Thursday, August 30, 2007


Finally, my sinuses have broken and the pressure on my face and head is relieved somewhat. Now I'm just sniffing all the time.......

I saw this Meme over at Naomi's blog and thought it looked fun.....and, as it turned out, challenging!

The first thing you have to do is post the rules of it before you do anything else...
So, here they are:
1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I have two middle names and they are both very old unusual British (one English, one Scottish) names I don't advertise, so I will choose one.
I choose Alison - it is my sister's middle name, and I have always envied her such an ordinary middle name.

A - Ambrose. My beloved boy. Ambrose was a ginger kitten with behavourial problems we adopted in 1991. He loved me and MB, but hated visitors and especially children. He and our girl cat Pandora were best buddies, they co-existed in our lives for ten years incredibly happily. Ambrose was killed on the road in 2001, and Pandora went into decline. He was buried in our garden under a beautiful camellia bush, marked with a stone, and Pandora slept on his grave for three months. She has been sickly ever since he died. Us humans also mourned our ginger boy for years, missing him terribly.

L - Laughter. I strongly believe in the power of laughter in this life. If I know someone sick or unhappy, my wish is to try and chase away their demons, if only for a moment. The age-old saying is true - Laughter is the best medicine. Some people think it is odd that a person suffering depression likes laughter - but sometimes it's all I have. Some things always make me laugh, and the film below is one of those.

I - Initials. With two middle names I have rather a lot of initials - RLRH. Just looking at them written down, they could stand for Really Lovely Royal Highness :-)

S - Sister. My previously mentioned sister is not high on my list of much-loved people in this world. As a child I worshipped her, she was my idol. She was pretty, tall, clever, sporty, popular - everything I wasn't. She ran away from home at 14 (when I was 9) which only increased my admiration of her. When she burst the bubble and I saw her for what she really was, it drove me to the brink of a nervous breakdown. My family is so damaged and fractured, I haven't seen my brother or sister for almost 20yrs. I saw my sister recently, not at my instigation, and I can confirm - I still dislike her.

O - Organised. I'm probably reasonably close to being an organisational freak. I went into work this week while unwell to ensure a bunch of training was properly set up. My boss kept suggesting I went home and when I finally agreed, showing him the paperwork I had prepared, he said I was scarily organised........

N - November. The month of my birth. I was two weeks late, and should have been born on my great-grandaddy's birthdate - exactly 100yrs after his birth (19th October 1864). But I disappointed my mother in that respect. So I am a Scorpio and should have been an Libra - no wonder I'm confused! Luckily my Chinese sign would be the same......

I'm going to be brave and break the rules - I'm not going to comply with rule #3. If you like this meme, then feel free to take it and use it.

oops - forgot the promised video! Here it is.........

This is a song loved by millions for over 60yrs. The romantic ballad "Cocktails for Two", originally written to evoke an intimate romantic rendezvous, was re-recorded by Spike Jones in 1944 -- as a raucous, horn-honking, voice-gurgling, hiccuping hymn to the cocktail hour. The Jones version was a huge hit, much to the resentment of composer Sam Coslow. This is a theatrical video made for the song in 1945.

a song guaranteed to make me smile and laugh.....


Monday, August 27, 2007

Holiday Schmoliday...

Yep, still up to my eyeballs in cold and sinus........bloody marvellous for a Bank Holiday.
A what? I hear my overseas friends ask.......
Today is the most British of institutions the Bank Holiday.
Prior to 1834, the Bank of England observed about thirty-three saints' days and religious festivals as holidays, but in 1834, this was reduced to just four: 1 May, 1 November, Good Friday, and Christmas Day.
'Bank Holidays' were originally brought in by the Bank Holidays Act 1871 by Sir John Lubbock (a cricket fanatic) so bank employees could take part in cricket games traditionally played between villages where he was raised. Easter Monday, Whit Monday, Last Monday in August, Boxing Day were the four for England.
Exactly a century after the 1871 Act, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which currently regulates bank holidays in the UK, was passed giving 8 Bank Holidays including religious observance days (Christmas, Good Friday, Easter Monday).
It has been noted that the number of holidays in the UK is relatively small compared to the number in many other European countries. There have been calls for an increase in the number, particularly for recognising April 23 (St Georges Day) in England and March 1 (St David's Day) in Wales to have a public holiday on the feast day of the relevant patron saint. March 17 (St Patrick's Day) is already a bank holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and, from 2007, November 30 (St Andrew's Day) is a bank holiday in Scotland.
There are also calls for new national bank holidays such as one to represent the United Kingdom, British Day (possibly part of Gordon Brown's new Britishness policy), Trafalgar Day (as a result of the recent bicentennial), Waterloo Day and also one to represent the European Union, (making Europe Day a bank holiday) and one to represent the monarchy such as the Queen's Birthday or coronation.
[whisper] being a civil servant, I already get the Queen's birthday off
I vote for Trafalgar Day and St Georges Day......
(detail from Wikipedia)

