Saturday, 28 April 2007

Urban Legend

The Sun Online has this wonderful tale of Sheep from the UK and Australia being sold as Poodles in Japan. Please click to get the computer enhanced picture of a Sheep after its been tarted up at the Poodle Parlour. Very strange.

This Blogger does a pretty good job of exposing the scam but it is a good one all the same.

Almost as good as an Urban Myth going around several years ago. A couple took their five year old with them on a holiday to Cambodia. The family fell in love with a scrappy looking little puppy dog that followed them wherever they went. It moved into their hotel room. Time to return to the UK and they couldn't leave the puppy behind so they smuggled it home.

The puppy slept in the five year old's bed every night. The Puppy got ill. They called the vet. The vet tells them,

'This isn't a dog, it's a vicious Cambodian Dock Rat.'

I like the Poodle-Sheep one better.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Lavatorial TMA

After thirty two years of loyal service, my faithful Avocado Green Lavatory has spent the whole day in my front garden waiting for the Plumber Man to take him to the tip. When my Mum reads this she will tell me I Have No Shame posting a photo of my old toilet on my Blog.I shall have to reassure her that the whole of my town probably now knows that I am the last person on this earth to still have an Avocado Lavatory (and bath and hand-basin) as they sneak past my house, gasp in amazement at how plebby I am and tell all their friends down the pub. These numbers of people with knowing winks and nods will far exceed my Blog readership Mum.
Just as impressive was my son-in-law phoning me asking if I saw the momentous Carrying Across The Road Drama of my Avocado Bath at ten to four yesterday afternoon. I didn't see this. I know everyone else saw it.
Meanwhile, after two weeks with the builders in my house every day renovating the bathroom, I've had no other choice but to sit here at my laptop and work on my TMA as I select tiles, mosaics, emulsion and make more tea. So, as I was well behind with my studies, this is a Good Thing as my TMA is now written - to be left alone for a few days - then a re-read and file away until submitted.
I've only seen one Builder's Bum too. This was when the Plumber was doing things to my boiler and the young Electrician did a very good impression of vomiting at the view.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Our Elsie

There's a public house in my town called Tanners but known locally as Elsie's. So it was rather sweet to spend the weekend in the canal village of Buxworth in Derbyshire at The Navigation Inn once owned by Pat Pheonix - also known as Elsie Tanner. Very peaceful location and I even forgave the current owners for their choice of Brown Brushed Cotton Sheets on the bed, colour-co-ordinated with Brown Curtains and Brown Towels. Most unfortunate.
We walked miles along the tow paths admiring the narrow boats. Very calming imagining chugging along canals at five miles an hour, cooking on a wood burning stove, chatting to the ducks, mooring whenever -especially near an Inn.
The journey home on the train back to the West Country was amusing by contrast. An over-dressed, over-jewelled, over-made-up mother and daughter made such a fuss over their seats. It took them from Birmingham New Street to Cheltenham Spa to settle down.
They'd reserved two seats to Plymouth but were dismayed to discover that all the seats, including their reserved ones, were facing with their backs to the engine. This is because Virgin train carriages are Airline Design. It does feel as if the train could be air-bourne any moment.
They fussed and faffed in the aisle for almost an hour, declaring they would be sick if they had to travel this way round. They demanded to see the Train Manager and cornered the poor bloke who walked along the train collecting the rubbish. I expected them to insist we stopped and moved the engine to the other end of the train. The only seats facing forward were the ones with a table, but there are very few of these and they were all occupied or reserved.
One outburst was the complaint that there was no room for them to read. They settled for a while and got their reading matter out of their numerous bags, handbags and cases - The Woman's Own. I resolutely stuck my copy of Virginia Woolf's Orlando in front of my face, even though I wasn't enjoying reading one word of it and secretly wanted to swap. I was desperate to giggle then and made eye contact with another woman and we both allowed ourselves to let go as she obviously felt the same as I did about this attention seeking pair.
They changed seats three times before one thoughtful passenger offered them her forward facing seat with a table. I think she offered to exchange with them for all our sakes rather than for the two women, who by now were bordering on histronic.
At last they settled down and I felt sorry for the Hotel in Cornwall who'd have to deal with them for the coming week. It had to be a week because I've never seen so much luggage - and that is saying a lot as I'm not known for travelling light.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Halfway Through

Rather a long way up Mount Etna with even further to go. Snow, sunshine and volcanic rocks.

