Discovering The Killers

Hi,

WOW,

Last night I watched The Killers onstage at T in the park.

They were totally amazing.  Unfortunately I only got to see them on the television but you can still feel it.

It must be great to actually be there and get the full atmosphere.

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It seems to take him a couple of songs to warm up and then he just explodes into it.

Excellent.

I often play Pearl Jam while I am painting but I think that The Killers will be equally as good.  Time will tell.

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J.

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I went out to get The Sunday Times early this morning and found that our local little Spar shop is selling my favourite Innocent Smoothies for only

£2 instead of the more usual big supermarket price of around £3.

Good Spar.  Clever Spar.

Cockfight.

Hello Peeps,

Today started off sunny so we went out to cut the grass.  At least Big H cut the grass and I pulled out even more Bindweed.

We are plagued with the stuff and it never gives up.

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Bindweed is amazingly pretty when you see it on waste land, growing up through trees and chain link fencing, with it’s beautiful white trumpet flowers.  But do not be fooled by a pretty face because this particular plant is  ‘ Born To Be Wild ‘ with knobs on.

If you leave any tiny bits of root in the ground then they will grow into a new plant just as soon as you are not looking.

I think that next year we will have to treat the lawn with a selective weedkiller.  I do not like to use chemicals but this stuff is seemingly indestructible any other way.

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Yesterday we went out to look at computers but we were frightened off by the prices.

I can probably continue with this Spawn of Satan for the time being while we try to hold out for some kind of sale offer.  You never know your luck !

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As we were driving to the shops we almost had a crash when the driver in front shot into the outside lane without giving a signal.

We had just indicated  a move ourselves and were pulling into the fast lane at the time.

Then the bloody fool shot back into the middle lane in front of us again, once more with no signal given.

Luckily Big H managed to avoid a collision with the idiot, who was also talking on a mobile phone I might add.

Big H said, ” No wonder people get road rage with the way some people behave”.  Or should that be mis-behave.

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We continued on our way and not long after that we were at the head of a queue waiting to get onto a roundabout.  We were feeling mellow listening to sixties hits such as Roy Orbison singing ‘It’s Over,’ and  ‘It’s Only Just Begun’ by The Carpenters.  These latter being from the same family and not fully trained , time-served craftsmen.

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Big H suddenly looked around angrily and said  “Who the hell is tooting at ME,” before realising that the tooting sound came from the advert on the radio.

Talk about road rage.  What if some other guy had heard the same tooting noise on his car radio and looked around to find out which aggressive bastard was tooting at HIM, then saw Big H staring straight his way as HE was looking around to find out the same thing, then they each think the other man is tooting and being aggressive for no reason and they both get furious.

There could be MURDER.

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Things can get unbelievably aggressive in traffic.

This was proved to me one day when Iwas driving in London with my youngest son and two cars up ahead kept trying to pass each other in heavy traffic.

This accelerated until they were side swiping each other’s cars.

Then both  drivers doors opened and the two gentlemen leapt out and were  were facing each other in blazing tempers and screaming.  Then they started pushing forwards and banging their chests together, with their arms down by their sides. They looked like two fighting cocks.

Other motorists were looking on in horror and amazement.

Some shocked motorists started hooting at them.Then they seemed to calm down and got back into their cars and the traffic moved forwards, but we could not believe the exhibition of rage that we had seen.

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We had it right in the sixties.

PEACE MAN

J

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Spaghetti Rules

Greetings to you.

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I have just been informed that the big black Crows that I feed every day are actually Jackdaws.

Well that’s settled finally and I hope that the pseudo crows have not been offended by my ignorance about our avian friends.

Mind you, they would be bloody ungrateful if they were, as I have been providing them all with regular daily banquets for weeks now.

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Yesterday, as Big H has been a good boy, I decided that I should make him a really tasty and extremely meaty Spaghetti Bolognaise, accompanied by a more decent bottle of wine than usual.  One of Spar’s offers of an £8+ bottle reduced by £3.  Having said that, I would have to confess that I am not always very particular about what I am prepared to drink.

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Many are the times that we have bought a very large bottle of unbelievably cheap wine and have consequently found that if you can get the first few mouthfuls down then it is not as bad as you thought.

