Thu
5
Mar
2015

READING BETWEEN THE LINES …. AGAIN

When you ‘like’ a Facebook comment or when you ‘favourite’ a Twitter comment my brain is made to work too hard for comfort.

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You could be saying “Oh, I do like that” or “Just to let you know I’m here” or “That’s interesting but I can’t stop and comment, my waters have just broken” or “I’m bored with this conversation” or “I’m liking this to show you what an idiot you are” or “I suppose I better but I’m really not that interested” or “I’m encouraging you but really you need to make a bit more effort” or “You ‘liked’ something I posted so I’d better reciprocate” or “Your friends are more interesting than mine – can I join the club?”. It’s all very complicated. A bit like real life I suppose.

Thu
26
Feb
2015

ASPIDISTRA POLISHING

The art of Aspidistra Polishing is shrouded in mystery.

My mother was admitted into the AP Club at an early age. She rose in the ranks very quickly and attained the accolade of Chief Aspidistra Polisher before her teens.

She tried to pass these skills on but my brother and I were poor students.

Photo on 26-02-2015 at 09.41

As you can see from this deliberately distorted photograph (revelations of ANY of the secrets results in a lifetime ban from the Sect, known as Wilting a Member) that I never got beyond the Buffing of the Spider Plant. I take some comfort from the fact that my brother is only qualified to Brush Up a Sneezewort.

We both wish now that we had paid more attention.

Sun
22
Feb
2015

REFINED LANGUAGE

I’m always trying to improve my teaching techniques.

Many years ago, I was 19 I think, I had a job at the Chiltonian biscuit factory.

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(BTW, I have inside knowledge of what’s in these …

images … approach with care)

Anyhoo 1. There was a chap there who reminded me of Abel Magwitch from Great Expectations. A rather scary looking character. I got on with him like a house on fire. That is until I made some comment about his wife that seemed appropriate at the time. All hell broke loose. A lesson learned – avoid conversation about members of the family.

Anyhoo 2. This morning, in the supermarket, I fell into a conversation with a similar looking chap about swearing. This was instigated by him saying “Fucking arseholes” when he couldn’t get into one of the plastic bags for putting vegetables in. He spied me and apologised for his language. He then went on to complain about his daughter saying ‘fuck’ three times in one sentence. “I ‘ate girls who swear!” Obviously there’s a lot here that could be discussed but I decided to keep things simple.

Anyhoo 3. (not 3 really as I’m still standing in the same place in my head) I managed through dextrous manipulation of this wonderful language of ours to get him to see that his own swearing might have an effect on how his daughter speaks. He thought it was his own discovery and I didn’t get beaten up. A really positive result. I never knew that the broccoli section could be so interesting.

(And then, it was a very exciting shopping trip, I found a bulging wallet in an abandoned trolley. Full of credit cards and fucking* loads of money!)

((And yes, of course, I handed it in at the supermarket information desk. I really do hope that it got back to it’s owner … if only to save his marriage))

*Just showing that even I have been known to swear …. when appropriate.

Thu
19
Feb
2015

A DAY IN THE LIFE.

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Lo, she is a terrible Goddess had an appointment at the hairdressers so I took the opportunity to pop into The Twisted Gusset for my usual half a lager with a sherry chaser.

I was greeted by Irene.

“Where’s Lo?”

“Oh, she’s at the hairdressers.”

“They’re very good you know. I had some highlights done there just the other day” and started pouting to show me her upper lip.

“Lovely” I said rather flirtatiously “Very sexy.”

(Actually, flirting with Irene is quite tricky because her eyes move independently of each other and I’m never sure which one to aim at. The time she was complaining about the state of the nettles along the cliff top footpath and she attempted rolling her eyes in disgust, I thought she was having a fit.)

“They suggested plucking but I said, oh I’m too old for all that, all that fuss and bother …. and the mess!”

I bravely suggested that she checked the batteries in her hearing aids but she didn’t hear me.

