Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh look! Lots of chickens

Me and my girls (I would have included the boy but he wasn't invited to the hen night)

And the rest - a lovely crowd :)


Got a family crisis

Sorry I may be absent for a while. No details, it's not my crisis to tell stories about.
It's ok though , nothing to do with the wedding :)


PS, the hen night was fun :) Pics when I have time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm supposed to be finishing the booklet

and making a final selection of pics for the holiday crowd to see TOMORROW!!!!
This will teach me to take too many photos. Won't it?
Well, the other day, Frangelita and I had to get together to collect some stuff and we had lunch - Carbonara, very very good and huge!
I showed her my new lens and she said Oh is it one of those ones where you can do close-up eyes and stuff like that and I said Oh yes I hadn't thought about eyes. So naturally we did eyes across our carbonara.
My Eye (with rather nice clear reflection of Frangelita's hand taking the photo)Eye take a photo (of Frangelita's eye - less clear but still with the photographer's fingers reflected in there somewhere :)
Then we went home feeling absolutely stuffed to the gunn'ls (or gills, depending on whether you feel boatish or fishy, either way pretty bloated which is itself a bit fishy and quite appropriate since I am invited to Fran's grown up Hen Night* and we're having a fish restaurant dinner)

Moving right along to Wednesday, I can't do anything about photos or any of that right now because the computer is downloading yesterday's sunshine, very slowly. (which is bad of me because I ought to finish the other stuff first). But I'm quite excited - last night I nearly finished the booklet and there are only 3 more pairs of pages to go. And would you believe, they actually did meet in the middle. (They couldn't have done anything else really since I was working inwards from both ends of the booklet anyway but I could imagine that somehow I might have cocked up the process and ended up with ten pages of lovingly printed photos which didn't work out after all). There really is something quite satisfying about printing instead of just viewing.

So while I'm waiting for the photos I've tidied the kitchen (it's been getting harder and harder to find anywhere to put anything the last few days) and walked the dog across the road. We tried an extended version of our usual amble which involved going round the edge of the big field and climbing out into the road. The good thing about this is that after a gentle slightly downhill amble there is a stiff uphill walk back to our gate. A very short stiff uphill walk but definitely uphill. (This is good because it's exercise for us both. It's also bad because it's hard work).
We both found this quite challenging and I was hoping that when we got back the photos would be finished so I could get my breath back and sit down for a while. No such luck so now I must hoover. Ugh!

And finally, Thursday arrives and I've finished the booklet and sorted out all the pictures and now I'm copying them to CD. There are still 552 to look at and I can't imagine they'll want to see them all at one sitting so they can take home a CD. Then I shall become a whirlwind** of dust and untidiness and finally, settle down into a tidy dining room and kitchen and clean bathroom and bogs.
Meanwhile, from my sunny evening (it lasted all of half an hour) here's a hare started up by the harvesting (which seems to be going on for a very long time this year - I think the weather is giving the farmers a lot of trouble)
Bounding away into the sunset
And a cool, windy, sunny afternoon at Winterbourne.
Do you know, they did want to see all 552 pictures and then we looked at all Linda's pictures too and Steve brought the most enormous monitor I've ever seen so we all sat round the dinner table and behaved exactly like my parents used to with their friends, showing each other's holiday slides on projector screens. And it was fun!
But I forgot to show them the booklet!!!!!

Got to go to sleep now. It seems to have been a long day. I hope you all had a good day too. And I hope you all sleep well.
Goodnight :)

*The youthful and exuberant Hen Night is to be at the Bestival Festival on the Isle of Wight and they are all going as brides. I am excused thank heavens!
**Slight exaggeration, more like a lazy breeze with the odd eddy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The met office says at 7pm there will be one of these
outside. That's in 13 minutes.
So I put my trust in them and organised my whole day around a plan to go out at around 7pm and take some photos. To be fair, it's been all day so I wouldn't have gone running out with my camera anyway. Still, there's no sign of any sunshine yet. Meanwhile, I've cooked the dinner, hours in advance, made little quiches for barney's lunches for the rest of the week, kicked the dog out several times because he was looking at me with too many big, brown, hopeful eyes, kicked the cat out because she was throwing up, let them both in again because I felt sorry for them, kicked them both out again because they wre driving me scatty and let them both in again to feed them (was this a good idea I wonder), not quite hung the washing up to dry because that felt like being too, too boring, printed several more pages of little booklets of canal holiday pics and turned my brain inside out in the process and now it's time for the weather to look like changing.