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Yep, definitely sick.
I've been up all night with a blocked nose, prickly skin and aching joints. Every time I turned over I woke up. I managed to stay in bed til 7am, but that was a challenge. I guess it was better than trying to sleep in a 14C tent.......

My sneezes are incredible, and my sinuses are leaking out of my eyes. I'm sending MB out this morning for Oasis (fruit squash with real sugar), oranges, tissues with balm, paracetamol plus and, of course, chocolate........(It's summer, I don't have cold rememdies in the house!)

I really, really hate being sick. I especially hate being sick with colds and flus. They are just so debilitating for what is essentially a minor virus.

Right, Caption Time (regular readers will know I have stolen this idea from the delicious Carmi in Canada):
This is me this time last year, my first ever foray into re-enactment - which included adjusting the huge dress I was loaned. Captions, please.......

There were two winners last week. Actually, there were loads of good suggestions, but two stuck out for me.

Naomi said...
Sweetie To George: "Okay, just remember I am the Alpha Pet!"

Flleenie said...
"YOU MUST PROTECT THE that tuna on your nose?"

I enjoyed those :-)

ps - thanks for the chicken soup remedies, but please remember I am a vegetarian......I'll stick with fluids, fruit and paracetamol.....

Saturday, August 25, 2007


This weekend I was supposed to be at Caerphilly Castle to do some some more 'wenching'.....(see below post)

I didn't feel brill yesterday morning, but I went to work as usual. Then home, did some laundry, packed ready for the weekend, and even trimmed my nails (peasants didn't have long fingernails in the 14C!).......then I relaxed - and started to feel poorly. As the afternoon went on I felt sicker and sicker, then a short trip to the supermarket made up my mind - I was dead on my feet half way around the store!

So no Caerphilly for me.I am at home, taking neurofen, aching, coughing, sneezing and wheezing......


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Where I've Been

This weekend just gone the Company of Chivalry spent the weekend at our 'home turf' Farleigh Hungerford Castle in Somerset.

We had a fighting arena, an archery range and some living history (candle-making, woodworking, wool carding/spinning/dying and me with my coin die, making silver pennies).
We camped in the castle grounds (my tent was in the dip to the left of the picture where the railing is). In the centre of this picture is the Abbey, still intact with the Hungerford tombs.
With daily shows for the public of armour, weapons, soldiers drill, on Saturday we added the excitement of a Knighting ceremony for our Lords de Beauchamp and Hungerford (jnr), and on Sunday we had an example of medieval mass (by 14C the mass was in English, which made life easier for our priest character!)

Here are de Beauchamp and Hungerford having a play session.......boys will be boys. Photo courtesy of Master Fellbrigg

Photos of re-enactment events are really hard to find, because we can't usually take photos - what with being 14C characters and all!

And, if you're interested, here is some information about Farleigh Hungerford Castle:

Farleigh Hungerford Castle began life as a manor house built by the Montfort family. In 1369-70 it was sold to Sir Thomas Hungerford, first Speaker of the House of Commons. He converted the property into a square castle with large corner towers, surrounded by a moat. In 1383 he was pardoned for having done this without a royal licence. In the early 15th century, his son, Sir Walter Hungerford, enlarged the castle by adding the outer court that enclosed the parish church, which he used as his chapel; it is thought that he built the present parish church nearby to replace it.
The castle was home to the Hungerfords for 200 years, but had fallen into ruin by the end of the 17th century. Little remains of the main castle building apart from some substantial ruined towers, but the gatehouse and curtain wall that protected the outer courtyard are largely intact and the old parish church it enclosed is well preserved and features some medieval wall paintings and one of the most important collections of lead coffins in the country.

