Monday, 31 October 2011

Coming Up:

A few things that are likely to happen to me over the coming weeks and months:

For some unknown reason, I'll suddenly learn how to smile in pictures and will look quite good in a photo.

The new wiper blade I struggled to fit today will come off during a journey in the rain. I won't be able to stop, and the metal housing will scratch an arc in my windscreen, causing me to have it replaced at considerable expense.

I'll meet a woman in a pub, really hit it off, but then bugger the whole thing up as usual.

As my sign language knowledge increases, I will forgoe my hearing friends in favour of new friends I find within the deaf community. In a somewhat ironic twist, the hearing friends I abandoned will resort to signs of their own when they see me.

I will become obsessed with my goatee beard, spending more and more time on grooming it - ignoring the need to wash the rest of my body, or brush my teeth etc. As a result, I will lose my job and my home, and will live out the rest of my days as an attractive homeless person.

Cameron Diaz will ring me out of the blue, and ask me to meet her for dinner and cocktails. Unfortunately I will never know as I haven't bought the answering machine I promised myself I would.

Okay, so they might not be 'likely'....

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Signal Problems.

Just what is the point of BT Openzone WiFi? Whenever my mobile detects one of these free WiFi hotspots, the level of signal is so weak that I cannot connect.
I went to Yeovil this morning to do some shopping. I got there at 9:30 so that I could have a Cappuccino in Costa before the shops opened at 10am. While I was enjoying my coffee, I thought I would pop on Facebook VIA the app on my phone. My phone was telling me that there was a BT Openzone WiFi within range - but I just could connect. I didn't even have one bar of signal. In the end, I had to connect VIA my network signal.
I am yet to come across a BT Openzone WiFi signal of any strength.

On a similar theme, I have decided that I am definitely changing mobile network when my contract runs out next April. I'm on Orange at the moment, but the reception in my house is so rubbish that my phone only seems to work when it is laid on a book on my microwave, or when it is on my bed upstairs. Subsequently, I can only make/receive calls or texts in those two locations, which is not very ideal.
My phone often loses signal, but when searches for available networks, Vodafone and O2 come up often, so I will move to one of them.

Technology eh? Waste of time....

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Quick

This is another short post, as I haven't got much to say, except:

I hate it than when I look at my self in a mirror, my biased interpretation of what I see makes me think I look okay - but when I see myself in a photo, I look awful! There should be a happy medium.

Which is also a great name for a pub.

Friday, 28 October 2011

The PhanTOE of The Opera - and other Randomness

Well, here we are again wondering what today's blog is going to be about. To be honest, a variety of topics are likely, all of which will combine to give an overall feeling of randomness to the whole piece.

Hooray! We all cry!!

Or: Hooray. We all cry.

For those of you that are interested, I am back to typing this blog using the Blogger App. I cannot tell you how annoying it is - the combination of the touch screen phone, the fact that my index finger tip (yes, I'm still using one digit) is as big as two letters side by side on the on-screen keyboard, and my phones apparent constant need to update and therefore freeze periodically, makes blogging this way an unpleasant experience.
But, not being one to complain, I shall endeavour.

I have had a mixed bag of a day. For some of it, I was angry, frustrated, and not a joy to be around - but then my wages arrived in my account and I have ever since been much more personable.
Tonight I had fish and chips for tea at a Friends house. In way of thanks, I bought her some flowers, and a Euromillions lottery ticket for her and her husband. We had a great conversation over tea, and both roared with laughter, and came close to tears. It was the best conversation I've had in a long time.

I know that our bodies are not symmetrical, but the big toe on my left foot is definitely bigger than the big toe on my right foot. It is so noticeable to me that I sometimes wonder if it isn't swollen. I would show you a photo of each toe to back up what I am saying, but the big toe on my left foot is the one that got "black nail" - the nail came off revealing a bloody, pus filled underneath which is taking a long time to heal (due to poor circulation). The toe is no longer bloody or filled with pus, and indeed the new nail is growing back - but the damage done is considerable, and it is still unpleasant to see. I fear my toe may end up disfigured. It will probably become a recluse, shunned by the other toes until one day it goes mad and kills all the other toes before burning my feet down in a dramatic and spectacularly gruesome finale.

Or it will just look weird.

I think that is it for today. Thank you for playing.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Time Killing Randomness

This might not work....

I am sat at work yet again waiting for a lorry that hasn't arrived when it should have done. As it is past my official finishing time, I thought I would write my blog. It is immeasurably easier to do so from my PC at work than it is to do on my phone at home.

I do have a laptop at home, but it is broken (I've told everyone this - where have you been?)

So as I said here I am writing my blog, or at least trying to. This is my second attempt - my first was thwarted by a sudden and repetitive error message that came up from the Blogger website. I suspect that one of my rogue fingers, bored of being ignored by the part of my brain that controls dexterity, chose to randomly hit a button on the keyboard that did something the website didn't like.
If that last paragraph didn't make sense, allow me to explain: I am an index finger typist - I only use the index finger on each hand to type with. On occasion I use the thumb on my right hand to hit the space bar, but this is a rare occurrence. So while my index fingers are a veritable blur, the other seven digits (remember the thumb that is sometimes used) hang around useless like teenagers at an aptitude test.

I have flirted with touch typing, but found that my cumbersome sausage type fingers (or Cumberland Sausage type fingers if you prefer) are too large for the tiny keys on the average keyboard. I suppose I could invest in a keyboard with larger keys, but this would invariably increase the size of the keyboard, and my desk is already like prime Florida Beachfront - space is hard to come by.

So here I am, a third of the way into my blog (how do I know that? I'm making this up as I go along - this could be three quarters of the way through for all I know. Ah, but that is the beauty of my blog: you never know how long it is going to be. Which makes two of us.) and so far I have managed to write about nothing in particular. To your credit, you are still here too. I guess you must be wondering where all this is going, and to be honest, that is a question I ask myself many a time. The truth? I don't know. What I do know is that for some reason, 'winging' it feels more comfortable than trying to think of something to write about.

I've just seen the time - 18:49. The lorry I am waiting for is taking the preverbial.

But, tomorrow is Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/ (Choose whichever day is Chronologically correct at time of reading this). For me it is Friday - and it is Payday, which means I can buy proper food, and go out and socialise. Not with the food I've just bought - I leave that at home, as I get looks.
This weekend I am buying my Brother's Birthday presents. I have already got his Christmas Present, but will not do the rest of my Christmas shopping until I get paid at the end of November. I would tell you what I have bought him, but there is a slim chance that he reads this blog (hello Richard) and I don't want to spoil the surprise. He is 45 years old, but there is still a piece of child inside of him.

Feel free to make up your own politically incorrect joke about that last sentence.

