Saturday, 29 October 2005

Channel 69

Someone at NTL has a sense of humour. It was about quarter to midnight here and I'm channel hopping when "Night time TV for under 3s" catches my eye so I have to stop and see what that is.

Surreal or what. It is on Channel 69 for starters, the humour of which wasn't lost on our 16 year old daughter as she walked in to print stuff up on the printer. At the point I started watching it was like a wonderful acid trip - assuming I had tried acid and knew what is what like. Swirling coloured oils on water accompanied by light classical music.

It's been on for an hour now and I've not even had a drink. It would be good to be slightly tipsy and sharing the joke with a few friends. This possibly even tops the shopping channel and at one point they had wooden toys on a turntable. Just like a display on QVC.

Each wooden toy with string limbs had been carefully placed. It wouldn't have been quite so funny if we hadn't just watched a programme on people's bodies. Various people in many stages of nakedness talk about the various details on their bodies with a few scenes in a sauna with young men sitting with their legs akimbo revealing all. These wood and string toys couldn't help but be sitting akimbo and I could see appendages and them talking in funny regional accents about their bodies.

We've had wind chimes and wildlife shots and screen savers and fish tank scenes so that the TV looks like it is a fish tank.

A google reveals Baby TV has been going for two years in Israel and is coming out across the networks worldwide. Look out for it for yourself. A few bevvies and a spliff might just do the trick. Goodness knows what effect this has on the kids if it does that for me?

Some links on the subject: or Children Concerts Transcend Gaza or Baby TV controversy

Original Comments:

rashbre said...

Hmm - I can't help wondering what condition you were in when you STARTED watching this channel if it kept you transfixed for an hour or more?!?

Happy biscuiteering, or methinks you may have moved on to chocolate brownies?

Smiles and goodness...


Saturday, October 29, 2005 4:20:00 PM

Gary said...

This sounds just the channel for me

Saturday, October 29, 2005 5:26:00 PM

jane said...

I've wondered about something like this before, a screen saver but on tv. i hope it starts over here, i'll love it!

Monday, October 31, 2005 1:46:00 AM

Milt Bogs said...

It didn't make you go to sleep though.

Monday, October 31, 2005 9:40:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Wow i can't beleive other people have watched the channel, thought i was the only one. i actually watch with my baby (9months) during the day and she really loves it! maybe they meant to make it 69, like get in the mood, have a baby, and then watch our channel

Monday, October 31, 2005 12:45:00 PM

doris said...

Rashbre I'm not sure either but I was pretty gobsmacked by it all. I so loved your Advanced biscuitry post - have yet to link to it proper!

Gary Not quite as mind numbing as QVC and the other shopping channels!

Jane You can get them for TV.... I saw it advertised on... QVC! I think it is a DVD but I could be wrong.

Milt I use QVC for that! I wonder how kids get on with the channel and if they want to stay for more or eventually fall asleep?

Anonymous I've wondered if I would have watched it when my kids were babes and still waking up in the night. As for the 69 thing I bet the channel organisers wanted to avoid all the cliches and having said no the the sex channels getting this "prestigious" address (I'm assuming) gave it away to an age group who wouldn't think about the connotations.

Have you heard all the controversy with psychologists saying that ANY TV viewing for children under 4 was harmful?

Monday, October 31, 2005 6:59:00 PM

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

To catch a smell

Last night I cooked a fantastic fillet of salmon with a real hollandaise sauce which I made myself. The sauce was a bit lemony but otherwise the whole was delish. Thick steaks of salmon slightly crispy all round and soft succulent center.

The trouble is the fishy smelly from the frying. Maybe it was the skin of the salmon or something but it was vile and stank the whole house. Burning incense didn't help.

This morning I threw open all windows and doors and it didn't help enough. A quick google tells me I should boil a pan of water with half a lemon in it. Hours later that didn't help either.

It also didn't help that I then forgot the boiling pan of water and lemon....

Another google later for how to get rid of burnt smells and another pan of water with a huge handful of cloves. It worked, for both the fish and burnt smells! I'm almost tempted to do it again with a dried orange and some cloves. To get that Christmassy feeling.

Original Comments:

Minerva said...

I SO know that feeling!

I find lemony water or vinegary water in a pan helps...or in the microwave...


Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:25:00 PM

Milt Bogs said...

You eat too well Gran. You're always conjuring up exotic dishes. I always wondered why I stick to cornflakes and a cheese sandwich. It's because I don't have any cloves or dried orange.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:35:00 PM

Astryngia said...

LOL - the cure being worse than the disease!!! I use a lemon in the microwave to get rid of haddock smells from the kedgeree but I despair of how the house smells after cooking bacon, or curry, or anything much except Sunday lunch.

And everything in the kitchen gets covered in grease after frying mince for the spag bol - and then there's that layer of dust that attaches itself...

There's a lot to be said for instant meals and the microwave!!! (Not!)

I suppose there's much to be said for clutter-free kitchens, too, so there's nothing for the muck to adhere to! ;-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:35:00 PM

Jo said...

Great tip. I did some monkfish the other day and boy...the whole house was full of it for days. It's such a strong flavoured fish (which is why I love it), i gues that's why it's got such a pong too!

Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:18:00 AM

mrshellonheels said...

I hate fish. My husband loves it. When I make it for him, I gag all day smelling that fish in my house. Thanks for the tip!!!!

I was boiling eggs for hard boiled eggs once and forgot about it. Ohhh that was a foul odor that lingered for days. Had to throw the whole pot out, burnt eggs and all.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 5:13:00 AM

doris said...

Minerva Maybe I needed to have the lemony water on at the time of cooking. It was such a farce.

Milt LOL I have to say I was well impressed with the Hollandaise sauce and if you really want to impress Mrs Bogs with Hollandaise with her cheese sarnie then let me know and I'll give you the recipe!

Astryngia I don't mind bacon smells! Yes, that darned haddock smell from the kedgeree - I have great sympathy now for those who don't like the smell! LOL at that darned dust sticking to the grease - all this work just to enjoy nice food :-)

Jo I so love Monkfish but I didn't realise that could have such an offensive smell. I see it as having almost a wonderful lobster or prawn taste.

Mrs Hell on Hells We've got a thick black crust on our pan too but I noticed where the lemon still sat in the pan that the burn was non-existant so I used it to wipe over the rest of the pan - or rather the lemon squelched into a pulp - but I think it made a difference. Mr Doris has taken over salvaging the pan so I don't know what the latest status is!

Burnt eggs smell is the worst though!

Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:22:00 AM

Cheryl said...

I'm with Milt - stop torturing us budget bangers and mash sorts with your delicacies!
Not really.

I would sooner the house smelled of fish than cloves - they are one of my real aversions and a tummy turner. Glad it worked for you, though!

Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:52:00 PM

jane said...

lol doris. I love salmon, but not the fishy smell. let us know how the cloves & oranges work (sounds like it will smell wonderful)

Thursday, October 27, 2005 10:41:00 PM

zandperl said...

Oh my. I usually just throw the windows open and turn on the ceiling fans.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 5:33:00 AM

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Astryngia's meme

I have been tagged by Astryngia with a delightful travel meme.

These are the parts of the world I have travelled to:

Create your own visited country map

I've travelled : across the world before the age of five. Living in England; Singapore and Australia (Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Perth). I travelled back to England on my own at the age of 12 and stopped off in Bahrain. They let me walk around on my own and unsupervised so I have included Bahrain even if it was only a stop over. I've travelled many times to Germany getting the boat train from Victoria Station in London. That has taken me through France, Belgium and Holland depending on which route I went. And if you include the wrong train I once caught, nearly took me to Austria. Another wrong train took us (me and the kids) on a scenic tour of the Rhine but finished me off financially with all the ticket surcharges for the privilege of a mistake.

