Friday, June 30, 2006

Part 1 - Performance Review Time at the Palace

[gentle tapping at the Royal study door]

Hi, Clara, come on in and sit down. As you know I like to give my staff feedback on their performance over the year, and I think now is a good time to do your review.

Yes mum

Did you have a nice time in California at Our Lady's house?

Yes mum

And you had that extra day, of course. Sightseeing in Hollywood, with Walt of course. I hope you had a lovely time?

Yes mum

Well, I have to tell you that overall this year you have worked hard and conscientiously.

Yes mum

But I noticed a downturn in performance after my blogparty.

Yes mum

And then your behaviour became erratic, you had a lot of sick days and your performance suffered. Can you explain that?

Yes mum

[long silence]

Well, as you’re not going to, I guess I could have a stab at the reason?

Yes mum

You’re pregnant, aren’t you?

Yes mum

You knew you were pregnant and you didn’t tell me, your employer?

Yes mum

Do you know who the father is?

Yes mum

[even longer silence - a veritable pregnant pause]

Well, I guess it’s up to me again…… cyberkitten the father ?

No mum

[to be continued.........]

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Reasons Why I Love Johnny Depp.........

1. His eyes. A girl could get very lost in those beautiful brown eyes. btw - did anyone else know he wears tinted contact lenses in the PotC movies because his eyes are sensitive to the sun?

2. His hair. Never the same. Never totally under control, but always.......well touchable.....

3. His principles. Always his choice of films on his terms.

4. The reason he made the first PotC movie - for his children, so they could see Daddy in a film.

5. His sense of humour. I have seen interviews with Johnny D and he has a wicked sense of humour, but subtle - you know?

6. The tattoo on his hand that few people know about because it's usually made over. 'We were sitting around talking about new tattoos and I said 'do one on me now, on this hand' my friend said what do you want, I just said 'I dunno, just........oh, just tattoo a 3 on there!'' and hey presto, JD has the tattoo of a number three on his left hand between the thumb and forefinger.

7. That tattoo was mostly covered by a grubby bandage or a carefully placed dirt smudge in PotC1.

8. He has a tattoo of his mum's name 'Betty Sue' with a heart. He is devoted to his mum, even takes her to awards and stuff!

9. His first film was Nightmare on Elm Street where he was eaten by a bed - he is inordinately proud of that accolade!

10. He resolutely refuses to be part of the Hollywood 'Machine', preferring to live in a secluded villa in France.

11. He loves to play Barbie with daughter Lily Rose - and play pirates with son Jack!

12. He has just been voted the best autograph-giver in the business!

13. He has an indefinable quality. He always appears almost touchable, tangible. Watching him on the screen, he seems to be almost within reach.....


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Naomi!!

Today is The Day!!

It’s Our Lady's birthday today!

As I understand it, she is a sprightly 25 today!

And she’s throwing a huge virtual party for all her blogbuddies. So follow the link above for champagne and chocolate cake - all non-fattening, 'cos it's Virtual!

I have my dress….

And polished up my bling……..

Dusted off my crown………

And even got a little posy for the Birthday Girl…….
Right, I'm ready - time to go to the party!!

More later.......


Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday Memory

Today it's a memory tied to a clever am I??

OK, picture this.....1979, flares, Queen, Star Trek the Motion Picture, the Bee Gees, and Butterflies. BUTTERFLIES??

Yup, in 1979 the BBC was showing a TV sitcom called Butterflies which starred, amongst other future luminaries of British stage and screen, Geoffrey Palmer. Here he is with Dame Judi Dench, starring in 'As Time Goes By' recently.

Photographer: Rob Ebdon©2000 BBC

Butterflies was filmed in our town; not only our town, but some scenes (specifically Geoffrey's) were filmed in our road! As the series had two rather nice young men in it and I was a fourteen year old oozing hormones, I decided to go over and ask for some autographs - perhaps one of them would 'notice' me!

I didn't get as far as the young men, as one of the cast was amazingly brutal with me and reduced me to tears in about 10 seconds flat. Enter - Geoffrey!

He took me to one side and helped me into the Mini that was famous the length and breadth of the UK.

And he talked to me, me - a fourteen year old neurotic mess! Not only did he talk to me, but that lovely man listened to me too. I was miserable at home and miserable at school - but this man wanted to know about ME. We talked about school, acting, music lessons, TV - all sorts of stuff.

