Saturday, September 30, 2006

Working 9 to 5

I have been thinking today about the jobs I have had in my life. I have worked in most sectors through the years.

Before I left school I had three jobs (all unpaid). My mother wouldn't let me be a papergirl, but I managed three impressive jobs before I was 16.

At 11 I was a lifeguard here. I was tall and strong even at that age and was an excellent swimmer, so being shorthanded the hot summer of 1976 they gave me a vest and a whistle to twirl and put me on the baby pool.
Other than the usual bumps and bruises and lost breath, I had one little girl who slipped on the slide steps and clunked her chin on the bottom step, biting her tongue off. So much blood.

At 14 I was assigned my work experience in a nursery school, a classroom assistant to 2yr olds. A month spent gluing and painting was fantastic. It was at this time I started babysitting formally and my love of children was born.

At 15 I got a summer job working as a nursehelp in a small home for disabled children. There were various extremely disabled children there, mostly psychological. After working in general duties for the first week, I was assigned my own 'charge'. A beautiful little girl with autism. Her mother didn't understand her special requirements and she arrived with us covered in bruises from sheer frustration. The day I got her to keep her socks pulled up was a red-letter day in that house. That was also the day I learnt you got more with love than with violence.

During that year I was deeply committed to becoming a nun. Spurred on by 'A Nun's Story' and the hardship I had already seen, I wanted to devote my life to helping people, thinking being a nun was the way to do it.
My mother wouldn't let me convert and there are no Quaker nuns, so I thought about how a secular person can help.

At 17 I flunked my exams and left school and home under a cloud. I was supposed to be following family tradition and becoming a teacher. My mother was extremely disappointed in me (nothing new there!) and said 'You can't leave school unless you have a job' so I got a job that same weekend and didn't go back to school and left home! The job? Live-In Homehelp to a wonderfully crazy family of musicians. Dad travelled a lot with various orchestras and mum was a music teacher and composer, so they needed someone to help out with their four children. Added to this the youngest had just been diagnosed late with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips, commonly called clicky hips. So she was in and out of hospital and in plaster of paris from her chest to her ankles.

I loved that job and I adored the family. I felt I had found what I was supposed to be doing. I helped in the huge grounds, scything grass, stripping out the old barn, feeding the horse, fixing the house, taught music lessons. Just sitting in the garden talking to the goats was restful.

But Reality stepped in. I was engaged to be married at 19 and my (now-ex!) husband didn't want me working there and said the wages weren't enough. So I left my gorgeous children after two years and got a job in the civil service with the Ministry of Defence. But the children remained with me longer than my marriage. After I left the marital home I went back to the children, working at the office during the day and helping out with the school run, homework and runny noses in the evening. I finally left them for good at the age of 23 when MB and I moved away.
As a conclusion to that part of my life, I went back a few years later when the oldest girls were grown and the younger ones were at boarding school. I was warmly greeted by all and we reminisced happily about those four years. They even still used all my old stock phrases!

I have been in the Civil Service for over 20 years now, doing most things in my career; pay, personnel, supply issue, data input, registry, secretary, finance, security, safety, management. Add in part-time work in petrol garages (gas stations) and retail (Marks and Spencers) and I have a lot of strings to my bow. Still looking after children in my off-hours - on my 6th family now! The families that grow and move on, there are always new babies to be looked after.
Finally, I have achieved a respectable grade (lower management) and have my dream job - helping people! Health and Safety is criticised a lot (and some institutions don't help with extraordinary safety measures) - until someone is hurt, then we're amazingly popular! My ambition is to be popular before someone gets hurt; prevention being better than cure!

I have just had my first 6 monthly review in my new job recently and they seem happy with me - and I am still very happy there.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Blogiversary!!

Happy Blogiversary to me!!

Wendy.......and Mar...........

And Happy Birthday to
Fizzy.......and Wendy.........!!

Time for a party!!

I chose my dress (purple of course):
Walt has been promoted to butler and he is watching over the buffet:

The buffet looks amazing; crabcakes, devilled eggs, pate, creamed corn and all sorts of other things:

Naomi is in charge of the ice-cream and she has organised chocolate and yet more chocolate!