What other exciting things am I doing this weekend, I hear you ask? Well....amongst other things I shall be:

Shaving the hair off my head, clearing my garden of fallen leaves, apples and dead foliage so that it is nice and clear over the winter. I will also be pruning and tying back some unruly plants. I do not have green fingers, so the end result may look more like Gulliver being tied down by the little people of Lilliput. However, I will give it a go.
I will also be doing a good deed, going food shopping, screaming at the telly, housework (boring), practicing my Sign Language (fabulously enjoyable!) and hopefully catching up with some high quality people.

Oh, I will also be making a first attempt at trimming my goatee beard. Quite a lot could go wrong with this as A) I will be using my hair clippers, B) I threw away all the guides (which let you trim at different lengths) as I always clipper the hair on my head as close to the scalp as possible, and C) The only settings on the clippers themselves are "cut" or "thin". I will be going for thin, which will either have no effect or will gouge great swathes of hair off of my chin.

So you see, my weekend will not be without drama.

And on that note, I think I will bring today's blog to an end. it is 19:05 and I still do not hear a lorry pulling into my yard. I am tired, and hungry, and I would like to go home. Rude words our circulating through my mind, but I will not transpose them into my blog.

Once I complete my blog however, I will be screaming these words at the top of my voice whilst smashing my considerable fists into the keyboard I am currently typing on.

But that is not your concern. I will (I hope) have your company on tomorrow's blog.

For now, Adieu......


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Smug Software

Have you ever noticed how arrogant your AntiVirus software can be?
At work we have AntiVirus software which is free to download - I won't say which one but the AntiVirus is Very Good (capital letters are deliberate).
However, I don't need to know how good it is. I was happily working away, when this message window appears saying "Avg recently protected you from a serious threat". As smugly as it slid into view from the taskbar at the bottom of my screen, it smarmily slid out of view again.

Really? Did my AntiVirus software really tell me that? I couldn't care less to be honest! I don't need to know whether my AntiVirus software has protected me everytime it detects and prevents a threat - that's its job! That is what I expect it to do, and I don't want or need to be told everytime it does what it was designed to do.

These messages are meant to make us worry, and make us question whether we have adequate protection (in the hope that we upgrade or buy more powerful version of the software). Well I'm not worrying. The only time I'll worry will be if I get a message pop up that says:

"Your computer is infected by a virus.  I saw this virus coming, but at the time I couldn't work out if it was a virus or just an old copy of your CV. By the time I realised it was a virus, it was too late. Sorry lol"

If I see that type of message from my AntiVirus software, then I will be concerned.

I was quite taken back by the arrogance of the message I got. I mean, you wouldn't expect to get a knock on the door at half two in the morning from a couple of policemen who just thought that you'd like to know that they arrested a man breaking into an identical house two streets away - and that he was a big bloke too!.

Nor would you expect a phone call from the local fire brigade about how they pulled three people out of a burning building across town, and how lucky those people were that the fire brigade are so helpful!

My AntiVirus software is so great it chooses to check for updates every morning just after I get in - in spite of the fact that I manually set the day and time for updating - so that my pc runs slower than if it was made entirely out of wood, and powered by two disabled hamsters in a knackered old wheel. And just while I am trying to check for emails!

Bring back pen and paper I say......

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fly Hypercondria......and Not Bad, But Stuck At Twenty.

Question: are Hypercondria, and other such mental quirks solely limited to humans? Do animals get De Ja Vu, or second guess themselves?

I only ask because today I noticed two flies on my window sill at work. One seemed perfectly healthy (in a disgusting, fly type of way) but the other one appeared to be in its death throws. It was on its back, with its legs flailing in the air - the common dying fly act.

I was somehow morbidly mesmerised by the tiny thrashing of the fly, as I waited for it to expire. So imagine my surprise when it suddenly righted itself and carried on as if nothing had happened! A moment ago it looked like a goner, and yet here it was sprightly as a fairy sprite in a bottle of a 7up type carbonated drink.

So was this fly actually dying, or was it just a Hypercondriac? If flies have a language, and if I was able to hear and understand it, would I have heard this:

"Aarggh! Dave! I'm done for! This is it, the end for me - I knew I wasn't feeling right this morning. Oh, I can see my life flashing before my eyes; from egg to maggot, to larva, to pupae, to adult. It's too short a life, but my time has come. Farewe- oh, actually, I feel alright now. Come on. I'm hungry......"

As Dave, his long suffering mate - he just turns a blind eye to it all:

"Alright Lenny? Back from the grave again are you? Thought so....(sigh)"

By the way, I assume that all living creatures have their own names for each other, and I further assume that they use human names. It just sounds better.

So yes, Hypercondria amongst insects.....could happen.....

This is my (approximately) 228th blog, and in total my blog has been viewed over 6200 times. That works out roughly to be 30 page views for every blog - which I think is not too bad. However I am a little sad that I have not been able to get more than 20 followers. There may be more people than that who have subscribed to my blog via e-mail, but in terms of followers, its only 20.

I have read other blogs that have hundreds or even thousands of followers. All of those blogs were beautifully set out, articulated wonderfully, and covered a specific topic, rather than ramble on aimlessly about any old rubbish.

Still, it is a mystery as to why I have so few followers.....

Maybe I'm a niche blog.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Conkers - Spider's Kryptonite?

I have recently discovered a strange practice going on in the homes of my friends. Many of them have been strategically placing the seeds of the Horse Chestnut tree (or Conker, to give them their common name) around their home. These Conkers would be found on stairs and on the window sills throughout the home.
At first I was puzzled as to why you would scatter these Conkers throughout your home. Could it be in case you are raided by the Conker police, who pick households at random to check they have a adequate supply of Conkers (as part of a government initiative to bring back more traditional past times)?

As it turns out, no. However, the real reason is far more bizarre:
Apparently, Conkers deter Spiders from coming into your home. Yes, you heard me right - Spiders won't come into your home if you have Conkers.
Just how the Conkers stop the Spiders coming in, is a mystery. Perhaps the Conkers give off a chemical that the Spiders find unpleasant.
Or maybe Spiders just can't climb over them - instead they end up like those circus performers rolling a giant ball around while they stand on it running.
Personally, I think the answer is all in the polish. All the Conkers are highly polished, so that as the spiders approach, they see themselves reflected in the surface of the Conker. We all know how warped we look in the back of a spoon, so multiply that by 8 (the number of eyes a spider has) then multiply that by how horrible a spider looks anyway, and you've got some idea as to how horrible the spiders own reflection must be to it.

Of course, no-one wants Conkers in their home longer than they have to. Luckily you only have to physically place Conkers down for the first year. From the second year onwards all you need to do is put tiny signs that read "Still Got Conkers" on the drain pipes, threshold, and window frames - anywhere the Spiders try to get in.

