Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Quiz, music, pictures

While I was suppressing one virus, my friend/employer sneakily gave me another.
I am snuffling, groaning and muttering crossly like anyone else.
clearly pride goes before a cold.
Well we went and quizzed like maniacs last night. It was great fun particularly as the bonus sheet was musical notation questions. If I hadn't got them all right I would have been a very sad person. We came away with 2 bottles of wine and £10 and a great feeling of superiority. Undeserved of course since anyone can answer the questions if they know the answers! Also because of the cold, I only drank tomato juice and water so I felt virtuous. Or something.
Today I am minding the shop again. Oh well. I won't get much work done.
On monday the shop was redecorated and the new layout is lovely. I do love violins en masse.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mon and Brec Canal

Leaves growing brightly at the edge of the lock.Cool grey steps.

I was going to do all sorts of stuff today

But when I got to work the computer was broken and when I got home (and after the dinner routine and two long hot-ear making conversations on the phone with daughters) I went here which may have been a mistake,* and now I'm knackered.
And to be fair I also wandered around amongst many fun and interesting and enjoyable blogs and Oh, by the way, I keep hitting that key that posts comments without my noticing until I look properly and embarrassingly find that I've posted comments twice. Sorry!
Tomorrow we're going to a quiz at the Fox. I hope I'll be able to do my usual one answer that no one else can think of (and which will make no difference to our ultimate success) because that makes me feel incredibly clever.
In six minutes Anti spyware is going to start doing it's thing and then everything will get too slow to cope with. It occurs to me that if I reset it to start at 01.00 instead of 02.00 I'd get to bed earlier more often. Maybe.
*Far too much thought required.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I really hate it when blogs I've been visiting stop.

My first thought is always, I've upset them and they've gone away.
then I think, they're ill, they've died, their computer has died, their spouse/partner/family/dog has died or is ill or has stopped them blogging.
then I think don't be silly, gone on holiday, got a temorary internet problem, will be back soon.
After a while I think it all again and worry....about people I only know from what I've read in their blogs and comments.
Not really ridiculous I suppose since these things do happen in the real world and the blog thing feels quite personal and close for all it really is a conversation between millions of people in the dark.

This is where my stepfather lived until he died. I believe it's been built over now. Stuff happens.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The gorgeous babe has been and gone

chaos has ruled and occasionally been overruled (on one occasion causing babe to look up at me from semi reclining position in bath, with hand on hip and a concentrated scowl, to say "I'm really getting very cross with you now").
I had plans for the aftermath of the visit but the merry arrival of Mum and (slightly earlier) grandad ,the one from work and the other from pub, caused chaos to rule again.
The dog and cats added to the general insanity with much weaving in between legs and sometimes leaping onto laps and tables.
Babe was holding court between Mum (who had been missing her) and Grandad (who was making balloon toys). I was trying to do some sort of interwoven cooking thing in between quick cuddles with babe and having a much deserved fag and sneakily feeding the animals without telling babe who believes it is her prerogative to do so but takes a very long time over it. (as she is a tidy babe and has to pick up all the spillages of which there are many)
Finally Babe and Mum left (pausing only for babe to throw up in the hall. This may have been due to an excess of home made is what she and Grandad mainly do when she visits...or to a nasty cough).*

I went shopping yesterday in search of something for babe to do which would give us GPs a brief respite from time to time. I went to Boots first (we needed toothpaste for milk teeeth). Naturally I looked for pink and purple pastel stuff, this being clear labelling for small girl equipment, surely? But no. As I wandered around, peering shortsightedly at patches of pink and purple on the shelves and expecting to find toys, I found baby gear, beauty gear, make up, excercise gear, hair products, oh all kinds of stuff which I would expect female people aged 0 to 30ish at least to be using. Possibly 0 to 50ish.
Not that I have any objection to pink and purple. It's just the labelling system seems to be saying something about women that I thought we didn't say any more.**

I went to the Early learning centre in the end, as the ages of potential users are clearly printed on the packets.

