Thursday, September 14, 2006


You may have noticed that I have updated my image. This is because:

  1. My hair colour is changing
  2. It shows my propensity for raiding the fridge
  3. My dress sense is much more apparent

Well, doesn't time fly.....

September 14th 1963

We had our anniversary dinner last night (David's busy tonight). Went to the Rose and Crown on Thorpe Green. Very nice.

The meal ended with coffee and a mint chocolate called 'Twilight'. This made me think of The Twilight Zone and the only episode I ever saw which was the one with William Shatner (I think) in a plane, in turbulence, looking out of the window and seeing a figure dancing on the wing. This scene has stuck in my mind ever since and now I can't fly at night without constantly glancing out of the window to see what I can see.

After doing a bit of research I've discovered that, apart from Mary Ann Fischer giving birth to 4 girls and a boy in South Dakota, nothing else of any importance whatsoever happened on that day. We had it all to ourselves.

Following a very disappointing summer the weather was fantastic catching unawares all of the ladies who had bought winter-weight outfits and sweltered throughout the day. The service went according to plan except the bit where the vicar says 'Who giveth this woman?' and my Dad (who was a bit of a rough diamond), who was more nervous than I, stepped forward, grabbed my arm and said 'Here y'are, mate'. Which wasn't too awful. (I think later on that evening at the reception, after we had left for our honeymoon, he fell down the stairs but was so drunk that he didn't hurt himself at all).

We set off for our honeymoon in the late afternoon, heading for Coombe Martin in Devon. Please bear in mind that this was pre-motorway times and the time it took to get to the West Country then was similar to the time it takes to get to America today! We therefore had an overnight stop at The Red Lion in Salisbury, a place where you'd just nip out to for a Sunday lunch these days. A blissful week in Devon followed and it's been uphill ever since - perhaps with a few stiles and gates to slow us down on the way.


The Birds (1963), D: Alfred Hitchcock
Charade (1963), D: Stanley Donen
Cleopatra (1963), D: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
From Russia With Love (1963), D: Terence Young
The Great Escape (1963), D: John Sturges
The Haunting (1963), D: Robert Wise
How the West Was Won (1963), D: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall
Hud (1963), D: Martin Ritt
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), D: Stanley Kramer
Lilies of the Field (1963), D: Ralph Nelson
Tom Jones (1963), D: Tony Richardson

Born: Johnny Depp, Whitney Houston, Mike Myers, Lisa Kudrow
Died: Aldous Huxley, CS Lewis, JF Kennedy (all on 22nd November!!), Pope John XXIII

Some other things:
  • Nyasaland (now Malawi) becomes self-governing under Dr Hastings Banda
  • First flight of Boeing 747
  • Beatlemania
  • Alcatraz closed
  • John Profumo denies having sex with Christine Keeler
  • NYC's newspapers end a 114 days strike
  • Jack Nicklaus wins 27th Golf Masters
  • 35th Academy Awards: Lawrence of Arabia, Ann Bancroft, Gregory Peck
  • Decca signs Rolling Stones on advice from Beatles
  • Princess Alexandra marries Angus Ogilvie
  • US carries out several nuclear tests
  • 17th Annual Tony Awards: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Martin Luther King delivers his 'I have a dream' speech
  • Bob Dylan does a few rebelious things (eg. walking out of a TV show)
  • Record of the Year: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," Tony Bennett
  • Album of the Year: The First Family, Vaughn Meader (Cadence)
  • Song of the Year: "What Kind of Fool Am I," Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, songwriters
  • John Profumo resigns over affair with Christine Keeler

I dedicate this post to my lovely husband (who is a complete luddite and technophobe so he'll never see it!)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Don't bank on it!!!

I’m astounded…shocked…flabbergasted…gobsmacked….

Today we received a rather large cheque in the post (somewhere between questions 9 & 10 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire), the proceeds of a savings bond. Along I go the our bank, fill in the paying-in slip hand it to the cashier who looks at it, looks at me and says:

‘You do want to pay this into this account?’
‘You do have plans or a specific purpose for it, then?’
‘So you don’t want to put it into a savings account?’
‘No. If I did I would have done so. Please would you just put it into the account.’

Pause as she turns it over a few times.

‘Can I ask you what it’s for?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Well, where did it come from?’
‘I’m not going to answer that. Why do you want to know?’
‘It’s something we have to ask.’
‘Well, I’m not going to tell you.’

End of conversation, counterfoil gets stamped, something (??) is written on the back of the cheque and home I come.

Now let me make this clear. This was a business cheque from a top financial organisation made payable to me and my husband being paid into our joint account. It wasn’t used fivers in a scruffy envelope that I wanted swapped for tenners.

The trouble is I was so surprised that it wasn’t ‘til I got home that the full audacity of this conversation hit me. If it is bank policy to cross examine their customers in this manner then it’s outrageous. If it was just the cashier being officious then she should be disciplined.

