Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A Little Lighthearted!

I was reminded earlier about something Nan did over the holiday - oh, she did so make me laugh. My cousin Elbow was round, teaching the olds to play poker with Himself and myself. I stole a good win and she called me a "douche". Nan took somewhat of a shine to the word, even when we'd try to explain the matter and advise her against keeping it. "Douchebag. It's a great word. Learning new words improves the vocabulary!" .... I'm not sure learning profanitiesimproves the vocabulary per-se. She says next time someone annoys her at the dances, she'll call them a douchbag. "Please Nan, please don't..."

Here's another little star that lit up my evening and made me smile. I recon "UPular" from Pogo could go places. You saw it here first.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Marvellous Movies and Perfect Pizza

It was glorious Boxing Day morning, and I am content in the knowledge that I do not have work for another two days. The ice has gone and the skies are clear. The damp is persistent and the mould is black - hehehe.

We took a stroll into town in the afternoon and marvelled at the emptied miracle that is Tesco's. I can't believe that people go that mental as if the store is going to be closed for a week. It was open the next piggin' day! Ah well. We still picked up some yummy new fake Maltesers and fizzy grape juice for the cinema. Avatar was a very pretty film and Sherlock Holmes was almost accurate, whilst being very good fun. Plus they didn't have the overblown pipe!

We also stopped for one of my favourite rare snacks, churros. A churro is a simple batter in a cylindrical-ish shape, fried into swirly lengths. They're then sprinkled with sugar and served up with cinnamon, ginger, chocolate or lemon sauce by a nice chap called Danny. This lead me on to a partially food-based blog today.

My personal favourite dish that His Lordship does is VERY simple, but easy to spoil. Some plain green pesto, a little splash of balsamic, crunchy asparagus, garlic mushrooms and pasta (usually fusilli for ease). Keep it simple and beautiful.

I personally do a wicked ostrich steak. Whack it in a pan to sear, cook and pop under a grill to keep warm and finish. Serve with sweet bush bok potato and vegetables and top with a red wine, herb and onion gravy. Threw Hank if you remember, but ruddy tasty.

Talking of which, I do wish we'd have had a bit more warning from the housemates moving out though. One thing is clear - I can't afford to run this house myself and it's far too big for what He and I need. I genuinely believe it's not going to be practical to try to get two more people in to replace them; hell, even if we could, we're not going to manage it in time. Thank God for dark chocolate gingerbread - a calming influence in harsh times.

His Lordship is currently on the phone to Himself Senior, whom owns the current property, discussing matters which are insanely complex in themselves. Having had a good think, I'm guessing our best option is to look at a smaller house - but this is where it becomes crazy-confused - purchasing the thing. Due to His Lordship's unique situation through no fault of his own, I can't take a mortgage out with him, which makes purchasing incredibly hard and obviously I can't afford it on my wages.

We've come up with a solution however! We're going to shift into a cheaper, temporary flat whilst we help empty and fix this place up. Because it's a good big house at a fairly low price, it should sell well. Then we've got the funds to buy a nicer, newer, smaller place! There's a property on St Andrews I quite like, but I doubt it'll still be there once we've finished here. Ah well. Perhaps here will be a nice place to live? Hehehe...

All that typing's made me hungry now - I think ham, pepper, onion and mushroom pizza for dinner, topped with Mexicana Chilli Cheese. Mmmmm... Lots of onions. Cut the onion in half and take neat semicircles, keeping the individual layers together.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Spyyk Surprise

Christmas Bonus! Spyyk's Blog has now got a Stumbleupon! Spyyk is slowly being recognised in the world. I'm guessing this might be to do with a report a young friend of mine has been working on, regarding the axolotl and how they are endangered.

This is my favourite excerpt from her speech: "I feel strongly that the Axolotl is lacking the support that it deserves. Tigers, rhinos, pandas all of those animals have loads and loads of support and advertising and I think to myself well Axolotl are much cooler creatures than tigers, rhinos and pandas. Tigers may be fierce but they wouldn’t make very good pets. They would try to eat you half the time. And pandas may be cuddly but they’re not helping science and the well being of humans like the axolotl. Rhinos don’t have the ability to breathe through their skin and they don’t have gills. Although, they do have ability of destroying things though, if that’s what you want."

