Saturday, 31 March 2007

Saga sellout

For a few years now I have listened to Saga radio in the "great East Midlands". Saga is the UK organisation for the over 50s and that was supposedly its market but what they did a good job of was playing a whole range of music from the 1930s to the current day. I didn't have to be over 50 to appreciate music not of my era and it made for a really enjoyable and quirky radio station.

Saga was bought out a while ago and for the last month have been announcing their new name of "Smooth" radio as if that was the only thing changing. The change has now happened. It is no longer the Saga radio I have known and loved. They play very few of the older tracks and seem to favour mainly 80s and 90s tracks. Does that sound familiar? The drivel of regular pop stations? I don't mind the occasional 80s or 90s track of my younger days which is what Saga did a good job of presenting. But to take a time leap and walk back into the 90s is not what I want on my radio station.

It is such a shame and has left my radio waves bereft.

Original Comments:

Steg said...

"Smooth" radio, eh? With a name like that I could have predicted disappointment.

Saturday, March 31, 2007 10:47:00 PM

Britmum said...

I hate it when they have to change a good thing. I really miss listening to the local radio station in England. I hate listening to these over zealous Americans lol.

Take care xx

Sunday, April 01, 2007 6:29:00 AM

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

This is the week that was

Throughout my years I have known people who have complained about the tedium of life. Of days, weeks and months stretched out before them with the same-old same-old. I suppose I wouldn't have my life any different to the way it is, but sometimes I do wish that things would be calm and stable and even allow a hint of repetition to creep in. I'm sure I could cope with it. Perhaps then some of my projects could flourish. Perhaps I'd also sign up to a piano tutor and also a singing teacher. I'd join a drama group. There are so many things I would do if only all these other things didn't keep happening.


PS. As a result of writing this I have navel contemplated a tad more and realise this is just me taking procrastination to a higher art form. There is some truth in that, but really, I wanted to write something without saying actually what is going on. All part of me trying to be a little more discreet and not spilling my guts but not doing a good job of it. Oh well, on with the week that isn't over.

Original Comments:

Steg said...

Procrastination as Performance Art. Interesting. You should apply for a Lottery Grant.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 9:05:00 AM

Jo said...

Well I hope whatever it is that's 'going on' is going OK darling ;-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 9:52:00 AM

Pookie65 said...

There is a comfort to be found in routine.

Sending you my wishes for peace & joy.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007 1:12:00 PM

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Penultimate sorry to keep you waiting

Penultimate is one of those curious words. A long word that to my mind doesn't give any clues as to what it means: "next to last". That for the last ten or twenty years whenever I have heard penultimate being used it was usually hand in hand with a sentence or two that also explained what it meant. Which rather defies the whole point of having a word that substitutes for a phrase even if that word has exactly the same number of letters as the phrase has and yet the phrase says what it means!

Anyway, my online bank has a new login procedure which I needed to jump through yesterday before hitting the shops with my plastic. Once I'd completed the setup I logged out just to log back in and test it. Bold as brass it asked me for my third, fifth and penultimate characters of my password. No kidding. Penultimate.

How do the young, those who have never heard it, and those for whom English is not a second language cope? I don't like the idea of dumbing down the language but to use such an inaccessible word is not good.

Sorry to keep you waiting
Marks and Spencer food hall is a rare treat for me. Something to do with those divine red and black gums at the tills may have something to do with it along with the overall high prices. This week I was in there twice. The first time at the checkout I only stood in line maybe a minute but I thought it rather sweet of the checkout person to apologise to me saying "I am sorry to keep you waiting". Perhaps she had said it to the person in front but I was too busy tussling with a bag of red and black gums and my will power.

Yesterday, I was in another M&S foodhall. After an even shorter wait I was greeted with the same phrase "I am sorry to keep you waiting". So unnecessary. So superficial. I expect to have to wait in line for a short period. I don't expect to be served immediately I walk up to the tills. So to apologise for keeping me waiting sticks out like a sore thumb. Those people at the checkouts are obviously trained to say it, and probably have to say it, so I don't blame them.

Years ago I did my young person's stint at McDonalds in London. Just at the time they brought in staff having to say "Have a nice day". I hated it. I argued with the managers as I reckoned there are times when I would say it and mean it and other times when a nice smile (and I can smile!) with a "thank you" would do. Passing the grade and getting the gold star for the service area required a "Have a nice day" said to every customer. I managed to fudge it and to pass and continued to do what I thought was appropriate. (I wouldn't make a good military person as I'd want to do things my way!)