The champagne is chilling in the refrigerator:

Clara is not working tonight as she is resting (pregnant maids need to take care of themselves!)

I have been in touch with the agency and they have sent young Ellie to help out.

As ever, the house is spotless and ready for my friends:

And my gardener has been working hard outside - its looking lovely by night

So let's crack this bubbly and start the party!!

It's almost 2am here in the UK - time to unveil the chocolate fountain for my chocoholic friends in the US

And break out a new batch of pink champagne.........

It's 3am and time I wended my way to bed. Not a bad thing to sometimes give in to insomnia, and this was a perfect excuse.

Walt will hold the fort for any more visitors. Feel free help yourselves to champagne, buffet and the chocolate fountain and talk amongst yourselves..... :-)

[yawn] Happy Blogiversary Wendy and Mar, and Happy Birthday to Fizzy and Wendy......[bigger yawn] and Happy[yawn]


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Thoughts - Blogiversary Party

Parties, Parties everywhere........
Tomorrow will be, I think, an unusual occurrence in the Blogosphere; The Palace is intending to host *two* parties at one time, one here and one at Britcats. My felines are hosting a Welcome Home Party for their little Spanish friend, Luna, who was lost outdoors for over a month and is finally home. And, boy! Those cats know how to part-ay!

Anyway, back to the human blogging party. What with three blogiversarys (mine, Wendy's, Mar's) and a couple of birthdays (Wendy again and Fizzy) there is some serious celebrating to be done. The secret to a blogparty is it is only as much fun as your imagination, so, in company with some seriously imaginative people - let your imaginations run riot!

Naomi has offered to provide the ice-cream for this party, she says she has found the perfect ice-cream for my party - I trust her taste! :-)

So, come on over tomorrow at 10pm BST (World Clock) and kick off your shoes and part-ay on down.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


More on the party the meantime:

See the countdown bar above this? We're all going on holiday next month. Eleven of us.

And I have laid out the first plans for the Crazie Holiday.

[deep breath]

Driver: Bionic Dwarf. Passengers: cyberkitten, me.
Driver: RCA. Passengers: K, Sleepypete.
And the Aginoths in the bus.......

A and Mrs A in their old room with LMD.
LMB and A Jnr in the little back twin.
Sleepypete and Bionic Dwarf in the left twin.
cyberkitten and me in the right twin.
RCA and K in the annex.

Food (getting more complicated by the year!):
General groceries for 9, split 7.5 ways (half for the kids).
RCA and K will do their own sundry groceries.
A volunteer to do the sundry grocery shop? I'll make a list ready.

RCA and K will sort their own meals - unless they can eat the meat meals.
I am shopping and cooking for me and cyberkitten (now there's just the two of us it's easy enough to make them in advance)
A volunteer to shop and cook for the meat-eaters? (costs to be divided) - if you can include RCA and K in the meals all the better! A challenge, methinks.....:-)

Suggest the pub at the bottom of the hill on night one, with a decent meal washed down with a pint of Dogs [drool]
After that suggested veggie meals will include shepherds pie, pasta, bangers and mash, casserole - easy to fit in with meat meals.
Plus one night out (place to be decided) to celebrate all four birthdays. (Bionic Dwarf, me, Sleepypete, Mrs A).

And this is just the beginning......I'm gonna need a holiday when this is all over......

Do you get the feeling we have done this before? A few times?? :-)


Monday, September 25, 2006

I feel a party comin' on.....

OK, so I didn't win the Emmys. :-(
S'ok, I was up against some serious competition and I am thrilled that Dale and Mar won (OK, so Dale was a shue-in!), because they are just such excellent bloggers.

But - don't put your frocks away just yet......'cos it's Party-Time again at the Palace.

This week is my Blogiversary on the 28th. And it is Wendy's (13th) and Mar's (23rd) just gone as I feel a party comin' on!
Anyone else celebrating their Blogiversary?
And I am approaching the big Five Oh Oh on my posts, and my counter is scarily close to 30,000 - could there be any better reason to throw a party??

