Tuesday, June 30, 2009
So I had a chat with Bert and we have decided that we're buying him a bike! Rhinns of Galloway here we come.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
While the pigs and the chickens are easy, the potted trees, shrubs and climbers are a nightmare. I was hours watering this evening and Don Quixote was annoying me. Well not the Don exactly but some bloody Librivox reader. She kept swallowing her words and was giving me the impression she hadn't a notion of the meaning of the text. Then the hose exploded and I drenched myself. Undaunted I fixed it and carried on. Must have a word with Bert about the ridiculous amount of trees hanging about this shanty. I shall insist that he must either sell them, plant them or throw them over a hedge.
So watering all done now, I'm wearing clean, dry pyjamas, blogging, listening to Pink Floyd, downloading Tess of the d'Urbervilles (with proper actor-type reader) and drinking gin. I suppose I'm happy.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Nelly: What do you know about Don Quixote?
Bert: Not one thing.
Nelly: Don Quixote! You know nothing about Don Quixote!
Bert: Och! Don Quixote - sure I thought you said John Coyote. Don Quixote... good old guy, full of crazy ideas. great notion of himself, there was something about windmills...
Bert and I have just spent a pleasant, companionable Sunday.
We hung his grandfather just outside Pearlie's room. We washed out the sewers. I found that to be very interesting. DynoRod will be getting no business around our way as Nellyberts are doing it for themselves.
Then Bert proposed going out for a meal. I screwed up my face. I thought of the delights of housework and loading Bert's iPod. I pondered, then disdained the idea of getting dressed up to sit among strangers and then having to wait at least forty minutes for food to be placed in front of me. I suggested that we go for a walk instead and pick up a takeaway on the way home.
So we gathered up Bonnie, Paddy and Francis Joseph Banjo (we're looking after him this weekend) and went hiking in Tardree Forest for an hour and a half. "Dogging," says I. "We'll show them how to bloody dog."
Friday, June 19, 2009
I have heard that practitioners of Feng Shui would have it that the attic area of our homes represents our hopes and dreams for the future, and that an attic bunged solid with the usual detritus and junk blocks those hopes and dreams. With this in mind I plugged myself into the translater’s notes for Don Quixote and headed for the poor man’s Aladdin’s Cave that is our roofspace. Oh the stuff! And we’ve only been here a few years. After twenty minutes I had managed to throw out three things, had rearranged several more and decided to allow Bert’s grandfather back down the stairs. His reappearance will annoy Pearlie as she didn’t get on with him. Now the only thing to decide is whether to hang him in her room or just outside it. Just outside it would probably be best as I make a point without being too cruel.
I was just wondering what to do with Bert’s old pram when that very face appeared at the top of the staircase.
“Do you feel like being naughty?” he enquired.
Naturally my first instinct was to kick him back down the stairs. However I refrained, pointed to my headphones and roared, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!
He said, “No! Not that kind of naughty.” and produced ice cream. What could I do? I ate it. I’m finding it so very hard to resist temptation these days.
Then there was the other day. Hannah made one of her yummy curries and I had a good helping with rice and naan bread. That should have been enough for me. But no – next thing Jakers produces a gigantic slab of caramel shortcake and waves it under my nose. I say, “Oh no. I shouldn’t.” He says, “It’s OK. It’s not cake or anything,” I had to agree. It may have been a concoction of sugar, fat, flour, condensed milk and chocolate but it wasn’t actually CAKE. So I ate it.
Then there’s all the sweets and biscuits that Bert and Hannah bring into the house. I tell them to hide it from me so that I won’t be tempted. And they do. They hide it in the second drawer down in the wee red IKEA cabinet in the TV room. And sometimes they even leave the drawer open so that I can see that they've hidden it.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
- All Your Love, Magic Sam - good brisk pace, I really lengthened those strides.
- Smells Like...Remix, Fatboy Slim - got the heart going good altho' I thought the track was shite.
- Bit of Snooks Eaglin - stepping out well.
- In The Mood, John Lee Hooker - does what it says on the tin. Did he mean aerobic walking?
- Going in the Right Direction, Robert Randolph & the Family Band - I was practically jogging to this.
- Wheels, Come On Gang - a spring in my quickstep and a good mood enhancer to boot.
- Her Mind Is Gone, Professor Longhair - getting close to the car. Winding down the speed.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
So how come no one has ever told me how delightful this book is?
My favourite passage is as follows:
Fox-terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs are, and it will take years and years of patient effort on the part of us Christians to bring about any appreciable reformation in the rowdiness of the fox-terrier nature.
I remember being in the lobby of the Haymarket Stores one day, and all round about me were dogs, waiting for the return of their owners, who were shopping inside. There were a mastiff, and one or two collies, and a St. Bernard, a few retrievers and Newfoundlands, a boar-hound, a French poodle, with plenty of hair round its head, but mangy about the middle; a bull-dog, a few Lowther Arcade sort of animals, about the size of rats, and a couple of Yorkshire tykes.
