Thanks to Granny1947 for this one.
Since the snow came, all the Hub has done is look through the window.
If it gets any worse, I’ll have to let him in.
Thanks to Granny1947 for this one.
Since the snow came, all the Hub has done is look through the window.
If it gets any worse, I’ll have to let him in.
Although he was a qualified meteorologist, Hopkins ran up a terrible record of forecasting for the TV news program. He became something of a local joke when a newspaper began keeping a record of his predictions and showed that he’d been wrong almost three hundred times in a single year. That kind of notoriety was enough to get him fired.
He moved to another part of the country and applied for a similar job. The job application called for the reason for leaving his previous position.
Hopkins wrote, “The climate didn’t agree with me.”
The Michaels family owned a small farm in Canada, just yards away from the North Dakota border. Their land had been the subject of a minor dispute between the United States and Canada for generations. Mrs. Michaels, who had just celebrated her ninetieth birthday, lived on the farm with her son and three grandchildren.
One day, her son came into her room holding a letter. “I just got some news, Mom,” he said. “The government has come to an agreement with the people in Washington. They’ve decided that our land is really part of the United States. We have the right to approve or disapprove of the agreement. What do you think?”
“What do I think?” his mother said. “Jump at it! Call them right now and tell them we accept! I don’t think I could stand another one of those Canadian winters!”
If you controlled the weather, what would it be like outside today?
One of the things I’ve always loved about Britain is the changing seasons. I like to see blossom on the trees in spring; sunshine in summer; I enjoy kicking leaves in autumn; sitting inside not freezing my butt off in winter.
It’s the height of summer here now, so it’s raining. I’d like it to be sunny. I’d like not to be sitting wrapped in a cardi, hoping it will dry up enough to put out the washing currently draped all over the house. I’d like to know it’s summer and not just a long winter punctuated with one hot day (the day I choose to cook a roast).
The Hub has the perfect system: sunshine all day; rain in the middle of the night when everyone is in bed.
Spud doesn’t care, so long as he can play football/watch football/hit me with a snowball.
Tory Boy lives in another country, so I can’t ask him. Actually, it’s not another country; it’s an hour’s drive from here; but it might as well be another country for all the time he takes to call his mother.
There’s a hurricane in the Atlantic at the moment. That’s what I call weather. None of our British seventeen-types-of-rain-wrong-snow-on-the-line-a-hot-day-whip-off-the-vest-and-frighten-the-children wishy-washiness.
The problem with dramatic weather, however, is that it tends to rather inconvenience people unfortunate enough to live in its path; in fact, it tends to be downright vindictive. I hope those of my readers affected or likely to be affected by Hurricane Irene are well prepared, and stay safe. I don’t want a disruption to my blog reading.
All this weather talk reminds me of something I once read in Stephen Pile’s The Book Of Heroic Failures; I can’t recall it exactly, but it was a tv station’s apology for their intermittent weather report:
Whether the weather can be brought to you today depends on the weather, whether we like it or not.
The original quote was much funnier but I can’t find it; I did, however, come across a Penguin worksheet for high school students based on The Book Of Heroic Failures (and the media complains exams are getting easier…!).
Here’s an excerpt from the preamble:
Stephen Pile was born in Lincolnshire in 1949. In 1977, when he was 28 years old, he said, ‘I’m never going to write a book’. The Book Of Heroic Failures was published two years later [...] He therefore failed in his ambition never to write a book.
He and others started the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain in 1976, but it was such a success that they closed it down.
Good job he’s not in charge of the weather; all we’d have is rain in summer.
An all-inclusive hotel. I don’t care where. It can be in the middle of Stockport in the middle of winter in the middle of the worst blizzard ever known: if it means no cooking, no cleaning, I’m in.
I met a friend at a little café in Stockport for breakfast this morning – £1.60 for tea, and two free slices of toast if you order before ten a.m. It was worth going out for. It’s always worth going out for free food. I won’t mention the outrageous bus fare: £1.60 there, and another £1.60 back, but with no toast thrown in. That was topped by a thirty-minute wait at a wet bus stop because the traffic was horrendous.
I had my umbrella, of course: what self-respecting Brit woman doesn’t? Not self-respecting Brit men, though. British men don’t do umbrellas except in movies with bowler hats. They prefer to get wet. They may die of pneumonia brought on by a thorough soaking, but at least they die like men. Or, to give them their correct title, stupid men.
My umbrella is one of those see-through plastic ones the Queen made popular in the Seventies so that she and the Great Wet British Public could see each other on walkabouts.
