Archive for July, 2007

Grumpy Bear Day

Had a bit of a grumpy bear day yesterday. I think it was because I don’t remember sleeping before 6am or so. (Don’t really know why except perhaps it might be work-related.) That’s bound to get anyone off to a grumpy start. Luckily it was Saturday, so I didn’t have to be at work. Got up at about 11am feeling about 95% grumpy, wobbled around for a bit and gradually the grump-o-meter reduced to about 70%.

Went and collected a toothbrush holder I’d ordered (it matches the shelves and loo roll holder in the new bathroom) and then on to the supermarket for food since I hadn’t been for about a fortnight and supplies were getting low. Arrived at the checkout and was asked the standard question: “Do you want any help with your packing?” I gave my standard reply: “No thanks.” (I always bring my own bags so I don’t end up over-run with them at home. I also – as do a lot of people – have my preferred way of packing things.)

Now, is it just me, but whenever you say ‘no you don’t want any help thanks’, why does it make the cashier feel this is an invitation to throw the items at you quicker than you can pack them? It’s not a race people! It’s not going to make me pack any quicker, so I’d be grateful if you didn’t slam my apples at me so they develop bruises. Honestly – you think they’d be grateful for the chance to scan the items in a more relaxed and leisurely manner. (After all, the days of looking for the price and manually ring it up on the register are long gone. 😉 ) Grump-o-meter back up 85%.

Then home and grump-o-meter swinging up and down depending on whatever the current activiaty was. It should be noted that having a cup of tea causes a general downward swing (with a corresponding upward swing in the Happ-o-meter), whereas mowing the lawn increases grumpiness and decreases happiness with alarming rapidity. Had my usual bad-tempered conversation with myself about “Why, oh why, oh why, did I go for a hover mower because hover is the last thing it does and I would have been SOOOOOOO much better off with a push along one.”

Then because the sun has (unusually for this year) dared to shine all afternoon, my neighbours insist on cranking up their gas powered BBQ. This always makes me grumpy. I don’t know why.  Perhaps it’s because “one relatively sunny day” + “BBQ” = “British cliché”.

On a brighter note, I did manage to take some poppy photos that I liked. Here are a couple:

Good morning


Rounded off the day with a girls DVD evening at a friend’s. We watched “Music and Lyrics” which had such an awful, cheesy script it was untrue. (It must have been bad because even I noticed.) However, the “POP goes my heart” song at the beginning and end were very chucklesome and we also enjoyed the bit where Hugh Grant’s character is being slightly beaten up over a restaurant table and he begs the other guy to stop because “my face is in the butter”.

Much happier today as I had slept for a full nine and half hours! Count ’em baby!


I’ve been schmapped!

I had two pictures from my flickr album put forward for final selection to be included on the schmapp page for Downtown LA and I found out this morning that they have indeed decided to include them. How exciting!

Mine are two of the Pershing Square photos. You can hopefully click here to view.

What flower are you?

Didn’t have time to write anything properly today, but wanted to leave you with a little something…

 I am a

What Flower
Are You?


“Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh.”

Thank you to this quiz at This Garden is Illegal. I am very happy to be a snapdragon!

The Singing Test

Some time ago I posted about the joys of singing at the sink while washing up. I believe singing is good for you and releases some kind of endorphine or something. 🙂

Well, now it appears that singing IS indeed good for you. Not quite in the way I meant, but good is still good. I was watching a programme on the telly, and there are some simple tests that can give an indication of how ‘old’ you are. Apparently the state of your lungs is a good general indication of how long you’re going to live and I quote:

“Walking, swimming and even singing will help keep your lungs young and a recent study found that people who ate five or more apples a week had better lung function.”

So there you go. Get singing people. And munching apples. Just not at the same time or you might choke and that would just not do. And after you’ve munched on the apples you could always take silly photos like this:


I’ll do  garden update this weekend. Not that I’ve done anything for what feels like about a million years. Damn stupid, awful, boring, depressing, frustrating, and occasionally torrential RAIN!!!

Show us yer butt

As you may have noticed, I have a flickr album. Today when I was checking it (as I am needy enough to do every thirty seconds or so) I saw I had a comment on one of my pictures which included an invite for me to join a flickr group and show everyone my ‘butt’.

I was horrified for about one and a half seconds until I realised it was a group dedicated to pictures of water butts. I then proceeded to roll around on the floor laughing hysterically for a good couple of minutes* after which time I was able to compose myself and accept the invitation to display said picture in their group.

