blackberry444: (Default)
Well!  That didn't work.  Let's try this!
blackberry444: (Default)
I've not posted much here, but I haven't been posting in LJ much either, as I've been preoccupied with other things, such as the plants in the yard.

This actually an attermpt at crossposting in LJ.

Let's see if it works!

blackberry444: (Default)
I have invite codes.  Do you want one Sis?  Oiropata?  Anyone?


May. 17th, 2009 03:01 pm
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I've just joined Dreamwidth with the same username as I have here.  Can LJ friends add me to their lists over there, please?  If they want to, that is.

Now I'm going into the back yard.  I may be some time.

First post

May. 17th, 2009 01:17 pm
blackberry444: (Default)
Well I now have an account thanks to [personal profile] anadel .

I shal be looking for my LJ friends who have accounts here, uploading a user pic and so forth, but first I must have lunch!

Here I am!

May. 17th, 2009 01:06 pm
blackberry444: (Default)
Hi everyone!  I've managed to get an invite thanks to [personal profile] anadel and I shall be looking for all my LJ friends who have accounts here.
blackberry444: (Default)
The Social Persona Test, lifted from someone or other.

Your result for The Social Persona Test (What kind of man/woman are you?)...

The Rarity (QTAF)

Quirky Traditional Alpha Female

You have an unusual and unbelievably precious combination of traits, especially in a woman. Not only are alpha females extremely rare, but traditional ones with nerdy/geeky interests are even more scarce. Unlike the other types, I can't give you a description because I'm not sure if you actually exists. I know this is not a compatibility test, but you are the girl of my dreams. (Assuming, that is, that you are also in your twenties and live in New England). Please, oh please message me!

You are more QUIRKY than NORMAL.
You are more TRADITIONAL than LIBERAL.
You are more DOMINANT than PASSIVE.

When picking a date, consider: Lord of the Misfits (QLAM), The Late Bloomer (QTAM), The Snowball's Chance in Hell (QTBM), or The Manga Geek (QLBM).

(Image from

Take The Social Persona Test (What kind of man/woman are you?)
at HelloQuizzy

blackberry444: (Default)
Well I have to say that overall it was the best Eurovision I've seen for many years, except for the ghastly set and light show.  Thank God someone made sure they turned all that horrible stuff off for our entry.  One of them was lit up like a circus and when there was a shot from above we could see that various green circles were rotating on the surface of the stage and making the whole thing look like something from Teletubbies.

I don't think the best song won by any means, but I suppose everyone was captivated by his boyish charm and decided to ignore the tinky-tonk tune and the daft lyrics.  I thought that half a dozen other entries, including ours were better than Norway, although I thought our lyrics were equally banal.  Never mind, it was a much better show than usual.  And I watched it without any alcoholic lubrication!

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Black tights and white slingback stilettos?  Who thought that would be a good look?


May. 16th, 2009 09:14 pm
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What a ghastly set!!  I've heard of people trying to upstage each other, but I've never seen anything before where the scenery tried to dominate the singers.  It's dreadful !
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We've had the electricity and gas bills today.  They've both been estimated, but although the electricity bill is sadly overestimated, the gas bill is sadly underestimated, so I probably owe them about £700 !!, of which I actually have just over half saved up!  I knew there would be retribution for spending money at the garden centre!

Oh well!  I didn't really want an acer anyway...................Sob!

I can't even have a stiff drink to numb the pain, either!

I've asked John to contact them on Monday and ask for amended bills, because I can't work out what the adjusted gas bill would be, except a lot higher.  Well, I can't actually work out the electricity bill, either!  That should put off the agony for a week or two.

All I can say is thank Glod we had our takeaway last night instead of waiting till tonight, when we traditionally have one before watching the Eurovision Song Contest.  Charles just couldn't wait till tonight, because our usual takeaway has been shut for repairs recently and has just re-opened and the other one we use has gone out of business.  Well, they would go out of business if they were waiting for us to order, because I found their food to be inconsistent;  it was usually too hot and the last straw was when they sent me something full of green chillis instead of spinach by mistake;  maybe it was the fact that they're both green that threw them............?  Are you allowed to use two semi-colons in one sentence?

I've had an incomprehensible letter from Skandia this morning telling me that they forgot to send me some important information in their latest letter, and when I examined it, it appears that they seem to think I asked to top up my pension fund.  Hoots of laughter! It's true that they're holding a teeny sum of money for me, contributed to a pension scheme by my late unlamented employers, which I've never bothered to claim yet as it wasn't available until I became 65 in February, and I rather naively thought that it might be a good idea not to claim it until stocks had risen and interest rates were better.  It won't be worth much more than fourpence ha'penny a week anyway;  the whole amount would probably pay the gas and leccy bills!

