Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
How quickly can you give me an appointment?
Let me see. How about two thirty this afternoon?
That would be great. How long will I have to wait for my new glasses?
Hmmm. Depends. All being well we should have them for you at four thirty.
And here endeth Specsavers free advertisement slot.
So it was that Matty and I changed our plans and headed off this evening to the Fair Hill Centre in Ballymena, rather than the Antrim Tesco. I tempted Matty with the promise of a hoke around Marks and Spencers. She likes Marks and Spencers.
As soon as we entered the doors I spotted the new Portfolio section that I'd read about in 'The Thoughtful Dresser'.
Says I, "Look mother. There's the new line aimed at oul dolls. We'll have to take a look at that."
"You go on ahead," says she, heading in the direction of Per Una. "Are you looking for something for Pearlie?."
So much for M&S putting Marie Helvin at the helm. And speaking of the ravishing Marie Helvin, she seems to have had a lot of work done. She looks like a different person these days.
See for yourself.
Marie Helvin, in her heyday, was one of the most unique and beautiful models around. She's still gorgeous but the 'work' appears to have removed some of the interest and character from her features. Now she looks much the same as all the other face-lifted ladies d'un certain age.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
One of Pearlie’s carers asked to speak to me this evening. I was immediately on full alert waiting for some ‘serious issue’ to be raised.
Were there not enough nurses at that home your mother-in-law was in?
What do you mean?
She told us that it was full of black darkies and that a black man put her on the toilet and washed her!
She never said anything.
Well if I was you I'd put in a complaint!
I have no problem with that...
...and as far as I know Pearlie has no problem with it either. At least, if she has, she hasn't said anything to us.
You should still complain.
As I said, I've no problem with it.
So there you go. That's the caliber of (some) of the people who tramp through this house regularly. Perhaps I should complain about her racism. But I probably won't.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Interesting, if complicated, meme found at Seeking Xanadu.
The BBC say that most people will have read only six of these. But we're not most people, are we?
1) Bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you've read only a part of.
3) Add a '#' to those you were supposed to have read in school, but didn't.
4) Underline the ones you LOVE.
5) Set small those you plan on reading.
6) Set large those you did not read, but saw the movie!
7) Strikethrough those you really didn't like.
8) Tally your total at the bottom.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
So 47 read completely.
12 partly read
1 only watched in cinematic form
12 I loved
2 not so much
I'm adding a category. I own at least 69 of these books, which gives some indication of the number of books in the 'to be read' category.
One other thing. I thought this list was slightly skewed towards women's reading preferences.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The other morning I asked Bert if he wanted porridge and he said,
"What you talking Bawlmer for?"
"I'm just slurring because I haven't woken up properly."
"The Wire" has tended to take over our life a little bit but tonight, that's it - it's all over. Nellybert has just watched the final episode of The Wire and it was, as it always was, totally excellent.
I have never, ever watched any film or television series that so brilliantly depicted as many memorable and fully-nuanced characters as were in "The Wire". Without doubt, Omar Little was one of the best. I'll miss him.
And in the end Reginald got to come up the basement steps. What an achievement that was.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A week's leave from work soon goes in. I'm back at the coal face tomorrow and I still haven't written a scratch about our weekend in the Mournes.
It was wonderful. The weather couldn't have been kinder to us. The accommodation at Hanna's Close was delightful and Bonnie thoroughly enjoyed her first proper holiday. Bert and I didn't have a cross word the entire time. Well maybe just the two cross words, when he raced ahead of me on the descent from Hare's Gap. Big show-off! Then when he lost Bonnie's lead. But no matter. We had another in the car and it was me lost it anyways – or so says Bert. And besides they weren't even cross words. More mildly peevish than anything.
Knockchree Mountain, outside Kilkeel, was our first walk and, although easy going, the views were wonderful. Knockchree limbered us up for Slievebearnagh the next day. That was a far tougher hike and, unfortunately, the mist came down as we reached the top so the views weren't as good as we'd hoped for.
On Monday we visited Castlewellan Forest Park. Bert was very keen to see the arboretum and he found it well worth the entrance fee. Meanwhile I was expected to be very impressed with his extensive knowledge of things bushy and treeish. Big show off! Although secretly I was. Very impressed indeed.