* Not due to us smoking...we all go outside religeously and surreptitiously for our cigs when she's around.
** To be fair the labelling colours for blokes seems to be equally indiscriminate. After a brief wallow in pale blue and yellow, all male persons are clearly expected to be attracted by black/metallic dark blue with splats and stripes in yellow, red or white.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Grandma mode

We have delightful babe staying this weekend (every w/end in 4) and as she's now at pre school and nursery, 3 weeks makes a big difference.
This babe is a lot more confident than last month's babe. Also a lot less weepy. I'm not totally confident that the cheerful settling down to bed will stick. However she didn't say she didn't like her new bed this time which was a relief. (since all you can really say is "ummm it's the only bed we've got"). Also I'm a bit concerned about the positive way she said she'd be coming to my bed later. I love her dearly but I'm not sure I want to see her again till morning.
Barney does mornings see, I do later on stuff when I've finished waking up. but I have to do any middle of the night stuff.
Well, we'll see.
Some hours later, apart from a bit of a faux pas with the dog (well he didn't know he wasn't welcome in her bed) it looks good. I still can't believe how good she is about going to bed. Her Mum and the other two were never like this. Where did Ruth learn how to command such willing good behaviour? not from us!!
Tomorrow she and Barney are going to make scotch eggs again (if she is interested) and he's been challenged by chef at our local pub to bring them there. I believe large claims were made for them several pints into the evening! However, I doubt there will be time this weekend.

As you can see, she's quite at home in the kitchen.

we went to the steam fair

This ride looks like a pussy cat from the ground. Noisy, colourful, but not at all dangerous. The signs saying don't go on this ride if you have a nervous disposition or a weak heart are obviously a bit of quaint Victoriana, designed to add to the thrill. Perhaps even to create a bit of thrill.
I tell you I haven't been so scared since...I'm not sure when, possibly since crossing the Rhine in a glass (all over, top sides and bottom) cable car in a thunder (and lightening) storm with a toddler in push chair and a cheerful Barney.
I was lightheartedly amused when my friend said since it's a genuine old steam fair they don't do health and safety. If you let go you fall out. then we got in, and obediently hooked our arms round the back of the seats and I tell you, this thing goes vertical...No problem when you're on your back looking at the sky. Big problem when you're hanging by your arms on the back of the seat looking at the ground. Very fast and you know at the top of a really good swing, your bum just lifts off the seat a bit? this thing, your body lifts and so do your feet!!! Nothing between you and death but arms trying to weld you to the back of the seat.
they should have a sign saying don't go on this ride unless you are a gymnast or a strong man.

Suddenly the signs about weak hearts made a lot of sense....I worried about my heart all the way up each swing and all the way down again. I took deep not calming breaths. Then I did huffing like they used to teach you to do in childbirth (this was actually involantary).
Ooof! just thinking about it makes my little heart thump.
I think it was fun...?

more temporary homes at Fairport

student pad
suburban 2 down 2 down.

Fairport later on

Waiting for photos to upload to Blogger is a bit like watching the washing go round and round in the launderette.

Turn right at the white people and head for the Pow wow stall. Caribean 3 stalls down.
Nobody home.
Minding the shop.


It rained a bit at Fairport this year but at £1 each the plastic ponchos were a snip.
Barney looking a bit like some one who's been rained on a lot
Peter, looking like a plastic china man. Unfortunately when we were all three lined up like plastic chinamen everyone else was hiding under their waterproofs so I couldn't get any one to take a picture of us. Also, Peter told me a friend of his once got a passing stranger to take a pic and passing bastard ran off with the camera!
kids will sleep anywhere.
This delightful girl caught me pointing at I said, may I? and she gave me this lovely grin.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Yes I did stop smoking for three and a half years.

