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New Year, New Rules

3 Feb

Image from integral-optionsblogspot

A Little Housekeeping

As you know, several minor health issues last year left me with no appetite for blogging.  The break has helped but, if I’m going to keep it up, I need to change my habits.

My intention is to try to post at least three times a week from Monday to Friday; and to visit your blogs on Saturdays.


I won’t be commenting on my or your blogs as often I used to.  If last year taught me anything, it’s that I just can’t sustain it.  I’m sure you understand.  And if you don’t, feel free to leave a comment.

But don’t expect a reply…

The Kindness Of Stockport Strangers

31 Jan

Image from Wikipedia
What happened to Zemanta?  I’m away for one short month and WordPress has changed everything.
I feel a prompt post coming on…

Yo, readers!  I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I told you I’d be back.  Thank you for your patience.

I had a lovely blogging break and feel refreshed and ready to write again…or I did, until yesterday.

Back With A Bang…Literally

I had intended to write my first post-break post tomorrow, on the first (you will note that my break didn’t wash away my propensity for mangled sentences; there’s no break in the world long enough to make that happen), but I had such a day yesterday, I wanted to tell you all about it; and to boast about how kind the people of Stockport are.

The day began in the ordinary way: at 08:35, my Yorkshire Terriers Toby and Molly, my friend Pam and I left my house for our weekly walk along the river Mersey, on the Pennine Way.  It takes us into the heart of Stockport, under the M60 motorway, but away from roads, so it’s safe to let the dogs off the lead.

We’d been out about fifteen minutes and Toby was a little way off, investigating smells.  Have you ever walked Yorkshire Terriers? They were bred as ratters. Try throwing a ball – they’ll get halfway to where it lands and be distracted by a smell, à la Doug and squirrel in Up, and that will be that for the game of Fetch as far as a Yorkie is concerned.

Toby was nose-deep (probably in something disgusting), when his body language changed and he realised he was being stared at intensely by a large dog which had come up behind us, a husky-type dog.  The husky charged, scenting prey. Toby legged it.  He ran up the path, under the subway and followed the path until it turned left.

I acted instinctively, forgot I was fifty and charged after him, yelling his name in what was intended as a command but which came out as a whiny beg.  Fortunately, Pam had the presence of mind to grab Molly before she ran after me running after the husky running after Toby.  We must have been quite a sight, with the husky owner running after me running after the husky running after Toby…who ran into rush hour traffic.

I rounded the corner as he dashed across the far four lanes.  The traffic in the two lanes closest to me had stopped so I belted over to the other pavement and suddenly realised I was running downhill, faster than I’ve ever run before, and I would very shortly be crashing face-first to the ground.

And lo, it came to pass.  My left hand must have taken the impact because it hurt-hurt-hurts today, up my arm to my shoulder.  I thought at first I had sprained it and I’m lucky not to have broken it, such was my momentum.  It is worth the pain because my face merely bounced off the pavement, leaving no scratches or bumps, just temporary indentations where my glasses had tried to give me eyes in the back of my head.

A car pulled up, and another, I think.  Someone helped me stand, a cyclist chased off after Toby, who was running the wrong way through the cars on a busy intersection.

Image from 

See the triangle of grass above the  I had crossed the diagonal red path above it and was now prostrate on the path to its left.  Toby was running down the slip road in front of the Pyramid, which has a large white truck going one way and a yellow van going the other.

And I will stop there for today, for two reasons:

1. Always leave them wanting more and

2. My arm hurts. Which leads to three:

3. Always leave them feeling sorry for you: it may result in chocolate.

Season Break

22 Dec

prozac (Photo credit: Life Mental Health)

I’m what doctors technically refer to as ‘knackered’, so I’m taking a break from blogging and other stuff.  I won’t be posting, reading or commenting.

Please don’t be offended if I unsubscribe from your blogs – spending my break deleting emails is not what I have in mind to do over the next month.

Thanks for all the support.

I’ll see you in February!


Tag, You’re It

5 Nov
funny tag

funny tag (Photo credit: Phil Denton)

My tag line is There’s Always A Silver Lining.

On another blog just now, I wrote in the comments, focus on the silver lining, not the cloud.  

