Just call me the Original Party Animal!

I had a fabulous time last Thursday evening! I was in a pub, drinking a cup of tea, knitting and reading Winnie the Pooh! Let me explain…!

Thursday night is knit night for me. It’s my only regular social outing and so I always look forward to it. However, this week was a little different as my sore ear and the evil antibiotics were making me feel very poorly. I nearly didn’t go, but Ellie doesn’t really take no for an answer so off I went! This week’s meetup was in Copa, a bar on Wharton Street in Cardiff. I usually look forward to Copa weeks as they serve delicious toasted waffles with toffee sauce and ice cream, but as I hadn’t been feeling too clever I didn’t think that waffles were the way forward. Neither did a glass of wine feel like a sensible decision, so I decided on a cup of tea as a ‘comfort drink’! So there was I, knitting on my jacket and sipping my cup of tea for all the world like a very eccentric elderly lady who may have got a little lost on her way to her OAP’s coffee evening. Also, my loss of hearing meant that I was entirely isolated from the rest of the group except for when I had the opportunity to lip read! But then my friend J took pity on me/decided to show off (take your pick as to his motive!!) by letting me play with his brand new shiny Kindle! And oh my goodness how I want one NOW!!! I’d read all the blurb, and listened to the hype about the e-ink but it really didn’t compare with actually seeing one up close. At first glance, it looked like one of those display models you see in electrical equipment stores where they have a printed label on them to give an idea of how the display will look. The e-ink and the lack of reflection was really that good. The text size was variable, which was fab for me as I’m a fast reader with good eyesight so I was able to reduce the text size right down in order to get the minimum possible page turns!

Then J showed me the list of books which you could get for free and for incredibly cheap, which led me to Winnie the Pooh, which in turn led to my reading that for most of the rest of the evening! It was a very happy place for poor deaf little me! The easy click of a button to turn pages was ideal for a multi-tasking knitter – I was able to have the Kindle on the table in front of me and flick the page turn button between stitches for minimal knitterly disruption! And from a pattern point of view, it would be brilliant for storing patterns, even those with charts, rather than having to print them out.

So, in conclusion, I am fairly certain that the 3G Kindle will be a part of my (not too distant) future. The only problem then will be fighting for access with GG!

A stalwart defender

This short story was inspired by something I see every day, most times that I leave the house in daylight.

I should introduce myself. I am reasonably tall, dark and (according to my wife!) handsome. My wife and I have been together for a couple of years now, and we live in a small place in the suburbs of the big city. It’s not much, but it was a self-build project (I’m handy like that) and the wife has made it cosy and inviting inside. I always look forward to getting home at the end of a long day. Up with the lark, that’s me, and then out for most of the day. You know, the original ‘hunter-gatherer’ type, working hard all day to provide for the family. It feels like I’m on the go all day, just trying to keep the family fed, although of course my wife does her bit as well. She’s a bit tied up at the moment – we’re expecting additions to the family, you see, so she’s home more often than not now. I’m definitely a family man, and I’d do anything to protect the clan, and the home. And that’s what led me to tell you a little of our story.

Our home is cheek by jowl with this block of flats. The people who live there are quiet though, and don’t bother us. Actually, they have helped us out in the past when times have been a bit hard, by giving us food fairly regularly. We’re really grateful for that, it’s helped us get through many a fallow time. Everything was fine until a few months ago. I was out and about, conducting my normal daily business (as you do) when I noticed this fellow in one of the flats giving me the evil eye. I thought I’d have a second look, and would you know it! As I went nearer, he came right at me! I backed off and thought about this for a bit (whilst keeping the flat in sight – it was a bit near to home to be letting him completely out of my sight). I decided to go up to the window, quietly, and see if he was still around. Maybe I’d been mistaken. I might have imagined it. You know how it is when you have a million other things on your mind, especially with a new arrival expected any day. I slid past the flat, and there he was! Mirroring my movements, from the inside of the flat, it really shook me. I didn’t want to tell the wife, as she has enough on her plate, but I really needed to sort this bloke out. He looked a bit like me – a decent size, and dark too, but far more sinister if truth be told.

I couldn’t have this bloke, whoever he was, threatening the wife and family home, so I decided my only option was to pluck up the courage and chase him off. It might turn a bit nasty, I thought, but if he was like most of the other bullies I’ve come across, he’d be scared off pretty quickly. So I stood still for a bit, the flat in my sights and talked the talk to myself. Then, I flew at the place I’d seen this threatening looking bloke, and gave him my best shot. But blow me, he came straight back at me and hit me just as I threw one at him. Again and again I gave it to him, and each time he retaliated at the exact same moment. I kept it up for a while, but after a bit my head was hurting, my muscles were tired and, if I’m honest, my ego was bruised. I limped away, vowing that I’d be back and I’d beat him next time.