(You know, I’ve always considered the Hub with his airline mania to be a real geek, but at least he doesn’t subscribe to ‘Umbrella World’)
My umbrella. Eye, there’s the rub. I used it yesterday and left it to dry in the downstairs toilet, propped in a corner under the bottle of liquid soap. On the way to the bus stop this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see the pounding rain pound pretty soap bubbles off its surface, obviously a result of having a clean family who always wash their hands after a comfort break. I was just admiring a huge one that sneaked under the brolly with me (bubble, not family; it’s only a small umbrella), when it popped, squirting soap shrapnel into my eye. I was so startled (and in pain), I stepped back, slipped off the pavement, and into a large and dirty puddle.
How I wish I had a dirty family. If no-one washed their hands after a comfort break, I would be eye-less-in-gauze, err, and not nursing foot rot.*
*I confess, none of that last line is true. My real medical problem is hyperboleitis.**
**Defined in Tilly’s Dictionary of Made-Up Words as an inability to blog without exaggerating for comic effect.
Can you forgive me?***
***You have to; I’m racked with guilt and heaving great wracking sobs as I type.****
****Okay, I’ve got a snotty nose from walking in the rain.*****
*****This could go on forever, you know.
I’m as big a fan of recycling as the next man; bigger, if anything: I’ve been doing it since before it was either fashionable or compulsory; but I’m ready to give it all up and dump the contents of my three un-emptied wheelie bins on Stockport town hall’s doorstep. I’m sure it would be four un-emptied wheelie bins if I had put the last one out with the others.
I have a green bin for garden and food waste; a blue bin for paper; a brown bin for glass, tins, certain plastics; and a smaller black bin for non-recyclables - the black bin is woefully inadequate for anyone’s needs and likely to stay that way until manufacturers are pressured into reducing packaging but that doesn’t excuse the town hall for getting it so badly wrong: they should either have given us all larger black bins, or emptied them weekly instead of whenever the mood take them.
I don’t often get enraged – war? Seen it all before. Starving children? Pass me my gourmet meal and tell them to eat their sticks and stop whining. But dare to ignore my bins on collection day and I swell to three times my not inconsiderable size and blister the skin of any local government official within a twenty-mile radius.
Here’s what happened:
Tuesday 30/11/10 – Midnight*
* You have to do it the night before because you can bet if it’s a minute past seven in the morning of collection day their little radar detects it and uses it as an excuse to ignore you for a month; but you can’t do it early evening because they’ll fine you for cluttering the pavement
Thursday 02/12/10 – Lunchtime
Tuesday 07/12/10 – Midnight
Thursday 09/12/10 – Lunchtime
The only good thing to come out of this sorry mess – although ‘good’ is a relative term – is that I got a short poem out of it. The Poetic Asides prompt was to write about a group of anything:
A Garbage Of Refuse* Collectors
The binmen of Stockport?
*Feel free to pronounce ‘ref-use’ as ‘re-fuse’; I won’t be offended.
There is a poem about rubbish people of a different kind on my sapoem blog.
I saw this on ribshackred‘s blog and I thought you might like it:
Not a swear word, you’ll be glad to hear:
If that’s not a fantastic word, then I don’t know what is.
It came from Dictionary.com: sign up for free and receive an email every day, giving you a new word. I love Dictionary.com for two reasons: for all the new words I learn; and for all the words it sends me that I already know, so I can pretend I’m really smart that day.
Pogonip is defined as An ice fog that forms in the mountain valleys of the western U.S. It’s from the Shoshone word for ‘thunder-fog’. Don’t you love a language that even has the term ‘thunder-fog’?
If you like learning new words, check out my South Africa blog; today I talk about biltong and dorps.
You may recall a while back I promised you a photo of the most beautiful toddler in the world; well here it is:
Just for good measure, here’s one of him with his parents. You can see he gets his good looks from his mother:
Daddy is the Hub’s nephew and also the perpetrator of many a joke against me, including a fart machine before they were popular, and telling me they had taken the word ‘gullible’ out of the dictionary. I showed him my own dictionary but he pointed out that it was an old copy; I eventually believed him. I have no defence, even if it was back in my what’s the internet? days; I guess I’m just…what’s the word? Let me check Dictionary.com.
This photo is my revenge for his latest trick. Do you remember my wooden leg post? You may also remember I had a response from a Shirley Bumtruffle: he confessed the other day that she ’twas indeed he. I suspected someone else altogether; he had me completely bumtruffled.
Earlybird pointed me in the direction of different types of snow and I have extended my earlier poem as a result:
It’s not coming home; it’s not coming home: football’s not coming home.
Gloom in the room when Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup; and mortification at what can only be described as a rout: two votes, and one of those was ours.
