Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mini’s conversations in the past few days.

With her mum (L):
L asked Mini if she’d like a drink of orange squash.
No reply from Mini (who was looking at some of her toys)
L: “So, is that a “no”?”
M: “Is that a “no” … or is that a “yes”?

With her Grandma, Mrs C, who was clearing away some old paper …
Mrs C to Mini: “I’m just putting this in the rubbish.”
Mini: “No Grandma! Put it in Recycle!”

Mini shouting out from inside the “Bob The Builder” toy ride
in Wimbledon’s Centre Court Shopping Centre (much to everyone’s
amusement): “No, you can’t!”

With me, playing with her toy farm animals, and attempting to
get them into the (plastic) barn. Mini was on sentry duty,
barring access into the barn.

Sheep (with me holding it and asking if it could enter the barn):
”Can I come in?”
“No, you can’t!”
I said: “Who’s that?”
“And who’s me?”
”I am!”

With her mum at bedtime, settling down to go to sleep, after a
story and a cuddle with mum this evening …

Mini said to her: “You’re my best friend.”
L: “And you’re my best friend too.”


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another photo of Baby

Here's another photo of our new granddaughter for you, which
I took earlier today.

A new arrival

Here is a photo of our new granddaughter (our 4th grandchild)
who was born in hospital rather than at home, owing to a long
delay in the first stage. L went into hospital over 50 hours
after the "waters broke", and went onto a drip to speed things
up. Things went very well after that, and Baby was born with
no further problems. I say "Baby", as her parents have yet to
agree on a name.

The hospital staff were concerned about Baby possibly developing
septicaemia, so they asked L to stay in hospital 48 hours after the
birth to keep an eye on things. L and Baby came home last night.

I'm pleased to say that mother and father are doing very well (that's
the father's little joke), and that Baby is fine too.

As you will have seen, I can't resist taking snaps of our grandkids.
Here is yet another one of Mini, big sister to Baby.

Monday, April 20, 2009

No news really

Yes, there's no news on the baby front. We're in London, waiting for
the appearance of our new grand-daughter. The baby is one day overdue,
(Term + 1) according to L, though the hospital team think she's
T minus 1. Oh well. Whatever.

The weather's been unseasonally warm here in London ~ 21C ~ which feels
like Summer. It's really lovely. I got out L's lawnmower out yesterday,
for its first outing this season, and gave the lawn a light cut.

We've been playing a lot with Mini, our grand-daughter, who's a delight
to be with. Here's a little piccy of Mini with her mum, after Mrs C had
given them both a haircut.

(Mini's holding Minty, her sheep.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brilliant news today ...

Yes, we couldn't believe our eyes when Miss D (one of our cats)
appeared in our kitchen this morning, after having been outside
we thought. She'd come into our house through our new microchip
cat flap.

However, it was possible that she'd just been hiding in our
garage, and not gone outside, so I popped her outside through
the cat flap door straightaway (out into the pouring rain).
Ten minutes later she re-appeared in our house, looking very
pleased to be back inside.

It's taken the best part of two months, for her to overcome her
fear of using this cat-flap. This was excellent timing, as we're
off to London tomorrow (and our neighbours would have had the
bother of having to let her in and out each day).


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The last few days ...

I spent the last few days doing various bits and bobs before we set
off for London this coming weekend (to help out our daughter L who
is expecting her second baby daughter any day now).

So on Easter Monday, I spent some time painting the large radiator
in our dining room, and touching up my paintwork on the walls here
and there. I also did some meal preparation and followed through
three Ipod Video 30GB auctions on eBay. The evening time is the best
time to sell one of these, as you can get an extra £25 to £30 from
buyers who seem desperate to get hold of one. They sell for around
£30 - £50 in the afternoons.

I also spent some time over the Easter weekend listening to the radio
while painting. As some of you may know, Classic FM Radio hosts its
Hall of Fame every Easter, so I've listened to loads of the most popular
classical tunes on and off the entire weekend (there were 300 of them
in all, played in order of popularity). I have voted in this “contest”
in the past, and I've usually put in the same choices each year (really
whatever comes into my head, as I must have about 300 favourites in
no particular order). So this year, I entered Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, Verdi’s “Requiem” and Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” … or was it his
“Marriage of Figaro”? … I can’t remember … they’re both really lovely.
Mozart is my favourite composer, with Chopin a close second.

The full results of this Hall of Fame countdown are listed on the
Classic FM website, with Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending”
retaining its number one spot. It is a really lovely piece, but it’s
played too often for me on Classic FM.


One of our relatives (who loves classical music) absolutely hates
this piece. He told Mrs C: “If I had a gun, I’d shoot it (the lark)
dead”. :)

For those of you who like more popular music, you might like to see
Susan Boyle singing on “Britain’s Got Talent” … a tremendous musical
surprise, which had the three judges (including Simon Cowell)
gob-smacked. The following excerpt may only be on for a short while,
so click below if you wish to see Susan singing. This YouTube video
has already had nearly 6 million viewings....


