Showing posts from February, 2008

The Waitrose Walk of Shame

I'm not used to being a social pariah: I've never smoked, and I've always been very dutiful about things like drink-driving (easy when you don't like the stuff to start with) and not talking on my mobile when driving. So, it took me aback a bit when I realised I was getting funny glances from the other people at the checkout when I cheerfully announced that yet again I'd forgotten my collection of bags for life. THEY all had them - some of them even had those even more green jute efforts. And I, wasteful mis-user of the planet's resources, did not. Today I heard that Marks and Spencer are going to be asking people to pay 5p per carrier bag. The Radio 4 interviewer asked if using plastic carrier bags would soon be seen as anti-social a thing as smoking. No soon about it in Waitrose. I don't think the down on using plastic bags is a bad thing (though I do wonder how I'd ever have managed to move house as a student, which seemed to involve shiftin

The Windows Blue Screen of Death

has hit me. We do have a new PC, but that isn't broadbanded yet (and won't be, unless BT pull their finger out and actually send me my modem - more snarky phone calls to come today. Humph.) So, I am on dial-up and boy am I noticing the difference. The vast majority of my files are on the new pc, but the children's extensive itunes collections alas weren't - sadly for them, my even more extensive collection of pony book photographs took priority in the transfer. And yesterday our until now faithful old PC died. So, if you emailed me after about 4 yesterday afternoon, can you please re-send? These things go in threes, they say, though actually I think that is rubbish - sometimes it's one, and sometimes it's an endless string. As I had my wallet stolen on Saturday on the Piccadilly Line, I think though that I'm having a goodly share of being made to spend hours on the phone trying to sort stuff out. My bank, I must say, can knock BT into a cocked

The long silence

I hadn't realised until I looked at the date of my last post quite how long it had been since I last blogged. The long gap is due to what usually poleaxes me from contact with the human race: my accounts. I am determined this year not to turn into the usual bad-tempered, snarling and stressed out creature I become at the financial year end (it's not, after all, as if its coming is a surprise: it's been the same date ever since I started being self-employed way back when). So, the books went off-line, and the accounts, statements and a million and one receipts and I have been locked together. And I have managed to get everything up to date and sorted out. I don't feel smug about it however, as I know there's still a few weeks to go, and I have got to keep disciplined and not put off updating things because I'd rather be writing or researching. I have a genius for galloping off down other avenues when I should be doing other things. I've also been h

How many lives do dogs have?

Because our little yellow dog has just used up some of hers. Yesterday son and friend took her for a walk, but just as they went into the woods, a low flying hot air balloon appeared. Dog is absolutely petrified of hot air balloons. She doesn't mind helicopters, is less bothered by low flying jets than we are, and doesn't mind fireworks or thunderstorms: but hot air balloons send her into a complete panic. We have met them a couple of times before, but fortunately she bolted for home. This time, however, she went in the opposite direction. Son immediately phoned home, and OH shot off to help look while I wedged the front gate open and then went to see if she'd gone up into our field. When I got back, daughter charged out: there was someone on the phone who had Holly. Huge relief. After profuse thanks, I asked where she was. "Opposite B&Q in Wellingborough," I was told. "We found her in the middle of the road." We live a few miles outside Wellingbo

The table of shame...

Not the kitchen table - that has now gone back. This is my bedside table. I like to have a book on the go; in fact several books. What I am not so good at is doing something with them once I have read them. The piles of books have now reached the stage where I have to move them as they have now become unstable, and if the cat decides to go marauding in the night and drink my bedside water (one of her less endearing habits) loud clattery disaster will follow. This is what is on my table: Bernard Cornwell: Wild Track Gerald Durrell: A Zoo in my Luggage Monica Dickens: Summer at World's End Evelyn Smith: Phyllida of Form III Patricia Leitch: Dream of Fair Horses Samantha Alexander: Riders: Will to Win The Shire Horse Society Stud Book Alois Podhajsky: The Art of Dressage H M Peel: Night Storm the Flat Racer Mary Gervaise; The Secret of Pony Pass J L Carr: The Harpole Report Golden Gorse: The Young Horsebreakers The Metaphysical Poets Christine Pullein-Thompson: We R