We both agreed that our break had been one of the best ever. I'd recommend the cottages at Hanna's Close and the magical, wonderful Mournes to anyone who relishes a bit of peace and tranquillity after a great day's walking.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Getting a parking ticket was not the only interesting thing that happened on Friday 13th. Later that evening I courageously ventured over to Dunsilly to meet and eat with some fellow bloggers. Although I’ve encountered Ed and Dave previously, it was my first time meeting Sharon, Wendy, Ciaran, Davy and, Grannymar. Sadly Ed had to leave early in order to meet up with TLG. Even more tragically Grannymar nabbed the very toyboy I’d spent the entire evening
frightening flattering about his amazing resemblance to Prince William.
Friday, February 13, 2009
13th February, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
On the afternoon of 12th February, 2009 I drove my mother to Tesco Supermarket in Antrim to assist her with her weekly shop. My mother is 82 years old and suffers from angina and other age-related problems, including a poor memory.
I believe this is the first occasion on which we both forgot to display my mother’s parking card and indeed, we often take note ourselves of the other drivers who park in disabled bays without displaying cards and tut disapprovingly at them, never thinking that, they too, might just have forgotten.
Both my mother and I hope that you will see fit to forgive our carelessness on this occasion. I can assure you that we will never forget to display the parking card again.
PS I know I am tempting fate sending this appeal on Friday the 13th. I hope you will prove to me that worrying about today’s date is merely superstitious nonsense
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Fred bore the entire procedure with great stoicism, after his initial annoyance when he wasn't given his breakfast.
I'm happy to report that despite losing his physical balls he has spent the entire evening fighting bigger cats and German Shepherds. As ever, he won all his battles.
I wonder when he'll start to hate me?
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
You know Bert, I think this is a far better film than Flags of our Fathers.And he says,
I'm liking it more too.And she says,
And you know something else? You know how in Flags of our Fathers we couldn't tell one American soldier from another...?
Aye. They all look the same as one other in their uniforms, roaring and shouting and waving guns about. You wouldn't know who was who.
But I'm having no trouble at all differentiating between these Japanese fellers.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
A blog is not just for entertainment - it also serves as a chronicle of events.
This is particularly helpful when a body starts to dote. Or, as is more politically correct, when a body starts to suffer age-related mental degeneration.
I’m starting to get scared. There are parts of my life that are entirely lost to me. I don’t have the faintest memory of what was said or what happened.
It seems to me that it was a mere month or so ago that the door fell off my antique pine wardrobe. It took a week or two before Bert got round to fixing it, but fix it he did. I had to help him because wardrobe doors with mirrors are heavy and it was a two-person job.
But last week the door refused to open. It was a stuck door. Bert diagnosed it as being hinge-bound, which is obviously some sort of joinerman talk. Says I to him,
So you didn’t fix it properly the last time you sorted it?
Did I sort this door before?
No I didn’t.
You did. I remember I suggested going to get a replacement hinge in B&Q and you laughed at me scornfully saying you’d never get a decent hinge in B&Q.
I’ve never worked at this door before.
You did! I remember it well. It was only about a month before Christmas. Do you not remember?
You have to be winding me up. You must remember it.
I was worried. Was Bert losing it? Did I dream it?
But no. It was shortly after I hurt my back and that was this winter. I’ve got a note of it on the blog. So it must have been sometime after that.
During the fixing of the wardrobe door Bert went downstairs to fetch his torch to cast some light on the matter.
An hour later he says to me,
Where’s the torch? Have you seen it?
Yes. Upstairs. By the wardrobe. Don’t you remember?
Then Billy came round and I told him what had happened. Bert told Billy that I was completely mad and that he’d originally fixed the wardrobe door about a year ago. I disagreed. If it had been a whole year ago I’d have totally forgotten.
So – from now on I’m recording all the stuff that Bert and I are likely to argue about in the future and this is my first entry.
It was so Bert’s turn to clean his mother’s room. I reminded him of this and he took umbrage.
Do I ever go on at you about things you have to do?
Of course not! That is because I do the things I have to do and don’t need people to go on at me.
So I decided that if he had made no shape to start it by 8pm that I would do it myself. And that I would do it as a martyr would do it. And so it was.
The funny thing was I started it in a martyred rage and ended up quite enjoying it and I think Pearlie sort of enjoyed it too.
So let this blog record that on 1st February, 2009, Nelly thoroughly cleaned Pearlie’s room and on the same date Bert let her fire go out. Yay! Sucks to be you Bert. Bad Son!