At least in the US South West, when I have heard "Have a nice day" said, it is said with all sincerity and is charming. Nowhere else that I have been does this work. Especially not here in the UK. It is just not our way.

So I think it foolish that M&S have rammed a forced saying down the throats of their staff. It is one way to guarantee when it is genuinely said that it will mean sod all.

Original Comments:

Steg said...

I have a problem with M&S. Specifically the fact that the security guards in the local store make no attempt to hide the fact that they consider me a shoplifting risk. I find it immensely rude that they'll follow me around the store quite openly and stand and watch me through the checkout and out of the store.
Needless to say, I don't go in there much.

Saturday, March 24, 2007 9:08:00 AM

Britmum said...

I don't agree that they say it in all sincerety here. I think that they just say it out of habit. Some do say with meaning but in general it is something they just say. Like when you walk into a shop they say Hello. That used to really intimidate me. I don't know why but it made me feel uncomfortable. Now I just say hello back with a smile I might add. lol

Plus the manners in America are absolutely appaling and its hard teaching the boys when none of their friends mind their P and Q's.

Anyway bloody brilliant post Doris.

Take care xx

Saturday, March 24, 2007 4:20:00 PM

Cheryl said...

doh, where's your rss feed gone?

I dont have any trouble with M&S. It would be a day trip to get to one so I havent been there for years.

I loathe the American 'meet n greet' style of small shops where you cant get in the door without being leered at by a shop assistant who, with her false, fixed grin, looks like she is just waiting for you to get both feet in so she can lock the door behind you....

Saturday, March 24, 2007 10:23:00 PM

Chandira said...

LOL.. Oh, you'd love the US. They pounce on you in every shop you go in, and ask if they can help you. I hate it. I still do. I feel like they think I might shoplift or something.
But you know what's worse is now when I go back to England I think how rude the shop assistants are to ignore me when I need help, I guess you can't win. There's got to be a balance somwhere, about 500 miles above the Atlantic. :-)
And yes, I want to ask the US assistants if they really do give a flying f*** how my day is, or if they are really zombies. ;-)

Saturday, March 24, 2007 10:30:00 PM

Jo said...

It's a difficult one isn't it, because for every bright and customer orientated employee (I'm thinking a lithe and gorgeous young Doris serving me my Chicken Mcnuggets and large fries with a lovely smile!) there are going to be five others who grunt at you and wish they were somewhere else. So wooden as it often seems in some shops, boy does it show up if you go somewhere where they don't train their people to say/do particular things. I've had this over the weekend when I needed to buy some photographic equipment and the shop I was in was run by lobotimised 16 year olds.

I love M&S by the way (but that's cos I love Per Una and they don't bat an eyelid when I want to try stuff on! Then, as I'm there as Jo, why should they I guess?)

Sunday, March 25, 2007 6:41:00 PM

Doris said...

Steg Gosh Steg ..... that sounds awful.

Britmum Manners everywhere are deteriorating!

Cheryl "doh, where's your rss feed gone?" I'm in stealth mode LOL! I switched it off last year and don't desire to switch it on. If anyone sees my post they see it but I don't care to have it fed through the lines to anyone. Not that I can see who is visiting anyway as I also pulled the stat counter too! Maybe I am still a tad bizarre ;-)

Chandira Awww, I have come across some charming and seemingly genuine US shop assistants. But I am being generous as there are more rude or couldn't care less ones. I don't like this whole TV intro stuff either where each say "how are you" - who cares? Who can wait for an answer except for "fine". Grrr.

Jo The amount of free food I got through in my days at McDs - this was when they didn't limit the amount - ensured that I was neither lithe nor gorgeous. I think I'm like a good wine improving with age ;-)

Monday, March 26, 2007 9:22:00 AM

Badaunt said...

I don't know if you'd enjoy Japan very much. Every store you walk into you get greeted by YELLS of welcome. Well, unless it's a high class department store, in which case you are greeted by a politer version.

When I first came here I happened to go into a restaurant where they were doing a staff training exercise in yelling. When I walked in the entire staff (about 6 or 8 of them) were standing in line and they all shouted a welcome in unison at me. I almost ran straight back out. It was terrifying.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 3:57:00 PM

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Baileys in a martini glass

Funny ole day, some days are like that. How it begins is one thing, meanders around and then moves towards the unexpected by the end. Nothing drastic (for me), nothing bad, just not run of the mill.

