Blogging Up The Works

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Janet & John

We went to Waterstones in Kingston yesterday, where I worked for a month one December, and had a nice surprise in as much as they were selling some older books off for a quid. Some had slightly torn dust covers, others were just remainders. We bought four books;
The full scripts of Downton Abbey series 2 for someone as a present.
A thriller by someone neither of us knows but are willing to waste a pound at worst on.
A coffee table book of eclectic recipes which would have cost £35 new, which I wouldn't have paid.
And finally, the scripts from the Janet and John stories off of Terry Wogan's morning show.

I already own two of the cd collections of the stories. If you don't know them they are a wmix of the style of writing of the Janet & John books some of us grew up at school with and good old fashioned British double entendre. Terry read them and often corpsed with tales where various mishaps befell poor old John who would innocently tll his wife Janet how he'd helped the bakers wife to knead her baps and had a quick taste of her muffin. Not quite what you'd expect from Radio 2 but very, very funny. In a schoolboy sort of a way. Which is why I liked it. Even though I no longer am. A schoolboy that is.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Reading Aloud

When I used to drive for a living I'd get fed up of listening to music and talk rdio used to annoy me so I took to listening to audiobooks. In those days they were 12 or 16 cassette long readings of, in my case, mainly crime novels, although I wasn't averse to something of a comedic quality.

A few weeks back it suddenly occurred to me I should do that again when I am driving around and I've had my fill of French Radio. Which is actually longer than you would think. The other time would be when we are driving back. I shall be scourig Amazon etc for some suitable titles but nearly bought a John Grisham audio book today. I reaslised that if we started listening when we left home we would just finish before we reached my Mums in St Albans. I'm not sure we could sustain two full days of listening to a book. Not speaking, not wanting to sing to something which we often do when driving. But maybe we could do one book over the journey there and back?

The downside sometimes with audio book is that the person reading it is wrong. Rather like reading a book and then seeing the film where all the actors are completely wrong to the way you pictured them, the voice of the person reading needs to correspond to the voice you read the book in, or at least one of the characters in the book.

Of course I could download books onto Audible or a.n.other app but when driving I think cd is best.

So now I shall start trawling the sites for something interesting to listen to....

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sigh of Relief

We've been in the UK now for 8 days and we both feel it is time to go home. Too much noise, too much traffic and too much to get on with back home.

Anyway, another reason to go back is to stop eating so much here. We have indeed managed to eat all the different things we miss plus more besides. We now need to go on a diet. Before we left we were talking to a friend who ha been using a technique which she may well have got from one of the big dieting companies. The idea being that one listens for the internal sigh when you have had enough to eat. Sceptical as I was I discovered I do indeed have such a sigh. To do it properly you should only eat when you are hungry and you should stop dead when you have the sigh, even if there is a half full plate in front of you. You can always finish it if you are hungry later. She has lost about a stone since she started just after Christmas and she wasn't exactly large beforehand.

Whilst we haven't stuck to it yet, we have noticed portion sizes getting smaller, (our big mistake). Let's hope the body sizes start getting smaller in the near future!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be

I don't know whether this is another one of those things everyone thinks when they get old but kids these days don't seem to care about the past, or it's use for the future.

Let me give you an example....

At the wedding last weekend, due to the rrival of little Poppy, there were four generations of M's family there. And her great uncle had brought a photo with him of himself with M and her two sisters sat in the garden with him when he was in his late teens and they were just small kids. Marj wanted just two photos taken, one of the four generations and one of her great uncle with her three daughters. Could she get one, could she buggery. Trying to get her girls to have a photo taken at a relevant time was impossible. They couldn't fit it in between their drinking at the wedding and their need to bugger off the next morning to go and do something which didn't involve hanging araound a minute longer than necessary. They couldn't see why she wanted these photos. What was so special? What was the point?

In the end, just before they all left M rather through her toys out of her pram, or as much as she ever does, whih comes across as slightly peeved. Two of the three daughters I think had realised that maybe this was something their mother cared about and rang later that day to find out if she was ok a they thought something might have upset her. So she explained, but they still don't get the idea why she would want these photo's. Luckily by chance, I had taken a photo during the reception that had all four generations in it, although it isn't posed, Poppy has her back to us, and it's slightly out of focus as people moved. But at least it is there and we hope one day it will give Poppy a chance to see her Great Great Uncle the first time she met him.

