Friday, 30 May 2014

Three tell-tale signs .....

.... that there's a princess around!
View from my heavily personalised "arrow slit" from whence inspiration cometh.
You may recall that I am currently squatting in the east turret
of Castle Long Dog with my son, his beautiful Ozzie Sheila wife
and their daughter, the fair Ocean Lily.
There's three sure-fire ways to tell that you're in the entourage
of a three year old royal:
1.  Pink rules, OK!
2.  A vast number of key words in a conversation now have to be spelled out, and
3.  Something very odd seems to happen to the toilet rolls from time to time.
No Alice, I haven't sneaked the Andrex puppy in under cover of darkness. 
My heart remains forever true to lurchers and longdogs.
I do so miss them.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Learn from my mistakes!

Long, long, long dog ago when the world was young,
Adam was still a boy
and I was still in short knickers
(these days I simply don't bother - it's so liberating to feel the breeze)
a stunning, breath-takingly beautiful design was born
called ........ Scarlet Ribands.
Some of you are probably even old enough to remember it
or possibly still struggling on trying to get it finished.

Just as I had imagined it.
It was born during my "red phase" shortly after Mouline Rouge and
The Token and just before Bois le Duc.

So what did I do?
I decided to stitch it up in DMC B5200 Brilliant White
on a Terra Cotta Aida.

I've always been canny with my money and as I didn't have any white
material instantly to hand I thought I'd be frugal and go
with what I had.  OK so this is a nice way of saying I'm mean.
I knew instantly that this was a grave error of judgement on my part
but did I stop?  Did I hell!
On and on I stitched like a thing demented while my tea went cold
and my G&T grew warm, with every new stitch compounding
my felony until it lay finished on my knees and my fingers ached
from sheer exhaustion.  (I get a bit dramatic at times - sorry).
I want you to know - love doesn't always conquer all and
I still can't stand looking at it to this day!  Yeuk!!!!
What's that Suzie, you did yours on Terra Cotta too - ooops.

Monday, 26 May 2014

"B" is for .......

BANK HOLIDAY - yippee cry all of those of you
unfortunate enough to still have to work for a living.
All ready to go.
"B" is for bean plants of the runner variety bought
at the local garden centre on the annual bank holiday pilgrimage.
The south facade.
"B" is for the battlements of Castle Long Dog looking magnificent on
this sunny summer's day.  No arrow slits or indeed crennelations
for the purists but tant pis as we used to say many lifetimes ago.
"B" is for barbie, the first of the year and certainly not the fraught
sort of affair complete with burnt offerings to which I have become
accustomed over the years.  No, this was all so laid back it
was almost horizontal, no danger of salmonella and
no having to slip the raw bits to the dogs when nobody was looking.
It was wonderful.
And finally, "B" is for badly snapped lupin because I couldn't find
any begonias, butterflies or bunnies to fit the bill.  It's also for
bum but as all the workmen have gone now I couldn't find
one of those either for your amusement although let me see .....
That should lower the tone nicely!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

In a "houndbag"?

.... to misquote Lady Augusta Bracknell.
The houndbag to which I refer certainly had no part to play
in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Ernest"
but a leading role in the life and times of a Long Dog woman like me.
I went to heft it onto my shoulder this morning as is my wont only
to be met by several tons of resistance. 
It was very heavy.  Had what strength I had deserted me in the
night or was it time for drastic action - a clear out?
The tassells had to stay (they were from Mouche's old collar) and it
wouldn't be a houndbag without the resident plastic greyhound now would it?
Mirror, tweezers, comb, nail file, lippy x 2 (both the same shade).
lead pencil, purse and tape measure - all vital parts of my kit.
Wallet - yes, shades - yes, you never know when you will be invited
to an impromptu Blues Brothers party, racy hat with feather - he and
I are never parted - I've had him since he was a pup,
 greyhound/fox head bangle - silly question, obligatory!
Assorted cables and leads, calculator, air mail stickers, another pencil,
stapler, Dad's old penknife and army lighter, polished carnelian stone
(a present from Lisa), tiny porcelain plate out of a Christmas
galette du roi, a piece of enamelled Maundy money and a packet of
Garibaldi biscuits (or squashed fly if you prefer, well out of sell by date)
- definately all items required on voyage.
Which only leaves my Kindle Fire (the charger has already been mentioned).
French 2-pages per week diary and a boxed set of Hamish Macbeth DVD's
- all compulsory.
So do I take up weight training to improve my arm muscles
or get some wheels fitted?

Friday, 23 May 2014

There's no fool like an old fool!

I have, of late, developed a taste for granola for breakfast.
This morning was no exception.
Yum, yum.
However, feeling rather guilty about the half eaten packet of
Rice Crispies I had spurned for my new passion,
I decided to add a couple of handfuls of them too -
waste not, want not having been drummed into me at an early age.
A quick dollop of low fat Greek yoghurt (who am I trying to kid - low fat?)
and it was back upstairs to my lair to let the heady mix foment awhile.