I've been looking at the stuff I planted out in the last couple of weeks and I'm struck by how much the garlic has grown.  I've never successfully grown garlic before and I have no idea how one knows it's ready to harvest.  And how do you replant it?  Do you just plant a single clove for each plant you hope to grow?

I did think I would go down into the yard to do a little more work, but it's come over very dark and gloomy and a cold wind has sprung up just now.  I wish it would warm up just a little so that I could plant out the tomato plants A sent me.  It's only just over a month to Mid-Summer's Day, so I wish the weatherman would just get his finger out and send us some warm weather.  We had a couple of lovely days recently and that's spoiled me!  As it is, I spent yesterday back in my winter uniform, even down to the leggings and fluffy socks; today's a little warmer but nothing to boast of.  I've been having a lot of trouble with my knee again in the last couple of weeks and it felt so much better last night that I think I need to keep it a lot warmer.  I hate being muffled up in loads of clothes, though. 

I wonder whether I can find a knitting pattern for a knee warmer that I could wear under my skirt.  Even I should be able to knit something simple like that!
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On Tuesday morning I noticed that I had a huge swelling between my gum and the inside of my upper lip;  it didn't hurt at all, but it was enormous.  Even though it didn't hurt, I thought it was probably yet another abscess, so made an emergency appointment for this morning.

When I woke this morning the swelling had gone down a little and my mouth was full of blood.  I was pleased, as you can imagine.

My lovely dentist agreed that it was yet another abscess
.  I told him I'd had one when he was on holiday and had used the emergency prescription of Amoxicillin he left me, which eventually made it disappear, but obviously not permanently.  So this time he gave me a double prescription for both Amoxicillin and  Metronidazole.  Fortunately I asked him if the latter was the drug which makes you very ill if you drink alcohol and he confirmed that it was.  Why do they never tell you?  Do they assume that someone of my age and appearance is naturally too straight-laced to drink?

So I have to take all this stuff and see him after the Bank Holiday;  I didn't even realise there was a Bank Holiday coming up.  Wish me luck, everyone, because if this doesn't work, the lbooyd tooth, which has already caused endless trouble and can't be repaired further because it's too hard for the drill to penetrate, will have to be extracted and I am more than sufficiently lacking in the molar department as it is.  Sulk!

It's been another lovely day, in fact, you might say a perfect day;  incredibly blue sky, endless warm sunshine and an absolute joy to sit out in with a pot of coffee and book.  I didn't do any chores in the yard, just sat out there and chilled out.  Lovely!  Yesterday was  a lovely day too, but with a freezing cold wind.

Yesterday I went to the garden centre and succumbed to the BOGOF hostas as well as two pots of mixed salad leaves to cut every day for lunch-time sandwiches, and a beautiful dark blue gentian.  I don't know why I bought that, as I have no idea how to look after it and no ericaceous compost for it, but it was such a beautiful blue..............  I was also fortunate enough to find a large, allegedly frost-proof clay pot for £9.99, which must make it the cheapest in the county.  I thought I would buy it while I was there because if I'm able to get a dwarf acer next week, it is the perfect pot for it, but if I hadn't already bought it, it would, of course, be out of stock when I wanted it.  If I don't get an acer it will be fine for something else.

I spent ages driving round the garden centre in my scooter looking for the gorgeous blue morning glories they had a couple of weeks ago, but couldn't find any, and none of the staff has any recollection of them, buggrit.

As well as a self-seeded buddleia in a tub in the yard, I've found a well-established self-seeded elderflower, about to burst into blossom; I shall try to keep and cherish it.  I've also found a tiny self-seeded hawthorn, which I shall cosset.  I had a look at espalier fruit trees while I was at the garden centre, but sadly, they are just too big and need too much wall space for a tub in the yard.

I have tomato plants which A sent me to plant out and a couple of cucumbers, which I've never grown before, so I bought a couple of grow bags as well.  I also bought some dark blue lobelia, because I can't really believe the stuff I've sown will ever be big enough.

Still no rain, so we've had to water everything with the watering can this evening.  What I've bought and planted out in the last couple of weeks is growing like crazy;  I'm very pleased.