Next weekend, it's Caerphilly Castle!

Naomi? Nah, it rained most of Saturday and again on Sunday (although we had some dry time). This is England, after all. But weather forecasting says Caerphilly might be nice :-)


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


It's bloody raining - AGAIN..........


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Crazie Caption Time

This weekend's caption picture is a fun one of the beautiful Mr Sweetie - lifetime companion of our beloved Naomi in The Hills.

George the bear was my Christmas present to her last year, sending her a little bit of Britain, and Sweetie took right to him.

It should come as no surprise that Naomi took this wonderful photo!! So, captions please.

The winner of last week's caption was Blogdom's White Knight, Mike Althouse. He took a break from his 25Yr Plan to comment:

Caption: "Meow. Meow meow... meeeeow! Meowmeowmeow meow."

I think it's funny, but I can't translate cat.

And, in addition, a small game. My dear blogfriend Carmi, over in London Ontario, recently said he thought of me when he took this picture on his blog - as I had missed a similar opportunity recently.

Do you ever think of blogfriends (not those you see anyway, but those you have never met)? The ones that come to mind the most for me are Naomi (whenever I watch a film or see certain people on TV in the papers etc), Carmi (I see so many photo opportunities and never, ever consider whipping out my camera until it's too late!) and Minerva (who is constantly in everyone's thoughts). Is this an effect of this new blogworld?

All visitors are tagged for this bit of fun - do certain activities bring to mind blogfriends?


Friday, August 10, 2007

Movie I Seen

I went to see the Simpsons Movie last night. I have promised myself this movie for ever and saved my movie pennies for it.
I thought it was a fun diversion. There was a bit of a story, not too bad, but just like a three part episode.
On the plus side we got to see the entire cast of the Simpsons - all 300 and something.....except, of course, Maude Flanders (of course, we all know what happened to her!)...
The film started well, with a brilliant joke about films of regular TV shows. And the gang built on our already strong passion for Homer and Bart's stupidity. I never looked at my watch and even felt sorry as the film drew to a conclusion.

If you haven't been yet, I recommend staying through the credits. Not only have they credited every character of Hank Azaria (I ADORE this man!!)
Harry Shearer (probably the two most prolific voices), they also expanded the regular credits with lots of made up names in the credits, to make it look 'Movie'. And added in some credit extras, which'll make you smile.

I can't stop humming 'Spiderpig, Spiderpig, does whatever a Spiderpig does....'

Fun story, good characterisations, familiar faces and some laughs - 87 minutes well spent!


Monday, August 06, 2007

It Must Be August

It's been a lovely summer........honest - it has.........
June - torrential rain and massive flooding in the north of England.
July - torrential rain and massive flooding in the south west of England.
Aug - finally, the sun is out.....and the UK has Foot and Mouth again......
Please, PLEASE will someone authorise the use of the F&M vaccine!! Anything to stop the disease, the slaughtering of whole herds of beast and the impact on our farming communities.
There is nothing as soul destroying as watching hundreds of sheep and cows burning on huge pyres - and farmers watching stoically as their families weep while their living goes up in smoke.....again......


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Things People Say

I've had a bit of a wobbly week this week, being busy at work and not wanting to, or being able to, blog. I have logged on, lurked around and then just logged off again.
But I had to tell you all this lovely story.....

I was running an induction briefing yesterday on employment Health and Safety and we reached the part where we discuss the section of the law that forbids 'misuse or interference with items provided in the interests of health and safety'.

This is a popquiz bit where I ask the room for examples of gentleman coughed and said

'borrowing fire extinguishers to use at a garden barbeque....?'

There was a fractional silence and then us three 'expert' presenters just burst out laughing as the gentleman concerned went very red and tried to apologise.

Sometimes, when you are at your lowest, a complete stranger can just say or do the right thing and life doesn't seem so bad.

So, life isn't at an end, I have just 'Paused' it for a while. Here is this week's caption competition and I'm going to visit Michele and see who is playing today.