A bit like a local anaesthetic really, once you get over the first sharp pain everything just goes pleasantly numb

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This morning I put out the leftover spaghetti for the birds and then watched to see if they would eat it or not.

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You would not believe their greed.

They came down a bit tentatively at first to see what it was and have a little taster.

Then it all kicked off.

Down they came, en masse.  pushing and shoving,  all pecking frantically in order to fill their beaks with as much as they could manage.

Then flying off with their booty whilst being mobbed by the other, hungrier ones.

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Very quickly the stuff was gone, leaving a spotless  wall.  They are like industrial cleaners.

Perhaps they should be kept loose in our hospitals, then they could help the nurses to wake up all the patients at an unfeasibly early hour in the morning and to help the somewhat reluctant patients to thoroughly clear their plates.

The standard of cleaning carried out in the hospitals could be judged by looking to see whether there is a high level of bird droppings or not.  Any hospitals where there were no droppings to be found would be forced to give their cleaners a huge pay rise.

What?  What did you say?  Jackdaws are dirty, carry parasites and germs as well as shitting all over the place, so they could  cause untold harm to the poor, helpless patients.

Why should I bloody care, nobody else does !

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So , here I am, with most of Friday not touched yet.

I must away and have fun.

You too I hope.

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J.

The Jackdaws did not like the newer extra dark Ryvita biscuits. I put several of these biscuits out for them when I hadn’t bothered to go shopping for bread and I eventually had to go back and brush the wall clean.  Ungrateful sods.

Calm after the storm

Hi again Peeps,

It is now Thursday and all is well.

My long awaited breakfast did not escape from me this time.

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Big H calmly sat me down last night and explained a few things about using the computer, once I had finished having my tantrum .

I find this a very long winded and awkward way of doing it, but as I have not had hours of frustration today being abused by this spawn of the Devil computer,  I am coping wonderfully.

I do hope that you are as well balanced and stay as calm as I do when you are faced with the various frustrations and difficulties that life throws at you.

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It was good to spend a few hours with my friend yesterday. We have not seen very much of each other for the past year because she recently got married again after many years on her own.

It does not seem to matter what age people are, young lovers are young lovers, when everything is new and they are totally besotted and getting to know one another in even greater depth.

Friends keep asking me if I have seen her lately but I just say that unfortunately I haven’t because she is way too busy having lots of sex.

I told her this yesterday and she almost fell off her chair in horror. I just spread my hands and said, “What, What”,  it was hilarious.

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She made us a lovely lunch which we ate sitting out in her garden. To be honest it was a bit too cold for comfort but her garden is even more stunning than it was last year.

Lots of friends gave them roses and other plants for their wedding presents because, as older established people, they already had two of everything anyway.

These roses are now blooming abundantly and smelling delicious.  The newlyweds are both keen gardeners and spend many happy, happy, hours getting everything in tip top condition, and boy can you see the benefit.  Glorious

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Big H is not showing any signs of rising from his pit as yet, poor thing.  I think that I probably wore him out yesterday.

I shall be extra nice to him today and make him his breakfast when he gets up !

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On second thoughts, no. I do not want to risk undermining his training.

I shall give him a great big kiss instead and tell him I love him.

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My goodness, all that exposure to a romantic newlywed is catching.

J

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Fly away Peter

Greetings on this lovely morning.

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I say lovely morning, but this is not my usual paean to wall to wall blue skies.

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Today we actually have that amazing, damp, green, freshly washed look you see when heavy rain has just stopped .

I really do love it when the bricks of the patio wall are wet and they gleam with that beautiful deep red colour and my flowers look refreshed and glowing.  Newly minted just for me!

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I put the usual bread out for the birds this morning but there were, regretfully, two  extra items added.

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After waking early,  I suddenly fancied some Warburton’s Potato Pancakes again, so I hopefully rooted around in the freezer and found two tucked away at the bottom.

Success, how great to find just what you want, just when you want it.

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When I was ready to put the pancakes in the toaster, to bring them to the required  degree of hardness and dryness necessary for optimum satisfaction,  I could not separate them.

