Good with words

Fear... distractions.... the efforts of a self-employed writer to pay the mortgage.... all that jazz.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Holly's say

Holly's been tagged for this game by Harvs. The rules are as follows: 1. Write six weird things about yourself. 2. Post this confession of the absurd on your blog. 3. Tag six other bloggers to do the same challenge.

1. What do you mean, weird? I can't discuss this now. I am busy chasing my tail. Huh? I'll have you know that's not at all weird. I am one of very few dogs who can catch their tail. A rare breed.

2. OK, give me some Whiskas and I'll talk. That's my favourite food in all the world. If you must know, I eat Whiskas to fool Charlie into thinking I am a cat. I do my best to endear myself to her, you know. I chase the Demon Tabby out of the garden, and I woof at any cats who try to poop on Charlie's lawn. But she just hisses at me, sometimes in very close range. Some people don't know who their friends are.

3. Are we going in the car today? That's by far my favourite place to be, unless we've stopped at the river. I love the car boot. It's all warm and it smells of cow poo. If dad's fiddling with the car, or changing the battery, or giving it a wash, he lets me come and sit in the boot while he does it. Now that's my idea of a good Sunday morning.

4. Know how I said I'm a rare breed? Here's another reason why. I can stand on my back legs. I reckon I can stay up for quite a few seconds now. Dad's training me to do it as a Christmas party trick. He's aiming for 10. And he gives me bread to do it. I'll do anything for a piece of bread, me. Or Whiskas. Mm, whiskas....

5. Mum says I should tell you about my worst fear. But really I'm not scared of much, me. I can face a hissing swan and I don't even run away from those yappy little dogs (much). Well, apart from this one Jack Russell we know, who really does have inadequacy issues. So if I told you I'm afraid of forks, would you laugh? Would you heck. I'd lick you half to death. They're a lot scarier than they look, forks. They never just stay there, on the ground. Touch them and they see-saw back and forth, making scary clangs. And don't get me started on the garden fork! That's the worst one of all! I try to see it off, but no luck yet.

6. There's one more thing that gets me woofing like there's no tomorrow. But not 'cause I'm scared, no siree. If I see a man on his own, boy, I'll go nuts. It doesn't matter where he is, but if he's on his own - no lady and no dog - there's obviously something up with that. I'll tell him alright. Go home and walk your dog! You fiend. Keep away from us! Take it from me, those men are bad news.

Holly's run out of people to tag... unless there are any volunteers?

3 Whys, Ladies

Shirl's tagged me with these 3 questions. I've done the answers; new questions and tags to follow later...

1. WHY does a finger nail feel enormous when you rub it with the end of the thumb on the same hand? And, by the same token, why does a tooth feel like a tombstone when you rub it with the tip of your tongue?
If you're only using the nerves on the end of your thumb, then it stands to reason that a fingernail feels larger than when you look at it. Your eyes understand perspective. Your thumb doesn't. To your thumb, EVERYthing is giant.

2. WHY does a night's sleep lasting 7 hours with at least one hour slept before midnight do you more good than a night's sleep lasting 8 or more hours all started after midnight?
Because after midnight the toys come to life. So do the goblins who live in the curtain hems, and the penguins who live in the water tank (they emigrated there to avoid the walruses in Alaska). They turn up their little goblin radios, and dance all over the house. They open the fridge door and spin in the washing machine, they sprinkle dew on the garden and breathe heavily on the window panes. The miniature soldiers climb in and play tennis with your tonsils. The goblins play trampoline on your body as you sleep. And you wake up feeling as though your tongue has carpet fur on it, and all your muscles have been pummelled by tiny feet (not in a good way).

3. WHY do I find nasty little crumbs and other unwanted debris behind items standing on the kitchen counter whenever I clean even though we always wipe the surfaces before and after we prepare food?
See above.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stupid Dumb Quizzes

Whatever you do, DON'T take Blogthings' 'How's Your Vocabulary?' exam. It is a dirty liar. So, instead of being vocabulistically (see?) offended, why not find out What Colour Green Are You?


***You Are Olive Green***
You are the most real of all the green shades. You're always true to yourself.For you, authenticity and honesty are very important... both in others and yourself.You are grounded and secure. It takes a lot to shake you.People see you as dependable, probably the most dependable person they know.
What Color Green Are You?

That's pretty dumb, too. If you ask me, I am more of a Kermitty, lime-toned, spontaneous green.

