Today we have been much amused by the antics of one particular Blue Tit at the bottom of the garden. First he flew around in front of the mirror and then finally managed to get some purchase and just sat there looking and pecking at himself. He keeps coming back to check he's still as cute.
It doesn't matter that Tonee no longer wants to join the Euro... Ikea think we're going to, as witnessed by their new trolleys. If we're a nation of shop-keepers then obviously it will be the shops that decide.
The mission today was supposed to be relatively straight forward.
I was to drive down to my parent's house in Surrey, drop off the rejuvenated PC and then go out with my father to help him buy a new Digicam (the last one didn't survive the hard treatment he gave it on a fishing trip to Tierra Del Fuego). PC was duly reconnected and we set off to the local Jessops to eventually leave with the new Pentax Optio WP (which is waterproof!) and a 256 meg SD card. Incidentally as far as I could see the only two shops that were the same as I recall from my yoof were Woolworths and Boots.... the rest of the town centre was unrecognisable (including the six floor everytown Mall which I didn't even know existed until today!).
Back to the ancestral pile we drove for a spot of lunch while the camera battery charged itself up. Then we put in the memory card. "Memory Card Error" says camera. "Bollocks" says we.
Out of the house we troop..... and smell smoke. Walk round to the other side of the house to see a grey plume billowing out of the workshop to the rear of the garage. Hastily re-enter the house and run through and get garden hose. Turn off electricity.
My father who only last week was having his lungs washed and vacuumed out (60 years of smoking as he points out) decides he needs to enter the burning workshop.
He quickly exits coughing up plastic and rubber fumes. We take turns to hold breath and spray the hose until the fire appears to be extinguished. However, by this time the fire has got into the roof space and although we think we've got it all this building is joined to the rest of the house so it seems wise to phone the fire brigade. Within five minutes two enormous fire tenders containing 11 firemen and 1 firewoman are blocking the road and pulling out hoses. Much bigger hoses!
While they finish off their work I head back to Jessops to find that every single SD card of that size is faulty "Not again!" curses the assistant. We upgrade to a 512meg card and all is fine.
Meanwhile back at the ranch the firemen have been showing my father how it was almost certainly not an electrical fault but a discarded cigarette....... he decides to tell my mother (who happily missed it all) that it was my fault (I should state that I don't smoke for those unaware). I always used to get the blame as a kid when tools went missing from that workshop..... and now I've burnt it down.
Of course I did!
The lettuce very quickly overgrew their tin cans and have now, as you can see, moved into old plastic drinks bottles. The race is now on to see which one will be ready to eat first...... this will the first produce from our allotment.
So Greenpeace protesters have errected some Solar Panels on old Two Jags' Roof. If they're reading could they come and do some for me next please..... as if Governement Ministers don't get enough perks without campaigning groups doling out prezzies!
One of the lovely things about living in East Lon'n is the high proportion of nice bloggers nearby. You just never know who you're going to bump into next. Today it was the turn of dave and Darren who, as already reported elsewhere, I ran into in Sainsburys. Like me, d & D had just had a minor altercation with a Sainsbury's employee trying to pass off the Daily Mail as a newspaper ("It's got a free CD").
As dave pointed out "All the papers have a free CD today, and the Guardian one is by far the best". Musical taste aside, however, her main concern appeared to be our rejection of what I termed her "fascist rag" and particularly, I suspect, dave's assertion that it wasn't fit for use as bog paper.
...while we're on the subject of nasty red (ha!) things, I've just had an email request from an agency I'm registered with for "Tony Blair smiling or grinning inanely" for use in election leaflets. I susepct it may be for use by someone other than t'Labour Party from that wording, eh? Unless it's for Gordon Brown's ones.
Interestingly I've also just received my election campaign leaflet from the local Labour candidate who states clearly that he opposed the war in Iraq, doesn't mention Tonee at all yet mentions and has a piccie of Gordie. Shame that my local Green canditate has an even better line..... he's an actor who was amongst the original cast of The Bill. What else could one wish for in an MP?
A somewhat less welcome first sitting was this of the first Lilly Beetle of the season. This is her last picture... she was trying to lay eggs but sadly died in labour. And is it me or does her jaw in close-up remind one of the Alien in Alien (sorry for the pixellation)?
The first Speckled Wood of the year joined my flutterbye album today, along with a better picture of a Peacock than that from two weeks ago and then finally, a Comma with it's bizarre wrong season camouflage enabling me to sight it nearly thirty yards away. It's nice when the sun shines isn't it?
Peaches come from a can,
They were put there by a man,
In a factory down town.....
Well, so sang the Presidents of the United States of America. And who am I to doubt them? But, can you take the empty cans and grow more fruit in them?
Well how else does fruit grow?
Unsure, we thought we'd give it a go, as you can see.... and here is the first result. Which is strange as I'm sure they weren't lettuce cans.
Alternatively, Zee claims to have read somewhere that you can use old tin cans as slug'n'snail protection. I've not heard of this one but we're trying it out... if they were copper cans then it would work as I've had quite a lot of success with this copper strip stuff as long as you manage to totally encircle the plant or it's pot.
