Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

How to prepare for guests at new year - take one box to be pressed into service as a table, drape with cloth. Then stand back and watch cat burrow under cloth, pull it off the box and end up wrapped like a cross between a washerwoman and a christmas pudding. Job done, really. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Eh? What?

Bizarre Christmas card received (just after Christmas) from Fingals Hotel, where we stayed earlier this year. Managing to spell my name wrong and get the address wrong (we're in -Close and it had been redirected from -Road or presumably would have arrived before Christmas) it was a big representation of the globe with anti-Bush slogans printed round it, and an inserted slip of paper printed with facts about global warming.

The point of this appeared to be advertising the fact that they are having solar panels installed next year, but the whole thing annoyed me on several levels:

1/ I don't expect to be sent political propaganda (however worthy the sentiments) from hotels I stay at, especially at their prices.

2/ If you must send me unsolicited political propaganda, please take the trouble to get my name and address right.

3/ One immediate way to help the environment would be to NOT send everyone that stays there (and we were only there one night) a large glossy pre-printed card and associated paper insert and envelope, especially as you should have my email address on record.

The Kitten, The Wiccan & The Flatpack

Well, our excursion to see the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was a little more successful than that for HP4 (no exploding children) - we were a good distance away from the annoying group this time round, and some one else told them to shut up not long in.

Redruth cinema still managed to confuse everyone though - arriving for a start time of 8pm, we were told that there would be an interval of 15 minutes, not in the middle of the film, like last time, but between the adverts/trailers and the main feature, and the film would start at around 20 past (I think their clockwork runs down or something after a certain length of time).

Now I thought this was a bit odd, as it didn't give a lot of time for the first bit, but (after a coffee in the bar so strong I've still got the shakes three days later) we duly trooped in at the allotted time only to catch the last five seconds of the new Pirates of the Carribbean trailer (waah!) and to sit out the whole of the interval. Grrr.

Anyway, it was worth the wait, very entertaining film, very faithful adaptation (even if Mr Tumnus did have shit ears).

Monday, December 26, 2005

Woo Who!

Two words : Bloody Marvellous!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Xmas Musings

Things that shouldn't be allowed:

People in front of you in queues trying to buy dvds/cds at any counter not the one that actually has the contents, thereby making the assistant disappear for hours while he finds them.

Men in front of you in queues with enviable floor length leather coats and better hair than you.

Things there should be more of:

Big hairy men stacking shelves in Tesco while dressed as a small pink fairy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Harry Potter

Saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last night, is it meant to be that murky and indistinct, or was that another 'Redruth special'? Went to the loo in the interval, and had to walk about six miles because the one near the screens was closed with a sign saying 'please use our newly refurbished toilets downstairs'. When I got there, the "new" loos were filthy, the floor was swimming, and the flush didn't work. Way to go, Merlin cinemas.

Behind us we had the family from hell, including a small boy who kept talking and repeating bits of dialogue and his mother who, rather than telling him to shut up, kept saying things like 'and who's that?', 'and what are they?'. This went on to the extent that finally I cracked and turned round and hissed "would you please be quiet" at them (I obviously have a politeness filter installed, as in my head it had been 'would you shut the f*** up'). And I'm more one of nature's silent cinema seethers than a complainer, so that's how bad it was. Or possibly I was stroppier than normal, not sure.

To cap things off, after the film finished and as people were leaving, a small boy resembling Augustus Gloop got up and was copiously sick all over the steps, and then again in the corridor outside. What a finale.

Anyway, the film was good, although I think Prisoner of Azkhaban was better. And, claim to fame, I know (ok, I've met, which isn't quite the same thing, but more than once and he's a friend of a friend) the bloke that did the design/artwork for the ship coming out of the lake at the beginning and going back at the end. So there.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Yuletide

We stand at the dark of the year.
Underfoot, the cold, black earth,
Above, the interlaced fingers of skeletal trees.
All is silent.
The sky behind the branches slowly lightens,
And in the east
The new year is born in a great splash
Of orange, yellow and red.
The valley basin fills with milky mist,
And a tree of crows, dark bird of winter
Caws in the day.
The globe of the sun rises in triumph
Out of the longest night
And the Child of Promise returns.

Image Echo Chernik

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Gotta get me one o' them

Spotted while indulging in a fried breakfast of size in town - a boy with a mouse motif T-shirt. Thought, 'that's sweet', and looked closer. The wording read "Save a mouse - eat some pussy." Nearly choked with laughter on my bacon.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Overheard staff talking in the local shop - apparently the Easter egg delivery is due next Thursday. Must be nearly Christmas then.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Randomly received a vet's bill this morning, for "cut nails dog - Molly".

I look at Molly, she looks back. Nope, definitely still a cat. Possibly a slightly insulted, miffed looking cat, now. One quite happy to undertake her own manicure rituals, on the bed, the sofa, occasionally the designated scratching post. I've obviously become someone's catspaw...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Santa's Little Helper

Friday, December 09, 2005

Cadbury's Snaps

Fan of minty chocolate? Intrigued by the new Cadbury's Snaps box and looking for a treat? Take a tip, save yourself 2 quid, they're minging. Not particularly chocolatey, minty, or crisp. And I speak as a general fan of Cadbury's chocolate.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Let Them Eat Cake (but not until I've had some)

Day off today (hurrah), and it proved a very good time to go Christmas shopping, as it was weeing it down, and town was deserted. There was a definite feel of "did I miss the zombie invasion announcement?". I don't think I've ever got straight on to a till at Tragos, Woolworths, Stokes and Tescos all on the same day before. It did involve getting soaked to the skin though.

