Friday, April 28, 2006

Mrs Bertha Silkie has been busy too:

Today's hatchlings**, more expected in the next couple of days.

*Let it never be said that this is not a truly international blog: see, a quarter, a euro and a 10p coin, for scale. Alas, I have no yens or zlotis. Sorry...

** Goodness only knows what the brown is. The egg was given to me by my friend, at the same time as she handed over Goliath, our new and beautiful white Silkie cockerel. The chick has five toes and feathered feet like a Silkie, but should by rights be white if it is one of her bunch of Silkies. I shall have to ring her to find out what it might be (probably 57 varieties).

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"So where", I hear you cry, "has she been, the lazy moo?"

Having this done to the house, partly.

Before: "I don't know what your problem is with these", said Jeffrey the Joiner, who's a bit of a wag. "They're good for another hundred years."

Unlike these:

Plus, they're double glazed with Pilkington 'K' glass and argon and everything, which Pilkington's blurb assures is equivalent to triple glazing. They'd better be, is all I can say. I really am not good with cold, particularly damp cold, which is what it is here a lot, except when the temperature dips below about minus 6c.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

They never tell you, in the parenting manuals, that you will spend minutes beautifully arranging a bunch of grapes to show its most comely aspect in the fruit bowl, only to have it decimated in seconds by ravaging hordes. Picked at in a hapharzard fashion, it will lie there like a corpse on a weeks-old battlefield, bare bones showing through the few shreds of grapey flesh.

Somebody should tell you these things beforehand.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

We've probably all at one time known a psychopath. You might be forgievn for thinking of murderous nutcases as depicted in the films, but most psychopaths actually lead completely normal lives, and are not inclined to savage violence or homicide in any way. Most hold down jobs, many in managerial positions. In fact most people can probably think of at least one psychopathic boss they've suffered. Most appear outwardly successful.

All of these appearances are won at a cost however. The cost is usually to the families of these bullies, who are forced under duress to bend to the will of the psychopath. The psychopath will ensure that his or her comfort, security and wellbeing are maintained by forcing others to do their bidding. Much like average two-year old in fact.

They may behave like a two-year old when challenged, having tantrums and throwing things. They may shout abusively and threateningly to get their own way. They may threaten things loved by the person they seek to influence, such as pets, children and family members. They will use any tactic to avoid allowing the object of their bulying to slip away fropm them. This can take of the form of isolation from family by means psychological and practical. For instance, taking the person's car, and not "allowing" them to visit family, on spurious reasons, as well as instilling fear of other people through subtle psychological reprogramming over severeal months and years.

Psychopaths are alomost invariably "nasty pieces of work", people you don't really like, even if you don't know them very well; family members may well have a bad feeling about them, but be unable to pin down the exact cause of that feeling. The object of their attentions, their instrument, will often concoct elaborate stories to fend off questions from their own family.

I have heard an medical researcher into psychopathy describe them as an irrelevance in modern societ; they are the ultimate survivor, yet devoid of social sensivity or graces except when it suits them and their goals.

If you think that you are sharing your life with one, you should get out of the relationship as soon as possible. You should no more share your life with a psychopath than you should with a Tasmanian Devil or a troll.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

On things Freudian 

A very long time ago , cyling with my sister along the near-deserted road from which our house was set back by about a quarter of a mile (ie- we really weren't used to traffic), I panicked at the sound of an approaching car and rode the front of my bocyle into my sister's rear wheel.

I came off distinctly the worse from the subsequent close encounter with the gravelly tarmac- my eyebrow still bears the scar left by my metal-framed glasses, my mind is still scarred by the fact that I was never again allowed metal frames or lenses, and instead had to suffer a variety of abhorrently thick plastic ones until my early twenties.

Both of these scars healed with time, and by far the most troubling fallout from my second's panic is my chipped front tooth. At first inspection in the dentists's chair twenty-eight years ago, it revelaed itself to be a mere chip from the cutting edge, easily mended for the following seven years with white amalgam.

Alas, all was not well with it, and by my late teens, the tooth had discoloured, clearly dead from shock. A matronly dentist of dubious credibility did root canal treatment on it, to which I submitted under duress. The tooth stayed in my head, by discoloured further- not horribly so, but badly enough to be noticeable.

A few weeks before my wedding in 1993, I decided to have it veneered, which that particularly overbearingdentist managed to the best of his ability using the materials available at the time.

The veneer lasted, despite the naysaying of yet another bossy yet clueless dentist (are you spotting a pattern yet with my dentists? I wonder if they teach them to affect utter confidence to the point of boorishness in dentist school?), for a further 12 years.

Which brings us to the beginning of March, when I decided, the tooth having discoloured again, to have the veneer replaced- they have a life expectancy of 7-10 years apparently. The dentist now takes a cast of the neighbouring tooth, and sends it off to be built by a skilled technician into a brilliant facsimile of your own chomper.

The only problem is that send you away with a peg of a tooth covered with a temporary veneer. If the adhesive on your temporary veneer fails before your new tooth is ready to be fitted, you look like a hag.

For the best part of a week, until your dentist's charmingly under-skilled receptionist can fit you in to be seen with your part-time dentist, you cannot smile without your tooth dropping out. Temporary adhesives purchased from Boots seem to behave more like gloopy toothpaste than glue proper, and fail after a few hours.

You put up with it though, because your reward is coming soon and there is now something rather bizarrely comforting about having teeth fall out painlessly, just like they did when you were six. The only people it seems to bother are your children, who will no longer look at you unless through their fingers.

So you see your dentist, the new veneer is fitted, and lo, it is beautiful. And lo, you smile at people again without freaking them out. And lo, you may eat anything you would normally eat without fear, for the veneer is "just like a real tooth".

Except for pizza, three days later.

Thursday, and the tooth shall be mine.

"Teeth: they're trouble when you get 'em, trouble while you've got 'em, and trouble when they fall out!"Our elderly neighbour Victor, many years ago.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On extended absence 

I'd love to be able to say that I've been kept away from here for so long due to grief at the death of my beloved elderly guinea-pig, Roger (at least 6 years old, possibly 7). Sadly, the disrespectful treatment afforded his poor wizened little body, thoughtlessly abandoned for ten days, awaiting burial, in a shoe box in the utility room, rather belies that theory.

The truth is that I am busy, horribly busy, fencing as therapy with my sister, gardening, and generally Keeping Away From the InternetTM, nary pausing to check even email. I have been Doing Things, and lo, have things been done. Scary to think how much time I waste(d) blogging.

No longer. In future I shall limit myself to less than an hour a day. I shall update regularly, but shall not be spending hours reading others, alas. I hear wisteria and clematis and seeds, calling me now.

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