blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-23 11:23 pm
Entry tags:

What a glorious day!

It's been a glorious summer day today, all day.  In fact it was the first genuine scorching hot day we've had for two or three years.  Poor Charles has been too hot all day;  he really doesn't like this weather.  This evening he found the mist spray on the hosepipe and sprayed himself till his T shirt was soaked.

I've spent the entire day skulking underneath the sun umbrella in the yard, reading, drinking coffee, chatting to John and Charles and writing my novel on my netbook (although I still can't connect to the rest of the world from out there!)  The cats have spent most of the day out there with me too.

The pink patio rose is now showing the tiniest amount of pink in its buds;  I believe this one will be gloriously scented.  The remaining one has tightly closed buds with no clue to the colour, and I have lost the label which should tell me what it's like.  Tsk!

One of the runner bean plants has finally got flower buds, but I'm worried that it's hardly grown upwards at all.  I wonder if I got dwarf plants by mistake.

The house, and particularly my room, is an absolute tip but I'm not prepared to waste this glorious weather tidying up indoorsYesterday I worked at Caroline's office in the morning, and when I got home, I was so tired I spent the afternoon dozing in the chair in my room.  What a waste!

I had an absolutely dreadful night last night with pain in my knee till I suddenly remembered my TENS machine.  It didn't take the pain away completely but it reduced it to a grumble for long enough to allow me to get to sleep.  I've used it again this afternoon and I shall use it when I get into bed.  It would be great to get a long night's sleep.

If it's still lovely weather tomorrow, I plan another idle day reading and writing in the yard.  It's lovely out there at the moment and the perfume of the carnations and the purple petunias makes the whole place smell of cloves and the herbs have their own perfume which the hot sun releases and which doesn't blow away on the breeze because of the high walls all around.

Last night, at about 1.30, when I was sitting up in bed trying to distract myself by doing the crossword, Charles came in to tell me that he hadn't closed the cat door properly so that Bramble had been able to get out and run off.  Charles had to get dressed and go out in the back lane looking for him and finally found him in the allotments sitting companionably with another pale-coloured cat Charles didn't recognise.

So Bramble has a little friend!  But not apparently the beautiful black cat who came into my bedroom last week.

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-17 09:52 pm
Entry tags:

Rain, rain, go away.........


Come again another day!

And bring some sunshine and heat with you.  It's lbooyd freezing here again.  The only time I've felt properly warm today was when I was working in Caroline's office.

I'm beginning to feel very hard done by!


I have, however, found the ideal map for the first island in my novel, and pretty close to home, too.  It's actually Rum, but I can't get Google to let me print out an A4 version of it, buggrit.  I want an A4 version of the outline, so that I can put places in myself.

Am I the only person who is beginning to find that the News, of whatever flavour, appears to have been taken over by the Blue Peter team, or maybe Ceebeebies?  Who cares if Obama can swat a fly?  And how many times do we have to see it?  There are people dying out there, you know!

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-13 01:37 pm
Entry tags:

How annoying!

Although I swore I would never do it, I've had to join Facebook, just so that I could contact an old friend who moved;  for various reasons he couldn't disclose his address to people at the time, but his old e-mail address isn't getting me a reply, either.

Don't any of my LJ friends imagine that you will see me there, because I don't plan to use the account for anything else.

I do hope he replies to my message, otherwise I shall have broken my vow for nothing!

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-12 05:29 pm
Entry tags:

New Toy! Hurrah!

My netbook arrived today the keyboard is fine, but I simply couldn't get on with the mouse pad, so I went to Maplin's and bought a teeny weeny plug-and-pray USB optical mouse and a replacement for my lost data stick, which is twice as commodious as the lost one but more than twice as expensive..........Sigh!   What's the betting the other one turns up shortly?

I simply couldn't get Windows to find our wireless network, although it found umpteen others in the neighbourhood, but of course, the instant I had to give in and ask Charles' help, there it was, poking its tongue out at me.

