Sunday, December 30, 2007

100 Things….....for New Years

I have never done one of these - so better late than never. Time to demystify the crazie one.....

1. I have registered for 2008 Race for Life in support of Cancer Research – a promise is a promise.
2. I want to improve on 5k in 54 minutes and 26 seconds.
3. But I accept I have bad knees and a bad back. I have started cycling to prepare.
4. I got a letter telling me I was one of the top fundraisers at the Swindon event in 2007.
5. I raised, if I remember rightly (my fundraising page has expired), about £400 personally (without any corporate help).
6. My new target for 2008 will be £500. Cancer Research and I will gratefully accept all help.
7. Mac will help me in 2008.
8. My dad is due his CT Scan in January. Then we will know what the future holds.
9. They have offered him ‘interim chemo’ which he has refused. No wonder, they told him about all the side effects.
10. If my dad is sick I may have to shuttle between here and Scotland to help out.
11. After four weeks on a nicotine patch in hospital my dad is attempting to give up his 40 a day habit.
12. I spoke to my goddaughter and her mother in Canada a couple of nights ago.
13. We have confirmed cyberkitten and I will be travelling to see them (after five years!) at the end of April.
14. I am excited and nervous.
15. I hope to see mah Blogsister, Dawnie (Retarded Rugrat) and her Jeffers while I am there – but I know they’ll be busy…getting married!
16. I am the youngest of four children.
17. Another year has passed and I still don’t talk to my sister.
18. About fifteen years ago, she told me that she thought me stupid and if I wasn’t her sister she wouldn’t choose me to be her friend so I stopped being her sister.
19. My younger brother hasn’t spoken to me for 20yrs, as he thinks I am the spawn of the devil – aren’t psychological conditions fun?
20. My elder brother is currently working in Nigeria, he has a successful marriage, an excellent job, three wonderful children and is gregarious and popular – did he get my life by accident?
21. Younger brother and sister are both happy to talk to elder brother, but not baby sister.
22. Bearing #13-18 in mind, I have surrounded myself with friends who love me for who I am not what I am.
23. Every Christmas I mourn the fact that I couldn't have children.
24. I also mourn on Mothers Day.
25. But it’s a fact I can’t change, so I only allow myself to feel sorry about it at certain times.
26. I have had depression since the surgery that uncovered my barrenness, but lately have been very bad at taking my medication.
27. I am paranoid.
28. I am neurotic.
29. I have mild intermittent agoraphobia.
30. I also have coulrophobia, musophobia, dentophobia and one so far un-named phobia.
31. Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns.
32. Musophobia is the fear of mice (actually all rodents terrify me).
33. I am trying to meet my dentophobia head on – and my dentist is helping me.
34. My un-named phobia is the fear of masks. I am terrified of people wearing masks.
35. I love my cats. They are all rescue animals.
36. Before Charlie we had Echo.
37. I noticed our neighbour’s cat having contractions when I went in to feed her.
38. I delivered three kittens. The first came out no trouble and the second got stuck and had to be delivered by hand. Echo was the runt, stillborn and I revived her.
39. Until she was six months old she could not be clearly identified as male or female – hence the unisex name.
40. When she had her sterilisation it was discovered that the internal female organs were predominant.
41. Echo was due to come in one June evening but it was a lovely night, so I let her have a few more minutes to enjoy the summer evening.
42. Ten minutes later I got a phone call to say she had been in a car accident and was DOA at the vet. So I created her and killed her.
43. Ambrose, Pandora’s life companion, was killed on the same road in 2001.
44. We don’t let our cats out any more.
45. One day I must count my teddy bears.
46. I have 21 around the house, including bears, dogs, penguins, dragons etc.
47. That’s not including the suitcase full in the spare room and the sackful in the loft.
48. In my collection I have a huge Sully and a very big Stitch.
49. I have some bears that mean things.
50. Mac is my Race for Life Bear. He is a breast cancer bear, named for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. He has two sisters, one in Vancouver (Shanti) and one in LA (to be named).
51. Ginger Pye was one of my first bears, my ‘new dad’ bought him for me on a cross-channel ferry when I saw him in the kiosk window and begged. I think I was 12.