OK, so it was nearly 30yrs ago, but I still remember how I felt. I felt human, whole - a real person. Not an awkward daughter, a pain in the arse little sister or a bullied classmate - I was me.

Geoffrey Palmer more than likely doesn't remember his chance meeting with the weeping teenager, but she remembers him with gratitude and warmth.

And I didn't even get his autograph!


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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Craziequeen's People

Sunday again. Dinner done, just got the ironing to do and put the clothes away and then it's Monday and the whole 'week' thing starts again.

Today's Person may come as a bit of a surprise to most. He does not fit into the normal Craziequeen People mould.

This roughhewn Texan is The Undertaker. He has been a stalwart of the World Wrestling Entertainment for 16 years, and was the main reason I watched every week for ten years; to get a look at the Taker, the American BadAss, the man who danced with the devil weekly at 9 (the last one is mine, do you like it?)

But behind all the 'entertainment' is the man, Mark Callaway. 44 years old, 6'8", 300lbs, married with children. Like all wrestlers throwing themselves off the equivalent of small buildings, Mark has battled substance and alcohol abuse. He has recovered from hip and knee surgery and is only now considering retirement.

Some like the pretty boys, and some like the dirty players. Some tune in for the 'storylines' and some tune in for the Divas. Me? It has to be Undertaker all the way, big, bad and dangerous to know.

I found this quote in an article;

Without exception, his peers describe him as a locker room leader, a veteran extremely generous with his time and experience. "When he says it's his yard, it really is," says Edge (Adam Copeland). "Backstage, you KNOW that he's the man."

His legacy encompasses not just his skill, agility, size and longevity in the world of professional wrestling, but his reputation as a genuine leader among his many peers. As much as the fans will remember the many faces of the Undertaker and his enormous contribution to sports entertainment, it seems that the locker room will remember Mark Callaway, the man, even more.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Craziequeen's People

I wasn't going to put bloggers on here, but this morning I changed my mind.

Today's person is the gifted, the talented, the funny........

Miss Deni Bonet!! [pause for applause]

you can find her blog here.......

and here is the reason why she is my 'Person' today.......

Great American Music Hour

I love this song!


for those that don't know, this is my way of dealing with the constant diet of World Cup this and World Cup that.......People - real People....

Friday, June 23, 2006

Frolicking Friday

Enough of this 'family' stuff.......

It's Friday, time to have FUN with my friends!

Running Doe, a young Native American woman went to a doctor for her first ever physical exam. After checking all of her vitals and running the usual tests, the doctor said, "Well, Running Doe, you are in fine health. I could find no problems. I did notice one abnormality however."
"Oh, what is that, Doctor?"
"Well, you have no nipples."
"None of the people in my tribe have nipples," she replied.
"That is amazing," said the doctor. "I'd like to write this up for The South Dakota Journal of Medicine if you don't mind.
She said, "OK."
"First of all" asked the doctor, "how many people are in your Tribe?"
She answered, "Approximately 500."
"And what is the name of your tribe?" asked the doctor.
Running Doe replied, "We're called ...

(You know me, I hate to do this to you)

(I really do hate to do this to you;

LIKE Hell! I love it!)

"The Indiannippleless Five Hundred!"


"Cash, cheque or charge?" I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.
"So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked.
"No," she replied, "but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally."

I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax,
pour it onto your upper thigh,
rip the hair out by the root,
and still be afraid of a spider.

While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor,
"It is essential that husbands and wives know each other's likes and dislikes.
"He addressed the man, "Can you name your wife's favourite flower?"
Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "It's Homepride, isn't it?

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.
An earlier discussion had led to an argument andneither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs,the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day... 30,000 to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"

A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time."
The wife responded, "Allow me to explain.
God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me;
God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!

A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.
"The husband said, " You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee."
Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."
Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me."
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says..........

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.
Suddenly, the man realized that the next day he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,
"Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning, the man woke up only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.
The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."
Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.
God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

This week thanks go to bionicdwarf and 'Huw from work' for providing the giggles.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about 'that' Happy Family.......
[Wordless Wednesday below]

1. From the left - that's my Daddy. Mother and Daddy divorced when I was 5 or 6. It wasn't amicable, and this is, as far as I know, the only remaining photo with both parents in it.

