Friday, 29 February 2008

Granny Airbag Video

video

A friend emailed this video to me, and I'm still laughing. Make sure you turn your sound right up before you play this.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

First Thing in the Morning.....

....you should always smile. Better yet, you should laugh.

A friend sent this to me in an e-mail. I just had to share....

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Eek! Things that go bump in the night

I'm a bit of a night owl and I was just settling down in bed with a nice new book at 1 am (yes, I confess, I'm that much of a night owl) when the bed bucked and then shook. Immediate alarm, I thought there must be someone or something under the bed (space under bed is about 2 inches max!). Then there was shaking all around the room and what sounded like a bird that was trapped flapping its wings and trying to get out. I thought a bird had got in the house, then I thought no bird is big enough to move my bed and shake it that way. I have to admit, I was terrified. Then it stopped. When I got my courage back I got up and searched the room, then I searched the whole house. Everything looked normal except that the rabbit hadn't eaten any of her food. I decided it must be an earthquake, and turned on the TV but there was nothing on there about an earthquake and I couldn't think of any other way of finding out if I was right.

This morning's news confirmed that it was in fact an earthquake, 5.3 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter was about 130 miles away from here, but only 50 miles from Sheffield where my son goes to university. I called to make sure he is okay, and he said he and his housemates (except one heavy sleeper) were all woken because the house they live in shook so badly. When it stopped they were all afraid it would start again, but it didn't.

So, everyone had things going bump in the night.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The other man's grass and Christmas Roses

I live in North Buckinghamshire, which is North West of London. My mother used to live South of London in Surrey, but now she's moved near me. When she lived in Surrey, the plants in her garden always seemed to be about one month ahead of similar plants in my garden in Bucks. Now that she's living near me, you would think that our gardens would follow the same sort of timetable.

I have a Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger) in my front garden. It has a reasonably new flower. You can tell that it's reasonably new because it's white. These flowers are quite interesting because they last for weeks. They are white when they first flower, and then gradually they turn pink, and then a deep pink, and still deeper until eventually they are quite brown. Here is a picture of my Christmas Rose, which was taken on Sunday.

Not a very imposing specimen. It's quite hard to get a picture because they're very low on the ground.

Now, here's one in my mother's garden, which is only about 10 minutes away from my garden.

It's weeks ahead of mine, and in much better shape. (For a start, it doesn't look as if it's been attacked by flamethrowers or caterpillars.)

Check out the Garden Goose draw


The Garden Goose is doing a couple of leap year draws on February 29th. The first drawing is for 7 mini faux cupcakes. They're beautifully decorated and, of course, completely calorie free.

Monday, 25 February 2008

A greetings card.

I received this card from my daughter C this morning. It made me laugh so much I thought I'd share it here (with her permission, of course).

It will be gracing my mantelpiece for the foreseeable future.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Dirty Monitor Screens? No problem....

My daughter forwarded this link to me in an e-mail, and I felt I should share this gadget/device with all of my blogger buddies.

If your monitor screen is dirty, please click here to have it cleaned.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Double power source and single lane

I spotted this street light in a car park in Aylesbury today. It is running on a combination of wind and solar power, and was the only one of its sort in the car park. I guess all the rest are on mains power and this one is experimental. I just thought it was really neat.

I drove down this country road which is called Swans Way on my way to visit my mother. As you can see it's only wide enough for one car, so there are passing places alternating on each side so that you can pull over and wait if you see another car heading towards you. I prefer to drive on this road at night because during the day you can't tell if anything is coming around one of the many bends, but at night you can see their headlights before they come into sight.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

China Cycling Challenge


My daughter Christina and her friend Alison are going to cycle across China at the end of September in aid of Charity. The charity that they're doing the cycle ride for is Macmillan, whose nurses come to the houses of people who have cancer, and help to look after them. They also provide other types of support to cancer sufferers and their families. Here's a link to the Macmillan website, where you can find more information about what they do.


The distance the girls will be cycling will total 680 kms, or 422 miles, and they've called themselves Blondes on Bikes. Both are cycling to work and back every day as part of their training, so should certainly be up to the challenge by the end of September.


Their web page for the challenge is http://www.justgiving.com/blondesonbikes, if you'd like to have a look. They've set themselves a huge target, so any donations will be more than welcome.


What a pair of champs they are!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Pink sky morning and posh cars

At 7.30 this morning, this was the view from my window. The sky was pink, which is supposed to be a bad sign, but today has been a beautiful sunny, if chilly, day so far.


I took my car (a Ford Focus) to be serviced, and the courtesy car I was promised was still out, so instead they let me have an Alpha Romeo! I've never driven one of those before. It's like driving a comfortable armchair.
And here's a picture of an ivy covered flight of steps that are at the start of a footpath nearby.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Word Verification

I have had to add word verification to my comments section because I have been plagued by one (it could be more than one) commentor who provides a link to a blog which, when opened, attempts to insert trojans and other malware into the visitor's computer. I've reported these links to Blogger.com, but have heard nothing back, so in the hope that these are computer generated comments which are triggered automatically by any new post, I've added word verification to try and block them. I'm afraid they're really getting on my nerves....

If I continue to received these comments despite word verification, I will try approving comments before they're shown. I'm just so worried that one of my visitors may click on one of these links and find themselves in trouble with viruses and goodness knows what else.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Canal Crossroads in Birmingham

This island in the centre of Birmingham, with its signpost, is the junction where Bridleys Canal, Telfords Main Line Canal and the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal all meet. These Canada geese took advantage of the peace and quiet to have a bit of a rest.