I've spent the last couple of hours downloading Firefox, Windows Updates and an antivirus program,  virus-checking the entire netbook, just in case, and I'm about to download a copy of my novel writing program, so I shall be ready to go when I next go to the library, or even decide to write something out in the garden.  I don't intend to buy another copy of Agent, since I don't do Usenet any more and I doubt whether I shall be using it for E-mail very often, so I'm wondering about using Outlook Express, although as far as I can see when watching John using it, it's a pile of poo!  Anyone have any suggestions for a good, light-weight free e-mail program?  Light-weight is best, because the tiny little thing only has 0.98 GB RAM RAM, although, now I come to think of it, that's only 0.27 GB less than this PC!

Now that I have it, I've fallen in love with it and no longer feel the slightest bit guilty for being so extravagant

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-09 07:44 pm
Entry tags:

Bad, bad, Geraldine!

I went to the Lit & Phil this afternoon, for the first time for months and while there a saw a pretty girl using a really nice-looking netbook;  I asked her about it and she told me that she bought it for an unbelievably low price from Curry's in Northumberland St.  It was just what I want because it uses Windows XP and my novel writing program only runs with Windows.

So when I got home, I went online and found it at almost the same low price she told me about, because it is reconditioned.  It does, however have a year's guarantee and could only be bought online, with no delivery fees.

So after humming and hawing and discussing it with Charles and John, and looking at the prices on Amazon and eBay,  I've ordered a reconditioned Advent 4211 XP Intel Atom
on my poor overworked Credit Card.  It is allegedly "Professionally checked, tested, refurbished to a like-new standard and offered to me at a fantastic saving"  They even spelled "professionally" correctly!  That had to be an omen! In fact, considering I haven't been to the Lit & Phil for months and the day I return, this dear little student happened to be there to tell me all about it, it was obviously Meant To Be.

It will be great to have it and I may spend more time at the Lit & Phil when I have it, because it will be much lighter to carry than my ring-binder with all the novel stuff on it.  Who knows, I may actually get more written than when I stay at home, because, let's face it, I'm very easily distracted!

If anyone thinks it's a pile of poo, please don't tell me!

It's been another grey cold day today, with the occasional drop of rain, otherwise I would probably have spent the afternoon in the yard;  it would have been a great deal cheaper!

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-07 11:12 am
Entry tags:

Basement Cat!


I had a bad night last night so I didn't wake very early, but about 8.50 I heard some strange noises, which I thought was cats scratching at something unfamiliar, plus some odd hiss and grunting.

I sat up just in time to see a beautiful black cat disappearing out of the bedroom door, which is always left open a few inches for cats.  Morgan was off after him, and Bramble wandered back into the room going
"Duh!  Woss goin' on?"

I rushed out to find Basement Cat sitting in the passage;  he went spare when he saw me but couldn't get down the stairs because Phoebe was spitting at him from the top step.  He leapt through the banisters to a position a few steps down and dashed downstairs where he found John  John followed him along the corridor and lost him; later he found Basement Cat under the display unit in the hall, besieged by three cats;  he hadn't noticed him before, in the shadow.  John chased them off and Basement Cat exited through the kitchen and the back door like a streak of black lightning.

I do wish he was ours.  He was soooo beautiful, a completely black shorthair without a trace of white and elegantly slender.

I've pointed out to John that if we had put the new cat-flap in, a strange cat would be unable to get in because he would need a magnet on his collar.  This made him rather grumpy as it's a sore subject because when he put the first cat-flap in, he cut the hole much too large and it was only just possible to fit the existing door.  So we need a new back door, for the new cat flap, because the design has changed and John won't even try to find one.  I know we probably can't afford a new one, but we might find one at a breaker's, or whatever those people who hoard bits of old house are called;  we might even find a Victorian one, which would be a bonus.

I've now got kitten-broody, but I'm not allowed another one;  it's so unfair, because a completely black shorthair was exactly what I wanted when I got Bramble instead, and Morgan wasn't even planned but was passed on to us by people who didn't, after all, want a dear little kitten in their lives.  I love all my pussy cats, but there is a black-cat-shaped hole in my life!

