Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Out of the Ether

Somehow, since last Thursday when I laid bare my wrinkles on Facebook, I have had tons of contact from old friends in America, those writers I used to commune with on TIBU. This is really exciting and so heartening to know that they still remember me, as I do them. Another strange by-product of entering the realms of electronic friendship, is that it has motivated me to write more.

Some people might be shaking their heads in dismay and reaching for the painkillers to address discomfort in various parts of their anatomy. But be warned. I can feel an attack of the verbals starting. The written words will pour, though for how long this is going to continue is anybody's guess.

Trouble is, I am a bit stalled for what exactly to write about,given that physical interventions seem to have stunted the mental processes of creativity. But as the old saying goes, "Where there's life, there's hope."

A serious comment now. I have just listened to a programme on BBC Radio 4 called 'The Choice.' An American doctor who practices late abortion, under threat of death, was being interviewed. A most interesting man, certain he was doing the right thing by the women who came to him. When asked if he had any problem with the morality of aborting at 34 weeks, he replied that the moral issue belonged to the woman in question. He also became very hot under the collar when the interviewer suggested that 34 weeks was almost full-term, a viable proposition for life. He just repeated, very angrily that "34 weeks is NOT full term. That is 40 Weeks."

Now I have no desire to cast judgement on those who make life changing decisions; I believe in their right to do so. But after hearing this man talking, and how he expressed his views, as he conducted his work with death threats hanging over himself and his family, I am in a quandary. I now have a moral dilemma to deal with. At the end of the interview, I beat up a cake and pretended it was Dr. Whoever, all the while muttering, "I don't like you." He has no children of his own. That's all folks.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Blogging gone Astray

I looked and I saw that my blogging is lacking in application, discipline and continuity, in fact it is bloody bad blogging, as I am not giving it my best attention. This thought came to mind (yes, I can occasionally collect thoughts), while reading of another blogger's experiences on Helium. I am always writing on there,with the exotic pen name of Dolores Moore. The upshot of reading that article was a surge of guilt for having neglected this particular practice, being a blogger.

Given that nobody really reads what I am writing, nor do they think it worthwhile to comment, which is only natural, as most people are too busy writing their own blogs and pieces, I feel rather isolated. I need the strokes, the feedback, the responses. That is what makes me a terribly bad blogger, I have gone astray and should have a firm purpose of amendment and write more on here.

Ah, but here's the rub. I have joined Facebook and am already becoming addicted. So until I find something else to moan about or praise, it is hasta la vista from Annie. For the moment.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Give Frankie Boyle Your Attention

Looking at this blog of mine, it is obvious from the time elapsed since last posting, that I have hardly a thought in my head, or at any rate, very few with enough coherence to write down. Sorry about that. However, I have not spent the intervening time unprofitably, for though most televisual offerings are a bag of the stuff that comes out of bull's bottoms, I have found a little diamond among the dross.

Frankie Boyle just makes me laugh out loud at his irreverently sharp non-pc wit, thank God for him and it. He is my hero on "Mock the Week" and can out-wit, out-shock and just out-do everybody on there. Oh, for a glinting glance from those bespectacled eyes, followed by a few words in that inimitable Scottish accent. Bet Frankie would have a fit if he thought he appealed so strongly to 60 year old grannies like myself.

Go Frankie, go! You light up the dark winter nights like a beacon of common sense and downright wickedness and I love you for it, wee lad.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Fry's English Delight BBC Radio 4 Does it Again

I have come to accept that as a blogger, I would make a good trapeze artist. I simply do not have the discipline to get the thoughts collected and transferred to my world wide audience, all 20 of them. Apologies all round folks. But I just have to share this brilliant quote from the inimitable, eccentric and delightful Stephen Fry, bless him. In his programme this morning on the English language in all its glory, he said "Computers oil the wheels of the handcart in which we are all going to hell." Isn't that just magnificent? I wish I had said it myself, but there you are, he is a genius and I am a lazy bones.

Friday, 19 June 2009

BBC Radio 4: Gold Among the Dross of Media Entertainment

If you can access BBC Radio 4 in your corner of the world, do so, I urge you. If you enjoy quality on the radio, here is the place to find it. This morning, Friday 19 June, at 9.00 am, I listened to a wonderful old favourite programme, broadcasting in the same format since 1942, "Desert Island Discs. Kirsty Young, the presenter, was as always, conducting a gentle exposition of the life, times and character of the great Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer of the 20th century, Denis, Lord Healey. Oh, if only we had men like him in government right now. But let me not digress.

I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for the man, the programme, along with some quotes he made that had me laughing out loud. They also provided a glimpse of the wit and wisdom of the man. He may be 92 years old, but as we say here in the North, he's not lost his marbles one bit! When asked what he thought of Margaret Thatcher, (one time Conservative Prime Minister),then and now, he replied that she was an awful prime minister, "because she wouldn't listen to anybody who didn't share her views" and "Nobody ever listens to her now, poor thing, I feel sorry for her. I gave her a hug the last time we met..."

Lord Healey's choice of music included Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, so he was a man after my own heart. The format of this programme allows the "castaway" (interviewee) to take three special items to the island, along with the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare. I knew I had just discovered a kindred spirit when Lord Healey opted for the Faber Book of English Verse, a huge big box of chocolates and the Cavatina from Beethoven;s String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major.