Greece was for work. Sitting up on the Acropolis is beyond compare. Also Sicily and Spain and Ibiza. France and Brittany several times, twice for work. Scotland when I was 16 and my first taste of freedom as I hitch-hiked around and then again years later with my little daughter and son brewing in my tum. Ireland fairly recently for a wedding. Wales several times.

Did I mention Morocco? I had always wanted to go to the continent of Africa and as the plane landed I could have kissed the ground. That was so special.

As single parent I bust a gut and earned the money and with my connections took the kids to St Lucia in the Caribbean. (As a child I stood on the shores of Western Australia and looked out to sea and imagined the tropical Caribbean somewhere in that direction and yearned to go.) Wonderful place and wonderful holiday with a friend who lived as a local. Very different to the usual tourist trip.

And then there is my beloved States. I've been three times. The first as a work trip (I've must have had some great jobs!) I went to New York and Boston. It was January and snow was about. It was magical. The second time with my husband to be and we saw New England in the Fall. The last time was with the kids and we did a big tour of the South West and then to Boston and Worcester and Connecticut and New York.

I think I've been to more places and will probably remember them another time. I love travelling with a passion.

I speak : English too fast. So fast that I sometimes get my words jumbled up and they come out wrong and I make up new words on the hoof. Do you think I'd stand a chance of speaking any other languages?! Actually, I've dabbled in German and French and once tried to teach myself Arabic.

If I had to emigrate : I'd go somewhere warmish but not too hot. Sometimes I'd like to live in the US and sometimes in Spain. Once upon a time I wanted to live in Germany to learn the language but it is no longer a desire so I suppose I won't.

Before I die, I want to visit : many more places in this world. One visit is never enough and never long enough. But if I had to choose, these are on my list: Egypt; Japan; Siberia; Iceland to see the Northern Lights.

Thank you Astryngia for a lovely journey :-)

I tag anyone reading this to make their own world map and tell of their travels. Where would you emigrate if you had to leave your country of residence and what languages can you speak or did you learn at school? Where do you most want to visit before you die? :-)

Let me know if you do it and I'll pop a link to you here.

Thanks to SydneyB who has shared her journey!

Original Comments:

doris said...
And our honeymoon was in Paris .... some months after the wedding so that we could see the total eclipse of the sun - that was my second total eclipse experience. The kids came with us and we took them to Disneyland Paris. I hate Disneyland and advise anyone else not to take your kids on honeymoon 'cos it ain't a honeymoon!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 4:27:00 PM
Cheryl said...
Day trip to Bologne and a weekend in Paris - thats me lot so far!

I have heard Disneyland Paris isnt worth it - lots of queues or hanging around for parades, outdoors, in typical English weather (aka gales, at this time of year?)
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 5:41:00 PM
Milt Bogs said...
Doris you are truly a much travelled woman. I have to say that your word verification code is the longest I've ever seen!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 12:43:00 AM
Jo said...
Nice post Doris...! Like the magpie that I am I rushed to get my own map - did it and it ate my blog. Well, it shoved all my spacing all over the place so I had to take it off again :-(

Before I did that though it told me that I'd been to 10% of the world's countries. They're uncannily like yours - with a few differences here and there. Australia was marvellous, though I didn't see enough...the US was great too - one trip was a dream job, working in New York, Boston, Chicago and LA (and I managed to get to San Francisco too which I adored and has my vote as the greatest American city) :-)

But sooo much more to see!

Agree with you about Disneyland Paris...though the slightly more 'educational' park (not the cheesy Snow White rides etc) was a bit better I thought? Still, the kids loved it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 10:52:00 AM
Wulfweard the White said...
Have you got places in Sussex I've visited LOL
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:34:00 AM
Sarah said...
It made me giggle when I read that you speak English too fast, I have the same problem! :-)

Another interesting subject!

According to the map I've been to 2% of the world, not enough in my opinion but I look forward to travelling more in the future. (The places I have been are listed on my blog already)My top two places to go would be Koh Sumui in Thailand(and stay in a grand villa in the Tongsai Bay) and New York (always been a city girl at heart) but there are loads of other dream destinations I would love to go.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:53:00 AM
doris said...
Cheryl We went in August and it rained but I have to say it was brilliant that it rained because it meant less queuing. Or at least, less than it might have been. I think the kids managed 4 rides each for the entire day!

I tell you what was the worst - the awful canned music. All minor disney tunes like a nightmare going round and round. I was ready to murder by the time we left.... not good for a supposedly fun children's area.

Milt We like to keep you on your toes ;-)

Jo That map thing only works (and badly at that) if you have the menu bar down the left. Ah, so you have had those great jobs too! I've not been to LA but an American guy I knew for a while assured me that LA was my kind of city!

Wulfweard I reckon you could still answer the questions (without the map!) pointing out the wonderful places in Sussex decribing what delights that keep you there!

Sarah I must have had my eyes closed as it didn't tell me what percentage of the world I have visited :-( From your latest photos it looks like you are living in a dream destination already!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 2:10:00 PM
jane said...
My goodness, you've been to more states than I have. How wonderful that you've travelled to so many places. I'd like to visit Ireland, Scotland & England. They all seem so enchanting.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 8:55:00 PM
Minerva said...
You have been to Sabah.... What were you doing there? I grew up there...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:27:00 PM
Astryngia said...
Thanks for YOUR lovely journey! :-)
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:27:00 PM
doris said...
Minerva Ahh, the limitations of this map thingy.... I clicked on Malaysia for Malacca as we used to go to the beach there (Malacca is 'round the corner' from Singapore) .... and it has lit up the other part of Malaysia on Indonesia and therefore I suppose the Sabah region.

I've just seen some online photos from Sabah and it looks beautiful. Why don't you blog about some of the wonderful places you have seen or lived?

Astryngia The pleasure is all mine :-)
Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:35:00 AM
Le laquet said...
Excellent meme/post! Morrocco - would love to go, i'd like to have that "cazbah thing" going on!
Sunday, October 30, 2005 1:47:00 PM
SydneyB said...
Hi Doris,
Please visit my blog. I have my map there with my travel story as well. Enjoy and thanks.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005 5:44:00 PM

Monday, 24 October 2005

Library Virgin

Today I switched off my computer and walked to the library. I could have used Amazon and my ever trusting plastic but decided I could save some money and not add more books to our bookshelves. I'd like to say it was for good eco reasons I'd decided upon the route involving effort but alas it is due to lower back pain that I suddenly have once again. A hot bath didn't do much so I decided walking would be healing.

In the UK, more and more libraries have websites so that you can look up a book to see if it is in and other such services. Having seen 84 Charing Cross Road I now wanted to read the book. Especially now I am considering what to do with my own Kebab Correspondence. A copy was available at the main library.

I finally had to ask the Librarian (are they called that anymore?) where I might find it on the bookshelves as I had scoured high and low. He sat at his computer desk and as I said "84 Charing Cross Road by..." he replied with a knowing "ah yes" as if he was part of the club and knew that this was a most excellent book. As he consulted the screen, I noticed his name was one letter away from a very famously disgraced MP from the 1980s. I sat there trying not to grin and trying to think of something witty to say with regard to prostitutes and the particular fetish this MP had but managed to keep it to myself.