Oh Ooops! it's 18.57 and the faintest little patch of sunlight is struggling through the clouds. Oh my goodness! I have to lock up and run away.
Back later - tomorrow maybe :)


Saturday, August 23, 2008


A good match then. The weather and today's icon from the met office. (Except their weather seems to be going in the opposite direction from mine)

Barney tells me that one of the other members of the stamp club is a birdwatcher who has told him that there is a Peregrine falcon to be seen occasionally on top of one of the town's least pretty and tallest buildings.
Also that there was a French market in town today.

So I spent the morning looking at a selection of rather sad, dried sausages and limp, warm cheeses and perambulating obsessively round the building in question.
The sun shone brightly, no peregrines were to be seen and I came home with no sausages and a stiff neck.**

Now I am cooking English, undried sausages in a casserole with Chorizo and tomatoes and basil. And we're having it with a warm salad of puy lentils. Thus it is not sausage casserole as such (ie a warming, winter dish for wet windy nights) but a light savoury sausage dish to be eaten with salad on chilly summer evenings.
The difference as far as I recall is that instead of adding the lentils to the sausagey, winey, tomatoey, herby gloop and heating it all together I dribble the gloop over the warm lentils and perch the sausages on top and scatter some leaves and herbs over the top of that.
See. A summery sausage dish :)
(Shall I add cucumber? No, I don't think that will work.)
No, he wasn't in the least bit taken in by all this nonsense but accepted the inevitable when I offered him the opportunity to cook something himself instead. I like a man who bows to the inevitable. (Though I love a man who occasionally rises to the bait and cooks for us himself :)

And now, being completely dried up of inspiration I shall er.... well.... say goodnight. For now.
Goodnight :)

*I stole the icon from the met office website. d'you think they'll mind? I had a lot of fun trying to find various ways to steal it like copying and pasting into word and also into the blog post but in the end I realised I could just save it to disc as a gif. I've now stolen all their weather icons :) It seems to take up a whole line of er - space - which is a little excessive for something so small.
**Actually I went out with the stiff neck and indeed got up with it this morning but it fitted in better, obviously, after the perambulations round a tall building.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In which my left and right brains are severely challenged and rearranged

Oops. I've just filled the kitchen with smoke.
Brrr, now I've made the whole house cold.
However, all is well.
Yesterday, we got the immersion heater fixed. One more leaky thing down and two to go - it turned out the immersion heater was another leaky thing not just a watery one. It took all day and wasn't keen to fit in the allotted space so there was a sigh of relief all round when it finally filled up and the water got hot again - just in time for Barney's shower when he got home. And well in time for me to have one this morning. Isn't it funny how these things always go wrong just after you've said, Oh I really haven't got time for a shower today - I'll do it in the morning!

Finally, I've been through all the holiday pics. The other holiday people can come and see them any time. Only I have this feeling that they may not want to see 800 photos in one evening. So there's still a bit of sorting to do, of the sorted ones. But for me, it's like reliving the holiday. I can watch a slideshow and see the water gliding past and remember each picture as it was taken and what I was hoping to produce and what I actually saw. Every so often I think, "what on earth did I take that for?" and occasionally - quite often - "Oh I knew that wouldn't come out" and sometimes "what were you thinking when you took that!!!!". And now and then"Oh wow! That came out!!" Oh and quite often "Gaah! Idiot! Missed it!".
I've deleted over 4000 pictures.