“What’s Lo having done?”

“Not a clue. I’m hoping to make the right noises when she gets back though. ‘Very nice dear’, or ‘That’s better’, or ’As lovely as ever’ …. something complementary anyway. I’ve learnt not to ask ‘How much did that cost then?’ and I certainly want to forget when I said ‘Oh they were closed then’. I remember the time … now was it 2011 or earlier? I’m not sure … anyway I do recall it was October …. or it might have been April – when was that debacle over Mrs Crotchly cutting her hedge before Easter?”

Silence.

I glanced up and Irene had disappeared which was odd.

I downed my sherry in one, with some sense of pride, and wandered home to wait patiently for the arrival of the TG.

Coda – Whatever I said on her return, was wrong. I must record our conversations for future reference and also see if I can save money if I buy Arnica in industrial quantities.

Mon
16
Feb
2015

GET A LIFE

I had one of those flashes of insight, probably had by many already, that tied up a few loose ends that have been floating round my head for ages.

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My grandson, who has dabbled, and one of my middle-aged sons, who has immersed himself completely, have played Minecraft. I have been shown it but never felt any urge to dig deeper into it’s world. It’s a world where you have the simplest of tools and blocks of ‘stuff’. It’s as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. One realisation I had was that it’s a computer version of Lego. Start simply, make a tower perhaps and then knock it down and then, if you get hooked, you could go on and make a car driven by goldfish*. Simple building blocks that when fitted together can create whatever you want, good or bad, funny or sad, useful or just for fun. A perfect illustration of a crossover from the plastic to the digital.

However the main flash of understanding I had was getting the answer to why I found people saying “get a life” to geeks, nerds, game players, and old folk on Facebook,  annoying and rather rude. Computers, the Interweave, Twitter etc etc exist – they are now part of the world just as much as sand, bricks, air and iron. Some will use this new aspect of life to create, others to destroy. There are those who join in and those who just observe and those who ignore it all completely. It’s an extension, a rather huge addition, that’s grown a tad too rapidly for comfort. We wouldn’t die if it all disappeared the same way as we wouldn’t perish if cars weren’t around. Digital technology is quite handy though and it’s real.

BTW what’s for tea?

* Reference to something shown on QI – a car made from Lego and powered by a goldfish … brilliant.

Wed
11
Feb
2015

THERE’S SOMETHING VERY NICE …

… about bare feet.

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Babies feet are just lovely. A bare footed Goddess is sexy. The bare footed male smells less.

Thu
5
Feb
2015

HONESTLY, THERE’S SO MUCH CRAP

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I would urge people to read The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard, published in 1957. I read this at school as part of one of the courses I took. I always take with a pinch of salt newspapers, the news on the telly and any other communications that I can’t experience on a personal level. I married a market researcher so I know what I’m talking about … or do I? … oh dear

Sat
31
Jan
2015

ONTO …

… something new … perhaps.

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My afternoon nap often throws up an idea or two.

This afternoon I awoke with the thought of ‘words in cages’.

We are becoming more and more restricted in what we are allowed to say although no malice or prejudice is meant or intended. This is worrying.

What is more worrying, for me, is how to translate this idea into a 3D object. I’m up to the challenge but whether I’ll bother or not I don’t know yet.

If you think that life will get easier the older you are, you’re very much mistaken. My chosen priorities get sorely tested on a daily basis.

Sat
17
Jan
2015

THIS CREATION …

… from the inspirational and creative genius that is Scissorshop

The Mating Game

… applies to all aspects of life of course. However relationships top the list … so I’m told. Very firmly on occasions.

Sun
4
Jan
2015

AT MY AGE …

… it probably isn’t that unusual that I think that, oh never mind ….

Lost and Confused Signpost

People are NOT disappointing. Each and everyone has a unique view of the world to which they are entitled and even if this view appears to be completely bonkers with very little relation to the real world let them be. Oh my goodness, this malt whisky is making me VERY mellow.