I’ve been thinking of changing my tag line for a while, if I can only find the time between Bomp Bomp games; this is what I was thinking of: Sharing the laughter.

So, dear readers, which of them shall it be?  

I will abide by the majority vote.*

*And then change it to something else when you’re not looking, if I don’t like it.

Bored With Myself Now

19 Oct

doctor_doctor_joke29 (Photo credit: Alan O’Rourke)

I’m feeling a little weary today

I wrote this post earlier but decided to let it stew for a bit because it is
so full of self-pity and poor-meism.  I had decided not to post it at
all when it occurred to me that sometimes I present a false image of
myself (fancy someone doing that on the internet…); that if you take
this blog at its word, everything in the Tilly garden is rosy and that I
face problems with stoicism and humour.  

Which I do, of course, but not until I’ve had a large, private dose of
self-pity and poor-meism.  Then I joke about it and move on.

That false image is unfair to you, I think.  Like the supermodels I so
closely resemble, I show you the airbrushed version of my life – and
my personality, if I’m honest.  In reality, I’m as grumpy and self-pitying
as the rest of you.  So here’s an honest piece of writing.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

[I have decided not to link this post with Six Word Saturday.  My
regular readers will get when I’m joking; my irregular readers might not.]

Sick Puppy - Sick As A Dog

Sick Puppy – Sick As A Dog (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul) What I am in my head; but not in my bod.

Because I’ve had one thing after another, I haven’t participated in Six Word Saturday for a couple of months.  I was determined to participate today and in my head, I wrote a particularly funny post for you about visiting the doctor.  However, my brain doesn’t have a sense of humour today, being too taken up with self-pity, so you get this instead. Sorry.

The painful lump in my neck turned out to be one of two swollen lymph nodes.  The on-call doctor did a thorough examination, history, etc., and concluded it was an infection of indeterminate origin.  She checked all areas where swollen lymph nodes might appear (there were no others).  She took blood there and then, so the results will be back in time for my scheduled appointment with my regular doctor next week.  She recommended a dental check up in case it was my teeth causing the infection – a distinct possibility: despite regular check ups, careful oral hygiene and lots of wishing it don’t be so, I do have a lot of teeth problems, as you know.

Swollen lymph nodes termed "buboes" ...

Swollen lymph nodes termed “buboes” caused by plague bacteria (bubonic plague). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)  What I’m hoping mine are NOT

I went straight into the dentist’s, a couple of doors down, as soon as I came out of the doctor’s.  I explained the situation and that the doctor wanted me to see the dentist before next Thursday’s appointment, so it could be ruled out (or in).   This is where it got awkward: not knowing I was going to be unwell, I have a full diary next week; I could do Monday morning or all-day Tuesday, and that was it.  The wonderful receptionist, Alison, laughingly tut-tutted at my lack of prophetic skills and squeezed in a twenty-minute appointment on Tuesday afternoon.  I have had so many emergency appointments over the years, it wouldn’t surprise me if Alison pencilled them in in advance, to be on the safe side.

The doc prescribed a course of amoxicillin and I started it immediately.  Within 24 hours I was feeling a lot better; today, there’s no pain and I can move my neck normally again.  That’s when I noticed the nausea.  It has lasted all day and reminds me of being pregnant (not a possibility – I had an ultrasound last week over an unrelated matter and there was no waving baby in sight).  I checked the amoxicillin’s contraindications – 1 in 1000 people experience nausea as a side-effect.  I have never had that problem before with penicillin; but that’s the sort of year I’m having.

"When you run with the Doctor, it feels l...

“When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it’ll never end. But however hard you try you can’t run forever…” (Photo credit: fengschwing)  I have to say, that was a problem for me even before I started feeling unwell.  No stamina, you see.  None at all, ever.

So, yes, I am a little fed up today.  I’m sick of feeling sick and run down and not being in the mood to blog, supposing I had the energy, which I hardly have had lately (though it doesn’t appear to have affected my ability to write long-winded, meandering sentences).