I must admit, I've only ever heard of one other example where Conkers stopped anything getting in. It was at my aunts house - she had a Rottweiler named 'Conkers' that would attack anything that came near the house. Once it got out and took three fingers off the left hand of our postman. The poor postie was demoted after that as he could only carry parcels from then onwards.

Spiders and Conkers eh? Weird.....
Still.....

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Blue Mat.

I think I'm fairly safe in saying that today was the last half decent day (in terms of temperature) that we will see this year. The weather men said it would reach 18 degrees celcius today, and so I tried to get through as much Washing as I could do. I did all my clothes, and - feeling confident - washed my bathroom mat.

This was a mistake.

Don't get me wrong - my washing machine washed it beautifully, but because of the weight of the mat when wet, my machine couldn't spin at all. So I had to try and dry my bathroom mat from dripping wet on my washing line using the heat of a late October Sun.

To be fair, it gave it a good shot. But when I brought the mat in off the line tonight (after a good 6 hours) it felt damp enough that if I had hands big enough and sufficient strength, I could have wrung it out a bit.
The mat is now sat upon an aired in front of a radiator that isn't on. I am going to see if the warmth of the house during the day will dry it out completely. I am loathe to putting the heating on until I absolutely have to.

I may have to on Wednesday if my mat is not dry, and if I am sick of the smell of wet mat.

Of course the knock on affect of not having my bathroom mat dry is that I will use up more towels when I have a shower, as I will need to stand on one while I dry myself off.
The possibility of me drying everything but my feet whilst in the shower cubicle, and then putting the towel I use down outside for me to step on did cross my mind. However, the combination of my wingspan and the lack of area in my shower would mean that I would only be able to dry myself in 3 inch squares at a time - and that is far too time consuming.

So it will be the two towel method for the next few days.

Such are the trials that are before me......

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Specialist Gentleman's Salon.....and Add-on For Scales.

Today, I made another purchase in the Category "well, I never thought I'd need one of these again". Now before you start, it was none of the following:

A plastic, wipe clean cover for my bed sheet.
Safety scissors.
Training pants.
Stabilisers for my bike.

The item I purchased today was in fact a comb. An item I last purchased over 20 years ago. I bought one today not for my head, but for my beard which is still irritating me somewhat.
This comb is the second hitherto forgotten product I have bought to aid my painful beard, the first being shampoo. I made this purchase on the advice of a fellow beard wearer who suggested that combing my facial fuzz might alleviate some of the irritation.

I must admit that I had my doubts about the whole shampoo and comb thing - but it does seem to be working. What worries me is that my friend might take advantage of my beard naivety, and convince me that other hair products and gizmos would enhance my beard experience. Will I end up with tubs of gel, various dyes, and mini curlers and straighteners? I hope not. I don't want to think that I have to spend hours carefully washing, conditioning, and then styling my beard just to stop it itching.

All this beard management talk got me thinking: are there specialist men's hair salons just for beards, or are they still under the jurisdictional control of men's hairdressers?
If there are specialist salons, are the chairs designed to lean right back so you are upside down, and then are raised up to a manageable working height for the stylist? Instead of tilting your head back to get it washed, do you just dip your chin in a large bowl?

And if there are not specialist salons for beards but only male hairdressers that "do" beards, does that mean that all styling of all hair would be covered by these male hairdressers?
Could you go in and have highlights put in your armpit hair? Could you have tramlines shaved into your chest hair? Would they give you dreadlocks, "down there"? You don't know, they might be obliged to entertain any hair related styling request, under the hairdressers code. Who is to say that you couldn't go in and ask for Brad Pitt's hairstyle round your man parts?
Next time you are in the barbers, ask.

You know bathroom scales? Why can't they, as well as having the weight measurement on them, also have clothes sizings on them? That way, when you weigh yourself you can see what size of clothes you should be wearing. This would eradicate inappropriate outfit choice overnight. The "muffin top" would be no more!

Plus it would be an additional motivation tool: if you could see what weight you had to be to be a dress size smaller, that would give you additional incentive, no?

I think it would work.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Depressing Questions

I'm due to give blood again (woo hoo! Free biscuits afterwards!) on 1st November and - as is customary - along with my reminder letter is the questionnaire that I have to fill out.

This questionnaire asks me to confirm that I haven't gone anywhere or done anything that could make me illegible to donate ie had a blood transfusion and caught something unpleasant, travelled outside of the UK and caught something unpleasant (because Europe and the rest of the world is a bio-hazard filled petri dish compared to pristine, bacteria free Britain), or discovered within the past six months that my entire family is genetically disposed towards a full alphabet of hepatitis, and not just A, B, or C.

There is also a section titled "lifestyle", which basically asks about your sex life - and it is this section which depressed me. You see, if a ringing telephone could be considered the metaphor for a healthy sex life, then I am the phone in the florists chosen to take orders from grieving well wishers for Colonel Gadaffi's funeral.
Every question is a "no" answer:

'since your last donation, have you had sex with:
Anyone who is HIV positive: No.
Anyone with Hepatitis B or C: No.
Anyone who has ever been given money or drugs for sex: No.
Anyone who has ever injected drugs: No.
Anyone who has ever had sex in parts of the world where HIV/AIDS is very common: No.

My answers to this section never change - and are unlikely to whilst I am not getting any action. So these questions just act as a reminder of my appalling romantic success rate - so much so, that as I read and answer them, in my head I hear them as this:

Since your last donation, have you ever had sex with:
Anyone who isn't a famous fantasy: No.
Anyone who isn't inflatable: No.
Anyone who doesn't appear on those websites that make your pc crash: No.
Anyone that isn't yourself, using your other ARM and putting on a voice: No.

Are you ever likely to have sex again with:
A real, living person you sad, pathetic creature: No.

Of course I am embellishing the truth for comic effect, but it does in a small way remind me that I am in the wilderness.

One day I'll just tick yes to everything and add a footnote that reads "yes I've had every kind of sex with every kind of living thing - Animal, vegetable, mineral - I've done them all. In fact, will this donation take long? I'm expected back in 20 minutes for another no holds barred shag-a-thon!

One day..

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Weak, Spiky, Excited, Sad

This is going to be a relatively short post, as I just can't be arsed to spend an hour or so (thanks to my laptop being bust and me having to use the Blogger app on my phone) writing this blog.

So here goes.

Why, when tonights dinner (jacket potatoes) is cooking in the oven, do I feel the need to open the bag of doritos I was saving for my weekly movie night on Friday?
Because I'm weak - as weak as an exhausted kitten that's had to give a blood transfusion to save its sister.
And also because the two cheese rolls I had when I got in from work obviously weren't enough!

My beard - although shampoo'd daily is still spiky in places (the border between North and South Korea for example - always tense around there). I reckon I have some porcupine in me.

Which is why I was kicked out of the petting zoo.

I've recently discovered a brand of clothing called "Fat Face" - its outdoorsy, beachy sort of wear and their winter catalogue dropped through my door today. I am rather looking forward to checking out the new range of clothing....

