Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Brightening up a frustrating morning...

...of  missed trains, cars not starting and other delights, I found these strange road signs oddly heartening. Also, they provide an antidote to my (revolting) last post.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Warning - X-rated language

Please, someone, tell me why anyone would want to do this? (Shown to me by delightful grandson at the week-end. Thank you, Max.)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Not for the faint-hearted

This is a link to a Guardian report of the execution by lethal injection of Dennis McGuire on 16th. January. McGuire had been on death row for 24 years. New drugs are currently beign trialled in the US, and there is much controversy about the possible inhumane nature of these drugs. This report, and the videoed interview, should leave the matter beyond doubt.

My views on the death penalty apart, I cannot comprehend how it can be possible to do this to a human being, when  I have witnessed many patients being anaesthetised in seconds, and a horse  (a larger creature, by any standards) being put down quickly and humanely, with no apparent suffering. This clip also demonstrates the devastating effect of execution on  families.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Infuriating cliches. A rant

I suppose we all use them, otherwise they wouldn't be, well, cliches. But there are two in particular which drive me mad:

1. Every parent's worst nightmare
In today's Times, there is this headline. And the nightmare? Brace, yourselves folks. Apparently every parent's worst nightmare is that their child should bite another and not apologise. Hands up all those whose child has never bitten anyone? (Okay,  you at the back; your kids are obviously perfect). And that's a nightmare (witih no apology, of course)? What's wrong with these people? Don't they realise that children are born with three weapons: food (refusal of), potty training (ditto), and teeth. Mine used all three to good effect (often without apology), rendering me powerless. They have grown up to be good, useful, funny people, wiith nice friends and good jobs (get back to yours, B) and we are all still speaking to each other. The bite marks have all healed.

2. There's nothing worse than...
This expression is used indescriminately. Apparently there's nothing worse than being late for work...going shopping and finding you've forgotten your purse...missing the bus etc etc. You know the kind of thing. But there is always something worse; from falling through ice to rescue your dog (why do people do this?) to being boiled in oil. (Anyone undergoing the second of these is entitled to say there's nothing worse than their situation, but they probably won't have time.)

Are there any cliches that annoy you?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

In case you didn't notice (and why should you?)...

...I've been away. Not from home, but from the blogosphere, because my computer refused to log onto it, and I had to pay an expert to restore it. I've missed it, but saved a lot of time whch, sadly, I haven't used wisely at all. But during my enforced absence, one or two things occurred to me - as they do - as being bloggable. In no particular order:

1. The only New Year Resolution I've managed to keep: I now understand the offside rule. For years, people have been trying to explain it to me, with the help of pepper pots and cutlery strewn round the table. Now, with a jar of mango chutney as the opposition who must be in the way when the ball is passed (I know. You're already impressed, aren't you?), all is clear. Ish. If you to want to understand the offside rule, I recommend chutney.

2. There's a woman who can foretell the future by throwing asparagus in the air and seeing where it lands. I intend to try this, but using carrots. Asparagus is too expensive (and too delicious).

2. Sue Monk Kidd's new novel - The Invention of Wings - is  brilliant.

4. Taking almost new unworn clothes (which I've had too long to send back) to Oxfam isn't quite as painful as I thought it would be.

5. Taking excess books to Oxfam is.

6. The American series 24 is totally addictive. A boxed set received as a Christmas present has had us riveted for the past week.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Resolutions 2014

To muck out cupboards, chests of drawers,
And chuck away the flotsam.
Prune excess books and ancient clothes
And take them all to Oxfam.
Ration time on the Internet,
Write something every day.
Make blog posts few and far between,
And not be led astray
By crosswords, and by su dokus,
Or phone calls to my daughter*.
Make better use of time, because
At my age, well, I ought to.
To live each day as though I'm doomed
To  meet my end tomorrow.
To keep a note of every book
I read, or lend, or borrow.

And if I manage just one of these
(I promise, I'll be trying),
You'll find the moon is made of cheese,
And pigs? Well, they'll be flying...

*Sons are nice to talk to, too, but they're not so good at gossip.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I thought I'd use this new picture of the newest addition to our family. This is his first new year, of course, so what better person to represent me? (Besides, he's a lot better-looking
 than I am.)