Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Watermelons, Cocomeros and Losing Weight

Daughter#2 and I recently went out for a wander. On the way back we saw a stack of huge watermelons and it being a warm day were seduced into buying one. Silly us hadn't thought things through - we were at least 25 minutes walk away from home and those things weigh a ton!

Here's some to drool over

Well we had to share the carrying, and as the flimsy carrier bag threatened to break at any second we needed to carry it cradled in our arms as if it were a baby, a very heavy baby.

We took it in turns and I gave myself a little pep by imagining the weight dropping off me as I carried this great heavy thing, hoping my not loved handles might benefit too.

Finally we reached home and gave ourselves the best reward, slices of that lovely juicy (heavy) watermelon, mmm. Definately worth the effort. I have no idea if I lost any weight while carrying it, especially as I had the help from strong armed daughter#2 but at least you surely can't put any on from eating those things, indeed I'd go so far as hoping they have the celery effect of helping you lose as you eat.

All the way home I sang the cocomero song, although both daughter#1 and daughter#2 protest and insist the singer is actually singing
'Boom Badoom Boom
Boom Badoom Boom
He's Got That Super Bass'

Tell me, how can those lyrics sound like Cocomero Cocomero'? Anyway, that's my take on it and that's what I sing. If you're wondering, cocomero is Italian for watermelon.

Make your own mind up, here's the link to the song is she singing about juicy watermelons or some man with a deep voice? By the way, that watermelon is all eaten up already, delish.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Holidays Are Here

The English summer holidays officially began yesterday, though a lot of schools had an in service day on Friday. Daughters #1and 2 finished early that day and have been recuperating since. D#2 especially has been feeling washed out from her early mornings and full days at school and is doing what she likes best now to relax, namely sleeping, watching tv or using the laptop, mostly done in her pyjamas.

I don't know what daughter#1 is doing as she has disappeared into her room only emerging for meals and bathroom use. I think she's been playing around with hairstyles and putting up even more posters of pop stars and film/tv stars on her bedroom walls (which have no almost disappeared), most of whom I've never heard of, but that's understandable to D#1 and 2 because I am, of course, OLD.

I have been trying without success to get them to come out with me, there's a fair in the public park about 20 minutes away for instance, but neither of them will come with me as I am not one of their friends as well as being OLD. If a friend of theirs were here they'd have energy and interest to go to these places I keep asking them about, but as no friends are here these things are BORING. How they can be boring to go with me but fun with a friend only they can understand. I may have felt the same at their age but as I am so OLD I can't remember that far back - according to them, anyway.

But I digress, yes holidays are here and I do hope we all have lots more fun soon - outside in the fresh air.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Favourite Film

This is Daughter#2's favourite film and her review of it in her own words:

The Proposal

The Proposal is about this lady who is a boss in a company that writes stuff but she is a really horrible bossy person and no-one likes her. She's Canadian so she's going to get deported back to Canada. So then she pretends to be engaged to her executive assistant. So then she'll become, like, American. But the guy's not really happy with it because he could get a $250,000 fine and five years in prison if it's found out that it's a sham.

So, they go to Alaska where his family lives and it's, like, it's a comedy so it's really funny. But on the wedding day (because his family think they should get married that weekend) she owns up and she is going to be sent back to Canada but he follows her back to the company and they find out that they love each other. That's basically the end.

I didn't not like anything, it was all funny.

Words by Daughter#2

Link to web page of the film if you are interested:

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Favourite Photo

This is one of my favourite photos. Most of my Aunts from two different countries and my mother - all in the same picture, with my mother's best friends thrown in for good measure. 
It's not the greatest composition, not everyone is looking at the camera, maybe the background could have been nicer, but I don't care about any of that, what's important to me is WHO is in it and the fact they are altogether. I love it.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

My Favourite Advert

I want to buy Alspice for my man if it it'll turn him into This Man, complete with horse.

If you get a chance do read the affiliated YouTube responses to this advert, they are just as good as this one!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

What I'm Reading Now

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Some books defy categorisation: Life of Pi, the second novel from Canadian writer Yann Martel, is a case in point: just about the only thing you can say for certain about it is that it is fiercely and admirably unique. The plot, if that’s the right word, concerns the oceanic wanderings of a lost boy, the young and eager Piscine Patel of the title (Pi). After a colourful and loving upbringing in gorgeously-hued India, the Muslim-Christian-animistic Pi sets off for a fresh start in Canada. His blissful voyage is rudely interrupted when his boat is scuppered halfway across the Pacific, and he is forced to rough it in a lifeboat with a hyena, a monkey, a whingeing zebra and a tiger called Richard. That would be bad enough, but from here on things get weirder: the animals start slaughtering each other in a veritable frenzy of allegorical bloodlust, until Richard the tiger and Pi are left alone to wander the wastes of ocean, with plenty of time to ponder their fate, the cruelty of the gods, the best way to handle storms and the various different recipes for oothappam, scrapple and coconut yam kootu. The denouement is pleasantly neat. According to the blurb, thirtysomething Yann Martel spent long years in Alaska, India, Mexico, France, Costa Rica, Turkey and Iran, before settling in Canada. All those cultures and more have been poured into this spicy, vivacious, kinetic and very entertaining fiction. --Sean Thomas 