Tomorrow I have to get up at the crack of dawn (for me) in order to get to an appointment with my lovely lady doctor.  I made the appointment a week ago and this was the earliest they had and the only one left for this week.  The trouble is that the appointment is at 8.40 am, and I find it so hard to drag myself out of bed early nowadays as my heart condition seems to slow me down dreadfully in the morning.  This probably means I'll get very little sleep tonight as I shall be worrying about getting up early enough.  Sigh...............

I suppose I'd better dig out the consultant's letter and make a list of what I want to discuss with her before I go to bed.

Oh!  Edited just to say that I saw my first butterfly of the year today, a red admiral!!

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Another lovely day, but this time without much wind, just a gentle zephyr and warm sunshine, so I've finished all the jobs I urgently needed to do in the yard, except for clearing out a trough and planting my clematisI'm disappointed to see that what I thought was a heavenly blue clematis is in fact, more of a delicate mauve.  It's still very lovely, but I'm a bit disappointed.  I can't imagine how it can have happened.  I wonder whether the plastic corrugated sheeting over the plants at the garden centre may have been coloured rather than clear and so made it look much more blue.  I think I will get a blue morning glory to go with it.  Actually, I've just remembered that Lidl are due to have clematis in sometime soon at a much cheaper price than the garden centre.  I shall have to look at the handouts and see what date that will be.

I took a chance and planted out the four runner bean plants I bought the other day.  I've put them into an improvised trough made from a green plastic crate with holes cut into the base for drainage,  I've put in the bamboo poles and I've put them where they'll get plenty of sun, but where they'll be shielded from wind, and maybe even frost, by the shed.

Charles planted catnip in a small rectangular container, which was the litter tray when we only had one cat.  All we have to do is keep the little brats off it until the seeds germinate.  Yeah!  Right!

The four patio roses have been planted out in individual tubs or pots;  they all have lots of buds so I should have roses in the yard soon.  I've grubbed up some violets to send to A, because they've tried to take over almost every pot in the yard.  I don't want to get rid of them entirely, but A has a large garden and I'm sure she'll find somewhere to put them where they won't be too much of a nuisance;  I have warned her that they're invasive.

I put one of the roses into an old bread crock we no longer use.  I got John to drill a couple of holes in it, and it took him a lot of trouble.  It makes a really nice plant pot!

I've repotted the dianthus I bought on impulse and that too has loads of buds, but so far no flowers.  The picture on the label is of a beautiful bloom which is a sort of cross between scarlet and purple.  I don't know whether it's scented;  I hope so, I adore the scent of carnations, but in my experience it's usually the white ones which are heavily scented.

I've decided against getting the hostas which are on offer this week;  I'm already running out of space, I have to buy bedding plants yet for the hanging baskets and I'm not confident that I could protect the hostas from the slugs'n'snails.  On the other hand, maybe I could put them in the front garden if I can ever get round to sorting it out.  I shall definitely go next week to look at the acers which are going to be half price.  I want a dwarf one, but if I find one I can't resist, I shall have to buy another tub for that too, which will be expensive.  But then I shall have to find a place for it, which won't be so easy.  I was quite glad when they sent us a blue wheelie bin for recycling, but two wheelie bins take up a lot of room in my tiny yard and there's also the compost bin, lurking like a headless Dalek!  I don't think there's ever going to be room for a raised bed which I had rather set my heart on for lettuces and so forth.  I did think I would have a spare tub this year because we cut down the bay tree in the yard which I'd had for years, bringing it from Hampshire but which was badly affected by scale.  Amazingly, it's grown new shoots and leaves, which so far show no sign of scale, so I haven't had the heart to turf it out, even though I bought a new one last Autumn which stands outside the front door.

I'm also hoping to squeeze in a small fruit tree, but will probably wait till next year to do that, as I want one of those which has different kinds of fruit on it and I imagine they'll be rather expensive.

Next year I'm going to make an effort to get new garden furniture which won't, I hope, take up so much room as the huge table and benches which was fine in our large garden in Four Marks, but which is Far Too Big for our tiny yard.

As soon as I'd finished my chores out there, a freezing cold wind blew up, but I didn't care by then, even though I'd planned to sit out there and read for half an hour.  How lucky was that?

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I cannot express how sickened and depressed I feel about the recent revelations of MPs' and Ministers' expenses claims, probably because there's no way in the world that I can have any influence over this load of robber-barons.

How they have the colossal nerve to claim non-taxable and highly fanciful sums for gardening and cleaning, let alone any of their other flights of fancy, which are higher than the yearly State Pension, while at the same time taxing part of it, is totally beyond me.