I’m off to count my blessings, however, beginning with:

  1. A free healthcare system which ensures I get good treatment despite having no money.  
  2. It’s not serious (thanks to modern medicine); it’s just a little wearisome because it’s the latest in a long line of small ailments.
  3. The Hub.  As some of you may have guessed, he’s rather nice, especially when I don’t feel well and despite his own long-term condition.*
  4. My blog.  It means I can feel sorry for myself in front of a worldwide audience.
  5. My readers, many of whom have real problems, not least of which is no access to decent health care; and some of whom are dealing with dreadful illnesses and conditions and only wish they felt just a little weary; and all of whom will rush to leave supportive comments. 

 If I didn’t feel so guilty, I’d feel better already.


*Good grief!  I must be sick!  I said something nice about the Hub.  I’m scared.


8 Oct

Apologies for the post desert.  I’m fighting an allergy attack.  My eyes are swollen, the skin is puffy, itchy and a little burny, and it’s difficult to see the screen properly.  Normal service may eventually be resumed, assuming I can remove the Hub’s cucumber slices from my face while being held down: “Lie still, dammit!  You will relax or I’ll ram the rest of this cucumber where the sun don’t shine!”

He takes such good care of me.

Surprise, Surprise!

23 Sep

A parcel arrived in the post from Australia:


The parcel was expected; the contents were not.  

That’s not as daft as it sounds – the lovely Blubee read my South African poetry collection via email; and was kind enough to print it out and send it back to me in the UK, with her annotations.  She also sent Maltesers, poetry, dogs, pens, napkins, Earl Grey, notebooks…she is clearly an avid reader/stalker.  She knows me well.  

I confess, I wouldn’t have opened the parcel until next week if I had known it was for my birthday; but I’m not sorry.

If you would like to learn more about Blubee, you can find her here.

As delighted as I was with everything, however (especially the book of poems written by dogs; so close to the truth, I suspect my own dogs may have submitted to publishers and not told me because they have greater success than I do), as lovely as it all was, what really touched me was the beautiful note Blubee wrote about my poetry and how it affected her.

Thank you so much, Blubee; you made my year.

Painting The Prompts

1 Aug

In an effort to regulate my blogging, I have designated Thursday as Answer WordPress Prompts Day.  Here’s today’s batch.

Bad Tastes

Bad Tastes (Photo credit: nicola.albertini)

If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be?

Cooking.  I can do it, sort of; but I hate it.  I cook because I love my family.  Maybe I should go back to school and master time travel instead!  I could then go back in time to August 17th, 1982 and not meet the Hub in a car park; not fall in love, not marry and not have children. Result: no cooking!

Nah.  It could never happen.  I’m even worse at physics than I am in a kitchen.


If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it?

No and yes.  No, because I’m delicate and tire easily.  Yes, if I could move house regularly.  I like moving house: the perfect opportunity to declutter.  One of these moves, I might even accidentally leave the Hub behind (Spud leaves home next year for university so if I offload the Hub…no cooking!).

Do you need a home base?

Of course; how else could I recharge my batteries and have the perfect Malteser hidey-hole?

What makes a place “home” to you?

It’s the place where I cook.  Talk about your Catch-22.


What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place — the food? The architecture? The people watching?

  • The food – yes.  Not having to cook will always find favour with me.
  • The architecture – yes.  There is nothing more beautiful than the bricks surrounding an affordable restaurant.
  • The people watching – no.  I don’t like to eat in company in case I get crumbs in my moustache; to have people watching me eat would make me too nervous.


Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”

My closest friend is an excellent cook.  In fact, all of my friends are excellent cooks.  It must be like craving coal when you’re pregnant: the body steers you towards what it’s missing.


After spending time with a group of people, do you feel energized and ready for anything or do you want to hide in the corner with a good book?

Depends how good their food was.


Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to?

English: Public Domain version of DaVinci's La...

English: Public Domain version of DaVinci’s Last Supper. High-resolution JPEG image, with no watermarks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonardo’s The Last Supper.  Obviously.

What does it say to you?

“Tilly, you can love Jesus and food.  But hearing frescos speak is not a good sign…”

Describe the experience.

I typed ‘the last supper’* into Google Images and there it was.

*Not even I am anal enough to use capital letters in a search engine.

(Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

Because I’m not crazy.  The question ‘What does it say to you?’ refers.

No Internet

29 Jul

adderall-withdrawal (Photo credit: Life Mental Health)

We had no internet for 24 hours.  I couldn’t blog, email, spend hours playing games or prepare today’s joke.

Here’s the weird part: I didn’t cry, scream, moan, complain, sweat, bitch, or play up in any way.  

I had no withdrawal symptoms at all.

I think I’m sick.


An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

25 Jul
brains of milk and chocolate

brains of milk and chocolate (Photo credit: Alejandro Peters)

Give your newer sisters and brothers-in-WordPress one piece of advice based on your experiences blogging.

Don’t omit words if you don’t want me to have an aneurysm.

‘…experiences OF blogging,’ WordPress!  ‘OF!’

Or is it?

Is it ‘in’?  Is it ‘when’?  Is it something else altogether?

I have a headache.

New one piece of advice, new bloggers: don’t pretend to be an expert when you are full of self-doubt.


Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed?

Always; that’s why I have an aneurysm instead of pointing out your grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors.

What’s most likely to make you squirm?

Anyone who says ‘supposably’.  I feel all the embarrassment they don’t.


Do you need to agree with an artist’s lifestyle or politics to appreciate their art?

No; but don’t be surprised if people assume you do.

To spend money on it?

No; I need actual money to do that.


 You receive a call from someone an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about? Go!

Caller: Did you read the latest WordPress prompt?  An extra space, a superfluous word and an imperative!

Me: Sorry; I can’t talk right now: I’m having an aneurysm.


Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith (Photo credit: Anz-i)

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be, and why? If that seems too easy, try this one: who would you like to have spend a day as you and what do you hope they’d learn from the experience?

I wouldn’t be anyone; I’m happy to be me.  If pushed, however, I would have to say Jada Pinkett Smith.  For obvious reasons.

If someone had to be me, I would take a WordPress prompter; I hope they’d learn how not to make my head explode.


What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?

Yeah, right, WordPress!  Like I’d tell you…nice try.


Describe a little thing — one of the things you love that define you worlds but is often overlooked.

I like the letter ‘r’.  I can tell you don’t feel the same way.


The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?

OsterhaseNikolaus Nein

OsterhaseNikolaus Nein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a parent; why would I need justification to lie to my children?


Here’s the title of your post: “An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse.”

Set a timer for ten minutes, and write it. Go!

WordPress, WordPress, WordPress…you make it too easy for me.


Daily Prompt: Ha Ha Ha

21 Jun
Door 404

Door 404 (Photo credit: darkenedcorridor)

Tell us a joke! Knock-knock joke, long story with an unexpected punchline, great zinger — all jokes are welcome!

I finally have to admit defeat with the prompts.  This one is just too difficult for me.  

Lost And Found

12 Apr

You may remember Miss Whiplash, who used to think about things.  Also known as Patrecia, who lives in Bulgaria with her animals and husband Neville, in that order.  She used to blog regularly and then she just stopped.

At 74, she decided she had said everything she wanted to say about her life on her old blog, so she deleted it and started a charming new blog.  You can find her at God’s Creatures, where she has been harassing the Tanzanian government, in an effort to get them to treat their animals better.

Please mosey on over there.  If you like animals and you like sweet ladies, it’s a great place to find them both.



I’m Not Giving Up Blogging…

23 Mar

…but I have to scale back

For a while, at least.

In the past few months my visits to your blogs have been intermittent at best; and in the past two weeks, almost non-existent.   I struggle to find the time but I don’t want to neglect you.  Not returning your visits is bad manners and I apologise.  Interaction is a huge part of what makes blogging fun; no interaction, and it’s just me talking at you.  I have battled guilt about it; guilt always wins. That has reduced my enjoyment of blogging.    

Peter Steiner's cartoon

Peter Steiner’s cartoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have decided to take the advice I always give to other bloggers who make these sort of Help! I’m drowning in unanswered comments! posts – if you’re not enjoying blogging, then stop.  I’m feeling a little burned out by blogging and it’s not as much fun as it used to be.