I baked a couple of cakes the other day. I only mention it because they were surprisingly edible, if you don’t mind the aftertaste.
I spent yesterday doing the dreaded housework; I had no choice: Tory Boy is coming home this weekend. It took me four hours to find his bed under the junk I had stored on it; then I had to put it all in Spud’s room. On Monday I’ll have to move it all back again. Why o why did I have children?
There’s a new poem on my other blog. It’s only two lines so why don’t you take a peek?
I hate to be the one to say it, but snow is dull. I Googled ‘interesting facts about snow’ and this is the best I could find. I wanted to call this post ‘Interesting Facts About Snow’ (why waste a copy & paste?), but I was afraid I’d be prosecuted under the Trades Description Act.
If you know anything about snow that actually is interesting, please share it with us.
I’m not a fan of running down home towns (unless the home town is run down already), but today I’m a little bit fed up with Stockport. As you would be in a town that only looks good when covered in ten inches of snow.
Today’s weather forecast: 7 hours of rain; 0 hours of sunshine.
Yesterday, the Hub and I walked the dogs in the park behind our house. I say ‘park’ but what I really mean is ‘field with a small play area and huge layer of excrement’ (hence my ongoing obsession with dog poo). Even the play area – despite a fence and a large sign saying No dogs allowed in this play area - had a humongous pile under the tyre swing. We think we know who did it: the unpleasant man who allows his grumpy golden retriever to attack the other dogs. Well, not him personally; his dog, I mean. As we walked onto the field they were exiting the play area in a cloud of steam (it’s a big dog). They were off the field before we saw the damage, or he’d have been wearing it.
How selfish a human being do you have to be to allow your dog to foul a children’s play park and leave it there? There was a recent case in the news where a dog had done its business on a slide and a little girl slid through it, got it on her hands, wiped her eyes, and went blind from the resulting Toxicara.
This year, the council planted ten new trees to brighten the park and make a dog walking route. The Hub and I have watched over the months as the trees have grown. We have also seen them disappear one by one. Three over the last weekend - for bonfire night, presumably, as the local youths seem to be taking a scorched earth policy. There are four trees left that have not been pushed, battered, bent over, hacked at or sawn off. Wonder how long they’ll last?
Come to think of it: thugs don’t like wet weather, so let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.
It has not stopped raining for days. I was worried about Tory Girl’s two-hour drive home yesterday but she was fine. I’m not so sure her stomach is after three days of eating my food. I intended to make lasagne for her first day but her sister, not realising that young women in love need to be at their boyfriend’s mum’s house as early as possible on the first day of a visit, had accidentally taken the car keys with her. I shelved the good food and made us egg and beans on toasty buns instead. I had to go for the simple meal because nothing was defrosted except the mince for the lasagne…on such trifles does the world that is my own personal horror movie turn.
My original intention was to impress her with my lasagne on its own but you and I both know that was never going to happen, so I decided to accessorise the meal with a fresh salad and some buns. You may recall we ate the buns the previous day, under egg and beans. Not a problem: lasagne, fresh salad and some frozen roast potatoes that my brother had sent with his children and which I had forgotten to use. So, lasagne, fresh salad and ready-made roast potatoes. Trouble is, whenever I put on an oven and throw roast potatoes into the mix, my reflex is to include as many cooked vegetables as I have in my freezer, and I had prepared parsnips, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, peas, and sweetcorn before it occurred to me we were supposed to be having salad. That’s why there were no sprouts, which led to complaints from Spud; but he’s always complaining so I wasn’t listening.
Talking of carrots, they weren’t just any carrots; they weren’t even M&S carrots: they were organic, home-grown in a pot by the Hub carrots – his first crop (apart from the one radish and two spring onions I’ve already eaten).
Don’t be fooled by the excellent photography: once prepared, and without being peeled, the whole lot fit into my gerbil’s hand. But they were delicious.
So there we were: lasagne, roast potatoes and a thousand vegetables. Only the lasagne wasn’t quite made…I went to the cupboard while cooking the roux sauce but the cupboard was bare except for three little sheets like these:
I kicked the poor Hub off his sick couch and sent him haste post haste (that is, a sort of painful shuffle, like a tortoise with a walking stick) to the supermarket to buy some lasagne sheets, praying that the roux sauce wouldn’t congeal or my hair go any greyer while he was gone. I tidied up while I was waiting, and that’s when I noticed the box of lasagne sheets I had already taken from the cupboard with the other ingredients. Now I had to decide whether to hide that box or risk the Hub’s wrath. Figuring I was already so wound up that a good row would relieve my overstretched nerves, I flung the truth at him when he got back, only to be disappointed because he simply rolled his eyes at me and heaved his sore bones back to the couch from whence he came.
