

The author's website is worth a visit if you fancy a juvenile break and some interesting stuff about how a book is born. And his latest title is Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People, in case you wondered.

And his work is quite amazing if you consider he suffered from reading disabilities as a child and spent much of the school day sat at his own "private desk" in the corridor.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Captain Underpants

I was having coffee at a friend's house and there were three of us bemoaning the National Literacy Strategy.

OK, there were two of us bemoaning the National Literacy Strategy and I was listening because I don't know a whole lot about it.

Janet had been to a seminar given by Neil Griffiths, the man behind the Story sack idea. The what? The Story sack idea! The concept of collecting props to accompany a story and keeping them in a sack. The sack is used when the story is told and the props make the story more engaging. It's a method that encourages literacy.

Anyway, Neil, known by his former pupils as Mr Griffiths, used to be a head teacher and had an awakening that made him aware that his future lay in the advancement of the teaching of literacy.

During his talk he expressed his disappointment with the National Literacy Strategy citing the high boredom factor of the associated books starring characters such as Biff, Chip and Floppy. I have read the Biff, Chip and Floppy books and they are worse than awful.

All of this is useful when explaining behaviour, particularly Hannah's behaviour today. She had been given a book token at school which could be exchanged for one of a number of books with specific titles. I had though that, as a recent fan of the Paddington books (which I love and have to read with the dulcet tones of the rather marvellous Sir Michael Horden in my head) she would choose the Paddington title available. She didn't. Instead she chose Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets.

I completely understand. Paddington is a safe choice. Captain Underpants on the other hand is a bit naughty, a bit rude, a bit more exciting.

She read the first chapter whilst walking along the High Street after we had left the shop. At home by the time I'd made a cup of tea she had read four chapters.

That's the way to encourage literacy!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Lies, damned lies and statistics part deux

I love statistics. I spoke to those lovely (really heavy sarcasm) people at Tiscali about our abuse of their fair usage policy (gits).

They have told us that we were using the internet excessively ( I mean really!). I asked for the data.

They told me it would cost me a tenner (bastards!)

Anyway I went to the "My account" section of the Tiscali website and there's a neat little button on there "Internet Usage." I clicked to see what it said about my internet usage.

The results showed a limited amount of info but it did show usage for a few days. It showed usage on days when we weren't even in the UK, and when nobody had access to our account.

How dare they even suggest there is anything untoward about my usage when their data is clearly unreliable?

Thinking broadband supplier...don't think Tiscali.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Lies, damned lies and statistics

You'll have tired of my Tiscali problems as did they. We now don't have Tiscali TV but have stuck with them for broadband.

For the record can I just state that we pay for 8Meg Unlimited broadband. Just to make sure everyone understands there was the word unlimited there.

Now in my book, or even dictionary, unlimited means "not having limits."

Tiscali uses a different dictionary to me. In Tiscali's dictionary unlimited means "with limits."

I have contravened the Tiscali Fair Usage Policy and I have dared to download large files during the peak hours of 6 and 11 in the evening. Apparently this is bang out of order. Clearly I'm paraphrasing. Tiscali wouldn't be that up front and honest with their use of language.

It's such a shame that Tiscali is a faceless organisation. If it wasn't I have a fantastic idea about exactly where I could stick their Fair Usage Policy.

Maybe I should advise Tiscali about my "Say what you bloody well mean policy." This policy could have all sorts of penalties and I think most of them should involve an appearance on Watchdog.

I've written to Trading Standards already. Writing to Watchdog is so tempting (watchdog but I'm a fair woman. They have a chance for a grovelling apology and a promise never to try and bully me again. If these aren't forthcoming then it's the big guns. No more Mrs Nice Guy.

There is more to this story but I need to keep my powder dry and my blood pressure normal.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

My employer is trying to kill me

Several weeks ago I phoned Facilities Management at work about the heavy metals, or more likely soot, that had been accumulating at my desk.

My desk was visited, a sample of the strange substance was taken for analysis and there was a commitment to change the filters in the air conditioning vent above my desk.

I heard and saw nothing so last week I called again to request an update on the change to the aircon filter.

While I was out of the office someone came up to investigate, again. They took another soot sample.

Today I received an e-mail telling me that my job, number 630, had been closed. I replied:

"Brilliant news....can someone tell me what the analysis showed the substance to be and can somebody confirm that the aircon filter has been changed."

Apparently somebody will be coming back to me.

I mentioned the problem to my husband and he reckoned the deposits on my desk are particulates from the engine test cells. Great, I thought, particulates are carcinogenic.

My colleagues have a different theory. Their explanation is that management on the floor above us are shitting on the workers below and that's what is coming through the vents.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Dead serious

I visited my doctor's surgery today. No it wasn't a social call, there was a medical reason for my excursion.

Due to some daft mix-up at reception I spent much longer in the waiting room than is normal for this practice.

While I was there, I tried to fall asleep but when that failed to work my mind started to wander through all things medical.