It's still bl**dy freezing here.  I shall get dressed in my winter uniform in a few minutes, because I want to go into the back yard to plant my basil in a couple of bigger pots before it starts raining again.  I have to get up so that I can start off pot-roasting the beef in my slow cooker.


blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-06 09:44 pm
Entry tags:

Hurrah!


I never get something for nothing, so I'm very pleased by what happened this evening.

I had decided that I wasn't going to buy any more shoes or sandals this year because what I had was good enough, but in the last couple of days my everyday black slip-ons have started hurting my left little toe to the extent that I had to put a plaster on this arvo before going shopping.  When I examined the shoe, I have worn through the lining, the inner lining and my poor little toe was up against the nasty rough leather.

As a Type 2 diabetic, I have to be particularly careful of my feet, so it was obviously time for some new shoes.

I went online to Hotter and chose a pair after about an hour of looking at everything twice, then I saw some lace-up sandals just like the lovely ones I used to have from Clark's, so I just had to have a pair of those.  They were incredibly comfortable and you could adjust the laces to whatever degree of puffiness or slimness your feet were currently at.

I went to checkout and suddenly wondered whether I'd got any of the e-mail concessions they'd sent me which were still within the allotted time, and found an offer from about a fortnight ago for three pairs of shoes for the price of two, so I went back to choose another pair of shoes, really expecting that it wouldn't work or it would be out of time, even though the e-mail didn't specify a time limit.. 

I entered the code, expecting them to say "Nyer, nyer, nah nyer nah!  Too late!", but it actually worked!!  Hurrah!

I am now expecting three delicious parcels, one of them FREE!!

It's been another horrid day today, damp and very cold.  The only time it cheered up, stopped raining and the sun came out was when we all went to the shops, but since we were only going to the Tesco garage for diesel, the pet shop for food and litter and Lidl, it made no difference since we can always park right outside.

From Lidl we got a nice cheap joint of British beef properly hung, and a lovely dark red, for me to pot-roast in the slow cooker tomorrow, plus quite a lot of other stuff, including a large pot of very healthy basil.  When I got it home, I decided to plant it out in a couple of pots in the yard, because the basil seeds I planted just haven't done anything and they don't sell basil at the garden centre.  I have left it till tomorrow, though, because as soon as we got home, it started raining again.

The garden centre doesn't sell borage, either, which is irritating.

While we were out John and Charles decided it was time we had a takeaway curry, so I don't know what to do with the nice little free-range chicken I got in Lidl last week and had just defrosted, since they both decidedd they'd rather have the beef tomorrow  I suppose I'd better roast the chicken tomorrow and use it for sandwiches, a pilaff, soup and stuff during the next week.  Let's hope it's nice and warm next week so that I'm glad of a cold chicken in the fridge!

I don't know whether the takeaway has increased the size of its portions, but none of us could eat our entire meal, so Charles and John have some squirrelled away for tomorrow's lunch.

I believe the forecast isn't very good for tomorrow either, so I may stay in bed all morning again.


blackberry444: (Default)
2009-06-05 11:32 am
Entry tags:

Flamin' June!

It's 15C in the hall;  outside it's raining that slow steady rain that you can't see through the window but which wets you right through in minutes when you go outside.  I'm only glad I didn't water the plants last night.

I just heard that it's snowing over the Pennines!!

I've locked the cats in, no way am I having two wet cats dry themselves off on my bed.

And rather than going to the Gym, I've returned to bed to do yesterday's crossword.

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-26 11:15 pm
Entry tags:

Yet another lovely day!

It's been a lovely warm day again today and mostly sunny. Yesterday was lovely too;  it makes me feel it must be Summer!

John and I sat in the yard with our coffee, he with his newspaper and I with my book.  Suddenly there was a terrible commotion and I looked up to see Morgan running along the top of the wall like greased lightning after a poor little blue tit.  The tit eventually managed to fly away and I thought Morgan was going to launch himself from the wall after it.  Other birds in the willow tree on the other side of the back lane were twittering and getting very agitated and I was rather afraid that my naughty Tootles was going to get himself mobbed by angry starlings, which happened to Phoebe once when she was minding her own business on my windowsill.  He jumped down and hid under the table until the commotion died down.

