Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Uncyclopaedia

I can always find something funny on there. :)

Spoke too soon

I went back on my forums last night, but I can handle it. It was just a relapse. I won't be using them like I was, just a quick snifter occasionally. I can stop anytime. It's not a problem. :P

Friday, April 28, 2006

Life is short, make fools of yourselves while you can!

Again, the Dormitory Boys make me laugh so much.

Bless their cotton socks.

Lovely friendie-poos

I emailed some friends today so I feel good about that.

R replied straightaway, and I was glad to hear from her. :) I really don't make enough effort with my friends, and it's silly and naughty of me. They really are very dear to me, and I don't show that enough, I think. Hopefully talking via MSN to A later.

M discovered a hitherto unsuspected sum of money, secreted in a bank account in plain sight :D 8), which will keep us afloat over the weekend, so hurrah for that.

My Preciousssssss...

New books from the library:

2 Alexander McCall Smith's, (neither starring Precious unfortunately), but I like to stick with an author once I get started with him/her. The 2 and a half pillars of Wisdom and The Girl who Married a Lion. Look like fun.

Michael Connelly The Closers.

Philippa Gregory The Queen's Fool.

And Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. I have to see what the fuss is about, belatedly, although I feel fairly sure this book will irritate the hell out of me. Nothing like going into it with a positive attitude, eh?

And I got a yoga video out and was well pleased with how flexible I still am and how I remembered the poses/moves so far. The boy was not happy, however, with mum and sister trying to follow the moves and he gurned throughout. We had to give up in the end. Hopefully he'll be happier to watch in the morning, as I promised her we'd give it another go tomorrow. Or we'll do it during his nap.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A recovering addict?

I'm quite pleased with myself in that I haven't posted on a forum for over a month and my PC use is down within manageable limits. :D

The downside is not emailing or MSNing my friends enough.

My Mother-in-law, my mother-in-law, face like a bag of spanners...

We had the in-laws for the weekend. It was good fun: we went to sunny Looe on Saturday. Also took them to mum's work and I was very proud of mum. Unfortunately she and S were away as his cousin had died, and they went to the wake in Scotland.

People around us seem to be dropping like flies. Of course, J with skin cancer at 32 was most shocking and upsetting to me. Left a wife and two kids.

M managed to get the fatherly lecture, which I think consisted of telling him to send me out to work :). Fortunately I missed it by going to bed early.

Although perhaps if I'd stayed up, the lecture wouldn't have happened?

It's true that we would be better off if I worked, but I'm not sure the kids would be better off. When the youngest is at pre-school it'll be different, but right now I think he's too young to spend 8 hours a day or whatever in child-care. I don't want to miss out on him either.

It sounds a bit of a traditional view, but it's not rooted in it having to be me as the wife staying at home: either of us would do.

Just lucky it's me! :D

The thing about this kind of talk, is that immediately parents start getting defensive. If you're a stay-at-home mum or dad, you're asked when you're going back to work and treated like you're a person of infinite leisure (or lazy). And if you're a working parent, you worry about spending time with your kids, juggling child-care and feel that your parenting abilities are in question.

I think it's about what works well for each family and have no interest in telling others what's good for them :D.

Currently we are just staying afloat financially and I get to spend a lot of time with the kids.

It's not going to be like this forever.

We have a new plan. We are abandoning getting a new pub for present. The industry is in turmoil and we can't face the upheaval of moving and poor little un having to change schools again. So we are concentrating on getting housing and me trained as a teacher. It's our 2/3 year plan. All I need is my PGCE. If I can do it part-time or a similar course to get me a teaching qualification in the next couple of years, hopefully I'll be ready to start working when the baby is starting pre-school or school. And M will stay in his current work, although he doesn't like it much. But he says that as long as we're working towards something, he can hack it for a couple of years. At which point, he can either go back to pubs, or retrain, or whatever.


According to the Morning Advertiser (20th April), the smoking ban has made no difference or has improved trade in Scotland. But their sample was ludicrously small - 50 pubs.

24 said trade impoved, 21 said it remained unchanged and 5 reported a drop in sales. Of the beer-led pubs interviewed, "some said trade had not been affected". Some? Some? How many is some? How many were wet-led of the 50 pub sample? It seems none of the wet-led claimed an improvement in trade, or they would have emphasised that, I feel.

In Ireland, the smoking ban is claimed as a success. However, is it true that around 2000 pubs have closed? And is it possible that the reason alcohol sales remain steady is because statisticians often include off-sales? And is it right that "smirting" has become a trend over-there, where the outdoor smoking areas have become big as places to flirt and meet people? And the government are worried that actually some daft buggers are taking up smoking so they can join the "smirting"?

Of course, as a non-smoker - and remembering how my eyes used to stream sometimes with the smoke when working in one of the pubs we ran - I can't say I'm a big fan of smoking. :)

But I do question claims that it won't affect the trade badly on the basis of a 50 pub sample after 3 weeks or so.

I think that pubs can be great focal points in communities, although there can be social problems attached where alcohol is involved. If you look at the local here: it puts on events, raises money for charities and for local needs, (such as building a village playground and contributing to the village hall rebuild). It's an asset to the community.

It feels like the trade is under attack while personal responsibility is being over-looked.

They have recently increased levels of fine for staff who serve under-age customers to several thousand. I'm in favour of people thinking about who they are serving and making checks, and being held culpable if they don't.

Yet at the same time, the under-age person doesn't seem to be held responsible at all. And that seems wrong to me. The buyer is deliberately breaking the law, while a busy member of bar-staff may be duped or make a mistake. (I realise some pubs serve under-aged people because they don't care and just want their money, but that doesn't apply across the board).

