Wednesday, May 30, 2007

On quizzical quizzes

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule.

I'm not one of them myself, although I play one online.

They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics,

and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned

with how things ARE than how they should be,

these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist


Spiritual Atheist




Apathetic Atheist


Militant Atheist




Angry Atheist


What kind of atheist are you?
created with

I am much puzzled by this result. 17% theist? Is it because I don't tear up Bible tracts and do consider believers human?

Hang on, hang on... After doing the quiz in several different ways, I think the reason I came up as 17% theist is because I enjoy natural beauty. Whaaaaat?

I know I know, I'm taking it too seriously, it's just junky funky monkey stereotyping. It's just a bit of fun, it's an internet quiz, don't you know?

Still, I'll never make a proper atheist while I'm not continuously arguing religion with people and calling them names all the while. I'd rather be an improper atheist.

Let's face it, I'd rather be improper. Heh heh.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On trying to be unlike myself

As you can imagine, trying to be unlike myself doesn't work too well. For I am rather like myself usually, and to be honest, if one is attempting to "improve" oneself, it should probably be high on one's agenda to either be unhappy with oneself or unhappy generally. I actually quite like myself much of the time, and I'm not unhappy.

I sometimes think I should develop more friendships and try to be sociable more often, but it really isn't me. I'm content in my own company. Although I enjoy socialising when I make the effort, I like being on my own too. Of course, being a happily married* woman and having kids puts a serious crimp on alone time, so I get a bit antsy when too much peopling encroaches on my time.

I find it harder than it probably should be to bend for other people (not in that way, you dirty Berties!).

*You have to say "happily married woman!" in a particularly pompous high-pitched voice. It's an allusion, post-modern, ironic, tha' knows.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Of thimbles and things

Not of Fimbles thankfully. I cannot stand those stripey CBBC characters, the most offensively striped in pink and green.

Pink and green, I tell you!

The voicing of Bessie bird makes me feel quite nauseous ... coupled with an unseemly rage. Roly Mo troubles me not, I even approve of him to some extent with his love of his library - but his colleagues, the Fimbles I loathe. I can even tolerate his companion being a rather vile mixture of pinks and purples.

It is all Bessie bird's fault, however. Everything. I cannot think of anything I couldn't somehow twist and lay at the feet of that patronisingly syrupy bird. Foul cretinous creature, mired in her own smugness.

Evil bird (look at those beady eyes! too close together!) and hench-chick

I can handle Teletubbies, Tweenies and other tortuous creations, but the ones I find difficult not to leap through the screen like a deranged fiend from Derangedfiendland (popular holiday destination of the rich and famous) and strangle bare-handed are the Fimbles, the Hoobs and ghastly Rosie & Jim.

Barney the purple-headed dinosaur I would hate more, but fortunately my children have too much taste to bother with him.

It's not that I am severely intolerant when it comes to children's programming (I don't think) - I'm quite open-minded really. Unnecessarily and frighteningly jolly Hi-5 people escape my wrath, while Brum, Lazytown and Channel 5's Milkshake presenters do not make me want to throttle myself with my own tongue. I even occasionally consider adding the Wiggles to our ridiculously large library of children's brain-mushers. I flirt with the idea, you might say, but the idea of flirting with Wiggles is seriously worrying, I mean seriously seriously worrying, and if you are considering such activity, you might first want to check yourself into a place with lovely soft padded walls.

I completely lost the thread of what I intended to talk about here, which was in fact, how useful thimbles turn out to be. I had never realised that sewing can hurt so much, until I had to sew six badges onto my daughter's Brownie sash. Owowow. The material of both badge and sash is tough, tougher than my pretty little soft non-working digits. Fortunately there were thimbles in the house, which unlike fecking Fimbles turned out to be incredibly pain-saving.

It's just a subtle (or not so subtle) way of boasting about my girl's new badges really, this post, if you haven't figured it out yet.

I may talk about her swearing to serve her god, her queen and her country (ahem) when she was enrolled, another time.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I did enjoy last night's episode of House. I am watching the second series being shown on Channel 5, and although you might imagine such a formulaic show would pall after its first run, I'm kept watching by the characters and their interplay.

That, and Hugh Laurie.

It's a matter of loyalty to the man who used to make me laugh in A Bit of Fry & Laurie amongst other things. He's just so very, and so is Stephen Fry.