I started contemplating medical records. To my, admittedly limited, knowledge medical records are confidential. Now I think that means that only I and medical staff are able to see them. I also think that means that when I die, after a period of six years after the last entry or three years after my death, my records will be destroyed.

I'm sort of happy with this in principle because, even though I don't actually think there's anything I would want to hide, I understand that people should be able to have faith in confidentiality beyond death.

But if it would help them, I'd like my children to have access to my records after I've died. There could be useful information in there. There might not be.

I wondered whether I could bequeath access to my my medical records. This is tricky because strictly speaking they don't belong to me. But if I were alive I could request a copy. If I died tomorrow I wouldn't have got around to it. If I die in 20 years time I still won't have got around to it. So if I write something in my will that says my children can access my file then would that work?

Let's face it the first x years would be written in medical illegible scrawl so would be next to useless.

I think the thing we should take from this is that receptionists should do their job properly and, if they do, patients won't have the time to contemplate this sort of moral question.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Etiquette advice required

On the train this morning there was only one seat free. You know the kind of seat I'm talking about. It's the last one in the carriage and it's between two grumpy men. The men are overlapping the available seat, trying to occupy the space making it unattractive to other people.

I'm not the sort of girl that's intimidated by that kind of tactic so I made it clear my backside was going to sit on the spare inch of seat that was visible.

So I was sat, cramped, on the seat between Mr and Mr Grumpy for the journey from Shenfield to Stratford.

When we reached Stratford one of the grumpies left the train and I was left sat squashed up to the other grumpy.

What is the appropriate etiquette in this situation? I've consulted Debrett's and the only advice is that it is "good manners to respect each other's space."

Should I move to the spare seat leaving a vacant seat between myself and the remaining grumpy or is moving away rude, implying that he has offensive body odour or is in another way obnoxious?

I have e-mailed Debrett's for advice ( but wondered what you thought?

Sunday, 9 March 2008

True story

Steve's mother went in for a routine operation at Lewisham hospital. She died later from resultant internal hemorrhaging which was undiagnosed and untreated. He's persuing legal action against the hospital for negligence.

A while later Steve's father, Thomas, became ill. He was offered an operation at Lewisham hospital with the same surgeon that had attended Thomas's wife. This operation had a 50% survival rate. Clearly this wasn't an attractive option. He was then offered an alternative procedure at St Thomas's hospital which, whilst innovative, had a very good success rate. He chose this option and went ahead with the procedure.

After this procedure was completed he collapsed at home. He called an ambulance and Steve. Steve arrived at about the same time as the ambulance and rushed in to see his father. Very quickly he was rushing out again to find out what was delaying the ambulance men. They were completing paperwork in the cab so he got their attention and asked, with some urgency, that they get in the house to attend to his dad.

Their response was to advise him that if he continued to harass them they'd call the police. They proceeded to go to the cab of the ambulance to phone 999 for the police. The police turned up and determined that nobody would be charged (and the officer quietly said to Steve that he'd have done more than speak to the ambulance driver, he'd have thumped him).

Steve's dad was taken to Lewisham hospital. After two hours with no attention Steve went to ask when his seriously ill father would be seen. He was told that Thomas had been seen, which Steve disputed. Eventually it became apparent that it was a different Thomas that had been seen.

Once a doctor finally saw Steve's dad it was decided he should be transferred to St Thomas's but that he should have an x-ray first.

When Thomas was finally taken to the X-Ray department he was asked for his hand. He asked why, given that his problem was in the groin area. The X-Ray technician argued with him about this for a while until it became apparent that there had been some confusion and a different Thomas needed a hand x-ray.

X-ray done, Thomas needed transport to St Thomas's so they asked how long it would take. The answer of "up to two hours" prompted Steve to offer to drive his dad. The doctor said that it was a good idea. Upon hearing this, a senior doctor who had overheard this exchange, said "This man isn't going anywhere unless it's in a fully equipped ambulance. Moving him any other way could be fatal."

After waiting a little while with no ambulance becoming available, Steve went back to check. This time a nurse was handling queries and her suggestion was that Steve drive his dad rather than wait. Clearly she wasn't aware of potential consequences of her suggestion.

Eventually an ambulance arrived and Thomas went to St Thomas's where he was treated and he is absolutely fine.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

I should know better

I was a designated driver last night so I have no excuse. Normally this only happens to me after an alcoholic beverage or two but it's happened too often and been so painful that I thought I'd learned my lesson.

I was discussing a friend and her ability to liven up any social gathering. I mentioned the suck blow game. You don't need to know the details but I do have pictures if you're interested.

Well a game that is often found accompanying the suck blow game is the bendy game. You do need details for the bendy game.

The bendy game starts with something like a prop like a menu. It should be able to rest on the floor and stand about 15 inches high.

The first player needs to pick the menu up using just their mouth. "Easy" you say. Slightly less easy when I explain that the only parts of the body allowed to touch the floor while one is doing this are one's feet.