I decided to put them back in the wrapping and bang them on the wall to break them apart.   So far so good.

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Then, I put them in the packet….and they fell straight out of the other end because it had been torn open too.

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Now, I don’t know what you do when you drop food onto the floor.  When this happens to Big H, he just picks up the offending item, wipes it on his pants in a cursory fashion and eats it unconcernedly.

I have told him off for this many times over forty years but I am well aware that my training only works if I am in the room.  Otherwise no dropped foods are safe from him.

I, however, do not eat stuff that falls upon the ground, no matter how much I want it, so I sadly took out my two Warburton’s Potato Pancakes and put them on the wall for the birds.

They needed to be left  whole as they were still too hard to break into pieces.

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On my way into the living room, with only a cup of tea for breakfast, I was distracted by the most terrible squawking and quarrelling coming from the birds outside.

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There, on a shed, I saw several arguing birds crowding around a large crow who had a whole frozen pancake firmly in his beak.

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He ended the fight by just flying away, pancake and all.

How wonderful is that.  They are so funny.

I am glad that I dropped my breakfast onto the floor.

Almost !

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Have a lovely day.    Jx.

PS:  After such a beautiful start, this has ended up being one of the most frustrating fucking days I have experienced in a long time.

This computer is fucking fucked up!  It suddenly went bloody mad in the early morning and decided to wipe out every fucking word I had written, three bloody times, along with losing lines of writing, moving stuff onto different lines and finally, to cap it, totally freezing the cursor for bloody hours!

Luckily I went out for lunch, with a friend, for several hours in the middle of the day, or I would have smashed it!

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Luckily dear Big H spent those intervening hours trying to mend it for me.

When I got back, he had managed to make it work, but only if I was careful and used a mouse.

I managed to get it done finally by 9.15 pm, but on my final check I discovered that it had cunningly removed four bloody lines again, all by it’s bloody self.

My God, this machine is a fucking critic too.

I think the fucking thing has been taken over by the Devil, I cannot believe it is not possessed.  I actually have a crashing headache now.

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Well it’s going to get it tomorrow because Big H is going to buy me another one.

So there!

THAT WILL TEACH IT!

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Calm down Jaksie, think of something beautiful.  Think of something lovely you can look forward too!  Something wonderful.

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Oh yes, I called into Spar on the way back from my friend’s house and guess what I bought?

Mmmmm.

Roll on breakfast!

Practice makes perfect

Hello,

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Why is it always easier to remember the bad things that happen in a day than it is to remember the good things.

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Why is discontent easier than contentment and resentment easier than generosity.

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It is unfortunately easy to adopt bad habits and to build on them.

If you ask a person to say when they were last happy they often need to think about it properly, but they can more easily remember all their grievances.

Nothing so easy is worthwhile.

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Develop the appreciation of happiness .  Look for the good things and it too will grow to be a habit.

Cultivate being grateful.

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Make a point of noticing the shining things in each day.

Repeat them to yourself last thing at night before you go to sleep.

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Take control of your thoughts.

If you find yourself thinking negative things then cut that line of thought off instantly and deliberately think of something positive , even if it is something as small as a nice cup of coffee when you get home.

You could even promise yourself a nice biscuit to go with it,  or a Warburtons Potato Pancake.

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Treat yourself well, make it a point in each day to look forward to a little nice moment for yourself.

If you can do a nice thing for someone else, then do it. It is better than to gossip or be casually cruel or dismissive or follow the others. Kindness is a ripple you make.

Eventually it comes back to you.

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You will benefit from this in so many ways, and like any ability , it will grow ever more easy until it becomes like second nature.

J.

Putting it out of it’s misery.

HI,

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How are you you today.  I hope that you have had a good weekend.

Mine was really excellent and yesterday afternoon was a most enjoyable one.

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The sun had been shining  down wonderfully again all morning and we were settled reading the Sunday papers when Big H had the grand idea of making a picnic and a flask of tea and taking the Sunday papers out into the garden to read them there.

Once I had dashed off and packed the some ham sandwiches and tea , I added some cans of ice cold beer to the bag , and off we went.

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It was good sitting out at garden table, feeling the intense heat and enjoying a very faint breeze now and again.

