Planarchy Archive - April 2004


Hormonal Update

Apparently the skater dudes are now persona non-grata.... there's now a very hanndsome young guy in casual sportswear with a small yapper type dog. I do not like small yapper-type dogs (they're small and they yap).

So, from a style point of view I have to say I preferred yesterday's look.

20040429   20:18

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Staying with the adolescent theme, there are strange looking gangly yutes of the male persuasion hanging around outside our house.  They are wearing long baggy shorts (well it is warm for the time of year) but also, presumably in case it gets cold again, tea cosies on their heads.  Their hair can, I'm afraid, only be described as girly

Skater punks? 

I think not.  They do not deserve to know of the term punk, let alone have it attached to them. 

Dee and Kay seem strangely transfixed.

20040428   21:04

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Staying on an aquatic tangent, I expect you were wondering what had happened to the frogspawn we saw a few weeks ago.  Well, as you can see, the tadpoles are doing fine..... although very spotty.... adolescent I guess.

20040425   20:05

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My Frog Has Fleas!


..which brings Ukulele to mind.  Though upon reflection I think that may have been "My Dog Has Fleas". Anyway, as you can see by rolling over or clicking and rolling over, the white spec on young Ms.Frog's nose are in fact watery flea type creatures. Fascinating thing this macro lens....

And it's not the same picture or even the same frog I showed you a few weeks ago with stick fleas drawn on it as Zee claimed!

20040424   18:23

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Lucky Zee has been on a "Facilitator" Training Course this week.  Yesterday she had been given the task of thinking of an "icebreaking" exercise to try out on her fellow trainees this morning.  She vaguely remembered this ladder exercise from some previous course and marked out the ladder on the floor using masking tape.  The three team members of team A have to get to the right hand end of the ladder (and then out) and the B team to the left.  But any person is only allowed to move either into an empty space or round one other person into an empty space.  As a paper exercise I found this remarkably simple but Zee's fellow traineroos broke more than the ice and failed miserably.  Maybe it's easier in two dimensions than three or maybe just that one head is better than six?

Incidentally they were even less happy when Zee admitted she's forgotten the solution, calming down only when she ironically suggested they leave this exercise in the fridge and digest on it more tomorrow.

20040421   21:11

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Teen Rebellion Part 2

Teen Dee went to a demonstration against animal testing on Saturday (not against try before you buy pet shops but tests upon animals I think).  She came back proudly announcing that she and her two friends were now vegans.  Since Zee and I are non-meat eaters this is perhaps less of a prblem than it might be in some households.  Nevertheless it took a major act of restraint to bite our tongues and say nout.  She spent much of Sunday researching recipes and how she could best still get everything needed for a healthy diet.  Hats off to her for that...

This evening Zee, Kay and I had Gorgonzola & Walnut Tortellini with a pesto and mayoniase sauce.  Dee had some Quorn burgers in pitta bread.  Over supper she put forward the view that perhaps she should start off by just being a veggie for a few months and then if that went OK try being a vegan.  We said that sounded like a very good idea but it was entirely up to her.

She took that as a yes and helped me finish off the remaining tortellini with a healthy sprinkling of parmesan.

20040419   21:01

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(Not) Hovering

Well, lots of rain today so no bumblebees about.  As a consolation for you here's the first Hoverfly (I think) of the season.... from yesterday's sunshine but steadfastly refusing to hover....

20040418   17:01

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The bumblebees were out a-plenty in our garden today.  Fascinating.... so I'll warn you, there may be more pictures...

20040417   20:03

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Bird of Peace?


... 'tis the time of year when natures mind turns to procreation.  Not just our frogs and BW's D'Oves... Mrs.Blackbird busy collecting material for a nest she seems to be building in our Clematis armandii.  The whole tree fern fronds were a bit too much for her so I trimmed off a few pieces.  She seems more than happy....


20040414   18:58

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We were going out for a meal to celebrate Zee's brother's birthday (and the arrival of his fiancée en Angleterre) last night.  Teen Dee arrived downstairs a couple of minutes before we were to depart not only dressed in black from head to toe but also with black eye and lip make-up.  Did she really expect her 43 year old father (wardrobe contents still also mainly black) to react with anything other than a proud"That's my girl"?

If she really wants to do rebellion it's going to have to be a twin set and pearls.....

20040414   7:10

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Trampolines are bouncy

Easter is also about bouncing, oh yes.  A visit to my parents en Rural Reigate found us re-assembling the trampoline.... and young-ish Kay spending nearly three hours bouncing.  Where she get's the energy I just don't know.  Rollover for a slightly less impressive display from moi.

20040412   18:05

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It's Easter, so all good pagans and probably us atheists too, should start with an egg based story....

