Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oh, and please, please visit this page and answer their stupid names poll. Yes, in East Devon, we're really all called John and Mary, and that's the way it should stay. We won't have any fancy outside influences, thankyouverymuch.

I'm really hoping there are enough liberal, live and let live types out there willing to vote against the current results (standing at the moment at an uncompromising 81.3% against other people's choice of names for their kids) to really knock some liberalism into the tiny little purple-rinse place (is that a legitimate way to transmit liberal ideas, I wonder...). The names outlined would not be my choice of names, and frankly would have me sniggering every time I saw them in a mark book, but the sentiment behind the poll stinks, frankly.


It appears that I have written so many hundreds of thousands of words since I was 11 that I have virtually forgotten how to write. Physically, I mean. I tried to dash out 200 words for a press release for Dill's school in a hurry earlier, before the editor of the local paper for which it was intended could publish the bilge he'd produced, which amounted to the same number of words and concepts, but in a format and syntax more akin to bullet points thrown down by a bored fifteen-year old in a media studies class. There must be a reason he's editor of a (very) local rag. But I digress.

I realised, as I struggled to read over my first draft, that I forgotten so much copperplate since it was first scared into me by my French primary school teacher that writing anything beyond a cheque is actually physically painful. And it's even worse for me.

So I have decided to mend my ways, in a effort to find a way for Sim to write less as though he is making marks in the mud with a stick (which frankly he'd probably rather be doing most of the time- it's just that he may need to turn in more than a mudpie for homework occasionally).

I found a website promising that the problem lay with using the wrong groups of muscles, and that with some simple exercises I could easily mend my bad ways. I shall be trying to mend them over the coming weeks, and shall report back to you if they work.

I shall then set about trying to mend the boy's handwriting, which has been awry since we went to Canada- apparently it wasn't very cool to write joined up in Canada, so all three of them promptly dumped the joined-up script they'd acquired in their previous schools. In Dill's case, since she had learned entirely in joined-up at her lovely state infant school, this involved making up the letters as she went along, all of which needed unlearning again when we got back to England.

I have no such excuse. All I can plead is 9am law lectures for three years, in an atmosphere of barely controlled panic, that left me permanently tense about the neck and shoulders. So, exercises it is then, unless someone can convince me that actual handwriting is over-rated.

Friday, February 23, 2007

On Sunday morning, as I gazed from our bedroom out onto the garden, wherein one of our oldest ordinary brown hens has been slowly fading away of old age for the last few weeks, I told the Boff I would not get any more commercial hybrid hens in as they were always ill and needed carefully controlled surroundings.

On Sunday afternoon, my friend rang and asked if I'd rehome her 8 (eight) ordinary commercial hybrid hens, as they were moving to a rented house that permitted no pets. So now I have 8 more hybrid hens, all with extra disease susceptibility and the need for carefully controlled surroundings.

I really should learn to keep my trap shut.

We now have 31 chickens, including the 6 Silkies that hatched last week. I am definitely a mad chicken lady now, and need some field. Here starteth the tense negotiations with our tenant farmer neighbour.

Chicky Chicken died of old age in the night. RIP Chicky.

Monday, February 19, 2007

You can't make an omelette... 

An eggstravagant farce is taking place at The Boff's place of employ at the moment.

The Boff takes our surplus eggs, of which there are quite a few these days, to work, and sells them for enough to cover the cost of his daily subsidised cappuccino (no businessman, he- I may have to put me prices up soon on account of the rise in feed prices (am I sounding like a farmer?); but I digress)

The point is that the Boff takes one or two half-dozen eggs to work every day he's there and sells them to colleagues who've requested them in the previous couple of days. Sometimes, when the Boff gets the eggs to work, he realises that the person they're destined for isn't in work that day, so he puts them in the fridge on their floor. Sometimes he just puts the eggs in the fridge and tells each egg-buyer as he sees them, where they may find them.

You've probably guessed what's been happening recently.

People have been putting their own recently bought from the Boff and hand-delivered eggs, into the very same fridge. The egg buyers who are directed to the fridge are taking other people's eggs. The absent people's eggs have been half-inched by the people whose eggs have been taken by those instructed to look in the fridge.

People have been waking up on a Saturday morning, realising they have no eggs for breakfast as they have been away from work for a day or so, have decided to just nip into work to pick up said eggs, and while they're there just tinker with some job or other, since space is less limited on the Vax at weekends, and discovering that sure as eggs is eggs, some swine has nicked theirs.

The Boff recently eggcelled himself by managing to sell the same half dozen to two separate people. Yet still our customers stick by us, like fried egg in an old teflon-coated pan. Maybe it would be unwise to put up prices. Maybe the cost of a subsidised cappuccino is enough...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Because everybody lies sometimes, no matter what they claim 

Today's post is brought to you by the letters W, T and F, and is mostly censored.

