Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sticks and stones....

I don't know what it is about funny names that amuse me so much but they do. I discovered at the weekend that the two turkeys that wander around the yard at the farmshop we go to are called Phillip and Clive. Brilliant names. And Erin has a friend who has a cat called Ian! Sort of inappropriate but brilliant at the same time. I was most amused by this article on the BBC. I was telling a collegue about it and he said there were a family called the Gotobeds and they lived in Little Snoring! Perfection!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Brian has a car

Brian has a new car too now. Also 29k miles for a diesel VW Passat estate which he also got last week, so we are terribly posh now. My new car does 50 miles to the gallon on a sedate motorway drive!

Isn't it nice that Slumdog Millionaire has done so well in the Oscars? It is such a brilliant film I am really glad that something with no political axe to grind in Hollywood has done so well.

I am going to Cheltenham on Saturday to look at a shop selling office chairs for people with bad backs to see if I can find something I really like, and then persuade my boss to buy it for me. You really need to sit in them, and some of them look really odd on the screen. It should be entertaining anyway.

Day in Oxford

We had a day out in Oxford yesterday, because we were going to see a new music theatre piece by George Benjamin - which was excellent and well worth the trip. We had a good potter around and the weather was pleasantly springlike which made it very enjoyable. As a Cambridge girl I don't think Oxford is a beautiful as Cambridge, and there are a lot of houses which have been badly modernised and there is a lot less green than in Cambridge because the river is much less of a feature and the old colleges aren't together in the same way. Also there was a serious shortage of tea shops. Cafes, but not tea shops! However we did have a lovely potter and here are some pics

This guy looks very like the mad hatter and has a lovely triangular drainpipe

Brian in the street - just to prove we were there.

The view from the street - if you are not one of the elite you can see through the bars or...

The view from inside

And finally

A lovely lopsided door to add to my collection. One of a group of Flemish weavers cottages now turned into a hotel.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New car

Ooops - I am getting a new car. we were looking online for a new car for Brian whose car is really doddering now, and I saw the Honda Jazz on a local website and said 'that's what I want'. We went out to look at cars for Brian (didn't find one) but I did drive and am buying the Honda. It is 2004 but only 29000 miles on the clock, and is silver and lovely. It is a bit earlier than I had intended to replace my car, but it is what I wanted and it is a good price so..... roll on Wednesday. We are still looking for a car for Brian.

Kate and I have been looking at wedding venues and saw 2 really nice ones yesterday which have gone to the top of the heap, and Kate and Carl are going back today so Carl can see them. In fact I am going to phone Kate now to see how they got on.



Cambridge is our nearest city and there are few more beautiful cities. This year the university is celebrating it's 800th birthday! Happy Birthday Cam Uni! It is also celebrating Darwin's 200th birthday! Go Charlie. It also got a very snazzy new clock last year on an outside wall of Corpus Christi College. It is about 12 foot and quite the eye catcher (you do have to sit through an ad if you go to that link)
Anyway, today we had reason to visit this fair city. Trev had to go shopping for my birthday, which is very important indeed! I went along for the nice lunch and to have a pootle round the shops myself. One of the things I needed to buy was a new toilet brush so I went into John Lewis's and was amazed to find there was one for sale for £61!!!!! Really, I would want it to do the cleaning for me. Surprisingly, I opted for the one that cost £4. I mean if ever there was a utilitarian household object that's it. Surely, nobody is going to go into your loo and come out and say "What a beautiful toilet brush, pray what art gallery did you purchase it from?"
I was also looking out for a 21st birthday present for Erin's friend, Heather, whom I have known nearly all her life. I had by now moved to the kitchen department and saw the perfect thing. Onion goggles! You wear them them to prevent crying while peeling and chopping onions. Who wouldn't want that, both amusing and practical. I bought them forthwith but now I've got them home I think they may be too silly even for a present from me. Also I thought it was the smell of onions that made your eyes water. Ah well, back to the drawing board.
Finally, Cambridge has many a famous alumni. But two of them:

Rory McGrath and Stephen Hawking

I see around the city more than I see anybody I know. OK, so Stephen Hawking is rather visible when you're at a restaurant or in the cinema.
But Rory McGrath! He's a bit of blokey bloke, incase you don't know him and a twit really. I think he's following me. We saw him today. But even more weird we saw him on holiday in Cornwall last year. Spooky

Monday, February 02, 2009

Why are people so stupid?

I am watching the news in the worst snow we have had in the UK for 18 years (the Canadians wouldn't notice it but...). And 2 brothers decided to go walking up Mount Snowden. They did it in the summer and wanted to do it again. In this weather! They have died, despite all the endeavors of the rescue teams. But what were they thinking? People get stuck on Snowden and on the Brecon Beacons in the summer, and they go out in the coldest weather we have had all winter with snow forecast - it is utter madness. I know that British mountains aren't big by comparison with other countries, and that people feel we are such a small island that you are never far from civilisation, but people get lost every year on the Beacons in the summer, let alone in the winter. There is a very good reason why the SAS train in the beacons, and any mountain where you have fog, snow and wind is dangerous and not a place for the unwary. I feel very sorry for those brothers and even more sorry for their families, but the rescue teams are at risk in this weather when they go out to rescue people who are just being stupid and irresponsible. It is wrong.

There - end of rant. I hope Chris and co are basking in the sun and enjoying it while the rest of us shiver
in the cold.

Nicky is going to work with so many layers on (she is working outdoors) that she is at least a dress size bigger by the time she leaves the house. She was sitting here tonight under a duvet on the sofa with her warm hat on as well, (and the heating is on and I am not wearing a coat and hat) which is entertaining. Adam who normally just wears a t shirt all year round, had conceded that it is winter and is wearing a jumper.

It is snowing here now, though we didn't have any till this evening. Wait and see what tomorrow brings, though we aren't forecast to get much thankfully.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Last night we went to a Ceilidh. We decided it was a good idea as that will be the evening entertainment at Kieran and Alice's wedding and we are also going to a 60th birthday party which will be a ceilidh. We went with Alice's parents and Sue and John the former is the birthday girl. We all thought we would get some practice in before we had to do it in public.
It was one of the most fun evenings we have had. Honestly, I have the coordination of a headless chicken but I could cope with this one. (Those of you horrified by this there is another room in Great Chesterford community centre you can escape to.)
However there was one dance in which the caller said we had to do a basket. It involved the men putting their arm around the woman's waist and the woman putting her arm around the mans shoulder. Then you joined with the couple opposite and spun round fast. The idea was that the ladies feet would leave the ground during this spin. As you know I am not petite and did not think this was a great idea and neither did Trevor. However the guy opposite (in a kilt) had other ideas and goodness he was strong. I just about managed to keep my feet on the ground but he certainly made that a fast spin. It was quite hilarious. However, if the caller in May says there will be a basket - I'm out of there!
Finally, Ceilidh! Irish or Scottish? I had always assumed the former but lots of people asked me if I was celebrating Burns night when I told them I was going and there were two men in kilts. The band was Irish so I am going to keep it to the Emerald Isle