52. Albert is my dentist bear. I take him with me to the dentist as I am very fearful. He takes a beating every appointment.
53. Geoffrey is my polar bear. Bobkat gave him to me. He is my travelling bear and goes with me every time I go away.
54. Bojangles is my stuffed dog. He was a gift from my beloved friend Silentmum and has been adopted by my ancient pussycat Pandora as a pillow in her bed. She looks so cute sleeping with her chin on the little dog.
55. I find my bears comforting.
56. I am a Scorpio, although I do not ascribe to all the characteristics.
57. I was two weeks late. If I was born on time I would have been a Libra – and I fulfil some of the Libra characteristics.
58. I am a wood dragon in the Chinese zodiac, and the character reading is far more accurate than the astrological zodiac.
59. I am a snake in the shaman calendar.
60. I see a pattern in # 56-59 – do you?
61. My real dad died when I was 17. I asked God why and got no response.
62. I didn’t talk with God again until cyberkitten and I started discussing faith.
63. I am a Quaker (although not signed up!) and believe in direct communication.
64. I also respect all other faiths, and am interested in them.
65. I dislike people who say their faith is absolutely the right one and tell me I will be punished for my beliefs.
66. When I was in hospital for surgery, a girl came in having a miscarriage. She got very upset and I tried to comfort her.
67. Nurses in the British NHS have very little time to allow them to sit with distressed patients. You get a lot of distressed patients in the gynae ward.
68. She believed that the earth was created and ruled by aliens in a big ship orbiting the planet.
69. She was cool – we agreed to disagree. I sat with her for three hours, complete with drip and colostomy bag.
70. But at least I comforted her enough to stop her crying.
71. I cry on the inside – a lot.
72. Since I left school I have always had children around me.
73. I have been involved with five families over the years.
74. I started out at 17 as housekeeper for a family of four, including a toddler in a wheelchair.
75. Now I am part of the Aginoth clan, and babysit their three children for free.
76. There is nothing like having a drowsy child in your arms, all soft and clingy.
77. I rocked a child non-stop for 5 hours once – I was fifteen and just couldn’t shift some trapped wind. As the parents walked in the door the baby gave out a huge burp, farted and fell asleep instantly.
78. LMD holds the current record of 3 hours of making me hold her and rock her out of sheer peevishness.
79. LMD is conniving and very clever, and I love her for it. Until recently I called her ‘The Baby That Hates Me’.
80. Whether prompted or not the Aginoth children always seem thrilled to see me and it warms my heart every time.
81. I am interested in forensics and have Bill Bass’ autobiography.
82. Bill Bass created the Body Farm at Tennessee University, made famous in a novel by Patricia Cornwell, to study the decomposition of bodies.
83. I know more than most about gunshot wounds, blood spatter and adipocere (look it up!).
84. Sir Bernard Spilsbury’s biography is on my wishlist along with other forensic books.
85. I refuse to watch CSI as the only episode I ever watched got the forensics wrong.
86. NCIS get the forensics right – but that is partly due to the hard work and dedication of David McCallum who plays the ME.
87. Dead human bodies don’t bother me at all.
88. Dead animal bodies really upset me and make me physically sick.
89. I have seen dead human bodies.
90. A man drowned at the pool I was working at one summer.
91. A 12-year-old boy died in my arms after being hit by a truck. He was a mess. I was twenty.
92. I had survivor’s guilt for years, as he ran past me before being hit by the truck. I could have grabbed his coat.
93. Fifteen years later I grabbed the dungaree straps of a little boy about to run in front of a car. When his mother arrived seconds later, she berated me for ‘touching’ her son.
94. I would do it again.
95. My latest hobby is re-enacting. I have just completed my first season.
96. Our period is the 14C, 1370 to be exact. The company believes in living history and authenticity. If they didn’t have it in 1370, then we can’t have it.
97. It’s nice – and surprisingly relaxing.
98. I am a moneyer. There were no women moneyers recorded in the period, but I am very good at it and raised almost £500 for the company in 2007. So I created a fictional back-story for those who questioned my presence. So much for authenticity [grin].

