Thursday, 31 December 2015

31st December 2015 - On Pursuing Pantyliners

Thought for the day:"I went to the store to pick up 8 two liters of sprite. I got home and realised I'd picked 7 Up."

So a large Storm with the unlikely name of Frank is messing up the North and Scotland and people who bought houses in flood plains are wondering how it could ever be allowed to get wet... There are pictures of fine Victorian railway bridges spanning whole areas with large arches to let the water across the flood plain with brand new houses on both sides ...

My favourite which I cannot find is a flooded couple of fields with a sign saying"Development land for 32 dwellings" half under water.....

Don't get me wrong, I have every sympathy for those who are having their Christmas and winter destroyed by a succession of personal disasters in the form of flooding, and are spending their time shoring up their houses - but looking at the planning of some properties gives you pause for thought.

But though the Storm is mainly in the North we have not been exempt here in Western Wales. We have had the tail end of the Storm and the rain has been driving, and the thunder has been loud and the lightning bright...  As I drove up Sandy this lunchtime there was standing water across the road and the culverts were filled...

But that was not the worst part of the whole exercise...  I went Shopping!

Well, I went shopping for myself while I was there but in the main I went shopping for my mother, to get her the bits and bobs that she needs to keep her in lunches, tea and biccies..  Now as my mother is in her late 80's, I cannot say how many as she occasionally reads this blog, she is sometimes a little set in her ways. She insists on giving me a shopping list with the tea and the butter and the milk and the cheeses and meats and will go as far as toilet rolls, but she then likes to get another list for my wife to get her  - this relates to any of the more "feminine" items..
In this case, she wanted panty-liners and some Maybeline makeup.
She sort of accepted that I could get the makeup but she was rather put out that I would be able to find an intimate item like panty-liners, albeit that they would be clearly marked on the shelves of Tesco...

Having agreed that I could actually get them - she elected for three packets, I think to prevent the embarrassment of having to get them again soon. I said I would never be embarrassed.

So, having made my way to Tescos and choosing my "scan as you go" pistol and basket (there are some who do not like the self service equipment - I think it is great) and so I filled up my basket. I have purposefully chosen one of the shallow trollies as I did not have much to get - but then saw that the 24 cans of Diet Coke were 2 for £10, and whisky was back down to £15 a litre, and we needed some red wine for New Year's Eve in case someone arrived - we could not waste the Chateau 41 so the basket filled up quite quickly - but much went straight into the two bags I had brought with me. (Don't even start me on the inability of the English to accept paid bags as a means to STOP you buying them !)

But by the time I got to the self scan check out the basket was pretty full, with three packs of panty-liners in securely placed between a box of meringues and a roll of black bags...  The bill was a little higher than I was expecting when I went in - but that happens if you stock up on some items for yourself. And so obviously, this was the occasion where I was randomly chosen for a re-scan by staff....  It happens .. It is still quicker than waiting in the queue...

So everything was brought out of the bags and quickly scanned and as luck would have it I was right in my scanning skills ... so I was allowed to carry on my way..  A hurried repacking of the bags meant that some items did not go back in with the usual Tardis - Tetris manner - but I only had a short journey to the car....  And so I went - with three boxes of panty-liners precariously balanced on the top with a huge bag of Quavers dangling to the side...

Now Tescos Stores are carefully designed to ensure that you are well sheltered from the elements while within their domain, a hint of warmth to keep you secure and the hint of bread to make you feel at home... as you leave their protective presence - there is little to shelter you from the worst of the weather - in this case the tail end of Mr Frank!