I am not really a one for sitting still for hours, so I had intervals of pulling up weeds and snipping the holly bush into a tidier shape.

I find that no matter how carefully you pick up those holly cuttings they always manage to get you.

Perhaps I should prepare for things a bit more and get some gardening gloves!.

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Something very sad happened when Big H was cutting the grass the other day.

I was going around pulling out weeds and things when I noticed a bee struggling on it’s back in the grass. I picked it up in case Big H stood on it and I was horrified to see that the cutter had chopped off  some of it’s legs .

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I showed Big H what had happened and he was very,very upset.  He said if I put it on the flowers it might still be okay.

I tried but it could not hold on and just fell to the ground and struggled.

I could not bear the fact that it was suffering and in pain so I took it over to a paving slab , put it down gently and stamped on it hard. I felt so sad for it.

I know that I must seem soft but I do not like killing anything, so I even catch flies in the house and put them outside again.

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It is awful so see how afraid people can be of bees and wasps. So much so that they scream and flail around and kill them.

If you are gentle they will not hurt you on purpose .

I pick wasps up too and put them outside and they have never stung me, why should they.  I have only been stung by a wasp once and that was when I sat down and it must have been trapped in my skirt.

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A bee dies if it stings you because the stinger gets ripped out of it’s body when the barbs get stuck in the skin.

Historically people deliberately get stung by bees to help relieve their arthritis.  Talk about a one way benefit.  Not much in it for the bee then.

It is only when the the bee stings  mammals or birds that the stinger gets left in the skin.

When different hives do battle they can sting each other with impunity because they have hard plates covering them which do not hold the stinger, unlike a mammal’s elastic skin.

Fascinating stuff.

J

Give Them Jam And Bread.

HI Peeps,

Hoping all is well with you.

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I have invented a good way to vastly reduce the cost of running an Old People’s home.

All that is needed are vast amounts of jam, an ample supply of bread and  a DVD of ‘Brief Encounter’. This being a  1945 black and white film starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, which is well loved by all Old People*.

The idea is as follows.

In the morning you gather up all the Old People and sit them in rows of comfortable, wipe down chairs in the lounge and you tell them all what the plan is for the day.

” Today is going to be wonderful, dear Old People.   First we will have our breakfast. It is going to be jam and bread .  Then, as a real treat for lunch, we will all have prime fillet of steak with chips followed by fresh cream and sherry trifle.   Afterwards we are going to watch our favourite film, namely ‘Brief Encounter’  starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson”.

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Much excitement, hand clapping, gum smacking and happy nodding .

“First we will serve you the jam and bread and a lovely hot cuppa.”

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The plastic  trays attached to the comfortable chairs are lifted up and brekkie is served and removed,

Much happiness and enjoyment follow as Trevor and Celia play out their doomed love affair on moody station platforms.

The Old People are chuntering to each other for a time, until they forget what they were talking about and they sit there comfortably and expectantly waiting for direction.

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“Now it is lunchtime and we have a treat in store for all of you dear Old People.

First we are going to have some lovely bread and jam because we are going to spoil you at teatime with some prime fillet of beef , followed by a fresh cream and sherry trifle,  but before that we have a rare treat in store for you all. We are going to watch a film called Brief Encounter starring our favourite Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson”

This greeted with much smiling and hand clapping from our thrilled Old People with their sadly short attention spans.

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The trays are lifted.

The bread and jam consumed.

The film greeted rapturously as Trevor and Celia play out their doomed affair on moody station platforms.

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“Hello Everyone. It is teatime and we are going to have your old favourite of bread and jam today because we all ate far too much steak and trifle at lunchtime. Then, a real treat for you all as we are going to watch our favourite film starring Trevor”……..and so on through supper, breakfast, lunch, dinner …

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Just think how pleased all those annoying visitors will be when their relatives enthusiastically tell them what a wonderful day they have just had eating best fillet of steak, followed by sherry trifle and then watching their favourite Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson film.

Sweet.

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As profits rack up you can invest in some Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films, and let’s not forget the ever popular Bing Crosby in  ‘White Christmas’ and good old Jimmy Stewart warming hearts in ‘ It’s A Wonderful Life’.