I also sent an email in to the QI Elves regarding 'lotls!

"My email is referring to one of your older episodes, specifically regarding Axolotls; it's just a quick couple of things, little errors in the information given on this animal - nothing to worry about mind!

Firstly, being that whilst axolotl do indeed have shockingly good regenerative powers, they do still scar however it's not always easy to see. After six months, it's also quite unusual for an axolotl to regenerate a whole limb. I was very lucky with one of my axolotls, Spyyk - he lost an arm in an accidental fight with his old tankmate (he stood on the food that Benny wanted to eat) and has grown it back. It's a lot smaller and has heavy scarring on the upper half but it's fully functional, if slightly wonky! It IS common to find young axolotl with multiple limbs though - one damaged but not fallen off will reheal - and a new one will also grow alongside it.

Secondly, whilst they do belong to the Tiger Salamander complex, they're actually Mole Salamanders, but not worth quibbling as they're in the same family.
Thirdly, not all axolotl can fully morph into adults, even with iodine injections. It is cruel and very painful to force them - not only that, but an "adult" salamander's lifespan is literally halved by the process. Many people try to force them to morph by subjecting them to poor living conditions, which sadly kills the majority of them.

I just thought you might be interested as these animals are fascinating! I've often helped out on Caudata.org, and I run two rather scruffy axolotl homepages: www.spyyk.blogspot.com and www.spyyk2.blogspot.com.

I also wondered, what would be the best way of acquiring Stephen Fry's autograph? My family and I hold both him and your wonderful show in high esteem - we try not to miss a single episode and catch up on Dave! (The QI books made brilliant Christmas presents too - thank you. My partner has gone off on a rave review in the background about the first book - "That's the best bit, it's FUN information.")

Yours sincerely. "

I'll let you know if the Elves of QI get back to me!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Perfect Presents!

Yay! What a fabulous day!

My present from Tsammy was my first real snuggle from him! Aww comfy lizard hugs. Kyle was good natured first thing in a morning, which is a treat from her, and I got a load of funky presents. Some of my presents are: two raffia chameleons from Mr & Mrs Lordship a pair of awesome Christmas socks (and an autobiog starter kit) from my colleague, a Marian Keyes book from His Lordship, and an Edward Monkton bag from Mum. I wore my lovely new coat from Nan & Grandad and will set my tumbledrier going when I get home. Hank gave me a set of natural bioactive lotions and potions and George gave me a bottle of yummy Baileys Caramel. Nice one to everybody, thank you very much.

Mulled wine going down a treat. His Lordship is basting the bird and sorting the dinner. I've barely done a thing - it's GREAT! I've been extremely helpful though, by advising and supervising Himself and Himself Senior as they've been making a mess in the kitchen. Himself Senior is a grand vegetable peeler, and they made a good team putting everything in as many pans as they could possibly find! So far it's looking pretty good - there's only one item gone wrong, as the lemon meringue suffered a bit of a disaster. But it will be just as tasty!

Have been back in the kitchen to check on things. I showed them how to use a fork to pull away a chicken thigh from the body and look at the meat. The juices look clear but I've told them to give it a few more minutes to be on the safe side and let the skin crisp up properly, as they've been very good about basting it.

My presents around the country seem to be going down a treat - His Lordship Senior was reduced to tears laughing at my Sudoku Loo Roll. "Just the thing for down the shed!" Grandad was very pleased by his present - he'd asked for "a bit more ginger". So I bought him a signed nude photo of Geri Halliwell - Ginger Spice. He says: "I had a lick of it, very tasty!" My stepfather I'm informed is wearing his Hong Kong Phooey T-shirt, Mum thinks the painting His Lordship did for her is gorgeous, and everyone at Mum's is delighted to see the icecream maker.

His Lordship got PILES of gifts, including several computer bits, George's Mint Baileys and multiple pairs of socks. He also got a keg from Hank - with a little luck it won't be as bad as Sherman's Heineken. He turned up with it a couple of weeks ago, apologising because he might have shaken it up a little on the run from his house. Needless to say, the pints pulled from it were consistently in the condition shown, from the first to the last.