This programme has stood the test of time, BBC Radio 4 is uncompromising in delivering a quality service, and after listening to Lord Healey, my day is brighter. Thank you sir.

All details of this and BBC Radio 4's other splendid offerings can be found on the BBC Website. Give your intellect a treat and listen.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Belfast Racists

There have been very few times in my life when I have been ashamed to call myself Irish - but this is one of them. I am deeply ashamed that people in my home city of Belfast could attack a group of Romanian families with such racial hatred and ferocity, that they were forced to flee their homes. Here we go again. Ah, but why does it not surprse me? As a Catholic child, I had to do a bit of fleeing in the past, before the Troubles with a capital "T" became an ongoing saga of murder and hatred.

The shame deepened when I heard one man, speaking on Radio 4 yesterday, with an accent much like my own. He declared these Romanians to be "parasites who should go back to their own country." I felt a little bit of hope when another man from the same working class area that housed the evicted families, state that this was the work of only a few racists. For God's sake, does nobody learn anything from 30 years of terror, mayhem, prejudice and bigotry?

Shamefully, I must accept that it would appear they have not. Is there some dreadful flaw in the Northern Irish psyche that impels people to attack those who are different? If what has just taken place is anything to go by, then the answer must be "yes." But I thought I knew that my people were good, kind, benevolent and welcoming, for the most part; therein lies a glimmer of hope.

Many of those Romanian families now just want to go home, and who could blame them? I have to conclude that the place I called "home" is so contaminated with inhumanity and intolerance that it is best avoided. Which is a great pity. To the good people of Belfast, and there are many, I extend my sorrow that they have been tainted by the few. Let us hope they can quash the evil in their midst. Let my doubts ast to this happening be unfounded.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Great Result!

The absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley must be over the moon, as the Gurkhas have won the right to settle in Britain,proving that at last, a bit of justice has emerged. I do not want to sound all gung ho and rah, rah, but these people have supported and fought for this country for years, and if any group deserved to be able to live here, then they do. Joanna fought too, without fear, without taking any nonsense or double talk from the politicians, and with the people of the nation behind her. What a victory and well done. Welcome to these wonderful people and their families, I hope you will be treated with the respect and honour you so rightly deserve, having earned these and more. That's it folks.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Ingorance of the Law is No Defence!

I think I heard somebody say that, or maybe I read it, or could it be wishful thinking on my part, but it sure is making a comeback as our glorious representatives in government rush to empty their pockets and show their many and varied receipts for things they "didn't know I couldn't claim for that." and so on and so forth and yawn and oh yeah! There is a song lurking at the back of my mind, which for some reason I associate tentatively with Roy Orbison. It is "Running Scared" and I think it would be a tip top election campaign anthem for every major UK political party.

If anybody out there reads this and can think of one better, please leave a comment and a suggestion, which I will polish up and send to Westminster. Oh what fun I will have. Meanwhile, I have better things to do, but am filled with regret that I didn't buy a simple account book and enter all the totals of moneys repaid therein, then, under Freedom of Information Act, demand the totals of moneys improperly spent. No, too, too long winded and boring for a mathematical dunce such as I. But I certainly hope somebody is in charge of doing hard sums and keeping account. It would be lovely to hear the final figures, should I live that long.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

And Now We Make Reparation!

They are all putting their hands in their pockets, falling over themselves in their eagerness to repay what they should not have taken in the first place. Our government and opposition MPs, I mean. Golly, they will surely be welcomed at Heaven's pearly gates for such firm purpose of amendment and expressions of regret.

I await the next election to see whether this "too little, too late" empty gesture has had the desired effect. Perhaps we the voters will abstain from supporting those who failed us and show them just what we really think. It's a bugger, when we have reached a stage in our history where trust is just a word on paper, or even worse, part of the title of some financial organisation. Oh well, the public coffers may yet be swelled and those who deserve to benefit, receive help. My breath will not be held on that one.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Can we Start a Democratic Revolution, Blogger of the UK?

As I walk to the village post office, about one and a half miles away, I pass at least three homes with repossession notices posted. I feel saddened by the plight of the people who can no longer afford to keep a roof over their head, or to support their family. In the city, the only shops I see full of people buying are those which offer "EVERYTHING FOR £1!" There is ample evidence here in the UK that its citizens are suffering under the current economic crises. More sinister and frightening is the set of thieves, liars and morally bereft individuals who form the government with which we have been burdened.

My blood boils and I am rendered speechless with rage as I listen to the news on BBC Radio 4. I hear more and more examples of how the money belonging rightly to those citizens is being grabbed and squandered by the very people we hoped would run our country in a honest, fair and democratic way. Some bloody hopes! The Mother of All Parliaments" is now a nest of corruption and greed, sinking under the lies, cheating and false promises of our so-called leaders and representatives. The hypocrisy of all those who have misused funds and abused privileges for their own gain absolutely beggars belief.

They have bleated constantly that they have done nothing wrong, they have stayed within the rules, so it is fine to own three houses, paid for by the voters, or to buy expensive baubles for Christmas, or to have expensive repairs carried out, all at the expense of a population struggling to make ends meet. My friend suggested to me that the army should be sent in to rout them out, throw them in the Tower of London and set up a government with integrity and moral backbone. He thought Joanna Lumley, who has so successfully championed the cause of our brave Gurkhas could head up such a team.