I get a lot of shit when I tell people about this because it doesn't sit well with current (and generally accurate, I'm sure) opinion.
I didn't find it hard and I don't remember any cravings (I did the whole thing with patches, not fun but managable)
And before going any further I absolutely agree that not smoking is a GOOD THING. Smoking is NOT A GOOD THING.
I did not feel better or healthier or fact if anything I felt the opposite. (though my doctor told me my blood pressure had gone down)
Yes, I got rid of the smokers cough. and catarrh. Instead I started catching constant colds and sore throats....about one a month. and my throat felt puffed up and tight all the time.
Instead of a dry nose and throat, I got runny ones...I dribbbled and had a constant dewdrop on the end of my nose.
I discovered the taste of really good expensive wine and a lot of not so nice tastes. Smell also.
I drank too much.
I'm sure I saved a fortune...and spent it all on wine.
I saved lots of rolling time but I don't remember having any more time for myself.
I got cramp...not just in normal places like legs and feet but, well sort of anywhere...I can't tell you how hysterically funny it is trying to go to the loo in the middle of the night with cramp in your bum. Nor how much calculation goes into turning over in bed to relieve cramp in one shoulder only to find that the attempt to move starts another one up under the ribs or down the opposite shoulder blade.
I put on weight...of course. It hasn't gone away yet.
I acquired two small extremely sore white patches on my tongue (seehere
for more of that.*
On the purely good side, I looked healthier and pinker and smelt better and my teeth looked nicer. I really liked the release from the tyranny of always having to get stocked up on lighters and papers and tobacco..and having to find time for a fag in between things and places to smoke. More space in my bag. cleaner house and desk. Nice.
Feeling ill and tired and fat and sore all the time. Nasty.
Would always reach for a drink when thinking, practising fiddle, working, instead of a cig. Very bad effect on thinking, fiddle playing and work.
I decided finally that drink was probably worse than cigs and the rewards weren't quite as advertised. had a couple of cigs and agreed with myself. I really did stick it out for three and a half years and until I actually smoked, I really didn't crave tobacco.
Put it this way. If I do it again, I shall have to find an alternative addiction or change something quite fundamental about myself.
Then god dammit, people ask why did I start again and when I tell them they say, nonsense, you made it up, you're justifying, it can't be true.
I spit on them. Metaphorically.
Tell you what though, I can tell the difference now, between really need a fag soon and just reaching out of habit. Sometimes don't bother with habit even.
*I haven't done that link quite right, but it's bed time!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Nutmeg has a little sit down

To consider my next move.
We wondered if we could do anything useful with dead mice (he does a good line in slightly flat ones which he collects from the cats and tucks under his blanket)...if I were a magician for instance, I could drop some into the working parts of the flute player's amp while pretending to give him cash. then he wouldn't have his high volume backing tracks with which to play 'simple versions of very well known but quite unrecognisable tunes for young flautists'.
Better still I could ram it down his flute...or up, whichever.
And a sudden shower of dead mice might temporarily deter the south american group with the pan pipes and the many tunes that all sound exactly like 'flight of the Condor'.
Then there are those people who wait for the bus under our window...the ones who bellow at their shrieking children to be quiet. Or else. And the ones who tell the whole world that if the offending child doesn't stop whatever it's doing, they'll do whatever it is they think will impress the child without bringing the wrath of passing social workers and police down on them. An occasional dead mouse descending might at least temporarily silence them. No probably not.

You know one of the things that really pisses me off about being older than I was is the quality of the words I suddenly can't remember. I used to have marvellous words like 'cognitive', 'mittimus' or 'thrawn' temporarily mislaid on the tip of my I'm struggling for the word that means one of those people who plays music in the street. If I haven't found it by tomorrow perhaps somebody would kindly let me know what it is. Oh I've got it...buskers!
I did that once or twice. It's scary. But I didn't afflict passsers by with amplification! just an anguished scowl of concentration and a fiddle.
The other thing I did which you wouldn't catch me doing now was market research. But it was fun doing house to house on loo rolls! I had samples to give away too. oh yes and I did one of the earliest versions of smoothie type drinks. Have to say I thought they were vile but people were quite happy to try them. Pre-buttered marmite never took off did it. my children thought that was pretty vile too!


The kitchen is all hot and steamy (stock cooking, potatoes boiling and casserole in the oven) and I'm still wearing the clothes that haven't been quite warm enough all afternoon in the office. I'm going to end up casseroled myself.
While wandering around town this morning looking wistfully/sourly at beautiful, cosy and much too slender boots I had a nasty shock. Woolworths started talking to me....out loud in the street!! it must have been talking to me because no one else stopped and stared at it in astonished dismay! It rabbited on about christmas offers and horrible stuff like that for a while and then burst into song.
I had a bit of a middle-aged moment and words like decency, outrageous, offensive and ridiculous passed through my mind.
Then I identified the source of the outrage (a speaker fixed to the wall near the ground) and had a rebellious teenager moment and considered wandering over to it and tripping over and inadvertantly kicking it extremely hard.
I'm now working on an action film heroic plan of sneaking into town in the small hours, heavily disguised and pouring acid over it. I want to see if you really get that sizzling steamy shrinking thing they do when you pour holy water on ghosties in horror films.