Continuing the productive theme, got on with the Christmas cake this afternoon, which is now happily humming to itself in the oven. Suppose I should wash up really. Or I could just hide with the brandy bottle...

Obviously one ankle biter too many

Over the tannoy in Trago Mills - "Staff call - would Santa please return to his grotto."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rather non-PC

Got in to work this morning to discover that I can't log on to my computer. Belatedly remember that things went tits up on Friday after I'd tried to log on to the works laptop, before having to hustle off to a meeting. Fight my way through the IT helpdesk queue 'You are currently 58th in line*. If you have a non-urgent query, please press 1 to leave a message'. You really think I'd be hanging around in an automated queue at three minutes past nine with a non-urgent query? The line only opens at nine, how many people can have that many problems first thing on a Monday?

Eventually get through, to someone very pleasant and no help whatsoever. She says she'll pass it on up, and someone will call me back. This finally happens at around a quarter to four. Now bear in mind that as far as they know, I am sitting swiveling aimlessly in my chair all day because I can't log on and therefore can't do any work. As it happens, someone who was supposed to be on leave popped in first thing and logged on to hers, so I could work on that.

The someone that calls me back is, amazingly, also no help, and also requires me to repeat everything that I told the first person, despite the fact it is all supposedly logged. He'll pass it on up and someone will get back to me. Presumably eventually it gets passed as far up as God, who will then smite my machine into small pieces. If I don't do it first.

The third person that calls me is marginally more use than the first two, in that he manages to log me on to the other computer with my own details, but also requires much repeating of information** and still can't fix the problem. The mythical beast known as the engineer is invoked, and if I'm lucky I might even see him tomorrow. Having hung up, I now realise that what I've spent all day working on is saved on the desktop of the other login (due to existing problems with our network drive, which, ooh, IT haven't worked out what 'tis yet), and I don't know her password. Wankflaps, I believe is the word. And just possibly may become my new password.

Incidentally, the spellcheck suggests replacing helpdesk with halibuts. Not a bad idea, probably more productive.


* OK a slight exaggeration...

** The other fun thing about calling IT helplines is that you can call up armed with the problem, the fact that all your settings are correct, and that it's not the network cable. Will they take you through it all anyway? You betcha. And then pass it on up...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Very Exciting

Just been given a new bookcase (people next door to my mum were getting rid of it). Having found space to wedge it in at the top of the stairs, with a bit of reorganising this means I've now got shelf room for all the books previously in piles at the bottom of the bed without having to get rid of the old tat that's never going to be read/consulted again. And, AND - a whole empty shelf waiting for new ones! I realise there are probably only about three people that will appreciate the excitement value of this, but as I suspect they are the three people that actually read this, that should be ok...(incidentally, all time peak of 38 individual visitors the day following BlueCat being mentioned in the Times, so it obviously pays to have friends in high places...)

Also of excitement value, picked up the Christmas tree today, which is currently sat in the back garden happily sucking up a bucket of water while I figure out just where I'm going to put the stuff currently occupying its destined corner...this includes the drinks collection, so I suppose I could feasibly "relocate" of some of it...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Drinking, Dreckly

Went to the Gweek Inn for dinner last night. Very nice pub, good lasagne and beer. Also good barmaid in the authentic Cornish tradition - "I'm having a fag, I'll bring them over in a minute".

Only slightly dubious element - went up to get a final round at the end of the evening, which included two coffees - "have you got your mugs there, I've run out?". So I went back to collect two of our cups, which she then refilled - with not so much as a cursory rinse under the tap, and not even clean teaspoons. Nice. We'll go back though.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

No Offence, Like.

Got very, very wet this morning in a sudden cloudburst, to the extent that having squelched in to work, I then had to take off my socks and wring them out. Left them hanging attractively over the radiator, while I went off to an infection control seminar. Oh, the irony.

The hour and a quarter on how to wash your hands, demonstrated with a lightbox that only the front row could see was somewhat enlivened by debate (the only heated thing in an otherwise freezing room) that promised to break into a punch-up, over whether laminated signs on handwashing should be displayed in waiting rooms.

Although the best part came right at the end, when, questions having been invited, a woman at the far side of the room spoke up with "I don't mean to offend anyone in this room, but - " (always a promising start) "there's a lady in this room who has been putting the end of her pen in and out of her mouth the whole time, and I'm finding it really disgusting, especially considering the reason we're all here, and I don't mean to offend anyone, but I find it really insulting to the teacher." There was a collective intake of delightedly horrified breath, as the room gradually woke up and cottoned on to what she was saying. The lady taking the seminar stood there with her mouth open for several seconds, frantically trying to think of a suitable reply, while someone behind me hissed "ooh, tell-tale-tit!". She eventually plumped for a brisk "Well. That's all very good. Right, thank you all for coming."