My plea is that all bloggers get online and offer their opinions on the disgusting misuse of public money and the even worse lack of morality and integrity. They might also like to suggest what could be done to address the issue of actually having a decent government. I know it might sound like daydreaming, but not having been involved in any revolutionary activities, I am not sure how to go about it.

The process of getting rid of those currently in power, where the Tower is utilized, certainly holds some appeal, but the Crown Jewels had better be taken away to a safe place first, if that pack of thieves and vagabonds are to be incarcerated there. Next, I would like to see a coalition government formed, made up of individuals with intelligence, integrity and bravery in equal measure. My ideal leaders would include the following, simply because I believe they possess these qualities: Ian Hislop, Jeremy Paxman, John Humphries, Jo Brand, Joanna Lumley and Anne Robinson. They could, if they deemed it necessary, enlist the aid of those politicians they believe to be honest and trustworthy, there are a few I believe.

So that is quite enough for one blog, I think. Should I not return to check on the progress of this revolutionary idea, then you better start baking cakes with files in, big metal files I mean, as I am more than likely to have been arrested and put in prison for daring to state what many people think. So come on bloggers, show your feelings on this most vital of issues and help us get some greatness back.

Monday, 11 May 2009

No Sensible Thoughts to Collect!

For many a long day, and night, I have been assailed with guilt for not being a good blogger. (I haven't really, but like to exaggerate for the sake of effect). Honestly, though, I have been feeling a slight guilty twinge for not keeping up! It is just the nature of blogging, or rather the lack of discipline in this particular blogger, that ties me up in knots of empty pages and inaccurate words. Hence my absence.

There is also something real which is interfering with the mechanics of my intellectual powers, and that is being lost for words, or at any rate, the correct words to say exactly what I want to. There is a reason for this, one that I have briefly touched on with my oncologist. The hormone inhibitor, anti-cancer drug I have to take is making me forget what I want to express. Here is an example: "What are those glass tube things called, you know, you put them over Bunsen burners and do experiments?" My spouse looked at me as though I had taken leave of what little remaining senses I possessed and answered laconically "Test tubes." Aah, of course, those where the very words I could not find.

I sought in vain for the word to describe someone evil and kept coming up with "saintly" when in fact I needed "devilish" - actually, if my head was functioning correctly, I would not give either of those the time of day, I would have had much better vocabulatory weapons at my disposal. So on that cringing, ever so Uriah Heep humble note, I take my leave. If any followers read this, please comment and let me know it made some tiny little iota of sense. Then again.....

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Serendipity - BBC Radio 4"The Music Group"

By sheer good fortune, while waiting for a bacon and egg flan to cook, I tuned into my favourite radio station, BBC Radio 4 at 1.30 pm GMT today. There were four intelligent people sharing and discussing a beloved song or piece of music. Well, one Terry Deary, writer of children's books, not only chose one of my long-forgotten favourites (at least I think he is all but forgotten), Tom Paxton, but also sang the song. I was over the moon to discover that I remembered every word from 45 years ago, and could sing them in the right key. Thank you Terry. Some going for somebody who can never find the house keys when rushing for a bus.

Terry sang, then discussed the song "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" and every word he said about its meaning and power was true. Simple, monosyllabic, delightful rhymes which encompassed the whole human condition in a beautifully crafted song. So I am going to dust off my double vinyl Tom Paxton album and enjoy such classics as "My Lady's a Wild-flying Dove," "Jennifer's Rabbit," "The Last Thing on My Mind" and many more. I also urge anyone with a love of melody, irony and quality to listen to the works of Tom Paxton and just see what I am talking about. Thanks to Terry Deary and to the BBC for a wonderful programme. I think they are repeating it on Saturday, 18 April and I for one will be tuned in to next week's episode. The Music Group is so worth a listen. A little gem, real serendipity today.

Friday, 3 April 2009


I had emailed my friend Eric Lester about the shenanigans going on in the family, though I did not elaborate, and he came back with a great line that made me laugh in the midst of despair. He said his family was rather shenanigated too, which was no fun when it was your own kin. I am almost positive no such word exists, but it was so appropriate and amusing. Which brings me to the point here (sighs of relief, as boredom sets in). Eric has several blogs but the one titled "Dictionary of Interesting Words" is sure worth a visit if you want to be amused, amazed and enlightened.

When I get time to stop having to sort everybody's lives out, then maybe I will get a chance to read it some more and comment. Worth looking at, anybody who loves language, believe me.

Friday, 27 March 2009

The Parcel Came!

Thanks to Eric Lester for his lovely comment full of gentle resignation. The parcel got here at last, the slipcovers within it were a joy, and after much huffing and puffing, and puzzling and pushing, I got them on the sofas. I am telling you, my delight knew no bounds, so I sent a thank you email to slipcovers.com, bless their little cotton, faux suede, velvet, etc. hearts. It is so gratifying when you buy something because it looks good in the pictures, and you find it meets your expectations in reality. Oh, if only life were always so simple and pleasant.

Today, we are in the realms of Spring. So I got rained, hailed, snowed and blowed on in the course of my perambulations around the locality. I am not going to go into those, people would be propping their eyes open with match sticks and reaching for strong coffee to stave off yawns. All I will say is, that to get my bum on this computer chair is bliss, as it is the first rest I have had since 8.45 a.m. Enough.