There they sat, patient, good, and thoughtful. A solemn peacefulness seemed to reign in that lobby. An air of calmness and resignation - of gentle sadness pervaded the room.
Then a sweet young lady entered, leading a meek-looking little fox-terrier, and left him, chained up there, between the bull-dog and the poodle. He sat and looked about him for a minute. Then he cast up his eyes to the ceiling, and seemed, judging from his expression, to be thinking of his mother. Then he yawned. Then he looked round at the other dogs, all silent, grave, and dignified.
He looked at the bull-dog, sleeping dreamlessly on his right. He looked at the poodle, erect and haughty, on his left. Then, without a word of warning, without the shadow of a provocation, he bit that poodle's near fore-leg, and a yelp of agony rang through the quiet shades of that lobby.
The result of his first experiment seemed highly satisfactory to him, and he determined to go on and make things lively all round. He sprang over the poodle and vigorously attacked a collie, and the collie woke up, and immediately commenced a fierce and noisy contest with the poodle. Then Foxey came back to his own place, and caught the bull-dog by the ear, and tried to throw him away; and the bull-dog, a curiously impartial animal, went for everything he could reach, including the hall-porter, which gave that dear little terrier the opportunity to enjoy an uninterrupted fight of his own with an equally willing Yorkshire tyke.
Anyone who knows canine nature need hardly, be told that, by this time, all the other dogs in the place were fighting as if their hearths and homes depended on the fray. The big dogs fought each other indiscriminately; and the little dogs fought among themselves, and filled up their spare time by biting the legs of the big dogs.
The whole lobby was a perfect pandemonium, and the din was terrific. A crowd assembled outside in the Haymarket, and asked if it was a vestry meeting; or, if not, who was being murdered, and why? Men came with poles and ropes, and tried to separate the dogs, and the police were sent for.
And in the midst of the riot that sweet young lady returned, and snatched up that sweet little dog of hers (he had laid the tyke up for a month, and had on the expression, now, of a new-born lamb) into her arms, and kissed him, and asked him if he was killed, and what those great nasty brutes of dogs had been doing to him; and he nestled up against her, and gazed up into her face with a look that seemed to say: "Oh, I'm so glad you've come to take me away from this disgraceful scene!"
She said that the people at the Stores had no right to allow great savage things like those other dogs to be put with respectable people's dogs, and that she had a great mind to summon somebody.
Such is the nature of fox-terriers;
(Three Men In A Boat, to say nothing of the dog, CHAPTER XIII.)
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I said some things to Bert that are better not repeated in full. Words and phrases like 'bloody idiot', 'emergency tracheotomy' and 'dickhead' might have been uttered.
He went out again to see to them and this time he wore all the gear. When he came in he unzipped himself out of it and the next thing there's an angry bee buzzing around the kitchen. I beat a hasty retreat and ordered him to get it out of the house.
I think I'd far rather have the pigs.
Friday, June 12, 2009
- Just Because It's A Heatwave Doesn't Mean You're Allowed To Wear Your Bra As A Top!
- The Joy of Watering.
- Chasing the Piglet.
- SAUSAGE ROLLS
- TEA BAGS
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Bleak House by Charles Dickens
- The Mysterious Stranger and Other Tales by Mark Twain (Paine version)
In five or six thousand years five or six high civilizations have risen, flourished, commanded the wonder of the world, then faded out and disappeared; and not one of them except the latest ever invented any sweeping and adequate way to kill people.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
It is past midnight now so it was yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Daddy's death. If he was still around he'd be in his 90th year.
Matty arranged an anniversary Mass in Tannaghmore chapel and Zoe, Hannah and myself were there. Before we left we had tea and scones at Matty's. Naturally the subject of babies and pregnancies were never far from our lips. Matty told this story which I'd forgotten. She said that when I was going into hospital to have Hannah I was quite blase and insisted on taking the town service bus. Once on the bus I asked the driver if he was going past the hospital. He took a scared look at me, for I must have been nine and a half months pregnant, and said, "No. This bus isn't. But if you give me a minute I'll take you to the bus station and I'll change buses and take you there myself." Which he did. Right to the very door. No doubt very relieved that he wasn't called upon to deliver Hannah himself.
Matty told another story and this one was about Daddy. A woman who lived in their parish would phone his house when she knew her baby was coming and ask for a lift to the hospital. Somehow Daddy always got the job of taking her. He was going out with Matty at the time and when she heard about this she asked him what he'd do if Mrs George started to give birth in the car. "What would I do?" says he. "I tell you what I'd do. I'd stop the car and get out and I'd take to the fields!"
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Matronly Woman's Hour presenter Jenni Murray, 59, informs an audience at the Hay Festival that she lost her virginity as a teenager with a 'half English, half Turkish' boyfriend to the sound of Jose Feliciano's Sixties hit Light My Fire. Far too much information!