Archive | January, 2013

I’m In!

31 Jan

Well, here I am in my writing space:


Only four days behind schedule.

I had intended to move the desk on Saturday but Spud begged for time to clear it first, only he just had to watch the City match; do his homework; learn his lines.

I gave him 24 hours and I spent a couple of happy hours moving in, arranging and re-arranging my poetry books, writing books, other books, my collections and bits and pieces onto two shelves.


I had intended to move the desk on Sunday afternoon, but I received an email which took most of the afternoon to deal with, so I gave him another 24 hours.

I had intended to move the desk on Monday afternoon but he got another 24 hours because I had arranged to help my friend sort church paperwork at the vicarage into our brand new filing cabinet (well, it was new when it was delivered three months ago).

Before filing, we put three poster-sized papers up on the wall and mind-mapped the whole thing down to the last detail.  We had three starting points which we broke down into groups, groups-within-groups, categories-within-groups-within-groups, off-shoots-within-categories-within-groups-within-groups…you get the idea.

Once we’d broken that lot down we were able to label the hanging files in the drawers.  We organised the files into what-is-likely-to-be-most-accessed order, then alphabetically within that.  We then filed three pieces of paper (easily) before noticing it was home time.  If there has been a better organised from the start filing system anywhere in the galaxy, I’ll be surprised.  I’ll also be surprised to learn of two people who had more fun than us on Monday afternoon.


On Tuesday morning I attacked Spud’s desk.  I filled two large bags with stuff from school, Christmas (2012), much small change, more Christmas (2011), books he was supposed to have returned after his GCSEs last year and even more Christmas (2010).  I don’t know why I buy him cheap stocking fillers if he’s just going to leave them lying around and never use them.

Once rested and lunched, I moved the desk.  It is small and light and I had no trouble.  The eight p.m. exhausted sleep I fell into was induced by exposure to Spud’s dormant past, I’m sure.

I spent all afternoon – having had the foresight to walk the dogs early and grab something easy from the freezer for that evening’s dinner – happily arranging my desk.  When I came in on Wednesday morning, the Hub had left me a love note to start me off as I ought to go on – smiling; and loved.  


Note the cow.  Perfecting Motherhood blogged about the Yahoo purple cow, which I loved.  She suggested I have one in my space.  I promised to get one.  I drew this.  I don’t have a purple pen so I coloured it blue because he’s Fresian… If you can’t read the writing, it is entitled, The Cow Who Mooed Because He Cud.

It is now Thursday and the novelty has not worn off.  Moo.


Joke 679

31 Jan
English: Main complications of persistent high...

Main complications of persistent high blood pressure. Sources are found in main article: Wikipedia:Hypertension#Complications. To discuss image, please see Template_talk:Häggström diagrams. To edit, please use the svg version, convert to png and update both versions online. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At a nursing home, a group of senior citizens were sitting around talking about their aches and pains. 

“My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said one. 

“I know what you mean. My cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee,” replied another. 

“I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said a third, to which several nodded weakly in agreement. 

“My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” another contributed. 

“I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” winced an old man as he slowly shook his head. 

There was a short moment of silence. 

“Well, it’s not that bad,” said one woman cheerfully. “At least we can all still drive.”


From ahajokes.

Feeling Bolshy Today

30 Jan
English: A sense of humour Someone has a sense...

English: A sense of humour Someone has a sense of humour leaving this for his family to read. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Set a timer for ten minutes. Open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish. 

You know what?  I don’t think I will.  What ya gonna do about it WordPress? Huh?  Huh?

As if I would ever publish anythinggasp!  I can hardly bring myself to say it, never mind do it – unedited!


Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .

. . . home.

. . . soil.

. . . rain.

Use those words in the title of your post.

Bolshy home/feeling soil/rain today.

Okay, not really – I got the title from the first prompt.

Let’s try again:

Hometalk (Mango Groove again)/soil your pants/rain fall.

This post’s new title: Talk: Your Pants Fall*

Smiling can imply a sense of humour and a stat...