Charles was up early today, all without my intervention;  I wish it meant his sleep patterns were going to return to normal, but we had a week or so at Christmas when he became more or less "normal";   it didn't last.

He had the results of his City & Guilds IT exams the other day;  two Distinctions !!.  He didn't even bother to do any revision, but he does have almost-but-not-quite photographic memory, especially for things he's interested in, and, of course, he did do an IT course at Skool, although doubtless everything's changed since then.  We've decided that he must go back and do the next bit of the course, even though he will have to pay for it, since more funding is not forthcoming.  If all three of us chip in, he should be able to start again in September.

Today we went to the garden centre and I got BOGOF bedding plants, mostly petunias and lobelia, which I shall use in my hanging baskets.  (Only allowed four per voucher, though!)  I got a really cheap bent bamboo frame thingy to grow the clematis over, so I've bought another of those incredibly cheap earthenware pots and I shall put the clematis in there, then I won't need to use the trellis for it and it won't have to go right up against the wall, which I think helps the slimies get to it.  I actually found a snail asleep in the pot today when I moved it.    Cheeky hooter!! That snail quickly found himself out on the back lane after a short flight through the air.

I also bought a new type of pelargonium which looks as though it's made from red velvet.  I bought some more runner beans as well.  If they all do well, we shall get sick of them, or of course, I could freeze them.  I don't really think I ever could get tired of runner beans.  After a brief tussle with myself involving such thoughts as "What about the gas bill?"  I bought a vast hanging pot of strawberry plants with several plump strawberries on the brink of being ripe, but I shall have to remember to look out some old net curtain to put over them tomorrow, otherwise the birds will eat them before I can.  I bought a couple of other plants which I can't remember at the moment... some sort of daisy thing and something else.

Almost as soon as we'd had a reviving cup of tea out in the yard, it started to rain, so nothing got planted today.  The forecast for tomorrow is dire, but from Thursday onwards, the weather is meant to improve again.  I need to have a blitz on this room in any case.  When I was trying to fish my new-ish slippers out from under the TV stand, I found enough cat hair to knit a cardigan!

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-24 10:03 pm
Entry tags:

I think it may be Summer!

What a lovely day I've had!  I've spent the entire day in the yard doing nothing but drinking coffee/alcohol and reading a book.  I can't remember the last time I spent the entire day sitting in the sun reading!

It's been really warm in the sun, but not too hot;  there was a brilliantly blue sky, with those teeny fluffy clouds which disappear to nothing, and a gentle breeze to stop it all getting too hot.  It was so lovely sitting out there all day!

I had quite a few jobs I could have been getting on with out there, but after a good night's sleep for once, I just felt that I'd like to relax in the sun, like a cat.  They all spent most of the day out there with me, too.

I got John to put up a bracket on the west-facing wall, which gets sunshine for a lot of the day and planted a hanging basket with my tomato seedlings;  they are a special kind of cherry tomato which likes growing in hanging baskets.  If they thrive, I rather fancy having a riot of tiny tomatoes hanging
down;  they would look really ornamental, and I could just reach out and pluck a couple to have with my lunchtime sandwich!  We'll see!!

I had to keep inspecting the white rosebud which is threatening to burst into bloom, and the red carnation as well, but it didn't make them inclined to flower any sooner.

The only downer I've had today is finding that the slugs'n'snails had been feasting on my clematis, which has made me rethink the position I'm going to put it in.  For some reason or other that particular planter seems to be a magnet for the horrid slimy little things and this will be the fourth year they've ruined the stuff in that trough if I plant the clematis there.  The only trouble is that that is where I stupidly put the trellis up.  I've tried sweet peas two years running, which were eaten before they even came out, I tried runner beans and the same thing happened and this year they've already eaten chunks of clematis flower and a whole bud which hadn't even opened yet, leaving just a frill of petal around the stamens and pistils.  And I haven't even transplanted it yet,  it's still in its original pot!  I think I might go and get another of the lovely cheap large pots I got for the dwarf acer, and rig up some bamboo sticks for it to twine around until I decide finally what to do.  I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't spent a fortune on copper strip to go round the top and the bottom of the trough, hoping it would deter the horrible little slimies!