So colonel Ghadaffi is dead. While I hope that there will be a new era of progress and peace in Libya, I am sad that again a country has been torn apart and so many people killed during the past year or so.
What is even sadder is that there will be more like Ghadaffi in the future, and more innocent lives lost.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sausage Surprise - and The Eye of The Butcher

I had another one of my impulsive moments today.

I was on my lunch break, and I popped into my local butchers to see a friend who worked on the Deli counter. Unfortunately she was busy, so I turned to leave - but then I thought 'butchers - sausages - casserole!'

I don't get out much.

I walked over to the counter and looked at the sausages on display. There were a few varieties on offer, but the ones that caught my eye were hanging from the ceiling.
I ducked away from them rubbing my eye, and saw some that said "Pork & Black Pudding sausages £6.45/kg"
For a moment I stood there, torn between my desire to try new things, and my knowledge of what Black Pudding was made of, and how nasty it looked (and therefore automatically tasted horrible). However inspite of its appalling record with cats, my curiosity was not to be denied. However, I had no idea how many sausages there were to the kilo - if it turned out only two, then this would be expensive!

I decided to ask the assistant behind the counter, and she estimated that there would be 12 to the kilo. She counted out 12, which came to just over a kilo. I was impressed!
I took the sausages home, seperated 4 of them for use tonight (with mash) for tea, and put the rest in the freezer to be used at the weekend.

Well I tried the sausages tonight, and I can honestly say they were delicious! This doesn't mean that I'll be buying Black Pudding anytime soon, but my horizon has been widened slightly.

Now, the butchers assistant's accurate guessing of the sausages per kilo got me thinking: Is it conceivable that a butcher with many years experience, can look at a customer and work out in his head how much meat they get off that person?
If you walked into your local butchers, would the butcher secretly be thinking " get 100 sausages out of that "?
Or worse still, "about four hours at gas mark 5 - for medium-rare"

You can't tell me they don't think about it......

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

You Stubbed Your Toe? Hah! We Made You Do That!

Get this: From GPS to better ways to resolve international conflicts in three easy steps.

Due to the (I presume) bizarre magnetic construction of the 17th Century house I rent, the only place I get any decent mobile signal and WiFi connection is when I am lying on my bed upstairs in my bedroom (which is why it is called that). Sadly, WiFi and mobile signal is the only thing I currently get when lying on my bed.
So it is here that I do my blogging. When I am blogging, there is an option to display my location (i.e my street name - not "horizontal"). I never turn this feature on however, because it just can't get it right. The closest it can get is to give my location as the Indian Restaurant next door, and that just isn't good enough. Surely the technology is there to get pin point accuracy in GPS and that sort of stuff? After all, this is 2011!

But then I got thinking about all the current conflicts and recent wars. How many times have we seen innocent people killed by a missile that wasn't accurate enough? Maybe it is impossible to be that accurate, so the choice for today's modern war machine is greater devastation to counter act the lack of accuracy. If you can't pin point the exact target you want, take out an area ten times the area of the target and you are bound to succeed. Yes, many innocent people will die, but that is that.

But does it need to be? Why can't the technology we have be made to improve accuracy and reduce casualties. Why can't we get a missile the thickness of a Javelin that has a smaller blast area and can be guided more accurately to hit the right target with minimal collateral damage? Why don't we make missiles and rockets smaller, and more personal? If you can have heat seeking missiles, why not DNA seeking darts, that home in on genetic code?

Of course, it is unlikely that any such advancements will take place - so if they won't improve the accuracy, reduce the casualties. Killing someone is not the only way to incapacitate them. Other options could be such things as:

A pollen bomb, that temporarily gives everyone within its blast radius severe hayfever.

An emp type blast that targets the chemical balance of the brain causing temporary Narcolepsy.

A nerve gas that makes you keep biting the inside of your mouth by accident.

Or a chemical weapon that makes your hands and legs go to sleep.

Temporary incapacitation is the future. Why spill blood, when you can induce the hiccups?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Because My Beard Is Worth It.....and Finger Complications

Earlier today, I bought a years supply of shampoo. It's one bottle, 300ml. It is also the first shampoo I have bought in over two years. The reason? Well its not for my head - I need polish for that - nor is it for my downy behind. It is infact for goatee beard.

You see, ever since I've been growing this beard, I've been irritated by it. Not in the visual sense - I actually like it, and the general concensus is that it suits me. However, it is so scratchy and painful (for some reason) that I have been unable to leave it alone.
Thankfully, help was at hand in the form of my very bearded and wonderful friend Alyn, who suggested that I shampoo it to alleviate the irritation.

So today I was in boots looking for travel size shampoo, as I didn't need to buy a full size bottle (I could get bored of the beard in six months and shave it off). However, they didn't have any travel size shampoo so short of buying several ladies magazines and ripping out the shampoo samples in those, I chose the smallest bottle available.

Ironically, it was "Wash & Go" - which is what happened to the hair on my head.

Nonetheless, when I got home from work, I shampoo'd my beard - and what a difference it made! The irritation was gone, the spiky, painful bristles that stuck out from around my mouth, under my nose, and over my chin were replaced with silky strands of man hair. If I do say so myself, it was lovely to touch.

So that's it - from now on I will shampoo my beard daily, nurturing it and keeping it glossy and full of life.

Because it's worth it.

So tonight was my sign language class. It's only our fourth week, but man are we learning stuff!
Tonight we did one and two finger signs (not those, you rude people). We looked at the signs for:
(one finger signs)
I/Me
Myself
You
Yourself
It/That
Him/His
Her/She
Boy
Girl
This
Here
There
Down
Up
Far
Long Way
Come
Go/Go Along
Deep
High
Tell/Told
Say/Said
Warn
Lie (untruth)
But
And
Think
Soft/Easy/Comfortable
Simple
Long
Noise
London
Boss

(two finger signs)
Alter (change)
Quick
Fix
Same
Different
Impossible
Can't
Can
Meet
Near
Opposite
Follow
Forever
Meeting
Information - giving and receiving, verbal and paper based

Talk
Signing
We/Us
Teacher
Student
Story
Sing
Choir
Opera
Kick
Competition
Careful
Things
Issues
Fight

As you can see, that is a lot of signs. I've got to learn those by next week!
We are already close to being able to hold full conversations with each other. In a few weeks time we will know enough signs to be able to say our names, where we live, what our date of birth is, how we feel, describe our families, plus much more.

It is really exciting, but right now my head is buzzing! I thought the one and two finger signs would be easy...