And as I started for the little ramp that allows you to push your trolley into the car park, a huge gust of wind came across the car park, knocked me so that I staggered - and took my three boxes of panty-liners clear off the top of the trolley! I was blown by the wind - but frantically turned the trolley to look for a safe haven - and heading back toward the automatic doors, managed to wedge said trolley into a nook between the ATM machine and the Postman Pat kiddies ride..  and rushed off to find my panty-liners quickly disappearing from view around the corner. One box was by the cash point so I stuffed it into the trolly - and regardless of my £150 worth of shopping and the bag containing my wallet and chequebook set off again.. 25 yards they had gone by now - and in the main lane of the car park - and as I crouched to pick it up - a further gust swept it out of my reach - as my glasses spun out of my top pocket into a large puddle. Retrieving my glasses I headed back after the second box...  three times I reached for it - just to have it blow a little out of my reach... With a giant leap for mankind I managed to stop it with a foot, a manoeuvre that any professional footballer ( none of which I would be able to name ) would have been proud of.

The wind did not let up - and regardless of the likelihood that a small audience was gathering to watch the old man chasing panty-liners across the car park, and now the rain decided to drop with a deluge...  but in the distance - another 20 yards and I could see that last box of panty-liners heading for the underneath of a Volvo - so I went into full "chariots of fire" mode ( probably the slow motion bit considering my level of current fitness)  and launched myself at the last item as it headed for the rear bumper.. and then just as I reached out - my fingers brushed the pink and white Tesco economy cardboard... one final breath of wind took it right under the car..

I did one full circuit of the car - sure that it must come out the other side.. but no - the exclusive testing that Volvo engage in at their Wind Tunnels, checking the aerodynamics of their vehicle, meant that the box was sitting under the middle of the car - a point equally distant from every part of the exterior....   Nothing for it but to kneel down in the (now) pouring rain and reach in for the box...

With both prizes in hand - I recalled that I had left my trolley full of pretty expensive items - all paid for, my wallet and cheque book under the care of Postman Pat - who, if we are fair, does not have a great reputation for responsible behaviour... but luckily, as I return, proudly bearing my trophies, I find that a young lady has taken charge of my trolley and is looking after it - while watching my antics with a smile on her face..   I thanked her and she did not even mention the wares which I stuffed into the trolley as she returned into the shop to start her own purchases...

As luck would have it I managed to get back to the car without further problem despite the wind and rain and tucked all items safely into the back...

But all things considered - maybe my mother was right and buying her panty-liners would cause me embarrassment - just not the way she expected..
So - to finish the year off.. a festive thought from A & E...
Happy New Year

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

30th December 2015 - Getting near the end

Thought for the day:" I only go to the seaside as a last resort. "

As we get to the end of the year, a quiet day... one which was meant to be full of house work and getting the House ready for a quiet invasion for New Year's - but in fact it really has been a day sitting at the machine - prevaricating ....

No real change there then.
The New year will see a fairly busy time ... so it is best to make the most of the quiet times - well at least that is what I am telling myself..

So the rest of the world is covered in Storms and floods - I hear that Capel Curug has had over a meter of rain when they expect 330 ml.  The unexpectedly simple name of Frank is the name of the culprit which is pushing hot air up to the North Pole and increasing pole warming -  The North is under water with 60 days of rain - Noah only had to put up with 40 days ...

so don't tell me there is nothing wrong witht he weather .. Snow on the Pyramids..

"they are rioting in Africa.... they are starving in Spain
 There are hurricanes in Florida - and Texas needs rain.."

Takes me back to the days when I first started singing the Merry Minuet..

And so, home made beef burgers for tea today... and I am stuffed .
Glass of Chateau 41 (red) though may have to get some more grape juice and get some more started.
(note for self - takes 14 litres of Grape Juice for one brew)

So now a chance to use up the last of the Christmas Festive cards..

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

29th December 2015 - Language Lessons

Thought for the day :"In 1770, British Parliament banned lipstick.Saying it had the power to seduce men in to marriage, which was classified as witchcraft - seems legit.."

I thought about language today.. Not a lot, but a little.

A simple statement but a fascinating one if you think about placing the stress on a different word in the sentence.