It's funny, with digital photography all three girls take hundreds of photos a year on phones etc, thousands of photos perhaps, but maybe not one will ever be a special photo. They won't be printed, they will just be lost in digital files, never to be seen in 20 years time when someone thinks back, if indeed they ever do. So we are going to print off a few photos each year and out them into an album to give to Poppy when she is 21. Hopefully they will mean something and be special for her. As for M's daughters, I suspect one day they are going to wake up and realise they have nothing physical to remember the past by or at least to jog their memories as to people and events.

How sad.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hanging Around

By the time we have returned to Franceland hopefully our lounge will nearly be ready. The last thing we need to do is to put a couple of shelves up for the sky box and the radio. we can't find much in France other than some bits at Ikea so we thought, not a problem, we'll get something in the UK. Wickes - Nothing. Homebase - Nothing. B&Q - Nothing very exciting, but the best we are going to do. I can't believe how little shelving there is in either country, other than the aformentioned Ikea. If this is what the state of the shelving economy is now, what the heck is going to happen post-Brexit. I hope Theresa May has got this on the agenda, we might need some more in a couple of years time!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How The Leopard Changed It's Spots

The first point I saw somewhere, possibly the Metro letters page, made me think and then the second point occurred to me earlier today.
They both come from the point that the vast majority who are against Trump and also against Brexit tend to be on the left of Politics

1) The Queen, who is normally a sponger off the state, everything that is wrong about the class system and should be got rid of immediately, has suddenly become a poor old woman and great-grandmother who should be protected from Donald Trump by calling off the State Visit as she might be embarrassed by him and it and should be protected.

2) The House of Lords are a bunch of non-elected, upper-class, old men who are out of touch with the normal person and should be abolished forthwith. Except, having laid into them, The House of Lords should rally round and throw out Brexit.

As an aside, many on the left would like to abolish the HofL and the Monarchy and make it more like that wonderful American system with a President and, oh, hold on a second, something wrong here.......

Monday, February 20, 2017

It's All In The Stars

I can't remember whether I've mentioned before but I have yet another random hobby. Astrology. Specifically natal astrology and Synastry. The former being the obvious interpretation of a chart cast at birthpoint. Synastry is a sidebranch where you compare the charts of two people and see how they affect each other. You could therefore call it relationship astrology, although the two "persons" could in effect be a person and an animal, or even a building. With the latter two you are not looking at everything, nor the things you look at being interpreted in the same way.

Most people's relationship with astrology is via a newspaper, magazine or website. It is, as most people soon realise, mainly a bunch of absolute rubbish. It partly is based on predictive astrology which I don't touch as I don't have the feel for it. The stuff in papers is a little like saying my car has a wing-mirror therefore we are all driving the same car, colour, make, model, cc etc. It is an extrapolation that is so generalised it is irrelevant for nearly everyone.

I haven't really been doing much in the astrology line for some time. It is quite time consuming and another problem has been that I don't have all the books I want cos some are still in storage and I also need up to date data. So, I went up to Watkins Books who have always been my purveyor of astrological tomes. I can have things sent to France but if I'm in London it gives me a chane to browse as well as pick stuff up. I went to buy one item and came back with four, three of which were on sale.

I now have everything i need to make the chart for our Grand-daughter. The visual chart will be framed and hopefully hung on her wall, as the one I did for my niece, 24 years ago, still hangs on hers. The interpretaion is then sealed in an envelope for either the parents to read then, or to put away until their child is 21, or another age of their choosing, and then just read it out of interest. My niece would have hers if my brother hadn't managed to lose it. The reason for reading it then is not to see how accurate it was, as I say, I don't do predictive astrology, so what is it about?

It comes from the understanding at what a natal chart actually is. The snapsht of that time and day shows a map of the stars. and it exactly the same as a map of the roads. and even more relevant these days with sat-navs. If you want to get from A to B it will show the fastest route, or the shortest, or whatever you want. But once you have set that route it isn't fixed. A roadblock might make you change route, or an accident, or the need for food, or a number of things, including free will. Same with your natal chart. It explains all the routes you can take but the one that should be the road you go on can change through the actions of parents, peer group, free choice.

Of course, this is a very simplified explanation and you may decide it is all absolute hogwash.......