What am I going to do tomorrow, with no rugby to watch? Perhaps I will purchase a pattern for knitting things and attempt to be creative. Am boring myself now, so will bid you farewell. That is, if there were any people who even said hello to this lot of rambling nonsense. Green men, little and large, wherefore art thou? Comment in your own language, I will attempt to translate.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Away With the Postal Services

Looking at the date of the last post on here, I realize I just do not have the discipline to be a good blogger. When writing becomes a chore rather than a pleasure, then maybe it is time to reconsider the "why" of it all. Anyway, this week I have been mostly tracking a parcel from the US with various robotic, automatic voices, not to mention via the wondrous internet. The fibs these non-humans tell you would make your hair curl, that is if you haven't pulled it out in frustration.

Suffice it to say that my long awaited slip covers set off from their home in America on March 9. Fine, I could track on line and was told that delivery "was attempted at 4.41 a.m. on March 23." Now, I don't know about other parts of the globe, but here in the UK, you won't find a man with a van knocking on anybody's door at that unearthly hour. With pen and Yellow Pages at the ready, I trawled the lists to seek inspiration as to which carrier here would possibly take over from the USPS, when along came the postman with a letter. Bear with me.

The letter told me that Parcel Force had my parcel and had paid duty on it to Customs; they would deliver when I paid them back. Ransome, no less, plus £8.00 for doing me a favour. Armed with a telephone number, I rang and did that, being electronically assured (what!) that it would arrive with me March 25. So I waited and waited, and finally rang to track progress. "Your delivery has been rescheduled" said the tinny, smug robot at the end of the phone line.

"To hell with this for a game of tin soldiers" fumed I. Back to Yellow Pages and get a number for their headquarters. Finally, I spoke to a human being. She noted that payment had been made, the parcel had been "forgotten, sorry" and that she personally would go and put it for the man with the van to bring to me today, March 26. I am waiting, and waiting and hoping. I may compose one of those jokes about postal services, you know, along the lines of "How many...does it take to...?"

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Six Nations? No Just One, Ireland, My Own.

Well, we did it and I am almost incandescent, nay incoherent with joy. For the first time in 61 years, Ireland won the Grand Slam. We also won the Triple Crown and the whole Championship. Glittering prizes, sportsmanship in all its glory, that was what it was all about. The Welsh team, mostly called Jones, apart from Gavin Henson, who is Charlotte Church's beloved, fought bravely to the end and almost pipped us at the post, but missed the penalty in the dying seconds.

To see the pride and delight on the faces of Brian O'Driscoll and his team sent shivers down my spine. It was a brilliant match, and of course, Ronan O'Gara was a wee star - what a man of character. I am still smiling with pleasure, though have less hair and fingernails than I did before the game started. That's it folks. Must go and celebrate.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Blogger Improvements?

Yesterday, I wanted to say how I felt so much sympathy for Liam Neeson and his family at the awful loss of his wife, and those little boys' mother. But blogger improvements meant I could not get in. I wanted to post a comment in response to Vets, it wouldn't let me. So by some miracle, several emails and some funny scripted magic words, I got here today.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

St. Patrick's Day! A Good One to You All

Here I am, a time traveller, having fast forwarded one day and got mixed up. I was nearly going to break out the Guinness yesterday, 16 March, instead of today, when I wished you all a Happy St. Paddy's for the wrong date! Oh well, it just proves the possibility of loss of cognitive processes from certain medication. Not that I can afford any such loss, but you learn to live with dopiness, I have discovered, even if it drives those around you to excessive alcohol intake.

The point is, I am missing my shamrock, because whilever I had my Irish family alive and well, every year a little box would be posted to me, full of shamrock, which I would then pin on my lapel and strut around wearing for all to see. Alas, that is gone, but the good memories of the wearing of the green linger. So I am away to get out my favourite green sweater and wear that instead. Wherever and whoever you all are, if you celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, our Patrick, enjoy, sing and dance to your heart's content.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Victory for Ireland!

First of all, I must offer a hundred thousand apologies for spelling the great Ronan O'Gara's name incorrectly yesterday. Ta bron orm, Ronan, a croi. But onto the games. Well I have to say Italy impressed me in Rome, with their storming confident battle with Wales. And though I should have been cheering my Celtic compatriots to victory, I believe Italy played the better game and deserved to win. Not the form from Wales we have so far experienced, and if they want to stand a chance against MY team, Ireland next week, they better pull their socks up!

At first, when the Scotland/Ireland game started, I could not bear to look at the shambolic shuffling of my heroes. They seemed to have left their brains and confidence in the changing rooms. It was almost like watching paint dry, and I've done enough of that for one week, thank you very much. However, as the first half drew to a close, suddenly, the green shirts were everywhere in defence, and even attack, and the pace was more like it. Though they left the field at half time with 9 points to Scotland's 12, I sensed a stiffening of the sinews and a bit of iron in the blood.

The rugby played in the second half was great, with Ireland showing just how a line out should be done. As for Ronan, bless him, he did it so well under great pressure. The RBS Man of the Match was well chosen; I had already decided he was the hero of the day, little Peter Stringer. What a player! Fast, intelligent, generous and just everywhere. Well done Ireland, and I will be cheering you on while drinking Guinness next week. A little early perhaps, but to everybody out there, Happy St. Patrick's day for tomorrow, 17 March.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

The Six Nations Again!