The Morning Glory seeds I planted a few days ago
have pushed their way into the daylight and will be ready to plant out soon.  I shall have to find something for them to climb up, too.  I would really like to get another half-tub, but I don't really have room for it.  I shall have to think carefully about all this.

I still have my dreadful sore throat;  I've had it for three days now, but it hasn't developed into cold or flu or anything;  it just feels as though someone has cut my throat inside.

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-24 08:57 am

Oh what a beauuuuuuutiful mooooooorning...............


What a beautiful morning!  The sunlight woke me up, even through curtains and venetian blinds!  Or it may have been the smell of coffee. 

Charles was actually up!!!  He didn't bring me any coffee though :{  I think people shouldn't be allowed to torture other people with the smell of coffee in the morning unless they're actually going to give the other people some.

Now I shall have to actually get up, go downstairs and make some, buggrit!

Oh well, at least I can sit and drink it in the yard, listening to the radio on my headphones.  Not only is it sunny, and presumably warm, but there's no wind at present.  Oh well, Carpe Diem, or Caesar Day as an ex-colleague was wont to say!

Tootle-oo!

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-23 01:18 pm
Entry tags:

Importing LJ

Well, I seem to have imported my LJ successfully.  Hurrah!

I think I shall post here from now on, since I can automagically crosspost to my LJ but I don't think I can crosspost from LJ to here.

Maybe it will start looking less bare.


Ooo!  Look!  It's even imported my icon!

And I've successfully retuned my TV so that I can watch Star Trek  Virgin1 in the daytime if I want to.

I was planning to play in the yard this afternoon, but the weather has turned gloomy and there's a very cold wind just sprung up, so perhaps I'll just read, unless there's a good fillum on TV.

Ooo!  We still have a DVD to watch, The Constant Gardener.  Hurrah!

Cottage pie tonight.  Hurrah!

Tomorrow we plan to make a GF quiche, wish me luck with the pastry!

And on Monday we're going to have a slow-cooked stew of hare legs and pigeons, which I found in the freezer,

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-22 10:36 pm
Entry tags:

Shoes ands ships and sealing wax................

Nothing much has happened today.  I didn't go to the gym, yet again, because I had a rotten night through knee pain, and when I finally fell asleep, managed to develop a ghastly sore throat before I woke up.

I feel rather better now, although the sore throat is still there but not quite as bad as it was.

I spent some time in the yard this afternoon, not doing anything but just drinking coffee and reading the paper.  It was beautifully warm even though the sun kept going behind the clouds.

I somehow managed to make a complete dog's breakfast of my day with regard to pill-taking, largely because I didn't feel like breakfast while I had such a sore throat, so I couldn't take my medication.   Unfortunately I completely forgot to take the medication after lunch and it wasn't till I tried to go upstairs for something at about 4.00 pm, that I realised, through the breathlessness I experienced, that I'd had no medication all day.  What an eejit !

Adrian-from-next-door came round this afternoon and told me that his tenants have gone, leaving behind a dreadful mess from something leaking or overflowing in the bathroom on the top floor, which had run its merry way right down to the ground floor, ruining ceilings and carpets on the way.  He will be keeping the tenants' deposit, but it won't cover the cost.  I'm sorry he's been disappointed in his tenants, because as far as we were concerned, they were model neighbours;  we never saw or heard them, except for the occasional bang on the skirting boards from someone hoovering, and the sound of the front door very late at night.  They even managed to put out the wheelie bin without disturbing us in the slightest.

He says he's going to do the repairs and will probably then sell the house, but he intends to give first refusal to the Asian family next-door-to-me-on-the-other-side, which would be fine with me;  you couldn't wish for better neighbours.  Their existing house isn't quite as large as ours and they now have nine people living there, if you include the baby, and I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't arrange No. 2 son's marriage soon.