Eventually Mr MP disguised as a Librarian assures me they don't have the book. Even though I had just looked it up online? He has nothing to say and there is no point me pushing him. He finds out where there are copies and they are both newly out. He then tells me in his knowing way that it was published in 1971. As if this was so frightfully long ago and what am I doing expecting to find a copy in a public library. I really don't know what he meant and eventually he located a copy in the nether regions of our huge County. He could get it in for me he said. The thought that this was a dirty old paperback circulating since 1971 with missing pages suddenly didn't seem too appealing. Thanking him I said I'd come back if I wanted him to order it in.

Looking around the shelves for other reading matter I was suddenly struck by all the wonderful books you can find. Although I have used libraries all my life and always taken the kids there it never seemed to have exciting up to date books. I remember my commuting days before I had kids when I would scour WH Smith at the train station eagerly awaiting the latest Virago publication, especially the Maya Angelou series. Now standing in library, I was transported back in time and filled with excitement.

I found a vacant staircase to sit, in a straight back way, to start reading "Aunt Edna's Guide to Paradise" by Keith Sharp. Very strange so far. Off beat with references to modern day life and politics, great literary works and authors.

In the American section I found "Letter from New York" by Helene Hanff and another from the fiction section, "Provincial Daughter" by R M Dashwood.

On the way home I popped into almost every charity (second hand) shop, just in case someone has cast off their ancient 1971 book but alas. Even though I have plenty to read I succumbed to Waterstones and for £6.99 bought "84 Charing Cross Road".

At Thorntons I was able to buy 4 nice chocolates in a plastic bag for 99p. The nice young girl, who had taken a break from decorating chocolate messages onto chocolate disks, served me and knew better than to seal up the bag. My back ached so much but keeping on the move helped. I'd forgotten how dangerous it was to read a book whilst crossing busy roads.

At home I found a position that was comfortable enough, curled up on my side, and finished reading it right through. I cried! Am now part-way through "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street" which is Helene's account of her first ever trip to London which was after the book was published in the States.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...
Jealous. We have a town library the size of a school classroom.
Stairwells (sigh)
An American Section (sigh).
Whats the light like? How new is the wood? How does it smell; of carpet, new wood, old wood, polish, books?
Jealous. Oh, I said that. Sigh.
Monday, October 24, 2005 10:49:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
How right you are to keep moving when the back aches. Been there, done that!

Ah, good books. The library is such a great place to be. Yet I own many books that were circulated through the library for a great part of their lives, and still in fine condition.
This is what the Internet has brought us, the ability to own more and more stuff!
Monday, October 24, 2005 10:52:00 PM
doris said...
Awwww Cheryl .... you are just going to have to come visit it and see for yourself!

It is a massive building built in the 1870s and very typically Victorian with grand entrance and engravings outside. Up the steps, through the massive wooden doors and there is a cast iron umbrella stand with about 12 rings to stand umbrellas in. Funnily I was holding a large umbrella today and contemplated whether it would still be there when I came out!

Inside there is something wrong about the layout. Sure there might be an American section but it only consists of one whole bookcase, which I know at least is something, but there is something lacking. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that this main library is to move into a modern building and so they are out of sorts. I feel that for a main library it is woefully lacking, but today the contents excited me.

There is not only an upsatirs - but that is not for the public - but there is also an antiquated upper area which you can see from downstairs and here you can see the old wooden made to fit bookcases stuffed to the brim with antiquarian books, and wooden and iron railings.

It is a very grand building on the inside with high ceilings and the rest of it is used for other purposes. There are so many little architectural features that my problem is that every time up until now I have concentrated on them rather than the books.

The smell is rather neutral, and if any, then it is an old building smell with a faint smell of old wood.

Thanks MrsDOF for the reassurance I have done the right thing for my back today. I have yet to toddle over to your blog to see your anniversary pics :-)
Monday, October 24, 2005 11:59:00 PM
Milt Bogs said...
The beaty of libraries is that you can go in and request a book that nobody has ever heard of and they'll get it for you. You fill in a form and then they send you a postcard telling you that the book has arrived. By then of course you've forgotten that you asked them to get it for you in the first place. It makes the librarians feel good though. I do it all the time.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 1:29:00 AM
jane said...
I'm sorry your back is hurting. Our library is huge, but the newer books are always checked out.
Thank you for taking us with you on your day. You make me feel as though I'm right there with you. Yes, even while we ate yummy chocolates!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:05:00 AM
Host of Spirits said...
Hi Doris, I popped over to say thank you for visiting my blog but now I am soooooooo curious about that book. I've never actually heard of it but will now go on a search to find what all the mystery is about

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 1:50:00 PM
Jo said...
'84 Charing Cross Road' - a great book. Very romantic and moving. Wasn't there a film with Anthony Hopkins? And who was the woman in it. Anne Bancroft maybe? Can't recall just now.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:08:00 AM
Library Lady said...
Sorry you didn't get a helpful librarian. They do still exist and we do call ourselves just that!

What you may have gotten there is someone who ACTS as a librarian, but is a paraprofessional of some kind. I don't know what the state of library budgets is in the UK, but if it's anything like those in the US, it's pathetic!

(Or, it just may have been a day when he'd been dealing with a lot of loonies who request books and then, after the librarian has spent time finding them, never comes in to get them, eh, Milt?)

I do own a lot of books at home, but they're things I want to read over and over again. Usually after I've gotten them from the library first! After all, there have to be some special benefits to being the librarian....
Friday, October 28, 2005 1:30:00 AM
Z said...
Highly, highly recommend a book called CLOUD ATLAS. You won't regret it.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005 10:56:00 AM

Sunday, 23 October 2005

Translations R Us

Or not, as the case may be! Having had a visit from DorisFM in Mexico I visited her blog and put some of the Spanish through the Google translator. To test the messages I was writing in Spanish on her blog I put the English in to translate to Spanish and then back to English to check. Laughable.

I've used this free service before - and it is good at identifying at least a few words but it may not give you the right meaning or context. It was fun to use it again. So I tried some silly stuff.... translated the first paragraph of my last post:

Oh dear, what has Cheryl unleashed with the story of her First Kiss. From the other First Kiss stories they seem so sweet and innocent..... and young!

from French to German to English comes out as:

Oh expensive, which has Cheryl, which was released with the history of its first kiss. Another first history meringue they seem so tender and innocent..... and of the young people!

that is quite delightful. So here goes another:

My hormones and whatever else were in a tizz. I wore tight red slightly waxed pedal-pushers and probably looked quite hot. Me, all innocent as the day, was exploding from within. By this time the fireworks were all over the place between us.

From English to Portugese and back to English comes out as:

Mine hormones and what others were in one tizz. I slightly consumed pressed waxed pedal-pushers of the red and looked at probably completely hot. I, all innocent as the day, he was blowing up of inside. For this time fireworks was all on the place between us.

Added 24 Oct:

Thank you to Universal Soldier for his link to Poetry in Translation which he put into the comments. It automatically translate sentences from English to German, then to French and then back to German and back to English. It's a surprise that anything remains!

BTW - do we think that George W got to it first? He really said this and I haven't messed around with it:

"I was going to say he's a piece of work, but that might not translate too well. Is that all right, if I call you a 'piece of work'?" George W. Bush to Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, Washington, D.C., June 20, 2005 [from Bushisms]

But in the end, Bush' comments couldn't be any funnier as they are, so Tony Blair gets the treatment: [from Tony Blair Quotes]

The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.