Today, Saturday 14 March, I am about to indulge myself in hours of rugby union excitement. I will wear gloves, I think, in order to stop myself biting my nails, when later today, Scotland and Ireland battle it out. Of course, I want Ireland to win not just the Triple Crown, but the Grand Slam. They are ahead by points, but were rather "iffy" at the last turn-out. I pray Ronan O'Garrah has his kicking foot in good working order. But first, I will see what Italy can do to give Wales a run for their money. Not much, I fear, but then Italy has only been part of the tournament for a few short years. Yet they a are brave and very game team, which is what for me, rugby union is all about. I am sure to be on here with some lay-woman's views after these events. Incidentally, if you want to read my explanation of the Triple Crown and its meaning for me, you can find it written by my middle name, "Dolores" at the link below - I hope! Links and I have a very stormy relationship, but I do try.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Bloody Blogging!

I have stayed away to rest my head and hands, and then, when I want to say nice things to people about their blogs, the bloody thing keeps sending me odd scripts to copy, that is if they even load. "Tether" and "at the end of" are words I hear now. Anyway, that's enough of that carry on. Today the sun shone, the daffodils were almost open, the birds sang and my nose ran. To think I have got through major surgery, two bouts of very cold weather for these islands, and not a sniffle. But just when you think it's safe to get out there and dig, everything aches and you can't speak properly.

Echinecea (I think that's how you spell it) pills by the dozen, that's my policy and to that I must add hot lemon juice, tea and sympathy. I do have hopes for the lemon, if nothing else. Oh shut up, I tell myself, it's just a cold, get on with it. Sorry these ramblings are less than entertaining, but I have to let you know I feel so sorry for me that I need to express the feelings before blowing my sore nose yet again. Perhaps tomorrow will bring hope and comfort. Oh, look at those pigs flying past the windows.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Being Remiss in the Blogging World

Many apologies for the long space between communicating via this here blog. But what used to take me two days to accomplish has taken me a whole week; namely decorating one room. On the surface, it all looks quite fine, but my grand-daughter's beady eye pointed out where "Bits are missed." So what, but today has really put the tin hat on it, I can tell you that varnish is a nasty, nasty substance and my new doors look a bugger. However, I am not going to worry, and if they become too much for even an imperfectionist like myself, I can always slap a bit of paint on. I certainly have plenty.

I have the greatest sympathy now for Michelangelo and his work on the Sistine Chapel. I could hear him sighing in dismay as I slapped yet another blob on the floor, as opposed to the door frame. Never mind, I do enjoy being creative with paint, brush, roller and lots and lots of cleaning materials. OK, I am boring myself now, so if you saw this one, thank you, if you didn't, I can't say I blame you. All you painters and decorators out there need have no fear of competition from me, rest assured your jobs are safe!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Painting the Clouds with Sunshine

Well, I got Eric's weather blog back and now have NDR so I did something right! Today, it has chucked it down with rain, so I did not wait for the meticulous assistant and instead, spent five happy! hours leaping up and down a pair of step ladders. Though I merely undercoated one wall, painted the cornices and then a small alcove, I have disturbed the TV's equilibrium, dropped a Wilbur Smith book into the paint tray, and decorated my hair most tastefully with a huge white blob of paint.

Were it not for the fact that said blob is in the middle of my hair, I would take the scissors to it. I do not know how it happened, but there was paint running down the leg of my ladders, into quite a big pool on the floor. I got it folks, don't worry, I have five damp cloths to hand when I mount the steps. There was of course, a lot of climbing up and down and the use of the "f" word was prolific. Still, I should have it finished by tomorrow and then must address the task of varnish! Why in heaven's name I ever start these things, I will never know. If I don't stick my fingers together (I need to use superglue tomorrow), I will update you. Good to know NDR does dusting behind the furniture like I do.

Monday, 2 March 2009

What Am I doing Wrong?

Just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, I have lost Eric Lester's blog and NOT added NDRs as I smugly believed I had last night. Perhaps I am not cut out for this lark. Perhaps I had better dust off my telescope and start inviting the little green men in, that way, I might have some success, as they are bound to be more technologically advanced than I am!

Talking of dust, well today I surely was - really covered. I defy anyone to tell me they pull out their big furniture items to dust behind them every week. Today I did that in preparation for my BIG PAINT JOB. Now I know where that packet of throat sweets went last winter (2007) and also the King Edward cigar from circa same time. It was a good job I washed my face before setting off to school to pick up my beloved grand daughter. The washcloth was brown! Oh well, I feel the need to lie down with a good book and a bottle of horse linament. I promise to try harder with connecting, but quite what efforts are going to work is a mystery to me. Be patient and thank you, kind followers.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

That Rugby Business!

Well, Scotland beat Italy 26-6 yesterday and I thought the game was rather oddly balanced. The Italians fought bravely, but the level of rugby to which most of the team is accustomed, meant they really had little chance. But they were brave indeed. In fact, the whole thing was rather fumbled, and reminded me of a toddler's party where Pass the Parcel degenerates into unforced errors and the "passers" keep dropping the said parcel - or ball in this instance. So it was not a great rugby experience, I would have to say. Anyone unfamiliar with the teams would have been forgiven for getting muddled; one Italian player was called McLean, a Scots name if every there was one, and another delighted in the name of Griffin, again Scots-Irish. But if your grandparents hail from your national side, then off you go and play for it. I had hopes of a better battle from the Ireland/England match in Dublin, which followed.

