Posted in Teddy Bears

Birthday Bertie

Another of my birthday bears… named him ‘Bertie Wooster’ (sister’s idea). He’s been sitting on my desktop for ages, waiting his chance!

Posted in Blogging

WordPress Ads

I saw the ads at the foot of my latest blog post while logged out. Nearly deleted my entire blog on the spot! So much for my ‘mellowing with age’.

Posted in Blogging, Technology and Software


The older I get, the mellower! It’s strange. Either that, or living with Mum is making me civilized again. There’s nothing like a little light banter every day to make you feel nothing’s that serious or annoying.

Well, I read some WordPress posts saying we should blog often, even if busy or tired, so I’m trying. I got busy doing five pictures at once (one for a small informal contest… nothing special or grand) and when I started posting them, it all turned into a bit of an anti-climax. I’m still working on Pictures 4 and 5, and have even added a Picture 6, but the pace has slackened noticeably.

Maybe it’s time to socialize a bit… all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

Mum caught me looking abstracted the other day. I explained I was thinking how naive I was as a 20 year-old. My friend Honey and I didn’t know that the slang word ‘barf’ wasn’t a cute word for ‘bath’! But another 20 year-old… a boy… knew perfectly well what it meant.

I was wondering how both Honey and I got to the age of 20 not knowing that, and she said little boys always collect rude words to impress each other!

Perhaps. But I’m glad it was not just me! Possibly Honey and I realized we had exactly the same depth of ignorance, and so we were in the same boat… hence our friendship, which still goes on, though on different sides of the Pond.

In those days we didn’t have the internet. I’ve learned a lot from it since I got online, and I can’t imagine doing without it. I probably wouldn’t even be using software like Bryce… might not have heard of it. Might not know as much as I do about Photoshop etc. Won’t have heard of certain bloggers, and be wondering how they’re doing…

Thinking how nice it will be to get some sleep, though… that’s something that comes with age. I remember telling my favourite primary teacher that I never wanted to go to bed, but in the morning I never wanted to get up, and it seemed rather odd. She said when I got older, I’d be very glad to get to my bed, though not wanting to get up in the mornings remains about the same. Some things we can always count on. 🙂

Posted in Photographs

Memory of a Garden

Well, I wimped out of blogging my letter to myself (it was a WordPress prompt… write a letter to yourself to be read in one year).

It wasn’t all that personal a letter so I don’t know why I wouldn’t post it… this British trait of fearing to seem ‘too earnest’?

Perhaps we think being too earnest tempts fate and earns ridicule. I would rather have written something very light, amusing, and happy-go-lucky! Anyway…

The following image was part of the letter… I found it that day and was surprised, as I didn’t remember doing any panoramic images. I remembered trying, and finding it was impossible to do a good one unless you have the right kind of tripod or lens (way too expensive for normal people). But it seems I did end up with pictures to make me think “oh yes, those surroundings are so familiar!”

This one is only half of the garden… it was a bright day, so I assume the other half was over-exposed.

Rough panoramic image of my garden.
Click image for slightly larger view.
Posted in Lost in Thought

Why Top Ten Lists are Lame

(Don’t blame me… it’s another WordPress prompt!)

1: Who reads other people’s lists?

2: My top ten lists change, often in the middle of writing them.

3: So many things are equally deserving… for instance, do I give xth place to Vincent (Don McLean), SOS (Abba), Sealand (OMD), White Flag (Dido), Soolaimon (Neil Diamond), Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)…?

4: They are often brief by nature… summaries instead of a full piece of writing.

5: Probably a Top Ten List would look better if it was set to music, surrounded by graphics, counting down dramatically to Number One… but in most cases it wouldn’t be worth the time and trouble (see 1 and 2).

6: The dullest Top Ten Lists (probably including this one) are identical to everyone else’s. In a list of favourite things, most of us love chocolate, coffee, reading in bed etc.

7: Top Ten lists take a lot of time to write… either you have to pick the best from a plethora of options, or search your mind because there are too few.

8: When reading other people’s top ten (especially Top Ten Tips), I always wonder which important items weren’t included. I don’t want just ten tips, in that case… I want all of them!

9: Top Tens which are a general choice (from a public vote) are often disappointing: items that deserve to be high on the list never are.

10: It’s especially unsettling when you view a publicly voted Top Ten that is nothing remotely like your own (e.g. the funniest comedies)… you start to wonder if your own sense of humour or taste is so different from everyone else’s — are you so behind the times, and what it is that you are missing?

If I feel the urge to write Top Ten lists, however, I will write them. 😛

Posted in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Notepad Conversations, Technology and Software

Would I Ever Throw Food at Anyone?

I doubt it very much. 🙂 Seems like a waste of food. I suppose it’s always possible, if I was angry enough (or had some other reason).

That was the latest WordPress ‘post a week 2011’ prompt, if you were wondering.

It makes me wonder though… there are so many things I wouldn’t normally dream of doing, that other people have done or do regularly! Impulsively, as children, or without even thinking. I’m a goody two-shoes, maybe, but I don’t know why that’s such a bad thing…

I haven’t been on the computer a lot lately; it seemed so dark and cold at the back of this room. For several days I didn’t even turn the computers on.

