Friday, June 30, 2006
I KNEW I really liked him because of what he wrote on his blog, but there are many others who I read and who I know I really like. There was just something different about the way he made me feel. I remember when the bombs went off on July 7th last year instantly being afraid for him. I had a vague idea that he worked in the Kings Cross area, but although I have many friends in London he was the first person who came into my head, and at that point I had never met him. I would also fret a bit if he didn't blog for a while. I would wonder if I dared to e-mail him and ask him if he was OK, but I didn't as he would turn up again before I had plucked up the courage with some comment about having been too idle to blog.
Anyway, last December I wrote about having had two trips down to London and he made a comment to say he wasn't speaking to me anymore because I had been to London twice but hadn't been to see him. So I was very brave and e-mailed him to say 'Next time'. And that was how I came to sustain the worst hangover of my entire life. But he was well worth it.
But to get to the point of all this reflection. I never used to feel lonely before I met him. Now I won't be with him again until Tuesday I feel really quite horribly alone.
It is very difficult to pick out which is the most bizarre aspect of the following news story...what do you think?
Outcry that 1,000 rats were euthanized
Man had hoarded squealing rodents inside dingy home
Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, June 29, 2006
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Rat lovers were furious Wednesday that a Petaluma animal shelter had euthanized about 1,000 of the rodents taken last week from a man who had been hoarding the creatures inside his home.
Roger Dier, 67, was cited for misdemeanor animal cruelty last week after animal control officers found hordes of squealing rats inside his dingy one-bedroom house in Petaluma. Nancee Tavares, the city's animal services manager, had promised to find homes for as many rats as possible but admitted Wednesday that some 1,020 of them had to be put down.
"We euthanized all of the adults except the ones we have to keep on quarantine because they bit staff," she said. "They weren't social. I would call them feral. We found many with eyeballs missing, teeth growing into the opposite jaw, huge abscesses with open wounds. Some were starving."
Rat fanciers, who had formed an e-mail chain called "petalumarats" in an attempt to find homes for the rodents, were horrified. The shelter was bombarded Wednesday with angry phone calls and e-mails. Most members of the rat lobby felt they had been misled.
"This is an unspeakable injustice to those rats who deserved better," Phyllis Mason, a self-described rat lover, wrote in an e-mail. "Why didn't the Petaluma Animal Shelter give us a chance to help? I cannot imagine that all of those rats were ill. It seems to me that they felt overwhelmed and just didn't want to bother with them."
Tina Bird of Campbell said rat fanciers were in the process of mobilizing when the rodents were killed.
"Maybe they would have been better advised to leave the animals in their horrible conditions until we, the rat community, had a few days to get moving," she wrote in an e-mail. "Be sure that animal lovers across the United States will be scrutinizing Petaluma's actions and culpability for this slaughter."
Nine of the remaining rats have been adopted, four are available at the Rohnert Park animal shelter, and 30 more are being taken to Los Angeles to be put up for adoption by the Rat and Mouse Club of America, Tavares said.
She said another 20 are being neutered, and all the females are being held for 21 days so veterinarians can determine whether they are pregnant. In all, about 150 rats are either available or will be available for adoption. Rats are also commonly available in pet stores around the Bay Area.
Tavares said potential adoptees who come to the shelter must be carefully screened. She said a woman who adopted rabbits from the shelter a year ago turned out to be a pet hoarder.
"We're not going to give them to another home that is just as bad," she said. "Our philosophy is not that any life is preferable to death. Quality of life counts."
The rat fanciers, she said, are not being rational.
"Everybody's saying you can't euthanize them and they all say they want to help, but very few can take any," she said. "We're not enjoying this, but frankly there aren't enough homes."
Meanwhile, Tavares said, animal control officers went back to Dier's home Wednesday to capture about two dozen more rats that were reportedly still scampering around his house.
She said Dier, a convicted armed robber who first gained notoriety when his home in Southern California was used as a hideout for two men later convicted in the 1963 plot to kidnap the son and namesake of Rat Pack leader Frank Sinatra, didn't seem like a bad guy, just a bit troubled.
"He's an intelligent man to talk to, but he smells like rat urine," Tavares said. "He told me that when he had only 100 of them, he'd let them sleep with him in his bed. They'd get all in his shorts and stuff. And you can't potty train them, so you know they were urinating and defecating in there."
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Do you all share a great love of football? No you do not.
Do you all share the same taste in music? No you do not.
Do you all fancy David Tennant? No you do not, though the vast majority clearly do.
The answer is........drum role.......
You were all banned from Virgin Gym's internet today.
