Today I have been mostly...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thinking about trifle...

…it was the glorious sunrise that set it off, it was layered, like trifle. Jelly and custard colours, sort of merging, when you haven’t waited long enough for the previous layer to set. And there were hundreds and thousands of starlings in the sky. That’s a lie. I didn’t see one. That’s my artistic – or perhaps poetic – license at work. If I ever decide to describe one, then the starlings will be there. I did see a disgruntled looking magpie, but that’s about all really. I might have surprised some of the neighbours as well. They saw me walking back to the house at 7.30 am, looking dishevelled, and it may have got them wondering where I’d been, and if I was just getting back! Actually about 10 minutes prior to that I was fast asleep in my bed! It was the magnificent orange glow that woke me up. I stopped only to put my hair into some sort of order, grab some jeans and trainers, a fleece, and of course, my camera – then I was out in the chilly stillness of the morning. A different start to the day, and because it was so early, it meant I have got lots more done today than on a normal day. I did loads of course work, a bit of reading and some cleaning. I actually replaced the bag in the Hoover – that is how industrious I was. OK – I was somewhat spurred on by an expected visit from my mum – but I cleaned out the budgie cage (and washed it, in Dettol), and did loads of other unnecessary things as well. I polished the drinks coasters at one point, and watered a plant. Mind you – I was sort of expecting her at 10-ish so when she rang at half past to say she would be coming round much later, I then had to try and not untidy everywhere. I had to hope that the dust wouldn’t settle again!

I was mid feeding dandelions to the rodents this morning, when I got a phone-call on my mobile from some woman who wanted to try and save me money. I told her it was inconvenient – it wasn’t really – but as the Guinea pigs had smelt the leaves, the squeaking was that loud I couldn’t really hear what she was saying, so I had to go out of the garage, and I felt guilty then, that they were all worked up about their treat with no sign of it coming. I am quite sure it was not the woman’s intention to save me money – and it really annoys me that they think I am that gullible. She said she was going to ring back at 5, but she hasn’t – but at least I know to ignore the call now. It’s easier than being rude, I suppose – although less satisfying. I know she is just doing her job – but where did she get my number from anyway. She wasn’t from T-Mobile so she can sod off. Perhaps mid-forties is too young for me to become a ‘grumpy old woman’, but it is mainly caused by phone-calls like this, and annoying people brandishing clipboards at tea time, constantly ringing the doorbell and telling me they are not selling anything. At the moment my answer to this is “Excellent, because I’m not buying anything” and I shut the door. Perhaps it would be better to say “Oh no, really – what a shame because I am really gullible and I buy everything people try to sell to me at the door, especially at teatime when I am distracted by trying to cook a meal without burning it – oh well, never mind, byeeee,” and slam the door. I think I will try that. Within the last half hour a tall woman with a really long Gestapo style Mac has been to the door, but I ignored it so I will never know what she wasn’t selling! My other source of irritation is from the constant stream of ‘Bettaware’ catalogues though my door – followed by cards through the door to say they were sorry they missed me, but would I leave my catalogue outside for collection the next day. Apart from telling all the local burglars that I am out, leaving a catalogue on the doorstep means that everyone (even the husband) brings the sodding thing in again!

I feel like nailing the card to the door with this written on the back of it: “Thank you for your thoughtful catalogue, the dog ate it and had to have an expensive operation to have the plastic bag removed from his intestine where it had caused a blockage. I will be sending you the vet’s bill and, of course, the invoice for the cleaning that had to be done following the dogs explosion in the hallway. The total is currently estimated to be £895.73, but this may well go up, as the cat, pining for his constant companion, has become depressed and needs feline therapy. This could go on for several months. Meanwhile, the house has become overrun by rats and mice, so Rent-o-kill had to be called in (invoice to follow). Oh and I would like to order one of those bendy brushes that cleans out the spout of a teapot. I am afraid I don’t have an order form that isn’t partially digested, and I only know about the brush because it was on the fragment of the catalogue that hit me in the face during the aforementioned explosion. Have a nice day.” I don’t have a dog, but that’s another example of poetic license. Of course, as it is quite a small card – I might just put “If you want it so badly, don’t put it thorough the letter box in the first place.”