I’ve been back every day since then, and every day we’ve been even. Out of the corner of my eye I notice that he retreats at the exact same time I do, and when I’m a little distance away from the flats I can’t even see him. But he is always there when I arrive. I can’t worry the wife, this is a man’s work and though I might not be the brightest bulb in the box, I’m damned if I will give up my responsibility for protecting me and mine. It’s a tiring situation, but I’m determined not to give in, so I’ll be back. And I’ll keep going back every day until that big, smug, vicious thing leaves for good.

I forgot, I didn’t tell you my name. How rude of me. I’m Mr Crow, and the wife and I live in the birch tree by this block of flats. Third nest from the top left. But I’d appreciate it if you’d wait a while before visiting, or at least give us some notice, as we’re expecting the chicks to hatch any day now.

I worry about people sometimes…

If you write a blog, and if you are as interested* in the statistics as I am (*for ‘interested’, substitute ‘mildly obsessed’ at your pleasure) you will know that you can see the search terms that people use to reach your mutterings. I am often surprised and amused by some of the things that people type into search engines and manage to follow through to my site. I sometimes type the same things into Google to work out how they have reached me, but usually with no success. So, I thought I would share some of my favourites from recent days and weeks, see what you make of them all!

“pig baby congratulations cards” – first of all, pig babies are called piglets, and second, if you are referring to a human baby, please don’t tell the parents that you think it looks like a pig – it is guaranteed to upset!

“david tennant and condoms” – eeeewwww, what are you thinking? Does this LOOK like the sort of site which would cater to this search request?? Move along!

“branagh or tennant hamlet” – Tennant, every time, of course! He’s cuter, and does ‘mad’ better!

“doctor who obsessed” – no no no, that’s my son, not me. And he doesn’t have a blog (yet), although I will pass along all well-meaning comments!

“grapple jam recipe” – Yay! I may be on my way to getting my own word in general use! I made grapple jam a couple of years ago – a very flavourful mix of grape and apple, of course.

“crochet my hand writing” – I would if I could, but I can’t, sorry.

“buckingham palace plan” – floor plan? Plan of what? I hope this is not linked to anything unsavoury!

“words to express excitement” – Woohoo! Yeehah! Weyhey! and Yippedeedoodah! spring to mind!

However, my mother’s blog routinely gets visits from people following much stranger search engine requests, such as “hardest granny”, “granny sex”, “salsa dancing granny” and “two grannies off to europe on bicycles” – she gets all the best ones!

For a giggle…

I’ve just found this website with a little help from my mother, Granny Anne. It’s a tribute website to all the fabulous altered Conservative campaign posters which have been created since the Tories unveiled their airbrushed David Cameron poster a few weeks ago.

I was crying with laughter at it – there are some very witty anti-Conservatives out there!

And just for fun, a couple of my favourites from the site;

MyDavidCameron.com | They forgot to lock the cell.

MyDavidCameron.com | Some of my best friends are poor.

MyDavidCameron.com | My chums from school….

And if you want to create your own, there’s a really easy way to do one over at Andybarefoot.com.

A quick freebie

Just a quick post (my proper one will be a bit later) to tell you about a freebie I found over at www.moneysavingexpert.com. If you go to this Australian site, they’re offering a free aromatherapy Ylang ylang and lavendar candle. I’m not sure if they’ll ship internationally, but it’s got to be worth a try, and the candle looks lovely. One per household, you just have to give your mailing information. My Australian visitors should definitely give it a go!

New header!

I hope you like my new header image – the photo is of a friend I made on my walk this morning!

Car boot sale

Today, I went with my friend Maria to Caerleon car boot sale to get rid of some excess stuff. I had a very full car on the way there; so much so that I couldn’t see anything but bags and toys in my rearview mirror. However, on the way back almost everything fitted into the boot with the parcel shelf down, so great success! And a tidy profit was made, which is always a bonus.

boot sale

My friend Maria, posing for the camera yet again – this is getting to be a regular Sunday thing now, isn’t it! It’s been lovely seeing her more often recently though. Often the two of us are so busy with everything else that a month goes by without us seeing each other, even though we only live a couple of miles apart.

We had the shock of our lives when we arrived. We were a little later than we’d intended, and literally before I’d undone my seatbelt I had people asking me how much some things were that they could see through our windows! I was shaking with nerves (I don’t handle unexpected situations very well!) as people were following me round to the boot to watch me open it, and then all but rummaging around before I had a chance to load up my table! One lady even helped me to shake out the sheet I had to cover the table as she was in so much of a rush to see what I had brought!! However, as I had had doubts that any of my things would sell, I was quite pleased to have such clamour and make some sales within (literally) seconds of getting out of the car!

I’ve got a better idea of what might sell at a boot sale now, so I’ll be re-evaluating my stuff to see if I have any more excess that I could shift in this way. But I’m still stuck for a way to get rid of video tapes. I think I’ll offer all my FRIENDS box sets to the Sue Ryder charity shop for a start, at least they might know how to recycle them if they don’t want them.