I was early for my gym class today so had two options. 1) Go and do some weights whilst waiting (weights whilst waiting!! How do I keep up this standard of writing??? Sorry!) or 2) Get on the internet and see what my lovely links are saying today. No contest. The links had it. BUT, I was reckoning without the censor who without fail blocked everyone I tried along with a message about swear words or 'inappropriate content'. This seemed somewhat unfair as I myself had slipped the 'F' word into a previous post but had clearly got away with it. However, when I tried to look at my comments they were blocked too. Having read them now at home I know who to blame for that!
I couldn't understand why Greavsie was unobtainable...apart from the obvious answer that he is an Adonis amongst men... as he never swears, but as I have just seen his opening line here it all becomes somewhat clearer. :-)
You naughty naughty people you.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I have had a great day with Reidski. I probably had a better day than he did if his expression when Beckham scored today is anything to go by. We decided for the sake of our relationship it was probably a good idea to watch the match today down the pub as we were less likely to kill each other in public. They are a tolerant lot in South London and no one seemed to object to him yelling 'Come on Equador'. I think they are used to him down the Marquis of Granby.
When I watch England with him we win. He is so pleased that he is bringing me luck.
We pay our water by direct debit and we have a water meter which I knew had been read the previous week. We were already paying £57 a month which seemed a fuck of a lot of money for a three bedroomed house...and yes, we are careful, turning off the tap whilst teeth cleaning is second nature for us and bath water gets shared. So I was not happy when I read they wanted to increase our bills to £70 a month. For a few days I did nothing as it seemed like it would be a waste of a phone call but something did make me ring with a view to asking them not to increase it quite so much. Anyway, the man I spoke to asked if I was the only occupant of the house and when I said not he said I was on some special rate for single people. By recalculating the bill he had in front of him for the past six months I was in credit, and he said he would cut the payments to £47 a month. I was happy and put the phone down. I reflected on the conversation. I rang back. It had occured to me we had probably always been on the single occupancy rate.
To cut a long story short the second man I spoke to could only see the bills for the past three years but on that basis alone they owe us over £400. We have lived here for six years. With a holiday approaching the timing of this discovery is simply fantastic.
School fete yesterday...my first as chair of governors. I had visions of me dressed in twinset and pearls snipping a ribbon and graciously declaring 'This school fete open'. How times have changed. In fact I found myself stuck in a set of stocks and having wet sponges chucked at me. Very bloody hilarious. So much for dignity and decorum. But hey, it is for 'charadee'....three throws for a pound and it felt as though I was single handedly raising enough to pay for the building of a new classroom.
I came home to cook a roast dinner. Now I pride myself on my yorkshire puddings as Mr Yorkshire Pudding will be pleased to hear. I use half a strong bread flour, half plain and very fresh farm eggs....fabby but yesterday nothing at all was happening to the pudding I could see through the oven window. This was a mystery. I looked. I looked again. I looked again for luck. Nothing but mixture in a tin just lying there flat. I eventually noticed that the potatoes which I had been 'par-boiling' and had thought I had turned off, had cooked down to mush soft enough for baby food. I had thought I had turned them off ages ago. Ah. Note to self. Yorkshire pudding will not cook, no matter how fine the mixture, if the oven is turned off.
Today I again place my lovelife in jeopardy by watching England play with Reidski. Blood may be spilt before the day is out. It would be quite nice if England started playing good fotball today. Some of us at least live in hope....
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Owen's ruptured cruciate ligament has left England with Wayne Rooney, who broke his foot on April 29, Peter Crouch and teenage novice Theo Walcott for Sunday's second round game with Ecuador.
Well I bloody well regret the fact that we now have a strike force comprising an unfit Rooney, a totally unknown 17 year old Walcott, Crouch who seems destined to float around aimlessly in front of a five man mid-field with no partner to knock the ball on to, and erhh, there is no other 'And'.
I'd like to say that apart from that the England 2006 campaign is going well.
I'd really like to be able to say that.
In other sporting news the highlight of our (meaning the Cobblers) next season was always going to be playing Nottingham Forest. The stakes for those two matches was then massively increased when our former manager whose name totally escapes me deserted us in favour of said Forest. 'Oh' I think to myself, 'I do hope we do not get Nottingham Forest whilst I am on holiday.'The fixtures came out today, and naturally on the 36 Saturdays when we are not playing Nottingham Forest at home I am not on holiday. On the one Saturday when we ARE playing Nottingham Forest at home I am of course on holiday. Now why couldn't the fixtures have got me out of seeing us play Millwall in the Millwall end? It was bad enough when I saw Millwall play Luton...I still wake up in a cold sweat remembering that unfortunate incident back in March.
