Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Mangling of the English Language (revisited)

Chores day.   Not my favourite, but having done about half of the things on my list plus a three quarters of an hour stint in the garden, I thought it only fair I give myself  a small reward for my efforts.

Anyone who has read my only too often posted views on the subject will know where I am going next.

Yes, coffee and TV.  Default programme of course, the jewellery channel.

If there is one single reader of this blog who has missed it (which I doubt), I will reiterate that I love jewellery.  Not all jewellery, just the really good stuff.

Precious stones are, next to flowers, my most favouritist istist thing in all the world.

Really top quality stones have me immobilised, dumbstruck, and almost salivating.

Then there is the mode of presentation  -  a wholly different matter.

The channel I favour because of the superb range and quality of their jewellery, is also the cause of near apoplexy every time I view it.

The reason is simple.  The presenters (with just one exception) all refer to the goods they are advertising as "joolery".  One of them, an expert on the product, invariably talks about what they have 'bought' to us today.

Another uses words which exist in no dictionary in the world to describe the particular piece she is promoting, an example being 'illuminosity' and 'examplery'.

After about a half an hour of this exquisite torture I can no longer bear the verbal slaughter and have to turn the wretched thing off.

I did buy something a while ago from this company, and while it is very pretty, I simply could not put myself through the process again because it would entail listening to a nearly incomprehensible description of the item.

I know I am being pedantic, a nit-picker, an armchair critic, but why oh why does this company not give a few basic English lessons to their presenters along with their other training?

It could be that my age is producing this super-critical attitude, or maybe my tolerance levels have crashed.

Since another birthday is imminent I had better watch my step, nit-picking being the prerogative of the old.

Beam me up Scotty!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

P. S.

Just a brief but heartfelt song of praise for my lovely next-door neighbours.

They arrived back in freezing Britain from warm Spain this morning before 5.00 am.

I went to church as normal came back and straight out to fill up the front garden bird feeders, while I still had the courage (and a thick padded coat on), and my neighbour was cleaning his car.!!!!!!

Having exchanged the usual friendly enquiries as to how the holiday had gone - particularly how hot it had been - I told him my tale of woe about my household demons moving in as soon as he had turned his back.

Quick as a flash he was in front of the computer, defunct mouse in hand, new batteries removed (and replaced the RIGHT WAY ROUND) and mouse happily breathing again he said, let's have a look at the vacuum cleaner.

Apparently there is another bit I have to remove in order to clean it.  This he did, and it is now properly assembled and fit for purpose.

All this accomplished with the minimum of fuss and a smile.

I am one lucky lady!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Complain, Moi?

Anyone who is in any way familiar with this blogsite, will have noticed the unnatural cheerfulness of recent posts.

Warning - I am about to revert to my usual whinge mode.

Not only is  it February, but the 22nd is the most miserable date in my personal calendar so the day started badly anyway.

A few weeks ago my trusty lightweight vacuum cleaner 'blew up'. Almost literally.  I managed to clean most of the house before a    whirring noise and a cloud of smoke announced its demise.                


Annoyed but not unduly alarmed I phoned and ordered a similarly lightweight one which had been advertised in Saga magazine.  I was told it would be with me in five days time.  It was.

A minimal amount of assembly was required and after about half an hour I had it working.  Not only was it even lighter than my previous one (only one and a half Kilos), but it was also quite powerful.  Great, I thought, job done.

This morning, I decided to empty it before using it once more, read the instructions, removed the filter etc., and found the casing of the filter was thick with dust and grot.  Could not find any way to get at the stuff without using a paper knife and a thin brush, and an hour later have just put it back together again.

To my disgust I found the grot was once more piling  up between the filter and its casing.

Have not yet thrown it out of the window but........

Additionally, I am still using the touch pad for all my computer activities, since the death of my mouse  has left me with no other option.

There is an East wind blowing so will not be going out  to see if I can get some help re new attached mouse and until it is warmer and my helpful neighbours return from their half term break can not ask anyone locally for assistance.

Just one tiny further grouse.  I cut my hair this morning (don't ask), and have cut it just that bit too short.
Shorn the sheep has nothing on me.

Yes, I am sticking to my Lenten promise to read the Bible daily, but I need to stop swearing first today.

Deep joy!

Friday, 15 February 2013

I Like Lent

OOdd though it sounds I really like Lent.  Not because I feel overwhelming guilt and the need to atone, nor (merely) because I am a miserable so and so and solemnity suits me better than joyful arm-waving Alleluias, though both are true.  No, mainly I think, because it is a time when it is deemed OK to be quiet.

Many of the major celebrations of the Christian church tend to be noisy affairs, both liturgically and musically, and Lent is not.

Both the liturgy and the music are more restrained, allowing time for reflection and contemplation and even the way the church is 'dressed' is unobtrusive.

This year, along with millions of others I have chosen to give up certain things.  Chocolate of course, cake, sweets, some habitual behaviours which I am better without, but additionally, this year i have chosen to start to read the Bible.  From the first page to the last will be a considerable task, since I intend to really read it rather than skim.

Starting to try to absorb the meaning of familiar words can take considerable time and concentration and I am aware that it will not be possible to complete my task before Easter, but I will continue until I have done so.

There is  no sense of enforcement this year, rather, I feel a sense of anticipation before opening a new page each day and even if it makes no sense to anyone else, for me it gives a feeling of achievement and fulfilment.

This evening is choir practice for Sunday's service where we will once more sing one of the anthems by Farrant.  I love his melancholy and measured music, solemn though it may be and feel totally comfortable with his beautiful settings.

Also today, though it is February, a month I dislike, it has been sunny and almost warm and I am beginning to reclaim my garden.

Lovely Lent.

Monday, 11 February 2013

R. I. P.


It is hushed and sad and silent in the office in my house
A requiem is taking place - for my computer mouse

New batteries were tried in vain, to save him how I tried
Till it became apparent that my little mouse had died.

No red light blinks, no wheel revolves
I must admit I cried

His little nose is cold and still
because my mouse has died.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Phew.............How very .........Fragrant!

Having been to town (in the snow) this morning, I felt entitled to a good lunch on my cold wet return.

The snow became sleet, then rain and I didn't feel noble or brave any more, merely damp, bedraggled, and scruffy so, time for a reward.

My lunch most days consists of a roll (usually large-seeded) and either egg, cheese or smoked salmon.

Add a few small tomatoes, some pitted black olives, a threat of lettuce and yum, my sort of lunch!

Today, as I opened the door of the fridge my nose (working efficiently for once thanks to the fresh air), was assailed by a stupendous pong.

"It's not that long since I defrosted the fridge is it"? I thought.  No, it was a lurking elderly Camembert, one of  the ones I had bought unripe, at Christmas.  Now decidedly ripe and almost leaping out of the fridge.

Just the way I like them.   By them, I mean all my powerful favourites, Chaumes, Camembert, Brie and co.

Poor John hated strong cheese and preferred the delicate flavours of Leerdammer, Edam and mild Cheddar, and when I was preparing our lunch he would sit  watching the mid-day news on TV and would suddenly bellow "you've got the b....y fridge door open again haven't you, that cheese is rank".

I would put his mild uninteresting lunch on a tray on his lap and gleefully cart my own evil-smelling trying to run off the plate, version of lunch into a corner away from him.

I have, I maintain, a very sensitive palate, able to discriminate between many different wines and quite delicately flavoured foods, but Oh how I love a really stinky cheese.

Today's lunch was excellent, thank you very much!