Friday, October 27, 2006

Coming up next
Apparently this is the present that everyone will want this Christmas. He laughs when you tickle him so he’s good laughter therapy for all ages. "TMX Elmo" and "Elmo TMX:" has been around for 10 years now in different colours and clothes. He comes in an attractive box which is designed so that you can’t see him except by peeking though a preview flap, when you do this he says “Ah, ah, ah, ah! No peeking!” and starts to giggle. The latest Elmo goes through three tickle cycles with very realistic movements as you can see when you look at the video on the site.

TMX means Tickle Me Extreme
Your homework for this weekend is to study this. Then spend the rest of your life trying to live up to it – not! I told Rob about it, he said “that couldn’t have been much of a life” but I think he would secretly like to be waited on hand and foot. I also sent Dom a copy to study, she hasn’t replied yet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An old saying
“In October dung your field
And your land it’s wealth shall yield”

I’ve been out in the garden recently for the first time in ages, there is still a lot to do to make it tidy. After the hot summer then the rain, everything has stared to grow with a vengeance. I was amazed to come across a ladybird calmly walking up and down a stalk when I was sorting out the irises. I shouldn’t think she found much to eat, except for mosquitoes, of which we have a lot. There was a flower on the pink honeysuckle! Just one. On Monday night we had gale force winds all night. I know, they kept me awake. I was disturbed by branches scraping the roof. I was sure all the tiles would be gone the next day, fortunately the roof was fine. The roses seem to have hung onto their petals too. This afternoon I cut back the offending branches, there was just one I couldn’t reach, Rob will have to do that one.

Twice recently walking through he park in the village I’ve seen a squirrel, it’s the first I’ve seen in a few years.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A trivial post
Halloween is coming up really quickly. Today I came upon this trivia site which gives lots and lots of snippets of information on Halloween subjects such as Jack O’Lantern, cats and monsters. Did you know that the ancient Greeks associated monsters with women? For example gorgons, the harpies and Medusa! There are lots of other monster ‘facts’ from all over the world. Could prompt some original costume ideas.

When you were at school did you learn about the history of macaroni cheese? Now’s your chance. Do you know who Madame Popover was and what she did? There is everything you need to know about cough cures. You can hunt out trivia to impress your friends and amuse yourself by category. I can see my self spending a lot of time reading through this site.
All about life
O came face to face with mortality this week. A friend of a friend of his was killed in a motorbike accident, he was only 16. The first friend had lent the motorbike. At that age adults are interfering when they talk about speed alcohol and drugs, until something like this happens. I must admit that the boys parents were in my mind for most of Thursday, they knew he was dying it was just a question of how long would it take.

On a more cheerful note, O had been watching friends (for the nth time) and he wanted to know why they said “I take the Rachel” during the wedding vows. So I explained to him about the use of ‘thee’ as the wedding ceremony is in old English. As a result of the conversation I got out my book of Common Prayer and we looked at the words like betwixt, thee, thy, troth etc. then he glanced at the spine of the book and said ‘They really wanted you to pray in those days, didn’t they?’ So I asked him why, he thought it said 'Come on prayer' instead of Common Prayer.

He also noticed that the women’s vows include obey. I told him that it’s been along time that women have had the choice to leave that one out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So now we know...
Watch this film on how looks can deceive.

If you live in the US you might be interested in a photography competition.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Little David
I don’t know why I suddenly thought of David the other day. He was one of my pupils around four years ago. He’d just come to ‘the big’ school, he’d already been in specialised schooling and was in one of our smaller classes. He was quite small for his age and rather cute. He used to carry an extra bag around with him because sometimes he needed to change his clothes. The first time he asked if he could go to the toilet during class I said no. No one was allowed to leave the class and anyway the toilets were locked until break. This gave rise to a wave of protest from his class mates who knew that he needed to go quickly to avoid an accident. Fortunately our classroom was across the corridor from the department’s secretary, so I was able to send someone out to check. She came back pretty fast and said it was okay for him to go accompanied by the class representative and gave them the key. After that he went out without too much fuss when he needed to with the representative who was getting pretty fed up by the end of the year.

One afternoon I went in to see the secretary about something and she was there with the lady in charge of the cleaners, they’d called him in to give him a watch, it was only a freebie watch but he didn’t have one like he didn’t have a lot of things including his own home. He was thrilled with it and as he went out they told him not to let anyone take it off him. I never saw him with it again.

The following year I was pleased that I would see him at the second college I was sent to. It was in a zone classed as ‘problem’, some of the teachers were quite a lot harder than I was used to. He wasn’t there. When they saw that a 13 year old needed to come to school with a change of clothes they decided to send him to a special residential school on the Island.

He’s a year older than Olivier and now that Olivier is turning into a handsome tall young man with a great future ahead of him, I wonder what has become of David. I’m sure he wouldn’t have continued his education, he couldn’t read or write very well at all. His cuteness would have no place in the difficult world in which he would be forced to enter.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Health help
I’m going to write about health issues again, well I am getting old, so I think about my health more than I did 15 years ago. One problem that has concerned me lately is the menopause from the point of view of someone who already has a thyroid problem. The menopause can trigger thyroid problems too. Soy or Soya is not good thing if you are taking medicine for your thyroid. Soya is recommended as a good thing for the menopause. As it happens I managed to come across something in the chemists in town which contains sage and flax with no Soya. I’ve still got another four weeks before I can tell you whether it helps with hot flashes, there is definitely a reduction and I am sleeping a little better though I still have difficult nights from time to time.