Ahhhhh, I am stuffed. Daft pair only forgot to put the potatoes in for roasting, but the rest was more than enough! The chicken was so tender and well cooked that the white, soft meat literally fell off the bone. Noone else likes chicken skin, so much to my delight I was able to snaff the crispy coating and nom it. Doesn't normally happen back home as I have a fight with the rest of the family over it.

Apparently the Pope just got knocked over - by the same woman that tried to do it last year. It seems obvious why he needs security - but on the other hand, the motto "In God we trust" has become a little defunct, surely? Perhaps it should be "We thank God for the trust in our security men"?

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Rough Roads

Hurray! My new tumble drier arrived! It's a lovely silver shiny one. My new coat also arrived and fits like an absolute dream. I must remember not to let His Lordship combine these two nice new items... I also bought the dragons' Christmas present. It will be a little late due to the post, but I picked up a battery operated nail buffer for them, to make trimming those sharp claws just a little bit easier. We did try Mum's "Pedipaws" but it's too unstable and noisy for dragon use. I fixed Mum's so it doesn't waver so much, but the guard is too big for little claws. Talking of presents, one of my Uncles is getting a great gift from Mum. Here's my brother holding it up for us! A fantastic example of world-class giftwrapping. I aspire to be that good one day. Mind you, last year's bench was spectacular; every single beam was individually wrapped. It took five rolls of tape...

The ice is still here, even after the hail followed by rain. The rain has polished the ice beautifully and made it deathly slick - it's going to be interesting getting to and from work tomorrow. Luckily it's the last day before a long weekend and it's set to be a little warmer overnight, so it might not be so bad.

The manageress suggested I should travel the large duel carriageway to work. Having done that in the past, with my little 50mph bike, I'm not keen. After all, I can go as slow as I like and there is very little traffic on my roads, as opposed to screaming heavy traffic. Somehow I don't fancy skidding off at 50 and ending up under a car. I am deeply reluctant and will continue to traverse my current route - especially being as there was a nasty four car pile up on the main road.

Here's a newsflash from the local global warming protest!

Sorry for the delay, I'm back to finish my post! I just got disappointed twice by eBayers today, for the first (and second) time in my life. I've been sent three packs of completely the wrong cards; I ordered version 4.0 and they've sent me all "Family" version. I also ordered a nail buffer from another store, the dragons' present. "Brand new and sealed" and it's come in packaging all warped and bent with weird brown stains and smells funny! Ew!

Quote of the Day: "Bikes and ice are like fish and gravy." from another one of my Uncles. Um ... What?

Santa's Story.

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure. Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. As he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered. (Hats for sale at discjockeysunlimited.com)

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he got to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his annoyance, he accidentally dropped the empty cider jug, breaking it into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door. He yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Flippin' Frosty

I've just been outside and found that the flashing has suddenly come away from the back wall with the frost, so big chunks of the outer wall are falling off... (Image: Pixdaus - Farhad)

STOP PRESS! Shock news - injecting toxins into your face to freeze the muscles isn't safe! Read more HERE. WARNING: Not that interesting. There's a surprise.

Talking of frosty weather, I bummed the bike out for the first time in nearly a year. Turns out Foldhill is pretty much a glacier rather than a road. Thankfully I was already going very slow, so I haven't even got a bruise, but I did put a ding in my right side floortrim. Whilst that's annoying, there's not a scratch on anything else, and the floortrim only costs a couple of pounds to replace.

Ah. I have just discovered next year is going to be very interesting indeed. Both the housemates are looking at moving out into their own places at the end of January, as George is looking to complete at the end of this month and Hank is looking at trekking Florida with his girlfriend before settling down.

Ah well, His Lordship and I were considering the possibility of a smaller house when the others move out anyway, so that works out fairly well. This house is far too big and problematic for just two people. Having had a think about it, we've worked out that all the dodgy glazing needs replacing, the house really needs rewiring at some point, the plumbing isn't exactly... ideal at the best of times, the telephone system is seriously screwy, the heating is a permanent confusion and then there's the ubiquitous and consistent damp problem - which is getting worse.

Any suggestions as to what to do about the damned mould would be gratefully accepted. We've tried bleach, specialised mould killers, special paints - I've run out of weapons against the black blotches...

