Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A hint of

I was lucky enough to go on a cookery course on Saturday. There was a little bit of watching, some preparation, some cooking and a lot of eating and drinking.

I was so inspired that I even made bread on Sunday and I didn't cheat with a bread maker or a packet mix.

My gorgeous children (probably primed by my gorgeous husband) had told me I didn't need to go on a course to learn how to cook. They didn't know my dirty Friday secret.

Ironically, given that I was making fresh tagliatelle on Saturday (which was absolutely delicious by the way), I was cooking some dried pasta on Friday. My plan was to cook some pasta and then store the cooked pasta for reheating later. I figured that later in the day this would save me ten minutes.

I put the pasta in the pan, added boiling water and put the hob on a low heat. I then went upstairs to do some stuff (I can't remember what).

That day was a bit hectic. I had to grab the children from the school and take them straight up to the dentist where we all had an appointment. We then had to get back home, jump in the car and travel to Leigh-on-Sea because Ethan needed to be taken to a friend's house for a sleepover (how American....we never had "sleepovers" in my day).

As we walked in through the back gate it was clear that Dave was home and the children wanted to say hello to Daddy before hopping in the car.

It was then Dave told me he'd come home to a house full of smoke, smoke alarm blaring with a saucepan on the hob that contained black burnt pasta.

Pasta with a hint of burnt anyone?

Monday, 22 September 2008

Haunted handbag

This morning I had a call from Al.

He'd called because I'd sent him a text. "What text?" I asked. He explained it was the text that said "I'm at home. Please call."

I was confused, and said so. Whilst it was lovely to chat with Al first thing on a Monday morning, I hadn't sent him a text.

I hung up and checked sent items and there it was:
I'm at home. Please call

I explored explanations. Al could be the first person in my contacts list and it was a random text that just went to the first person in my contacts list. Not a good explanation as Alan is my first contact. Plus I didn't remember having that as a text message in my drafts folder. And it wasn't as if Al had been the last person I remember sending a text to. In fact it had been weeks since I'd sent Al a text.

My attention moved to the content of the text, and for that the explanation is strange. It's the second template available on the phone.

This means that my phone had selected the second text template to the second person in my contacts list.

Later today I received a text from Louise. It read "Are you OK? I've had 7 empty messages from you in the last 10 mins! X." I replied "Haven't touched my fone. :-S"

I checked sent messages and Louise was right. Seven messages, all blank, in under 10 minutes.

After the Al incident I'd sent him a text to explain what I'd thought had happened.

The messages to Louise might have been easy to explain if I hadn't texted Al (once inadvertently and once deliberately) because the last text I sent consciously was to Louise. It said "They might if I'm naked."

Either my phone is haunted, or it's the handbag. It's the only logical explanation.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

I discovered today

I discovered today that it was Enid Blyton that first coined the term "google." Google buns were available in The Land of Goodies which featured in The Magic Faraway Tree (one of my favourite childhood books).

Strange, but true.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Important Health Advisory for Women

  • Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
  • Do you suffer from shyness?
  • Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about White Wine.

White Wine is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. White Wine can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of White Wine almost immediately and with a regime of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with White Wine. White Wine may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use White Wine. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister.

The consumption of White Wine may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
The consumption of White Wine is a major factor in dancing like an idiot
The consumption of White Wine may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
The consumption of White Wine may cause you to think you can sing.
The consumption of White Wine may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.
The consumption of White Wine may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.
The consumption of White Wine may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Mad cow

I went to the new Community Hospital for a blood test this week. I had a transfusion a few years ago and they need to do regular checks to see that I don't have mad cow disease.

Anyway, when I made the appointment I asked where I should go when I turned up at the hospital and was told, "Just follow signs for Blood."

I drove from work to the hospital and as I entered the grounds there were signs for the car park. I drove in the direction indicated and thought I'd reached the car park but there were these signs everywhere.

Plus all the spaces had numbers and letters. Even though the direction signs made me think I was in the right place, the environment made me feel I was in the staff car park.

I drove on. Well I would have but I'd reached a dead end. I couldn't see anywhere else to park so I took the risk of a ticket, parked and went in to reception.

I asked the receptionist about the parking situation, explaining that I hadn't requested, or received, authorisation to park in the car park.

She assured me that authorisation was not necessary and that I'd be fine. I said that in that case the signs were unnecessarily threatening and certainly hadn't made me feel welcome. She said she'd make a note of my concerns and I thought "Yeah, right."

I thought we'd end on a light note as there were no signs for "Blood" and I asked where I should go. (I had seen a sign for Phlebotomy but being a pedant and having been told to follow signs for Blood I thought I'd best check.)

She advised I shouldn't follow signs for Phlebotomy or Blood as it was currently sited about as far away from its intended location as possible and where the sign suggested I should turn left I should, instead, turn right.

The good news was that the phlebotomist was ready to see me as soon as I arrived.

Amusingly as I walked back out past reception I noticed the receptionist pointing at me. Within seconds I was being introduced to the Patient Liaison Manager.

I guided the Patient Liaison Manager around to the patient and visitor car park and explained my confusion when presented with the car park signs. She placated me by agreeing with me so I took the opportunity to mention the Phlebotomy signs.

I bet they can't wait for my next mad cow test.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


I have to admit that the thought of spending a day at Diggerland did not inspire me.

I've always thought that diggers required a reasonable amount of skill to master. I didn't think it was something one could pick up in a couple of hours. I was wrong.

I was also wrong to think I wouldn't enjoy a Diggerland experience. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Where else do you get to operate a big digger that costs £38,000? Where else can five year olds drive real tractors, scoop earth with real diggers and drive a go-cart? Where else can you sit in the scoop of a digger costing £118,000 and get lifted as high as the scoop will go and get spun round as fast as the digger will spin? Where else can a five year drive a digger around a muddy track? Where else can you travel on a merry-go-round constructed with a digger at its centre?

It is heaven for kids (and kids at heart). They can do things that would normally be forbidden and it is very muddy.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Mother's little helper

On Wednesday I listened to the news and heard about an increase in the street value of Valium because heroin has decreased in both availability and quality.

On Thursday I took Dave to the doctor with chronic back pain and he prescribed Cocodomel and Diazepam, more commonly known as Valium.

Now I'd always thought that Valium was prescribed for depression and was prescribed with abandon in the seventies before people realised the extent of its addictive qualities.

But the doctor knew his stuff, and Diazepam can be prescribed to help with muscle spasm.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

It doesn't get better than this

I could have put this on my work blog but it was too good not to share it here too.

The team at work needed to restore data using a backup of the system. They contacted the department that do the backups.

I'm not exactly sure of the detail, but I was told that the latest backup was only done five months ago. This was a shock because backups were supposed to be happening regularly, daily.

When this was investigated the team responsible for backing up the system said that they used to get daily e-mails reminding them to back up the system, but the e-mails were irritating them, so they set up a rule to delete them automatically.

No reminder e-mail, no backup.

I laughed and laughed.

Did someone say "Muppets!"