Not in that way. Honestly, it's all sex sex sex with you people. By that, I mean the imaginary people who comment on what I'm reading as I write it, generally pointing out where I'm going off on a tangent and saying, "Are you sure you don't want to colour that green?" Which I generally do want to, so that's good... I wouldn't dare assume what any real readers might be thinking, would I?

You know that stupid thing about assume making an ass out of u and me? #Groan# A kind of predecessor of that phrase, was where my mum always used to say "Well, you know what 'thought' did, don't you?" At which point naturally I looked as though I did indeed know exactly what 'thought' did, but frankly, I never had a clue. What did 'thought' do, for gorblimeyguvnorluvaduck's sake?

The imaginary people want me to turn that green so you know it's a tangent. But I think you probably are quite aware of that, if you haven't stopped reading with a pain behind your eyes already.

Back to House! Every episode features a mystery illness which various treatments are tried, and fail, with House being sarky and bitter-n-twisted throughout. Things get worse and worse for the patient with all their organs falling out and their eyeballs popping, up until finally House has a "twig on" moment, usually through dealing with some other minor case or somebody else's patient. He then stops the prior treatment, starts a new one and soon his patient is frolicking joyously out of hospital. Credits roll.

I think this series is slightly weaker in some respects than the first, ie. in the fact we know the formula inside out and back to front, but I'm very much enjoying his sinister policeman nemesis, Tritter (played by David Morse), and his campaign to stop him practicising medicine while a vicodin-addict. More accurately it is to revenge himself on House for once leaving him with a thermometer up his bottom. As you do. By that, I mean you seek vengeance against persons who leave you with thermometers up your bottom, not that you leave thermometers up people's bottoms. That's a hobby for those in medical profession only, or possibly in interesting games of the role-playing, dress-up and rumpy-pumpy variety, (which of course I could know nothing of).

The bit that annoys M about this story-line is that he thinks in the litigious US, there would be a plethora of eager-beaver hospital lawyers merrily suing the buttocks off nosy obsessive policemen. He may be right. A charge of harassment looks applicable to me, on the basis of having watched a multitude of US police/detective shows where lawyers are only too apt to hamper investigations through the cunning application of the law and other nefarious strategems. How could I be wrong with such intimate understanding of the US justice system?

But it doesn't matter that it bothers M. I don't care about that plot-hole, it's Dr Cameron's growing feistiness, Wilson's weakness and whether Chase might be growing a pair keeps me watching.

Not to mention Hugh Laurie.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Everything's coming up roses...

Lucky old, lucky old Rose. [/Tony Slattery]

After the irritation of Gloria Hunniford (damn her eyes!) this morning, I've had a rather good day. We did a bottom coat in a couple of rooms, pulled off some wallpaper and filled in some holes. I finished strimming the garden. Yesterday I strimmed it within 6 inches of its life, and today it lost some more inches. I should be able to mow it once I've raked off the hay this has created. M chopped a massive rosemary bush into something less triffid-like and revealed a patch of herb garden. The children were eager to assist with the painting: we started with S's room, but T rapidly tired of doing her room and trotted to and fro from his own room with a paintbrush. Amazingly he managed to stay relatively paint-free and even got some on his own walls. S did half a wall and then got bored. Tut tut, kids today: no stamina, no attention span! She watched paint dry for a while, but her interest in DIY was renewed when it got to ripping off wallpaper in another room.

I have developed a sudden concern with things that never inspired me at all previously, such as lamps and curtains and upholstery. This is most strange, grown-up and alarming.

What next? Handbags?

I guess it's the first time the place we will live in will be ours, as such. Bulb on a string not good enough for me now!

On having a conscience

As a kind of short-hand for doctors who won't give women permission for abortions due to their own beliefs, Gloria Hunniford on the Heaven & Earth Show, said "doctors who have a conscience". This implies the pro-choice position is conscienceless, whether she meant that or not. Which riled me.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Laughing like a drain

Friday Night with Jonathon Ross was uproariously funny last night. I watched it mainly to see Eddie Izzard, but interviews don't bring out the best in my favourite comedian - he didn't seem particularly comfortable.

The second of the guests I had expected very little of, not having heard of her before and having some (probably) unfair preconceptions about supermodels or ex-supermodels.

Janice Dickinson - what a force of nature, (as Ross described her afterwards).