Meanwhile a flock of sheep have recorded a record in support of Our Boys, and we learn that the Equador manager motivates his side by telling them it is time to go out and kill their cow. And also they have used a witch doctor to put a spell on England. Normally I would dismiss that as superstitious rubbish...but in view of recent events I am seriously beginning to wonder..........
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Available for visiting the sick, looking after half the kids in the village simultaneously, DIY, cooking truly great meals every time, and a bloody good laugh at all times.
I'm really proud of my mum.
I just took this picture.
God, I hope I look this good when I am 71.
I should add that I would be happy to look that good now.
Two English football fans in Cologne lost their car after mistakenly
thinking they had parked it on a road called 'One Way Street'.
The pair wrote down 'Einbahn Strasse' - which means one-way street in
German - so they didn't forget where they'd left the hire car.
But when they came to find it again they found that every second street
in the inner city was called 'Einbahn Strasse'.
It was only when they found a policeman that they were told the sign
was to inform drivers that they were on a one-way street.
They finally managed to find their vehicle hours later with the help of
the German police.
Monday, June 19, 2006
We had seen him a week or two before he was taken ill. My mum went to the hospital ward to see him. She asked a nurse where she could find baby Matthew and was given directions.
When I got back from work that day mum was at my house and looked shell shocked. She told me about going to see Matthew. She said the poor child looked really poorly. She said he had lost loads of weight. She said he was lifeless. She also felt she couldn't leave him as there was no sign of my cousin or her sister (my aunt and Matt's grandma) and ended up spending all afternoon there but eventually had to come away as my dad needed the car. She declared that you 'Would never know it was the same child.'
Mum said to me she felt she would have to go back and see 'The poor little mite' again and so the next afternoon she was once again in the hospital headed for baby Matthew's room. As she trotted down the corridor she heard my aunt call her name and turned to see my aunt and cousin in another room. 'Oh' says mum, 'You've moved then?' 'What do you mean?' they asked. 'Moved you into a different room' says mum. 'No' they say, 'We've been here all the time.' So in fact, not only would you not know it was the same child but it was NOT the same child. Yes, my mum had spent all afternoon with a baby she had never seen before in her life.
We never did find out who the other baby Matthew was.
So much for hospital security.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
He then happened to notice a recipe on the back on the packet for a puy lentil salad no less and decided he was going to make that for today. The only problem with that was that the recipe called for some sun blushed tomatoes. Now I have to admit that sun blushed tomatoes do sound a rather effeminate food item, and I am a girlie girl. Reidski felt bad enough at the thought of sneaking some sun blushed tomatoes into his shopping basket alongside his beer supply for the week, but to make matters worse, they could only be found behind the deli counter in Sainsburys and that meant he had to ask for some sun blushed tomatoes...out loud. He was relieved however that the big tough looking bloke in front of him in the queue also asked for some sun blushed tomatoes...but sorry that the woman serving was hard of hearing so the men had to shout 'SOME SUN BLUSHED TOMATOES PLEASE'. Actually, I don't really know if she was hard of hearing...but if I were her I might pretend to be if men were asking for sun blushed tomatoes.
Anyway, it was very delicious indeed..it also included feta cheese and yellow peppers..yum, but I am afriad he will refuse to make it again if it means a return to the deli counter, so we urgently need a macho alternative name for sun blushed tomatoes. Any suggestions?
Friday, June 16, 2006
I wanted to link straight to where I saw this but couldn't. Anyway, it can be found at solidgone blog who I have only just come across...highly recommended. What a great picture!
For the benefit of viewers with eyesight as sharp as mine..it's a grizzly bear inthe tree and a tabby cat on the ground.
Just before a major tournament an injury is sustained by a competitor universally declared as vital to the team effort.
I am of course refering to the Inter Schools Rythmic Gymnastics Competition to be held on Saturday. My daughter, a hot tip for what ever they call the prancing around artistically with a ball event, stubbed her little toe yesterday. It is now black with bruising, has swollen to twice its usual size, and she can't walk on it. I assume she will be spending today in an oxygen tent to aid speedy recovery.
A nation holds its breath and a mother crosses her fingers.
No, I mean watching England play in the company of a passionate Scotsman and managing not to kill him (which took a bit of doing seeing as I have been outed as a transexual killer)
Actually, he was very passionate indeed. I think he was trying to distract me from the football. Umm, to a certain extent he succeeded.
What was the score anyway?
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
The fact that this is the first major tournament for years that Reidski has not put any money on Spain probably goes a long way towards explaining their storming performance today too.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I was in the check out at the supermarket reading the headlines on the various magazines being offered for sale.