The art of control does not say No. It is necessary to say yes very simply.

Wonderfully Tony Blair also says:

You only require two things in life: your sanity and your wife.


They require only two things in the life: Your Sanity and your wife.

Original Comments:

Annie said...

Lovely! That cheered me up no end! Have you ever tried voice recognition software? I found that it didn't understand my accent at all and produced some interesting stuff!

Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:27:00 PM

Cheryl said...

He was blowing up of inside?

Thanks for a loud chuckle. The family thinks I'm deranged, again, and this time its all your fault..........


Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:36:00 PM

Balzaquiana75 said...

This is very funny!

(I've read about you on mexican Doris' blog!! ;-) )

Sunday, October 23, 2005 10:27:00 PM

DorisFM said...

Hey, balzaquiana is here!
And, Doris, I'm the real Doris, this is my name ;)

Monday, October 24, 2005 5:17:00 AM

Universal Soldier said...

Ha ha. For more fun with Google translator you can try this link it out - it translates a phrase between 3 different languages and then back to English for you:

Monday, October 24, 2005 8:40:00 AM

Karen said...

I've done this before with poetry - The results are so funny, I'm suprised a game hasn't been invented yet....

Monday, October 24, 2005 3:49:00 PM

zandperl said...

I usually use Babelfish for translation. It's produced by Altavista who used to be a leading search engine but I've no clue what they do these days. The name comes from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy of BBC radio, 5-book trilogy, and movie fame (in chronological order).

I haven't done serial translations with it lately, but it was quite helpful when I had to read an astronomy paper that was written in French. Did I mention that I don't speak French and can barely read their subway signs? But between my Latin, the fact that much of it's in "astronomy" not French, and hints from Babelfish, I was able to puzzle it out. It was fun. :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 5:48:00 AM

Friday, 21 October 2005

My First Kiss

Oh dear, what has Cheryl unleashed with the story of her First Kiss. From the other First Kiss stories they seem so sweet and innocent..... and young!

My first kiss happened late on a Saturday night just before my seventeenth birthday. I had a live-in hotel job in London and this was my one whole day off that week. I had been to the Kings Road and sat reading in the Drugstore pub. There were a couple of nice young American tourists, one was particularly cute and he caught my eye. But nothing else happened.

After a while, I continued on my window shopping, feeling like I could kick myself for walking out the pub without doing anything about the cute guy. Inside a nearby shop I was looking at the ska t-shirts, thin mod ties and Specials button badges when lo and behold.... the two Americans are there. We got chatting, me doing the unofficial tourist guide bit, and continued window shopping together. Then caught a bus to Piccadilly Circus. Time was getting on and they invited me to eat with them at a restaurant.

My hormones and whatever else were in a tizz. I wore tight red slightly waxed pedal-pushers and probably looked quite hot. Me, all innocent as the day, was exploding from within. By this time the fireworks were all over the place between us.

It was a Lebanese Restaurant that we went to with the American's brother. The cute guy was called Eric and was 16. Younger than I but seemingly more mature! And his brother was 18. They seemed to have a tourist flat off Baker Street and I'm not sure where their parents were staying. As we sat eating, I could barely eat a crumb I was so nervous with excitement. No boy had ever given me any attention before and here I was with this really cute guy. We had been the epitome of good behaviour and hadn't so much as touched hands.

Finally, we left the restaurant but I don't really remember leaving it any normal way. It is quite possible that we suddenly became a swirl of bodies as our lips connected. It is possible that I pulled Eric to me. It was very passionate and it was full on. It was worth the wait!

And that was my first kiss :-)

Original Comments:

mrshellonheels said...
Reading your post I felt like I was right there with you. Very moving. I've been trying very hard to remember my first kiss. For some reason it just wont come to me. Maybe if I dont think so hard about it, it will surface.
Friday, October 21, 2005 4:59:00 AM
Cheryl said...
Wow - swap my tooth & nose bashing 'practice' kiss, for your full-on, dizzy-fizzy one.
Nice post!
Friday, October 21, 2005 7:08:00 AM
She Weevil said...
Yes mee too, much rather have been swept off my feet than have been headbutted by someone only just old enough to be culpable.
Friday, October 21, 2005 7:33:00 AM
Jay said...
Great story!
Friday, October 21, 2005 12:46:00 PM
bentley92 said...
Sadly I can not even remember my first kiss. For the most part I don’t have very clear memories of a lot of my childhood; I think I blocked most of them out. Most of the memories that I have stem from the sports that I was playing, those were probably the best time of my childhood. On the flip, I really enjoyed your story. I’m now going to have to ask my wife about her first.
Friday, October 21, 2005 4:12:00 PM
Miss Cow is a Cow said...
lol cute story.

Hello Michele sent me.
Friday, October 21, 2005 5:18:00 PM
doris said...
Thanks Sarah .... and I been to visit you and left you a couple of messages :-)
Friday, October 21, 2005 5:22:00 PM
doris said...
Bentley! Of the broken knee ;-) Sorry you can't dredge up your first kiss but you wouldn't be the only one.
Friday, October 21, 2005 5:24:00 PM
Annie said...
Loved reading about your first kiss. I've just blogged about mine. Yes, I'm back. I think I'm addicted!
Friday, October 21, 2005 5:26:00 PM
Fluke Starbucker said...
...and thus is born the wanna-be Porn Star, Gran Bran! Great story and a wonderful memory to cherish!

Oh, and Hi, Michele sent me.
Friday, October 21, 2005 5:29:00 PM
Ramona said...
Very entertaining blog!
So glad Michele sent me your way!
Friday, October 21, 2005 5:32:00 PM
rashbre said...
If thats what bran does, then I'm having some!
And my first visit here, too.
Hello, Michele sent me!

Friday, October 21, 2005 5:33:00 PM
DorisFM said...
Hey, I'm Doris too. I live in Mexico. And I like your blog.
Friday, October 21, 2005 7:28:00 PM
doris said...
Hello DorisFM! I'd comment on your blog but I reckon your English is much better than my Spanish! great to meet another Doris blogger :-)

Hello everyone else - I've had fun visiting you all and commenting on your blogs :-)
Friday, October 21, 2005 7:40:00 PM
Jo said...
First kiss eh...?

Well...I guess me and the girl who lived over the road. We would walk home from school together, aged 8 or 9. On the way we went through a graveyard, and one day we decided (mutually I'd add!) to try out having a kiss. It was brief, it was sweet, it was probably a bit sticky. It was certainly behind a gravestone. We were both a bit embarassed. But we did like holding hands. (I often carried her books for her too)

Then she went and told her parents! You'd think they'd have laughed, it was all so innocent. But no. Dad was a pretty heavy duty vicar. A 'dim view' was taken and I became persona non grata. :-(
Aged 9!

