Thursday, June 29, 2006

Anyone For Tennis?

Ah, tennis season is with us, bringing with it a further excuse for gratuitous totty pictures (and no I'm not including the Duchess of Cornwall in that).

And once more the Wimbledon coverage will largely ignore my preferred player of choice (Juan Carlos Ferrero) in favour of unheard of Brits or hairy American grunters. Not that I'm bitter.

At least now I can join in the interminable sport conversations at work (when I can divert them off the World Cup).

Duchess Accosted By Giant Pasty

"She was surprised to see us and stepped back a bit."

No kidding. Probably thought she was hallucinating.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Monkey Business

Latest acquisition - the first series of Cadfael on dvd. Definitely the best, as a/ they weren't buggering about with the plots at that point, and b/ more importantly, it had Sean Pertwee playing the deputy sheriff, Hugh Beringar...good excuse for a picture, methinks...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Merry Midsummer Solstice

So. Soon be Christmas then...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Track Marks

Well, now, there's a thing. Our branch line, wot normally has a double carriage train, has recently been reduced to one for the forseeable future, by the suits that no doubt all travel in posh cars. This leaves us overcrowded to the point of people having to stand for the whole journey, and in a decrepit old shell which used to be the one they wheeled out when the decent ones had broken down, but now appears to be ours. Seats are missing and broken, covers are pulled off, the floor and windows are filthy. The conductor recently distributed complaints cards, urging everyone to write and complain about it: "tell 'em it's minging, tell 'em it smells, anything!", in the vain hope they might return our second carriage, much-needed in terms of oxygen level alone.

Today I got a letter back from them, polite but fudging, mainly: "I would seek to assure you that your experience was not representative of our usual service". Maybe not the rest of your services, but the point was that this IS now representative of our daily journey to work and back.

Anyway, they sent me £25's worth of train vouchers, which I wasn't expecting.

So that's me bought then.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Birdies. Going Cheep.

So there I am, lying on the sofa, hot and knackered after walking into town and back in the blazing heat (mad dogs and Englishwomen...) and wondering why the cat's skulking under the table. Decide she's just too hot, and carry on reading book until there's this *scuffle scuffle chEEp!* from the other side of the room. Eventually extricate small and barely fledged (unless Smudge had had a good suck in the meantime anyway) but otherwise apparently unharmed birdie.

Deposit said birdie in hedge, where it flutters away into the undergrowth. Return to book, and laugh at cat who is trying to tunnel under the bookcase. "Ah, mummy's taken away your furry toy!" But no, obviously, you've guessed, there was another one. This follows birdie 1 into the garden, although I think this one had had its chips. So now I'm just waiting to see how many more the little bugger's smuggled in. Or how long until she brings the first two back in...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wot, no Adric or Mel...

Poll on the BBC news website, for best Dr Who companion - options being Rose Tyler, Leela, Sarah Jane Smith, Tegan Jovanka, Ace, K-9. Somewhat limited, no? OK so they probably couldn't fit the lot on, (could have had a drop-down?) but doesn't it become a bit pointless with a completely arbitrary 6?

I'm probably lucky not to have anything more important to worry about though - as apparently it'll be another couple of months yet before we find out whether all/any of our department falls to the cost-saving Russian Roulette
. That's alright then, I'll open another bottle...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Excruciating English

Missive received from a bod in finance saying "we dont reimburse more than £55 per night unless there are excrutiating circumstances".

Think he possibly meant extenuating...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lizard Tales

Took a trip to Carleon Cove on Saturday, in the Poltesco valley on the Lizard. The weather was distinctly odd, hot and heavy and threatening a thunderstorm that never emerged. Blankets of sea mist would descend occasionally, and driving across the higher roads you could watch it rolling along the horizon.

The cove is comprised from large smooth pebbles, and where the wooded cliffs meet the shore are the remains of old Serpentine works (a particular type of stone found on the Lizard). A stream emerges to form a still green pool at the back of the beach, and we sat and watched small fish leaping right out of the water for the skimming flies.

Hmmn, I just looked up Poltesco on Google to find some historical info for you on the ruined Serpentine mill buildings there, and one of the first links to be listed is for "Poltesco - swingers, dogging and exhibitionism". This has (I only looked in the interests of research you understand) intro profiles for six people/couples identified as being from Poltesco. Given that there ARE only about six houses in the area, this has given me a slightly different impression of the place from that I took away yesterday...

Click here for actual information on serpentine works, if you're interested.