Ireland won by 14-13, and to tell you the truth, I was rather disappointed by the performance all round. Had it not been for captain Brian O'Driscoll's great drop goal and try, it might have been a sad day for the wearing of the green. For some reason, kicker Ronan O'Garra seemed to get the urge to kick at the most inappropriate moments and then when he was in position to kick for penalty points, he missed a few, poor lad. Despite O'Driscoll having been rendered dazed and dopey by injury, he played on and gathered the troops, so the second half was exciting. I confess to finishing another chapter of my book and peeling potatoes during the first half. England were very naughty and got sin-binned with yellow cards.

Now Ireland stands a chance of winning the Grand Slam, but I hope they gets their heads sorted and connected to their feet and hands in time for the next foray. They are a great team and a joy to watch, particularly disciplined and brave. So go for it boys, I want to see a better score and more intelligent play next time. Don't let me down.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

France Wales Match - An Amazing Rugby Experience

Once again, I exhort you to visit the BBC homepage and look at the highlights of this tremendous battle. It was so exciting I now have no nails left at all and drank a whole bottle of Cava! I mean, at half time the scores were 13 points each and the hearts and souls of both teams were heroic. As they nipped off to the dressing rooms, one French player stood dripping blood like a veritable gladiatorial fighter, just one example of the ferocity of the game.

The French took on the Welsh dragon and slayed it, despite some rather unfair referee judgements against the Gallic squad in the first half. They came out fighting in the second, and thanks to strength of resolve and big chaps, a few unforced blunders by the Welsh, they won. Though I would say I supported Wales, my admiration for the French made me glad they were victorious. Especially since there is a player, whose name escapes me, with the looks of the late, great JC, bless him. I must end now, as kick off for the next 6 Nations game starts at 3.00p.m. I had better stock up on chewable items, just in case this game is as good as the one I write about.

Friday, 27 February 2009

In a Rush

I came here to write a wee story of my adventures in the NHS today, but had to find out about putting a link in HTML. After several hours and three broken nails, plus a couple of bad words only, I have become rather shell shocked. I am going to do a proper job tomorrow, when all will be revealed. Besides, Wales is playing France tonight and they are about to kick off. I need to watch them, assisted by a glass of wine, so hasta la vista, babies.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Big Noises in A Tube

Today I had my third MRI scan, on my right hand in fact, but I still had to go in the big white sausage and be bombarded with all manner of interesting sounds. There I lay, on my front, arm extended and taped to a board so it would stay still. I imagined myself looking like John Travolta, you know the way he extends his arms in "Saturday Night Fever?" Great mover, John is but I, on the other hand was still as a rock. The pain was indescribable, from the shoulder to the finger tips, and as for the back and legs, well, I won't even go into that.

But it was in a good cause, as part of a research programme on the drug Arimadex, which will keep my breast cancer at bay, but make my bones fall to bits. You can't win 'em all. At least I am contributing to the field of medical science, as I pretend to be Mr. Travolta. Just to let you know that the lids are still on the tins of paint and may remain that way till I regain the power of my hands. Meanwhile, I'll just keep on taking the tablets.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Big Tins of Paint

Me and the cat are saying nothing, simply because, for once in our lives, we appear to have nothing, or at least, very little to say. I have purchased several big tins of paint and will be very busy over the next few days be-daubing myself with said material. There will be a lot of cleaning involved, which always makes me depressed, both before and after the brushes are wielded. I have an offer of help from my daughter, but may not take her up on it, in the interests of family harmony.

I like to slap paint around willy nilly and just achieve a "general" impression of decor, while she is artistic and meticulous. There could be trouble ahead. I have abandoned rugby while I work out colour schemes and find my paint trays. As you can see, I am becoming obsessed and I still haven't stained the doors.

On top of all this, my computer was down and I could not get onto the Internet or access my Inbox, the latter of which matters not a jot or tittle, there is rarely much of interest in it nowadays since the Viagra salespeople have left me to my own devices. Still, I am hopeful of some surprises some day soon. If you read this, thank you, if you feel a comment blossoming thank you. If you did not, I do not blame you one little bit, as there are so many more interesting people telling more life enhancing stories out there. Be good, be careful and have fun.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Warning - Blogging - Is It Dangerous?

This is a dire warning! Take heed, because since I opened this blog, I have received several emails, proporting to come from MY bank. After the first few, I recognized them as scams, simply because I have no account with the bank in question, Co-operative Bank, UK. Never having been plagued by threats to my pennies before, I rang the bank and was told to forward immediately with the address ihaveseenascam@co-operativebank.co.uk. So I did, wondering why me, why now?

More jollifications followed when another little billet doux popped up, this time trying for another bank, who advised to forward to suspiciousemails@alliance-leicester.co.uk which I did. The hook in both these buggers lies in the "fact" that somebody is trying to steal your money. OH, yeah and we all know the senders are those very somebodies.