But they couldn't stop us being friends at school! :-)
Friday, October 21, 2005 8:56:00 PM
DorisFM said...
Thanks, Doris. I saw your comment in my blog.
In Mexico, we used the word "codo" for a stingy person, and "me duele el codo" is like "I don't want to pay so much" or "I didn't like to pay it".
Greets from Mexico.
Saturday, October 22, 2005 1:05:00 AM
jane said...
How very romantic! I enjoyed very much your walk down memory lane.
Saturday, October 22, 2005 1:09:00 AM
Janet said...
I think that it's great that you can remember your first kiss. I sure can't!
Saturday, October 22, 2005 1:10:00 PM
Reia said...
wow! great details! i'm trying to remember mine too.... which I'm amazed didn't pop-up at the first thought! hmmm...
Saturday, October 22, 2005 7:24:00 PM
Helen said...
It's great and so sweet that you remember that. I remember a whole lot of "firsts" in my life and even a few "lasts". I don't remember my first kiss. I think I remember who it was but have no real warm feelings about it. I think it must have scared me or something! I see my sister posted above me (Janet) and she doesn't remember hers either so maybe it's genetic!
Sunday, October 23, 2005 12:40:00 AM

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Beyond Reality

All my life I have led a double life. There is the one during the day and quite another at night during my sleep. So much so, that there have been times I have been so exhausted by my nocturnal activities when instead I should have been getting a refreshing night's sleep.

There are times when I have tried to dive into my dream world, feeling sure that it was an alternative reality and not just a collection of symbols. To an extent, despite the tiredness, I have held tight to this alternative world and refused to let it go even though it is often a reality filled with fear.

I also sleep talk, sleep walk and have night terrors. The last few years these have been a lot less, maybe because I am finally calming down in some ways. My sleep talking is rarely understandable and when it is, it is usually nonsense. But sometimes I will shout.

Sleep walking is now confined to moving around in my bedroom. Sometimes in terror because I can see imaginary spiders or the entire ceiling is covered in spiders webs; or maybe there is a spider or insects or small mammals in bed with us. In the early days I think Mr Doris was a little alarmed and then bemused by it all but these days he is quite blase and will happily sleep through it and let me get on with it but when I get back into bed his warm arms cuddle me.

In the earlier days of our relationship I took to "rescuing him". Much to his surprise I would physically pull him out of bed to protect him from the ceiling that was about to fall in or the such like. I still occasionally whisk him out of bed in the dark of the night but at least it is less so now. And he is surprisingly obliging and doesn't get upset with me!

And then there are the night terrors and I'd hold the classic "night terrors" pose with one arm up in the air in protection and giving a silent scream but in my head it is loud. These usually result in me switching on the light although I am still asleep.

Worst of all happens only about once a year now and I think is something altogether different and is to do with my childhood memories. It always involves my mother and I end up sobbing so much with huge tears. I'd wake from the fear of my mother and shake and cry so much. Mr Doris always holds onto me tenderly. Next morning I'd have big red puffy eyes but otherwise I'd be OK.

With a few exceptions, my dreamworld up until recently has been mainly about being chased or being on the run. Always running, looking, trying to find but never finding nor knowing what it was all supposed to be about. It is strange to think that I held onto this alternative reality, but I did because there would be some very odd times that were almost priceless.

As a child I slept walked into other rooms which appeared very different. We lived high up in a modern tower block but the room I'd see would have old oak panelling and a secret door. Another time I tried to go into the secret room - but it was my parents' bedroom and the next morning my mother accused me of being a pervert. After that I kept a massive weight behind my bedroom door so I couldn't get out in my sleep.

Other times I've had weird and amazing adventures. On a few rare occasions I have had answers to problems in my dreams and acted upon them. I'm sure I dream in colour. My sleep walking/terror visions are so vivid they have to be real and for a while it really is until I either 'remember' it is just a dream and come to, or just wake up.

These days instead of thinking there is a parallel universe I'm more inclined to think it has a lot to do with my brain chemicals that create these delusions. I wonder also if this is what schizophrenic people experience but their alternative reality lasts for much longer. At least I snap out of it before too long.

It is a puzzling and curious experience. Even though I experience them night after night for every night of my life so far there is something mysterious and amazing about them. However, I'm ready to let this dreamworld go and would like to get night after night of restful sleep. Let me sleep. Please.

Scot has been discussing My Pygmalion Dreams

Original Comments:

Sarah said...
Wow, I can't imagine what that must be like. Great post though-as usual.

Got me thinking about my own dreams and nightmares, what a weird concept eh? I started to tell my reccuring dream here in the comments but it was getting longer and longer so it is now a post on my blog.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:28:00 AM
doris said...
That is quite a dream Sarah!
Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:29:00 AM
mrshellonheels said...
Doris you must be exhausted. All that activity while your sleeping. I feel bad for you. : (
Thursday, October 20, 2005 6:18:00 PM
Astryngia said...
Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat had nothing on this!
Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:45:00 PM
Z said...
I suffer from hypnagogic sleep so I understand a little about where you're coming from and my youngest used to have night terrors, thankfully it seems to have passed.
I still think dreams are a form of alternative reality. Have you ever experienced lucid dreaming?
Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:47:00 PM
Cheryl said...
Nah, sorry, cant get into this because I can't get over your mother calling you a pervert.
If I'd grown up with someone treating me like a pest all my life, I think most of my dreams might be to do with murder instead.
In fact thats probably where you are lucky - you may feel chased by all these horrible accusations, but you never gave into them and became them.
And theres a difference between exploring and claiming, if that makes sense.
Hope you dont mind me saying.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:48:00 PM
doris said...
"hypnagogic sleep" is that the one where you have hallucinations as you fall asleep or just about to wake up? Then yup, that is what I have too! I can exprience some very bizarre stuff within minutes of falling asleep. Just last night I had the spider web thing and am sure that my eyes were open and I could see these webs within inches from my face. I jumped out of bed and was staring at these webs as I switched on the light before waking up. This was barely 20 minutes after going to sleep.

"lucid dreaming" is where you become aware during your dream that you are dreaming? Then yes I have, and I have tried to re-write my dreams to get a better ending but I can only go so far, but I have managed to replay the endings in order to try and get a better ending.

z It's great that your son is through the night terrors. It must be scary as a parent to know that your child is suffering like that.

On the funny side, in our house both my kids also sleep talk at times and some nights the house is positively alive with chattering which Mr Doris - the only one doesn't sleep talk thinks is quite funny!
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:53:00 PM
doris said...
Cheryl It's OK, just another incident - the pervert one. Quite awful at the time and nothing could be further from the truth.

I just found some dreams I had typed up and might, for my own benefit, assemble these and sometime type up a few others I have, and pop them in a separate blog. Eeh gad, start one blog and end up making a dozen!

Hell on Heels In these written up dreams I just found from 2002 I'm talking about the tiredness then too!

Astryngia LOL I'm glad that I have written a few of them up because even I can't believe them.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:18:00 PM
dog1net said...
It would seem that the two of us have really developed a topic that fellow bloggers can relate to as evidenced by the comments you and I have both received to our posts. Unlike my post, however, you explore your dream states in much larger detail than I do mine. As such, you have me curious as to just what kind of dreams I have, and what purpose they may really serve. Since my last post, I've been making it a habit when I wake up to reflect on any dreams I may have had during the night, and to write them down. With some dreams, you just can't make the stuff up. I don't know who writes the scripts, but a few I've had beats theater of the absurd. Anyway, enjoyed this post. Thanks for the link back to mine . . .
Friday, October 21, 2005 3:23:00 AM
doris said...
Scripts and theater of the absurd..... I've put a copy of a few of those dreams that I had over a four night period on my Xtras blog
Friday, October 21, 2005 9:40:00 AM
tim said...
Have you ever tried to have a lucid dream? I have had two. Learning to control your dreams may offer some relief.
Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:58:00 PM
doris said...
Tim I think I have, because I once read that it was possible to re-write the dream scenario so that it comes out better or less scary. So I have tried and reckon that I do become aware and try re-writing on the hoof but I am also aware that it sort of "slips away" from me sometimes and goes down the path it wants to. Other times I am aware that I have changed a dream.