Dependable my foot. That's the last time I take one of those dummy quizzes.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Love, love, love

It's been almost 9 years since I met Steve. That's such a long time that life is inconceivable without him. But it's such a short time when you're in love. It's long enough to get past one another's annoying habits, to step over one another's mess, and reach a sense of live-in harmony. But it's short enough to cherish every weekend together. Long enough for him to understand my odd emotional breakdowns, but short enough for me to fail to understand anything about his job. Long enough to build and share our dreams for the future (who knows which were whose to begin with?), but short enough to have plenty left to look forward to. Short enough to make me light up whenever he calls. I'm a lucky, lucky girl...

Famous fans of the Sherpa...

... include Howard Moon, failed explorer and jazz musician. See, mum? It's not silly, it's cool.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's NOT a deerstalker...

It's a SHERPA! I knew there was a proper word for it. Mine is pink! And it cost £15, even though Liberty has a £199 one and I almost always pick the least cheap. You can wear it like this, to keep your ears warm, or you can do up the button at the top, like a Russian mafia guy! You see, I rarely shop (okay, that's a lie) but when I do... I do it in style!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Only half an inch

In WHSmiths on Saturday, after I'd flicked through the worthy Alan Bennett memoir and the brilliant Devil Wears Prada (opening with a girly gear-change-panic scene), I couldn't help picking up Mrs B's latest advice work, 'That Extra Half Inch'.

Sadly, it's not Mrs Beeton, and she isn't talking about roulade. It's Victoria Beckham, presenting her fashion tips in a last-ditch attempt to make some money from being a superstar nobody. The title is anyone's guess. As she explained in a recent press conference: "How it works is, you think it's about men's penises, but it's actually not at all. Clever, innit?"

Anyway, I fingered the half-inch with intrigue, but I couldn't open it - they're all cellophane-wrapped like Madonna's SEX was (or was that brown paper)? I suspect the contents aren't as revolutionary, but all the same, I quite fancied finding out about Mrs B's guiding fashion principles. I mean, say what you like about her, but the girl knows how to put an outfit together in the mornings. You wouldn't find her writing books wearing three layers of jumpers and an old pair of trousers covered in cat hair. No, the woman has staff for that.

So I was pleased to find that the Guardian published a concise summary of the book this weekend. It went something like this: Buy expensive hair products, don't muddle up vintage with second-hand (gah!), don't let your thong show, and make sure you get a pair of great jeans. Oh, and a girl should have wardrobefuls of sunglasses. (Like we didn't know that was coming.)

But I still don't know what the half-inch refers to. Distance between spine and belly-button? Circumference of brain? Whatever it is, doubt I'll ever get there. But it's fun to dream.

Jekyll and Hyde

Just dozing off... Wake me up with the flash, would you? Feel my wrath...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ode to Autumn

Thought I'd join in with the seasonal celebrations taking place all over Blogworld.

We are very, very lucky to live in the middle of Devon, 10 minutes from a large National Trust estate. The National Trust owns almost all the land in this area, including half of the next village along, several farms, and acres and acres and acres of land that we walk on every day - which includes a fishing river, hills, woodland and the house itself. It's such a spectacular day today that I thought I would take some photographs (to Holly's dismay).

Here are the trees behind Killerton House, many of which were imported by the gardener, who must have had a real vision for the grounds, since most of these would have been tiny when he put them in!

I like imagining I used to live in these places, with a butler to fetch my tea, and a horse-drawn carriage to take me everywhere in silk gowns. This would have been my drive...

This is the front elevation....

Here's the chapel that was built for the Killerton estate family and workers...

Here's the pooch playing her favourite game in the grounds.

"Yeah, yeah, they're trees. Can I PLEASE have my stick now?"

Why is it always me who has to get the pumpkin-carving blisters?

Here he is. He looked great on our doorstep until next-door-neighbour put out a much bigger, orange, nattily-carved pumpkin. But then the other neighbour appeared and put out... a swede. Tesco ran out of pumpkins, apparently, but the swede made a pretty good substitute.

We had a couple of trick-or-treaters - two boys dressed in totally lame outfits (mainly Santa hats and normal clothes, I think), and a little boy who had a pumpkin mask on. He wasn't overly impressed with his lolly: "I've already got one like that!" but his mum shushed him and said "What do you say?" He looked at Holly, who was on her back legs looking over the lower half of the front door, and said: "Thank you for the sweets, lovely doggy." Holly woofed, he dropped his lolly and fell onto the doorstep.

After dinner (roast pumpkin with tagliatelle, by Steve) and after Steve had finished his gourmet strop, we watched The Fog with our neighbours, who'd come over to avoid paying for trick-or-treats. It is a 1970s film, I think, about a smoke machine that blows smoke all over a village until 6 of them have died. The special effects were fairly poor, but the plot was amusing and there was lots of stabby action.

So that was lovely.