Friday, 15 July 2011

My Blog Gadgets

I love my blog gadgets. Over time I have added some and removed some. The ones I have right now are my favourites. They are found usually by finding them on other blogs and linking from there. Sometimes they don't work out on this blog and need to be discarded.

The first one you see is the Welcome to my Family and Friends as you are all welcome to come, sit back with a glass of wine or cup of tea, or whatever you prefer. Anyone who wants a read is a friend to me, and my family are all special and carry a place in my heart.

Next a bit a of blurb about myself which you can skim past if you wish - no offence taken.

After that another indulgence of mine, daydreaming, one of my very favourite pastimes, about so many things I couldn't begin to talk about them.

Then we have the weather, first where we live, then of my parents where they live so I can always know what they are experiencing. This also gives me an idea of what they will be up to according to how hot, cold or rainy it is - not that it rains too much over there. I can guess if they are sunning themselves on the beach, or cooling themselves indoors with aircon, or whatever.

The book I'm reading comes next, linking to another great site, Shelfari, where I can keep tabs on what I've read.

The Human Calender is so much fun, seeing those faces every day always makes me smile, and laugh too at some of the silly ones they pull.

Families are Forever then, and so they should be.

In quick succession there are - books I like, followed by the real reason I blog. Edgar just because he's cute. I have no followers as yet, oh well, haha.

And then is the Feedjit telling me who's been on. Recently it's been Mr Woodstock Illinois and Mr Brussels Belgium - 'Hi there to you both, thanks for passing by!'

Blog Archive comes next and Oh my goodness only 162 days till Christmas! Must get a move on with the organisation of it all!

Do you like my parrot and falling coconuts? No, that's not a euphemism for anything! Behave yourself.

Finally, if you would be so kind to feed my spider at the bottom, she does get so hungry, a couple of double clicks should give her a few flies to munch on while I'm not here.

That's all, thank you for reading and do leave a comment, byeee.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Scouts AGM

Yesterday A (daughter n#2) and I went to her Scouts Annual General Meeting. Basically a lot of talk about finances, reports and people being elected to the Executive Committee. This can get a little boring and go on too long, though this year they did speed things up a bit.

There was an extra interesting bit yesterday, too. This year celebrates the 25th Anniversay of the Beavers being affiliated into the Scouting movement, so daughter #2's group showed their appreciation by burying a time capsule in the back garden of the scout hut. Luckily the chauffeur had already been in that day to do some gardening and tidying up so it all looked nice for the scout leaders, scouts, cubs and beavers as well as their parents who went out to watch it being buried.

The clear plastic box was presented and placed in the ground by the first ever beaver leader from this group, but before this could happen we all had our photo taken by a photographer for the local town newspaper. This took some time as he cajoled us to stand here, move in there, squeeze up there till we were precisely where he wanted us all, with a smile on our faces. The leader who had dug the hole had to hold up his spade for the photo and to hold it just so, the ex beaver leader had to hold the box up high and finally a few photos were taken by the photographer who was precariously standing at the top of some rickety step ladders. We are in the newspaper today.

A few words were spoken and the box containing some photos and other memorabilia of the last 25 years of the group's beavers was buried.

My favourite part of the evening was the scouts presentation which consisted of a little sketch they had made up between them. Daughter #2 and another scout made the introductions and narrated the events, and 3 other scouts stood in  line in front of the audience of leaders and parents, this went as follows:

D#2  "Good evening and welcome everyone, and today we are going to tell you a bit about Comedy Pie Throwing - The History. First - the pie in the face..."

One scout slapped a paper plate containing squirty cream into the face of the hapless scout in the middle of the other two, cream all over her face and hair

D#2 "Second - we have the pie on top of the head..."

3rd scout slaps paper plate of cream on top of poor middle scout, cream drips down her hair and she looks down with her hands spread

D#2 "Third - we have the double..."

Both scouts slap paper plates of cream on each side of poor middle scouts face at once

D#2 "Fourth - we have the head into pie..."

Head of middle scout gets pushed into a plate of cream

D#2 "And finally - we have the hit and miss..."