But I did have a great idea the other night

when it was cold and why is it that my bum is always cold even when my feet are warm (but even more if they're not). Aha. It's the extra height and those little draughts creeping in round the edges.
And why are hot water bottles always short and rectangular when bodies are long and thin (relatively speaking)? Oh for feet I suppose.
Well my idea is a long thin hot waterbottle which goes all the way round the quilt and can be velcroed onto the underside of the quilt so not only does it warm the sticking out bits, it actually seals them in! ooh I want one.
I just posted this idea on creativity and found
*I forgot to say I had this great idea in bed the other night. bum usually ok during the day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Always catching up

or more likely always a bit behind. well a lot behind. It depends how optimistic I'm feeling.
I was reminded today it's my birthday next week. I've been so busy I haven't given proper thought to what I want. to have, or to do. I'm not even sure what day it's on. Well I can look that up.
I don't think anyone will give me a camera like fred's...By the way, where have you gone Fred? I'm missing your pictures and your funny comments!!!
There must be some books I want.
Perhaps some one would like to pay several hundred pounds for a hand made pair of boots. (a pair that would fit both of my feet at once! wow what an incredible idea). I have looked on handmade shoe sites though and I can only say I really wasn't, well, excited by the available styles.
I think I need to get some jobs done, write a list and cross things off it, generally wind myself up.All that travelling has undone my springs.
Have another picture.

three days foggy

I seem to have covered a lot of motorway the last few days.
Saw nieces dancing (impressive show) and Adam and Jude's new house (delightful and cosy) and the Trafford Centre in Manchester lit by the sunset and looking like some fabled eastern palace (temple to commerce and football!) and a marvellous bridge sweeping apparently into the sky...homage to the Manchester ship canal which passed underneath it. A strange, white, immensely tall church steeple at the top of a hill on the M56. This made me think of whited sepulchres.
Today I came home via an assortment of motorways and A roads, avoiding accidents and traffic jams and through endless fog. One accident happened behind me by maybe five minutes after I turned off into a service station. Later I thought goodness, if I'd been that many minutes later setting off!! At the time I just though how lucky to be ahead of it and not behind it! Sitting in a nearly deserted motorway caff, I saw a heron flap slowly past the window. Everything else fog obscured. Surreal.
Well it's very nice to be home, though I was quite reluctant to leave Adam and Jude so soon. they've got lots of stuff from ikea to put together though so they'll be busy for a few minutes! We came back from ikea very very slowly and cautiously, expecting the car to groan under the weight of all our combined shopping. I still don't understand how such nice pleasant peaceful stuff can come out of such an appalling environment.
Anyway, here’s the view from new house top floor at night…unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures the first night when there was no fog.
Now it seems my internet connection’s gone AWOL again. It says it's there but then it says it can't find things.
Useless machine. Ridiculous to think it’s sulking because I left it alone a couple of days!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Oh wasn't technically another moon

just the same one in a slightly diferent place. Ha! just for that I shall post another/same one :)
I love moons. I mean the moon.
Sorry, I'll try to control this sudden obsessive yearning to post dozens of moons all over the blog.
Now I really am babbling. I think the hair cut must have affected one of the parts I don't usually reach.

Oh alright...just one more moon :)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hairless at last!

Oh the relief...all wayward fronds strimmed and not a single nose or eye itch on the way home. As for the actual hair, well I'm sure I can sort it by getting it wet and adding a few layers of *product* and turning my head upside down when I dry it.
All is well.
thankyou so much all, for saying nice things about my moon...there was another one tonight and I found new ways of taking pictures of it but I guess we could all get bored with moons. I took around 40 pictures tonight and none of them are *the one*! No problem. So far the moon seems to be a co-operative subject so I'm working on a totally mind blowing moon shot but it may take a while :)
Meanwhile, off to Wilmslow and Lancaster again tomorrow, to see nieces perform ballet and Adam and girlfriends' new house and to buy him a suitable birthday present from IKEA (only 3 months late but that's ok, they've only just moved in).
I may make another attempt on Alderley Edge on the way up. It is one of the most photogenic places I know.
Just watched a deeply satisfying TV report about bloggers uncovering the American use of White phosphorus as a weapon in Felluja..or rather, bloggers digging away at independant news reports until it became public knowledge. And I'm sure everyone knows a lot more about it than I did. But it just confirmed my feeling that there are lots of people around who want to make a difference and the blogosphere is a place where they can. It's a place where truth can still be told.