I'm so glad to see you round again :-)
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 2:14:00 PM

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Three Things

I've been tagged by Cheryl!

Three names I go by:
1. Doris
2. Granny
3. Outside of blogging my name has never been shortened. Used wrongly maybe, but I've never had a cute shortened version, or a nickname, affectionately given to me. I feel deprived!

Three screen names I have had:
1. I'm not getting off to a good start here....
2. ... do you know that some people do web searches....
3. ... on screen names and come up with some interesting stuff!

Three physical things I like about myself:
1. my 2 caesarian scars as they are neat and tiny but say so much
2. the scar on my foot (another talking point and the story always makes people whince in a very satisfying way for me!)
3. left ventricle valve

Three physical things I don't like about myself:
1. Not tall enough
2. tummy - might be small but I've always had a tum
3. Slight double chin but son calls it puppy fat LOL

Three parts of my heritage:
1. English
2. Scottish
3. English

Three things that scare me:
1. shouting
2. spiders - but I cope
3. dogs - but I cope

Three of my everyday essentials:
1. Mr Doris
2. toothbrush
3. love

Three of my favorite musical artists:
1. The Seekers
2. Blondie
3. Queen

Three of my favorite songs:
1. Georgy Girl - The Seekers
2. Sunday Girl - Blondie
3. Don't stop me now - Queen

Three things I want in a relationship:
1. Love
2. Honesty
3. Enthusiasm

Three LIES:
1. I am a highly respected intellectual with answers to the world's problems
2. I am a sex kitten who wears only pearls
3. I am a liar

1. I try
2. I procrastinate
3. Sometimes I do well

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me:
1. upper arm (doesn't have to be muscley - it is just erogenous!)
2. cheeks
3. bottom

Three of my favorite hobbies:
1. blogging
2. cooking (yeah - it's a hobby and not a chore!)
3. driving a car

Three things I want to do really badly now:
1. read my bank statements that have lots of zeros in my favour
2. have a cup of tea
3. see how else I can squander my three wishes

Three careers I've considered:
1. Nursery Nurse (done it)
2. Educational Psychologist (started higher education for it)
3. Cook on a building site (done it)

Three places I want to go on vacation:
1. Japan
2. Australia
3. Siberia

Three kid's names I like:
1. Zoe (with an umlaut)
2. Samuel
3. Beatrice

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Why limit myself to three...
2. ... three more things...
3. ... or three new things? Drats, I've squandered another three things!

Three ways that I am stereotypically a boy:
1. impassive and unemotional
2. lack of femininity
3. facial hair ... OK, maybe not... I have one chin hair

Three ways that I am stereotypically a girl:
1. caring and very emotional
2. boobs
3. hips

Three celebrity crushes:
1. Karl Malden (I jest ye not!)
2. Marily Monroe
3. Mae West

Three people that I would like to see post this meme:
1. Jo
2. Hell on Heels
3. MattyD

And anyone else, I dub thee as chosen :-)

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...
Love it.
Love your songs, too.
Sorry I cheated and put emotional qualities for men instead of physical ones, but my libido is in the deep freeze this week. In a straightjacket.

Nice answers Doris!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 6:06:00 PM
Karen said...
Great answers - "I am a sex kitten who wears only pearls" - you put this in the lie section by mistake.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 6:53:00 PM
doris said...
Karen Ho-ho! Very funny :-)

Cheryl Have you tried Surf Tropical for your libido and then a light tumble dry?
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 7:31:00 PM
Pookie65 said...
Always leave your site with a smile :-) I love the comment from your son about puppy fat. Too cute!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 1:34:00 AM
Sarah said...
Great answers! Don't Stop Me Now-what a tune, me and the girls have that on our home made getting ready to go out CD. "I'm having such a good time..." Gonna be singing that all day now lol!

Everyone says that the joy of driving will fade with time but I keep telling them for me it won't because I've always had this thing for driving so was glad to see driving a car as one of your favourite hobbies! It's one of mine too now I have passed :-)
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:39:00 AM
Orikinla Osinachi. said...
DD for Darling Doris or Dearest Doris should be a nice pet name for you.

Pass it on Mr. Doris.

My father called my mother "D" for Dearest.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 6:44:00 PM
Reia said...
Doris! this brightened my day :-)
Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:01:00 AM
Jo said...
Thanks for tagging me sweetie..
Tried to come up with answers as good as yours, not sure I succeeded tho. Actually some of these questions are kinda hard for a guy who likes to think of himself as a girl...or maybe I'm a a girl locked inside a...or a soul drifting across genders like a little floaty cross gendery
Friday, October 21, 2005 12:52:00 AM
craziequeen said...
Hi Doris, picked you up from Michele's place.

May I take Three Things to craziequeen's palace?

Friday, October 21, 2005 5:11:00 PM
doris said...
Of course Craziequeen! I'm looking forward to coming to visit :-)
Friday, October 21, 2005 5:25:00 PM
craziequeen said...
open house at the palace, doncha know :-)

Friday, October 21, 2005 5:32:00 PM

Asia Quake Appeal

When I spoke to our Pakistani neighbour the other day he said that mercifully none of his large family were affected by the quake. And then I spoke to his wife who has now found out that she has lost more than 50 relatives.

Death figures could be as much as 54,000 and 3,000,000 people are homeless [BBC]. It is getting to be very cold (-3 centigrade!) and people are really suffering. Having survived the quake they may now die and are in desperate need of tents, blankets, food and water. Money is needed now and the DEC (Disaster Emergency Committee) have finally started an appeal.

We have already given to a local Pakistani family organising relief and have now given to the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal for the Asia quake. I see Islamic Relief is now a member and hope that there will be more Muslim Faith charities part of the appeal and getting a say in organising and distributing the aid.

As a British taxpayer giving to a charity the charity gets an extra 28 pence for every pound given.

What a terrible year it has been with disasters.

Original Comments:

jane said...

It sure has been a disastrous year & we've got 2 1/2 months yet to go. That is so, so sad about your neighbor's family.
Let's hope the rest of the year is uneventful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:53:00 AM

Monday, 17 October 2005

Adverts on TV

Advertising on the television often makes my blood boil but having seen a couple of great adverts in one night I wonder if the tide is turning.

Ads that upset me are the sort that undermines someone such as the yoghurt ads where the woman leaves her boyfriend locked out the door because she is too busy indulging in her yoghurt. Or the selfish ones where the woman sets up her bloke to look like he is having an affair so that she can throw him out and sleep for the night in her bed washed in a certain fabric conditioner. Or the beautifully filmed black and white ad with French dialogue. The man and woman are cycling on a tandem cycle through the countryside when he notices the chocolate bar in the cycle basket and purposefully cycles under a overhangning branch to knock his female companion off the cycle so that he can go off and eat the chocolate bar by himself.

What happened to people being kind and sharing the love? What are we saying... that it is OK to be mean and selfish?

For the first time tonight I have seen an ad on TV for Orange phones with the point being the longer you stay with them the better it gets. The ad beguiles you as this older couple move around each other in dance-like balletic moves, starting off by reaching round the breakfast table and ending up by intertwining, with a wonderful motion that continues and flows from the kitchen to outside in the garden to down the road. He sweeps her up in his arms and swings her round but it all seems so effortless and beautiful.

Orange also do a great series of cinema ads reminding us to switch off our phones during the film and they get me every time. I'm not sure which is my favourite but I love the Darth Vader p*ss take where they start singing the one of the Star Wars themes.