Middle scout gets pushed by one of the others, spins right round while the other scout tries to splat her in the face who misses the first time but gets her on the return. Cream all over head and shoulders.

D#2 "Thank you for watching our little sketch, hope you enjoyed it"

This last being said whilst trying not to laugh out loud but with a big grin on her face.

It was very funny and well done, and a big hit with all adults as well as the cubs and beavers who were literally holding their sides. I just wish I could show you all.

Afterwards I helped serve the tea and cream cakes which went into mouths not hair this time. Daughter#2 and her friends went running around, gossiping in the girls toilets and generally having a great time. A good AGM this year.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Italian Drivers

They are a breed unto themselves. They are crazy. They take mad risks. But does it work? Surprisingly, yes it does.

The reason most people end up where they were heading for without any nasty disasters on the way is probably because they know they are crazy. This means that they know what to look out for and how to avoid getting into difficulties. They know that other drivers will take mad risks, such as overtaking on a narrow road with oncoming traffic, and that those drivers won't be overtaking one car at a time like most sensible drivers would, but will be passing several at once. So they know to watch out for that car coming towards them on their side of the road because they know it will happen. This anticipation saves lives several times a journey - every journey.

They also know that the other drivers won't be watching the road but will be looking at their passenger, and that the other drivers won't be guiding the car using the steering wheel as they will be waving their hands in the air when replying to that passenger.

They know that the young men won't be concentrating on the road as their heads will be twisting as they eye up the pretty girls, and that the young women also won't be as their heads will be twisting looking at the latest fashionable bag in the shop window.

They know that red lights and stop lines on the road are going to be just guidelines to the other drivers, and that one car lanes really will mean two three or HoweverManyCanBeSqueezedIn lanes. And that those lanes they are driving along might suddenly have obstacles in the way in the shape of double, even triple parked cars that they will need to maneuver around.

The main thing they know to avoid is that most of this will be happening at twice the speed the speed signs have given for wherever they are at the time.

All this anticipation means that the average Italian driver knows what dangers to anticipate so is always ready to avoid them and so will get from where they started to where they were going with barely a scratch added to their, already previously scratched, car's paintwork and none on their perfectly attired and stylish clothing or bodies.

Of course, whilst they are doing the avoiding they are being avoided doing exactly the same by all those other drivers in their turn, too.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Last of the Astronauts

Lots of children used to want to grow up and become traindrivers, or air hostesses and often astronauts. Sadly these days they all want to grow up to be famous, quite what they  will be famous for they don't really care as long as they are famous. Many of them are achieving this aim, too, often for the wrong reasons.

Whatever happened to wanting to be an astronaut? Luckily these people made it. Unfortunately they'll only get to go up in space this last time. The space shuttle is finally coming to a close after 30 years. The end of an era as they are calling it at NASA. There is no replacement for the shuttle as funds to NASA have been lowered too much for any to go into new developments for one, although they are helping out private concerns with similar contracts.

"The future of human spaceflight is bright" says Charles Broden, Administrator of the shuttle. The astronauts are flying out there now and lets hope they inspire  a new generation of children to want to become one again now, if they want to be famous what's better than being a famous astronaut?

Ready for Launch

The STS-135 crew ride in the Astrovan to Launch Pad 39A to board space shuttle Atlantis on the morning of Friday, July 8. The launch of Atlantis on the STS-135 mission is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program. Clockwise from the left are: Sandra Magnus, Rex Walheim, commander Chris Ferguson and pilot Doug Hurley. In the back of the van in white is a member of the closeout crew, whose members assist the astronauts with final preparations for launch.

Image Credit: NASA/Jerry Ross

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful, One Two Three

Amidst all the doom and gloom we see on the news every day and have around us, wouldn't it be nice to think of a few reasons that should make us feel cheerful? A few of the reasons Ian Dury gave us were these:

Buddy Holly
Health service glasses
A little drop of claret
Cheddar cheese and pickle
Phoning up a buddy
Being in my nuddy

I'd agree with a few of those, and have to agree a cheddar cheese and pickle sandwich would go nicely with a nice glass of claret.

Maybe a few reasons of my own would include, a lovely long lie-in in bed when the girls don't have to be up at the crack of dawn, at least that's what it feels like to me.

Another reason to be cheerful would be being served up a little bit of pasta made by that totally talented chef - my very own father who can make even the most humble of ingredients taste Cordon Bleu.

Something else which would make me cheerful would be getting a couple of lines of clothes washing dry in one go. Not what happened today, out it went all pegged up blowing cheerfully in the breeze, down came the rain and in it came again. Ah, but then out popped the sun so washing pegged neatly on line again. No! Rain decides to fall again so rush out to bring it in whilst getting soaked myself. Now the sun is peeping it's head around a cloud, does it go back on the line or shall I just give in and leave it on the clothes horse. Sigh, dry washing in one go - that makes me cheerful.