Tonight Charles made a lovely French Soupe de Poissons, with an unbelievably garlicky aoili.  He made croutons with his GF bread, which were very successful and what with the aioli and the grated cheese, it was very authentic, except we didn't have any rouille.  John and I had Morrison's delicious caraway bread with it and very nice it all was, too.

The weekend weather forecast is pretty good, but there is to be a Festival on the Quayside and on the Gateshead side of the river, with all the sorts of bands I can't stand, so I hope we don't get lots of noise to spoil sitting in the yard or stop us sleeping.

I had a charming e-mail reply from The Poetry Archive this morning saying that they were glad I enjoyed the site and that they would love to put Gillian in there reading some of her poems, but it costs them £4500 for each contemporary poet they put on there and  £2,200 to put on an historic recording; they've run out of the original funding they had and are looking for financial help.  I will have to write to say that unfortunately I'm unable to let them have more than a tenner, but if I win the Lottery I shall be happy to support them.  I thinks it's a shame that something as worthwhile as that can't get funding when I think of all the money that I personally know has been wasted in this area alone on various unproductive Government initiatives.


blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-22 03:53 pm
Entry tags:

Scary place!

This place feels rather scary.  It seems empty and echoing, even in the ladiesloos.  Am I doing it wrong?  Is at all teeming with life I can't connect to?
blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-22 03:53 pm
Entry tags:

Scary place!

This place feels rather scary.  It seems empty and echoing, even in the ladiesloos.  Am I doing it wrong?  Is at all teeming with life I can't connect to?
blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-22 11:34 am
Entry tags:

Another heart-stopping moment.

I've just remembered an occasion which didn't in fact end in an accident, no thanks to the sodding tanker-driver.

Driving along the same road where I had the previous accident I mentioned, and slowing down (fortunately) for the hamlet, I saw a milk tanker ponderously turning out of a side road.  He can't possibly have looked properly to see if anyone was coming, because there was a straight road for about 100 yards.

I slammed on the anchors, including the hand brake, and did a 180° turn, missing the tanker by about 15 inches.

The poor driver completely went to pieces, because he saw a disassembled cot in the back of the car and thought he had almost hit a Young Mother and maybe a baby.  He kept saying "Is the bairn all right?", which rather stumped me, until I realised he'd seen the cot, which I was returning to a friend after borrowing it to put up another friend and her son for a week.

Then he kept saying "It's lucky you're such a good driver", when I had no more idea of how I'd achieved the turn than the baby who had used the cot would have done!  The poor chap was totally unnerved.

Funnily enough, I never saw a tanker turn out of that road again in another four years.

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-21 10:34 pm
Entry tags:

Plants and flowers and stuff.

I spent some of the afternoon repotting my new dwarf acer into the large pot I bought last week.  Then I transplanted the tomatoes A sent me into a growbag, cleared out the weeds from the honeysuckle tub and took off all the dead wood;  it looks much better now.  I cleared all the weeds from the tub with the self-seeded buddleia and a large lavender.

I adore the scent of lavender and have it in everything I can.  My Grandma loved it too, but as far as I can remember, she never grew it, I wonder why not!

I also planted some Morning Glory seeds, because it said on the packet you can still plant them in May.  I read the packet which said that germination is aided by soaking them for 24 hours in warm water, but I forgot about them and soaked them for 48 hours.  When I came to plant them I discovered they had already started germinating, but I didn't know whether the sprout was the leaf end or the root end.  I consulted the resident biology expert, but he didn't know either.  So I planted them sprout upward in those little peat blob things and I've put them into a germinator on the dining room windowsill.  I hope it works;  I want lots of Heavenly Blue Morning Glories.

While at the windowsill, I discovered that the last lot of planted things have been going mad so I left the lid off the germinator and shall have to try to transplant them tomorrow, if it doesn't rain.


I shall have to remember to look up Lily of the Valley, because I really love those too, but I believe you have to plant them at some strange time of the year, or do arcane things to the corms or bulbs or whatever they are.