Halfway through AZX300 'Twentieth Century Literature - Texts and Debates' and I'm still in there. Halfway through means TMA03 is due soon and I am in the middle of studying the Poets of the 1930s and writing a 2000 word essay on Louis MacNeice and Stephen Spender and their poems relating to the Tensions Between Industrial And Rural Landscapes in that socially disturbed era.

I didn't used to like poetry. I didn't like reading it, hearing it, writing it. But I like it now. I am enjoying going under the surface of the words and interpreting the meanings. I would read the words of a poem and ask myself what do they mean - couldn't be fussed to find out. I used to think that poetry was useless. If the poets have something to say then do it in prose instead of in that fanciful, metaphoric language. Say what you mean. Tell me!

I only used to like rhyming poetry but now I think that can appear contrived, as the poet can lose the meanings/message looking for a suitable word to end a line and have to compromise. Betjeman and Ayres are good at rhyming and hanging on to their theme. I can see beat, rhythm, music within the lines of the Poets of the 1930s.

I'm learning to enjoy poems with hidden meanings, reading lovely words and phrases, having to do a bit of work for myself.

Maybe this period of successful study is because I've been stuck indoors for four whole days now as the builders are in renovating my bathroom and there's no place for me to go except sit at my computer and read the course books while they ask,

'What colour tiles do you want?'

'Kettle on?'

'Shall I put some shelves here?'

'Have you got a pencil/scissors/old towels?'

'This mirror don't fit where you wanted it- where shall we put it?'

Tomorrow the Men Who Lay Floors are coming. And the Men who Do Tiling. I think the Man Who Does Power is coming too.

My new toilet has a Lid That Closes On Its Own. It will shut itself with a silent squish. This means no more lavvy with the lid left up. Is this Male-Proof?

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Sicilian And Dorset Food

I'll begin with Dorset and my lunch of Moules at the Riverside in West Bay overlooking the harbour. Seafood is my favourite food.

Above is a Campari and Blood Orange Juice in Sicily. I've been searcing for Blood Orange Juice ever since we got home as Campari won't taste right without it now.

Above is my dessert - a sort of Brandy Snap filled with ricotto and pistachio and so lovely. The waiter told me I must eat it without cutlery - directly into my mouth and suck - but he was Sicilian and rather gorgeous and I didn't do as I was told because my lipstick would have smeared.

My birthday lunch was in the Sicilian town of Taormina on the terrace of The Grand Hotel. The view from the terrace was Mount Etna. We were going up Mount Etna the next day but meanwhile above is my lunch. All manner of seafoods including something with eight legs.
It is enormously expensive to stay in The Grand and we could see why as it is so desirable so it was a special treat to lunch there. Everyone was wearing Prada, even the children, except us, unless the P stood for Peacocks.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

I Look Happy.

But I wanted to post this photo into my Profile and it hasn't happened. Never mind. This is in Sicily in Taormina overlooking the remains of the Greek Theatre. All those steel erections are seating for future concerts to protect the original slabs. The Roman Theatre in Taormina is more impressive because it hasn't been renovated.

I must post photos of the Sicilian food we ate. This will be from the very, very bad to the most excellent.
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Back With a Flurry

I've had to create a new Blog Identity as whatever I did I couldn't get back into Morning Loves It but I rather like my New Identity. My favourite pet's name and The Street Where I Lived.

Buggles Balham High Road. Can't see this as a publishable writer's name. Can you?

Testing now. Lots to say. Back soon.