Monday, 21 December 2009

T'riffic Tumblers

Having got home and discovered that the second tumble drier has given up the ghost, Himself and I went a-searching on the Internets for a new one. Deals4u offered us this lovely model which made me laugh. Look closely.

The photo is upside down.

I was even more amused to notice it has "compact one way action". I assume it's this way up because they've used the "wall mounting kit supplied".

Needless to say, we didn't buy from here. Instead we went to www.appliancedeals.co.uk and found a nice silver Beko C rated 7kg condenser dryer. I know, it's not a fridge-freezer, but I'm fairly sure I can persuade the house account to cough up for a nice one being as a) the current one hasn't completely clapped out yet, and b) I'm paying for this particular house-use item that HAS clapped out.

That should be here tomorrow, and should work a bit better than my Nan's nice old machine. Shame it's out of warranty, but being as it's the same age as ME... Plus the condensing unit means it hopefully won't contribute to the already substantial damp problems we have.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Lost Loach

I'm sad to say we lost Weasel today. She was a damn good fish too. However, I can't be too upset as she's been with me at least seven years and I have no idea how old she was when she got here. Weasel was one of my Dojo Loaches - a hardy coldwater fish whom liked nothing more than to skulk in the sand and nab food off her partner Erwin, and travelled hundreds of miles to get to me in the post!

Her original owner was shutting down one of his tanks and had decided he would turf this last remaining fish into a perch pond. I'd found him when I was looking at tanks on eBay, and offered to buy the loach as it would otherwise have been eaten by the fish in the pond.

He said I could have the fish for free, on the condition that it kept it's original name. Sh*tweasel. Well, when I discovered the she was infact a pretty pink girl loach, I kept to my agreement, but shortened it somewhat to just "Weasel". I hope he didn't mind.

My tank won't be the same without her, but the other loaches will continue to dance their Chinese Dragon patterns in the water for many years to come. Happy swimming Weasel old girl.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Seriously Stinky Sprout

The snow, although glorious in it's crisp whiteness,turned out to be a little problematic. The car got stuck in the middle of the road, desperately trying to wheel uphill as we slowly slithered downhill instead. A neat turn on the way backwards and we were heading downhill but at least we could work with that... It also shuffled the train times a little. Fortunately, I had anticipated this late last night, and checked this morning. Good job too - we would have been 20 minutes late otherwise.

Mum made us sniff The Malevolent Sprout last night. For those readers whom are unfamiliar with The Sprout, it was originally brought into the house as a joke prize for a Christmas game with my siblings. Whomever lost had to eat the thing. It turns out The Sprout survived by discretely secreting itself somewhere in the house, and thus remained hidden for the best part of a year - until the new Dog found it.

This delightful artifact of Christmasses past is now lovingly secured in a small glass jar, beautifully preserved by its own fetidness. Needless to say, Dog loves it when the jar is opened for him to sniff.

We, on the otherhand, do not. I would say the scent is indescribable, but I'll have a damn good go. This shrivelled monstrosity is bizarrely sour and highly offensive to the olefactory senses, His Lordship described it as similar to "Bisto made with slurry." On consideration of the matter, I imagine that's likely to be accurate. We have decided this being of deeply offensive Christmas Evil must surely pulse with a vile green glow in the night, like some witches lantern of folk tales.

Turns out Himself and I have also broken the law. There's an obscure English law saying it's illegal to consume chocolate on a public conveyance. Well, if the chocolate is THIS good, it's worth it. This chocolate is the leftovers from the Place Names quiz that our team won. There were some great clues in there too: "Half of the Big Apple? York. "Opening of a pit? Minehead. Ancient pork? Oldham. Cook put to pasture? Sheffield."

We have seen two swans and one moorhen scooting across a frozen canal - until a heap of barges came ploughing through. I always wondered what a barge did in frozen weather. His Lordship was considering Barge life and has decided to fuel it, He'd go for Fission. Now, this is not to be confused with nuclear - this method is acheived by running a line into the water and patiently waiting to pull in some energy. I wonder if it will CATCH on?

Comment of the day: "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with SNUH. SNOW!" - little girl in a pink hat on the Sheffield Train. (Pic - red hat. It's a Christmas card from Mum.)