Add to the celebrations, charlie and pandora's little missing Spanish feline friend Luna has turned up safe and reasonably well after 4 *weeks* alone outside and it's celebrations all round!

So, keep hold of your frocks, I'll put the buffet and chocolate fountain in coldstore until Friday night.

Yep, Friday the 29th September is Party Day!
Watch this space........

Birthday Blogger

Just sneaking on for a moment to say......




Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blog Emmys

Mysterious Lady is holding the first ever Blog Emmys on her blog.

The categories are:

So go have some fun with it! Winners will be announced there Sunday Night by 9pm! The voting stops at 6 pm Sunday night EST!

I was stunned and touched to see I have been nominated for two categories! Patriotic Award and the Best Foreign Blog.

I am up against The Man in the Patriotic Award, and I am up against Mar amongst others in the Best Foreign Blog so I am not optimistic,. Mind you, this is excellent company to be in - and I voted for both of them! Just to see my modest blogname in the list of nominees is enough.

In preparation for the BlogEmmy Party I have chosen my dress:

and I have splurged on some delicious pink champagne:

and I am offering to lay on a modest buffet table:

with a chocolate fountain:

So go on over to see our Mysterious One and cast your votes on this momentous event.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Random Thoughts

I was driving behind a British School of Motoring learner car today and had the most amazing flashback to my own learning days with BSM.
I had this brilliant instructor called Daryl and he would encourage me to use the lesson to run errands, saying 'driving is not about pottering aimlessly down roads and three point turns'.

He used to say 'take the next turn on the left' and I would say 'No'. That took him by surprise the first couple of times, then he got used to rethinking our route constantly. Well, my thinking was why should he know everything??

Then there was the day I was zipping happily along a by-pass and Daryl said gently 'Ross, what speed are you doing?'
'80,' I answered with a glance at my speedo.
[he coughed] 'and what's the speed limit?'
[brief silence]
'60' [applies brake gently and quietly]

Daryl was not only a very cool chap, but he was a fantastic driving instructor. Twenty two accident -free years driving seems to illustrate my faith in the man.

In other nes, me and cyberkitten went to see The Black Dahlia today. (Daaahlia in US, Day-lia in UK). It was an interesting remake of a classic movie, based on a real-life murder. Of course, being the 21C there had to be a definitive solution to the murder, even though the actual murder has never been solved.
It was over the top, contrived and intriguing. I'm not a Josh Hartnett or Scarlett Johanson fan, but it also had Aaron Eckhart (lush) and Hilary Swank, the latter vamping it up as a femme fatale and the former looking VERY cool in a homburg!

Finally, don't forget to visit Mysterious Lady and nominate your favourite blogs for the first ever Blog Emmys.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Bag

Bit of a mixed bag today...

First of all, the British tradition of The Eddie. While driving to Barnsley last weekend I saw lots of Eddies.
What's an Eddie?

Yep, it's a lorry. Actually, it's a whole fleet of them, owned by the inimitable Eddie Stobart. Mr Stobart has extremely high expectations of his drivers; they all wear uniforms, are expected to behave impeccably (no trucker behaviour!), and each lorry has a unique name. Over the weekend I saw Caitlin Amanda and Sophia Jane. We even have 'Eddie-Spotters', like trainspotters but spotting lorries.

More trucking firms should be like Stobart.

Enough about trucks. Now a bit of shameless pimping.

My precious Mysterious Lady is holding the first Blog Emmys! I have my dress all ready....

and, of course, there will be pink champagne.......

so I'm all ready for the BlogEmmys.

Speaking of Emmys, you would have had to have been living under a rock lately not to have known that my blogbuddy Wendy won a competition to go to LA and see the Emmys. While there, she visited our mutual sweetie, Naomi. Then I got an email with a 'virtual pressie' ...

she said 'I took these especially for you in LA' - wow, she travelled half way round the world and thought to get me a picture of this -

and found me a look-alike.....apparently, JD was busy that day!

Ain't friends fantastic??


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

The UK and most of the rest of the world hold their breath and cross their fingers...... 'The Hamster' fights for life.

Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is in a critical condition in hospital after a crash in a jet-powered car while filming for the programme.