So? Those are my one two three reasons to be cheerful, what would yours be? Tell me you like to be in the nuddy like Ian too!!

Friday, 8 July 2011


You may have noticed I've been playing around with the layout and colours of this blog lately. I've changed the template to the one called 'simple' from what I had last time of 'ethereal'. I've kept it white so it's just about as 'simple' as you can get, and have added a photo to the title header.

The font is changed and enbolded to make it easier to see as we don't want you squinting to read what's been written here.

The other thing that's changed are some of the colours. The post is just plain black but the titles are purple, and the reason I've chosen purple is because, at the moment, the favourite colour of A is purple. Everything is purple, clothes, trainers, sunglasses. If she sees anything she passes which is this colour she calls out 'Purple!' She just loves it. One reason, apart from just liking it anyway, is that it's also the favourite colour of a certain pop star she's very fond of right now. More about that in another post. Her love of purple is so much that even her lovely Nana now calls her Purple A.

So, that is why I have chosen purple for this blog's titles.

No doubt more changes will come, I'm trying to find a layout that works across the whole screen without messing up some of the features, but can't seem to find anything which does what I want correctly yet. In the meantime, I'm toying with the idea of making the background purple - or would that be just a little too much??

And on that note I will leave you with just one word:


Thursday, 7 July 2011

House Hunting

Do we or don't we, that is the question.

Do we move or don't we move? Or do we fix the kitchen or don't we? What do we do?

Hey! I'm asking YOU because we don't know!

The problem is (and when isn't it?) a question of money. Do we have the money to move to a nice area, a larger house, off road parking, close to the girl's school and with plenty of amenities close by. Or is that too expensive? If it is then do we spend a lot of our money extending our kitchen, making it a larger more family oriented room to spend time in, easily able to fit all my kitchen gadgets in which I can't seem to stop buying, and also to fit all my family and friends in when they are here with plenty of space to cook, sit and relax? If we do that then we need to stay put, no moving for a long time as we will have wasted a lot of cash for no return.

If we stay will we be living in an area which is degenerating again with bad neighbours moving in, or will it stay the same, that we are worrying for nothing and it's worth hanging on in here a few more years?

Please tell us because WE don't know.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Nasa News


Massive Solar Eruption Close-up


Turn on captions for more information about what you are seeing. On June 7, 2011 the Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare with a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME). This video uses the full-resolution 4096 x 4096 pixel images at a 1 minute time cadence and to provide the highest quality, finest detail version possible. It also shows the event in multiple wavelengths.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

What I'm Reading Now

A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

It is 1906 and Mattie Gokey is trying to learn how to stand up like a man -- even though she’s a sixteen-year-old girl. At her summer job at a resort on Big Moose Lake in the Adirondack mountains, she will earn enough money to make something of her life.

That money could be a dowry to wed the handsome but dull Royal Loomis. It could save her father’s brokeback farm. Or it might buy her a train ticket to New York City and college and a life that she can barely allow herself to imagine.

But Mattie’s worries and plans are cast into a cold light when the drowned body of Grace Brown turns up – a young woman who gave Mattie a packet of love letters, letters that convince Mattie that the drowning was no accident.

Inspired by the sensational Chester Gillette murder case of 1906, which was also the basis for Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and the film A Place in the Sun, this story evokes novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, and other classics that hark back to times of lost innocence.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Some of the things we saw on our visit to Germany

It was last October when we went, but I feel it's ok to post some pictures of it even though it was a while back. It's such a beautiful country and has lovely things there. The main difference Germany has compared to where we live goes, without saying, is the absolute neatness and cleanliness it has. It's also so ordered. Nothing is ever out of place or it'll be commented on and set right immediately, so unlike many other Countries.

It's unusual, too, in the way it's laid out, at least in the part we visit which is Bavaria. There are many villages with house after house, all detached from each other with plenty of space in between. These villages are faily large, with a mile or so before you come to the next one - village after village. There are towns but they aren't very large, or at least most are not. Many people need to commute to work, they don't think anything of travelling long distances to work, it's just the way they do things here. So much space and so much clean fresh air, a good environment for children to grow up.

They are also very fond of cutsey things, you see these types of things around all over the place such as cute barrows of flowers. This type of thing

            I love how they let you know what's inside by the writing on the wall

                                                    How old is this barn?

                                                            And this one?

          This building is advertising it's wares outside, too. In this case it's beautiful metal rails.

A Schloss

Another cutsey thing

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