She was completely insane! Brash, manic, fearsomely open and I think she terrified the male guests and host by the end. She was pretty terrifying. She declared that most of her was fake and she would make a splendid corpse. She was apparently going commando and gave Ross an eyeful, not to mention lying on his desk, leaping upon him, crawling onto the back of his seat and making some rather suggestive remarks. She seemed to think that Lloyd Webber and John Barrowman (of Dr Who & Torchwood) were lovers, which caused some hilarity. Although it made Barrowman laugh like a drain, Lloyd Webber cringed away when Barrowman tried to sit on his lap! She also went on to tell us all that Mick Jagger is poorly endowed and the same of Sylvester Stallone. Then with some malicious glee, she plugged her new show which has her mentoring some w.a.g. in an attempt to become a supermodel, or something, saying that she liked the girl because she cries so much (?)

Having finally been edged out of the show, by the means of Ross carrying her to the exit on his back, she came storming back on to confront John Barrowman about his remark about "any hole will do" about her (Joseph reference, since he was on with Lloyd Webber promoting their search for a Dreamcoat-wearer reality show).

I think the funniest part of the show was Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber huddled on the end of the sofa looking absolutely petrified, while at the same time giggling like a school-boy about her antics and Ross & Barrowman's remarks.

Oh dear. It certainly appealed to a very low denominator with me.

The thing is, I would usually be embarrassed for someone behaving like that - but with Janice, I don't feel that she was going to wake up the next day and go "oh my god, what did I do?"

At all.

I liked her 'though.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Identifying animals 101

We were watching a programme about going green, featuring a man with the most enormous moustache.

He was talking about filtering waste water through reeds and I was wondering if there was some kind of correlation between this project and his facial hair, when I spotted a rather cute lamb and mentioned it to M. This drew a look of ridicule which I initially assumed was to do with my confusion between him and someone who cares whether there's an animal on tv, such as either of the children. (Admittedly, I should be able to turn off the switch that makes me utter joyously the name of animals once I am not in the presence of those small persons who might be interested, but I fear it may be too deeply embedded a habit).

Anyway, the following hoot of "that's a cow!" disabused me of the notion that was the cause.

It was not a cow! It was a bloody sheep!
It was a cow! It was black and white, you daft bint!
And so on.

Later in the show there was another longer shot of the creature in question, which cleared up the issue. It was plainly, obviously a "pygmy, long-haired" bovine.

That said "baaaa".

Yes, dear.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Boycotting Nestlé

I was put on to a pretty definitive list of Nestlé products/related companies today, and thought I would record and share the link here. It's a reminder to me and hopefully spreads the word, even in a small way.

They have their fingers in a lot of pies, but boycotting them for their on-going aggressive promotion of formula baby-milk in the developing world, breaching international code, continues to be worthwhile. It's not over.

There are other reasons I consider them an unethical company as well, but that single reason is big enough, surely. They are still failing to comply with the spirit (and even at times with the letter) of the international code, along with other baby-formula companies sadly, and so it's still important.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fiddle faddle

I have been messing with my labels on my blog, trying to cut the number of different ones down. The intention being to create more again by dividing large sections such as "thinkie-thinks" into smaller groups. Let's face it, this is a time-wasting exercise on my part: pointless indeed (and no doubt interesting only to myself), but it's like spring-cleaning without it actually involving effort!

If I should disappear up my own backside, don't worry: what goes up must come down, and all that.

It's because I have so much I should be doing: like packing, painting, filling in holes, strimming, cleaning. It keeps raining, which makes carrying boxes to the car a dash-with-heavy-weight sport, and Magnus Samuelsson I am not. Strimming, which I love, isn't really an option in the wet - and the decorating is something I keep putting off. It's a whole house, you see. The only room we don't want to change right now, this instant, is the bathroom. And that's only because it's reasonably smart - it is a purple, however, that we're not mad about. So it's on the evil "to-do eventually" list. I was happy enough with the kitchen, but M doesn't like the green, and since we moved a cupboard, it does need doing.

Happily the pond in the front garden has been filled in for us, as it was quite an eyesore in black plastic and far too big & deep to have small children around. The result looks like this:

It could have done with a little more filling, I think, but not to worry.

"It's bad for you ...

I told you so many times: no sex, no drink, no drugs, no rock and roll" [/Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine]

I have come to the sad realisation that alcohol is one of the triggers for my IBS, or whatever the hell it is. I should probably go to the doctor and get a diagnosis, for sure, but unless I'm having an attack I don't feel it's urgent so it sinks to bottom of my to-do list.