I was wrong!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Karma Trading

So, you know how it is - you're in the pub, you're a little tipsy, and you go and make a deal on the spur of the moment.
Well last night, I made such a deal. My friends Steve and Sam have just bought some new furniture, and therefore had some old furniture they needed to dispose of. At the same time, Sam was saying how she wanted to get this Michael Jackson game for the Wii - but they didn't have a Wii.
Steve asked me if was interested in this furniture (worth about £400), and I said yes - but offered him my Wii in exchange. You see, I don't really play it that much anymore, it does waste time that I could better use writing my story or practicing my Sign Language, and to be honest, I've always fancied an Xbox.

So me and Steve struck a deal, and both got something useful out of it. I have new furniture adorning my home, and Steve and Sam can practice their moonwalk.

Everyone's a winner!

Making a Name For Myself - Not In a Good Way

There are certain things in life that don't mix; Nitroglycerine and Epilepsy, Sword swallowing and the hiccups, Solitaire and Schizophrenia, to name a few.

One other thing that doesn't mix well is my sense of enjoyment and the good idea department of my brain. Yet again the combination of these has led me to disaster.

Last night, I went out with friends to a local comedy night. There were three comedians and a compere - all of which were very good. We were sat behind the front row of tables, which afforded us the luxury of not being picked on by any of the acts on stage. The compere picked on a few people, but we were safe.

There was a break between each comedian for people to get more drinks or spend a penny, and it was during one of these breaks that the trouble started.

Me and my mate were late walking back to our table due to the number of people queuing for the toilet. Our route back took us right past the front of the stage - where the compere was warming the crowd up for the next act. As I walked past level with him, he said something (i forget what) to me. My respone - and I don't know why - was to reach up and pretend to tickle his testicles. I then carried on and returned to my seat. At the time, tickling the balls of the compere seemed a great idea - I was enjoying myself, I was out with friends, it was all good.

Of course that was it - I was the centre of attention for the next 5 minutes, and was referred to by the compere everytime he came back on stage. To cut a long story short, I came away from that night with the title of "Larry The Ball Tickler".

Naively, I thought that name was only relevant within the confines of the venue. I forgot that many of the people who went to the Comedy night would also go back to the same pub we did afterwards, and that all of them would call me by my new title on sight. So my new name stuck with me last night. How long this will run for, is anybody's guess.

In future, I think I'll keep my ideas, and hands to myself.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Lovely, okay - becoming annoying, wonderful, FAB!

The title of today's post is basically a description of my day.

Today started very well with a nice sunrise as I walked to work (see the picture at the bottom of this post - no, not the one of the cake, the other one). It was a lovely sight to behold.

Work itself started out okay - everyone was in a good mood, and there was light hearted conversation. Sadly, the afternoon became slightly more annoying as the lorry that was due to arrive mid afternoon, didn't turn up until late afternoon - and as we usually get to finish early on a Friday, I was not amused. Especially as by this time I was the only one in the office.

In the end, I got away - and then my day improved dramatically. Today is my very good friend Alyn's Birthday, and I popped over to give him his card. I ended up staying for a while and chatted to Alyn and his lovely partner Emma. I also got to hold their new (well, not so new - they've had her a while now) baby Fern, who for the moment is in a special harness to correct a minor problem with her hips. Because of this harness, Fern looks like she is constantly doing the splits - or if you hold her upside down, she looks like the letter "Y". She is not in any pain, and only has to have that harness for 11 weeks.
I also got to have an in depth conversation with Ferns older brother Dylan. The topics we discussed were: The Adventures of Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends (sub-plot: why Oliver is unpopular), the correlation between my height and my ticklishness, and blowing raspberries on Dylans tummy - could this be a force for peace?.

In truth, my time with Dylan made me remember a truth I had forgotten: I'm good with kids. I will be offering my baby sitting services to Alyn and Emma in the Future - although they might have to take Fern with them; small, small children are not my forte - too many possible combinations of factors that might make me feel helpless.

All too soon I had to leave - but I did come away with a large slice of Alyn's birthday cake (see second photo). This was made by Emma, who had used enough food colourings to alter my genetic code. Dylan helped decorate the cake, with jelly beans etc.
The basic upshot of all this, is that I an liable to be high as a kite on E-numbers, and halucinating later on when I eat the cake.

Still, I've had worse Friday nights.



Thursday, 13 October 2011

Matters of Perspective, and Pressure.

I have noticed something strange going on when I cook. It would appear that I have a problem with "Portion Perception" - an inability to accurately calculate the right size portion for myself when preparing meals.

Take tonight for example; I decided to have Steak & Ale pie (2 for £3 in Co-op right now) with potatoes and veg (carrots and leeks). With the pie there is no ambiguity: you know exactly how much there will be both before and after it is cooked.
Like a farmer with a feisty crop, it is the vegetables that seem to give me trouble. For some reason I got no warning that two large potatoes (quartered), four carrots (chopped), and three leeks (as per carrots) would in fact fill the plate, leaving me no option but to balance my pie upon this mound of root vegetables as I ate.

There was enough food there for two meals, and yet in their un-peeled, un-chopped form they didn't look that much. I just couldn't visualise them cooked and on my plate, which is a bit of a worry. What's next? Will I merrily stuff 17 Weetabix into a bowl, and then be surprised when the four pints of milk I try to add to them overflows? Will I cheerfully keep toasting slice after slice of bread until the whole loaf is used up, only to stand confused amid the scattered toasted bread slices strewn across my kitchen?
Today, the National Obesity Ombudsman - OFFAT - released the results of a year long study into the causes of obesity. It's findings? We should eat and drink less (no sh*t Sherlock!).
I'm definitely going to keep a closer eye on what I consume - or I might lose my hunky, athletic physique!


Right, let me clear something up. This is for the benefit of all the ladies out there, and it relates to us men.

Contrary to popular belief, men do not intentionally urinate on or around the toilet seat. The issue here is a combination of pressure, geometry, and (to a small degree) ego.
When passing water, there is a certain amount of pressure which dictates how fast the water is passed. Because the device through which the water passes is flexible, and not solid all the time (if it was, you ladies would hang your car keys from it), the pressure of the water will make it move. In turn, this movement affects the angle at which the water leaves the device and heads towards the bowl.
Now I know you are all saying that all we have to do is hold it - and believe me, in certain circumstances we do. As any man will tell you, if you try to urinate with an erection hands free, you will either shoot yourself in the eye, or finally remove that cobweb from the corner of the bathroom ceiling.

So when we don't have to hold it, we don't - because this also gives us a chance to test our skill at counter acting the angle of trajectory of our water by making tiny adjustments to our stance, shifting our weight slightly, leaning forwards or backwards as we urinate. Ladies you will never know the sense of satisfaction gained by being able to urinate accurately with no hands. Likewise, you cannot comprehend the annoyance and self loathing caused by weeing on your own hand in a momentary lapse in concentration.

I would go as far as to suggest that the cause of unguided urination is young males learning the skills required to control their aim. These skills take many years to perfect, and (if you'll pardon the pun) it is very hit and miss.