The presenter, 36, was taken by air ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary which has a special neurological unit.
A North Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokesman said he was unconscious when they got to the scene and a hospital spokesman described him as "critical".
The Top Gear shoot was under way at Elvington airfield in north Yorkshire.
The airfield is a former RAF base.

Inspector Mike Thompson, of North Yorkshire Police said: "At 5.45pm this evening we received a report via the fire service of a male person trapped in what was described as an overturned jet car which had been driven on the airfield.
"The male occupant has received serious injuries and has been airlifted to hospital at Leeds."
Former Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson said the presenter was "irreplaceable".
He said: "He is a wonderful, unique and distinctive Top Gear presenter.
"He has brought an awful lot to the programme and his indefatigable energy, the fact that he tries absolutely anything once, may have been the reason that he has overstepped the mark a bit.
"He has turned Top Gear into a gang show with Jeremy and James and the three of them have wowed audiences all over the world and he is an international personality."
The presenter was born in Birmingham, educated in Yorkshire and lives near Cheltenham.
In addition to presenting Top Gear for the BBC, he also fronted Brainiac on Sky One until recently.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and small children.

Update - Hamster is 'stable' and 'improving'. Let's hope there is no lasting damage for this vital young man.

New Update - Top Gear's Richard Hammond is out of intensive care and is making "satisfactory progress", doctors say.
The 36-year-old presenter suffered a "significant brain injury" when he crashed a jet-powered car at speeds of up to 300mph during filming.
Doctors at Leeds General Infirmary, where he has been since Wednesday, said his condition was now "stable".
The accident is being investigated by the BBC, police and the Health and Safety Executive.
Event organisers insisted that proper safety precautions were taken.
A Leeds General Infirmary spokesman said: "Doctors say Richard Hammond is making satisfactory progress.
"This morning he has been moved from intensive care on to a high dependency unit.
"His condition has been downgraded from 'serious but stable' to 'stable'."
The doctors treating Mr Hammond have previously said they are "reasonably optimistic" he will make a good recovery.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Slightly Wordless Wednesday

Top five most kissable celebs
1. Angelina Jolie
2. George Clooney
3. Brad Pitt
4. Robbie Williams
5. David Beckham

According to a survey carried out for National Kissing Day (6 July), by British dental payment plan company, Denplan.

Hullo!?! Isn't this list missing SOMEONE???? huh? huh??

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blogger Block

Meanwhile some music........

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sometimes Life Kicks You in the Teeth

It was a lovely wedding. The bride looked gorgeous and the groom shyly proud. The family gathered in the hallway before and after the service, there was a lovely meal and then later there was a disco. The guests were smart and colourful;

Emma in her pretty floaty two piece outfit.
Adam looking tall and grownup in his shirt and trousers.
Justine was an adorable bridesmaid in skyblue with a headpiece of flowers.
Grace was the other bridesmaid in deep gold with golden flowers in her curly hair.
Joanna looked bright as a spring day in her best dress.
Connie looked a cherub in gold.
Jamie and his brother Alexander wore matching shirts and were very handsome.

What did all these people have in common? They are all the children from the family, which we see occasionally.

I love MB's family, and I love the children, but it broke my heart to spend the day/evening with them.
It's not so hard with the Aginoths, although when LMB climbs onto me for a cuddle it does make my heart do a flip, because I see them all the time. Every time I see MB's family there are more children; growing children and new babies. I can't add to the tally of children in the family.

I watched the children play and frolic. I talked with them and teased them. By the end of the evening they were smiling at me and tugging at my arm - just as they tugged at my heart. One of MB's cousins mentioned me 'choosing' not to have children - I didn't go to the trouble of putting her right.

Being unable to have children isn't a sprint in the race of life, it's a never-ending marathon.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

We're goin' outta town...

We have a wedding in Barnsley today, so we're heading north for the weekend.

MB's cousin is getting married - we wish Rachael and Graham all the luck and love in the world.

See you all when we get back.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Friendship

Last night I went out with two of my dearest friends, cyberkitten and rca. rca has moved to London so we won't see her much now until we all go away to Cornwall. We went to dinner and chatted for ages, then headed off for a few games of ten pin bowling.