2. Daddy died when I was 17. I never really got to know him well, a bit of a shame as I seem to remember he was a nice guy.

3. Next to Daddy and curled into his shoulder is my sister H, 5 years older than me. H ran away from home at 14 and went to live with Daddy.

4. I idolised her as a child, and bitterly resented that she got to live with Daddy (although later I found they had their own problems).

5. H despises me and we haven't spoken for over 10 years. I know she despises me, because she told me so - in a very long letter.

6. Next is my brother J. I adored J, we were only two years apart and were the only children at home during the most tumultuous years in our family. He bullied me terribly, but he was my brother.

7. J hates me. He refuses to have anything to do with me. He thinks I am evil.
8. When I was ill I tried to get in touch with J about five years ago. I was contacted by a friend of his and told to stay away and never to try and get in touch again.

9. Little button features is me. Such innocence, such naivete! Not a lot changes even after nearly 40 years! Love the reins!

10. Then there's big brother A, 6 years my senior. The steadfast one. Passed all his exams, excelled at Cambridge, excellent job, fantastic family etc - always one black sheep in the family! He did a lot of the 'Daddy' jobs when I was a child - took me to school, taught me to ride a bike, taught me to play poker!

11. And my Mother. A strict disciplinarian. Life had to be on her terms, as did relationships. Even now, I never know where I stand with her. One minute calm, the next stormy seas.

12. So there you have it. Like all families, it is a myth exploded. I don't believe there is such a thing as a Happy Family.....but I always dreamed of one.
13. As a child I wanted to be Laura Ingalls or Elizabeth Walton. But no - I'm just me.......


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rumour Central

Latest rumour........

Johnny Depp is looking to buy a home in Bath.........that's oh - about 30 miles from me.....



Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday Memory

Well, with encouragement from Our Lady, I was going to introduce you to my family. But as Blogger Photo has died - again! - you will have to put up with one of my more notorious memories.

About twenty years ago I was a young clerk in the Civil Service working with the RAF just outside Gloucester. One of our regular social events was to play skittles (like bowling, but less pins and a smaller ball!). I was recovering from the recent bitter separation from my former husband and all the lads had an agreement that I would be watched carefully to make sure he didn't turn up and hassle me.

While walking to the bar to get the drinks in, I was approached by this rather dubious looking individual who tried to ask me out. He offered to buy me a drink (refused) and asked if I wanted to go out with him (also refused!). He wasn't getting the 'No', and suddenly several large RAF officer types materialised at my side and politely told the man to leave me alone, I was with them.

At the sight of all these very manly men, the ugly dwarfish man retreated mouthing abuse. We all laughed over the incident for weeks, and my reputation as a bit of a man-magnet began. Mind you, I never forgot that man's face, nor his insistent manner, he totally creeped me out.

Well, imagine my horror in 1994 when I saw his face again, on the front page of every paper in the country (and probably the world!).
The man wanting to date me was Fred West, mass murderer. He used to pick up girls, take them home to his wife, do unspeakable things to them, kill them and bury them in the cellar/garden!
Not only that, but he only lived around the corner from me, and I used to walk past his house most days.

[chuckle] and people wonder why I don't trust men.......


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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Craziequeen's People

Today is Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day to Dads, daddies, poppas and fathers everywhere.

And my People today are a father and son. Not only that, they are also, respectively a great-grandad and a grandad! Not too shabby!

I have loved the father for years. As a child I admired his looks, dance and singing skills and screen presence, as an adult I have admired his resilience and his persistence in doing what he loves. (oh, and I never knew his cockney accent was bad, because I grew up in Devon and Gloucestershire and didn't hear a London accent until I was into my teens!)

And as for the son. Well, he is amazing, he has his dad's good looks, a body to die for and is a very good actor in his own right. He is also a devoted husband and father to his own family.
[snigger] and of course he's left -handed (what IS it with me and left-handed men? Sheesh!!)

Generation number three is headed up by eldest son Carey who is now father to two little girls.
So there it is, on Fathers Day - a famous father, grandfather and great-grandfather and his famous son, father, and grandfather :-)

A quick reminder why I am running this 'People' series. I am sick to death with the World Cup, and this blog is now a dedicated haven from the madness that is World Cup Fever! And my anti-World Cup theme is 'People'!


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Today's Person

Seeing a picture on Our Lady's blog today, I shuffled my People around so today I would post.....