Suddenly thought of science fiction shows… Star Trek, Stargate or Babylon 5. People sitting in dark shadows with glowing computer screens. Communicating with each other, or doing painstaking research. A lot of the light on my face and hands is from this screen… spooky, strange. Anything could happen… somebody invisible could be swooping around the room! Maybe my messages are being intercepted by some starship full of aliens. And with a whoosh, a portal will open in the wall, and when I look through, there’s a raging snow storm in another world.

Instead, it’s just shadowy and gloomy, and I type in the glow of


Excuse me, I’m not kidding. I got that far, and there was a ‘boing’ and a thud, and cold air… somebody standing behind my chair. I twisted round, and it was Mum, scowling crossly and holding a notepad. (I didn’t hear her come in because, no hearing aids!) I felt stupid about this message I was typing, so I chivvied her out into the hall saying I didn’t have a pen (I didn’t. They disappear). But I found a pen in my bedroom, the one I write my personal journal with at night.

The ‘alien’ wrote down: “Fancy having a gigantic desk and no pencil! If you are up early tomorrow we can go to Morrisons.”

I can’t wait.

Posted in Hearing Loss, Music I Like

Musical Distortions

I’m sorry if I seem vague at the moment — I’m not spending much time in the blogging world these days. But I know I’ll be back, as this is a kind of home.

I was listening to a Neil Diamond CD I imported to iTunes, and really enjoyed it for a couple of days, then suddenly couldn’t make it out. Songs I knew and loved for years sounded of nothing.

I realised that both hearing aids were sounding a little distorted, though still working. Actually one sounds just a little distorted; the other was really bad.

I’ve been trying to dry them out (though I did nothing foolish like leaving them in a steamy bathroom) but have had no joy so far. Switched to an older hearing aid (a spare). Played ‘Castles in the Air’ (Don McLean) and ‘Catch the Wind’ (Donovan), as I know them quite well… but I wouldn’t have known what they were if I couldn’t see their titles.

Then I switched to the other computer (just in case it was the first computer that was distorted, and not my aids!) and could just about hear Mamma Mia… but all of the twiddly bits were gone. You get the crashing piano chords and the voices when they are low (just about), but you can’t make out any of the higher bits.

I immediately switched back to the first computer and played Mamma Mia there (it should be better as it has a small set of speakers with amplifier)… and it did in fact sound better; I could make out a brassy quality where the high bits are meant to be.

But it brings home to me how much of my enjoyment of music these days seems to rely on my remembering how the songs go. If I can’t quite remember / equate it to what’s coming out of the speakers, then it’s just a wall of sound. My chances of getting to know a brand new song are low.

Have turned off iTunes (again)… am annoyed at the thought I have to go back to the clinic and sit in a beastly waiting room just to keep these hearing aids working. You think “what’s the point?” It’s like striving to keep something that was never really mine anyway. I should just give up; lead a quiet life (except for those songs that still play in my head!)

Posted in Lost in Thought

The Point of a Grudge

WordPress continues to suggest possible blog topics (I enjoy this!) Some look interesting; others I’ve done already; yet others make my toes curl in horror! The latest one was, “What’s the longest grudge you’ve ever held? How long do you stay angry at someone or something? Why do you think we hold our grudges?”

I don’t want to describe any of my actual grudges, but I had a thought that although we eagerly forgive and move on, forgetting is quite another thing. We are taught that it’s a good thing to ‘forgive and forget’, and maybe most of the time we do, but some things are burned in our memories and continue to shape our lives.

In a somewhat less than Pollyannaish way, we may be mistaken about how negatively we were impacted by something. If we were done out of a job or promotion that we really wanted, our loss might have led to a better path in life, or to our meeting someone we otherwise wouldn’t have met. But to us the original sin remains… it was an an injustice, and will be remembered as such.

We may bear a grudge against someone without realising how much he/she has been hurt by us in turn. We don’t know everything that goes on in other people’s minds, so sometimes all we remember is our own pain.

In The Full Cupboard of Life (from the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels by Alexander McCall Smith), Mma Ramotswe said she believed in forgiveness. “Why, she asked herself, why keep a wound open when forgiveness can close it?”

Though I remember being confused by the way Mma Ramotswe approaches forgiveness… She forgives people and moves on, but cuts them out of her life. That’s something I can’t square with my notion of forgiveness. Perhaps it’s just another way of saying “I forgive but I never forget.”

I meant to say there are REASONS why we remember — we must try to avoid similar experiences in the future. We were always told pain has a reason… to stop us doing something damaging like putting our hand in the fire.

Most grudges should not be allowed to affect future relations, except where they safeguard us from future harm… they do have their uses. But we should not be TOO self-protective… if we remove people from our email lists for every slight — real or imagined — none of us would have any friends.

Mum says, “life is too short… the only acceptable reason one could have to end a friendship is boredom.” With our Grudgometers alive and ticking, I don’t think any of us will ever be bored. 🙂