Then, feeling a bit smug, I thought, wouldn't it be nice to print a few out. Perhaps as a little booklet. The idea took hold and suddenly I found myself fiddling around with the picture package thingie which I use to arrange pictures on a page so that they come out the way I want them - not!
See, the obvious thing to do is print each sheet of A4 so that you have two A5 pages with two pictures on each, er, a front page and a back page. Umm, and then on the other side a back page and a front page.
Right. And oops! you don't want the pictures on the back pages to follow the pictures on the front pages, they need to be taken from the end of the holiday - in reverse order- so that as you lok through the booklet you follow the pictures in the order they were taken. And then of course when you arrange the pages, the pictures at the top of each page need to end up opposite the ones they are following in the final booklet not following the ones at the other end of the final booklet.
With me so far?
Yes, I thought not.

Well and then when it comes to printing, you do have to make sure that the pictures come out on each side of the page facing the same way up! And it was at this stage that I nearly fell apart altogether since the printer produces the pictures the opposite way up from the way they are displayed on the screen. And back to front.
Which is to say that when you put the sheet with the first lot of pictures already printed on it, back into the printer to do the next lot on the back you have to make sure that they're going to emerge upside down and back to front - and face down of course. But you knew that didn't you?
Oh didn't you? Neither did I. Wasn't it a good thing I decided to print one pair of pages before doing the whole lot!

Well now I have pages 1-4 from the front and sort of x- minus 4x from the back (because I'm not sure how many pictures I'm going to do yet. So I'm doing the whole booklet from two directions at once - the back pages from the end of the holiday, backwards, and the front pages from the beginning , forwards). And they're all the same way up and they seem to be in the right chronological order. So far. It'll be interesting to see if they meet in the middle :)

Amazingly, the black ink didn't run out until I'd got to the end of the first stage of the marathon.
I am always slightly amused by the way it says,
"the black ink has run out


the ink cartridge"

And then it says
"the printer cover is open


the cover"

Oh look, A wish arrive on the carpet:)

And I got to walk in the woods in the sun :)
Got to go an unravel my brain now.
Sleep well :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Le plus ca change

Le plus c'est le meme chose.

But maybe it would be more accurate to say (I can't do this bit in French) the more we scurry about, rearranging them to stay the same.

Things change.
I was talking to someone a while ago and it suddenly hit me that this is one of the truths that I've known since I was very small. My family moved twice when I was quite young and there was a large rearrangement of my life required. I wasn't old enough to do a great deal of rearranging to suit myself so the changes were far-reaching for me. One of them happened just as I was about to start School - which I loathed, hated and feared with all the passion a five year old can muster. Quite a lot! But demonstrated it quietly, obstinately and in passive ways. There wasn't the space in our life for me to do tantrums or throw fits of rage or run screaming to hide in cupboards. I hadn't learnt to read and hadn't read stories about children who agreed with me so running away from the unbearable - and home - didn't occur as a solution. Besides, I did know that mummydaddy would be hurt if I didn't do the required thing. So I did it. But with very bad grace.

Later moves introduced new schools and new lives in new places. They were precipitated by my Father's illnesses which were the typical ones that attend a portly, elderly Doctor who works too hard, exercises too little, smokes like a chimney and eats and drinks too well. Heart, stomach, cancer (only a little one in his jaw but very distressing for him all the same) and lastly, arterio-sclerosis. Each one involving changes for all of us.
It's small wonder my Mum had depression, for much of our lives it was her task to orchestrate the changes and manage the problems they brought and she was a woman who should have been nurtured and cherished in security if ever there was one. And, again typical of so many woman with professional husbands, it was her job to make it seem that all the responsibility was carried by a faultless husband. A man thirty years her senior who was, himself, baffled by her sadness and my recalcitrance. And both of them were dead by the time I was twenty (ish - I'm not good with dates)

What it all meant for me was that by the time I reached adulthood I knew that life is subject to change. No place, no person and no arrangement is dependable. Other people might have time to form deep and lasting relationships but I would probably not. Roots are fragile and easily torn up. Trees fall and reeds wilt. And let's be fair, I am likely to abandon anyone who looks like changing a lot.

