Friday, 17 December 2010

Gin at Noon

Well, it sounds so much more acceptable and ... poetic ... than gin at 10:33 a.m, don't you think ? I've been helping someone out this week, doing some cleaning in their house, and had everything done by yesterday. It also involved having the carpets cleaned professionally. The chap did a great job, the carpets look almost new again.

Do you sense it? The forboding?

Can you see it ? Yes, that is the silhouette of trouble on the horizon.

I needed to use the vacuum cleaner to do the upstairs. In order to do that, I needed to empty the canister. The model looks something like this:

I figured it worked much like any other canister/cylinder vacuum, so I confidently detached the cylinder from the base, and then pushed the swizzly bit at the top from the 'lock' to 'unlock' position. There I stood for a couple of moments, trying to work out why the lid would not come off. It was only a couple of moments. That was because it took a couple of moments for the total filthy contents of the full cylinder to drop all over my feet - and all over the newly-cleaned and still damp carpet. A sailor would have been ashamed to use the words I used as I comprehensively cursed the (no-doubt) male designer.

Having bought a Halti for Sebastian, since my aging elbow joints in particular were complaining in a way that OTC ibuprofen couldn't pacify because of his pulling (mere untrained bad manners)

I had to return it to the store yesterday after only two days and 4 walks, as he had managed to snap both the Halti and his new lead. I'm happy to report that the customer service at Viking Aquatics was impeccable: no quibbles, an instant replacement of both items, in spite of me having lost the receipt.

Then an in-law called to tell me they were visiting today. It was someone I like, and whom we don't see at all often; so I quelled my screams and ran round like a nutter cleaning up my own house, which had been pretty much abandoned this week (see helping out someone else above) - so much so that what I thought was a new carpet was in fact a layer of Alsatian fur.

At least it wasn't mold - it's too cold right now. My mood having scared even the children into helping me, a record time later the house was again something we don't have to feel ashamed of. Which is when the in-law called to say that they weren't coming after all because of the road conditions. Then Destructo Boy knocked over his juice onto my newly-washed floor. Followed in short order by his hot chocolate.

No need for dilution. It's the reason he's still alive.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Early Xmas

Well, we passed the homecheck by the Sussex German Shepherd Rescue, and scheduled to drive down to Eastbourne last weekend: which was scuppered by the weather and some family responsibilities.

However, everything was in train to go this Saturday instead; we were all up at some unreasonably early time - and more surprising, we were all even in good moods ! Packed the kids, their lunches, and things to occupy them during the drive, and off we went.

When we got to Eastbourne, we found the address without any trouble, and met the hospitable family that the dog belonged to. A good talk, exchange of information, and the nod from DH meant that we came home with my joint Xmas and birthday present. And without further ado, here he is:

He is 18 months old, chipped, neutered, and has few manners or social graces. He had been named Storm, but we have re-named him Sebastian; once he and I have come to an understanding about how I don't like to be dragged willynilly down the road - or into it, to play with the traffic because of some yappy Jack Russell on the other side - we will get on fine ...

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Deadline Approaching

I've been focussed on other things recently, like readings for clients, preparing and selling soaps for the little Xmas craft fair organized in our local library (I did quite nicely, thank you, and all proceeds already spent, of course; I also did well in my bartering/trading ... perhaps I am secretly a Ferengi ?) and DH's Big Four-Oh - he loved his voucher for a track day driving an Aston Martin and an Audi R8: so much so that he said that they'd have to surgically remove the grin from his face. Quite an accolade, from a man who specializes in 'smiling on the inside'. And this gift Win means that I can tell you that my own self-satisfaction has hit record levels: no surprise there, then.

But anyway, because I've been focussed on those things, progress on the SoDMk2 has slowed somewhat; as I've said before, obviously I can only work on it during the week while DH is away at work. I figure that this gives me just next week and about 2 days of the week after to complete it. Here is where it's got to so far:

Back, front, and one sleeve done; other sleeve half-done; collar unstarted. It is looking feasible that this might just get done in time for Xmas.