I await further developments, and messages from many more banks in which I allegedly deposit money (I have none!) who will be telling me my non-existent account is under threat from thieves. As this has just begun since blogging, I am wondering whether I am paranoid or merely involved in coincidence. Whatever the reasons, I thought it best to warn anybody who gets such nasty little tricks in their In Box to ignore all pleas to click on links and to find out where to forward them to. Be careful out there, and let's do it to them before they do it to us. (Courtesy of Hill Street Blues)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Cursed by Friday 13th

Well, not really, more cursed by lack of inspiration, energy and motivation. This here blogging lark demands some cohesive and clear thinking, the ability for which has deserted me entirely. Yes, I watched the rugby, and yes I was rather sorry that England lost, as they played like heroes. But the Welsh defence was just too good. I missed a couple of matches through lack of planning and talking too much, always something that was going to happen. Meanwhile, I have to prepare for a visitor, still have not stained the new doors, and must take the nail scissors to my hair. That last little effort might well see me sitting up at midnight knitting a balaclava to hide the effects of my creative hairdressing.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Rugby Again!

This is a quickie, as I must sort out my door-staining activities, with which I won't bore you. But if anyone is interested in sharing my passion for the Six Nations, I have a link for you to the BBC homepage, where you can re-live last weekend and get yourself all excited about the forthcoming England/Wales match. There is a big blue button on the right of the page, last time I looked, it was just below two tigers in the snow - everybody say "Aah" You can find it at http://www.bbc.co.uk and will be able to enjoy the highlights. SMG wanted me to link to the anthems, but I don't know how, perhaps you will hear them if you go to BBC, if not try YouTube, and good luck to you all.

Incidentally, I have noticed more followers, thanks to you all and Eric Lester, bless his little cotton socks. How on earth I get to follow back, remains a mystery, but give me time. As I write, I have just remembered, I wanted to tell you about a great band we have here called Elbow. I must hie me to Amazon to order their album, before I forget. It is titled "Seldom Seen Kid" and I would urge you to have a listen.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Overstretched, But at least I'm Not a Scrum Half

It strikes me that I have overstretched myself by joining Triond - here I am at http://www.triond.com/users/annielundy then up and starting this here blog. Not to mention writing things like "How to Clean a Teapot" or "How to Clean a Cat's Ears" on Helium. Dolores Moore there, of course, at http://helium.com/users/46921. Then, I have been so fortunate to meet up with some good old friends from TIBU, and want to get around to writing to them all. So I am going to go to www.TIBU2.com and see what I can see.

The trouble is, I have to take a wee pill everyday and it is not a nice wee pill either. It affects the bones, muscles and joints, particularly the hands, and while it is a life saver, it means I will never play rugby for Ireland. Not that I could anyway, being as how I am over the rugby playing hill, the wrong sex and totally unfamiliar with the meaning of the offside rule (in that, I am not alone, dear reader). But typing and moving a mouse are becoming somewhat painful to say the least, yet I must soldier on. Aaah! Possibly I can get hold of some carrier pigeons and when I have written my pieces with my quill pen onto the best vellum, I can post that way. Meanwhile, I thank you for looking, commenting and apologise for the absence of inspiration, I think I had too much to eat at teatime. Or maybe it was defrosting the freezer as the snow fell on frozen ground.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Deep Shock! HOW much?

This edition is rather late, chiefly due to the shock I sustained at the dentist's today. I have a craggy tooth that she attempted to mend a few weeks ago and her dental plaster or whatever it's called fell off after three days and a packet of toasted almonds. So today, she was fixing it again, but suggested the only positive step would be a crown. When I asked her how much that would be, given this is our National Health Service dentist, she said £198.00, around $300 I reckon. I told her to stick a bit more plaster on and high-tailed it out of there. Since it has been broken for about 2 years and is giving no pain, I will put up with it a wee while longer, or until I win the lottery. What a cheek! For one tooth! I would expect a complete mouth refurbishment and a set of dentures for that kind of money. So instead of bleating on about it, and boring you all into a coma, I thought I might share this letter with you. It has proved very effective and was written by A Member of My Family, whose anonymity I must protect, for fear of reprisals. Apologies to Peugeot owners.

"Dear Peugeot Owner,

While we the residents of This Road appreciate the rustic French charm your vehicle lends to our humble little street, we feel that other streets are being sadly ignored (your own included) when you randomly abandon your little green eyesore for entire weekends. We therefore propose a rota system whereby neighbouring streets can also enjoy the delights of a smashed up shit heap parked at a rakish 45degree angle to the pavement.

On the weekends when This Road is sadly devoid of such aesthetic wonders, we were all in agreement that a substitute in the form of a large, steaming dog turd would suffice.

We look forward to your assistance in the implementation of our new parking rota.
The This Road Parking Committee

What more can I say?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

TIBU! Oh Thank You All and Hallelujah

First, thanks to Eric Lester, a gentleman of the Internet if ever there was one. He has told me what to do in responding, has brought you all to me, and though Facebook seems not to be my forte, I might have to get on over there. Bear with me, I am taking a long time with buttons and things in this blogging lark. Still, Eric has sent clear instructions, and I might be able to master the art of talking back to you all.

SMG is asking for audio links, my God, does he not fear for my sanity? Links, dear friends are sausages to me. NDR, Blueroses, and all the rest of you have gladdened my heart to be meeting again. But to return to sausages. Today, I met a friend for the naughty Full English Breakfast. Sausage, beans, egg, mushrooms, tomato, bacon, toast, tea, strawberry jam, an extra cup of coffee, and I thought I might be sick on the bus home. It was delicious but rather a lot for a smallish frame to cope with. Which is not to say I won't do it again. But not for a while, methinks.