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Well you know my idea of thoughts escaping into the ether.

I shall no doubt pick up the papers next week and read the headline

GOVERNMENT SHOWING  MESSIANIC ZEAL FOR BUILDING NEW OLD PEOPLES’  HOMES.  THERE WILL BE A PLACE FOR EVERYONE SAYS PRIME MINISTER

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LOL

J.

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* Brief Encounter.

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Hush, hush, whisper who dares.

Hello ,

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I believe that if you have an earth moving brainstorm and you discuss it with others, then the idea  ‘floats free’  up in the ether, where it can be picked up by another person.

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If this is a new idea, then the other person begins to work upon it as if it is theirs.

I think that this is why new developments such as photography  ( William Henry Fox Talbot, Louis Daguerre)  or light bulbs  (Thomas Edison and Joseph Wilson Swan)  all evolve at the same time.

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Even in my own case it applies.

We  always kept dogs for the last forty years and I used to grumble constantly that we could not see them on a dark night .

One day I had a brainstorm, and thought that if there was a collar that lit up then I would be able to see exactly where our dog was in the night, without worrying that something  bad could happen to him.

I told Big H about it and asked him if it was possible to make something like this that would do the job. and he said that it would be possible.

I said that we should patent the idea  but Big H said that you needed to patent the actual working item so that no one else can do it that way.  Of course I then asked him if we could do it.

“WE could do it,” was the exasperated reply, ” but I have enough to do just earning a living without spending my spare time trying to invent your ideas.  If you are that interested then YOU do it YOURSELF “.

As if.  I am artist not  an inventive scientific type.  So it went no further except for me coming up with a name for it.

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And the name I thought up  was brilliant.

I C U.

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A  few years later what should happen but that these things began to come onto the market.

Perhaps this is something a bit like Jung’s collective unconscious.

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Big H thought of water beds when we first met ,along with various car and boat improvements which are now in general production, but it was a long winded and expensive process to patent ideas  in those days.  Especially if you were going from red to red at the end of each month.

Who knows, perhaps in a few years when he is retired, we can invent something new and get it developed and patented for once.  That would be fun.

So, if you have an innovative idea don’t even tell yourself about it.

J

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A bloody sneak attack

Hello Everyone,

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Today the weather here is still unbelievably tropical.

For the last three or four days it has been hot and humid to an extent which is unusual here.

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However I have found myself an unexpected drawback.

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Normally I would not consider wearing shorts.  In fact I think that the last time I purchased such an item was when I was in my twenties and leggy with it. They were called Hot Pants then !

In the years since, given that our weather is generally rubbish , I have been happy with just jeans or a skirt.

But the other day I was shopping in town and everyone but me seemed to be cool and comfortable in shorts while I was somewhat overheated and constrained in black jeans and boots.

So, nothing loth, I marched into a chain store and purchased some simple, white short shorts and some white T shirts to go with them,   Then, along with the dishwasher cleaners I had originally gone out for,  I gratefully caught the extremely hot and stuffy  bus back home.

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That night we had a barbie and I tested the short shorts.

Big H and I went through the usual   ‘Is my bum big in this’  and the  ‘Do  my legs look cheesy when I walk ‘, and the  ‘Is it still OK at my age’ scenarios.  All finally laid to rest by Big H’s inspirational idea  to cleverly use his mobile to video me walking away from him and then let me view the results.

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The next hot day was wonderful.  I too was cool and relaxed in little white shorts and flip flops.

I too was enjoying the unusual temperatures without damp clothes chafing me.

I too was much cooler in both senses of the word and far, far more comfortable.

Why, I asked myself, did I not relax and wear shorts years ago.

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Would you like me to give you the answer to that question?

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The answer is that nasty, bloody little biting flies dash straight up the legs of your shorts and then they have a four course bloody meal , and then they leave you with a pudenda that is covered in terrible swollen red bites and is so itchy you want to top yourself.

I am in bloody agony

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Burn all of your short shorts immediately ‘cos it is not bloody worth it.

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Pass me the Calamine Lotion and an anaesthetising quadruple bloody gin.

J’

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