Planarchy Archive - March 2005


When The Drugs Don't Work

So, this week I have been mainly exploring the outer reaches of my cranium, courtesy of a particularly virulent and almost totally unpleasant virus.  From Sunday evening until the early hours of yesterday morning I had no real grasp on this world at all... all I knew was that someone had placed barbed wire in my throat, an ever tightening steel band around my head and every few hours threw a couple of pints of luke warm water over me. 

Prescription and non-prescription painkillers were doing nothing until Tuesday night when Solpadeine finally started to do its thing and brought me a couple of hours of pain free lucidity.  And it was wonderful.... so nice to be back.  I thought it was just the pain that I wanted to get rid of but no, it was the total lack of reality....amazing.

However, it's a bit of a shame that neural links like this one aren't more sophisticated as I'm pretty sure we'd have had some excellent posts if I could posted straight from my head during the fever.....

Late Monday I asked Zee if she could go and try and find one of those Pritt-Stik Painkillers that they've been advertising on TV recently.  I didn't hold out much hope but I was desperate by this stage.  The pharmacist also told her it was a waste of time.... but we gave it a go. 

Imagine rubbing sand paper across your aching brow and then allowing methylated spirits to seep into the roughened skin.  Finally light a match...... It was that sort of experience.... not so much Pain Relief as Pain Exchange.... a different sort of pain.  Hmmm... I'm not totally convinced it was quite what I was after.

But the plus side of it all is losing weight... about 4lbs so far and there are still several barbed strands in my throat so I can't even start on the large draw full of Cadbury's Dairy Milk that you all sent me for Easter..... can I put 4lbs back on quicker than it came off?

20050331   18:38

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Cryptic Eggs

Zee, her brother and me spent just over an hour last night composing the twenty clues for the girls Easter Egg hunt this morning.  The clues varied from pretty obvious to almost cryptic with each clue leading to the hiding place of the next clue and a leetle chocolate egg....and finally a larger egg at the end.  We'd tried to extend the duration of the challenge by having successive clues on different floors and using all from the cellar to their loft room eyrie.  Even so Kay completed her ten puzzles in 10 minutes whilst Dee took fifteen... about right I suppose and they seemed to enjoy it.

Their final eggs were somewhat smaller than the this attempt at the worlds largest (thanks to Cheri for link).

20050327   13:33

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I can't find a link to it but I'm sure on Today this morning there was a story that started with the results of a survey of 1,001 (why the extra 1?) Christians that found that 50% of them didn't know what Easter was all about.  Have they not been out shopping recently?  The shops are full of it!  Chocolate, people... it's all about giving chocolate in the least good value way possible whilst wasting as much packaging as possible.  Now, whilst I wouldn't actually turn away any Easter Eggs looking for a home I would neverthelss rather the money was spent on large bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk delivered post haste to Planarchy Towers.

Rant over....thank you.

20050323   10:22

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Party Hard

We went to a party on Saturday night.  Exactly... it is something of an event..... when was the last time we went to a party? 

'twas the fortieth birthday party for an ex-work friend... someone I'd worked with for practically all of my time at GlobalFoodCo.  We recalled how soon after starting there an older guy had celebrated his life-starting birthday and how old we'd all thought it was at the time.  Funny thing perspective isn't it.

Then there's the next stage in the kid chat wars.... it starts off (though we missed this stage) with the boasting of how young junior was when they walked/talked/didn't wet themselves anymore... but now we've got to the "how terrible one's teenager can be" round..... excellent fun!

20050321   20:26

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How convenient that the day after the Beeb warned us of the danger of the Harlequin Ladybird that I find my first seven spotted Ladybird of the year crawling over an Aquilegia.  The Harlequins are an alien species that not only out compete our native ones but also eat butterflies, lacewings and, if times get hard, ordinary Ladybirds.  They're generally rounder, orangeier (or black) and have a distinctive black "M" behind their head... there's a better guide to distinguishing the Harlequin and an online survey here.... though even they state that their appearance is extremely variable.

Well, nice to see a native seven spotter anyway.  It also enables me to fill in the latest of the signs of spring over at the Springwatch website (ticked already are the Bumblebee and Frogsborn).

20050316   16:06

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Now we are six...

A small celebration at Planarchy Towers last night to acknowledge that it's now been a whole six years since much smaller versions of Kay and Dee came to live with us.  As always on this anniversary we are stunned at how much they've changed in what, to us, seems like such a short time.  Twelve year old Kay is now within millimetres of her older sister in height with both of them taller than several of their teachers and certainly up to near eye-balling all but the tallest adults. 