From there we went to Mullion Cove, on the other side of the Lizard Peninsula, where it was sunnier, but rather grim in other ways. There is a pretty enough harbour, although that was fenced off for improving works, but the water swirling below was the filthiest I've ever seen. It was black and sticky and looked like something that might pour off a mud-slide. Hopes for an ice cream were dashed by a completely deserted (yet open) cafe - I suppose we could have wandered in and helped ourselves. Someone waiting at the hatch as we walked down the hill was still forlornly waiting when we came back, so we abandoned the place and drove back out to the Trenance Chocolate Factory in the Mullion Meadows complex that we'd passed on the way in. Had a splendid cream tea, and bought some truffles.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Went to see X-Men 3 earlier this week, which was suitably entertaining, if you ignored the random plot holes. Having been tipped off that there was a final scene after the credits, we endured the long and vaguely embarrassing wait as the rest of the audience filed out (all of about 10 of 'em, this was Redruth after all) only for the curtains to draw across as it was playing and for an abrupt application of the off switch. I'm assuming we got it all, but you never know. I mean, this is the second week it was playing, they must have noticed the existence of this scene, wouldn't kill them to hang onto the curtains for another 30 seconds, would it?

Other random stuff from work this week:
  • Discovered someone has labelled the filing cabinet - beautifully printed labels, unfortunately saying: Draw 1, Draw 2...
  • We have a photocopier that has recently had user codes installed on it. The people that come up to use it from the department downstairs have stuck a sticky label on the front with their pass code, because they can't remember it...(seems only reasonable to put everything through on their code, in that case...)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Being as how we're having a run of what might be described as summery weather, and in the continuing quest to at least get our money's worth from the National Trust membership, on Sunday we went to Trengwainton Gardens, in Penzance.

The entrance is through the shop, where one lady who appeared to be doing everything looked at our cards then wandered off again to her box unpacking. She then wandered back to point out which door we should be going through, which was hidden behind lots of shoppers and completely unsigned in any large meaningful ENTRANCE type way, and then went again, so once we got into the garden proper we realised we had no map or idea of where to go or what there was to see. Plumping for the random exploration method rather than going back, it was nonetheless irritating to see other people smugly strolling about with laminated maps.

The garden is centred on what is basically someone's driveway, albeit a driveway to a very big posh house (which you're not allowed to go into, just stare wistfully at from the peasantry end of the lawn). There is a stream running down one side, with lots of pretty flowers - er, irises, certainly, and some sort of primula thing (or is that soft cheese) and, um, some pink ones.

Up the left of the grounds is a network of pathways under impressive trees (beech, magnolias, rhododendrons, tree ferns) and quite a few bluebells were still out. To the right of the drive is a walled garden, built, apparently, to the exact measurements of Noah's Ark. Well, it does rain quite a lot round here I suppose...

We finished things off with a cream tea in the restaurant - two enormous freshly baked scones and lashings of Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

La Scala

Went out in Truro on Friday night for a leaving do (for someone that actually left several weeks ago, but technicalities have never got in the way of our department and parties).

First stop was a new wine bar called La Scala - just a doorway onto the street, but stretches intriguingly to a shady garden at the back, with various chunks of classical sculpture hidden in the bushes. Had a peek into the upstairs rooms on the way out, and they're all done out like a gentlemens' club or something, with leather chairs and chandeliers - would be a very nice place to go back to on a dark winter's evening and settle in for the duration! We had a wonderful plate of olives and bruschetta with various toppings, and the wine was good (although could have been a little colder, and if you don't want wine or a soft drink you're out of luck, as the person who wanted a gin and tonic discovered). Certainly worth a trip back I feel!

Moved on then to The Wheel Inn in Tresillian for a huge plate of fish and chips. An 15th century thatched pub on the road in to Truro, the food is fabulous and very reasonably priced (certainly after La Scala!).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Like, Totally...

Dylan Moran came to the Hall For Cornwall last night, a completely sold out show ("thank you for coming - but let's face it, what the fuck else were you going to do round here?"). Sitting in the pub prior to the show, we saw him wander past in the direction of the theatre, pulling his enormous red luggage (well where did you think that sentence was going?) across the cobbles. Taller and sexier in the flesh, in a vaguely disturbing way...

The show was hilarious, made me laugh so much at times I could hardly breathe. Truro provided a suitably odd audience ("You 'quite like my jacket and shoes'? 15 years I've been doing this, and I've never been more unnerved by a heckle"), as he smoked and drank his way through various cups of tea and glasses of wine and water ("I'm compulsive, but indecisive"). Altogether marvellous.