Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The Dark Destroyer

I hope that nobody is looking for a Christmas card this year - the dogs ate my address book
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Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Google Chrome

I have been very happily using the new Google Chrome as my default browser for about a week now.  I like the look and feel of it and especially like fact that for me, it is a trillion times faster than Firefox.  The only problem I have had so far is that I haven't been able to reply to my hotmail via Chrome.  I have been able to see my inbox but I can't reply or forward from it. As you can imagine I reported this to Google but they say that until MSN alter their settings there is nothing that Google can do about this.  This has been a pain but there has been a workaround, until today when I can't even open hotmail through Chrome.  What is going on in MSN are they afraid of the competition from Google ?

Now it may seem daft to run mail through two different accounts, but hey what can I tell you, I'm fickle.

In the News

I know that I must be sounding like a stuck record but since I decided to boycott all the daily newspapers the only news I see is on the BBC and I'm now considering giving Auntie the old heave ho - why is that?  I hear you ask - well for one the BBC seems hell bent on destroying the economy of this country.

Does that sound a little harsh when politicians seem to have buggered up the economy since time began? well maybe but let's consider the facts.  This country, along with many other around the world, is suffering a downturn in it's economy due in no small part to the American system of giving mortgages to people who can't afford them.  That might sound a little simplistic but at the end of the day the world would not be in the state it's in now if American bankers had been more responsible with their lending. That of course is not the only reason we are in this state but I'm sure that the hundreds of hours that the BBC have spent 'explaining' the credit crunch have either informed you or bored you to death and you don't need me waffling on about it here. 

But my biggest reason for looking for an alternative source of news is BBC TV's paucity of world news. Did you know for example that the Israelis are still trying to starve the  Palestinians in Gaza  into submission or that 5 Brits have been killed in Afghanistan so far this month or that a company in China that employs 200,000 people has had it's shares suspended because of suspected stock market fraud or that after only a year since it joined the EU Bulgaria has been warned that it's eurofunding will be suspended if they don't get their act together over corruption and fraud.  Do you even know the name of Australia's Prime Minister or the fact that he is proposing the creation of an Asia-Pacific block similar to the European Union?

 No well you're are not alone. I think it's about time we rebelled and told the BBC what we really want in our news bulletins - news - not gossip from reality shows or pathetically staged vox pops or even god forbid that lizards are the new Labradors (I kid you not, Breakfast news had a big article this morning on how people are buying reptiles instead dogs because of the credit crisis - ahhhhhhh!)

(by the way the Aussie PM is Kevin Rudd)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Children in Need

I thought that it would be cute if I dressed the dogs up for Children in Need day in Pudsey neckerchiefs

They didn't!!

Bella took to her bed and sulked

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Three Generations

While I was looking through boxes of old photos I came across this picture of Mum, Lesley and I.  I'm not sure who thought that it would be a good idea to take a picture of us in front of a drain pipe or why we all seem to be having a bad hair day but I still think that it's a lovely picture and I'm only sorry that we didn't get round to taking more of the three generations pictures when we had the chance. (sorry about the quality of the scan, that's probably more my fault than the scanner's)

Feeling poorly

I have been feeling very sorry for myself the past week. I have been full of cold, streaming eyes, runny nose and a rotten cough. The writing has gone to pot, the house has looked like a bomb had hit it and all I wanted to do was sip honey and lemon and look pathetic but unfortunately the dogs had other plans and apart from a lie in on Sunday morning it  has been business as usual. 

Even the dentist was unsympathetic - have you ever tried having a crown fitted when you can't breath through your nose? - I thought that I was going to drown in my own spit!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

London City Airport

What is it about airports that turns quite normal people into frantic stress bunnies?

Take the pick up area at Manchester Airport's Terminal 3, it doesn't matter what time of the day or night it is, there will always be people driving like maniacs, cutting between lanes, pulling up on the hard shoulder of the feeder roads and stopping in the middle of the road to drop of passengers.

The other week, when I had gone through to pick up Dave, I actually saw a woman driving through the pick up area with the boot of her people carrier wide open and her husband (I guess) running after the car trying to grab his case out of the back - madness.