So: lasagne in the oven; potatoes roasted; vegetables cooked; throw in a bowl of rice at the last minute and everything was ready to serve. Umm, potatoes look a little dry, not being home-made, so I’ll make a jug of instant gravy.
When we lived in South Africa I was always begging people to send me British instant gravy but by the time we returned to the UK I had learned how to make it (the Hub is a great cook; and a great teacher when we’re on speaking terms) and didn’t buy it for years, until it occurred to me to have it in as a standby for when I forgot to buy cornflour (for thickening home-made gravy) or for occasions such as these when common sense had gone in the bin with the carrot tops.
Thus it was that Tory Boy spent the whole meal repeating in a squeak, ‘Lasagne…and gravy??‘ and Tory Girl preferred to drive home up a busy motorway in teeming rain rather than face another weird meal.
They were lucky to get any at all: taking the lasagne out of the oven straight to table, the dish was hot even through the gloves and the Hub was in my way; I squealed, a la Road Runner, ‘Meep, meep..moooove!’ at him and he just got out of the way before I threw it on the table.
And you know what? I was right: the potatoes were dry; lucky we had some gravy to go with it.
There’s a nice irony that a woman called ‘Summer’ should sing a song about rain. I wonder if she’s of British descent? I once knew a girl called ‘Storm’ because she was conceived during one; I wonder how much therapy she needed?
It’s like we live under a waterfall here in Stockport; I’ve never known such torrential rain in this country. It’s the kind of rain we used to get in South Africa – when it did rain, that is; we lived under drought conditions for most of my fourteen years out there and that’s why I can make ten cents’ worth of water do two baths, a pot of tea and three layers of steamed vegetables and still have change for a bottle of Evian.
I used to feel homesick for Britain when we had the occasional rainy day in South Africa; now I feel homesick for South Africa when we have rainy days in Britain. I am homesick a lot. Hooray for the Great British Summer: three sunny days in three months and a dusty fan in the loft.
Poor Spud Bud’s holiday has been cut short because they have spent four days in a caravan wondering if the sea was coming to sweep them away. They did manage some time in the pool, which seems an odd way to me to avoid getting wet. Once they had spent all of their money in the arcade, however, it was time to admit defeat.
I read an interesting article once about rainy weekends. You know how it can be sunny all week and rain all weekend? Apparently, it’s caused by people going away on Friday evenings: the build-up of traffic fumes propagate the clouds, leading to rain. So the people who can afford to get away for a few days spoil it for those of us who can’t. How selfish is that?
I thought I would share a few rain jokes with you but apparently Google don’t do rain humour. If you know any, feel free to post a comment. Sorry if this post is a bit wet: constant, pounding, unrelenting, ceasless, never-ending downpours tend to dampen the spirits a little.
Three weeks into the fifth month of the year and we finally get some sunshine; I thought it was never coming. I’m sitting here all sweaty and smelly and it’s lovely.
The English have already started complaining that it’s too hot, of course. We English – and I say ‘English’ instead of ‘British’ because you never hear the Scots, Welsh or Northern Irish moaning about a bit of sunshine – like our weather mild and our problems weather-related.
There are two types of English in the summer: those who complain at the first sign of melting frost that they can’t stand the heat; usually women. And the belly-barers: always wobbly; usually men; and roasted like a red pepper at a barbeque. Actually, that goes a long way to explaining why the complainers are usually women.
To celebrate the advent of summer – long may it reign; please don’t let it rain - and summer whiners, I dug out a couple of senryu for you:
Thought about writing
a senryu, then I just
couldn’t be bothered.
Dog Day Afternoon
Spring day; a walk in
the park: the triumph of hope
Spud is fourteen today. I can hardly believe it…not that it’s fourteen years since I gave birth to him, but that he’s survived fourteen years of my cooking and slapdash care (if I can machine-wash a mobile phone, just think of how many near-misses my kids have had over the years).
Spud’s seventh birthday. He was Pikachu; I was Bridget Jones, one-tonne-six goddess.
We hope he is going to have a nice day, but the signs are not good:
I’m just kidding. He’s in a great mood and loves his blue tooth ear piece thing for the PS3, six-pack of Pepsi Max, and MP4 player. We will buy him a cake today (chocolate, as instructed) and the Hub is treating us to a Chinese takeaway for dinner. Spud is at the match tomorrow so we are taking him and three friends – if he remembers to invite them; he’s getting forgetful in his old age – to the movies and afterpizza, next weekend.
SHOW ME THE WORLD!!
the life of animals
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