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The burgeoning Christian in my house...

Last week my mum hauled out of the attic books from both our childhoods. It was amazing - I recognised so many of them like old friends. :) It was fun rooting through them.

There was a children's bible and some prayer books, which are good for my small, wannabe Christian.

Although she forgot about church on Sunday due to pagan egg-citement. We had egg hunting, egg painting, egg rolling (or rather, bombardment) and of course, chocolate egg eating.

Perhaps I should have reminded her of church, but I think I've done well taking her several weeks running and helping her with prayers everyday. It's not really a huge hardship to go there with her: I enjoy the time we spend alone together, on the walks there and back. It's rare enough for it to be just me and her. But I am an atheist and so it feels odd to be participating in church services.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I read Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith today. After No 1 Ladies Dectective Agency, I was looking out for the others in the series, and this was the next in line, starring Precious again. :) It's light reading.

I have another Connelly, or the Other Boleyn Girl, or The Rotters' Club to get on with, but debating which, at the mo. I think I'll probably go for the Connelly, then Philippa Gregory's book.

I spent all day gardening; it was great, jumping onto my spade with gusto. I love doing that. Next job is strimming, which I enjoy. Must make sure there's no animal poo about tho, as it's not quite so much fun to get whipped poo in the face.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I must go down to the library again...

Finished my little heap of books from the library yesterday evening.

I enjoyed Connelly's City of Bones. I'll continue reading his books until the library's supply runs out. I don't think I'd go so far as to buy any of his stuff, but I'm enjoying reading his work.

My other selections were The Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith, The Wombat Strategy by Claire McNab and Tough Guys Don't Dance by Norman Mailer. All detective fiction really.

I think I'll probably add some comments about these three later, not in expansive mood right now.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Books and R&J

I actually read a book that was recommended by Richard & Judy and suggested by an online bookclub at a forum I used to frequent! I always think I might join in with a bookclub, but never seem to end up reading the book. They tend to list chick lit, and chick lit generally irritates me.

I hate stories of misunderstandings between lovers etc, which would simply be solved by the people talking to each other instead of getting in big hufties over dopey ideas.

I started Cloud Atlas, but I've never got over some sort of weird snobbery thing about it being recommended by Richard & Judy. It took me ages to bring myself to start it. Although I enjoyed what I have read of it so far, it has failed to keep me hooked enough to finish, and that's pretty unusual. I tend to finish books no matter how bad they are, (not that I think Cloud Atlas is bad at all). I just seem to have a mental block about it.

Since I actually bought it, it would be nice if I read the thing.

Still, I read Memoirs of a Geisha today and enjoyed it, although the character of Sayuri annoyed me in some respects: her passivity and self-absorption. Although perhaps a geisha would require those qualities? I also felt the story petered out somewhat. That said, I did enjoy it and consumed it quickly.

I also read a book by Michael Connelly A Darkness More Than Night, and he was an author R&J had on their list.

So does this mean I am an avid (or rabid) R&J fan?! How do I know they suggested a book of his? How do I know they recommended Golden's book and Cloud Atlas?

I must be sadder than I realised previously. Or are R&J not so alien after all? Maybe I am their audience?!

(Obviously, I'm not their entire audience :D). And I don't watch them usually, but I guess it's been on while I've still been in the same room. Damn "Deal or No Deal"... I don't know why I like that show. Not only does it have Noel Edmonds in it, the game is pure chance, no skill whatsoever.

Anyhow, I enjoyed Connelly's crime thriller: it was so much grist to the mill. I thought it was pretty formulaic, but good enough to want to read more of his stuff. Hence, I have his City of Bones waiting for me. I'll probably read all I can get of his from the library, if this one is similarly enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Returning to memory

Re-reading my post "memory and plagiarism", I remember a tv programme where they showed people photos from their childhoods and asked them to talk about their memories of the pictures. But one of the photos was faked, of each of them as a child in a hot-air balloon.

On first sight, none of them could remember their air trip, but they were shown the same set of photos again after a week or so, and the majority had fabricated memories to tell of their experience when interviewed second time round.

It wasn't a case of the interviewees setting out to deceive intentionally but more about the suggestibility of memory.

Here I am, like a bird in the wilderness...

Well, it's been a while since I posted anything on here.

I was reading A's blog and it made me think about this blog of mine, so here I am.

I feel bad cos I haven't been in contact with A much for the last few weeks, when usually we talk regularly by MSN. But I've been avoiding using the PC as much as possible, as it takes over my life and I have a lot going on at home right now: I need to use my time differently. I was considering commenting on her blog, but not sure whether to use my blogger ID to do it, or whether to be "anonymous" (although I'd sign it, of course). I'd kind of like A to be able to read this, but some of the things I find amusing she might be annoyed by, and I don't want to louse things up between us.

Then again, part of who I am is annoying :): she probably accepts that about me to have been my friend this long. Hmm...

I like this blog for linking to things that interest me and/or make me laugh, and not sure whether I want anyone I know to read it. Not that I'm ashamed of anything on here, but just because it's my space for thinking about things I don't usually have time to spend on. Not that I have so far expanded much on any of the subjects :D.

It's been enough to sort of bookmark them for later... which may never come. I could do that in my favourites ... or even a piece of paper, I suppose! How low-tech, how revolutionary?!

But I like this as my online notebook.

I haven't told anyone about this blog so far ... and I don't expect anyone to read it, although it is public, obviously.

I'm not sure I want comments on it either. :D What if they were unflattering?!

My ego couldnae take it, captain!