The other thing that is looking like it might be achieved before Xmas is my new dog. Inclement weather meant we could not drive down to Eastbourne last weekend, but it is all scheduled in for this Saturday; as long as all goes well ie. he doesn't eat the kids on sight, we shall bring him back with us. Superstition means I shan't post a picture of the dog quite yet, but suffice it to say that
he is not one of these:

or these:

as my taste in dogs (and men) runs well into L sizing and beyond ....

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

At First I Was Afraid

... I was petrified. But actually, it turned out to be not so bad as I thought. Last week I happened to be listening to our local independent radio station, Town 102, when they had a phone-in competition for some tickets; all you had to do was name the other half of a comedy duo, and then have your name picked out of a hat.

Naming Large as the other half of Little wasn't a problem for someone my age; and it was my lucky day to be picked out of a hat.
The tickets turned out to be for this:

For the uninitiated, the Chuckle Brothers (Paul and Barry) are a comedy duo whose target audience is children the age of mine; of course, I'd won two tickets, so needed to buy one so that they could both go. Absolutely fizzing with excitement - well, the two of them at least - we trickled down to the Regent Theatre (that many still refer to as The Gaumont) last night to catch the show. At £15 per ticket, still the theatre was almost full.

The very thin story revolved around Jack Frost being Santa's wicked brother, who stole all the presents, which were only retrieved with the help of the Chuckle Brothers. There were magic tricks, there were odd fluorescent puppet things doing random skits, there were parents from the audience getting custard-pied, there was ''it's behind you'' for George the Abominable Snowman, there was lots of '' 'ulloooo'' and ''to me, to you, to me'', there were toilet rolls being flung into the audience along with sweets and crisps, there were songs to shout along to, and - perhaps best of all - there was a pantomime reindeer named Nuts that peed on the audience anytime anyone said 'pea'. Or 'pee'. Or 'p'. You get the idea.

My kids had a ball, saucer-eyed and open-mouthed at the magic tricks, hoarse with shouting at wicked Jack Frost, and trying to drown each other out on the Christmas songs, nearly wetting themselves with laughter when Nuts the reindeer peed on the front rows - so much so that Destructo Boy cried when it ended. I had a ball watching them.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Limited Edition Xmas Soaps (2010)

At last I have managed to wrap and photograph my Xmas-themed soaps; I had sent the children outside to the front to play in the snow while I quietly faffed about in the back ...

But first, our guest Cuddles has a new winter-ish outfit courtesy of Mini Diva, who Gokked him up good with a dolly outfit and told him not to be over-concerned or sensitive about his super-long arms and legs that a supermodel would kill for, girlfriend ....

And now to business; the first limited edition Xmas soap is Xmas Cookie soap because that's exactly what it smells like, a festive mix of vanilla, honey and warm cinnamon ... granulated coffee provides the artistic speckles, while real honey adds depth and background to the mix, which includes shea butter as usual:

Yes, that is real snow and real holly ...

Next is Honeyed Orange Spice Soap, a welcoming gentle mulled scent, again with real honey and shea butter in the mix for extra yumminess; ground cinnamon sprinkled over the top for kicks:

And last, but certainly not least, Bah Humbug Soap: enriched with shea butter, peppermint scented with tiny chunks of reddy-pink throughout for visual stimulation; this soap is round, and wrapped like a traditional old-fashioned hard-boiled sweetie:

I also took pictures of 2 wrapped Xmas gift baskets:

Gift basket wrapping is available for any combination of 2 or 3 soaps at an extra cost of £1.95 per basket; larger quantities of soap can be gift wrapped by arrangement: just drop me a message via Twitter, email, Facebook, Folksy or Misi ....

Xmas soaps being listed on Folksy, Misi and Facebook as we speak.