Monday, January 30, 2006

Housework can kill you if done right. (Erma Bombeck 1927-1996)

At last......I've found a quote that I can use to justify my non-commitment to all housework. This lady, Erma Bombeck, never spoke a truer word. I would like to assure anyone who may be interested that I DO housework - I just don't treat it like a career and if anything better comes along (and it usually does) then I do that instead.

Interestingly, there was an article in a magazine, written by someone who confessed to loathing ironing, that said ironing is all the rage, apparently, in swish social circles with female lawyers, bankers and executives boasting at dinner parties about how they "do their own ironing", the implication being that they are a cross between a real woman and a domestic godess. I'll stay unreal and a domestic devil if it's all the same to you!

To add to my guilt trip a book entitled Happy Housewives by Darla Shine is climbing up the US charts with its advice to bond with your home and get back into the kitchen. Let's lift our spatulas and start demanding some respect! Whoa.... I'm afraid that's not all I would want to do with my spatula if ever I met Ms Shine.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, (Wordsworth)

A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

This morning is lovely - sharp, clear blue sky and the sun shining. The daffodil bulbs are just beginning to appear and I feel the first stirrings of WANTING to be outside in the garden!!

Going soon to Cafe Piccolo in Weybridge to celebrate David's 67th birthday; have bought him a long weekend away for two in Avignon by rail (Eurostar to Lille and then TGV to Avignon) in March. Hope he decides to take me!!!

Last night took Thomas to see Sleeping Beauty pantomime in Pyrford Village Hall. It was what it was - grown-ups cross dressing in very over-the-top clothes, children dressing up as animals and stealing the show, out of tune (and worse) singing, corny jokes, everyone having a jolly good time. We enjoyed it immensely.

Tonight is rehearsal for the Ottershaw Players' very adult pantomime. Let's hope that everyone enjoys THAT immensely.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Simple Simon went a-fishing
For to catch a whale,
But all the water he had got
Was in his mother's pail.

He should have tried here then.

No man is esteemed for gay garments but by fools and women (Sir Walter Raleigh)

I don't know what started this train of thought but here goes:

  • Why is 'drag' called 'drag'?
  • If a woman dresses in a men's clothes is it still called 'drag'? If not what? ('pull' perhaps?)
  • Would she be a 'drag king'?
  • Are there drag shows with only women cross dressing?
  • Do people who get turned on by drag go to pantomimes just to get excited about the Dame? And if so shouldn't they be on some sort of sex offender list? (You can't get similarly excited about the Principal Boy as she/he ALWAYS looks like a woman.)
  • Is the landlord of our 'local' a closet drag queen? (He certainly looked like one on New Year's Eve when he was The Lady in Red)

Please send your answers (if you can be bothered) to these important questions via 'comments' below. (Please note: there are no prizes on offer)

That's Life........

It's all MaryB's fault!!

There I was smug, self-satisfied, aren't I doing well sticking to my 'sensible' intake of food (I hate the word diet) THEN I read her blog Mid-January comfort food in which she tempts you to think of your favourite comfort foods. Well, that did it for me. Her list is bad enough (even those I've never tried sounded scrummy) but then I had to think of my own list which, of course, are readily available.

In the cold light of day it wasn't too much of a problem but then the cold, dark evening set in and that was me finished.....

Having a husband who can eat anything and still remain at approximately the same weight after 43 years and a 9 year-old grandson who is with me most days means that the fridge and cupboards have in them stuff which I should avoid; BUT unfortunately my willpower is a bit iffy at times and the other evening was one of those times. The cheese was first - just a small cube won't hurt (small turned into about 3 ounces and of course I had to have biscuits and butter with it). Then it was the biscuits - just one (oh yeahh!!). Oh, and a couple of glasses of red to go with it all. I did stop there because I was getting strange looks from my husband because of my frequent visits to the kitchen and then coming back with half-hidden food which I unsuccessfully tried to eat without him seeing (he's used to seeing the wine go down!)

Well, as Frank would have sung if these had been the words: You're riding high on Wednesday, shot down on Thursday, back on top, back on top on Friday.

I'll just have to stop being that girl who can't say 'no' but that's another blog!

All things come round to him who will but wait. (Longfellow)

Will I still be feeling this way at 4.55pm today? You see, I'm waiting in for an engineer to call from Dell Computers to fix the D drive. He can arrive any time between 9am and 5pm - this arrangement always puts me on edge because I believe that if I go to the loo or go outside to put the rubbish in the bin or even answer the phone he'll arrive at that precise moment, ring the bell, wait exactly 10 seconds then put a card through the door saying 'I called but you were out' and go (it has happened I can assure you).

This time it's worse because, dear reader, 2 days ago my patience was tried to its limit by Dell when I called them to arrange a visit from a computer vet who could cure my little electronic friend of its habit of swallowing discs and not giving them back. First off the friendly person who took my call (and guess what - I didn't have to go through hundreds of press 1 for this or 2 for that choices, only 2) said to me, in an accent I found difficult to interpret, "Yes, Mrs Moore, your warranty expired in August 2003 but how can we help you?". "No, no" said I, "I paid good money for a 'next day, home visit' extended warranty, it's not August yet." with which he eventually agreed. "Before I arrange a visit, I'd like you to just try some simple things. It'll only take 5 minutes or so."