Smiling can imply a sense of humour and a state of amusement, as in this painting of Falstaff by Eduard von Grützner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?

…Thinks…thinks…No, thank goodness…yes…erm, oops…I’m a good girl, I am, I’ve never done anything I could go to jail for…I think…just how big a rule are we talking here, anyway?


Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?

Not that I can recall; my parents were pretty good at steering Father Christmas in the right direction.

I did go to visit my aunty one week after Christmas.  Her three girls got multiple Estée Lauder gift sets, which rather impressed me.  I’d have liked that sort of thing.

And yet, here I am: make-upless; perfumeless; must-remember-to-shower-todaylestmymanleavesme, but my husband of twenty-seven years still loves me.

Go figure.


Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

I have faith that my husband will still love me even if I don’t wear make-up or shower today.

I have faith that my readers will mostly come back even if I write a not particularly funny post.

And I have faith in God, who gave me a sense of humour.  And a husband who doesn’t believe in Him.  I guess God has a sense of humour, too.


Write your obituary. 

She was incredibly beautiful, intelligent, slim and kind.  What she lacked in modesty, she made up in humour.

At the funeral, people from around the world who had mortgaged their homes to be there, sobbed at this great loss to blogkind.  The eulogy was three days long.

Her alleged killers, a group of WordPress prompters, currently on trial for Conspiracy to Deprive the Blogging World of its Greatest Humorist, Assault With a Deadly Computer Programme and for Just Having No Funny Bone to Speak Of, pleaded Innocent on the Grounds of She Was Driving Us Nuts With Her Incessant Fun-Poking at Our Carefully-Worded Prompts.

English: Graffiti tag plus a sense of humour D...

English: Graffiti tag plus a sense of humour Dull tag but nice sub-text. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?

Well now you’re just being silly.


Joke 678

30 Jan

Escargot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple were having a party at their house.  An hour before the party the woman found out that she still needed escargots, so she sent her husband out for them.

He was walking to the supermarket and he figured he had lots of time.  He stopped at a bar on the way.  An hour and a half later he looked at his watch and realized that the party must already have started.

He quickly ran to the market, bought the snails and ran home.  He tried to sneak into the kitchen without his wife seeing him, but at that moment she came out.

He quickly threw the snails on the floor and said, “Come on guys, we’re almost there.”



My Life In Music

29 Jan

Put together a musical playlist of songs that describe your life, including what you hope your future entails. 

I was born in autumn of 1963:

I went to school and had lots of boyfriends.  Some of my relationships lasted as long as a week:

I emigrated with my family to South Africa:

I met the Hub:

We had children:

I returned to the UK with my latest family:

My hope for the future:

Joke 677

29 Jan

You know you are addicted to your computer

Computer addiction starts at a young age

Computer addiction starts at a young age (Photo credit: seanabrady)


· You step out of your room and realize that your parents have moved, and you don’t have a clue when it happened. 

· Your wife drapes a blond wig over your monitor to remind you of what she looks like. 

· All of your friends have an @ in their names. 

· Your dog has its own home page. 

· You can’t call your mother; she doesn’t have a modem. 

· You wake up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop and check your e-mail on the way back to bed. 

· You buy a Captain Kirk chair with a built-in keyboard and mouse. 

· You get a new suit that says, “This best viewed with Netscape 4.01 or higher.” 

· The last girl you asked out was only a jpeg. 

· Your wife says communication is important in a marriage…you buy another computer and install a second phone line so the two of you can chat.  



Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

28 Jan

Tory Boy is a menace to his little brother.  You saw his birthday card yesterday:


But he loves Spud very much.  He arranged his leave so that he would be here for his brother’s birthday.  He bought him an expensive PS3 game.  And he baked him a cake.  He baked it from scratch and iced it to look like one of Spud’s favourite games:


You don’t get much more loving than that.

And then he locked Spud in the loft.