And if I'm having an attack, I can't make it to the GP. I can't move without thinking I'm going to die. (Hey, bit of melodrama does no-one any harm!) Anyway, I have concluded that if I drink enough to get a hang-over the next day, the following night/early morning I have an attack.

So, it's goodbye to more than two glasses of wine. Hello soft drinks.

And I must not drink sherry at my Mum's house! Moving slightly further away will make that easier, as I'll have to drive home - so yay for pressure-remover. I don't even like sherry!

It's probably a good thing all round. I've never been that keen on the drunken me anyway. She can be a right cow and she goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. (Not to mention how she goes on).

And now I need to look out my Carter tape and play it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I think I may need to take a break from my message board.

I feel absurdly cross about a few things that shouldn't bother me. Following Madeleine McCann's abduction, there have been quite a few threads about offering support, lighting virtual candles (which previous readers will know how much I love) and a huge long one featuring support vs "what I would have done" vs "what I'd never do" vs whether such things should be discussed. This is all fair enough, I suppose, horses for courses, different strokes for different folks, etc etc. The extra threads seem superfluous, but it's a hot topic that any parent is going to be moved by.

But the capper for me is a thread about safety precautions where it is suggested that everyone takes a picture of their child every day so that in the event of something awful happening, we all have today's picture to offer the police.

That's just crazy.

We cannot possibly live like that - and nor should we. Talk about climate of fear... Yes, children are snatched, but stranger-abduction is extremely rare and I believe the statistics for such crimes have stayed at the same levels for at least a decade.

Are you going to take a picture of your child at every clothes change? (My boy usually has two sets of clothes a day at least, not to mention pyjamas). With sleepy-hair and then with brushed? With jammy faces and with clean? Where does it end?

It just seems like an OCD waiting to happen. I like taking pictures of my kids, but I don't do it to have a mug-shot of them for the police. To have someone advising this is a sensible measure to take makes me gurn fretfully: it's almost a superstitious thing - if I do this and this and this, then nothing bad can happen.

Er no.

We can do a lot to protect our children and should - but hysteria has nothing useful to add. And it's not like pictures protect.

Pictures are for the stable door.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Does this even happen to anyone?!

If I should ever have the audacity to think I have a rubbish life or that we never get any breaks, remind me of today.

We've been offered a load of furniture free by someone we know through my Mum's work. It includes a tumble drier, (if washing machines weren't blissful enough!) beds, kitchen table and a couple of settees! I won't list it all as it's a lot, and we are unbelievably fortunate.

I haven't seen any of it, but given it is furniture from an expensive holiday let, it can't be in too bad nick. The owners have now let it to someone more permanently, who has their own furniture they want to bring.

It may be in horrible taste yet, of course. But gift-horses and mouths, (especially in advance).

So bemoaning my lot is right out for the foreseeable.

If this blog-post sounds smug in any way, it really isn't. You should see my face. Grateful, surprised, lucky, incredulous, that's a fairer assessment.

Gina Ford

It seems the Gina Ford vs Mumsnet legal battle is over.

I think no-one really won. I suppose getting an apology is a victory of sorts for Ford, but it's a rather unsatisfactory conclusion for me as an observer. Like Ms Roberts of Mumsnet, I would have liked something definitive about what sites are responsible for, should their users descend into personal abuse. It seems somewhat of a shame that a site which might be well-intended is at the mercy of the whims of its users. Of course, effective & rapid moderation is the answer to that... but I think some sort of recommendations for time-scales and the deletion of inappropriate/offensive material would be really useful - both for those running such sites and people who are defamed or bullied on-line, not just the rich and litigious.

I wonder if had the site had the finances, would it have fought longer? I presume it was a matter of money.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Some interesting stuff going on politically.

Tony Blair resigned today and of course, most excitingly, yesterday NI took to power-sharing. The latter being great news!

The former, I'm not sure about. The perception seems to be that Gordon Brown might as well get his clutter transferred next door. I'm not sorry to see the back of Blair, just don't know whether the change will make any real difference.