Yesterday, I did a huge back-up of all my stuff on both computers,
onto 2 CD-Roms and, in addition, onto two flash drives. One of the
bloggers at the top of my blogroll, Jo(e), has just had a major
computer crash – she ended up having to buy a new laptop, and
fortunately managed to get most of her work & photos retrieved from
her old hard drive. All this prompted me to back up my stuff pronto.

I use flash drives myself for temporary day-to-day back up, and CDs
for longer term storage. I’ve still got my ancient Windows 98 computer
in storage, and when I can find the time and motivation, I’ll take out
the hard drive and make it into an external one, for re-use.

Today I’ve been doing some website stuff and some emailing too,
plus tidying up various rooms in the house including my den/bedroom.
We’re planning a 2 week holiday in Spain for May-June 2010 (for a
special occasion) … well, I’m supposed to be doing all the planning,
but it hasn’t worked out that way, as Mrs C likes to be consulted
about every possible option … so I’ve been doing some internet
research on all this.

We’re still trying to coax Miss D, one of our cats, to use our new
microchip cat flap … she’s almost “there” as regards using it, but
we haven’t enough time to complete the training, before we go away,
unfortunately. She’s OK about leaving our house through this cat flap,
but she’s got phobic anxiety about coming back in. I think Miss D
should make an appointment to see Mrs C for some relaxation therapy.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter, everyone.

I hope you're all having fun this Easter weekend.

For a retired bloke like me, it doesn't feel any different to
an ordinary weekday. I'm an agnostic, so I won't be attending
any church services, though I do like listening to religious
music (such as the Bach Passions). The weather is not at all
inviting for an outdoor trip ~ it's cool and wet today, though
it's supposed to be drier today than yesterday.

In fact yesterday, we visited one of our daughters in Nottm
in the morning and then went over to New Walk in Leicester to
see more relatives ~ a young couple who've just had a baby
daughter. I'll put up one or two photos of her on my Flickr
site shortly.

Today, I'll carry on with painting our dining room ~ we've
just bought a slightly darker yellow paint to go on the
remaining 2 walls, so I'll get the first coat of that on today.
Mrs C is meeting up with her friends for coffee this morning,
and no doubt we'll have a go at the Saturday Times crossword
this afternoon (while I'm painting).

As an Easter treat for ourselves, we've booked a table for us
at Cafe Nomad this evening ~ our local veggie restaurant, which
serves high quality food at modest prices ~ you bring your own
wine, if you're a wine drinker. I've said this a few times
before, but I do resent paying out £14 for a £3-4 bottle of
wine at some restaurants, though I do appreciate they have to
make money somehow to stay open.

Yesterday we heard about the high cost of eating basic food in
Paris. People are being charged around £50 for 2 pizzas plus 2 soft
drinks in restaurants ... and a pint of beer is about £7.50!

Is this profiteering, or merely a reflection of how bad our
exchange rate is at present?

So what are you doing this weekend? Anything special?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Too busy

Yes, I've been very busy in the past week or so...

Just been putting together another website (for the U3A).

I've put two coats of white paint on our dining room ceiling
(very time-consuming as we've got a very ornate centre ceiling rose &
ornate coving too).

We've had Litte A and J for a whole day (and we're seeing them today also).

We had a trip to Lincolnshire 2 days ago ~ Woodhall Spa & Horncastle -
... lovely warm Spring sunshine. I haven't had time to sort through my pics.

We've bought a Teac mini-hifi for our dining room ~ superb sound for such
a small system. We'll need an external aerial to get DAB radio though.

I've had a bit of fun chasing after two second-hand iPods on eBay at
the weekend. I nearly "won" the first one, but someone else pipped me
at the post in the last few seconds (it sold for about £27). The second one
was up to £54 by early evening, 84 people were interested in it, and in
the closing minutes of the auction, the bidding went crazy ~ eventually
it sold for £80 (incl. P&P). Almost as exciting as watching the Grand

Started watching the repeat showings of "The Wire". We're slowly getting
into it, and are struggling at times with the Baltimore lingo, but it's
brilliant ~ top quality acting & production.

Well, I'll stop twittering, as I've got a bit more website work to do.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Duck a l'orange

I’m not a strict vegetarian, in fact I’m not one at all as I eat fish,
but Scaryduck’s latest post on eating roadkill has put me right off
eating meat (for today anyway).

SD is promoting home cookery this week, and has already demonstrated
his culinary prowess in preparing cheese-on-toast and chicken curry.
I’m not sure about eating steamed badger though ~ I think I’d have to
jazz it up as badger bourguignon.

I’m hoping that SD will reveal his recipe for Duck A L’Orange, in the
next few days.