So I rarely 'fall' into any relationship but every so often I find myself 'choosing' one. Thinking, yes, this person I will try to stay connected to whatever happens. And that means however much they change, however far they travel and whatever they do.
Oddly, the selection process is impulsive and intuitive though the decision to keep the connection alive is calculated. I'm happy with that.
Not so happy with the certainty that change is waiting round many corners to undo all my calculations and deprive me. Which is why it's odd that the beauty of the world is a constant solace and a thing on which I utterly depend. Change is constant in the views I watch. Change threatens all the time and amazingly, every change brings beauty. We are warned of unimaginably large changes that may come to the world we know and while it scares me, I still, selfishly, hope that there will be something newly wonderful for me to see.

Monday, August 18, 2008

From France with love

It's almost as good as being there :)
Two more postcards! - and look - Little boats!!!! :)
I am now feeling even more hugged and hugely privileged.

Oh I hope the holiday is being good and fun and happy.

Bridegrooms to be - read no further!

In case you see something you shouldn't!

Lalalalalalalala -lala -lala.
Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb

(All bridegrooms gone? Good)

Things are definitely getting organised for the Frangelita's wedding :)
We had a long phone call today about 'my responsibilities'. It's not happening all that soon but soon enough that it's a good idea for me to get those responsibilities firmly in my head. Fortunately Fran knows how forgetful I am :) I anticipate several more such phone calls over the next few weeks!

Nonetheless, Ooh!
Book travelodge for close family - done
Make necklace for bride - done but in the wrong colour, she wants gold and I only have silver wire. Well it might be ok or I might have to obtain fine gold wire somewhere!
Get Dad to Fran's place in time to accompany her - no problem, he'll be there :)
Speak to Bridegroom's Mum - she's a bit shy and will need to have support from the Bride's Mum :)
Book taxis from travelodge to wedding and back - well no one will want to be toasting the happy couple with fizzy water and Ribena will they :)
Make sure we remember to order pizza for the band - as members of a band ourselves we know they won't be very happy if they don't get fed!
Print orders of service - I hope and believe Fran will send me something I can just press a button and get a result with
Collect glasses the morning after,wash and return to their various owners - I am so noble! And before 10 am too!
Think hard about breakfast the morning after - we won't want a travelodge breakfast in our rooms so it'll be a question of finding a nice place where we can all breakfast together. This could be challenging especially in view of the glasses collection thing
Turn up at the church the night before to have a practice! Goodness!
Oh! Turn up at the church! On the day! On time!!!! Yes :)
And Fran tells me my main duty is to beam a lot. I expect I can manage that :) Fortunately I am not the official photographer! This would be altogether too much of a responsibility. However, it's possible I may take a pic or two :)

Bother! I can see that gold would look better. Shall have to investigate!

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

A gift from France :)

Looks like just a postcard (But what a postcard! I mean look at the wrapping!)
Feels like a hug :)

Hugs back :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blue skies and Butterflies

My word I've had a busy few days - I think.
Blowed if I can remember all the stuff that's been going on.
Last night there was a Newbury Flickr group had a meeting with a young man who runs a photo page in the shiny bit of the local rag. He wanted to include some of our pics which was fine :) Better still, only two of us actually brought any pics to show him and guess who was one of those.
So could be I might be about to have a first published picture! (But not for two months so we won't hold our breath :)
And then today, not only did I get the car window fixed (one leak down, three to go*) but I went to a music morning and played my fiddle to my little heart's content for a couple of hours and then somehow found myself wandering around the woods nearby. And I found little blue butterflies. Now there aren't so very many blue butterflies left in England (I still remember how it seemed like an unusual and awful thing when the Chalk Blue butterflies were reported to be rapidly becoming extinct and that was a very long time ago. Really, before it became a regular item of news that yet another species is endangered and I always get very excited when I see a little blue butterfly.
Today, I saw dozens, all flitting about among the heather and gorse.
What's more, my fiddle teacher had time for a lesson even after the music morning so I got to play some more music (but very badly - I was getting a bit dozy by then. Never mind trying to count up to four, I could hardly count up to one!)
Anyway, what with butterflies and woods and music I've had a very full day and now I'm waiting to see if I have any photos of little blue butterflies or just lots and lots of little blue blurs. :) It's going to take a long time - you don't want to know how many pictures I took today!