We couldn't resist 3 games for £9 each, so we embarked on a triple bill thriller.

rca won the first one (I think it was a landslide), ck won the second one (made three figures!) and guess what? I won the last one (just squeaked through by 2 points from ck).

We are three very different people, each with their own interests and strong characters - bound only by a deep friendship for each other. Casual hugs, squeezes of hands - wordless gestures of comradeship. And we managed to come away from the evening evenly matched.......

Nothing better than spending time with one's friends......


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Welcome to my Thoughts on a Thursday........

I was really looking forward to going to Caldicot Castle.

I splashed out a little; bought myself an eating knife, bowl and cup and a cloak and a belt.

I got sick - I mean, really sick. Threw up all Saturday night and started again Sunday morning. Then again on Monday. I walked to the toilet block at 3am Saturday night and managed to puke three times on the way and twice on the way back - and the toilets were only a couple of hundred yards away!

Three days later I am just starting to get back to normal.

Not Vintners food, honest. Not the booze (just a couple of cans of cider!). I put it down to a bug as it's been hanging around for a bit now.

Caldicot was disappointing because it was a 'plastic camp' - not 'Living History' specifically. Lots of pretend re-enactors and lots of hangers-on.

And I was too poorly on Sunday to put my kit on.....

I have just received my application pack from the Company of Chivalry - or as MB called it my 'Wenching Pack'!

But...............Am I going to join??


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I am wi-fi!
I am online downstairs and MB is online upstairs!

Isn't modern technology grand?

Oodles of thanks to MB who just spent three hours sorting out the wireless........


Monday, September 11, 2006

2996 for 9/11 Khang Ngoc Nguyen

My Tribute is to Khang Ngoc Nguyen. A man who escaped the deprivations of war in Vietnam to a new world, where he was cruelly taken in a new kind of war.
Khang Nguyen grew up familiar with war. In South Vietnam, he and his family heard the frequent boom of shells and gunfire. Once, a mortar shell fell on a house across the street from his home, killing their friends inside.
In 1975, when communists took over the country, he and his family fled to an airport in vans. His father and two of his siblings made it onto a flight to the United States, but the rest of the family got left behind amid the chaos.
Nguyen, his mother and other siblings lived in poverty, peddling rice on the streets. Meanwhile, his father, a former employee of the U.S. Information Services in Vietnam, used his contacts to find the family.
In 1981, the parents and nine children were reunited in Washington.

Family members said Nguyen relished his newly ordered, stable life. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. For 13 years, he worked for the Defense Information Systems Agency at the Pentagon, and during the past six months was a systems administrator for a Navy contractor.
Nguyen, 41, loved working at the Pentagon and would buy hats and T-shirts with government logos. He devoured books on the military, particularly about the Vietnam War.
"This is our second native country. We have gotten so many opportunities," said his wife, Tu Nguyen, 38.
When the Pentagon arranged for Khang Nguyen's car to be towed from the parking lot to a relative's driveway, family members said that his son, An, jumped up and down, pressing his face against the car windows, looking for his father.
"He was lucky; he was born here," Tu Nguyen said quietly. "He never suffered any pain from the war. But now he is 4 years old, and he has lost his father."
[from the Washington Post memorial page]

“This guitar was my husband’s dearest friend. Playing it was his greatest passion. Growing up in one of the poorest countries, [Vietnam], he had to sacrifice all his meal allowances to buy his first guitar and played beautifully since he was a teenager. ... The sound of Khang’s tunes flowed through our house and through my heart. When I was feeling down, his music lifted my spirit. He always hoped that he would teach our little son, An, to play the guitar. Now, just like his Dad, this guitar has become An’s buddy. Sadly, Khang cannot be here for An’s music lessons, but his songs and his music will live forever in our hearts.”
Tu Nguyen, wife

Khang was a wonderful man, from what I have read of him. Admired and respected by his colleagues, loved by his wife and son. There is no more a man can ask for - except the long life to to enjoy these things. Khang's life was cruelly cut short at 41 (the same age as me).

