Thursday, 30 July 2015

RIP Gustav

 My five-year-old grandson wanted a pet. His parents, trying to avoid the problem, bought him  a clam from the fishmongers. They named him Gustav. Sadly, Gustav was left out in the sun, and perished. Undeterred, they bought Gustav 11, and put him in a tank of water. He too perished.

"What's the point of a pet with no brain?" I asked Son on the phone, when told this sad news.
"Don't clams have brains?" asked Son.
Following a short interval for the purposes of googling clams, Son said, "clams don't have brains."

So it's back to the drawing board (currently, the idea being goldfish).

Watch this space for a series of very sad posts on the subject of children's pets, and their tendency almost invariably to come to a sticky end. There's more to come....

Monday, 27 July 2015

Thoughts on sod's law

Written after a very wet christening, and dedicated to the memory of my late father, who always referred to this as "the law of undesirable coincidences"

The law of Murphy, or of Sod* -
Some call it fate, some call it God.
You put two socks in the machine,
Just one comes out. See what I mean?
You leave  your brolly in the hall -
The drought will end, the rain will fall.
But should you try to pray for rain,
Behold! The sun comes out again!

The lesson I have learnt from this?
Accept things just the way they iss.
Accept the sock, the sun, the rain.
You'll never feel let down again.

*The disheartening laws of Murphy and Sod. When things go wrong, anywhere in the English-speaking world, we are likely to invoke one of them. Some people think the two are the same.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Dear physiotherapist

You're a nice girl, and undoubtedly you know your stuff, but when I come to you with an ankle ligament injury, I don't necessarily want to be told the following:

 My right calf is bigger than my left.
So? Am is supposed to care? Is there anything I should do about it? No? Then let's forget it can we? It seems to me quite irrelevant.

I can't stand on tiptoe. 
I already know this. I told you last week. It's due to nerve damage from one of my spinal fractures. But I really don't mind. It's a long time since I felt the need to stand on tiptoe. In fact I didn't even know I couldn't do it before the last physio explained it to me. Years ago. I leave this kind of things to my dancing granddaugher, P (the only member of my family who reads this). Say hallo to everyone, P!

My back is stiff
Of course my back is stiff! I've broken it twice (see above), and one vertebra is viertually entirely missing. You know that, too. And no, I don't want to do any more exercises for it, thank you. A stiff back is now part of who I am.

My knees turn out (or is it in? I can't remember)
This hasn't impeded me in any way, either. Look, I'm getting older. Things go wrong. I don't want you to discover any more evidence of decrepitude.

Now. Please can we get back to my ankle? After all, that's what I came about...

Monday, 13 July 2015

Magpie 278

As she wandered along the railway track,
People cried, "there will soon be a train on her!"
But "don't worry" the old station master replied,
"That's the ghost of poor Anna Karenina."

(With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales fot the picture.)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Of insects

Adrian takes - and posts - wonderful photos of insects. He seems to love them all. I, on the other hand do not love them all, but I do respect them. When I see a tiny storm fly, and think there's a minute heart beating inside it, I am full of admiration. For clever as we are, no-one has yet managed to make anything so miraculous.

But. There are some insects I am willing to destroy.

1. Wasps. When I just happen to meet one, that's fine, but when I see a child almost eating one on his sandwich, it's time for action.

2. Houseflies. Outside the house, that's fine. But indoors, crawling over food (and I know where those dirty little feet have been), or buzzing round the bedroom (I have a horrible fantasy of one falling into my mouth while I'm asleep), then a quick swat. I was once given this useful hint: always swat a fly from the front, as they can't take off backwards. Trust me. This works.

3. Clothes moths. I wouldn't  mind so much if these ate a complete garment. I might even forget I'd ever had that gament in the first place. But oh no. They have to indulge in a kind of taster menu, taking one bite out of every garment in the drawer. This is greedy and selfish, and punishable by death.

However, I rescue many, including the following:

1.  Spiders. I hoover up their belongings and escort them outside. We have a lot of those anorexic spindly ones, with untidy webs, and they  make a lot of mess.

2. Daddy long legs. These seem to me the be the most useless of insects. They dance about randomly, using up energy and leaving their legs all over the window sill. In fact, I'm not sure why they have legs at all. Their children - leather jackets - are most unattractive. Daddy long legs don't eat, but I suppose they have sex of some kind because of the children (see above). These are easy to scoop up in one hand and throw out of the nearest window.

3. Moths and butterflies (obviously).

4. Anything small and crawly that's come in with me from the garden.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Ten things you will never hear me say

1. Ride on a roller coaster? I'd love to!

2. Your computer's playing up? Just leave it to me. I'll fix it.

3. Peanut butter in my sandwich, please.

4. I think I'll start with the prawns. And please make sure all their faces, whiskers, little boiled eyes etc are left on.

5. You lie on the beach, and I'll stand near the edge of this cliff and photograph you from a hundred feet above.

6. I'm running up a little outfit to wear at the weekend.

7. Ditto curtains (but I shan't wear those, of course).

8. Bungee jumping? Count me in!

9. I'm never getting on a horse again after that last fall.*

10. Time spent blogging couldn't possibly be spent doing something more useful.

*Dear reader, I got back on on Monday, and am now paying for it, having exacerbated a  pulled ligament in my ankle. Physio, exercises, and Time...... Oh, and no riding, of course. Sigh.

What single thing would you never, ever say?