Don’t know what to do now – feels like it’s too late to make a protest; so I’ll probably do nothing.

However I’m expecting to have to do another similar transaction soon. I’ll go to the same branch, hopefully get the same cashier and see what happens!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Why doesn't blogger like some of my photos????? After all, although I'm not anywhere near to being a Patrick Lichfield or a David Bailey, they're not too bad. Their usually not pornographic (well, not intentionally) or offensive to anyone who's likely to be offended (well, not intentionally) so why is blogger so bloody picky about what it lets me publish.

I really, really wanted to show you all a picture of something that I saw recently. You'll just have to wait.

Warning, warning!!!!!!!

As I sit here pretending to be doing something really important but in reality putting off the moment when I'll have to start on the everyday mundane things that I don't want to do, I hear in the distance, among the birdsong and the melodious hum from the M25 traffic, the sound of a siren.

This siren, which is similar in tone to those that were used to warn of enemy bombing during the second world war (and I know 'cos I was there!), has been sounding at infrequent intermittent intervals over the past 30/40 years.

At first I seem to remember someone had a theory that it was kept in the grounds of Botley's Mansion, a local institution, and was used to alert people if and when someone escaped. That can't be right because that institution is long gone and been replaced by another called Electronic Arts and I'm sure their inmates don't want to escape (or do you know better, Jo?)

I wonder if it's kept there (wherever 'there' is) just in case and it has to be tested now and again so that it would be sure of working in time of need. Should we be building one of these?? **

Or perhaps, deep in the Surrey woods, there's a unit of forgotten soldiers who think the war's still on. No, with Heathrow very nearby we'd be hearing it every 5 minutes if that was the case.

Or, and this is my favourite theory, it's a special government department fighting alien invasion in this part of Surrey and the siren sounds on the approach of their spaceships, thereby frightening them off. However some have got through. I've seen them. **
I do believe that miniature versions are also living in South Wales.

I must say that no-one in the vicinity seems to take a blind bit of notice when it goes off. The roads aren't gridlocked with people trying to evacuate the area, shops aren't boarded up or anything so I go with the flow and ignore it like everybody else.

One day I'll find out what it's all about. In the meantime, don't forget -
CARELESS TALK COSTS LIVES!! keep it to yourselves

** No photos available - they've been censored by Big Blogger

PS What does the phrase a blind bit of notice mean, by the way? Makes no sense at all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rebel without much of a cause

I caught my husband misbehaving this morning. In an act of unprecedented defiance and as a stand against the 'nanny' state, he was cutting a dotted line on an envelope which was quite clearly marked "do not open here, you may be able to use this envelope again", the polar opposite of "tear across the dotted line". We had received a pre-ransom demand from our gas/electricity supplier, you know the kind of thing - the customer does their job for them by reading their own meters (thereby freeing up staff who can knock on doors or stand in your way in supermarkets conning old men and ladies), sends off or emails the form so that they can work out how much you owe, double it, add a bit depending on what the date is and then mug your bank account by increasing your monthly direct debit! He said that he opened the envelope in an illegal manner because we always email our readings and, anyway, there's always another return envelope inside.

Hoping to stamp out this rebellious attitude (perhaps he was hoping it would make him look a bit like James Dean?) I threatened to report him to the 'envelope police'. Quick as a flash he responded by reminding me that I often put envelopes in the blue paper-recycling bags when it is printed quite clearly in a large, bold font that this is unacceptable. Well that stopped me in my tracks, I'd been caught out!!

We came to an agreement - he's going to continue opening envelopes however he damn well pleases and I'm going to put envelopes in the recycling bag whenever the mood takes me. So there! We live on the edge in this house, we do.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Something I read yesterday:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year- old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a Band Aid to a student - but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do.........nothing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bottoms up!!!

When I was trekking through the car park at Tesco's this morning I thought of a witty and amusing post I could do about low slung jeans, fat bums and tums, mediaeval torture and healthy eating. I've just sat for 20 minutes trying to remember all the witticisms and cryptic thoughts that were going through my head this morning only to find that everything I write sounds banal and stupid (nothing new there then). It'll be a miracle if this paragraph makes it to the published page!

I have never understood how men with beer bellies keep their trousers up; I suppose they're just hooked up on their bums.

Snippet of conversation overheard in said car park: He, "Well I was only following you." She, "Yeah, that's what I mean. How could you be following me? I'm behind you."

I hate Tesco's. I only went there because I wanted a cheap radio and the car valeted. As it happened they only had four radios in stock and only one of those was priced so I ended up going into Curry's, which I hate even more. Curry's staff are great at talking among themselves but not so good at serving customers so I came out of there, once more vowing never to darken their shopfloor again! The happy ending is that I got a great dab radio in Argos which cost me almost nothing because I used my Nectar points. Hooray!!!