Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Great Flood

Yesterday's entertainment at work was provided by a flood in the road outside the office. Apparently monitoring a flood takes three people in hi-vis jackets the entire day to stand next to it, occasionally ineffectively flapping their arms at each other. They set up a road block at the turning onto the main road, but then didn't actually stop anyone from driving through it (was deep enough to be a problem for the smaller cars at least). Perhaps they were just checking to see if anyone happened to have a really big sponge on them.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Richard Hammond

Best of luck and wishes to the Hamster, who was bitten by a Vampire and landed on his noggin earlier this week.

In a statement issued through his agent, James May said: "I've had a conversation with Hammond today. Not a long one, but it was a conversation. "I want to say this - Doctors are cautiously optimistic about his recovery because doctors have to be. I'm not a doctor but I am his mate and I believe that deep inside the Hammond I know is perfectly intact."

Going bananas

Amidst an otherwise stupidly busy week, was forced to go to an infection control seminar. Allegedly aimed at non-clinical staff, it still managed to focus predominantly on things patient and ward related. Stimulating stuff for those of us in the audience that have no patient contact whatsoever and are not even based in clinical buildings.

The lady giving it seemed to have an unhealthy obsession with bananas, choosing to use them as illustrations to practically every example ("...and then what if you picked up a banana for a quick snack after doing so and so..."). This before brief discussion of bar snacks, and how she had once absent-mindedly popped one in her mouth before realising the probable state of them. "I really didn't know whether to spit it out or swallow" she proudly announced.

It's not just me, is it?

Proceedings were then hijacked somewhat by a loud man at the back who thought that someone should come and regularly clean his computer but obviously wasn't prepared to do it himself. This then turned into a diatribe along the lines of "in my day if a kid had measles, you'd mix 'em, get it all over with". Hmmn. Probably just as well we weren't clinical staff really.

Then someone else asked if the silverfish in the paperwork could spread infection, and it all got a little surreal after that...

To really top off the week, I discovered that I needn't even have gone, having been to another update less than a year ago that my manager hadn't remembered. Argh.....

Sunday, September 17, 2006


The gorgeous weather yesterday saw us heading off to Lanhydrock house, which I'd last been to on a school trip when I was about six, so don't know why I was surprised that I didn't remember it as well as I thought.

Built in the 17th century, and largely rebuilt after a fire in 1881, it's a majestic place, with around 49 rooms open to the public, both 'upstairs' with the apartments of the Robartes family, and 'downstairs' with the vast kitchens and the servants' quarters in the roof.

Although we'd bought the guidebook, the information available isn't as good as at Cotehele, where each room had a sheet identifying all the things in it - this time you just got a paragraph and notes on the pictures (apart from the one that I was interested in, obviously).

It took around an hour and a half to do the full tour, after which we adjourned to the stable courtyard for a cream tea. And the sooner they ditch those pesky metal teapots that p*ss more tea on the table than in your cup, the better. Oh, and filter your water, it tasted foul. Scones were good though.

Took a walk through the grounds, to see the church of St Hydrock, the holy well, and some beautiful flower borders (and time out to give a good glare at the moron who was throwing what looked like a banana skin into the middle of a flower bed, and had got it stuck on a bush).

The walk from the car park takes you down a winding drive through open parkland - and on the way back up, we took the option of a lift in a vintage car, letting you sit back and whizz past the rabble, thinking "I'm a lay-dee"...

See more photos here:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Arsenic & Old Lace

Arsenic & Old Lace
Originally uploaded by CornishRambler.
Last night we went to see Arsenic and Old Lace at the Hall For Cornwall, which I wanted to see because Louise Jameson was in it, and other than a vague familiarity with the title, didn't know a lot about it.

Two elderly sisters living in Brooklyn (Jameson, and Sherrie Hewson) have been making a habit of offing their prospective lodgers and getting their nephew (who's convinced he's Teddy Roosevelt) to bury them in the cellar. Over one frenetic night, newly engaged second nephew Mortimer finds out their secret in the shape of a body in the window seat. The same night, their long lost criminal third nephew turns up, accompanied by sinister German plastic surgeon Einstein (think Herr Flick's hapless sidekick in Allo Allo) - and they've got a body of their own to dispose of too...

Was slightly uneasy for the first few minutes, as it appeared to be largely acting-by-shouting, but soon settled into the spirit and thoroughly enjoyed it (although another inch of legroom would have gone a long way, if you see what I mean). The comic timing was brilliant and I loved the set of the house interior. The programme was unusually good value too, with as well as info on the current production, sections on the history of the play and on the history of arsenic and its uses in poisoning!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sancreed Well

Glorious sunshine yesterday. Today, we go on an outing - yep, thick mist. It did make it rather atmospheric though, with sounds muffled, and mist-bespangled cobwebs hanging in the gorse like something from an Arthur Rackham painting.

We sought out Sancreed Holy Well, in West Penwith. The directions I'd found indicated a footpath directly opposite the church, but if you carry on up the hill to the beacon, there's a layby you can park in and another footpath leading down the hill to it, which also looked a lot less overgrown.

The well sort of sneaks up on you. I often find this, with this kind of site - you're wandering along looking for it, only to suddenly realise you're in the middle of it (possibly I just walk along in a daze, but I'm looking for them...). I thought hang on that's not just a wall, it's the ruined chapel, ooh, that tree's covered in clouties, oh hang on, the well's right in front of me.

You walk down a number of rock steps into a mossy stone chamber, the rock sparkles and cobwebs twinkle from the ferns in the roof. At the bottom is a pool of still water, and you can hear it trickling in from somewhere.

We had the place to ourselves (another couple arrived as we were leaving), and in the mist it felt completely removed from everywhere.

Top Tipsy Tip

Further to the success of the rhubarbacardi, I can now also recommend mixing bacardi with a syrup of blackberry and apple for a top cocktail.

The pie wasn't bad, either...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Wild Wild Life

Today, I have mostly been beset by wildlife. I was woken in the small hours by the sensation of something crawling over my hand. Opening my eyes to see an onimous black thing, as my mind was forming the thought ohfuckit'saspider, it gave a big leap, revealing itself to be a grasshopper, promptly disappearing amongst the pillows. This was eventually captured and bunged out the window.

Upon getting up, I started the shower running and pulled back the curtain to reveal - yes, a bloody great spider, trying to pull itself out of the running water in a kind of "ow ow ow ow ow" spidery dance. This, also, was captured and bunged out the window.

Then there was the dead bat in the driveway (rather flat, possibly the cat sat on the bat? She's a big girl.).

And at the station, I was buzzed by a wasp.

I'm begining to think it's a conspiracy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Evolution of Language...

New Definitions

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that,when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

New Terms

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease.

9. Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like,a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating. And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole

Unashamedly stolen from Aisling Bronach's Blog


September's here, and so far it's cold wet and grey. The central heating's on for the first time this side of summer, and I'd rather be in bed. The up side to today is that I don't have to go to work. The downside is that tomorrow I have my yearly appraisal, and I'm having to fill out my assessment form. With illustrative examples. Gah.

Where do I see myself in 12 months? Where do I see myself in 3-5 years? Answers on a postcard please...

The picture is by Helen R Klebesadel, who you can find here.

Friday, September 01, 2006


While bagging up the weekly shop, the cashier presented me with a total that seemed rather cheap, and it vaguely occurred that there were things I'd picked up that I hadn't had yet. Turned out, she'd thought the Toblerone I'd put across the conveyor belt was the triangular divider...