How it changes .. 
I never said she stole my money - someone else did
I never said she stole my money - I was misquoted.
I never said she stole my money - but it was quite clear that I thought it and so did you
I never said she stole my money - but somebody did and I think I know who
I never said she stole my money - but it was as good as taking it from my wallet
I never said she stole my money - but she stole everybody elses
I never said she stole my money - but she stole everything else... or maybe just my heart
7 different meanings depending on which word you stress

So I will just leave that there and give you a Christmas thought - which is in the right spirit ( gin)

Monday, 28 December 2015

28th December 2015 - Home again Home again...

Thought for the day: "Failing eyesight as you get older is nature's way of protecting you when you walk past a mirror"

So, back from the wilds of Devon and drying out slightly, not completely... I see the adverts for Dryathelon jumping on the Movember bandwagon and am not really impressed...

Walked on the beach, sat and enjoyed company, imbibed a nice malt whisky, and drove the Bothy along the M4..  

Temperature here in Wales is a lot colder than Devon - chilly enough to need a coat to empty the van out...  so the heating is on again - which somehow makes me think of British Gas and the electricity bills - don't think I will worry about that until the new year...     

So, as the year comes to an end ... I wish everyone well and thank those who have bothered to pop in here every so often for your support and patience..

I lift a glass of Chateau 41 to you ...

Sunday, 27 December 2015

27th December 2015 - A walk on the beach...

Thought for the day: "I'm going to tell you about procrastination."
 So a day at Exmouth and a walk upon the beach afterwards...

 But still in the Christmas Spirit... (Gin!)

Saturday, 26 December 2015

26th December 2015 - Just a thought

Thought for the day: "A backward poet writes inverse."

Trip down to Exmouth...   Should see the family ...  NO time for computer today..
There may be Gin involved...

Friday, 25 December 2015

25th December 2015 - Merry Christmas all..

Thought for the day:" I baked a sponge today - it was a piece of cake"

Well, what do you do with your Christmas Morning...   Cup of tea is always a good start and then onto the hard stuff - a pint of diet coke in front of me ...  and the laptop is cleared of all important stuff - everything backed up, and so I decided to hit the "windows 10" button and see what happens..

Wish me luck - I will update on progress..

Of course the laptop is not really the problem - there is very little on it to be honest. The big test will be to see if outlook 2003 works on it or not - 'cos that is where all my files are...

Ho hum - and they say never mend it if it isn't broke .. but we shall see...

What is this??

ahh !

Thursday, 24 December 2015

24th December 2015 - Christmas Eve...

Thought for the day:" A recent study shows that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it "

So - for Christmas Eve, we have not got a big tree this year - but we have the Drunken Monk Teddies to look after it
Not the best of pitcures, but it was under surveillance criteria - I was meant to be decorating the walls ..
Saw a slightly masonic turn on one cartoon ...
Felt I had to post it - or at least Tweet..

Other than that it is a traditional christmas eve - the tree is up, we have watched Madigascar 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2  - now we can wait for Santa - or is it a sequel as well ??

Glass of Chateau 41 - White tonight...     Cheers! 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

23rd December 2015 - Inspections & Assessments for Christmas

Thought for the day :" A plateau is the highest form of flattery "

For my teacher friends...

Due to the Department for Education’s ongoing need for rigorous and relentless change, this year yuletide celebrations will depart from the usual round of festive relaxation and family enjoyment.
As of today, Tuesday 22nd December, the requirements for Christmas are listed below. Please note that these requirements can – and will – change frequently and incomprehensibly.

1. A Christmas can no longer be deemed “satisfactory”. All Christmases will be observed for 45 minutes after which they will be judged outstanding, good or requiring improvement.

2. For a Christmas to be judged as outstanding, the following criteria must be met:
  • The objective of the day must be clearly displayed on all gifts, mince pies and cracker jokes. Before any present opening can occur, all family members must write down the objective and what they already know about it.
  • An example objective might be, “be nice to each other”. This will need differentiating so that those members of the family who have issues with “being nice” have more achievable goals and those who find it easy are given a more challenging target. 
 By the end of Christmas:
  •   All family members will have been spent at least 10 minutes “being nice” to each other.
  • Most family members will have “been nice” during all festive meals.
  • Some family members will have ”been nice” for three consecutive hours.
Extension objective: to remember to buy siblings a present.