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Admiring Mr Titchmarsh...

OK – so I’ve always had this thing about Alan Titchmarsh. He has this air of innocence about him (Yes – I have read his books), but it’s this sort of ‘school boy’ appeal, an untouchable quality. I just want to drag him off into the nearest potting shed and watch him pricking out his seedlings. So, as you can imagine, when I realised I’d forgotten to watch his new programme I was a bit cross with myself for missing it. But JOY! It is repeated today – and it is on as I type. But what is it with nature programmes? I was watching a brilliant bit with hares having a proper “girls fight” very reminiscent of the one between Hugh Grant and Mr Darcy in Brigit Jones. Next time I looked up – they were in the middle of an intimate act that made me feel like I was watching animal porn. Now, Alan is diving – he’s encased in rubber – so ideal viewing for anyone with a celebrity gardeners and rubber fetish – but I must point out – that isn’t me. I rather see him ankle deep in compost and fondling a large tool – like a rake…

Hmm – he’s got badgers nibbling his nuts now. The first shot of the badgers looked quite fake, a bit like glove puppets! Oh he’s just said “goodly” – who says goodly these days – that’s why I like him!! He’s got this way with words – no one can say “damp earth” and “moist soil” quite like he does. He has a very easy voice to listen to, and an infectious enthusiasm.

For me, the highlight of this first episode was the flea-free blonde hedgehogs of Alderney. I really must remember to watch it next week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Too Busy to Blog...

But I felt I needed to share this with you. A couple of weekends ago, we hadn’t been to Sainsbury’s for anything for our Sunday dinner. In fact, it was one of those days where I couldn’t decide what I wanted – and to be brutally honest, just could not be arsed to cook. However, at the local shop, ‘£ for £’, or whatever it’s called, they do some reasonable curries. They taste OK, they go in the microwave, and they cost £1 each. This seemed a good option to me. Obviously, if I think it’s a good idea, you just know that ‘him indoors’ will disagree. However, I think he realised that if he disagreed, (a) he would have to think of an alternative, (b) he would have to go and get it, and (c) cook it. Curry it was then! The one problem he foresaw was that there is never enough rice. Well, I disagree – I think there is enough. But, because of the meagre portions, he asked me if I would do some extra rice. Well, basically, NO. If I don’t want to cook and that’s why we are having these things, why would I want to cook extra rice – plus, as the curries themselves would be in the microwave – and I always cook rice in the microwave, the timing wouldn’t work out. So, I suggested that a reasonable alternative would be for him to get some naan bread. At first, he pulled a face, then commented that I wouldn’t be able to have one, so I suggested that he got me some poppadoms (which may not be spelt like that), which I can eat.

All went to plan. I microwaved the curries, and took his food into him. Although he had the naan bread, he also wanted 2 of the 5 poppadoms that were supposed to be mine, but it wasn’t a problem – easier to let him have them. I finished ages before he did. I know I eat far too quickly, but he was really being extra slow, I thought. Then I realised he was really struggling to eat it all – and obviously couldn’t really leave it, after his comments about there never being enough! He sat for ages with the tray of food on his knee, and he was watching TV. He must have been really determined to finish it, but had to wait a while to fit it in.

I’d washed up my plate, and had some ice cream. Still he sat with the tray. But then, all of a sudden, he exploded with the most almighty sneeze, which obviously took him by surprise. The tray landed somewhere over by the fireplace, the plate didn’t travel quite so far, the fork ended up by the door, and rice scattered across the carpet.

“Oh dear,” he said, “I had a bit of a sneeze then.”

Funnily enough – I had noticed! (As had the budgie who was nearly blown off his perch). After a while, he went to get a cloth to clear up the mess. I was unable to go into the kitchen myself, due to my trying to keep some sort of control and not laugh. (I’m laughing now, just thinking about it.) What I did notice, the other day, however, was that when he used the cloth – he didn’t actually remove the curry. He must have just used it to pick up the rice grains! It’s a bloody good job that I don’t have a pale carpet – because with him around, it would just look like a patterned one!

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