99. In 2008 I will have an apprentice. A new friend, L, who will also be sharing my tent. She will be my ‘sister’ to the public.
100. I am stunned that I got to 100. When you start these things, 1 seems miles from 100.

Happy New Year!!

Here's to 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas with the Crazies

So...the other night was the annual Crazie Christmas party. All my Crazies have families in one way or another that they spend Christmas with. But this group of friends who have been inter-dependent for anything up to eight years always gets together whenever possible. Most years we all disappear to a fabulous big cottage in Cornwall for a week. However with The Girls in London and the Aginoths bound by small children, these days it is difficult to get everyone together for a party - but Christmas is still top of the list.

We all do have intriguing nicknames: craziequeen, Aginoth, Mrs Aginoth, Cyberkitten, Bionicdwarf, SleepyPete, LMB, LMD, Aginoth Jnr, RCA and K (we're still waiting for a craziename for K!)
This year bionicdwarf hosted the party in his nice little got awful crowded with eleven of us - god help us if any of our bachelor boys gets a girl......anyway, the Aginoth children always have to give up seats to an adult or someone more needy - so once we were all in the house they got to swarm over the stairs....

Studying her Nintendo Wotsit is LMB (Little Miss Blonde) and LMD (Little Miss Dark) is chattering happily to Piglet. Aginoth Jnr is sprawled deep in concentration on his own Nintendo Thingy.

LMD decided she really liked my Santa hat, and had a paparazzi moment as we all cooed and chuckled over her, pulling out cameras around the room and she turned to each camera with a beaming smile......

That girl is going to be a star!

In addition to the Secret Santa gifts (thank you for my Ealing films, Secret Santa!), the children bought us all fun games to play, and we tried My Dog Has Fleas, with LMD helping RCA, K coming close to winning and Aginoth Jnr cheating outrageously!

Then we played Hungry Frogs which, being fun, fast and noisy, the children soon annexed to their toy corner! And finally we broke open my Uno Stacko....

which LMD explained to RCA (not really [snigger]) - but to be honest, RCA had to explain the game to me!

LMD (formerly known as The Baby Who Hates Me) is becoming quite the social butterfly, and really wanted to squish in between mummy and cyberkitten who really, really hates his picture being seen.....

This is cyberkitten getting a masterclass in Nintendo thingys from a 7yr old and a 4yr old. Excellent! Yes, that is a duck on ck's head - it was a duck themed evening as I gave the girls 'Glow in the Duck Ducks'. SleepyPete is on the right taking notes........

I love this photo, with the children swarming over everything and everyone doing something. Left to right from the back: bionicdwarf, LMB, cyberkitten, Mrs A, LMD, Aginoth Jnr, RCA and K.

btw - my mistletoe is still fresh............M'WAH!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas at the Palace

Christmas is over and we're pooped..........
Yup,, you can see my tummy!
I have been practising on my beautiful new purple bicycle - it's all coming back...slowly....
And my new little friend Mac gained a new teddy bear pal - I'm toying with the name Marmaduke...too much for a little bear, d'ya think?
And the $64M question: Did the tree survive?
Yup :-)
Mind you, MB tested my patience by spilling red wine twice, including on my irreplaceable Bangladeshi Christmas table runner. Luckily it all came out with lengthy soaking and washing.
About two weeks before Christmas I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (hence the downturn in blogging), so I have catered this Christmas with a wrist brace - makes the simplest tasks impossible by forcing the wrist into the correct position to relieve the pressure on the median nerve. Lucky there was only the two of us :-)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to all...

....and to all a good night!!

Anyone want to grab a kiss under the mistletoe?

In fact, you are welcome to take a piece and go on over to Michele's, where the Meet and Greet is still going on - and give her a nice kiss too!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Must be Christmas....time to trim the tree....

With memories of this.....

and this....

and this....

Not forgetting this....