These kids came and sat down while I was being involved in leaves and stuff near the canal. I just liked the picture they made. You'll notice they seem to be short of a leg or two...this is because the boy is sitting on both girl's laps...sort of.

Enough, I'm babbling.

It's bloody cold tonight though.

I've decided to make a real effort to use bits of the camera I usually leave to the point and press function. There's this full moon and it's not going anywhere for a while and I could try doing things with exposures and oh well all that stuff you can do if you have time to read the manual before the subject runs away. Also I found my tripod the other day. I did moons yesterday without any of these things and the result was quite nice...but not quite right.
Fine. Ok. It seems auto does the job better than I can.
Although the moon shows no signs of running away, there are clouds encroaching on my photo shoot. And it's too cold for the batteries. I have to kep running inside to warm the batteries and check the manual. And to read the little pictures on the bit that you use to choose photography modes. And I have to take my glasses off to see the screen and put them back on to find the moon...well maybe that's a slight exaggeration). Each time I come in or go out the dog becomes convinced that this time he's coming too (fat chance...he'd only run off and raid someone's compost heap and then give me back his findings tomorrow). So while I'm pointing and pressing and swivelling things there's this disembodied dog poking out of the cat flap (unfortunately in deep shadow).
It's all part of the learning curve. And life's rich thingie. er, tapestry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

*Think only nice thoughts*

A friend of mine once tried saying this to herself, whenever she felt like swearing, after an alarming experience with a sweet looking, little, old, senile lady. Who seemed to be singing to herself but turned out to be chanting "bugrit,bugrit,bugrit" to herself. And puctuating by spitting at passers by. I would hope to be able to do senility more interestingly but I can see that it was un-nerving.

Hair attack

It's getting beyond bearing...I HAVE TO GET RID OF IT. the hell with winter and the chill round the neck, tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut. I will become a new and tidy and un-itchy person. Also for a while, that elusive strand won't be able to reach my eyes when I'm driving. (making it necessary to hitch up the glasses with one finger so I can see two or three of where I'm supposed to be steering and several more of what I should be avoiding)
The girl who cut my hair last time must have an amazing must have been nearly a year ago she last saw me. And she didn't let her face fall a bit. To be honest it didn't rise much either. And she's very good about the bits I've trimmed off my fringe so I could see out of it.
I'm ignoring the awful moment when she combs my wet hair back and we both look at my unconcealed, unframed, umm, face in the mirror and think our seperate but probably very similar thoughts.
Also the bit when I spread my face out sideways hugely and several times and nod and utter blah blah lovely blah thankyou blah noises while thinking perhaps I can sort that out when I get home or maybe it'll grow out and is the left hand side a bit shorter than the right or a lot.
I do wish I could just say yup that'll do nicely till I get home ta very much dear. Truth is so much shorter than fiction.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Speaking of frogs

There is a S bend just down the road where I have once or twice stopped to watch very small frogs crossing in rainstorms. They were so small you'd think they were splashing rain except they splashed horizontally instead of vertically and their splashy leaps gradually carried them across the road in 6 inch bounds. I wish we could have a sign saying frogs crossing (I've seen one somewhere), it's such a huge journey. I dread to think how many of them probably don't make it.
I think this must be a general crossing area. I have seen weasels and stoats several times and once a family of weasels, really unbelievably scruffy, animated, furry pencils. They stopped to have a fight mid crossing.
Another time (returning home from taking concussed son to surgery late at night) I saw three fox cubs playing as they crossed..All blithe pointy nosed ferocity and slender flowing tails.

Computers are like advice,

they shouldn't be given to those who didn't ask for it.
The children are right. I am a technophile, though my enthusiasm is rarely matched by my competance! But I must learn not to try and push it down others throats!
So today I learnt how to print on a CD. The new printer is wonderful (except for the document scanning software which I don't understand).
I noticed yesterday that my employer is buying the same printer...but I think I'll be using the old one. He needs it to make prints of pictures of violins and bows and f holes and purfling and other arcane and beautiful things. Frogs even! Nuts, heels and tips.
Interesting that violin bows and horses both have frogs!