Suffice to say that it involves several schoolmates of Hen's and the mother of one of her friends, and that I have been unjustly accused of something utterly ridiculous and trivial, so shall give it no further air time. It is impressive how much bilge the rumour mills churn out in less than a week, and the lengths some people will go to to avoid finding out what their child does and says. Which is a shame, because the child in question has a lot going for her, and mostly needs to feel secure in who she is, and able to discuss issues in a non-confrontational atmosphere.

I have told the mother in question in the most tactful possible way (this for anyone who knows me may come as a shock- but yes, I am capable of tact where it really matter) that maybe her child is not as happy, secure and self-possessed as she appears, and that is all I can do. Beyond that is really none of my business. I just hope that the child in question begins to be heeded, and maybe distrusted in a teensily weensily healthy way before she discovers boys and drugs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Competitive and reward-driven, moi? 

Anyone out there a tax lawyer? If so, I'd be interested to have your views on a test piece I was asked to complete. It was part of a legal ruling on a tax case, and some of the most archaic, dense and dull writing I have ever forced myself to complete. Instructions were to "render into natural English" (as if any document whose paragraphs all start with the word "whereas" could EVER sound natural). I was jolly cheesed off to discover that my three years of reading and nearly understanding such documents had left me woefully unprepared to render such complicated concepts in simple enough language.

I may not have decades of experience, but no way was that translation worth a "D", come on!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not fair!!! Me want snow too.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

< rant >

HOW the hell do people pass their driving test whilst remaining utterly incapable of reversing???

And IF they can't reverse, or only do so extremely slowly and painstakingly, why do they glare at ME as I pass them? Perhaps they believe that in a fair world, the person who can reverse should reverse a 1/4 of a mile back down the road, to spare them the 5 metres to their nearest passing place...


I'm like a bear with a sore thumb this morning.

< /rant >

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I seem to have done something to my right thumb. I feel like an old lady. Perhaps I am an old lady. I'm already older than I would be statistically if I'd been born in Sierra Leone.

Monday, February 05, 2007


The weather at the moment is a blessing, so I'm spending time in the garden weaving hazel fencelets around my flower beds. The chickens have zero respect for flower beds and the gravel on the driveway was suffering from having earth thrown at it continually. The chickens are meant to be stuck behind an electric fence, with clipped wing feathers on one side that should prevent them from doing anything more than hopm but they still seem able to do a Harrier-type vertical take-off and clear the fence every day. Need to go into the coop with scissors at night.

Unfortunately, despite the weather, it is still winter, so half of Dill's class was off sick, the half that were in came in with hacking coughs. Sir decided that the only solution to the general malaise was a morning spent sketching as he'd had to delay their projected trip to the Cathedral due to the aforementioned absences. So they all came over to our house, sketched the house and soon-no-longer-to-be church (did I mention we lost our appeal against the planning permission?), some chickens and sheep, and just left. It was glorious, and Sir spent the morning artistically advising from the comfort of a bench in the sun.

I just had a call from the Thyroid Clinic at the hospital. Blimey O'Reilly, but they're fast movers! They want to fit me in on Monday next. Anybody outside Britain would find this perfectly acceptable, or possibly even a slightly long delay, but I just feel as though I've slipped into a parallel universe. We are used to not even getting an appointment for six months here. I was miserably contemplating how best to refer myself to an endocrinologist in France. Good to see our taxes are after going towards creating a better world.

To be followed, when/if the weather takes a turn for the worse...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I think I must be grumpy. Having joined a well-known parenting site a few months ago, only to find it full of hideous coy abbreviations for bodily functions and basic vocabulary, Ive done the only obvious thing to me: set up a rebels' gallery.

My rebels' gallery attracts many other grumpy women (I suppose, although this being the great Online, they might equally be hairy truckers named Bert, from Wolverhampton; not that they aren't allowed to be from Wolverhampton, as I'm sure some perfectly delightful ladies come from that town; it's the hair and the trucking I object to).

The sad thing is not that I set this thread in the first place- it's that I don't actually go anywhere else on the site, in case I see any of those monstrous abbreviations and snakes of cunning keystrokes designed to simulate fairy dust (those who've been on this particular site will know what I mean).

So I reckon I'm still grumpy as hell, and twice as cussed, and that must surely be reflecting on here, for which I can only apologise.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What are the odds of... 

...forwarding a (worthy) group email*, received from a very old university friend, to a whole bunch of people on one's address list, only to discover that the original friend knows very well the sister in law of a member of ones own list, an improbable distance away, and that that sister in law's name appears in the original email? It is a very small world.

* I hardly EVER forward these things

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