Here's a 360 degree look at the different canals that fork off this junction. You can just see the island with the sign post in the middle of the last picture.

Brrr... It's freezing

Yes folks, after days and days of sunny springlike weather, today has been quite cold, and tonight... well let me put it this way, the forecast is for -2C (that's 28F). Okay, maybe it isn't so cold if you're in one of the chillier regions of the globe, but compared to what we've become used to recently it's positively frigid here!

We do need the frost though, my vegetable garden needs it to kill off any weeds and bugs that might be lurking around, and to break down the compost that's been dug in. I almost did some sowing last week, but I'm glad I held off now.

I won a prize in the recent One World One Heart event. Pamela from Quilts n More sent me a message to say that I won one of her postcards. I'm thrilled to bits, and I can't wait to see it.

Betty of Betty's This And That has passed on this award to me:

Blogging With Purpose Award Rules:

Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.
The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.
In their post about the award they need to link back to this
entry.
Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to the above linked site.

I would like to nominate Sally, Dawn, Lisa S Oceandreamer, Lanne, and Donna.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

AND THE WINNER IS.......

First I printed all the comments and cut them out and folded them up.
Then I borrowed a hat and put the folded up comments into it. I gave it all a good shake.

Then I asked a totally unbiased observer (my mother) to draw a name out of the hat....

and the winner is.......

Well done Ninnie. Your prize will be winging its way to you as soon as you email me your address.
As for everyone else, if you'd like to check back here in about 2 weeks or so, I'm planning to do another giveaway to celebrate my 100th post (this is number 81). Of course, if you'd like to check back earlier or any time at all you're all always very welcome.
Thanks for taking part. It was lovely to see old friends here and to meet some new ones. And a HUGE thank you to Lisa S. Oceandreamer for organising it all.

Happy Valentines Day


Sunday, 10 February 2008

Beautiful day, moon at sunset

It's been warm and sunny here in southern England today. And this is what it looked like from my garden at the end of the day. The sickle moon was out before dark, and there was barely a cloud in the sky. The stark bareness of the trees contrasting sharply against the glorious colours of sunset was quite breathtaking. Judge for yourselves.


Saturday, 9 February 2008

Natalie's joined the OWOH Event

Natalie of Conversations With Flowers has joined in the One World One Heart event and is giving away this lovely painting. She's a very talented artist. She's my daughter, so I ought to know.

If you haven't visited her blog yet, why not use the link above and leave a comment to be included in her draw on February 14 (Valentine's Day). The subjects of her painting are lovebirds, which is very appropriate because of the date and the event. Good luck.


Thursday, 7 February 2008

I'm joining in with One World One Heart


ENTRY TO THIS DRAW IS NOW CLOSED (See post for February 14th to find out who won)
I've decided to join the One World One Heart Event, and this is my giveaway. It's a very small vase from the Argyll Pottery near Oban on the West Coast of Scotland. You can see how small it is because I held it in my hand for the picture (I don't have a giant hand).If you'd like to have a chance to win this vase, please leave a comment at the end of this post. If you don't have a blog, please make sure that you leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. The giveaway closes at midnight GMT on 13th February, and I'll draw the winner on the 14th in the afternoon.


There are now more than 240 bloggers taking part in this event, and you can find the whole list right here, so if you haven't been to Lisa's Heart of the Nest blog yet, there's only one week left.
Good luck!
ENTRY TO THIS DRAW IS NOW CLOSED. (see the post for February 14th to find out who won)

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

One World One Heart

The One World One Heart event is in its second year, and is being hosted by Lisa at Heart of the Nest. The idea behind the event is to get bloggers to widen their horizons and visit new sites by offering giveaways or signing up for draws, or both. It's a great opportunity to meet and make new friends through blogging. You can find the event here. I heard about this through Karen at Karen's Korner , and so far I've been to visit Pea at PEA's Corner and asked to be included in the draw for this lovely hand decorated box:


I've also been over to visit Shirley at 100 Visions and Revisions and signed up for the draw for this lovely picture:

There are at least 150 participants in the giveaway so far, and we're encouraged to visit every single one of them and sign up for as many giveaways as we would like.

Such fun!


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The Floozie in the Jacuzzi


Victoria Square is the centre of Birmingham. It is the point from which road distances are measured. Previously called Council House Square, it was renamed Victoria Square in 1901 after the death of Queen Victoria. It was redeveloped in 1993, and was opened by Princess Diana on the 16th of May that year.

The water feature in the centre of the square is called The River, and is reputed to be one of the largest fountains in Europe. The two statues in the bottom pool represent youth.
The statue in the top pool, which represents life force, has been nicknamed 'The Floozie in the Jacuzzi' by the locals.
Carved around the rim of the top pool is a quotation from T.S. Elliot's poem, Burnt Norton.

And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
What beautiful words!

Pharaoic Feet

Victoria Square in Birmingham has some Pharaoic overtones, with sphynx-like statues guarding each side of the approach to the steps and cascading fountain.


More about the fountain in my next instalment. Meanwhile.....

The Guardians reminded me of a picture I took in Harrods a few years ago. In the Egyptian room there are sphynx-like figures looking down on you, and as you can see they bear an uncanny resemblance to the store's owner.






Saturday, 2 February 2008

What happens to pets when couples break up

Legal systems in most countries are set up to decide what happens to children and personal possessions when married couples break up. But what about the pets in the family?

I'm doing some research for an article I'd like to write about what happens to their pets when couples break up. I'd like to hear about personal experiences or the experiences of someone you know, or even someone you may have heard about. Just leave a message in the comments section, and I'll add it to my collection of information.

I'd really appreciate any information you can give me. Thank you.