Pictures I have taken while stuck in traffic jams

Monday, November 14, 2005

and then home

on the way home from Alderley I made an unscheduled and unwanted detour...I was so relaxed on the M6 toll, I completely forgot that you really have to read all the signs at the other end if you want to get on the right motorway. So ended up crossly zigging along M6 to the M1 and then having to zag back again to find the M40.
And after reaching the M40, stationary traffic. All the way to the next junction and then all the way to Oxford. A mere 1&1/2 hours of chilly, smelly, stop and start. Grrrr. It occurred to me as the queue crawled up the A34 exit ramp that anyone who tried to join it at the last minute was going to be in trouble. Promptly someone did and a lorry on the M40 squealed a bit and stopped. Other people stopped. Lorry (god bless the driver's little cotton socks) was just about level with my car so I had a very interesting few minutes wondering if there was about to be a pile up next to my ringside seat. Wondered whether to get out and offer tickets. Deeply satisfactory anticlimax. No crash.
There was a nice moon. I howled at it once or twice. There were other creeping drivers. I grimaced at them a few times. I listened to Nancy Kerr and James Fagin and rolled more than enough cigs. Listened to the traffic news several times so I could get the all the information for all the motorway queues exactly right for once. Had fun looking at the map to see if there was any possibility of setting off into the countryside and getting lost again (unfortunately all roads in that particular bit of countryside go the wrong way) I turned the heating on and then off again when I thought I had enough extra carbon monoxide in the car. Opened the window and ditto closed it. Pulled over on a laybye on the A34 to let Barney know that I wasn't just a mile or two away from home but in fact was going to be at least another hour or more. He sounded quite cheerful as it seemed dinner also wasn't going to be ready in a few minutes. Excellent. Couldn't tell him how pleased I was about that. Made lots of plans for how to compress all the stuff I had intended to do when I got back, into the following day, and then forgot them. Ran out of philosophical thoughts and allowed the brain to go into underdrive.
Ah well.

Alderley Edge

Is a weird and looming outcrop of granite in the middle of the Cheshire Plain. It's riddled with old mine shafts and quarries and on a sunday afternoon is also heaving with tourists and picnickers. The Wizard Tearooms does a mean soup and a magnificent bacon roll. Very nice on a cold fresh November afternoon.
I didn't have time to go to the wizard's well which has a fine local legend attached to it.
These are for you Ova Girl.

The only way to fit in this tree, was vertically.

And somewhere in between

After getting lost near Oswaldstwistle, I got lost again..This could be Rossendale. It was a bit drizzly but I had the most fantastic meat pie from a bakery there.

3 days on the road

Well, bits of three days anyway.
For a while I was accompanied along a bit of the M6 by a lady with a blue face...on the back of a Pataks lorry. I looked on their website to see if I could show her to you but she wasn't on the site. Shame.
This is morecambe bay, photographed from the service station just south of Lancaster. Well actually it's two trees with Morecambe Bay several miles away in the distance.
The whole day was very wet and windy and later I spent a good deal of time admiring cloudy skies and missing junctions and turnings in (and between) the motorway snakes nest around Manchester. At one point, somewhere near Oswaldstwistle I tried to take pictures in what seemed to be a very forceful gale.

These were taken in between's all very well for trees, they can sway. If I sway in a high wind I fall over. (no alcohol required for this trick. Indeed, sometimes I can fall over without even the aid of a gale).
Being obstinate by nature, I ignored the totally unsuitable nature of the day and revisited Healey Dell, just North of Rochdale (where once long a go I went to art college). when I found it, it bagan to rain quite heavily but me and the camera went for it anyway. Healey Dell is a tiny gem of a rocky, wooded gorge with a wonderful bridge and an air of indifference to visitors. On this occasion it was also gloomy and wet. Looked fantastic but I wasn't sure if the trees were raining on me or if the rain was just pouring through them. Pics regardless.

These trees look as though there ought to be some kind of star-crossed lovers legend about them but I don't know of any such.