They can either have absolutely no idea, or more likely couldn't care less about how difficult people find it to manage and how every year the sums paid as pensions and benefits are eroded by the inflation the politicians refuse to acknowledge other than to massage the figures.

But it can't only be people like me who are outraged by their thievery;  people newly on the dole as a result of the gummint's financial fiasco must be feeling sickened and angry too.  People worried about losing their homes because, through no fault of their own, they have been sacked from companies who can no longer afford to employ them, must be thinking about bloody revolution and putting this load of thieves up against the wall in front of a firing squad.  Then there are the self-employed in service industries who are getting no call for their services but who still have to pay for the costs of their business or sink back into unemploymentWhat about the school leavers who are unable to get any kind of employment and who aren't even eligible for Job Seekers' Allowance?

I'm also angry and aggrieved because I know that these conditions will reverse the recent improvement in crime statistics in areas of deprivation and that the people being burgled and mugged will in the main be those self-same people who have come to grief as a result of the government's massive financial failure.

I find it difficult to believe that government has once again allowed itself to be led astray by hubris and a weak grasp of economics so that the ordinary
hard-working families Flash Gordon pretends to espouse and support should once again suffer the problems bought about by a government which wants to control everything yet doesn't understand what it is doing, while they continue riding the gravy train at our expense.

What makes them think that they are such a bargain that it's OK for them to claim on expenses things for two separate homes that many of their constituents
cannot afford for one?  How many massive TV sets can one family watch?

Why do they think it's acceptable to claim enormous sums for "maintenance" of their "second" homes, while I and many other people I know can't even afford to have their leaking roofs mended or to replace draughty windows in their only home.

It's a shame the British people are so placid.  I am surprised that many of us aren't considering dealing with these carpetbaggers as Ceausescu's Romanians dealt with him when they finally realised what he had done to them.

If it were up to me, I wouldn't allow anyone to become a member of Parliament who hadn't spent at least 10 years in gainful employment in commerce or industry, followed by six months trying to survive on such "benefits" as they would be eligible for when suddenly made unemployed at the end of that period.

Sorry about the rant, but keeping it all in is making me ill.

Picks up soap box and walks away sobbing................

blackberry444: (Default)
Well they left about three hours ago to go to the airshow, so they're probably there by now.  I hope it's warmer there than it is here, because we have a freezing cold wind, although the sun comes out from time to time I just hope it remains clear enough to allow the Lancaster to fly, otherwise they'll all be very disappointed.  And D did say thank you for the use of Libby, so that's OK, then.  A told me off because I haven't been over to see them for ages.

In fact I'm now rather glad that I wasn't able to go today, because if there's one thing I hate it's having to sit in the scooter with a blanket over my legs, like an old disabled person ;}
  On the other hand, I doubt whether I shall be able to work in the yard today unless the wind drops.  I just popped out there to put stuff in the compost bin and check the plants and I came back inside again rather swiftly.  Even the cats are staying inside today, although the sun's out at intervals.  I could stand the cold out there if I wrapped up well, but my knee has started playing up again and the cold seems to exacerbate it.  I've just put the heating on again, because I can't allow my knee to get so bad again;  it stops me doing things I'd like to do.

I was pleased to see the extremely cheap hanging basket I got in Lidl yesterday is still OK, because when I bought it, I thought they were purple pansies, which would be OK outside in the cold, but this morning I discovered they are, in fact, tiny purple petunias and they've been out all night in the freezing wind.  I don't have anywhere I could put them indoors, anyway, so they will have to sink or swim.

The reason the knee's started playing up again is due to the horrid time I had yesterday when I went to the cardiac clinic to have a 24 hour monitor put on.  No-one had told me that the entire department would have moved by then, so I went in at the usual door, only to find the department had moved to the other side of the hospital.  If I know I'm going to have to walk a long distance in that massive hospital, I take my scooter, but as cardiology has always been just  a hundred yards or so from the entrance, and there are plenty of places to rest, I don't usually need it.  I walked for what seemed miles to and around the new wing, which is beautifully designed in stainless steel and dark tiles, but which has nowhere to sit if you start to feel ill walking along the myriad corridors; the signposting left a lot to be desired, too.  In the end I was almost crying with pain and exhaustion when some kind NHS person gave me his arm to lean on and helped me get to where I wanted.  When it was time to leave, I phoned John and asked him to come to the new entrance, so that bit wasn't so bad, but the rest of the day was quite painful.  It's so annoying because it had started to get better.