OK - it's my own fault, I should have put a stop to it long before - but 1 HOUR LATER there I am crawling around on the floor (my computer isn't exactly easily accessible) having tried, failed, tried again and succeeded to remove the cover and jiggle around with the wiring. THEN to be nonchalantly told "Oh well, that didn't work, we'll send an engineer tomorrow." really was the last straw. I pointed out that when I was persuaded to take out my extended warranty one of the advantages that helped 'sell' it was the next day, home visit bit. However, Mr Jobsworth only responded that he was only following company policy, so there, and would I like to speak to his manager. He would arrange for someone to call me back as, currently, I was paying. Did I get the call? Is that a pink pig I see flying over?

Anyway, must go, I think I heard the doorbell.

Book Fest

Hoorah - the postman has just delivered my order from Amazon :

  • The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester
  • The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester
  • The Google Story by David A. Vise

Haven't read a really good book for ages (well about 3 weeks) so I hope I've got some treats ahead of me!

PS When you spellcheck 'Google' it comes up with 'Googol' (definition: The number 10 raised to the power 100 (10100), written out as the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros), which apparently Brin and Page meant to call it in the first place but misspelt it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Literary Gems

After reading a review in the Sunday paper about a new(ish) book telling the story of the rise and rise of Google (more to follow) I logged on to Amazon, so that I could get a copy in my hot little hands ASAP, and found that among my recommendations was Mr Brown Can Moo, Can You a Dr Seuss boardbook. Wow, I thought, they've at last got to grips with my taste in literature, I wonder what it was that helped them. It appears that the big clue for them was that I'd recently looked at The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester (thanks MaryB for your recommendation that led me to this). I can only assume that Mr Brown was a professor who looked up 'moo' in the dictionary, went mad and killed a cow! I'll have to read it to find out.

Anyway, the book about Google........this is called The Google Story by David A.Vise and if the review is anything to go by would seem to be well worth reading. The bit that caught my attention initially was the description of employee working conditions and benefits:

'At the company's Silicon Valley headquarters, staff receive free massages at the end of the day. The lavatories have six levels of heat for the seat and an automated washing and drying system that does away with the need for loo paper. There's a free canteen that serves the kind of organic food that costs a fortune anywhere else, and you are even allowed to bring your dog to work. Oh, and 20 per cent of employees' time can be spent on research that is personal and has no obvious direct benefit to Google.'

It was the toilet facilities that grabbed me and together with the other perks could tempt me back to working life. However I think the commute would be a tad too much.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Florence Nightingale, eat your heart out

What a lovely afternoon I've had!!

Thomas (grandson, age 9) had to be collected from school at 11.30 because he was feeling sick and they didn't want him throwing up on the premises. By the time we got home he was feeling a bit better (going to the fridge to see what there was to eat after eating his packed lunch gave me a bit of a clue) but I insisted that he had to sit quietly for the afternoon because THAT gave me the excuse to sit quietly also! The downside to this was that he wanted to watch Kid's TV - payback time for me. Then I remembered that I had recently purchased Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits specifically for Thomas to watch in order to nourish his appreciation of the arts. I had forgotten what a great film this is!! Not as sophisticated as Harry Potter but just as enjoyable.

My favourite lines:

Evil: God isn't interested in technology. He cares nothing for the microchip or the silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time, forty-three species of parrots! Nipples for men!

Robert: Slugs.

Evil: Slugs! HE created slugs! They can't hear. They can't speak. They can't operate machinery. Are we not in the hands of a lunatic?

I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon ministering to the sick and am pleased to say he made a complete recovery.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Could be the start of something......

I read a comment from PT to MaryB where he claims to be among a select (depends what you're selecting them for) group of people who have invented a couple of new colloquiallisms, namely spoon (fool or idiot) and its antonym, lord (very clever).

This led me to consider printing out this correspondence just in case the Oxford English Dictionary will ever in the future want to research these words and their beginnings. You see I have been watching the very interesting and entertaining programme 'Balderdash & Piffle' (BBC2, Mondays) and it appears that the OED call on the general public to help them research their work and decide what to put in the book. For example, have you got any written evidence of the word 'minger' before 1995? Or can any cricketer out there tell them why an unplayable delivery is now known as a 'jaffa'? This is an example of a term that isn't yet in the OED. The earliest reference so far refers to Australian Shane Warne's delivery to Mike Gatting of England in 1993 but is there anything written before this?

Please go to where you will find all sorts of interesting words, their meanings and you never know you may be able to help in compiling the dictionary. I know that this is going to be another source of where my time goes!

However please be warned. If you gor the the OED's website in the hope of looking up a word or two, it will cost you: £23 ($30)/month or £230 ($295)/year.