Today, I have mostly been mending computers.
The girl's one needed a new CD drive so cheap and easy. One of my old ones needed a new power supply, again relatively cheap and easy. My dad's one, however, had a veritable cornucopia of problems. 128Mb of RAM is not, in my opinion, enough to get XP past a slow crawl but even after a RAM injection I still found myself crawling though missing drivers, corrupted files and jam over everything. Still cheap but took rather a long time that one. Still, three nearly good as new PC's aint bad for a days work (and it was raining).
It was my leetle brother's birthday yesterday. Don't worry if you haven't sent a card or bought a present yet though as it's a tradition with DeeJay and me that presents are always late... usually several months. In fact I handed him his last year's birthday present just before Christmas. Thus I suspect there was some surprise when yesterday I presented him some gifts on his actual birthday. This was partly because we were seeing him on the day but also for the concept of one of the presents to work. You see, another tradition that's been building up over recent years is for me to make a CD of some of my favourite songs from the hit parade... a sort of mix tape for a modern era.
I dug up nine guitar based indie-ish pop tracks (for this is still my favourite genre) from the year so far relatively easily but then became stuck with a concept for the cover. The Tories ludicrous General Election poster campaign then came to my rescue... thanks for this and nothing else guys!
Whilst checking that the joke was obvious enough with Mrs.Planarchy she commented that, Yes, she did think music was better in our day. Hmmm, I thought a little bit longer and harder. The cover slogan wasn't really meant to be a serious query but I had to ask myself the same question I suppose.
Happily my answer was "No, I don't think music was better in my day
I grew up with Mud, Slade, Abba, Queen, TRB, SLF, The Clash and the Pistols (amongst many others)... most of which I still listen to today. But I also have a massive CD collection filling most of the gap in between (a bit of a gap in the mid eighties) and am now adding to that with a large mp3 download collection. There is still some absolutely great music out there..... if only I could get teen Dee and youngish Kay to listen to more of it!
For interest the nine tracks, which represent nothing more than a selection of music I have so far enjoyed this year, were as follows:
1. The hounds of love - The Futureheads
2. Why do you love me? - Garbage
3. Killamangiro - Baby Shambles
4. Portions for foxes - Rilo Kiley
5. Jerk it out - Caesars
6. Everyday I love you less and less - Kaiserchiefs
7. Somewhere else - Razorlight
8. Sunny Road - Emiliana Torrini
9. The road leads where it's led - Secret Machines*
*I know this is very last year but it's just been released as a single and I love it.
...he's my lover. Or something... maybe his legs were tired and she was carrying him. Further evidence that spring is here hopefully anyway.
The Louvre have apparently just spent £3.2million on rehanging the Mona Lisa. I couldn't help noticing in Ikea yesterday that they do a picture hanging kit, which will hang several pix) for a more reasonable £1.75. Rather a big difference non? Even allowing for the 70p credit card surcharge and the £1 they're charging for parking (because they're trying to encourage alternative transport.... sofa bed on a bus anyone?).
The only remaining mystery is why Ikea have named their picture hanging kit after that game with the strange shaped balls....
There are not, I'm sure you'll agree, nearly enough pictures of bulrushes on the internet. I shall be doing my best to redress this imbalance. Starting here. And now.
I was really looking for a better shot of a Peacock Flutterbye or even better a Speckled Wood which should also be out of hibernation around now. Instead I found myself crouching amongst the bull rushes stalking this beautiful Heron. Though this shot is sharpest I think I probably prefer this one where you can see the anticipated snack in his eyes or even this one where he's more clearly playing hide and seek with me.
Do you know where your credit cards are?
All of them?
Are you absolutely certain?
My brother DeeJay would, I'm sure have answered in the affirmative too.
Then last week he received a phone call from one of his Credit Card Issuers
asking if they might check up on some apparent spending irregularities on
his card. Had he been spent £600 in So-And-So Night CLub at the
"I haven't been to a night club for twenty-years!" replied a somewhat shocked DeeJay.
"Have you your credit card with you, sir? Can you read us the number and expiry date?"
As he began to do so he noticed that it was not his credit card. All of the credit cards (but not his cash point card) in his wallet had been switched with others of the same brand but in someone else's name.
He then remembered that earlier in the week he thought there's been some money missing from his wallet.... some but not all. Smart thieves you see. It had happened at his gym whilst his wallet was in his locker. When he reported it to the gym they replied that "Oh dear, we thought that had stopped now... someone had a pass key and had been going though all the lockers...."
They thought it had stopped!!!!!
DeeJay was, shall we say, less than happy with them. He was, however, extremely relieved that the incident was discovered thus and not when he was entertaining clients..... imagine trying to pay with a stolen credit card... how good would that have looked?
But how often do you check your Credit Cards are your own?
That's right! It's Flutterbye time again. Woo hoo!
This fast flying Peacock was captured on silicon in this afternoon's gorgeous sun... not a very good shot as it appeared most anxious not to become part of my Digital collection and kept flying off at an alarming speed. Maybe it's some sort of Flutterbye Royalty and mistook me for paparazzi.