And it would appear I am not alone in admiring this man:
"I worked with Khang when he was an engineer at the Defense Information Systems Agency. He was a caring, responsible individual with a great love for this country. He is missed."
*** Posted by Colonel Michael McCullough on 2005-08-23 ***

I noticed Tu talked about Khang's love of playing his guitar. so I attach by way of tribute to Khang, Tu, An and all the victims and families of 9/11 a piece of music:

to all those who lay awake (and those who still do!) at 3am thinking of their loved ones.

Follow this
Link to the Pentagon Memorial site. All the more poignant as I work in the UK equivalent of the Pentagon!

When I'm gone from your side,
And all your tears have been dried ...
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of a quiet dove in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

And when you stroll in the evening hours,
And smell the aroma of beautiful flowers;
There'll be no need to sob and cry ...
I am not there, I did not die!

~ Author Unknown ~

All the victims of 9/11 will live on in the hearts of those they left behind.

And us bloggers will not forget, either...

Dale's blog has shut down under the weight of comments, but click on this link to see all the participants (thanks for the cache, Raggedy!)


Where were you?

Where was I on September 11th?
I was in the bath in my hotel room. It was our annual summer holiday and we were spending it in our favourite place.

I was in a Muslim country.

I got out of the bath and was surprised to see MB back in the room early. He was watching TV avidly and I asked what the film was.

'It's not a film.' he replied, 'It's real.'

I watched in horror as the planes smashed into the Twin Towers. I gazed in dismay as the desperate man threw himself bodily down hundreds of floors. I wept as I watched the families congregate. This could not be happening, but it was. We sobbed as the families started to search for their loved ones.

The hotel grounds were deserted and the swimming pool empty as the holiday makers flocked back to their rooms to see the tragedy unfold, disbelieving and shocked.

Sooner or later, real life steps in and later we went to dinner. The dining room was silent in the Marhaba Palace hotel that night and the waiters loitered uncomfortably at one side. We were regulars at the hotel and the waiters slowly approached our table.

'We don't know what to do.' they said sorrowfully. 'And we don't know what to say.'

We looked at the men. They were appalled at how their religion had been used. They were scared that they would be held responsible. And like us, they were horrified at the news.

'You do your jobs.' I told them. 'We don't blame you, we don't blame Islam. We blame the men responsible.'

They looked a little relieved and one of them quietly said 'You know, the Qur'an doesn't permit this.......' and his voice trailed off.

And they went about their jobs. The dining room remained silent all evening and the bars were empty - but no one blindly blamed these Muslim men for the atrocity. We were all grieving together, no one escaped the grief.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Home Again

Home, clean and very, very tired - more after tomorrow's tribute day.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday Thirteen (sort of)

1. Not really a TT as I am being removed from the TT blogroll. And I quote: "you must have a link to the Thursday Thirteen on Technorati on your TT posts. There are directions on, and this is a requirement for being on the blogroll. The next time I check, if it is not there, I'll have to take you off the blogroll"

2. I don't want to link to Technorati. I have not seen anything to persuade me Technorati is a good thing. Of course, this may mean I lose readers, but hey - this is my blog!

3. So despite the fact I have been a reliable TT-er for nearly a year and always link back to the Hub, I am being exiled.

4. I'll have to think of something else to do on Thursdays....

5. But anyway, I'm going back to the 14C this weekend.

6. When Aginoth asked me if I wanted to come along, I couldn't get the thought out of my mind.

7. So, I have scrounged a sleeping spot in Vic and Pete's tent (bless 'em!)

8. Aginoth is trying to round up my temporary costume.

9. And we're heading off to here

10. Caldicot Castle in Wales....

11. From the Caldicot Castle website: Founded by the Normans, developed in royal hands as a stronghold in the Middle Ages and restored as a Victorian family home, the castle has a romantic and colourful history.

12. COOL :-)

13. I think one can safely say I am going to join the Company........if they'll have me!


ps the WW hunks were Mike Holmes (from the show Holmes on Homes - ach, he's so sweet!) and Dog Chapman (Bounty Hunter extraordinaire!).

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.....

The Good...