Here is the 2007 tree.....

any bets on how long it will last before a big male feline decides to play with it?

Look at that angelic little this year going to be different?

Update: Mum! Mum! I'm guarding the presents!!.........which one is mine....?


Friday, December 21, 2007

Not just humans

Mysterious lumps and bumps are not restricted to humans..........

This is Pandora, our precious ancient pussycat who is the grand age of 18 and a half.

This week we found a large lump by one of her shoulder blades, about 2cm in diameter. We are very, very scared.

I don't want to take her to the vet. Her brother, Pushkin, died of abdominal cancer.
She's very old to go through the stress of treatment, and the vet may decide to take her away from us forever, or whatever is causing the lump may steal her away.

I can't imagine life without 'Pandy'.

Meanwhile, she is ok in herself for an octogenarian pussycat, she isn't showing any signs of pain, she doesn't flinch when I check her lump, she still begs to be carried around, she still tells us she loves us, she chatters at us, she purrs so loudly, she isn't limping, she is eating well, she is still using the litter tray without accidents and she seems very happy.

But a lump is a lump.....

To those that have left messages, thank you :-) Your support is valued beyond words.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa Came Through...

Well, it seems MB was drafted in by Santa to help sort my request here - so Santa could concentrate on the little people.

MB tried to buy the red bike I wanted,
but the nasty people in the shop couldn't guarantee the larger frame (I have 33" inside leg!) so he left feeling downhearted.
He searched out some bikes for me to look at, but I had set my heart on my second choice - a purple and it's here! Look......

hmm - might be me, but it looks like a box....

Yep, definitely a bicycle.......!! woohoo!! It's a purty purple bicycle.......


Monday, December 17, 2007


You all wanted to see pictures of the adolescent wild swan eating from my hand......full story here. Swannie is a young swan who has become very attached to his little pond and refuses to, or can't, move out.
Here he is - meet Swannie...our young friend. See his two tone plumage? Swannie is on the verge of adulthood and that beautiful white plumage is coming through.When I call him, he comes rushing over, clattering his bill as if saying 'Where have you been?'

He takes nice healthy wholemeal bread off the bank......'washing' it before swallowing it. We took the box of shortbread to tease my boss :-)

He gently takes bread from B's hand.....hungry boy - well, I think he's a boy!

..and then eats from my hand - newly dressed in a wrist brace! He even playfully nipped at my fingers several times.

A couple more days and if Swannie hasn't made a move, we'll bring in the swan experts to remove him and take him to a safe home.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Some Days