What I can assure is that we are not standing over the bowl, with our hands on our hips jiggling about whilst trying to write our full name and address in urine across the bathroom.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Feeling Festive!

Today, I was taken by surprise by a sudden feeling of "looking forward to Christmas". I know, I know, it is far too early to start thinking about the "C" word (even though mince pies and selection boxes are in the shops) - but I was thinking about what I was going to get people this year, and got a warm feeling inside.

In terms of the holiday itself, I hope to finish work a week before. Mind you, I hoped that last year, and didn't get away until midday on Christmas Eve. However, ever the optimist I hope to have enough time to catch up with some lovely people before spending Christmas with my Brother and my Sister at her house.

I have already started my Christmas Shopping and plan to get it all done in plenty of time. This will avoid the need to rush out last minute and end up with a garage forecourt present. A bunch of diesel smelling flowers and a magic tree car air freshener only works once.

I am also drawing up a list of things I would like - not in the expectation of getting them all, but to give my siblings (and anyone else that wants to buy me a present - the list is available on request) as much scope as possible when it comes to choice.

Obviously, if I WAS to get everything on the list, that would be lovely.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Cursed By Faulty Ears and a Jittery Brain.

OH FOR THE LOVE OF SANITY!!

It was a simple enough task; spoon a portion of leftover Hungarian Cholent into a bowl, heat said bowl in the microwave, eat heated Cholent, and relax.

Easy, no?

Well, apparently not - not when you are as timid as a mouse as I appear to be!

Stages 1 and 2 (being the spooning out of and the heating of a portion of leftover Cholent) were completed without a hitch. It was stage 3 where my nervous brain and over sensitive ears conspired against me.

I open the microwave, and started to take the bowl of deliciously heated Hungarian stew out. At some point the bowl chinked against the side of the microwave, and that is where the fun began.

For some reason, my ears interpreted that "chink" as a "pop". A millionth of a second later the electric impulses from my ear raced into my brain screaming "IT'S GONNA EXPLODE! THE MICROWAVE IS GOING TO BLOW UP, CAUSING A SMALL NUCLEAR EXPLOSION WHICH WILL VAPORISE ME INSTANTLY. ALL THAT WILL BE LEFT OF ME WILL BE A PILE OF ASH WITH GLASSES ON TOP!"

Upon hearing this, my brain replied " It's ok, I know what to do - I'll make me step back suddenly and jerkily". And that is what I did - suddenly moved backwards, forgetting that I only had one hand gripping the bowl.

At that moment, my hand was wrenched from the bowl. For a split second it hovered in mid air, before starting to fall to earth. With a groan, I lurched forwards, with arms outstretched. My left wrist caught the bottom of the bowl, sending it spinning to the right. Like a Casserole Catherine Wheel, meat, sauce and vegetables sprayed out in a spiral as the bowl spun downwards. I stood there frozen, as I waited for the bowl to smash on the floor.

In truth, it would have been better if it had.

The bowl somehow managed to reach the ground perfectly level, therefore spreading the impact equally and not breaking. A millisecond later the energy displaced into the floor by the bowl came back to it as it bounced upwards. The remaining contents of the bowl (of which there was plenty, surprisingly) now hurled itself from the bowl like projectile vomit, and arced up the wall, across the door frame and through the open doorway into the lounge, landing with an audible squelch across my 4-plug extension cable.

For a moment, everything was quiet - except for the dripping of sauce from several worktops and fittings. Then, in a very loud voice, I demonstrated my full repatoir of rude words, and continued to do so for a good minute or so. Once that was out of my system, I set about clearing up.

I did get it all done, though I hate nothing more than pulling beans out of the sockets on an extension cable. And I fear I will have to wash a corner of my lounge carpet, or else it might start to smell.

The funny thing is, that I'd already eaten tea at a friends house tonight before I got home.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Feeling Emotional? Count To One Million, and Then Gurn at Someone

Firstly, apologies for the lateness of this post.

Secondly, don't give me no crap about this post being late - I've had a busy evening.

So, tonight was Sign Language class night, and this week the workload and pace was stepped up. Tonight we looked at signs for emotions; Angry, Excited, Scared, Depressed, Cruel, Lazy, and one of the other back up dwarves that never made it into Disney's final filming of "Snow White"
We also started learning to count - from zero to ten; then eleven to twenty; then in tens to a hundred, and so on, right up to one Million.

We then looked at how to ask someone when they were born, and learnt how to tell someone our date of birth. So so far, we have covered spelling, asking someone's name, and replying, asking where someone lives and replying, and now asking how someone feels, and be able to tell how we feel. And on top of all that be able to count to a million, sign dates of birth, and ask when. someone was born.

We were encouraged tonight to test each others ability to "read" us when we sign by changing our name, where we live, and our date of birth. So for a short time, I was Karen from Guatemala, and I was born on 17th August 1643.

Tonight, we also discovered that our exam (when we have to have a four minute conversation with a deaf person) is going to be recorded on Camera. Apparently this is so our tutor can review them and appeal in cases when 1 mistake meant the difference between pass and fail (where appropriate).

So all in all, my head is buzzing. There is so much information that I am trying to process, it really is a headache. I am going to spend the next week practicing facial expressions in front of the bathroom mirror, because expressions are so important in sign language.

Good job I live alone!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Success (Sort of), Pain (Definitely), and A Bridge Between Two Worlds

So another successful slow cooker meal can be added to my list (that makes two). This week it was Hungarian Cholent, which is a kind of stew.

Now although I can say that this new recipe came out delicious, I have to admit that things didn't go exactly to plan....

Firstly, my Haricot beans boiled over, and in mopping up the stove I nearly set the tea towel I was using (as it was the closest absorbent item to hand) on fire. I burnt a hole through it, and had to throw it away. For next few moments I waited for the smoke alarm to go off - but to my relief it didn't.

Although now I'm thinking that might be a bad thing.....

The second hitch I encountered was the fact that my slow cooker wasn't big enough to hold all of the ingredients. I had to leave out a tin of chopped tomatoes (or rather the contents of the tin) and two tablespoons worth of rice. Even with these omissions, my slow cooker was full to the brim.

Luckily, all was not lost. When it was cooked I had two bowl fulls off the Cholent "as is", and then added the tomatoes and the rice. This is cooking off now, and will be ready in about twenty minutes.

Of course I know the reason for the lack of space - I followed the recipe and its measurements as they were printed, even though they were for enough to serve six people. But its all right, as this will last me for at least another two meals.

On a sadly more sour note, I have been today visited by an unpleasant old acquaintence: my bad back.

I was fine this morning, and then when I went to get up off the sofa, WHAM! someone drove several red hot needles into my lower back. You know when it hurts so much you are scared to move? I was like that for a good few minutes. Eventually, like Mick Hucknall, I got up gingerly - but have spent the rest of the day walking like I've soiled myself.