They came out! Oh look they've got blue fur! And the dearest little slanting eyes!


Got to go to sleep now :) 'Night :)

*Only two actual leaks but three bits of watery machinery rapidly approaching their final glug.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beauty and the eye. And sundry leakages.

We made an unscheduled trip to A&E yesterday. Well, it was this morning when we got home!
That was my fault really since I am used to Barney getting stuff in his eyes. It goes with the job, bits of straw and dust follow him round and even return home with him (not as bad as cat hair but even more ubiquitous).
So when he said he had something in his eye, I was sympathetic but not much worried. Later, I tried to have a look at it but it was a bit gloomy and I couldn't see anything. Later still, I suddenly thought I really ought to have a proper look before he went to sleep with it, apparently, still in there, so I hied him off to the bright lights of the kitchen, sat him on a chair under the light (we'd just been watching 'The real life on Mars' so I made a crack about interrogation - received rather frostily) .
Oops! There was something in there all right. Not a huge thing but definitely an embedded thing - not to be removed by wife with damp kitchen roll I decided. Oh, huge guilt for enjoying the TV while the poor fellow was sitting there with a great big (tiny) thing in his eye! I am a bad wife!
Now it's funny that although Barney is as good as any man where it comes to man-flu and 'pain' and deserves a standing ovation for the dramatic productions over cramp (which is bad, I know, but if it was as bad as he makes it sound, he'd be dead by now), when it comes to potentially serious things, he goes all small and quiet,tells me very little and won't make the smallest move towards getting it sorted until I till him to.
I'm not sure if the longstanding family joke (his joke) about my father being a doctor and therefore me being a smartass where medical stuff is concerned is a case of 'many a true word spoken in jest'. So I should have guessed from the sad and patient look of suffering that it was a bit worse than the usual speck of dust! And when I said, right, we'll ring the doctor now, he made me feel even more guilty by looking anxious and trusting and red-eyed!
Well, I got brisk and efficient and rang the out of hours number and it seems that the local hospital doesn't do foreign bodies in the eyes. Off we went to A&E in Reading and were very lucky that there didn't seem to have been any major incidents in the area last night and he got seen quite quickly and the removal of the foreign body* was fairly swift and effective too. (Although the doctor who did the removal admitted that he wasn't used to the paper work because he normally worked in another department).

And now, I get to put drops in Barney's eye four times a day. (I have to say this is a great deal less stressful than it was when I had to do it for the cat - for one thing, I don't have to hold him upside down in my arms and stop all his arms and legs from scratching me and anyway he only has two of each unlike the cat who clearly had a dozen or so).
I also get to feel slightly guilty and apologetic that I didn't pay proper attention to his poor eye till the middle of the night. And relieved that my failure to do so hasn't resulted in some awful eye operation being necessary. And watchful over the recovery time because an eye infection is no joke!

Oh, and I get to see the foreign body, displayed on the end of a cotton bud since he brought it home with him (???!!). It's really very small. But close up and personal, I suppose, very large :)

On my way home from somewhere or other today, I stopped and had a wander round Hampstead Norreys Church. Unusually, it was open so I got the chance to see inside. I do love the smell of churches :) And the windows.
And the graveyards :)And when I got home, Youngest came visiting with Gorgeous Babe who gave me a sprig of lavender (picked from our back doorstep) as a present. and When Barney came home he got to have special cuddles because he's her favourite grandparent, and his eye is feeling much better (I'll soon be having trouble persuading him to keep bothering with the drops - it could get to me having to hold him upside down after all) so really, apart from the washing machine and the dishwasher leaking and the car window having stopped working when it's slightly open (so that's leaking too - I had to leave it with an umbrella inside last night), Er? Yes. apart from all that everything is fine :)
Oh well and the immersion heater making the power cut out last night but, hey, what's wrong with less hot water? It's Summer after all. (Ok we won't go there. It is Summer whatever the weather suggests. See.)
Now the dog would really really like to go out please and I suppose I would quite like to go to bed.