OK, I know you're now imagining this, or maybe even trying it, and thinking that there isn't much of a challenge there.

Well all players must complete this first level and then an inch is ripped off the top of the menu/cereal box/important finance paper and the fun recommences for the second round and on and on until sufficient inches have been ripped off the item and the players give up. The player who lasts the longest (without clutching their inner thighs in agony), wins.

I find the best way to attempt this game is to sort of do the splits and bend forward. Now I can't actually do the splits (which is why I never got my BAGA 1) and this explains why this game is painful.

I am in pain and I should know better.


I've just got in from a night out with the girls. I am in too much pain to type. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning although, from previous experience I know the pain will be worse when I wake up.

Why don't I learn? I've been here before. Ouch!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

When I'm cleaning windows

I should have had a bit of a panic attack today.

It was about midday and I was in the shower in the bathroom. Nothing there to induce panic, you might think but let me elaborate.

Our bathroom shower is above a bath with a transparent shower screen.

Our bathroom windows, and there are three, have no curtains or blinds. They're sash windows and the we've obscured the bottom pane on each using a privacy film.

Normally this isn't a problem. Our privacy isn't compromised because the bathroom is high in the house and you'd have to be up a ladder peering through the window to see anything.

My mind was wandering and thinking about all of this when I realised it was Thursday and we hadn't seen the window cleaner, who is usually in the area on Thursday every fourth week, for some time.

I could have got out immediately and covered up but instead this came to mind.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

When is a shirt a blouse?

I was thinking about this today. I didn't know the answer. I'm still a bit confused after a bit of Googling. The only thing I could find that made sense was the different side on which buttons appear.

The reason for thinking about all of this, however, was thinking about a shirt (or blouse) that doesn't have buttons at all but hangs in my wardrobe (or laundry basket at the moment). It has poppers, or press studs.

That's a daft idea. The material for the shirt (blouse) is cotton with elastane or Lycra or similar. Anyway it's designed with some stretch in mind. Well if something is designed to stretch then surely a more secure fastening than poppers, which have a habit of popping when under stress, would be desirable.

All of which is a shame because I like this shirt (blouse). So I've sewn it up, literally. Am I the only mad bird that does things like this? I liked it so I found a way to make it work. Would other people have binned it?

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Blast from the past

I had a call last week, at home.

"Hi, this is a call from your past. You don't know who this is do you? ... It's Jane's mum."

So I racked my brain and tried to remember who'd been in hospital having children at the same time as me; who'd been in the same ante natal or post natal classes.

And then the caller owned up. I went to college with Jane and Jane's mum is organising a surprise birthday party.

So I have a plan. Somebody invited to the party is someone that made a part of my life very difficult. I want to be confident when we next meet.

Before the party I will arrange to have a hair appointment. I will have a wrap to lose inches, a fake tan to make me look healthy and slimmer, a facial to make me look less old and tired, a new outfit to make me feel good and anything else I can think of to make me feel or look better.

I'm not at all insecure, am I?

Monday, 3 March 2008

This time it's personal

This morning I attempted to unlock my car using the remote central double locking key fob. I clicked twice. And nothing happened.

I went closer to the car and tried again. Nothing happened.

I assumed the battery in the key fob had died so went back into the house to get the spare. I clicked twice. And nothing happened.

I couldn't get into my car. My car was dead to me.

Normally, as I approach my car, the dash lights up to welcome me. But my car was snubbing me. It was ignoring me and not even allowing me into the driving seat.

Dave gave me a lift to the station and I walked home. I went out to the car and used the key to open the car. Nothing, no lights, no anything. Kaput.

Previously my car has tried to work. This time it's personal. It's given up.

I should hate this car, but I can't help admiring the fact it has attitude.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Mother of invention

There are lots of things that have been invented to lighten the load of the housekeeper but I think I have one of the ultimate requests.

I want a genetic mutation invention thing.

I want some kind of bug to be created that lives on a diet of spider's webs and dust.

This beastie must live outdoors and only come indoors to feed. There must be some nutritional value in cobwebs and dust. Maybe this creature could even produce something useful like silk too but I'd be happy with my first requirement.

Just think...if it existed you could buy a whole load and infest your house just as you leave on vacation. Upon your return your house would be spotless and dust free.

You might have guessed I have the mother of a dust and web problem at the moment.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Woman cold

I've had a cold since about Christmas. It's been there in the background being irritating but not getting in the way of life.

Today saw a change in direction. My submissive cold has become an aggressive monster. I think I've sneezed about 500 times today. I have a ruddy nose that would make the most committed alcoholic proud (excepting the lack of broken blood vessels). My eyes look rather as they might had I endured a round or two with Mike Tyson, nicely swollen with a distinct rosy hue, and I feel miserable.

Going swimming with the children this afternoon was probably not my finest hour.

Spending the day outdoors tomorrow is probably not a good idea and neither is going to work on Monday, but I expect I'll do both.