It's our Tom. Not Tom Cruise [bleurch!] but Tom Skerritt. Even though he made his first film two years before I was a twinkle in my daddy's eyes, I have always had a soft spot for the ruggedly handsome chap!

Viper (dedicated instructor and former Top Gun) in Top Gun

Drum Eatenton (barmy but devoted husband and father) in Steel Magnolias

Jimmy Brock (the Sheriff always an inch or two out of his depth) in Picket Fences

Capt (by the book) Rhodes in Tears of the Sun

...and I see this busy actor has even fitted in a few episodes in the second season of Huff as Huff's pop! Hmm.....Azaria and Skerritt on the same screen - help nurse! (to quote our lovely Lady in the Hills!)

I never really knew my real dad, so you may find some older actors cropping up in my People's a silly thing of mine.


Never a dull moment.......

You know, I am surprised that that very nice posh restaurant in Weston still accepts bookings from the Aginoths! :-)

Last time we went there were accusations of wine-stealing and Brother S fell unconcious on the table due to half a glass of wine on virtually no liver.

This time [looks abashed] it was my turn!

I fainted.

Yep, I fainted in this very nice restaurant all over their nice carpet.......

I had had a headache all day yesterday, I even took the afternoon off, popped some headache pills and got a couple of hours nap before being picked up. But the headache resolutely remained.

It was a lovely meal. Aginoth and Mrs A, RCA and her delightful partner K, bionicdwarf, V and P (re-enactment chums of the A's) and me. But half way through the main course I started to feel unwell. I couldn't finish it, but couldn't resist the lure of the famous (and utterly delicious) pot au chocolat. So I ordered dessert.
Then, I got really ill really quickly. The sweat was crawling over my skin, I felt so dizzy I couldn't decide if I was going to pass out or throw up. I whispered to Aginoth that I felt faint and the 'first aid' swung seamlessly into action. They put my head on the table, then pushed my chair back and put my head down. Well, that made me sure I was going to throw up, so I said I had to go to the bathroom.
I woke up on the floor, halfway to the bathroom, with Mrs A and RCA hovering over me.

We must be SO entertaining for the staff!! Never a dull moment! (hence the title).

I don't know why I fainted.

Might have been the heat (my reactions to heat are exacerbating as I get older).

Might have been the stress of the last few weeks of exams and studying (well, that's a no-brainer!).

Might have been cumulative, hence the headache.

Might have been something I ate in the meal (unlikely but I am still discovering allergies and reactions to food!).

Might have been low sugar caused by any of the above.

In a perfect world we could put it down to alcohol, but I was only half way through my second vodka, my first being thoroughly diluted with lemonade (so I definitely wasn't drunk!).

After five minutes in the bathroom and a quick wash of my face, I felt ready to face the restaurant again. Fifteen minutes outside in the small breeze with RCA faithfully by my side (she's getting good at looking after me! Last time was my horrendous allergic reaction to wine!) cleared my head a bit. Mind you, she did make drink coke. Horrible, HORRIBLE stuff; coke! But sugar was a good call. Just a couple of dizzy spells and a drift off and I was ready to walk home to A's.

I made it with just a couple of pauses for dizzy spells and I was safely back at the Aginoth's house. Caffeine followed the coke. Caffeine and Sugar - excellent! (but I still loathe coke!)

Thank you to everyone for not making a huge deal of my silliness. This morning I still have the headache, but am 'all there' headwise. I slept through the night no worries, and am just getting ready to go to the supermarket to pick up some emergency supplies (living the bachelor life this week!)

[HUGE hugs to my darling RCA and K who supported me and helped me home]
RCA, have I told you how much I love your girlfriend, she's brill :-)

OK, Tesco's, before it gets manic, then a quiet day around the house doing some gentle chores.

And I may treat myself

well, with blogger photo playing up again, you will just have to guess who I will be settling down with this afternoon.

Must go, I hear chocolate calling to me from the supermarket!


PS - RCA? I'm not beating myself up over this, honest. I know I couldn't help fainting. I was just tired last night.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Aginoth

1. Today is Aginoth's birthday.

2. He is 36 today. Happy Birthday, babes!

3. Aginoth is now officially OLD! :-)

4. Aginoth is the closest thing I have to a brother. My oldest brother has a job and a family and travels a lot, my younger brother has disowned me.