Joke 676

28 Jan

How to Write Good


Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

3. Employ the vernacular.

4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

6. Remember to never split an infinitive.

7. Contractions aren’t necessary.

8. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

9. One should never generalize.

10. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

11. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

12. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

13. Be more or less specific.

14. Understatement is always best.

15. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

17. The passive voice is to be avoided.

18. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

19. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

20. Who needs rhetorical questions?

21. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

22. Don’t never use a double negation.

23. capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with point

24. Do not put statements in the negative form.

25. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

26. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

27. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

28. A writer must not shift your point of view.

29. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

30. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

31. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to the irantecedents.

32. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

33. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

34. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

35. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

36. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

37. Always pick on the correct idiom.

38. The adverb always follows the verb.

39. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They’re old hat; seek viable alternatives.



From jokesaboutwriting.

Spud Is Miffed

27 Jan

I am a bad mother.  I know this because my youngest son told me so.  He told me while avoiding eye contact because he can’t bear to look at me at the moment.

My heinous crime?  I didn’t write a birthday post for him.




Spud turned seventeen twelve days ago.  He loved his Vivquilt (it went straight on the bed, as you can see).  He liked his other presents (especially the money). He enjoyed his brother’s homemade birthday cake (coming in another post).  He snaffled the bulk of the cakes he took into school to celebrate.  He had a great day.

Great.  That’s what I want for him.  

Moving on…

Five days later:

Spud:  Hey, Mum…where’s my birthday post?

Mum:  I didn’t do one this year; you don’t read my blog any more.

Spud [indignant]: Yes I do!

Mum:  No you don’t.  Whenever I ask you, you say you haven’t read it.

Spud [patient]:  I’ve told you – I read it in clumps.  I expected a birthday post.

Mum:  Sorry, sweetie.

Six days after that:

Spud [indignant]:  Hey, Mum…where’s my birthday post?

Mum:  I didn’t do one this year; you don’t read my blog any more.

Spud [irritated]: Yes I do!

Mum:  No you don’t.  Whenever I ask you, you say you haven’t read it.

Spud [impatient]:  I’ve told you – I read it in clumps.  I expected a birthday post.

Mum:  Sorry, sweetie.

Spud: [hurt]:  Call yourself a mother!  I want a birthday post.

Mum [scrambling]:  I’ve got one planned – the Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘Love’ and I’m going to feature the cake your brother made for you.

Spud [outraged]:  That’s about Tory Boy!  I want my own post!

Mum:  But you never read my… [a scuffle breaks out]

Consider me chastened.

Happy Birthday, Spud.  I may be a neglectful mother but I do love you.





Joke 675

27 Jan

A time-travelling Roman walks into a bar.

Lego Minifigures Series 6 Roman Soldier

Lego Minifigures Series 6 Roman Soldier (Photo credit: cbcd04)

The bartender says, “What’ll you have?”

The time-travelling Roman says, “I’ll have one Martinus, please.”

The bartender says, “You mean Martini?”

The Roman replies,“Oh, no, thank you; I think I’ll start with just one.”


Thanks to rarasaur for letting me use this one.

Happy Days Are Here Again!

26 Jan

Making a room of one’s own

Virginia Woolf said that every writer needs ‘a room of one’s own.’  Until I got married, I had one.  Then I was too busy being in love, raising babies, living my life to need one. 

In 2003, I started a degree with the Open University and in 2008 I took their Creative Writing course and rediscovered my love of writing.  

I have had, since then, the use of the Hub’s computer, but not his desk i.e. I can sit at it to use the computer but not put anything on it; our bed; and 55 note books.  That is about to change.

Make way for Tilly!

Make way for Tilly!

The Hub fixed me up with a laptop over Christmas.  Tory Boy came home for ten days and, once he was done being ill, he cleared half of the stuff in his room into the loft, the recycling or the bin.  We rearranged the furniture and there is now space for a desk, which Spud is kindly donating because he also got a laptop for Christmas and no longer needs his PC.

Today, I plan to move the desk into what is now the spare room.

I have the best family in the world.  And a writing space of my own!

Joke 674

26 Jan

Two barber shops were in red-hot competition.