Could this be the cause of my fears?
My butterfly brain (of the Lupus variety) quickly moved on to
matters more interesting like a new needlework blog I'd
found recently and Prince Charle's latest gaffe, when I became
aware of a curious noise which I didn't quite recognise
although it sounded "rodent" inspired to me.
I searched high and low for the source of my anxiety.
Not rats again please.  Perhaps the workmen had disturbed
something nasty in the walls which was now about to seek revenge?
It turned out, however, to be nothing more sinister than the
Rice Crispies coming to life beneath their blanked of yoghurt.
To use an old Norfolk saying "What am I loik?"
I must get out more.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

So there I was ......

..... minding my own business trying to fathom out
6 Across: Proportion, five letters - something, something,
T, something something.

6 Across has always been regarded as F, something, something, K of an
ill-fated clue in my family ever since my father died whilst in the course
of solving it, many moons ago. right there in his armchair.  
Admittedly it was the Telegraph Cryptic
which does put an altogether different slant on the matter.
Mine was in a small book of "Coffee Break Puzzles"
so I didn't really feel in any imminent danger.

Pick any two, they all look dodgey to me!
 It was at the exact same moment that the front door nearly
came off it's hinges.  When I finally got downstairs to answer
it there stood two extremely dodgey looking geezers
on the doorstep complete with a fine collection of tattoo's both
front and back although how far down they went was
anyone's guess.

Over the weekend my son had left a trailer full of rubbish to be
taken to the dump and they had spotted the old copper boiler
and various other bits of metal that they offered to take off my hands.
"Nothing to do with me mate" I said craning my neck to look
up at the smaller of the two, "it belongs to my son."
"When will he be back" said tattooed man No 1.
Knowing full well that it wouldn't be until the weekend at the earliest
I continued to bluff it out not wanting them back again
any time soon.

 An offer of a fiver soon went up to thirty notes when thankfully
my daughter in law pulled into the drive.  Suddenly the heap of worthless
rubbish grew in value (that girl can barter) and the price
rose and rose.  It was like being at an auction when two old dears
both want the same piece of Spode for their dressers.
Money eventually changed hands and the blokes left.
Funny how potentially tight corners seem to turn up even
when you are minding your own business.
I must have something about my person that attracts them.
The answer was "RATIO" by the way - just in case you were stuck.

Monday, 19 May 2014

The devil makes work ......

not only for idle hands but, in my case, idle feet too.
You put your right foot in, your right foot out ....
 Please don't be alarmed, this is not some new and rather
strange foot fetish that I have developed of late
nor was I attending a meeting of one-legged women.
It is a photo taken accidentally whilst trying to
kick start my camera back into life.
The feet in question belong to myself and the lovely
Mrs Cassidy, stitcher extraordinaire and friend in a million.
But as usual I digress.
The image reminded me of an incident which took place last week.
You know how it is, time on your hands,
not much to do and the next thing you know your
thoughts have transported you back to those heady days of your
youth when, in my case, I could put both feet behind my
head and think nothing of it.

I think most of you will guess what is coming next.
At the very moment that my left foot locked arthritically
behind my left ear cramp struck in my left hip.
It was nearly midday and no one else was due back in the
house until six o'clock at the earliest.
Small beads of sweat broke out on my upper lip,
I was glad that I had decided to have a wee before.
and not after, my trip down memory lane, panic swiftly turned
to hysteria followed by a fit of the giggles and I
wondered how I would explain my plight to the ambulance
crew who I was convinced would feature somewhere
in my latest escapade.

I wonder what happened to my skates?
Eventually I braced myself between the bedhead and the
windowsill, took a deep breath (this helps in a multitude of
tight corners) and pulled the offending foot outwards
and upwards with both hands until it came free.  Oooooof!
Please do not try this at home.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

They're back!

There I was laying flat on my back while a full scale
eight years old's birthday party raged downstairs.
It was much akin to Armageddon (out of here) meets
Gunners supporters on speed.
And as the house gently shook I turned my head slightly
to the left and my heart skipped a beat because
from my bedroom window I caught my first glimpse
this year of some swallows who had made their
way back from South Africa to nest here in Norfolk.


May the beat go on and the cycle continue.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Yesterday was good ......

..... and after yet another visit to yet another doctor
my very thoughtful Ozzie daughter-in-law
whisked me off into the heart of Norwich
to join the public library.
The Forum which houses the new library
So much has changed since I was last here.
The old library burned down while I was in France
and the new one is quite amazing and just a little
bit overwhelming if I'm honest.
The covered market
Some things, however, never change.
The old covered market with it's brightly covered awnings
was just as busy as ever.
The 900 year old cathedral was just as beautiful and
awe inspiring as the day it was built.
And the buskers were still out in force entertaining
the locals and visitors alike although I don't remember
ever having seen one quite so shy as this guitarist
who wishes to remain anonymous.
Perhaps it was Eric Clapton having a laugh.