But I don't want the Tories in, next election.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Treliske diagnosed John Brandrick with inoperable pancreatic cancer and told him he had 12 months to live. The letters from the hospital were shown on local television last night and they were pretty definite about his chances, or lack thereof. He gave away clothes, his car, stopped paying the mortgage and started living every day as though it was his last. Which, from what I heard of an interview with him, involved travelling around the county and eating out a lot; nothing hugely excessive or outrageous.

The kicker, it wasn't pancreatic cancer.

He's still alive but very much in debt and at risk of losing his house. And peeved.

On the one hand, it makes me wonder what sort of situation he was intending to leave his family in, on his death. But maybe the idea was that they'd sell the house & the equity (if any) would have covered debts accrued? Perhaps if he has dependents, they would have been provided for? Don't know, haven't seen the question asked or answered.

Treliske say his symptoms & all the tests pointed towards the cancer they went on to diagnose. They say that: "Whilst we do sympathise with Mr Brandrick's position, clinical review of his case has not revealed that any different diagnosis would have been made at the time based on the same evidence."

He is actually suffering pancreatitis.

On the face of it, it seems bizarre to be angry that you're alive - but then I suppose having dealt with the diagnosis and accepted it, it must have been a shock. Yes, it would make you angry to have gone through something like that to find it was incorrect.

But better than the alternative.

Vampiric voyeurism

I find the on-going media melee about the abduction of little Madeleine in Portugal sickening. It's a feeding frenzy and it's encouraging stranger-paedophile hysteria, which of course, the press generally loves to do. Find a fear and exploit it.

The fact that most abuse occurs within the family or immediate social circle goes unregarded.

The speculation around this case is vomit-inducing and following this poor family around for every waking moment and reporting every detail, every nuance, is vampiric voyeurism. You just know it's going to be the Portugese authorities to blame if she isn't found or found dead, and that there will demands for enquiries and general anus-gazing. Of course, the media are catering to a demand as well - a forum I frequent has a 750-plus post long thread on the subject, which makes me feel quite ill.

It's a hysteria and a sort of titillation going on, slowing down to look at the car-crash. Bloik. It isn't that most of the sentiments are wrong - of course it's natural to worry and feel for the people involved, but to endlessly speculate & chew over & blame...

There's an irony in blogging about this, I guess.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


We may be moving soon, we viewed our possible new house today.

I discovered it isn't easy photographing rooms with a simple point-and-click style camera (as opposed to something with lenses that whir in & out, fish-eyes and all that sort of malarkey), a hitherto unconsidered consideration (heh), and what came out isn't too fabulous. However, I promised S that I would take snaps of the house (for she was at school during the viewing) and I thought I may as well stick 'em on here to show you too.

Her main interest is a potential bedroom of her own, for the sole purpose, I believe, of slamming the door in her brother's face and not then being told that she must let him in because it's his room too.

The decor isn't entirely to our tastes, and indeed there are some truly hideous features, like a rather outré tiled fireplace. But it is a house. And it would be secure. And it has the plumbing for a washing machine! Until you've lived a couple of years with small children and without a washing machine, you will not understand my bliss at the mere suggestion of plumbing for washing machines. I almost cried for joy! And that may seem quite quite mad and superficial and you may be thinking "Good gravy, people lived without washing machines for years, they're simply labour-saving devices we've become accustomed to". If you are thinking such things, I bite my thumb at you and blow raspberries and generally moon at you, and yah boo sucks! Etc etc. (I realise I have a little way to go there, winning friends and influencing people.)

Living room. The brick-colour room.

Kitchen. I like it, it has surfaces and plumbing for a washing machine! You can't see the plumbing for the washing machine in this shot, that hole is for an oven - but it's there, plumbing! For a washing machine.

Back bedroom. The green & purple bordered room.

Master bedroom? The terracotta & peach room.

T's room? The yellow room.

The green room. I mean, garden.

The blue room. The beach within walking distance! Lucky? Me? You hate me, don't you? But content yourself by focusing on the danger signs!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Obby Oss

Today is the Obby Oss celebration of May day in Padstow.

We went a couple of years ago, and it was great fun. I was trying to look out some pictures of it, but found a load of our wedding and honeymoon ones instead. (Which was quite nice and nostalgic, and a little bit sad). The Obby Oss, or rather the two, parade around the town from one pub as starting point to another, in opposite directions with followers in white and music.

The Osses aren't like sticks with a horse-shaped head, they're an altogether different kind of beast...

Funny thing life

Did you ever get news that on the face of it seems great, then all sorts of complications appear?