By the end of festivities, progress against the objective must be measured.
  • This can be achieved via a written assessment, individual interviews or deep questioning; questions should be pre-planned and scaled according to difficulty.
  • Family members may opt for peer assessment but only if this does not risk inducing behaviour that is not in keeping with the day’s objective.
By New Year’s Eve, all Christmas marking and assessment must be responded to in writing.
  • This can be in the form of thank you letters but may be a single written comment. For example, “You are right, I should not have eaten my sister’s giant gobstopper just before lunch. Next year I will hide it until Boxing Day.”
Special attention should be paid to the achievement of family members in the following group: those receiving free school meals; looked-after children; forces children.
  • If a child who is in receipt of free school meals and one who is not are both failing to meet the Christmas objective (being nice, in case you forgot), the child in receipt of free school meals should be given some additional “intervention time”, while the other one gets on with being horrid.
Opportunities must be presented for numeracy challenges.
  • For example, if Mum has one glass of wine an hour and the turkey needs to cook for three hours, how many people will be needed to hold Mum up as she makes the gravy?
Opportunities must be presented to make progress against literacy too.
  • For example, if you focus on speech marks it might be a good idea to encourage all family members to make a “speech mark” gesture with their fingers every time they talk. 
  • An alternative gesture could be selected for those who prefer to grunt, although grunting may not fit in with the Christmas objective of being nice.
Christmases that fail to meet the required standard will be placed in “Xmas Measures”.
  • They will (within six months or so) be allocated a super santa to guide them into becoming a new type of Christmas: an “Xmas”. Smiling throughout this process will be discouraged.
  • Should the demoted Christmas refuse to become an “Xmas” or work alongside their allocated successful super santa, Christmas will be disbanded and we will all have to wait another year.
WARNING: Next year’s Christmas requirements will be completely different, you will be notified of the changes on Christmas Eve and expected to act accordingly.

Seems Legit...
Personally I shall go back to the maths problem - now where is the bottle of Chateau 41?

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

22nd December 2015 - Shortest Day

Thought for the day : "The cop at the front door is never a stripper when you want them to be"

So - the shortest day and Winter Solstice is with us .... Sitting at home waiting for the amubulance to bring my mother home from the hospital.. it is always a bit of a lottery...  Ho Hum!!
So saying - an ambulance just went past the house with full sirens blaring - not a good day for someone I think...

Put the tax back on the Bothy, ready for a road trip over Christmas ...   just need to get her started now and the bedding aired...  Paying monthly is such a good idea..

Not too bad a version from the Teilo Tavern Party ...

And so to get into the Christmas Spirit ...

Monday, 21 December 2015

21st December 2015 - Happy Yule

Thought for the day :"I’m frightened of lapels. I think I’ve got cholera."

So - this is the shortest night - the advent of Yule tomorrow  - So Happy Yule !

and a few piccies of the Saturday Party ...

Santa turns up right on time
The suave Compere of the evenign

sone pressies for everyone

even the naughty girls

And Iwan and Oscar

Vollsanger Turns up..

The Quiz (And the winning table of course )

 and a quicke video - Race you to Valhalla ...


Sunday, 20 December 2015

20th December 2015 - Teilo Tavern 2015

Thought for the day:" A lorry full of tortoises collided with a van full of terrapins. It was a turtle disaster."

 A picture paints a thousand words - so here we go..

Quiz Night...
And star of the bill...

Iwan Blackwell (Thomas Iwan Blackwell Jenkins to you and me)

Iwan with Oscar

Always wanted to be a stand-up Comedian - well look who's laughing now!

Interesting lighting as it turned out -

a good night was had by all ....

Saturday, 19 December 2015

19th December 2015 - Party Time

Thought for the day: "I tried doing stand-up comedy, but I was laughed off the stage"

Well, the whole day has been spent getting the hall ready for this evening - so no real time to blog
Will let you know how it went ..

Cheers !