Friday, 16 May 2014

An apology

I must apologise for the lack of fun we seem to be having on
the blog at the moment.
Look, they're even doing meme's about the Bayeux Tapestry now!
There are many reasons for this - most of which
are beyond my control at present.
Somewhere between France & England
My camera is in England
however all the bits and pieces that go with it are in .....
So no fun photos as I don't even have a phone
that will do the job.

Not a longdog but beggars can't be chosers!
My trips beyond the bedroom door are also
rather few and far between of late and as most of them
culminate on the receiving end of one or several
members of the medical profession there's
usually very little of a stimulating or amusing nature to report back.

A girl can dream.
And if that wasn't enough
my brain is in such a fog of late that sometimes it's
quite difficult to string a few coherent words together
let alone put e-pen to e-paper in an attempt to raise a smile

The Irish space agency launch pad

So come on, give me a steer
What would you like to hear about.
Don't answer that Camilla!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Here she comes again!

This lady brightens my day,
so with glasses and a dodgey accent at the ready
I'm about to self motivate.
I must try not to feel self-conscious or giggle, that would never do.
Give it a try, I'm sure they can't touch you for it..

Monday, 12 May 2014

Sometimes life saddens me

The other day during my stay at the health spa and fitness centre (hospital)
I was awoken at some ungodly hour by the noise of a team of reasonably
attractive looking workmen busily jet washing the entrance
to the West Block.

You can hose me down any time lads.
Four of them spent a considerable time meticulously removing
every dog end and blob of chewing gum from
the paved entrance area.

They were just finishing and were starting to pack up their
equipment having done a job to be proud of when
out of the automatic doors waddled a heavily pregnant
young woman in a pink dressing gown towing a drip stand.

A close approximation minus drip stand.

She quickly lit up her cigarette and stood there puffing away.
Then without further ado she cast her dog end on the
freshly cleaned pavement right next to the bin provided
for smokers and ground it out with her foot.

I was saddened by her actions for many reasons.
What must the nurses and doctors think who are trying to
help her and her unborn child.
What a total lack of disrespect for the workmen who
were trying to keep the public area clean and tidy for everyone
to enjoy but worst of all ....
what a selfish disregard for the new life growing inside her.
Her future son or daughter.

I counted a further three such women throughout the morning.
Sometimes I despair!

Friday, 9 May 2014

A warning .....

..... for those of you of a nervous disposition ...
That was very silly Julia, behave yourself.
No, the warning is of bad language (the "F" word), flashing images,
pictures of parrots, childish jokes, blow up's of hippo's.
Cillian Murphy wearing a cap and Nigella
wrestling naked in a vat of chocolate.

Well you were warned!

What I just wanted to draw to your attention is that 10th May
is World Lupus Day.  I shall probably "celebrate" it flat on
my back in bed where I seem to have been for ages now as I'm
in the middle of a flare. 

Wear purple, spitting not compulsory though.

There's loads of information (and gruesome pictures, if you're that
way inclined) on the web.  It's not widely spoken of but
there's loads of poor sods like me around the world trying
to do our best to cope with this truly horrible affliction.

I make no apologies for this, you were warned and it makes me laugh.

Not much to add really except perhaps the following picture which
doesn't make me laugh but does have an alarming effect upon my knees ....

Do you need a light mate?

Oh! yes, yes she cried ..... it's Cillian Murphy in a cap.
Consider yourselves lucky I spared you the one of Nigella!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I've been away for a few days .......

Door to door transport ........

The speedo reach Warp 6 this trip.
Room service .......

Cordon Noire if I'm not mistaken.

Lots to see and do .......

Some very unusual treatments on offer in the beauty salon.
..... and, some truly inspirational people to chat to.

Some mornings the queue for the bathroom could stretch right down the corridor.
I met an amazing woman in her seventies who, in the course of her cancer
treatment, had her tongue reconstructed, hadn't eaten for three
years and was fed through her stomach yet she still looked
after her young grandson two days a week and regularly
cycled to the shops.
My path crossed with another sweet soul of ninety one who worked
on spitfires during the war and the tales she told of
being a teenager in London during the blitz would make your hair curl.
Especially when sleeping down the underground during an air raid.
Another poor, suffering lady with major stomach problems
was required to keep a "poo chart" and had I not met her I would
not be the "expert" on the subject that I have now become.
However, all good things must come to an end so .....
...... sod it, I'm away home!  Don't worry, I can still walk.