5. Aginoth introduced me to blogging - feel free to go over and thank him [chuckle].

6. Aginoth is a sweet caring man [listens for the groans from down the M5].

7. Aginoth is also a bit of a nag [see his comments on my WW!].

8. Along with my Crazies, Aginoth has been a staunch support to me in times of difficulty.

9. I personally think Aginoth is nuts! :-)

10. Aginoth and his wife have welcomed me into their family, and so has his mother (Nanny A).

11. Tomorrow most of my Crazies are foregathering to help Aginoth celebrate his birthday with dinner at his favourite restaurant and then some chillin'.......

12. Ah, an evening spent suppin' something cool while the youngsters watch the football!

13. Aginoth is on pain relief for this arthritis, so he can't drink.

13a. ....but I can!!


Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged!
If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments.
It’s easy, and fun!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bit of this, bit of that

BIG news! Our very own OldOldLady is throwing a virtual party to end all virtual parties to celebrate her birthday! I didn't quite catch her age (going a bit deef in my dotage) but I'm sure she said she was 25!

I have offered her my staff, Walt and Clara, to help out.

These big parties can be such hard work on the hostess.

And I'm dusting off my frock and polishing up my bling ready!

AllBlogStar is going from strength to strength, it has oodles of members now and is just starting to find its feet. It's sort of a 'blog-in-progress' no one knows what it will morph into!

And today's Person.......

Today you get Person plural, as you didn't get a Person yesterday, thanks to blogger photo dying.

Monday's Person is the adorable, the beautiful, the incredible.........

Candice Bergen

I love this woman! I adored Murphy Brown and I am addicted to her in Boston Legal. She's gorgeous, classy and a fabulous actress to boot!

And today's Person? [drumroll]

This enchanting looking young man is Joel Keller, a Canadian actor who has me hooked on Blue Murder. Isn't he just the sweetest?

This is fun, digging out photos of people who 'catch my eye'........and makes a pleasant change from 'you know what'....


Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Memories

Monday Memories: Auditions

A little while ago, whilst at a WendyWings Casting Call, our very own OldOldLady up in those Hollywood Hills asked me about auditions in England.

Then at the last one, I let rip with a few numbers from Annie - honest I did! You didn't hear? Must have had the volume down.......

Cyberkitten asked if anyone in blogland knows I really can sing..... guys - I really can sing!

Anyway, back to the Audition. I had tried out for the local amdram (amateur dramatics) company as my best pal Joe was involved and it seemed like fun. Joe moved away and sadly passed on, but I stayed in the company.

Then, after all the revue shows, they decided to put on a full fledged pantomime. Not wanting to be centre stage, I auditioned for the chorus.

A couple of hours and a few song sheets later, we broke for tea and biccies (well, it IS England!) and I wandered off to the loo.

Finding myself alone in the lavatory, I started running a few scales and arpeggios, and practised a few songs. Chorus I might be, but I was gonna be good - for Joe! Tiled lavatories made the BEST acoustics.

I tripped back to the auditions and warbled my little heart out.

Next day came the casting call.

Director: 'Hi, we have some news'

Me: 'oh?'

D: 'You're going to be principal girl'

M: 'No, I auditioned for the chorus'

D: 'yep, we know but you're going to be principal girl. You're going to be the Princess'.

M: [blubbers incoherently] 'but I didn't audition!'

D: 'We know, but during tea break last night I was walking past the ladies toilet and I heard you singing!'

M: 'but - on stage - solos - and everything.......?'

D: 'Just pretend you're in the toilet!'

And that is the cute story of how I auditioned for the chorus and became the Princess. I got to wear gowns of gold and silver, I sang on stage, I was mobbed by Brownies and I earned myself a little self-respect. Before every show I prayed a little thank you to Joe, and I'm sure he was watching me.

After that show I retired from the public gaze, preferring my anonymity....

Watch this space for today's Person - when blogger photo decides to work!


ps: no linkeys this week, just leave your mark in the comments


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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Day 2

It's hot here in S Gloucestershire. Tesco (our local supermarket) was full of people desperately stocking up for BBQs. We don't do BBQs - mostly for the two of us it's just too complicated; being one carnivore and one vegetarian :-) The young couples either side of us BBQ frequently though, because it saves on washing up, I guess..... :-)

But I like Aginoth's BBQs. He fires up two at the same time, one big meat one and a little veggie one for yours truly! I've always thought that is so thoughtful!