Later I had a horrible shoulder and backache which makes me wonder whether there's something wrong with my stick.  Maybe I need a new and longer one.  I wonder when Bob is going to start making sticks again.  The one I had from him was perfect.

Anyway, even if I can't get into the yard, we have our 2 new Lovefilm DVDs to watch, Vantage Point and Jumper and I might do some writing.  I have an idea for a poem, but I might need more thinking time for it.

I could spend time clearing up my desk yet again, but I feel I should be allowed to do something more fun than that, since everyone else is out having fun.  Pout!

Edited to add

They had a good time and apparently it was quite fun, with people in WW2 clothes and lunch in the NAAFI, it was even clear for the flyover, but sadly, for some reason, this didn't include the advertised Lancaster or another famous WW2 plane, the name of which escapes me.

Stupid quiz

May. 7th, 2009 10:12 pm
blackberry444: (Default)

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm an
Extroverted Self-Improving Believer
blackberry444: (Default)
I had an appointment with the ophthalmic consultant this morning.  Fortunately I remembered that they've moved things around in the hospital so went early, and took my scooter in case it was a long walk.  It was a long walk and the directions were incomprehensible.  Fortunately I encountered a nurse who had amassed a crocodile of patients all seeking Ophthalmology and she got us there.  I only had a minute to spare before the appointment time!

They put drops in my eyes again, but this time they stung ferociously although the nurse said they were the same ones as usual.

We had a conversation about the Gummint's new proposals for everyone to work till they're 70 before they can have a state pension.  She said that it's all very well for all these people who sit around on their bums all day while they're "working", but that she's on her feet for 10 hours a day and doesn't know how she will manage to keep going until she's 70 in 20 years' time.  I forbore to mention the MPs' fantastic pension scheme, let alone that of the (hock! ptui!) Prime Monster!.

The consultant was quite pleased with the way the aneurysm has shrivelled up but there is still a lot of exudate left, which should gradually disappear, so I didn't have to have any more treatment today (Hurrah!) and have another appointment in August.

Without the assistance of a nurse, it took me ages to find my way out of the hospital.

I was planning to sit in the yard and plant out some more stuff this afternoon, but it's just too bright for me.  I'm reduced to sitting here in the semi-dark, wearing my sunglasses.  If there are lots of typos, that will be the reason.  I travelled home from the hospital with my hood pulled right down over my eyes like some alienated teenager.

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Thank you everyone for your sympathy about the trip to York.

I'm feeling much better this morning and have decided to forget it for this time;  after all, as I reminded myself, I do love these people and they're not being deliberately unkind.

I will have a tactful word with John in a couple of week's time, when it won't be a hot topic.

I shall either spend Saturday in the yard potting with my pots or if it rains, watching DVDs!

And Charles is going to cook me one of his great dishes, Fabada!  He's even going out to do the shopping for it this afternoon!

And even though I've deleted the comments, I feel I should thank anonymous for the offer of her pussy to hide in :}

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I'm feeling a bit blue today.  And I also feel mean and guilty.

On Saturday John and our friends are going to York to an air show where they are going to fly a Lancaster bomber.  I think it may be one of the new ones they've recently built, but I don't know.

A wants to go because her father was crew in one in WW2 and miraculously survived when the rest of his crew didn't;  D naturally wants to go where his wife goes.  John loves air-shows.

D has a mobility scooter but it's too big to go either into his boot or ours, so, of course, I've had to volunteer not only the use of Lucy, but Libby too.  I shall be almost entirely housebound for the whole of Saturday.  Their car will be outside the house, but I'm not insured to use it. 

No-one has even said thank you yet, let alone considered that I might like to go now that I have a mobility scooter.  I haven't been able to go on these little jaunts for ages because I couldn't walk very far and can't stand still in one place for more than a few seconds so the three of them have got used to going out together without me.

I'm sure they would all feel horrified if they knew how I'm feeling and I don't feel as though I can even say anything about it to John or Charles;  they've all just got used to the status quo!

I feel really mean about this and although I have to admit that I'm not really interested in air shows, I do like to go on days out to places where they have interesting stalls of things to buy and in having lunch out with my friends and maybe visiting a pub or the beer-tent.

As it is, I shall be staying at home waiting for a Sainsbury's delivery of very expensive Gluten Free foodstuffs for Charles, and because John is broke at the moment, I shall have to fill the car with diesel on Friday and give/lend him £50 for expenses on the day.

I feel so resentful.  I am just a horrible person!


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