A sobering yet interesting phenomenon is taking place in our great city. Several shops have sprung up that sell everything for £1. 00, yes $1.40 at the current exchange rate. They are absolutely heaving with shoppers as they sell everything from pillowcases to pilchards. I myself feel rather smug for purchasing some tinned salmon of the skinless, boneless variety, for almost half of the price it costs in a regular supermarket. It is not just poorer folk looking for a bargain that can be found in these outlets, but all kinds of people, seeking ways to make less money go further. Good idea, but a sure sign of the economic times.

Well, I am not going to dwell on that, but after visiting the dentist tomorrow, I am going to follow Eric, catserv109's advice and master the art of adding your blogs to mine and sharing comments. Please be extraordinarily patient, this may take some time and a lot of tears. Thank you for reading, commenting and supporting, I am over the moon, where I think the little green men must be getting ready to add comments.

Monday, 9 February 2009

More Collecting

Onwards and upwards with the oul blog - something the Welsh rugby team must be telling themselves after yesterday's win at Murrayfield. If I had been in the Scottish dressing room at half time, by God those lads would have had some inspirational tongue-lashings. What on earth were they doing during the first half? It is one of life's sweet mysteries. I thought for a while they must have been practicing the steps of the Highland fling, rather than playing strong, strategic rugby.

Maybe a wee tot of the Tallisker or Glenfyddich wouldn't have come amiss, or a buttered oat cake. Now, they gathered themselves brilliantly in the second half, scoring one try, having plenty of possession of the ball, almost a second try, but for a bouncy knock-on. If the Scottish team had played as well throughout as they did for the last 20 minutes, a victory would have been theirs.

As a Celt, it is really hard for me to decide who to cheer for. Another thing is the powerfully moving anthems of both Wales and Scotland, so musically pleasing and so rousing. I know the words of "Flower of Scotland" and I can belt out the tune of "Land of My Fathers" while pretending to sing it in Welsh. Sure Welsh is a difficult tongue, harder than its cousin Gaelic, but it always sounds great.

Anyway, it's Monday so I have to make Irish stew. That needs plenty of preparation and careful attention, something some rugby teams would do well to emulate. I am looking forward to the Wales/England match next week. Bet you can't guess who I want to win?

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sunday - Day of Rest and Rugby

Well, I notice that not a single soul found its way to my musings, and once more onto the web, dear friends, or close the mouth up with all thoughts denied. Or something of that ilk. I have to admit to becoming addicted to the 6 Nations Rugby, though it only started yesterday. The England/Italy game was like watching paint dry, though the Italians were using their brushes with more artistry than the Brits. Much more exciting and amazing to watch was the Ireland/France battle in Dublin. How I chewed my nails down to the knuckles, wishing for Ireland to pull it off AND THEY DID. Well done lads, you cheered me up. I always get a lump in my throat when they play the Soldier's Song - I sing along too. But when the crowd roar out The Fields of Athenry, I reach for the kitchen roll to mop up my tears.

I have to sort myself for this afternoon's Scotland/Wales match, but I am sure it will never live up to the wonderful game from yesterday. I never saw so much blood, so many bumps and bruises, so many limping men, such bravery on both sides. We shall see what today's match brings. A word to Ireland's team, "Keep it up lads, you were bloody great."

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Into the Blogging Void - Rambling Randomly

Well, no little green men have deigned to read my blog so there goes my chance of fame and fortune. Nobody has looked at it, in fact, but what the hell, it's my own thoughts I'm collecting. If I'm sharing them into a void, all I can say is "pearls before swine." A few swine offering feedback wouldn't go amiss. Following the master of the stream of consciousness, my fellow countryman, James Joyce, perhaps I'll just ramble through my brain awhile. As he was monumental, so it is that monuments come to mind as art forms and inspiration.

There's that great big rocky thing in the USA, Mount Rushmore; it's full of presidential faces, and very impressive it is too. Not that I've seen it in the flesh, or rock, so to speak, but I have seen the Angel of the North by Anthony Gormley. If you want to see an honest, forceful, meaningful piece of art, look at his Angel, preferably in the relevant setting of the real North of England. Be blown away.

I'm not working for the Yorkshire Tourist Board, I promise, but if you ever need your soul cleansed and your heart lifted, you will have to take a ride on the steam engines on the Worth Valley Railway. Get off at Hawarth station and take yourself into the Bronte parsonage, the church and the moors behind them. There you will feel the presence of Charlotte, and if you're lucky, like me, catch a fleeting glimpse of Emily and her little dog, far up the hills.

See how your stream of consciousness can move you from one rocky outcrop to another? I must go and put the washing machine through its paces. Hasta la vist, piggies, y hombres verde.

Friday, 6 February 2009

A Virgin Blog

Nothing to do with Richard Branson, though I do admire the man. It's just that I decided to try this blogging lark, despite being computer illiterate. I have no idea what will happen, but await the outcome with some degree of fear and a tiny atom of excitement, if atoms are excitable. Of course they are, they have proved it in the past.

So today, I have leapt headlong into the water without the skills to swim, and look forward to some response from somewhere. Even little green men with zips up their backs would be something. Talking of which, I would be famous and become an expert on extra terrestrials and be invited to speak all over the world. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to speak, well actually, that is not quite true, writing is my biggest pleasure, so we shall have to see. More later, and if you looked at this, I hope your sanity is still intact. x