Friday, 18 December 2009

Beetle Drive and Bump...

I won a prize! A real one! We went to a fish and chip supper and played one of my all time favourite games: Beetle Drive. Beetle Drive is a simple game, involving a bit of paper, a team of at least four and dice. The aim of it is to build your beetle by using the numbers from each roll of the dice. A 2 gives you the body, 6 gives you a leg, and so on - you can't put legs on without a body. If you have made a whole beetle, you shout "BEETLE" and the game stops. If you didn't shout, then each part successfully "collected" earns you a point when "BEETLE" is called.

We were playing against nearly 70 people, but we were clearly the fastest dicerolling team in the place - I won the first two rounds, but was trounced thereon.

However, all was not lost, as it's the grand total that won the game - and noone could beat my impressive score of 67! Mine were also the prettiest beetles, and I won a lovely box of champagne truffles to share - they're currently under the Christmas tree awaiting Christmas Day to be shared between whomever happens to be around. They'll taste all the more wonderful for being won.

It's been brilliant weather out here. I looked out the window and thought it was raining - until I looked down and saw the rain was bouncing! The hail's really rather something, laying thick on the ground. Hmm, no. It's "snail"; a combination of snow and hail. The stone I caught was as big as a frozen pea - so I ate it.

The dragons wisely stayed in their basket.

Whilst the weather slammed down skyrocks, we had a lovely afternoon at Nan &G's; being plied with extra pots of jams and bottles of wine, fussing over cats and laughing at the grand collection of 26 McDonalds straws brought in by one of the cats, until we were just about to leave - whereupon Nan shot upstairs to find a picture of a Pug and managed to smack herself one on the wall on the way back - prompting us to have an enjoyable family trip to A&E. She'll be alright, thankfully it's just a bit of a ding and it should heal up nicely with the glue and sticky tape they put on her. At least I can honestly say it's always eventful seeing family...

Turns out Mum's garden is home to a pair of gay pigeons too. I've seen gay swans, but gay pigeons is a new one on me. Apparently the daft little buggers have been taking turns too. Having looked into the issue on some top pigeon forums, this is quite common - you often get them going so far as to build nests and sit on pretend eggs. I thought they might like one of these lamps to advertise their choice. You can get your own HERE.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Dragon VS Dog

Having not viewed Kyle's email account for a little while, I was greatly amused to discover a grand total of 959 pieces of junk mail!

The dog was scared silly by the dragons, after spoiking his nose on Tsammy's heavy duty head prongs. This prompted a permanent exclusion zone of two feet - unless one of the lizards moved, and then the zone leapt to four. Dog tried to "protect" Mum from the scary things, but Mum soon became the protector when Tsam pondered over to take a look.

The worst bit is that Tsammy is actually BIGGER than Dog.

My sister made me laugh this week - she's definitely one of us. Mum put up a "Twilight" poster above her bed from the middle of the newspaper to wind her up. Bogle tore it down and then got a rather good idea... The cheeky madam set up an auction ring at school and charged her best friend £3 for a free poster. "She wanted to pay just £1, but I wasn't letting her get away with that!"

Word of the Day: "Izerdunyeh?" loosely translated as an enquiry as to the completion of an item or process.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Horrible Hiccups

Today should be interesting, certainly more successful than last year at least! I didn't leave it down to my Ex to contact peoples back home, as I am now (or rather, Kyle is) on FaceBook! It'll be nice to see everyone again, as well as Elbow, whom is coming for lunch or dinner or somesuch here also. As ever, I'm not entirely sure what it happening. But it's more fun like that.

****Some Time Later****

Last night was superb! Everyone turned up, even Doodles. The highlight of the evening was His Lordship's ferocious hiccups, followed by strangely stuffing-scented wind. we almost coloured Foz's tattoo in with a Sharpie Marker, insults were traded all round the table and everybody has got hairier since last year. I wonder if he's noticed it's permanent ink yet....?

Some of you may know about Etsy, a bizarre American site, a lot like eBay but without the bidding, targeted at people selling homemade things. Regretsy.com is all the things that only deeply drunk people would find good to purchase. Shown here is a classic example: "I can haz blunt force trauma." Needless to say, there's also an entire section dedicated entirely to penises. Definitely NSFW for a large part and not suitable for minors.