This is the picture that prompted the invite. (Please note large slug attempting to mountaineer up butt.)

Two Daleks, a butt and big ole slug

I’ve had a look in the butt ‘pool’ and there is one butt that is indeed a butt. I can’t post the picture here, but here’s a link to it because I feel it is well worth a look!

In other news I was able to spend a few hours pottering around outside before I got rained on. Managed to mow the meadow lawn, and more or less finish digging over and sieving one of my new beds.  (Didn’t get to do it to quite the amount of anal perfection I’ve done with the others due to wet stuff falling out of the sky, but it will just have to do.)

I have some lobelia that was meant to go in said bed about a month ago and I was at last able to move them to their rightful positions. I’d had to put them in a different bed, because they were practically climbing out of their plug pots and begging to stretch their legs, so hopefully they won’t be tooooo alarmed by the move. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

And cue rain and the Nezette** dashing for cover.

* okay… really I just sat on the sofa and chuckled quietly to myself for a couple of seconds.

 ** that’s especially for Katie!

What’s going on in the garden then?

Well…not much really. It’s still too wet to be ‘digging’ and also this week I am without a bathroom while I’m having a nice new one installed so I can’t go getting too dirty. My neighbours are very kindly letting me use their shower so I’m not ponging or anything, but I’m not about to go traipsing mud through their house.

It’s not as wet as it has been recently though, so I have managed to do one or two jobettes outside.

  • On Monday I just lazed around all day and did nothing which was very nice thank you very much.
  • On Tuesday (inspired by the hammering sounds coming from up above) I knocked a few naily-hook things into my fence (only hitting my thumb once) and threaded some wire through them in the hope that the sweet peas might decide to have a go at climbing skywards. Poor things – they look a bit unloved. I did rather throw them in the ground in a hurry and left them to it. (Probably because as soon as I got the trowel out I seem to recall it started raining.)
  • On Wednesday I gave Bruce a severe haircut. Complete short back and sides. (Bruce is my Forsythia bush.) If you’re British you may get my bad, bad, bad excuse for a joke. I think the before and after shots below are quite startling. 🙂
  • On Thursday – today – I gave the (nameless) cotoneaster next to Bruce a pudding bowl haircut. I’m not sure he’s speaking to me now. Oh dear. Poor cotoneaster. He was given a VERY bad haircut several years ago, and as a result his branches don’t grow from the bottom anymore, so it’s hard to give him a stylish ‘do’ these days. He does look a bit bare and naked on the bottom now. Perhaps I ought to try and find him a loin cloth until things start growing again.
  • On Friday I may well do nothing again.

Anyway – here’s a few photos.

Trying to persude the sweet peas to start climbing up the fence:
Sweet peas (blog pic)
Bruce before his haircut
This reminds me of somebody....
And after…
Bruce (blog pic)

Told you it was severe! Don’t worry. He’ll grow back. He always does. And I might be able to splash some paint on that fence now. (If it EVER stops raining properly….)

Pop(py) Art

Well, they came and started on the bathroom today. Oh alright then – ONE man came and started on the bathroom today. The old one is all ripped out now and in a skip on my drive. He even got as far as making a good start on sorting out all the pipework for the new ‘furniture’.

Meanwhile I spent the day staying ‘out of the way’, making the worker guy cups of coffee at regular intervals, and wandering around in the garden with the camera. I also learnt about a clever little thing called ‘Macro’ today, which I then discovered my camera actually has (although I didn’t know it).

Macro is a little ‘thingy’ that lets you take decent close-ups of things like flowers with a digital camera. Since I’ve had my flickr album, I noticed people mentioning the term ‘macro’ quite a lot, so today I finally got around to looking it up and – hey presto – ther it was hiding innocently on my camera. I also have ‘SuperMacro’ as well as just bog-standard ‘Macro. (I really should just read the entire manual shouldn’t I?!)

(If you want to see if your own digital camera has it, look for a little symbol of a tulip. If you also have a tulip with an ‘S’ by it, well that’s ‘SuperMacro’. Splendid!)

So,  everytime the sun came out I had a play. And it works. I can now take non-blurry close ups! Woohoo! Here’s my current favourite poppy photo:


Poppies are just about the only thing flowering in the garden at the moment. They look so bright and cheerful, and were just crying out to be photographed. It was quite sunny today, so the blue of the sky and the wispy clouds just ‘set them off’ nicely.

I had to ‘guess’ at what I was taking though as I couldn’t get my head down that low. Sometimes I ‘missed’ completely, but every now and then I got a decent shot like this.


July 2007
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