I don't know what has brought this on - maybe it is the long hours I did last week catching up with me that did it. Or maybe it is old age. Whatever it is, I don't like it. I'll have a shower before Downton Abbey tonight, and hopefully that will help relieve it.

Now, there are very few moments in life, where two completely seperate things in your life become linked, or you discover that they are linked. Today, I had one of those moments.

I was watching a programme called "Planet Dinosaur", which this week was about the fight for life between predators and prey. One of the dinosaurs they were focusing on was the Stegosaurus stegosaurus - Google Search and they were describing its armour, namely the set of spikes in its tail. This weapon has been named the "Thagomizer" - but it hasn't been given that name in honour of the scientist who discovered its use. It has in fact been called that in honour of a Cartoonist (my favourite Cartoonist as it happens) who used that exact title in one of his Cartoons in May 1982.
The Cartoonist is called Gary Larson; his cartoons were called "The Far Side", and the cartoon in question can be found at the bottom of this blog.

People have had streets, buildings, asteroids, and inventions named after them, but to have the subject of a cartoon used as a real scientific term - that beats them all for me. I've had the work of my favourite Cartoonist and the subject of a lifetimes interest joined together by one word. That doesn't happen very often, and I think It's fab.

So here's to you, Thag Simmons!


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Menu Change and Over Compensating When Meeting People

For those of you who don't know, I recently received a slow cooker, as way of a thank you for a kind deed I did someone. This slow cooker has - as I knew it would - ignited a passion for cooking, that I didn't know was inside me.

Last weekend I used the slow cooker for the first time and made a Sausage and Potato Casserole. I chose that dish because it was fairly simple, but mainly because I hadn't had Casserole in a long time - maybe 15 years. I must say, that it did turn out very well and was absolutely delicious.

For this weekends slow cooker recipe, I had much grander plans. I have borrowed a One Pot / Slow Cooker recipe book by my very good friends Alyn and Emma (hi guys, hope you are well) and was going to make Spicy Pork Casserole with Dried Fruit. This is a dish inspired by the South American mole - and I don't mean the small, furry burrowing animal. You're not going to see one of those on my plate with an Apple stuffed in its mouth. And when I say South American mole, I'm not talking about some guy in a sombrero selling Brazilian secrets to the Russians. A mole is a paste made from chilli, shallots, and nuts.

So I'm reading through the ingredients last night making a list of what I need to buy, and out of curiosity I glance at the method. Good job I did look, because it says I need a food processor to make the mole. I don't have one, and the closest I could get to a food processor is me with a fork in one hand and my other hand in a plug socket. So I had to scrap that recipe idea.
Luckily, there are plenty of others to choose from, so I flicked through and found one I could do: Hungarian Cholent, which is a sort of stew with beans, grains, meat and vegetables. Some of the ingredients I'm using are new to me, as are most of the techniques - but its great fun and I am loving it. I expect to try my hand at other cooking apart from slow cooker recipes.

So I was out shopping today, when I bumped into some friends. These friends of mine were with friends of theirs, a young couple, and we all got introduced. When I shook the hand of the guy in the couple he really gripped my hand hard. You know how there is that idea that men show their superiority when meeting other men by having a stronger grip? Well this guy believed it!
I don't have a weak handshake, but I don't feel the need to crush the hand of any other man I meet - I just shake hands firmly but with a smile. A really strong grip can be a danger - you'll be really unpopular at Christmas dinner because you'll win all the cracker prizes, you run the risk of wasting toothpaste everytime you brush your teeth, and if you are a single man, there are certain times when too strong a grip can cause serious injury!

So yes, have a firm grip - but don't overdo it. If you are putting all of your energy into perfecting the strongest grip going in order to show how strong and manly you are, then you have more problems than you realise.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Eye-earwax Coordination

So...is it only me, or does everyone have to look in the mirror when they clean their ears with a cotton bud?

I had a shower after work today, and (as I always do) gave my ears a clean. But why did I have to stand in front of the mirror to do so? Its not like I need to see what I am doing.

Cleaning your ears is one of many physical tasks that you can do without needing to actually see - like scratching the back of your head, putting food in your mouth with your eyes shut, and tightrope walking over a flaming pit of broken glass and rusty nails.

So why do I (and hopefully all you) need to look in the mirror? Do we use a combination of facial expressions and touch to get the maximum amount of ear wax out of our ears?
If we didn't look in the mirror would we waste several minutes blindly stabbing at the sides of our heads with the cotton bud?

In truth, probably not. But it is weird why we (I) do the whole mirror - ear clean thing.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Workload Ambush, Tortoise Shell Beard, And Alternaitve Uses For Letterbox Bristles

As I enter my eleventh hour at work today, I am waiting (yet again) for a lorry. At times like this I feel I should re-name myself as "Larry the lorry waiter" - although when I say that out loud the image that comes to mind is of an American truck stop where the waitresses come out to the lorries to take the order and bring the food, and for some reason I have a picture of myself in a crop top, hot pants and on roller-skates. On second thoughts, let's not rename myself that eh?

And obviously never speak of it again.

Anyway, I'm still at work after a long day and I just don't know why things have got so busy lately. I am aware that this is the start of our busiest period of the year, but still I definitely have the feeling that this past week the rush of work has come on "all of a sudden". Even as I type I am thinking about what I have to do tomorrow - get stuff ready to be sent to our packing house, pick two orders, put three other orders on the system, wrap and label another order, notify the packing house of items we need back next week for orders going out....plus many, many more. I will be coming in early - for the fourth day running - and can feel the accumulative weariness creeping up on me. Every day this week I have begun to felt tired a little bit earlier with each passing day. If I was to carry on like this in about a week I would wake up in the morning, get dressed, have breakfast and then promptly fall asleep again.

Hang on - the lorry I'm waiting for has turned up. I shall continue writing this blog at home..........

...sorry about that, I'm at home now. So yes, I feel like all this work has been waiting in the shadows and now has suddenly jumped out and grabbed me. Just when I think I'm making headway, I remember a shed load of things I still have to do. I guess I should be thankful because I have a job - I am thankful, but at the moment...I'm run off my feet!

So, I'm growing a goatee. But I have discovered that due to a combination of dark hairs, grey hairs, and redness of the skin beneath my beard caused by irritation, my goatee is taking on a tortoise-shell colouring. I don't yet know whether a multicoloured beard will help or hinder my romantic aspirations - although I will concede that having less of my handsome face on show will make it slightly harder for women to fall in love with me at first sight.