'R'magazine offered 'My Hubby Fell for Transexual Killer' which one might think was unfortunate enough, but 'Full House' magazine clearly thought we will raise you your transexual killer with the heading 'My Paedophile Hubby Dumped Me for Granny'.
'Hubby'????? Does anyone use that word apart from the headline writers of womens magazines?
You can get £500 for a story along the lines of the ones offered above but my imagination is struggling to come up with anything to compete with the Wifeys featured in these publications. However, if Reidski does at any point fall for a transexual killer I promise you will read all about it here first.
If I thought for one minute he was as knowledgeable about the Periodic Table as he is about the Ukrainian National Squad (Just a random example...he is equally as good on any of the other 31 sides currently competing in Germany) I would be far more relaxed about his GSCE's than the fraught 'He is not doing enough revision' mother I actually am.
Monday, June 12, 2006
We didn't catch all of the first match (Holland v Serbia/Montenegro) for one reason or another but the Mexico v Iran match was fun. Not everyone will have heard of Keith Flett but he writes lots of letters to newspapers and recently wrote an article in the Morning Star entitled 'Anyone but England' and says that as an anti-imperialist* he will be supporting Iran. Aye, the same radical country that wouldn't let women watch football. So extra great to see Iran stuffed.
Later we went to see Camera Obscura who were very wonderful and were supported by a very young French man called Francois with a band who looked like the kids you went to school with who did Physics A level. One wore a tee shirt which said 'I really really like rock music. Me too lad! They shouted 'Woo!' a lot and were great fun.
Reidski and I have always to date had great times when we are together but for those of you sick to the back teeth of soppy posts about our relationship relax. Our first fall out is scheduled for Thursday night when I will be watching England play Trinidad and Tobago with him. Thanks to all who voted me in to that position...you bastards!!!!
* I hadn't realised he was an anti-imperialist - I just thought he was a wanker.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
A great start to the World Cup month.
It took an own goal to beat a side who looked frankly useless in the first half,and in the second half we made them resemble world champions (which technically they could be by July 9th)
And what was the 'technical' substitution which left Crouch up front on his own with no one to knock the ball on to?
We haven't got a prayer.
Friday, June 09, 2006
And it starts again today.
I can remember every World Cup from 1970. I wish I could remember 1966 but I can't say I do. I know my dad was playing cricket the day of the Final and they stopped the game and all came round to our house to watch it but maybe I just made myself scarce when the house was invaded by 11 loud grown up men.
1970 - collecting ESSO coins and being at an advantage because at the time my dad was a sales rep and did loads of driving. I had forgotten all about Ian Storey-Moore until I started thinking about those precious coins. And then in Mexico there was the horror of the Bobby Moore set up and Gordan Banks extraordinary save from Pele.
1974 was when I learnt to love watching sides other than England but I can't recall why that would have been.....
1978 I wanted Scotland to win but they didn't.
1982 The stunning Paulo Rossi, Northern Ireland beating Spain and the worst tackle EVER when Harald Schumacher took out Patrick Battiston with a horrendous challenge in a match we all wanted France to win, and he never even got booked.
1986 and there is one overwhelming memory concerning one man and one hand as I have blocked the second goal scored by the Foot of God from my memory for ever. I wasn't even bothered when the first 'goal' went in as I knew it would be disallowed. Yeah right.
1990, Gazza in tears along with the rest of the England after the semi-final. I have since learnt that a certain acquaintance of mine went screaming up and down a corridor shouting 'Yes, Yes, Yes' when we lost that penalty shoot out. Nessun Dorma. Cameroon. And a crap final.
1994 and another tournament where I didn't have to worry about England so supported Ireland instead which was fun.Maradonna got banned mid tournament for drug taking...that was fun too.
1998 and bloody misery by penalty shoot out again, but France were wonderful, and whatever went on with Ronaldo? Also, a personal memory of being stuck in a school governor's annual general meeting whilst we were playing Argentina and some idiot who didn't like football asking question after question and causing me to miss our two goals.
2002 and terrible kick off times combined with a boss who didn't like football made for a stressful few weeks until we exit to the eventual winners,and beating Aregntina. Oh yes, and Roy Keane came home.
I just can't wait for what the next month will bring. And please let me and Reidski still be speaking by the end of it all. As someone he works with said to him, the only way he can lose is if England win, because otherwise, the further we get, the worse it will be when we get knocked out.
BRING IT ON!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
I suppose he and his advisors are putting the final touches to his speech now. How will it go I wonder?
'The Prince of Hearts'? Maybe not.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends'? Don't think so.
'YEEEESSSS!!!!' Not very statesmanlike, but I bet it was his first reaction.