If you see me as rutilant – as I hope you do – you will naturally be devastated by my announcement, so I should make one thing clear:

I am not giving up blogging

  • I will continue to post my daily joke
  • I will post at least twice a week
  • More, if I feel like it
  • I will answer comments if I can
  • I will not visit you every day but I will try to visit more than I have been doing
  • I will understand if you decide to leave me, but don’t be surprised if I cry

If you don’t want the hassle of checking in every day in the understandable but forlorn hope that I might have deigned to talk to you today, you can always subscribe – third widget on the right then straight on for mourning.

Subscribers up = visits down but taking a hit on my hits is the least I deserve for my despicable dereliction of blogging duty.

I hope this is just a temporary situation and you’ll hang around to find out.  But I’m selfish like that.

Happy blogging!



The two previous words:

Pleonasticthe use of more words than are necessary to express an idea. Guilty as charged.  Always.

Quozsomething queer or absurd.  Again, guilty as charged.


Ten Six Word Saturdays

16 Mar

Or, to be honest, cheating again.

I’m sorry/rueful/penitent/mortified/grieved

that I haven’t replied to comments

since last Saturday; maybe even Friday.

I know I’ve been neglecting you.

Life gets in the way sometimes.

Particular apologies to new subscribers if

I haven’t thanked you for subscribing,

or visited your blogs.  I will.

Forgive me.  I will mundify myself.

For more Six Word Saturdays, go here.


Yesterday’s word was lyard: to be streaked or spotted with gray or white.  Or grey, if you’re not American.


Prompters, Panic & Sharpened Pencils

7 Mar


I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one.

I hope you don’t mind another prompt post.  I had  42 prompts sitting in my inbox, begging to be answered.


Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

I don’t think you thought this through, dear prompter: the first line of this post bears no relation to the rest of the post; shouldn’t you have instructed me to carry on the story?  As it is, all I have is a confused reader and a line from Ender’s Game – being made into a movie at last, at last, at last! 


What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

Front garden of the Big Breakfast house

Front garden of the Big Breakfast house (Photo credit: Ben Sutherland)

Meeting a pretend stripper and a pretend gangster on The Big Breakfast.


Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.

The original post:

[I didn’t know how to use the colour icon back then]

I’ve just had my teenage son sort me out with my own blog; now I have to hope
1. I can think of something interesting to write and
2. I can get some people to read it.

Mission Statement: to be amusing (mission: impossible)

Welcome, new reader;  I hope you enjoy this as much as I expect to.

Now for the official bit: you can’t reproduce anything on this site without my permission; it all belongs to me…nnnhhhaahhhaaahhaaaaa! (Wicked laughter, not a raspberry)

The re-written post:

I swear I’m funny; please like me.


Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

Mr Lever marked down my English essay because I used the word ‘amoral’, which he said did not exist.  I looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary.  It did and does exist.  I did not have the courage to prove my point.

I now have a compulsive obsession to make fun of WordPress prompters who make grammar and punctuation errors* and if they dare misspell a word…well, let’s just say it’s not pretty.

*Should that be ‘grammatical and punctuational errors’?  I’ve lost my Cassell Guide To Common Errors In English so I can’t check.


GrammarlyonFB (Photo credit: tengrrl)


You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

An angry WordPress prompter with a grammar handbook in one hand and a well-sharpened pencil in the other.  I suspect they suffer from dacnomania, brought on by pedantic bloggers and evil dentists.


Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis situations. Are you happy with the way you react?

  •  If it’s a bomb threat, I have no problem speaking quietly to the store manager and calling for an orderly evacuation.
  • If the building is on fire when I am seven months’ pregnant, I have no problem ensuring all students have been evacuated from the classrooms before evacuating myself.
  • Ahem.  I mean, I have no problem ensuring all students have been evacuated from the classrooms before I leave the building in an orderly if somewhat clumsy fashion.
  • If the door is locked and there’s an angry prompter with a sharpened pencil, I have no problem screaming as I scratch at the window in a  futile attempt to avoid being…well, let’s just say it’s not pretty.


I’m pleased to see you had no trouble spotting yesterday’s word, cunctation (procrastination; delay).  I hope my use of it didn’t put you off.




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