I just love the delightful Doris and the Tropical Surf ad! The link will open in a new browser and you need to have the sound on. Sadly that film so typifies very many places in the UK with a drab greyness and having to go to the launderette. And if we are to fall for the advertising, we'd believe that washing our smalls in this stuff will take us to paradise. Ahhh. As if!

Original Comments:
Jo said...
I think maybe we were watching tonight at the same time...that new Orange ad is truly beautiful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 1:06:00 AM
Annie said...
I love the Doris & the Tropical Surf ad. It reminds me a bit of my granny. I actually bought the washing powder because every time I use it I think og the ad and it makes me smile.
My pet hate in the way of ads are the loan ones. There seem to be loads of them on digital television. They are designed to appeal to people who have been refused loans elsewhere. I noticed the other day that the interest for one of them was 19.9%! Scarey!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 8:13:00 AM
doris said...
Jo I'm so glad you saw the ad too and also think it is beautiful. This is like meeting over the water cooler at work... "Did you see that new ad that came out last night....."

Actually, there are a lot of ads that I don't see for a very long time but hear them. We always have the TV on when we are working but I rarely look up. So I have an interesting thing when having heard an ad for so long I finally see it! I'm pretty sure I hadn't heard this ad before.

Annie LOL - I took a detour to the Surf boxes in the supermarket to smell one! But couldn't smell owt different. I stood there grinning!

Oh, and don't get me started on those loan ads. I am sorry to repeat this very controversial stuff but my daughter reckons there are certain loan ads aimed at fat people and certain ads aimed at ugly people! Because of the people they use who are supposed users of their wonderful loans.

What gets me is the message they put across... "Oh dear, you have over extended yourself and spent too much but never mind you can consolidate all your loans in one new loan and then you can carry on as before spending like mad and you can even go on holiday and buy all those other things you really want too." Where does it stop?

Didn't see that rates are as high as 19.9% - isn't that higher than some credit cards?
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 10:06:00 AM
Astryngia said...
Ah, you found it!!! ;-) Brill!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:45:00 PM

Sunday, 16 October 2005

Reclaiming the parlour

We acquired a piece of furniture this morning that meant reorganising the front room. This is a room that daughter has overtaken for the past few months and was quite frankly a mess. It is a lovely room that I, in particular, worked hard to strip, paint and wallpaper to bring back it's Victorian elegance.

It has fabulous carpet and an authentic looking fireplace installed. Sadly, it had been looking grubby and tatty of late. But no more.

I worked all day with every nook and cranny cleared, dusted and hoovered. The furniture had to be slightly re-arranged such that it now looks amazing. I lit the fire and put the lamp on, now it is in a more convenient place, and have been sat all evening in my palace enjoying the splendour after all the hard work. The kids have strict instructions about keeping it tidy now and one can only hope.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...

Sounds wonderful, would love to see!

Sunday, October 16, 2005 10:18:00 PM

doris said...

Amazing that.... I did all that "house making" stuff today, blogged about it and then toddled over to your blog to find you have written about your dream house! Must be something in the water :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2005 10:22:00 PM

jane said...

I'd love to see a picture of that. A fire (in the fireplace) sure sounds good right now.

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:44:00 AM

dog1net said...

Your description reminded me so much of my aunt's living room. She had a Victorian styled house built in 1890 that had the traditional parlor with a 10 foot ceiling and tall windows. But the fireplace was what gave it that certain ambiance, especially at night when we had a small fire going. It was great place to sit and read a book.
Thanks for visiting tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:49:00 AM

MattyD said...

give it a week and the magazines, dvds, etc will all appear again ;)

sounds like a really stunning room though, congrats on getting down and making it into the room that YOU want :)

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:42:00 AM

MrsDoF said...

The fireplace would be really nice right about now. I'm glad you have a cozy place for relaxing.

Monday, October 17, 2005 3:09:00 AM

Le laquet said...

I loathe cleaning BUT there's always that buzz of pride when things look wondeful at the end ... makes you want to walk past the doorway and just glow gently with pride that this belongs to you! And a fire, perfect for the rainy autumn evening we had last night!

Monday, October 17, 2005 6:32:00 AM

Jo said...

Yes, establishing a kid free zone is vital! Or at least an area which they don't bury in their stuff relentlessly. Our is a little oasis for the grown ups in a sea of clothes strewn all over the floor, CDs left out of their cases behind wardrobes, wet towels scrunched up and stuffed down the back of beds, carpets of soft toys under foot everwhere, plates with toast crumbs in the wardrobe...

Lay mines in the hallway, with some observation towers strategically posted...I find it works...

Enjoy your snactuary ;-)

Monday, October 17, 2005 10:51:00 AM

Jo said...

Hey - invented a new word...snactuary! Where grown ups can sit quietly in front of the box with a big bag of kettle chips!

Monday, October 17, 2005 10:52:00 AM

Annie said...

Sounds great - very satisfying work too. Am part way through Kebab & Intrigue, and enjoying it.

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:26:00 PM

doris said...

Please come into my SNACTUARY said the spider to the fly..... I love it Jo!

Sorry no pics.... and already last night those dratted kids went off without straightening cushions, putting away the remote control nor removing hair styling products Grrrrr. They are close to being banned altogether.

The ceilings are high but only about 9 foot. It is not a grand house but is bigger than the average Vitorian terrace - which it isn't!

I might have cheated slightly on my fire description... it is a gas fire but such a good one that once it has been put on and warmed up and the coals are glowing, you could not be sure that it was gas. All the look but none of the effort. We don't get that real fire burning smell which is a pity. It is wrong to say none of the effort, as I have to periodically take the special coals out and hoover them and any residues that have crumbled over the gas holes - and that's what I also did yesterday.

It is lovely and cosy in there when the fire is on and the lights are on low, with gorgeous red and gold velvet curtains; red damask patterned vinyl wallpaper, Victorian fireplace with a light art noveau flower pattern tiles; cast iron surround; wooden mantle; black hearth; thick gold carpet and generous size sofa's with an Egyptian/Greek (it really doesn't know which it is supposed to be!) style pattern in reds and golds, and roll arms. And especially nice now the clutter and junk is gone. Instead it is strewn around other parts of the house awaiting despatch!

Monday, October 17, 2005 2:30:00 PM

Jo said...

Now all you need is the crisp golden twilight of an autumn Sunday. The perfect room for lounging with fire on during the late afternoon?

Monday, October 17, 2005 4:33:00 PM

Ally said...

There is SOOO much satisfaction to be got from sitting down in the room once you've tidied it ... . Now, any time you want to pop round here, you know you'd be very welcome ... :).

Monday, October 17, 2005 4:51:00 PM

Milt Bogs said...

Grubby and tatty is "de rigueur" in Bogsville. We tried elegance but it just turned out cheap and cheesy.:(

Monday, October 17, 2005 7:01:00 PM

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Drugs and the L.E.A.

We had our first visit today from the LEA (Local Education Authority). It is akin to having an inspector come in to determine whether we are providing a suitable home education for our 11 year old son. It is our right to refuse access to such a visit and they have the power, if they did visit, to take us to court to make our son attend a school if they felt we were not providing a good enough education. We allowed the visit just to make the point that school is not the be all and end all.

It went well enough. Son skated close to the wind as I felt he talked a bit too much sometimes, such as about the various bribes he gets. Or when he expressed little interest in this or that but otherwise, it was obvious he was not a child that was locked in the cellar and that he was thriving and learning well.