Some days are made special by the smallest of wonderful experiences.
On our site is a large lake and we have a Mute Swan couple who come to stay each year, build a nest, lay eggs and raise their young. It is a wonderful opportunity to watch swan family life as the cygnets grow and learn to be swans, alongside ducks, coots and moorhens - we even have a crane and a couple of kestrels on site. All the swans leave in the late autumn/early winter and we never see the young ones again, as they go off to find their own mates, but mum and dad come back every year.
This year there are a couple of adolescent swans who are resisting the urge to leave as their parents and siblings have done. Two of the teenage cygnets are not a problem as they are mooching around the lake and flitting between us and the nearby AXA insurance company (who also have a small lake!), but one of the young swans is causing us a few headaches. In addition to the large lake, we also have several smaller ponds and fountains. The young swan has found his way into one of the fountain ponds and he is either reluctant or unable to get out. He has been caught and released, but when straight back in again. After several weeks we are starting to worry about his overall health, although he is still ok and is feeding on bottom algae. He is just starting to moult and his beautiful white plumage is beginning to show. He must leave soon to mature and find a mate.
(photo: wikipedia)
We have contacted the local swan rescue who have advised us to watch him and occasionally feed him, and to call back next week if he's still in there.
So today my colleague B and I set out with a wholewheat bread roll and some unwanted low sugar fruit and nut Flapjack to feed Little Swan and check on his general health. As usual, and somewhat of a surprise to B, Little Swan came to us as I called 'Swannie, swannie!' and looked up at us, chattering his bill - saying hello, probably [grin]. We gave him some bread first to judge how hungry he was.
Have you ever seen a swan eat?
It will take the food from the water/ground and then dunk it in the water to soften it up - but it just looks like the swan is washing it's food!
So Little Swan took the bread, 'washed' it and gulped it down. And I tried him on some flapjack. The flapjack sunk, so I broke it up into pieces and laid it on the bank. Little Swan arched his neck and snuffled the food off the bank, 'washed' it and munched it down.
Now for the 'wonderful' bit.....
see this hand?
No, not that hand........this hand.......
A wild swan ate out of this hand today, straight from my hand with his big old soft bill. He took the food from my hand, nipping my fingers gently as he did so. B and I were ecstatic (me more so, obviously!), at the sight of a large wild adolescent swan eating from my hand, lots of 'OMIGOD, did you see??'!
As Little Swan was obviously hungry, I went back alone with another flapjack bar and he ate it all very quickly and again contentedly ate out of my hand.
How do I describe the sensation of a large young swan eating out of my hand?
It was amazing, absolutely mindblowing. I was so worried Little Swan would nip me, or hurt me somehow, but he was so gentle with his soft big bill. The first time he took my fingers as well, making me flinch although it didn't hurt, but he was more careful after that and took food almost like a horse, placing his bill carefully in my hand. I could have stroked his beautiful neck or touched his head, but I didn't want to scare him.
Just when life is dark and unhappy, Mother Nature sends a messenger to remind you that, big and scary though the world might be, you are definitely not alone.
Then when I got home there was a parcel waiting for me all the way from LA, and another one at the Post Office for me to collect tomorrow. Ain't life grand?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gorillas and Girls

Continuing a show of great British commercials, here is the one recently voted favourite advert of 2007 - and one of my particular's the look of total ecstasy on the gorilla's face that I love......

Tomorrow is our office Christmas party. It's been a stressful year and the team are demoralised, so the Christmas party is suitably subdued - a Christmassy meal in the site restaurant and then off to a local pub for a couple of beers. Luckily for me, this year Cyberkitten is working in my office, so I get to go the Christmas party with my best friend!
On the subject of Christmas parties, I think this commercial sums up the British Christmas party; girls going barmy with outfits and makeup, men just 'making do'....

You'll notice I love commercials with music - music says so much more than words ever can...


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Is this.......?

..possibly the most beautiful and original commercial we have ever seen...?



Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas Carols for the Seasonal Defective

I like some of the Christmas stuff I posted last year so much, I am repeating them again for sheer entertainment....

Last year at this time one of my regular readers gave me grief about not taking my depression seriously. Good grief - if I took my depression seriously, it would kill has tried enough times in the past.

So - to the one person who harangued me here about posting this I say 'tough cheese!'. Some people give in to their depression - I will fight mine with every cell in my body.

* 1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

* 2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

* 3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

* 4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

* 5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

* 6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

* 7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

* 8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

* 9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

* 10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells


Friday, December 07, 2007

Twelve Signs of Christmas

12 - first sighting of the Famous Grouse and Coca Cola adverts.

11 - supermarkets stocking up with Christmas stuff in September.

10 - the annual debate on who is going to host the Crazie Christmas party.

9 - The days get dark and the weather grows cold...but it is still raining.

8 - we have to issue the traditional health and safety notice at work about decorations.

7 - we gather courage for the impending viewing of the Great Escape and The Santa Claus(e).

6 - everyone collects Christmas catalogues from shops they don't usually use.

5 - half the supermarket freezers are full of turkeys and shelves are empty of bread.

4 - the pile of presents gets bigger in relation to the shrinking of my finances.

3 - I wander the shops looking for the perfect cards for my parents.

2 - I panic...not knowing what to get MB.

1 - The nagging feeling that once this is all over, it's only 12 months until we do it again!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Must Be Christmas

It must be Christmas - this little character is back on TV...showing off his many, many talents.

Meet the Famous Grouse - the first sign of Christmas in the UK. When the video is done, you can find more Famous Grouse on the replay screen.