Alas, it is still raining, but we really ought to go out and visit the Sockish side of the family and mooch round the village for a while.

Weirdest quote of the day: "Why is there a dead pakistani on my couch - after typing "why is" into google search..."

Monday, 14 December 2009

Angelic Animals and Clean Coats...

Tsammy got in the Christmas spirit with us this week. A packet of glittery pipecleaners transformed my little demon into a little angel - and the daft dragon loved it! He hoicked down the halo and licked it a few times, decided he liked it and hurtled off to show Kyle.

He stopped at her tank, stomped his foot and bobbitied, "Look at me! I'm GORGEOUS!" Unfortunately, the bobbiting made his halo counterbobbity and smacked him in the head.

They've been impressively good when we've been going round town. Tsam's only paux fas was in Quirly's, where he took a shine to a box of sparkly things and decided it was his hoard. Kyle sat there being beautiful.

Talking of things beautiful, I have found the coat I want at last. His Lordship accidently shrunk my Italian wool coat by putting it in the tumble drier. No problem, these things happen, poor lad was just trying to be helpful. Plus it gave me a great excuse to buy a new one, as my old one was getting a little bit rough round the edges. The coat I have my eye on in Wallis fits like it was made for me, in super soft chenille wool and satin lining, in luxurious black with a liquid silver inner and REAL POCKETS. The trouble I have finding a coat I like is ridiculous. I don't like too many buttons and so many coats have oversized ones or dodgy pockets - or worse, fake pockets. Pockets that aren't. Why would anyone DO that?!

Quote of the day: "I watch every calorie I eat. I miss my mouth if I don't." - Mum.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Disguuuusting Drinks...

Finally, after an arduous train journey with two very well behaved lizards, we are back up North. The kind girl in Sheffield's "Pumpkin" cafe refilled the dragon-hottie. Besides one incident where Kyle politely pooped behind my Nan's TV, they've been as good as gold.

Blurgggh. I just drank the world's most disgusting drink. My mother has excelled herself once more, and surprised me once again. I didn't think last year's Electric Blue Margarita (AKA rocket fuel) could be beaten - but this one's definitely done it. It's called "Zombies Brains". This is made with either tequila or vodka, a spot of lime juice, a spot of grenadine (in last) and Baileys which is carefully applied using a straw. As the Baileys contacts the lime in the bottom, it curdles into a nasty brainshaped pile. Finished with a spot of grenadine, it truly is a bloody awful drink.

The texture is indescribable - it's properly revolting as you slug it back. Don't be tempted to sip, I'm guessing that won't make it any more bearable - just whack it back and prepare to be grossed.

Blurgggggggggh! I just burped, and it was lumpy! I'm now too scared to burp.

It's so lovely to be back home.

Today's Quote: "Success is a journey, not a destination - so stop running and enjoy the scenery."

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Red-Head & Bed-Head

It's been a very successful week after all that gardening I got done! (Although I have noticed the back lawn consists more of daisies than actual grass now...)

My hair is done ready for going up to see the folks for an early Christmas next Saturday -I've gone an even darker chocolatey brown with big red splashes hidden in my hair, flashing like cinnabar in the soil. His Lordship's eccentric hair has finally settled and is looking sensible for a change!

Answers.com is rubbish. I wanted to know why pepperoni is red, and the answer I got was "thats like asking why is the sky blue" [SIC]. Yeah, real helpful, and good punctuation there boyos. For those interested, the normal red shade is due to lots of paprika, or in a lot of cases, artificial colourants. No thanks to Answers. Screw you, you sarcastic help-me-nots.

The dragons basket is almost ready to go, as well as our suitcases. I picked up some special "Solar Drops" for them to try - concentrated vitamin D3 oil, because they won't have access to proper UV lighting to make their own vitamin D. The D3 "Solar Drops" should do the job as a temporary substitute, s they can have a great time watching the world from the train with their hottie bottles, with their systems tricked into believing they're sat in glorious sunshine!

Probably a good job really, as the real world outside has been raining for almost 50 consecutive days...