Did I mention it is hot? The cats are frantically trying to find the zippers on their made to measure fur coats and I am combing Charlie several times a day. The heat has made Pandora rather fragile and Charlie is completely wiped out.
I can't believe Pandora is going to be 18 next month! That's like - oh - 80 in cat years! Old, old lady....... It seems only yesterday we got her as a little kitten. She was very poorly when only about four months old and we nearly lost her. But now she's 18!

For those interested, allblogstar is an open forum where you can get permission to blog! And well done to Allstar, whoever you are :-)

Anyway, true to my word, here is today's Person!

I never liked Buffy, and by that token never watched Angel. Bones is THE show to watch........and Dishy Dave is all grown up!


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saturday Night

It's all go here. The felines have teleported over to Oreo's birthday party and are having a ball, apparently [wink]

I am now a blogging AllStar! It's a very clever idea, a group blog!

And I have decided what to blog about instead of the World Cup.....

[chuckle] no, not just Johnny.....but a nice picture every day of people that have caught my eye :-)


One Time Only

See this? This is the England flag for the World Cup, three lions, St George cross blah, blah, blah. This is the last time you will see this flag on my blog.

Feast your eyes, as this blog is designated a
World Cup Free Zone.

So no football, no scores, no running commentary [looks at RCA].

Oh, and I have been invited to blog at allblogstars! :-) Of course, they had to have the Queen! I will mosey on over there later today.
Actually, anyone can blog at allblogstars, just go on over and follow the instructions on the first post!

Still a bit 'quiet' after the stress of my exams.......I'll be back later.
All for now!

[takes chocolate chip cookies out of oven]

[wafts aroma towards 'MicheleLand]

So - any ideas on how to fill the next 3 weeks??


Friday, June 09, 2006

Home for Good

Exams are over and I'm home for good.

Let's see, I guess you want to know how it all went.

Paper One I came out feeling quite positive. I answered all the questions and felt the answers were right. In fact, a lot of them I knew the answers were right!

Paper Two - oh dear.....I didn't revise 'Lead' - my selected biological hazards were Asbestos, Leptospira and Chlorine....we were told to select two, I selected three for safety's sake.......but obviously the wrong three!
And a question about soldering - not something I have ever done, or am ever likely to do, or manage, or even watch, I have to admit.......or something I know anything about.
And when the exam was over I merely yelled 'and what the f*&^&^%k is a 'mobile jib crane!?!'. To which Rich (who was in front of me) answered 'I knew you were going to say that!'. 'Mobile' - ok, do you push it, pull it, ride on it, tow it? 'Jib', I know what one of those is, but I feel the size and therefore the hazard is in direct proprtion to the first bit! 'Crane' - yep lifty thing that lifts things....but what? Outdoors, indoors? High lift, low lift?
OK, I've googled 'Mobile Jib Crane', and not only are there not many.....but I'm still no clearer.
(for those with a twisted sense of humour, I did write in the margin of my exam paper 'What is a mobile jib crane?')
But I made a valiant attempt to answer all the questions.......

Ah well, I have to pass both exams to qualify......maybe next year.

Exam finished at 4, by 4.10 I was battling my way out of Birmingham rush hour (didn't even stop for the required exam post-mortem with the lads - I just bolted) and I have just stepped out of a ten minute cold shower.......yum!
Now to find something on the telly that is NOT football, and to mulder over what I am going to cook for dinner....


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

THE Week

This is it. The BIG week. Back in noisy smelly Birmingham for the final push to qualification.

Three days cramming and one day's exams. Day two of the cramming and we've been hit with a mock exam. Nothing too difficult - or do I know more than I thought? :-S

Oh, and apparently I seem to have passed the exam I sat three weeks ago. Lord only knows how, but to quote my tutor 'people can miss out questions and pass, but we don't recommend it!' with a look at me! But we're still waiting to have our results from the Moderator, so I could be wrong!

So, back to the books.

Don't be strangers, people - I need all the help I can get! :-)

Update Thursday - struggling here. It's so hot and I am becoming very disillusioned. Resentment is starting to kick in. Yesterday I was quite argumentative, and today I just want to throw the whole thing in.
I haven't slept properly this week at all and as I lie in bed all the information runs through my head like a tickertape.
I am living on caffeine and paracetamol because I have pains in my wrist from writing, and pain in my back from lugging all these books around and my VERY uncomfortable hotel bed.