*I love this expression - makes me think of that Azimov book/film about the tiny people voyaging through the patient's body to do some kind of medical intervention which couldn't be done by a proper surgeon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

While I was going through the holiday pics

I found these :)

I hope I haven't posted them before :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cookery is

"An art!"
"A science!"
"An art!!"
"A science!!"

No it isn't. It's a game :)
Well we got a round yellow courgette as a gift :)
What on earth are you supposed to do with one of those? Play a cooking game with it of course :)
It's stuffed with something or other and olive oiled and it's just gone in the oven with the roast potatoes and parsnips. I wonder how it will come out?

The really great thing about the cooking game is that I get to play and somebody else gets to win or lose :~)

We had a sort of plan for this evening only it sort of depended on the weather.
There's music at the local pub tonight and they serve pizza on Sunday evenings. However, we usually have a Sunday roast. And the main point of going tonight would have been to sit outside in the sun listening to music and eating pizza and abandoning the roastie thing till tomorrow.
The weather wasn't playing though and while we were dithering about the littlecloudwithoneraindropandasunpeepingouttheback icon on the met office report, I sort of started cooking.
So Barney went to the pub and is now indoors listening to music and I am at home playing at cooking and working through holiday pics and thinking what a shame I didn't go to the pub when the sun was shining (which it did intermittently all afternoon - that would be thelittlesunpeepingouttheback part of the icon) and being glad I didn't when it rained heavily (littlecloudwithraindropunderneath part).

One thing I am gradually learning about my new macro lens is it's not a zoom lens. Twiddling the focus ring doesn't bring the image any closer. It just makes it go more or less out of focus. However as long as something in the picture is in focus, probably everything that's the same distance away from the lens will be in focus too. So if I stood in the middle of a bush and focused on something and then turned round and pressed the shutter, probably something would be in focus! This could be worth a try!
And, a macro shot is not just a close-up. At least, I don't think it is?
It's all very puzzling ?:~) I think it would only take one more lens to take me beyond the boundaries of what I'm able to understand. Fortunately, I'm happy with the two I have :)
Sleep well :)

(The courgette was nice. I didn't realise how much water there is inside one though :)


Thursday, August 07, 2008

I got it!!!!

Just thought I'd say.
I think I may never go to Ikea again :) One of the funny things about the trip was turning, as instructed, into the Valley Park turn off and heading for the Croydon IKEA chimneys*followed by several other cars. Obviously all going to the same place since when we arrived in a deserted scrap yard, we all drove round in small circles with much pointing, gesticulating and expressive face-making to return to the proper Valley Park turn off and head once again for the chimneys.
And there were compensations on the homeward journey in spite of rain and horrible traffic on the M25.
Well, this morning, I looked out of the bathroom window and watched house martins flying in and out of their nests under the eaves and one solitary hare, motionless in the field. The sun had a brief flirtation with the tree tops and vanished. A cat paced (very deliberately, crunching noises accompanying every step) across the newly shingled drive and a blackbird flitted to the top of the apple tree and did a very impressive imitation of the phone ringing. After a while, I realised that the real phone was also ringing. Thus the odd stereo effect.

Today it's back to the filing. I wonder how many photos our holiday companions would actually like to see? There's 355 in the holiday folder and I've only worked my way through the first two and a half days :) (That's 355 which have been cut out of the rubbish and made pretty for viewing!)
Me? Dead? Not a bit of it. I may be getting a bit deaf in me old age though.