English: Most cosmetology and beauty school pr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One put up a sign advertising haircuts for 7-dollars.

His competitor put up one that read, “We repair 7-dollar hair cuts.”





An Orgy Of Violence

25 Jan
Violence (role-playing game)

Violence (role-playing game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We often complain that violent video games are corrupting our children. That may or may not be true, depending on whether you believe studies or your scornful teenager; but it occurred to me on Wednesday night that entertainment has been corrupting our children forever.

On Wednesday night I watched a man be torn apart by his own mother, and his bodiless head put on display.  Women cavorted, naked, in the hills.  A pregnant woman was killed by lightning.  A male surrogate mother carried the baby to full term.  There was earthquake, fire, a razing. Crazed women ripped to shreds a herd of cows and beat frightened men with sticks.  Talk about your video nasty.

Only, it wasn’t nasty at all; it was art.  You can’t whack a good Greek tragedy: yes, the Hub and I watched Spud and his friends act out Euripides’ The Bacchae.  

It was set in the 1970s.  If that isn’t the perfect era for excess and lack of self-restraint, I don’t know what is.

Apart from the mother who chopped up her son (if I’m honest, an act with which I can empathise), which was done symbolically, the rest of it was mostly related as speech.  By my own son, but we’ll let that slide; he’s fairly well-balanced thanks to having two parental extremes.

Talking of which…the Hub had his camera, of course, and took photos throughout.  That would have been fine if it was a point-and-shoot, but he has an excellent camera.  Nothing kills the tension like the tuk-tuk-tuk of a flash being moved into another position; followed by a light which temporarily blinds the cast (admittedly, making the one blind character’s acting incredibly realistic); and the whiiiiiiiiiiine of the flash warming up again.

I always wondered what it was like to be the annoying person on the bus; now I know.  Mortifying.  For me, anyway; the Hub was too busy taking photos to notice.

The play was about eighty minutes long and I must have shushed the Hub enough to make him turn off his flash at some point, because the later photos are not as good, he reckons.  

I want to enjoy Spud’s starring role in The Tempest, so I have ordered the Hub to request permission to photograph the dress rehearsal.  The Hub says ‘no.’  He flat refuses to sit through Shakespeare twice.

Here is a sample of what they’re teaching our kids in school these days:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Joke 673

25 Jan

We haven’t had any Tim Viners for a while, so here they are:

  • I’ll tell you what makes my blood boil…crematoriums.
  • I saw this bloke chatting up a cheetah.  I thought, ‘He’s trying to pull a fast one.’
  • I was at sea the other day and loads of meat floated past.  It was a bit choppy.
  • Did you know if a stick insect laid its eggs in a jar of Bovril, it will give birth to a litter of Twiglets?
  • I was having dinner with my boss and his wife and she said to me, ‘How many potatoes would you like Tim?’  I said, ‘Ooh, I’ll just have one, please.’ She said, ‘It’s OK, you don’t have to be polite.’  ‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’ll just have one then, you stupid cow.’
  • You know, I’m not very good at magic – I can only do half of a trick.  Yes – I’m a member of the Magic Semi-circle.

More On Crocodile Paddling

24 Jan

This is how it worked:  

English: Theodore Roosevelt assisting in captu...

English: Theodore Roosevelt assisting in capturing a crocodile on Lake Victoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • First, tell your wife she knows nothing and never listens and it was Lake Victoria in UGANDA not Imaginary River in Burundi and if she’s going to repeat stories, get the facts FIRST instead of having to write second and third corrections
  • Drink a lot with new buddies
  • Go out at night
  • Take a torch
  • Paddle ankle deep
  • Shine torch on water
  • See light bounce off crocodile eyes
  • Run 

Apparently, the biggest problem is the crocodiles you can’t see, because they are underwater, ready to pounce.

But that’s okay; the Hub had a branch with which to clock any attacking crocodiles.  

Good grief.  The wonder isn’t that he wasn’t attacked by a crocodile; the wonder is that he manages to get his socks on in the morning without falling over.


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