Update Two - yep confirmed, passed my Safety Inspectors's exam - 69% and that was not answering two of the questions! I have been spoken to sternly by my tutor about answering ALL the questions.
Oh and just walked past large policeman holding youth at bay and colleague carefully holding the HUGE knife he was obviously carrying......I want to come home NOW! Tom has been informed he will be walking me back to my hotel tonight....


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Early Monday Memory

Monday Memories: Why I am a neurotic cat owner.......

An early Monday Memory as I am travelling to Birmingham tomorrow evening.

First of all, regular readers will know I can't have children, so our pets are everything to us.

I used to be really laid back about my pets. We lived in a small village and Pandora and Ambrose were allowed to roam free. Ambrose would be fed titbits by the old lady next door and Pandy hunted her little feline heart out.

We moved here in 1998 and in 2001 at the grand old age of 10, Ambrose was stolen from us.

It was New Years and Ambrose had been gone a day or so, not unusual in our household, but we were starting to worry. I went out shopping on the 30th and took a small diversion to see if I could see him and coax him home. I found him in a lifeless heap at the edge of the road. New Years has never been the same since.

Ambrose is buried in our garden. Pandora slept on his grave for three months and from the day he died she was sick with her nerves. They had been companions for 10yrs.

A couple of years later we felt ready to 'adopt' a new kitten. Next door's cat gave birth and we chose the cutesy little runt and named her Echo, because whenever we spoke to her, she would echo back! She had to go out - if we kept her in she went berserk, as she had been let out as a small kitten.

Ten months later we got a phone call from the vet to say she was there. She'd been hit by a car and was dead on arrival at the surgery.

We swore no more cats. Pandy was poorly and delicate and we felt we couldn't go through all that trauma again. Although we agreed we could probably take a disabled cat who would be an indoor kitty.

But then in August last year, we heard about a little fella who'd been found dumped on the edge of a busy road. His brothers had been rehomed, but no one wanted the spiky ginger boy. We took him on trial - and a trial he has been!

He fights endlessly with Pandy, he has grown MASSIVE and has a serious underbite which may need dental attention later. He HAS to have a glass of water on the bedside table every night and he has a favourite toy which ends up on our bed every night! But, to be honest, we wouldn't be without him now. He's our Charlie.

And you know, Pandy hasn't been ill for months! [crosses fingers behind back]

Since Echo, Pandy has been an indoor cat, and Charlie is too.

And there you have it. A neurotic cat owner!


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Worried Sunday

Charlie is missing. He must have done a runner yesterday.

At least he's not on the side of the road like Ambrose, and there's been no phonecall like Echo.

Let's hope he's snoozing under a bush somewhere.......



Update: Charlie is home safe and sound, but a little nervous. He must have sneaked out last night when we weren't looking and we accidentally shut him out :-(
He went under the garden shed - and promptly got scared/stuck.

I thought I could hear him crying most of this morning. I went next door to check their sheds and even looked up on the roof. Although I thought maybe I was imagining it, I knew I could hear him!
I'd already checked under the shed, but I realised the crying was coming from under there. He was in the darkest recesses and was terrified.

We tried to tempt him out, but he refused to budge, so MB started taking up the floorboards.
Charlie was so scared he squeezed out of a tiny gap and bolted for the house.

One safe and sound, if a little shaken, kitty.

One relieved, if a little shaken, mama.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Saturday Musings and Random Thoughts....

My exams are next week.......eeeek!!

I love my job :-) Yeah, I know, I've said it before.....but I do! This week I got to play around with web-building, organising people and sorting publicity!

Things I noticed on the buses (see posts below) this week :

Bus drivers don't charge their friends fares....

One bus driver stopped about 200yds from the bus stop and texted a local girl to tell her he was imminent.....and waited until he got an answer before pulling up to the stop - such service! Mind you, it meant we all had to sit and wait...

All British buses carry a sign to say don't talk to the driver or distract his attention. Huh! Yeah, right.....that would explain why the bus driver carried on a continuous conversation with one of his passengers....every evening....
Yesterday I gave up and got off the bus a mile and a half from my home, preferring to walk than listen to any more of his endless drivel.