*I think it's a bit of cheek for IKEA to appropriate these chimneys. I'm sure they've been a Croydon landmark since long before IKEA was so much as a financial gleam in the eye of some Swedish entrepreneur!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I had a nasty shock today.
I was planning to hoover (or, more properly, Sanyo) the dining room.
Mandu, my little tabby cat was sleeping peacefully on the floor so not wishing to shock her into a heart attack or anything like that, I made a fair amount of hoover-arriving noise.
There was no response. So I switched on at the wall and found that last time I used the infernal thing, I hadn't turned it off so it started up. So much for sparing the cat's anxieties.
Only she didn't react. Not a twitch of a whisker. Suddenly apprehensive I stared at her peaceful form.

After a minute, I prodded her, very gently (and rather gingerly as I have to admit to a slight squeamishness about, well, about - that sort of thing). No response.
Oh dear!
Oh No!!!!! Not my naughty, anxious little mouse murderer....not, dead?

I sat and looked at her still form and then thought, well, she looks so peaceful and just as though she's sleeping, I ought to take a photo.
So I did.

Whereupon, she twitched an ear, opened one eye, blinked up at me and then sat up and had a good wash.

My word, I had that hoover (Sanyo) going like a shot! Full blast and with lots of energy. (after giving her a quick stroke and a welcome back shove, out into the kitchen)

Meanwhile, on the Ikea front, I've been chasing my desk (the one which has been discontinued). I've whinged at some length to the customer Services department and attempted to find out if the Croydon store really has 77 still in stock - only the store wouldn't answer the phone when the CS lady tried to phone them.
But it seems possible they still have some. And this morning, I thought I'll make one last effort. So I rang and my new CS lady looked up Croydon and said yes they have the item, 44 of them.
Just out of devilment, I said how about Wembley?
Oh, well they have 35 in stock but it's also coming up as discontinued.
So could she check and find out what's the truth?
Oh well, I'd have to ring after 10 am.
Yeahyeahyeah. So will they answer their phone I wonder.
Wembley seems a little less of a marathon journey than Croydon but it's still an weary long way into the scary big city on the chance of a different kind of resurrection :)
Also I've almost run out of tobacco. Though I have plenty of sugar :)
Ok. 10 oclock arrives and now I am on hold, waiting for Wembley to tell us their story!
It's all really outresting don't you think?
A few raindrops to accompany the piped music :)

3 rather lovely old fellows playing some really beautiful blues on steel and slide guitar (quite the dreamiest sound and much nicer than the piped music). These three British Blues singers, Richard Cox-Smith, Sonny Black (aka Bill Boazman) and Mike Cooper are among the best. And on this evening, Mike Cooper and Bill Boazman were reunited for the first time in - oh, lots of years. Great music :)

Oh, pooh. Wembley won't answer but Croydon has 44 in stock. I'm off. It's taken me 3/4 of an hour to get this far, which is nowhere!
Wish me luck!

(probably I forgot to mention that normally the appearance of the hoover causes all cats to leave precipitously without so much as a faretheewell and the dog to have a kind of anxious 'play?', 'fight?', 'be friends?', 'Waaah!!! got to leave now' dance, in and out of the room.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

There they are :)

Last nights boggled pics :)
(I hope I haven't posted them already :)

It's raining and the cat got shut in the bathroom this morning. You don''t want to know about that though. Honestly.
Shall I travel lots of miles to another Ikea or shall I do filing? Can't decide.
Ok, three phone calls for Barney (who's at work*), some map study and lot more rain later I've decided to stay at home and tidy and file. By the time I'd been properly polite and informative to all three customers it was getting a bit late for an early start to head for the wilds of Surrey in search of a unknown Ikea and a desk. How much do I really want this desk?
I think maybe I'm just being stubborn, though it does have exactly the adjustableness and shelves I need and if I hadn't been chasing up and down the motorway for the last six months it would be very reasonably priced.
I'm going shopping (for dinner and dog food) now.

*We're always amazed by people ringing a thatcher at 11am and expecting him to be by his phone. Do they think thatchers take an office up the ladder and park it on the roof while they're working?

And yet more filing

and also deleting, processing and moving files around with increasing but probably misplaced confidence.