I can't believe how much washing I have got done, despite the shocking weather: the whites are sparkling, the darks are done, the reds are vibrant and the bulky stuff is still taking up a ton of room. All clean and dry, waiting to be sorted and ironed.

Quote of the week: "Hikik - kikik - ik - ik? Wait. No. I meant who calls their kid King?"

Friday, 4 December 2009

Just Forking About...

Today I have been doing an extraordinary amount of serious gardening. Old raspberry canes trimmed and inspected, infected leaves promptly removed and the new buds checked for early frost damage. The old rhubarb crown has now been split - Barbara turned in her position and Barnie, her "other half", planted out in the front. She's going to sulk something furious as I accidently snapped her main tuber, but she's got plenty to be going on with - I'll leave the first crop until later in the year to give her a chance to rebuild.

The ancient lavender bush in the front has heavily pruned and re-bound to stop it collapsing again - quite frankly I'm amazed it's still going. The hydrangea has had it's many heads lopped off, but much like the Hydra of Greek mythology, it will come back with twice as many next year. I also took out the weaker, less conveniently positioned sycamore saplings, old fuchsia branches and stripped chunks of grass from the borders.

The herb garden has been thoroughly manicured, old chive stems removed, the thymes cut right back and the first-year rosemary stems taken out. The miracle passionflower is twined back into place up the fence rather than across the baby gooseberry bush. I'm deeply impressed with this little plant and it's phoenix-like regrowth since the rootshock of moving it nearly killed it off - even the frosts haven't stopped it, anyone would think it was summer already.

I also planted a line of daffodils and crocuses, double-headed and singles, all planted along the front edge of the fence for splashes of vibrant yellow come spring, and will be thinking about doing some seed trays for smaller early summer flowers in a month or so.

I'm looking forwards to seeing the garden next year. It'll be fun to get some more vegetables rolling this time too - shame my packet of leftover lettuce, onion and radish seeds and my unopened carrot seeds blew away when my greenhouse got totalled in the storm. I'll have to find some green PVC tape to repair it.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Country Life and Christmas Trees

The housefolks and I were having a lengthy debate about consumerism, materialism and how everybody seems to have overspent and the entire country has ended up in debt. As all four of us have consistently positive balances and pay off any credit card usage, we can't work out how the rest of the world has managed to cock it up so severely. My comment fairly summed it up - "Our country pride - people today seem to think it's margarine."

On a lighter point of extreme materialism, Christmas is on it's way! I love the gaudy festivity and especially my Christmas Tree. glittering green glass, pretty purple plastic and beautiful blue birds, brilliant butterflies and baubles with superb sparkly sequins! We were deeply

It's been an interesting week at work. On our closed training morning at a bigger branch, I was startled when one of our girls suddenly screamed. The manageress snatched up the bin and laughed - in the very bottom of the empty metal bin was a tiny terrified grey mouse! We let him out in the gardens, and wish the little rascal success.

The next day, my poor colleague was getting so upset at the risk of missing an important doctor's appointment, she shut the branch and turfed me out into the cold without a chance to get my coat. It was only once she had locked the front door that I realised she hadn't pegged the inner door - and it had locked me out.

I was frozen through, much to the cover staff's amusement, once she'd arrived. By this time I was in a black temper, and in my annoyance, I forgot to take the alarm remote out of my pocket - and got wedged tight in the coin chute. I have to laugh though, I ended up breaking the chute in the long run - it's had a dodgy lock that needed repairing for a couple of weeks, and I couldn't get the damn thing open on the other side and ended up knocking the handle off the inner lock.

Needless to say, as the whole operation is so difficult and time consuming, it would be completely impractical for someone to try it in an effort to rob the place, and no good to them without keys! But the spellchecker summed us up nicely in my letter to the repairs team. It didn't recognise the company name, and came up with this great description of the staff: "Newest Nattiest Neatest Nitwits".

I have just completed a major overhaul on Spyyk's page - http://www.spyyk.blogspot.com if anyone would care to have a look. I've updated the colours and layout, and also loaded up the last two years of questions from Axie keepers. I'd be interested in any feedback and improvement suggestions.

Question of the day: In the opening credits of "The Simpsons", what is Marge beeping her horn at?