The same bus driver almost hit a car because he wasn't paying enough attention.....chatting.......

Any coincidence this driver ran late (35mins late one night!) every night?? I think not.......

The same bus driver stopped a passenger getting off and tried his salesman pitch. 'You know, it would be cheaper to buy a return...' (true)...'and you could save even more money by buying a ten journey ticket..' (I had to physically stop myself from yelling 'total [insert expletive of choice here]!!' at the driver!!) - and then he finally let the poor kid go.

Anyway, enough about buses [grin]

Off to Birmingham for my exams next week. Tues Wed and Thurs are cramming days and my exams are on Friday.

My car is in the throes of being put back together with all the new bits. I'm crossing my fingers she'll be on the road for Birmingham. Dear MB!!

Charlie has broken the net curtain rod in the that will have to be replaced.....I wonder where I put the spare one I bought....?

Our main road was shut cos of a fatal accident there this morning, and they sent the traffic down a local lane to avoid the site.
'Gonna be a bit tight if the buses and lorries have to come this way' me thought.....being single track a lot of the way etc....and as I rejoined the main road, I saw a huge articulated lorry heading down the diversion.....[gulp]

On my way back I found the diverted traffic had ground to a halt and extra police were being drafted in....

'well, well,' I thought.....and nipped up a little known back lane instead.
Methinks my prophecy came true........

So, all in all, a quiet Saturday here in Crazieland.

Oh, and a couple of new additions to my blogroll.

Meet Matthew a 2yr old blogger who spends a fair percentage of his 'Life In the Corner' - I wept with laughter at his tales.....and his poor dad struggling to keep up with him!

Mysterious Lady is a classy gal (so why is she here, I hear you ask!) - and has just been awarded the honour of Winner of Wendy's Casting Call this month!

Finally, I have blogrolled the delicious LadyBug! I like Missee Bug and her tales of her family, and of course Mr Bug!

Go on - follow a link! :-)


Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Fun

As usual on a Friday - an email sent to me this week....

This is Amazing!
Bill owns a company that manufactures and installs car wash systems. (Magic Wand Car Wash Systems, just in case you want to buy one.) Bill's company installed a car wash system in Frederick, MD. Now, understand that these are complete systems, including the money changer and money taking machines.
The problem started when the new owner complained to Bill that he was losing significant amounts of money from his coin machines each week. He went as far as to accuse Bill's employees of having a key to the boxes and ripping him off. Bill just couldn't believe that his people would do that, so they setup a camera to catch the thief in action. Well, they did catch him on film!

That's a bird sitting on the change slot of the machine.

The bird had to go down into the machine, and back up inside to get to the money!

That's three quarters he has in his beak! Another amazing thing is that it was not just one bird -- there were several working together. Once they identified the thieves, they found over *$4000* in quarters on the roof of the car wash and more under a nearby tree.

And you thought you heard of everything by now!!!


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Being a JamBuster

1. First things first - what's a JamBuster, I hear you cry.....!

2. It's the brainchild of one of our many local councils to encourage people to use 'sustainable', or green, transport during June, dangling the lure of lots of prizes!

3. I am a JamBuster, as I am using the bus.

4. I am also intending to use the bus when my car is fixed (I hasten to add!)

5. Ah, the British colourful red doubledeckers here, my bus service uses the oldest crappiest buses on the road.

6. In fact, the entire fleet was taken off the road a couple of years ago when loads failed roadside safety checks :-O

7. It's expensive - I did some simple math........£3.50 return a day, that's £17.50 a week, X 4.5 (weeks in a month) comes to £78.75 a month. I can fill my car twice over for that, and a month of commuting only takes half a tank. So the bus costs about 4X as much as my car!

8. I bought a ten-journey ticket. Did I get a saving for that? Nope!

9. Today I decided to try and use the hour+ journey to do some study.....I read until I was ready to puke.......won't do that again!

10. My current evening driver is not the regular driver, and he is excruciatingly slow.....I'm tempted to ask if he wants us to push!

11. Jambusters has really taken off at work with over 150 people signing up for sustainable transport - lots of them walking or cycling for the first time. Sounds good until you remember we have 7,000 people on our site!

12. I'm sticking with it, but am refusing pointblank to go to Birmingham next week on public transport!

13. The thing I hate most.......? Standing at a bus stop watching people sail past in their lovely comfy cars........[bitter smile]


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