There have been other changes as well.  They lost their "Northern" accents very quickly (though the most observant might catch something not quite Saff East in some of Dee's vowel sounds).  The confidence is wonderful to see (most of the time!).... the two scared little creatures that arrived then are nothing like the supremely confident teen and pre-teen we see today.  And then we look forward... where will we all be in another six years?  Dee has begun to talk of a possible career in Social Work..... which I hope some of her previous case workers might take as some sort of a compliment.  Kay meanwhile meanders between being a catwalk model and following Zee into Accountancy....

20050314   14:34

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For reference

Remember the chitting potatoes?  Well today we planted them.  I say we but it was actually Zee and her mum as I was busy destoning another bed up the allotment.  Of even less interest to y'all will be the comparative soil temperatures of different sections of said allotment.  Uncovered soil was found to be 4.1°C..... soil under black-plastic (1 week) 4.5°C and finally soil under a fleece cloche (also 1 week) an astoundingly tropical 5.5°C.  I was somewhat surprised by the difference between cloche and black plastic..... However, since it needs to be above 7°C for a week before you plant most seeds it's all a bit academic.

I can tell this is going to be a closely followed one so I'll keep you updated...maybe I should investigate a wireless soil thermometer to give us real time updates?

20050313   17:16

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Well it looks like more than just cuddling was going on in our pond last night for this morning there are several mounds of frogspawn.  Several of the twenty or so frogs present seem eager to claim parentage.  And all look very happy about it here too.

20050311   18:13

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Well, even more frogs have joined the melee in our pond.  From the kitchen window the water appears to be boiling with frenetic activity.  Of course if I go out to look they all stop what they're doing and freeze..... "Not us... no, we're just cuddling... honest...

Hmmm.. I'm not sure it's that innocent.

20050310   17:18

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Making a Dalek

But for the word Dalek in the subject line it would have been deleted as junk mail without a second glance.  But when you get an email discussing Daleks you have to open it, don't you? 

He claimed that I'd left my name somewhere on a Dalek Forum (ssshhh) saying I'd got an old Dr.Who special that included plans for making a Dalek.  I have no recall of doing so but it is just about possible.... and it's true I do have that  special Radio Times edition.  He wanted a copy of the plans.  I scanned them an emailed them.... only then wondering whether it was a responsible thing to do or not.  The Daleks are, after all one of the most evil life forms in the known universe.... you shouldn't just go around making them willy-nilly, should you? 

On the other hand the plans don't tell you how to make the actual life form or brain... just the outer shell.  So maybe it'll be OK.

Alternatively, maybe he was from the Beeb and they need to make some for the new series....

20050309   16:52

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Title Tune

And about time I had another excuse to play this.  Mike, over at Troubled Diva, is (in case you're unaware) ringing up a list for an imaginary Bloggers Disco...... for every Blogger suggesting a song he'll donate £1 to Comic Relief..... it's charity guys.. how can we not join in.  Someone already had my first choice (The Clash - White Man in the Hammersmith Palais) so we'll revert to the signature tune... "PlAnarchy for the UK" by those charming old Sex Pistols.  Right now... hahahah...

20050309   16:10

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The male frogs have arrived in our pond... now we wait for the opposite sex and then loads of frogspawn (or frogsborn as young Kay used to insist on calling it.... well there's logic in it!).

20050308   15:56

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Surprise parties are, I'd previously thought, the thing of sitcoms and soaps and best avoided in real life.  Yet DG seemed to enjoy his last night.  No-one let the secret out and he didn't scarper when he saw us.  Cool, nice to see everyone again.

Ringing from the pub to confirm the whereabouts of our eldest (Dee, 14) I was immediately greeted by a "Yes, but where are YOU, though dad?"
"In a pub."  I replied.
"You went to a pub without me?" she countered.  Should I be concerned that she thinks the pub is her place or pleased that she'd be content to be seen there with me?

20050305   9:05

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Ms Woody

Not a very good picture but at last we have a female woodpecker in our little garden (note absence of red stripe on the rear of the head which the males of the species wear).  Maybe there'll be the pecker-patter of leetle woodpeckerettes soon.....

20050302   13:13

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...and Web Visitor Statistics

I'm not a great follower of my visitor stats but do occasionally trawl through them for a laugh.  Mainly to see how folk are ending up here.  "Tits" remains the perennial favourite with "Carbuncle" a not at all close second.  But the real mystery is who all these people are.  I know about a dozen or so relatively regular visitors yet my stats claim there are round about 200 different people turning up here very day....(most, I'm glad to say, not looking for tits) and it's been relatively steadily increasing since I started.  Is it just the growth of the internet and everyone's stats are like this or have I got 200 stalkers? 

The only definite trend I've been able to link to anything I do is that when I go on holiday my visitor numbers increase faster than normal.  What's that all about eh?

20050301   20:10

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