Well you can see that the water was doing a lot of rushing!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


If you're in Lancaster and you want a good curry, try the Sultan of Lancaster.
I've been left trustingly alone with Adam's laptop after being shown how RSS works (Ithink) and having had a large but VERY fast tutorial on my sister's mini mac. This is so I can take it to her tomorrow and show her how it works. I now want a mini mac and a laptop of my very own. (As well as a camera like Fred's).
I've also been left with a glass of wine, a sofa bed, a sheet and a blanket. And a pillow. This is palatial compared to previous visits.
And I've been shown the new toaster. It really is pretty clever.
I only took four hours to pack this morning and I only overslept by an hour and a half so it's pretty impressive that I only left about two hours late. (I don't know myself how that maths works out so don't ask). Shame the lateness landed me in the middle of Manchester rush hour on the M6. Ineterestingly sandwiched between two mobile homes for 3 junctions. There's something quite surreal about driving along behind a sort of large wendy house complete with curtains and seeing another in your rear view mirror.
Oh and the oversleeping has completely cured all traces of the cold that I wasn't going to have so I casn now explain that I discovered, about 3 non-happening colds ago that if I insist firmly and frequently and loudly (and puzzlingly) enough to lots of people that I don't have one and won't have one...I don't have one! But I'm a bit superstitious that if people know what's supposed to happen, it might not. And I wasn't sure it would work on the internet either. But it did!
I think I'd better climb over all this furniture and get myself into the relefvant bit. Tomorrow my brain needs to get me to Wilmslow and I have to be clever and persuasive. (my sister is 80 and has never shown the slightest interest in computers...just a sort of politely guarded horror...if it wasn't for the novels I wouldn't have considered this for a moment). Could be tricky.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Compound evening

This evening so far is a compound of :
throwing a lot of stuff into the pressure cooker and hoping a nice dinner will come out.

glancing at blogs and post secrets and feeling sad, hysterical, sorrowful, glad, whatever for the people I read about.

thinking to the North tomorrow.

wondering if Adam will in fact have everything ready when I get there (sounds like he will, had a phone call earlier).

planning packing (major chore).

planning pictures.

Remembering a really nice fiddle lesson this afternoon.

Getting Barney to do the donkey work of cutting up, addressing and enveloping photos to send to the family after our huge family do (in July). + invites for a repeat next year. I think maybe we are mad.

Printing a million pictures and letters to send to said family.


wondering how I'm going to get rid of the funny smell in the car.

I think there was more but there's no time.

These were a gift on the way home from work the other day...I took at least 15 and simply couldn't choose any less.

Just in case anyone didn't pay attention, I thought I'd just say again....I AM NOT CATCHING A COLD. I HAVE NO COLD AT ALL. got that? good.

Links and things

I've just added a whole lot of links. I'm not sure if I asked people ...if anyone objects, let me know and I'll take them off again :)
Tosca was getting a bit overexcited last night and rushing about a lot and as I went to bed I heard some really fierce cat fighting noises outside.
Funny she has an unmistakable fat lip...and a smug expression.

London to Brighton Cycle Ride June 2005

After the ride, the bikes seemed more tired than their riders.
Although Adam needed a bit of a lie down.
After a bit of refreshment they were ready for anything.
But the bikes had had it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Oh weird.

when I went back to edit the thing that published itself when I presssed etc etc It that last post doesn't make much sense.

Another thing I have just found out

If you inadvertantly press a certain 2 (or maybe more) keys while typing a post it publishes what you've done. Unfortunately I don't know which 2 (or more) keys it was.


One of the things I am often sad about is that my Mum never saw any of her grandchildren. She died aged 50 on April fool's day (which would have made her laugh) of some sort of combination of drink, smoking, sleeping pills, tranquilisers and a broken heart.
But she would have loved the children.
She fought depression and guilt and oppression all her life and did it bravely.
She was irreverant and funny and clever and kind. People loved her.
After my son was born I remember one afternoon having the strangest sense that she was looking over my shoulder at him or that I was in her mind for just a moment. I forgave her everything, unconditionally, right then. (even the best mothers make loads of cock-ups and nobody with children can be a saint!)
I think the best thing she taught me was never to judge. You just don't know enough.
Her birthday was round about's a good enough excuse to raise a glass of wine (she actually preferred guiness but what the hell) and post a picture.
This is Mum, me, my daughter Ruth and her daughter Summer.Miss you Mum.