Talking of hairs....I have a hairy letterbox - and no, I'm not being rude. What I mean is, is that my letterbox has those bristles on the inside which act as a draught excluder.
At least I think that is what they are used for? For all I know, their purpose might be for cleaning mud off your shoes - you simply pass the shoe toe first through the letterbox from outside to in,  and as it goes through the bristles remove the dirt which falls harmlessly outside the door where it can be trodden on by someone wearing socks - no, harmlessly swept away.
This cleaning method could also work if you were dropping dog poo through the door of someone you don't like - simply drop the poo, and as you retract your hand, the brushes clean your hand. Obviously, you would still have some poo on your hands - well you did pick it up in the first place!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Concern For Others Will Be The Death of Me!

I'll tell you something, it's not all fuzzy feelings and a sense of pride when I put others first - it can be painful!

For a few days this week, I am starting work early - at around 6am - so have been getting up extra early. I set my alarm for 5am, but I turn up the volume so that it is extra loud and I have to get up and turn it off, rather than do what I normally do and bury my head under the duvet. I have deliberately put my alarm clock on the other side of the room, to give me another reason to get up.

So, this morning my alarm goes off at 5am and I leapt out of bed like a.....erm....like a......oh well I can't think of anything - but I really got out of bed sharpish! The trouble is, I wasn't really rushing to silence the alarm for me. You see, I sleep with one window open, and my main concern was my alarm disturbing my neighbours. I don't know why I worry so much, they don't give a fig about me, and have never complained about noise. Nonetheless, at 5am this morning as I stumbled blindly in the dark towards my alarm clock, the welfare of my neighbours was foremost in my mind.                          

Unfortunately, I forgot about the wardrobe.

My wardrobe is built into the wall. To be honest, I actually think it is just a recess in the wall that a previous occupant put a rail in and two slatted doors on the front of. The doors shut by way of catches at the top, but it would appear that these catches only work periodacally, as the doors have a tendency to swing back open unexpectedly. This is what happened at some point during the night.

So as I leapt out of bed, I was unaware that I was on a collision course with six foot of wardrobe door.
As I stumbled bleary eyed towards the alarm clock, every step took me closer to disaster.
I reached my left arm out to switch off my alarm, when WHAM!! the wardrobe door caught me squarely on my right shoulder. Considering it's made of quite flimsy wood, I'm surprised that it didn't shatter under the impact of my 16 + stone frame. What is even more surprising, is the fact that I didn't break my shoulder!

It really really hurt, and I'm not afraid to say that I cried a bit. I am afraid to say that I blubbed like a girl.

Stupid neighbours!

Stupid wardrobe!

Stupid alarm clock!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Need Food and Bed.

I'm fairly Knackered to tell the truth, as I started work at 6am this morning. And by the looks of it, I will be starting early tomorrow and Thursday.

As I type this, two large potatoes are cooking in my oven. I was sorely tempted to buy something tasty and fattening on the way home, but a little voice inside me told me not to. Trust me to be dominated by the other side of my split personality :-(

So I am sat at home, tired and hungry. I might just nod off before I finish this blog - only to be roused ny the smoke billowing from my oven as my potatoes are burnt to a crisp.
Oh, and the noise from my smoke alarm.

Did I change the battery in that?.....

Monday, 3 October 2011

Signs......Easy To Get Wrong!

Apologies for the lateness of this post, but I was out at my Sign Language Course tonight.

It was another good lesson, and I continue to discover that although I have done the signs we are learning on the online course I did, there are subtle differences when learning this way. I think this way is much better. Among the things I learnt tonight were:

The sign for "live" - as in "live you where?" Is only separated by the sign for "toilet" by the position of your hand in relation to your body when you sign it.

Similarly, the sign for "sugar" is dangerously similar to the sign for "shit", and it is only the shape of your fingers that is the difference. One lump or two?

I also learnt that I need to move. Tonight we learnt how to ask where someone lives, and how to say where we live by finger spelling the name of where we live. As I live in Sturminster Newton, by the time I finish the person asking the question has either forgotten what they were asking, or has died of old age.

Still, I'm really enjoying it.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Hot, Lovely, and Tasty

The high quality of my weekend just keeps on going!
After a surprisingly enjoyable night last night in the pub which contained dodgy keyboard playing, amazing card tricks and great conversation, today was all about new stuff.

It was again, seriously hot and I was thankful for the breeze generated by me driving with my window open full. I went to Yeovil for a wee bit of retail therapy, and a cappuccino and Blueberry muffin.
Not being a woman, I knew exactly what I was shopping for and finished my shopping in an hour. I was walking through the car park to my car, when I saw a distinctive car that I knew very well. After a quick text, I discovered that this cars owner was also in town, and agreed to meet up for a coffee and a catch up.
It was lovely catching up again as this particular car owner is both fabulous and gorgeous. We had a good laugh and a natter over a coffee ( I had a Latte as I couldn't manage another cappuccino) and then went our separate ways.

I came home and started preparing my sausage casserole which was to be the inaugural meal cooked in my slow cooker. With the sun beating through my kitchen windows I was really hot, but persevered and soon the meal was in the slow cooker. It cooked for four hours, and without wishing to sound boastful it tasted amazing. I have done enough for two meals - today's and tomorrow nights, which is useful because I have Sign Language class tomorrow and won't have time to cook.

As for tonight, I might be going out again, depending on whether I get a call from a mate. I won't be massively disappointed if he doesn't call as my favourite programme is on Tv tonight and I would prefer to watch it rather than record it and watch it later.

But either way, I'm in for a good evening.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Bargain, Blonde, Beard

Firstly, my apologies if this post is littered with spelling mistakes, I am writing it via the App on my phone. My laptop is broken so this is the way I will be blogging from now on.
I have had a lovely day - mainly because of my food shopping experience. I went to Tesco, and got my weekly shop - including the ingredients for my Sausage and Potato Casserole which I will cook tomorrow. Because it is the first shop of the month, and I had to buy all the stuff I had run out of (washing liquid, deodorant, foil etc.) I had budgeted £50 for it all. So I was very pleased with myself when it came to £47. But that was not the best bit about my shopping trip.

While I was queueing up to pay, I saw a really beautiful woman looking for a checkout. I grabbed the "next customer" barrier thing and made room on the conveyor. She started loading her items and we got chatting. From what she was loading, I could tell she was having a barbecue, so we talked about that.

There was a bit of banter between us, so I cheekily asked her when and where this barbecue was happening, and she said 7pm tonight at her and her partners house. When I heard this, outwardly I didn't react, but inside is was shouting "oh for heavens sake! Throw me a frickin' bone here!"
Then it was my turn to be served, so I angrily rammed my shopping into the bags for life I use, and went home.

To be honest, I'm not upset about it. That woman was stunning - in a naturally beautiful way, and just having that chat and a wee bit of banter really made my day.

So I came home, shaved my head, and started growing a goatee. I get my beard out every now and then, as it gives me something new to look at when I am brushing my teeth.

I'm toying with the idea of going out tonight, as I am in the mood for adventure....