Steve Irwin died today aged only 44.

Famed nature writer and broadcaster David Bellamy said today the field had lost one of its greats with the death of Steve Irwin.
Bellamy, who has written dozens of books and presented many documentaries on nature, said Mr Irwin was “one of the greatest performers, and also an extremely good natural historian”.
“It's a very, very sad day for natural history and natural history television,” Bellamy said on the BBC.
“I could break down crying at this moment but I will try not to.
“He did take enormous risks but he knew what he was doing.
“It was one of the terrible, terrible, terrible accidents and I wish to God it didn't happen.”
Bellamy said Mr Irwin's showmanship made him famous, but should not diminish the quality of his work.
“He not only captivated Australia and all the visitors there, but he captivated America because he was audacious,” Bellamy said.
“He knew his stuff but he didn't write scripts and got on with the job.
“The world has lost one of the great natural historians and I am very, very sad about it.”
Mr Irwin was also popular in Britain, with news of his death topping bulletins on daytime television news.

The Bad...

My new laptop is here, and it is 'Bad'!!

All I need now is wi-fi and I'm ready to rock and roll! It even has a DVD player [big grin]. Thanks to MB who made it possible.

The Ugly...

A comment posted on my 2996 post on All*Blog*Stars:

"I find it distasteful that this man is promoting himself using 9/11."

I'm sorry - who is distasteful? Dale for committing time and love to this project, or the commenter for even thinking this, let alone saying it? Nuff said.

More Ugly........

Ugly Monster is in full residence at the moment, and I am back on a high dose of Prozac. Prozac is an appetite suppressant (they use it in extremely high doses for bulimia) and I agree - I don't want to eat. But (and this is the kicker) I still have an appetite and still feel hungry....I just don't *want* to eat. Not complaining, the binging is down to almost zero and I am starting to lose weight. Also I am more positive about things and I have stopped cursing my neighbour :-)


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Surprise Gift

MB went to a car show today and came home brandishing a carrier bag.

MB: I bought you a gift...

Me: Oh? What is it? [thinking oil seals, car freshener, etc etc]

MB: It's a picture.

Me: What of?

MB: [looking serious] It's a picture of me. Hope you like it, I sat for ages waiting for it.....

Me: Is it one of those caricatures?

MB: [totally straight face] yep, hope you like it........


Yep, it's a photograph of JD........isn't MB luvverly?? He says it's for my desk at work....


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Who Comes?

I was sitting here wondering what to write when I saw a question in one of our lovely Naomi's comments (she always asks really good questions!).

Who Comes to see Re-enactors....well, re-enacting.......?

There are primarily two types of event (Aginoths, feel free to correct me!).

Living History:

Caerphilly was a Living History event. This meant that we effectively 'lived' the life while the usual castle visitors wandered around us. Although we did show off the siege engines (the big weapons; trebuchet, ballista, mangonel and perrier)

and put on a Crime and Punishment session for the holidaymakers, it was mostly just 'living the period'.
It was kind of weird, like I said before - almost like being on a permanent stage, definitely an air of the theatrical. Going for lunch in the inner keep would make the public stop and felt like we were waxworks that suddenly started walking around.....
I would be playing with LMB or talking to the others and would look up to see a video camera being pointed at me.....

A nice American couple came into the castle early on Monday and was admiring the first gatehouse etc and when Mrs USA saw the encampment she exclaimed 'Wow honey! They had TENTS in those days!' :-)
They were also thrilled by the weapons, taking lots of video footage for home!
This is the kind of event that highlights that you need to know your 'skill' from the period, as the public have a nasty habit of asking questions! :-)


Then there are the Shows, such as military re-enactment, for example The Berkeley Castle Joust. Although these are more specialist events, including lots more groups and activities, market stalls etc, the Company of Chivalry is proud to continue its Living History ideal:

"Unlike many societies we do not differentiate between living history and military re-enactment, enabling us to use one to enhance the other; thereby providing all our members with an ongoing medieval experience throughout the day."

from Company of Chivalry

So there you are - basically anyone in the district, anyone with a feel for history, holidaymakers, and other re-enactors come to events.