It's becoming a sort of reflex. Sit down at the computer and look at a few hundred holiday pics and start working on 'just another one'. If I ever get through them all I won't know what to do with myself!
Earlier this evening I stood by the back door, breathing in the night breezes and enjoying the peace. And the company of one dog (peeing copiously) two cats (looking expectantly at me - I don't know why, they'd been fed hours ago) five slugs (all heading at rocket speed - as far as they were concerned - for the top of the steps) and five hundred moths (heading sort of anywhere but definitely at rocket speed).
And now I'm definitely not, under any circumstance at all, going to do 'just one more pic processing'. I'm going to bed.
No! Not another one...not even that one.
Good Night and sleep the sleep of the deserving. We all deserve a good night's sleep.

(sorry, there were going to be pics but blogger threw a boggley and now they've gone awol - tomorrow maybe. Internal errors indeed! Exactly where, internally, may I ask?)

Friday, August 01, 2008


That's the word I've been looking for :)
Archetypes are, according to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, innate universal psychic dispositions that form the substrate from which the basic themes of human life emerge. Being universal and innate, their influence can be detected in the form of myths, symbols, rituals and instincts of human beings. Archetypes are components of the collective unconscious and serve to organize, direct and inform human thought and behaviour.

S'good that wikipedia :) Mind I'm not completely sure I understand the bit about phsychic dispositions or substrates. But I like the bits about them being universal and innate and being detected in the forms of myth, ritual, symbol and instincts. On the other hand I'd argue a bit about the instinct bit but that's because I take Jung with a pinch of salt. Tasty stuff and appetising but I'm not convinced of his scientific basis.* And I've always understood instincts to be similar to reflexes but in a way that relates to mind instead of body. So, hard-wired into the psyche. And while I can happily accept myths, rituals and symbols being a way to express a commonly understood imagery I'm not prepared to accept that the imagery which we categorise as archetypal is as deeply wired into our psyche as a reflex is into our physiology.**

However, Old Father Thames, winding through the city, is an archetype for me. I'm not sure if one is allowed personal archetypes as well as the ones that belong to the collective unconscious (which I'm not totally convinced exists anyway, though it's a nice and comforting idea) .
But I guess any great river with a settlement along its banks ought to be an archetype? And an emblem both of fear and of security. (Water where predators and prey gather together and there is rarely a truce and equally, water where life can be sustained and survival becomes easy for a while). Such places must be very important in the collective, hand-me-down human memory, at least, and if there were a collective unconscious I bet they'd be there too.

Speaking of a blithe disregard (which I am about to do below) I spent the day sorting through old files, throwing stuff out and diligently editing photos for our canal holiday companions to come and see. Barney insists that I don't show them the full five thousand (I can't think why!).
After which I had a sudden attack of 'who cares if it's perfect as long as it's fun!!!!'
This is a bit of silliness, combining two mismatched and wrongly exposed photos in photoshop. Together with some quite random post processing.
Also there were bees. The thing about bees is they're very easy to see. (Which makes them a good subject for a muttering, peering photographer who's not quite sure what she's doing)
The other thing about bees is they appear and vanish in the blink of an eye. Or indeed the click of a shutter. One instant there's a bee, the next, there isn't. Makes for some interesting photos :)The bee I was trying to photograph vanished as I clicked but coincidentally, this bee flew through the area I was focused on, at the same time :) I really like bees :)
Tomorrow it's back to the filing - Barney thinks it's going to take me at least a day! Ha. He should be so lucky. I suggested a week and he laughed - I think he thought I was joking :)
So now I must stop playing and go to bed.
Good night and have a lovely weekend :)

*This is easy for me to say as I've only ever read popularised versions of Jung's work and certainly have never studied any of the science of any of the old psychologies. But 'it takes one to know one' and I seem to recognise a blithe, inventive and adventurous disregard for dry facts in what little I have read :)
**You may think my interpretation of 'instinct' is a decidedly dicey one which bears very little resemblance to its real meaning. In fact it's quite probable that I am misinterpreting and misrepresenting the good Mr Jung entirely. Do tell me if you know :)

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