Now it has to be admitted that our village quiz is a subject of very little interest to anyone but the participants. We have 15 teams of 4 and we play from November to March in a little league. Why then is it considered necessary to have a meeting about it on the 7th of flaming June? Well, OK, they need to sort out who will ocmpose what questions, but really that should not take too long. HA BLOODY HA!
The first bone of contention was the way the seats and tables had been put out for the Grand Final which is played by the top 5 teams. Amazingly,what with me being so brainy and everything, this particular final had not concerned me last season...I was at the football that night seeing us lose 3-0 to Carlisle...so I had no idea what they were arguing about and rather less to contribute to the heated discussion. So that row went on about half an hour but was as nothing to the reaction to the revelation about the buzzer system.
Yes, we have buzzers. When a team gets a question wrong it is 'On the buzzer'and we never seem to press the buzzer fast enough. But the question master let slip last night that when there is more than one side pressing the buzzer the system will automatically show that table 1 was first, or if they don't press table 2 etc. THAT MEANS THAT IF YOU ARE AT TABLE 4 OR 5 YOU ARE AT A DISADVANTAGE!!!!!!! Now I know that in the grand scheme of things this isn't vitally important, but I, along with everyone else there last night suddenly realised that we had in the past very probably Been Robbed!!!!!! Bloody hell...that explains why I have never won! I was on the verge of demanding a rerun of the past 12 quiz seasons. Suffice to say our meeting that should have taken half an hour went on for more than three and they were still rowing about it when I left the pub.
I'm doing questions on TV and Film and also on War and Peace so don't let me forget. I could base the war questions around the Great Row at the 2006 Village Quiz Meeting.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Cliff was talking about simple pleasures and I thought about those last night when I was with Reidski* so here are some more simple pleasures.
A warm and sunny evening in June when it is still light at 10.00.
A walk in beautiful Northamptonshire countryside.
Wild flowers growing in profusion.
Seeing no one else all evening except the person you are walking with.
That other person being really special...and kind enough to laugh at your jokes.
A picnic and bottle of chilled white wine by a pond watching the sunset.
Being kissed underneath a huge yew tree.
Finishing the evening in a welcoming and traditional village pub.
Apologies if the above is all a bit wet but last night was rather perfect even if I did take us the wrong way on the walk, and made him miss the train he had meant to catch.
* and please note I am not infering Reidski is simple!
Monday, June 05, 2006
And it is the person I would have chosen had I been consulted which I am sure I would have been if my mobile phone signal wasn't so rubbish. I expect they wasted hours trying to get hold of me and then got worried if they left it any longer he might get poached by some other team. I know they value my contribution greatly because the chairman always says so in his letter asking me to stump up for yet another season ticket.
What was I on about? Oh yes, I was on about our New Man At The Top. He is John Gorman,in April this year manager of Wycombe but that was then and this is now.
Not as easy on the eye as his predecessor whose name totally escapes me, but Wycombe under his management used to scare the hell out of me, and played attractive attacking football so all I can say is Look Out Nottingham Forest!
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Reidski bought me an England mug 'Pride, Passion, Belief' it says. I was very touched and I have made him swear he won't smash it when we win the World Cup Final on July 9th. ( I have Pride, Passion and Belief you see.)
anyway, this made me realise how remiss I had been in not buying some World Cup merchandise for my blogging mates so I have done a little internet shopping.
For Jim I thought maybe
Kev might appreciate this tasteful hat, although I notice he has buggered off to a forest in France for some strange reason (He might miss England's moment of glory... what a personal tragedy that would be for him.)
And what special something for the man in my life? Well, I thought this might be nice, and would also have a practical use. It could save his life when I hit him over the head for laughing if we get beaten by Trinidad and Tobago. (yes, I'm afraid it does actually claim to be a German war helmet...oh dear.)
Back in January I read this - http://thebigblowdown.blogspot.com/2006/01/fantastic-day.html (try as I might I can not get the link to work...I thought I had finally got linking sussed but obviously not) -about a walk a man from South London had made, which for very personal reasons made me incredibly happy.
Today, a beautiful sunny morning in London, I made that same walk in reverse with the man who wrote that piece the day after we had met each other for only the second time.
The views along the Thames are incredible. Where we walked, not five years ago was one derelict warehouse after another, but is now full of wonderful modern buildings like this one (The London City Hall) and VERY expensive looking apartments ( I want one!!!!). I saw some of my very favourite places in the city like the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the sensational Gherkin. And all of it was great enough to make you feel really good and proud of London. However, like he said in January, it wasn't the views that put a spring in my step but it was the person I was with who I love very very much, and who I only met because of blogging.