At London City Airport yesterday there was a queue to get through the security area and I watched as a grown woman was panicking to get her coat off, her laptop out of her bag and untie her shoes at the same time as her husband. Quite why this had to be co-ordinated I don't know but she was determined that the blue tray with his stuff in should follow her tray through the xray machine. She was getting more and more agitated as other people were putting their trays down and looked ready to stab me in the eye when I put my carry-on bag between their trays to go through the machine (OK I did it deliberately to watch her reaction)

She was muttering away in German, probably putting a curse on me and all my offspring, while her husband, for no obvious reason other than acting like a two year old, gave his tray and extra shove through the machine before stomping off through the metal detector. Then their plans for blue tray efficiency were well and truly scuppered when the alarms went off and he was taken to one side by the security staff. I thought his wife was going to explode, how dare they, her look said, this wasn't part of the plan, she had scheduled 1.5 mins to get through security and now they were going to be 5 mins behind. The fact that they still had well over an hour until their flight was to be called was irrelevant - madness - at airports all common sense seems to fly out with the planes!

Researching for the novel

Dave is really busy in work at the moment and has been working silly hours so rather than sit about in the flat moping I made the most of the time in London by doing some research for the novel and that's why at 6.30pm on Friday night I was in the 1802 bar sipping a glass of dry white wine because I kid you not the museum in Docklands doesn't serve coffee after 5pm!

I had great fun sitting there writing up my notes and 'people watching' (it's not that I'm nosy or anything) There were a couple of office parties in the bar and the one thing that struck me was why do all the young woman working in Docklands think that they have to dress in black? - black shoes, black tights, black skirts, black coats - Do they do it because they think that it makes them look slimmer? more professional? older? - well maybe they do, but unfortunately all it really does is make them look as if they have just come back from a funeral.

I overheard one conversation that made me smile (honestly I'm not nosy)

Good looking young bloke ''what do you want to drink''
Pretty ( if a little chunky) young woman ''gin and tonic?'' ( and yes she really did make a request sound like a question)
Bloke again '' any particular brand of gin?'' ( do me a favour, I know you're trying to impress her but really)
Pretty girl '' no but can I have slimline tonic please' (giggle giggle)

Sorry darling but the 20 odd calories you are saving on the slimline tonic will make bugger all difference on those hips - and yes as a woman of a certain size I can make fat jokes - she's young and pretty and has a handsome bloke after her body what does it matter what I think!!!

Lord Mayor's Show and Fireworks

I didn't get to see any firework displays this year- it's not much fun on your own and to be honest I didn't know how Bella and Murphy would cope with Bonfire Night, the cats are bad enough, they hate the load bangs and usually hide away in the one room in the house without a window - the bathroom. So being the responsible pet owner that I am I stayed in - boring but honorable.

Last weekend was the City of London's Lord Mayor's Show and as Dave was already 'darn sarf' I thought I would join him for a few days so that we could spend Saturday in London watching the show in the morning and the grand firework display over the Thames at 5 o'clock.

I have loved the Lord Mayor's Show ever since I was a 19 year old refugee from the North and would stand in Fleet Street or the Strand and watch the procession. One year we had a special treat when the bank had a family day in their Fleet Street branch so that we could watch the show in comfort. Dave invited my Mum and Dad down and they had a wonderful time. The staff had prepared a buffet lunch and had positioned seats by the windows on the first floor to give us a grandstand view.

After Dave left Fleet Street were were reduced to standing with the hoi polloi but this year we thought that we deserved a treat and booked seats in the grandstand by St Paul's Cathedral. The parade was as good as ever, the floats were colourful, the bands musical and the servicemen and woman a credit to the TA and reserve forces. But my god did it rain - it was torrential but we're British and a little thing like a monsoon isn't going to stop our parade or as a young American guy sitting behind me said 'only the Brits would sit in the rain to watch a parade and cheer every time a soldier marches past' - couldn't have put it better myself!

Unfortunately we were soaked to the skin and rather than catch our death walking about all afternoon we decided to go back to the flat to change into warm dry clothes and go out for dinner rather than hang about for the firework display.

No fireworks for me this year then - oh well there's always next year.


Overheard the other day in Costa Coffee

'The Gingerbread Latte - does it come in skinny? Yes? OK, I'll have a regular skinny decaf gingerbread latte'

I'm sorry but that's not a beverage, it's a short story!