The clock has just ticked by 3pm and the day is not even over and more could happen but I've dug out one of my martini glasses. One of those 1950s glasses with a coloured stem and triangular shaped bowl. A couple of chunky ice cubes topped with Baileys. The bottle has to be kept nearby and it remains for me to slouch over to the chaise and recline with my syrup of the Gods.

Oh what a hard life one leads! :-)

Original Comments:

Steg said...

The unexpected is not necessarily a bad thing. I assume you're not going to let on whether today has turned unexpectedly good or unexpectedly other than good.

Enjoy the Baileys, though, but I can't approve of the ice - when it begins to melt it dilutes the "syrup of the Gods".

Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:18:00 PM

Doris said...

LOL Steg!

As they say, it ain't over till it's over! And this day has continued on its merry way. There is nothing to let on because it is about others but the cherry on the cake is that just a couple of hours ago I find I am now organising a big birthday party for my father on Saturday afternoon and not only conjuring up a suitable spread but also the guests and train tickets and and and...

And I made sushi this afternoon, took photos and started writing a blog post about it but that is now way out the window.

This day still isn't over because I need to start planning the catering and maybe even start making the decorations... 36 hours to go and counting.

That Baileys is but a sweet and distant memory now!

Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:50:00 PM

Jo said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it Doris. You earned it...;-)

Friday, March 23, 2007 12:26:00 AM

Britmum said...

You go girlfriend and I am sure the birthday bash will be amazing.

Take care xx

Friday, March 23, 2007 3:53:00 AM

Monday, 19 March 2007

Ladies who lunch

It seems I can now call myself one of the ladies who lunch. Well sort of. That's if you can count our second lunch date today with another pencilled in for a month's time. And you know what? It is a ball.

This is all new to me. It has always felt like it was the domain of other women. Those women who were immaculately manicured from head to toe. Top notch cosmetics in their make-up bags and rectangles of plastic with plenty of credit. Scary women who somehow managed to simultaneously seem rather superficial but clever enough to snag themselves a wealthy husband.

Yet here we are, the three of us. Me and my two new friends recently acquired during a one day training event in which we shared something special. Often on these days one meets and connects with new people and we share our numbers and say we must keep in touch but despite the best of will just don't. This has turned out to be different so far. Rather good and special.

The one day event was a colour analysis day which had been gifted to me by a very good friend. How was she to know that not only has the day turned my world around giving me the confidence to feel like I am no longer a chrysalis but am actually the butterfly; it has also given me the gift of new friends. The other two taking part were already friends and it turns out we three shared some aspects of our childhoods in that we moved around on account of a parent in the forces. I suppose it is a bit like a secret handshake - we just know we have a connection and therefore we are.

And here we are after our colour analysis. Meeting up to reinforce each other and to share our experiences. We dress up and preen. We share vital info about make-up or colours and in amongst the Rimmels is the Clinique and Dior. It is a wonderful supportive relationship between us, not competitive. I have the oldest children and theirs are a similar age and on the heels of mine... we talk about issues... laughing about how to explain a blow job to a child who has asked... I introduce them both to the pleasures of a mooncup.... and after we have eaten our ciabattas (with knife and fork!) we reapply our lipsticks, bold as brass, in public.

Just in case I forget myself and think I am some vacuous woman who lunches, I should remind myself that this morning I did a lot of work before I went out. Quite technical it was. Overdue I admit but at least I went out with a clear conscience knowing I had done well.

So now I'm insufferable! Mr Doris is wonderful at putting up with me - he now calls me his "technicolor wife" - but the kids are finding it hard dealing with their new mum. That is quite another story and I am too happy to go there.

Original Comments:

Britmum said...

Wow Doris so excited to see that you are back to blogging. I did see you at Jo's and I am so happy.

I really liked this post and I am glad for you.

Take care xx

Monday, March 19, 2007 10:25:00 PM

Chandira said...

:-) Yes 'doing lunch' is fun. I have a few ladies I lunch with, but sadly I have to go back to work afterwards. Maybe one day I'll be able to permanently 'lunch'.. lol
Wouldn't that be nice? Hopefully it'll coincide with chocolate flavour broccoli, so my waist won't increase too badly. ;-)

Monday, March 19, 2007 11:59:00 PM

Steg said...

Yay for technicolour Doris!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:32:00 AM

Badaunt said...

You're BACK! Yay!