He was sat at his desk during the course of the meeting and had taken it upon himself to pen a few ditties and share them with us. I could only hold my head up high when he read out this one, even though I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me:
Baa Baa
Drug dealer
have you any weed?
Yes man, yes man
Two bags full.
One bag for the druggie,
One with cocaine,
and that one's for the little boy
who smokes down the lane

In the earlier draft he had mentioned "cooking". He checked with us the spelling of druggie - with an ie and not a y. He spelt cocaine correctly. Oh luvly-jubbly. Looks great. Our son knows the drug lingo and can spell it well.

The LEA woman was very nice and reassuring that she wouldn't mention it to anyone.... like as 'eck! That will be one of the funniest things if it wasn't potentially dangerous. That familiarity suggests our use of the stuff and inappropriate access to our son. I kept my confidence and told her how we talk about all sorts of subjects and she too agreed it is better that he talked about it. She's gone now, quite happy, and I just shake my head in disbelief.

Reminds me of the time when he was about 3 or 4 years old. He's a cute lad is my son and with very different skin colour to my own so the family resemblance is not obvious at first. In a supermarket he decided to play a trick on me at the checkouts and in a very loud voice asked me who I was and stated that I wasn't his mum! He kept it up for enough minutes for people to start taking notice. Grrrr. Today compares very well to that.

Original Comments:

Ally said...
Glad he shows a healthy sense of humour! :)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:41:00 AM
Astryngia said...
If he were at school, he would have been exposed to films and talks about drugs - as well as hobnobbing with children who take or supply drugs (even in the best of schools) so the knowledge base is not as unusual as you might fear. haha But I can guess the palpitations. I'd have been dying a thousand deaths!!!

The poem shows his intelligence, street cred and lust for life :-) and just how far he pushes the boundaries. ;-)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 2:23:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
Your son sounds like our middle one, who got called into the Dean's office for writing an essay about drugs and dealing--for an assignment in his Spanish class. He had written the whole article in Spanish, and could hardly believe it when the student down the row (he exchanged papers) could translate.
Pushing the boundaries is as easy as breathing for smart sons. Just keep on being smarter parents, and Grin often!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 2:41:00 PM
Red Mum said...
Yer kids will hang you everytime. Everytime.

I remember once attempting to continue with the free rail travel, when she turned five.

And in fairness most of the ticket people and staff at the railway station never ever asked as they were well used to us from when I was pregnant.

But one time there was someone new and they asked for her ticket and I said she's four, to which the young wan pipped up 'mummy I am five'.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 3:06:00 PM
Hannah said...
Ah! The little genius! Gotta love the kiddies!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 8:02:00 PM
Cheryl said...
Sarcastic wit at 4 and then, I'll bet, looked like butter wouldn't melt as he toyed with both you and the LEA lady today.
Far too intelligent.
So sharp he'll cut himself if he's not careful?
Was he challenging colour prejudice with 'Baah Baah drugg dealer', do you think, or playing on the concept of being 'the black sheep of the family'? If you could casually find out, do you think that an essay of his thoughts on either might be a suitably educational, um, consequence?
Poor you. :-)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 8:27:00 PM
Ghone said...
Kids eh? Tsk!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:38:00 PM
zandperl said...
I didn't realize you homeschooled. Do you have to submit lesson plans beforehand? I think we do that here in the States. What led you to choose homeschooling? Here in most cases I think it's religious fanaticism...

My best friend tutors high school biology and chemistry and one of her students is a homeschooler so she has to do some paperwork for the state since she's providing that aspect herself. I expect it'd be very difficult to do since most of us aren't trained as teachers and we don't have an indepth knowledge of everything. I'd think most parents would struggle with teaching science and math, though I personally would struggle with the history. :-P
Saturday, October 15, 2005 1:36:00 AM
doris said...
Zandperl Home education in the UK is very different and thank goodness.

Basically there are NO set directives, nor requirements for anything in the UK. Just a vague (non-compulsory) occasional visit from a Local Education Authority person. These people seem to be more tuned in now to making the visit more about giving support than being judgemental.

So.... Home Education can be a very different philosophy on life OR you can have set lesson plans and formal timetables if you wish. What I describe is what I do and and others do it in different ways.

The end results are happy and intelligent kids with common sense and most of all a desire to learn or find out. Some end up with a multitude of good grade exam results and others don't but are extremely employable in good jobs or go straight into University or further education.

Most of all, home-ed kids often have the ability to think and will not believe just everything they have been "taught". They have more of an ability to think laterally.

This doesn't mean that kids who go through the school system don't have these abilities... just that I reckon the a higher proportion of home-ed kids have it.

We are still at the early stages of home-ed for our son and so we have a lot of rubbish to work through with him.

We home-ed our daughter from she was 11 as well. She is now 16, in college and already has qualifications she wouldn't have gotten until she was 18. She has a desire and passion to learn.

So it is clear that our reasons for home-ed are not religious though others in the UK do have it as a reason.

As to qualifications.... you would be surprised. As parents (any of us) we know far more than we realise. Daily life is a sufficient learning plan.... counting money in the shops; working out square yardage (meters) of floor covering; currently son is interested in compound interest as advertised by the banks; geography through travelling around and experiencing the earth in real life; geology too; history as a result of news and books and discussions; English in everything; learning a language through travel and then a class or a friend or online; green energy, recycling, conservation through all things at home; biology through discussions, human and vegetable growth; chemistry over lunch when you accidently squeeze orange juice in your eye through to simple experiments done at home and visiting museums; physics (oops, your subject Zandperl!) in the same ways plus more experimentation; and much much more.

Think about how you learned lots of things at university. You went to lectures possibly and got a brief idea of the general direction to go in. You then organised yourself and went to the library (because you wanted to) and did your research, read and discovered and thought about and digested and reconsidered it. Home education is pretty much like that approach but obviously at levels appropriate to each child.

Anything we don't know we know how to find it out. Neither Mr Doris nor I were homeschooled. Mr Doris is a character in himself with amazing openness of thought. Whilst I am very questioning. I used to be an A grade student as a younger kid and then flunked everything when it came to exams at 15 and 16. Nothing about my life has been regular and I know that there is more than one way to skin a rabbit.

Nothing is set in stone and so if a child develops a passion for a particular subject they can stay with it for the next few days if they chose to and not have to pack up after an hour or so and go to their next lesson.

As a little kid growing up, my son never did much artwork which disappointed me. None of those big splashes of kiddy colour. Nothing. He was busy and happily doing other things and then school came along and there is little opportunity for art.

Since being home-ed he has whipped up a few pencil drawings with very fine draughtsman details. I didn't have to sit down and show him how to hold the pencil or how to "see". He just did because his interest was there and he had the opportunity.

It is not easy to home-ed, I grant you! Such a responsibility.

I know other home-edding parents whose writing and spelling etc may not be so great. Strangely enough, this does not mean that their children suffer. And the kids still have all these unquantifiable skills of knowing how to learn and wanting to learn.

Hmm. This response is rather long and I reckon I should be making a post out of it!

Cheryl Your thoughts are just too impressive! I never thought all those things.... but am glad to say that he was just being his cheeky self with no further deep meanings. It was a natural follow-on to something he did the other day. He did a cracking re-write of the Red Riding Hood story. A whole three pages of handwriting, which for him, is the best so far! Never mind it was a rip-off of an existing story, nor that it was pretty bloody and foul, but as I said, it was exciting to read!
Saturday, October 15, 2005 11:29:00 AM