The point of all this is that I’ve had to go to an awful lot of trouble to sort this one out. It would be nice to have somewhere like people like me could go to find things out and listen to others with the same problem. I think I might just have found a solution; Organised Wisdom is a website where professional and ‘user generated’information meets together for the benefit of everyone who wants to find out. So we can all Help others by sharing 1 piece of health wisdom at I like the use of the word ‘wisdom’, it’s good to know that others share the same worries and problems.
Going, going... not
Beatrice, our friend who likes auctions, phoned on Saturday morning. She’d seen a fridge-freezer which was going up for auction in the afternoon. It was in good condition (nearly new) and at a low starting price. I’ve been to the auction rooms to look around but I’d never been to an auction before so Rob and I set off straight after lunch.

I was amazed at how many people were waiting for the place to open when we arrived and at two o’clock we all poured in. The fridge freezer was nearly new and very clean so Rob bid, unfortunately we didn’t get it. As it happens it was a cheap supermarket brand that hasn’t got a very good reputation. We couldn’t bid too high because I’m waiting for my new washing/dryer machine to be delivered any day now.

Sunday was my day to defrost the fridge, it would have been nice not to have needed to….

Friday, October 13, 2006

We’re all here because we enjoy blogging and the interaction with other bloggers. I’ve certainly made some great friends though it. I love the daily ritual of visiting my blog in the morning to see if I’ve received comments overnight and check to see who’s updated on my blogroll. I was excited recently to find that I could do all this and get paid. PayPerPost is a great site to use and it helps people and companies to advertise on blogs. There is a wide variety of posts to choose from. The minimum number of words required is clearly marked and there are plenty of posts where you don’t have to write that much. An indicator tells you what kind of post to write, for example, positive, neutral or negative.

When you’ve posted you can easily check back later to see if the post has been excepted and when you will be paid. Check them out and see what you think!
Job hunting continues
I think that I might have mentioned that I’ve been sent of for a closer scrutiny of my job hunting. More regular meetings and one day courses run by a private company. Yesterday we acted out interviews. There were nine of us and we all got along really well. They come from all walks of life too. B, who I met a couple of weeks ago there, used to work for American Airlines and had lived in the States for a couple of years. The day got off to a good start when some amongst us received job offers with their signing in papers. We had a great time working out what to say and not to say. Taking it in turns to be the interviewer and interviewee really helped and I always come home with more ideas for my search .

This morning I plucked up the courage to telephone a company I’d sent my CV to about 6 weeks ago. The person in charge of languages told me she was behind with her work (does that mean she’s short staffed?), would I please email everything to them. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

As I was talking about mammograms in the last post, now is a good time to talk about breast cancer and breast cancer awareness. I’ve just been reading the blog of a young woman called Sylvie ( She started her blog when she was diagnosed with breast cancer just before she was due to get married back in August. Just over a month later she was preparing herself for a mastectomy, unfortunately the results of that weren’t good.

Her blog is beautifully written and explains the physical details of breast cancer treatment, as well as the emotional roller coaster of having the rug pulled from under your feet. We moan about mammograms being uncomfortable, but they are small discomfort compared to what may happen if we don’t survey our bodies.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Swedish Chef revisited
Last week was my annual pilgrimage to the Swedish Chef (see here and here). As with all my check ups recently everything was fine. I just have to go back in a year. The only bit that annoys me is that he has a tendency to give out instructions as he’s seeing me to the door. I know I won’t remember things if I don’t write them down; I did remember this time, he said I must have another mammogram in two years time. I don’t have to remember that because I’ve been informed that I shall be receiving an invitation; Lucky me!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The games people play

When I was a child I really used to love those cardboard dolls and paper clothes sets with tabs that you could hook on (the little tabs always managed to tear off). The first of the dress up games that I remember was a Mary Poppins set, complete with Jane and Michael and clothes for each adventure. Needless to say my favourite outfits were the ones for the day that they went inside Bert’s pavement drawing and to the races. My next favourite was a Petticoat Junction set. Even though I’d never seen the television series, I loved the full skirts and the chic dresses the characters wore. My final set, before I grew too old to play fashion games, was a Twiggy wardrobe which had lovely trouser suits and mini skirts , hats, bags, scarves and boots. Real up to date fashion, at the time! I hung onto that set for a long time before giving it away.

Now I am old, I still like to play around a bit so I was pleased to discover Dress Up Games and Dollmakers where you can make your own personalised avatar. There are allsorts of categories to choose from, like fairies, Goths, babies, seasonal dolls, celebrities and even guys! Then there are all the accessories, clothes, hairs, wings etc. with this doll maker to complete your very own unique avatar. I think I might happily lose a few hours on this site.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Queen of Indian Brandy Brandee
Three years ago I wrote about Indian Brandy. It’s been one of the most frequent Google searches here since. In June some one called Rose emailed me to say that she had discovered that it could be spelt Indian Brandee which certainly seemed to fit what I remembered of it. I’m writing this post because there has been a recent surge of Indian brandy visitors. I hope they are satisfied with the information they find.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More work?
I’ve just discovered a very useful site for people involved in languages like me, it’s called Language 123. It’s a special site for translators and people looking for "Translation Services" or "Translation Jobs" in different languages. Freelance translators can post their CVs and samples of their work. Projects can be left on the site and translators can compete for the job insuring the best results. The site is attractive and easy to navigate so that you can quickly find what you are looking for. What’s more, being on the web it’s worldwide which what translating is all about. Hopefully I’ll find some extra work with this site’s help.
I'm still alive, honest!
When I've got a moment I shall have time to explain what I've been doing this past week. I've been referred to an agency which concentrates on getting poeple back to work. I've had an interview with them to establish a project and today I was on a course. I'm learning how to recreate my CV, letters and allsorts as well as finding lots of new places to apply for a job. There are also advantages to being over 50, at long last!