I'm going to be a Lady Who Lunches tomorrow AND the next day, with different friends - and in different cities, come to think of it. (Living between Osaka and Kobe makes me feel quite the jet-setter, er... train-setter?) I hadn't thought of myself as a Lady Who Lunches before. But when classes start again I'll be back to being a Working Woman.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:58:00 AM

Badaunt said...

You have no RSS feed? I can't find it, and Bloglines can't, either.

(Feedburner can help.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:02:00 AM

Doris said...

Britmum Thanks, but you know, I am going to take it more carefully and slowly this time. Which in the scheme of things is no big deal and is just a head thing!

Chandira Enjoy your lunches! Meanwhile, I'm sorry you have to go back to work afterwards... at least I get that part of the experience and end up swanning round the shops. LOL at chocolate flavoured broccoli but have to say that I love broccoli and I love chocolate and am happy to have them separate. As for those calories - what calories. Any calories in chocolate can be weighed up against the positive stuff in chocs ;-)

Steg :-)

Badaunt What exciting train journeys. I'd love to do the Japanese trains just for the act of traveling.... with those views of the mountains and I understand the trains are fast and efficient. As for the RSS feed I'm afraid that is part of my stealth mode and I've switched off everything! Sort of still hiding out! :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:51:00 AM

Badaunt said...

Does that mean you don't want to be blogrolled? I'll only add you to the list with your permission.

(And if I do add you, you'll get another two hits a year, probably. Brace yourself!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 3:10:00 PM

Chandira said...

Doris, I also think chocolate calories don't count if your friends eat some with you, for some reason. Or if it's a birthday, Christmas, Easter, or Sunday. ;-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:20:00 PM

Doris said...

Badaunt I am utterly honoured that you have looked out for me :-) Even if it is just the once this year!

Chandira Oh yes, absolutely! :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 8:39:00 PM

Pookie65 said...

Can I be a Lad who Lunches? There is a group of 12+ of us who go to dinner each Tuesday evening. It's nice being a part of "something".

Seeing as T and I are the youngest members of the group, which I affectionately refer to as the Old Gay Men's Dinner group, I remain faithful to my mantra: Keep your friends older and heavier and you'll always be the youngest and thinnest! They really are a wonderful group of guys and very positive role models. Some of these couples have been together over 30 years.

Enjoy your lunches, dear! You deserve it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007 11:44:00 AM

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Moving on....

I dunno, I re-start a blog knowing I'm gonna be manically busy and away for the next few days. I guess this is the new me taking things more paced. But this does seem to mean that....

I'm back!


Original Comments:

Curly K said...

Good, me too, it's hard to get the time and keep the momentum going when blogging - I've just returned after a six month break! But it is good to blog and I look forward to hearing all your updates Mrs!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 11:29:00 AM

Steg said...

*waves enthusiastically*

Hey babe, nice to see you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:48:00 PM

Pookie65 said...

YEAHHHHHH!!!!! Hugs, kisses, & backflips!

I was just checking "in case" you were back. I'm so happy to see you're still around. I'll add your link right up.

You were sorely missed!


Friday, March 16, 2007 11:36:00 PM

Doris said...

Awwww thanks Curly K, Steg and Pookie

I am working up towards starting to venture out again and look forward to catching up at your place some time :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007 7:36:00 PM

Astryngia said...

Yeehah! Now we're cookin'!!!

Monday, March 19, 2007 10:22:00 PM

Doris said...

Thanks Astryngia - maybe we can stir things up a bit? :-D

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:52:00 AM

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Note to self

  1. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  2. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  3. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  4. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  5. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  6. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  7. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  8. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  9. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

  10. Our lives may be made of rich tapestries but there is no need to show all my raw edges.

Original Comments:

Chandira said...

Hey!! Been missing your edges, raw or not..

Good to see a post from you. (My stats counter never lies.) :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:01:00 AM

Doris said...

Awwww :-D

But that visit must have been someone else has I haven't started to venture out yet. At some point I'm looking forward to catching up and haven't told anyone that I'm back yet. That's if you don't count the post I just made!

Hugs :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 9:16:00 AM

Pookie65 said...

It's so good to see you online again, Doris. When such a special, classy lady leavces the blog world it's felt.

I hope all is well and that 2007 is finding you surrounded with love & joy.

Friday, March 16, 2007 11:40:00 PM

Doris said...

You are such a sweetie Pookie! Everyone should have Pookie in their life :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:53:00 AM