All the time I was doing all this I was thinking how nice it would be when my Sis comes to stay, and how we could sit out there with our coffee, or reading books, because the last two years when she has come, the yard pots hadn't been done, because I wasn't well enough, not to mention the awful summers we had.  So I feel quite sad after speaking on the telephone this afternoon to find that she can't come this year.

Tomorrow I must clear out the wooden trough opposite the back door and plant the clematis I bought two weeks ago.  It's thriving there, even though it's still in its pot, so, fingers crossed, it will continue growing and flowering all summer.  It may not be Heavenly Blue, but it's still very pretty!

Everything is doing very well, except the runner beans;  the leaves are not only being eaten by cats, but apparently by slugs or snails as well!  Drat!  I meant to put some slug killer down.

It's beginning to look quite nice out there, even though I have still such a lot to do.  The worst thing is the dirt!  We definitely need to give the whole yard a thorough brushing and then use the power hose on it.  If I get Charles in the right mood, I'll get him to do it.  He loves messing about with the hose pipe.  He helped me water the plants with plant food dissolved in the water this afternoon, so we hope everything will flourish even more!

This evening I watched a programme with Ian Hislop talking about Poets Laureate.  It was one of those lovely programmes which remind you why you still pay the licence fee!  It made me remember to look up The Poetry Archive when I came back upstairs.  I've been meaning to look at it for ages, but forgetting.  What a wonderful resource!  It would be worth Andrew Motion being Laureate for that alone!  I sent them an e-mail saying that I was sad they had nothing by Gillian Allnutt.  It says on the site that they don't reply, but I don't care about a reply;  I just hope it makes someone think "Ah!  Yes!  Gillian!  We must get her to read something for us!"

Sadly I shan't be able to go to her next Poetry awayday, because I can't afford it now that I have enormous gas and electric bills to pay, buggrit!

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-21 12:20 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: Close Call

[Error: unknown template qotd]Many years ago, when I lived in Newbrough, I was driving my MGBGT to work along a country road, when I hit a patch of black ice;  I couldn't do the correct thing by driving into the skid as someone was in the way, so I did the wrong thing, performed a wall-of-death along the bank, turned right over in mid-air and landed right-side up and at right angles to the road facing the opposite hedge.  When I realised I couldn't control the car, I hurled myself face down onto the front passenger seat, as I wasn't wearing a seatbelt.  I couldn't believe that I was totally unscathed, although a few pieces of windscreen had landed up in the tops of my boots;  even the radio was still playing.

The car was a wreck all down the driver's side, with the worst damage where my head would have been;  it must have been the one accident in a million which would have been worse for the driver had she been wearing the seat belt.  I got out of the car and immediately slipped on the black ice and gave the people in the other car the impression that I was worse than I actually was.

The driver of the other car was none other than the mechanic who was supposed to be giving the MG a service that day, and had I remembered that, the accident would never have happened, because I would have dropped the car off at the garage which was between home and the place of the accident.


He rushed over and said "Are you all right?", to which I replied "My car, my car, look at my beautiful car".  He rashly said "Don't worry about that, I can fix that.  Are you all right?"

I insisted on going to work and when I went into the general office I met a very upset chap who had passed the accident and didn't know where I was.

I say that I was unscathed, but that evening in the pub I started to cry and someone gave me a cigarette, which led me to take up smoking again after a gap of four years and it was another nine years before I managed to give it up again.  And I did have an aching shoulder for a few days where the briefcase on the passenger seat had clobbered me at some stage during the incident.

I have never again driven without a seat belt, as I reckon that a similar freaky escape from death or serious injury by virtue of not wearing a seat belt  was unlikely to ever happen to me again.

And Brian the mechanic did restore my car to its former glory, in fact it was even better, because we changed the colour from boring old white to super-duper British Racing Green.

blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-21 11:52 am
Entry tags:

Crossposting again! Sigh!

If this doesn't work I'm going down to plant my new acer!
blackberry444: (Default)
2009-05-21 11:52 am
Entry tags:

Crossposting again! Sigh!

If this doesn't work I'm going down to plant my new acer!