This week my last remaining reportee handed in her notice.  I shall miss her greatly, both personally and from a work point of view.  But possibly worse of all is the fact that she was the provider of the planarchy household eggs.  Or her hens were.  True free ranging chickens these were.  And the eggs tasted like nothing you can buy in any shop I've ever patronised.  Thus, it would appear timely that this piece appeared in yesterday's Grauni informing us of these hen coops (sorry, E-glus) provided for the city dweller.  True they look rather like those funny Scottish computers that we don't talk about here and are, I'm sure, not the most cost effective way of getting into home egg production it seemed so perfectly timed for our predicament.  I've yet to determine the eggzact dimensions of the allegedly fox proof run (and their tests with their vegetarian fox leave me a little skeptical) but what eggcellent marketing.  And to have a feature appear in the Grauni at Easter must have been their dream eggsposure... like all their originally-pagan-but-nicked-by-the-christians-festivals come at once, you might say.

Did I say it was eggcellent?

20040411   11:50

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Give a wrong time...

Misinformation.  Or should it be disinformation?  I'm not sure.  Anyway, there are, apparently, Terabytes of information stored on all of us.  Much of it out of date and much just totally incorrect.  I see it as my duty as an armchair anarchist to perpetuate their inaccuracies with my own whenever possible. 

So I shouldn't have been very surprised when an envelope from Sainsbury's decorated with cat pictures dropped through the letterbox pleading me to accept "A special treat for your cats".  We don't have any cats you see.  But when I filled out the in-depth questionnaire that came with my Sainsbury's Reward card I told them I had seven.  I also said we had seven cars and seven children.  There was no space to allow me to pretend septagimy otherwise I'd have checked that too.  Anyway I thought I ought to use the token just to keep up the lie.... the girls had said they didn't want Easter Eggs this year.... maybe this crunchy fish snack will do instead of the cold hard cash they desired?  Or maybe I'll give it to Zee's mother who does have cats (but no reward card as she cut it up in front of the store manager).

Then yesterday I came across this survey from the Radiotimes online which ended with the ludicrous question "What is the occupation of the head of your household?"  Head of the household?  Is this the fecking 1950's? 

I put Kingmaker, but they may not believe me.  Does anyone really ever answer these things seriously?

20040409   15:07

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Dead White Goods

Our white goods are dying.... one by one to that great CFC filled junkyard downtown.   First it was the vacuum cleaner, which wasn't actually white but a technicolor Dyson.  Then the tumble dryer.  Then most recently the oldest of the bunch, our 'umble Combi Microwave Oven which I think is the single non-musical possession from the pre-Zee years.  Which means it's lasted a creditable 15 years or so.  But the new one has me thoroughly spooked.  It doesn't make a strange grinding noise... can it really be working?  Why is it turning the food round in circles?  Why is there a bright light illuminating the defrosting comestibles?  All these joys I had forgotten.  But best of all, as it's main use (other than defrosting) is reheating cups of coffee, once it's done its job it beeps every minute until you open the door.... never again will I open the door to a two day old (cold) cup of coffee!

The tumble dryer was somewhat harder to replace.  Having selected the model we wanted highly scored by Which and (its forerunner served us for 10 years before metal fatigue bit in) I had to scour four "electrical superstores" before I found one which actually carried any stock beyond display models.  I suppose the margins on a £130 white box are so slim that it's just worth their while.

Also not worth their while, apparently, on both microwave and tumble-dryer are proper door catches.  Both have a simple flexible plastic hook which I would guess has a fixed life of a few thousand openings.  I doubt if either will thus last as long as their forebears.

20040407   11:26

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Birds Eye View

In response to Somewhat's enquiry I'll let you into a few secrets.   My most recent garden bird pictures have been taken through this Blue Peter style false window.  This sheet of plastic with a hole fits into an open window and disturbs the birds far less than a fully open window.  It also keeps the house warmer!  Having grown bored of birds on the feeders I've fixed a few branches near the feeders to act as perches.  As yesterday's Greenfinch demonstrates the birds are only too happy to pose for me.

Posing with equal charm here, are Ms Bluetit, Mr Great Tit and one of our two Robins (my favourite after the Grandee Greenfinch).

20040405   20:14

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I really do try not to anthropomorphosize but this Greenfinch just cries out for it.  Spot the greyness on top (a toupee perhaps?), not to mention round the jowls.  Clearly a Grandee Greenfinch if ever there was.

20040404   20:16

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Well, as Elsie pointed out in the comments I did indeed walk past her office.  My first real-life view of the GLA building and I have to say I found it wonderful o gaze upon.  From the shot above, where it appears to be trying to edge itself closer to Tower Bridge, to this vista where it seems to be trying to distance itself from the towers of the city.  Wonderful.... every shot makes it appear that my lenses are distorting it (they're not!).   Other pictures here.

Personally I find this monstrosity far more of a carbuncle.... don't get it at all.

20040402   21:07

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