What’s going on here, then?  Why, several interesting things today!

No. 2 Son is here with his girlfriend, and in honour of their company, I decided to make my first foray into ‘real’ cooking since my op, and do a beef stew with dumplings.  Now, for this I needed the pressure cooker, and because I still can’t lift much, I had to call upon OH and Son No. 2 for help with that, and with stuff like scraping the caramelised meat and onion sludge from the bottom of the pan before sealing it, and both were very willing – partly because they’re both Jolly Nice Chaps, and partly because they both looooove dumplings.  And OH said that perhaps if I were to teach him how to make dumplings, as part of his ongoing home cookery instruction, we could have them more often than once a year.   Son No, 2, on the other hand, said he didn’t want to know how to cook them, despite the fact that he does most of the cooking at home, because he was afraid that if he knew how, they would end up eating them pretty much every day.

Anyway, we were all in the kitchen cooking except Girlfriend B, who, like me, doesn’t Do The Cooking Thing and I asked Son No. 2 what he was planning to do today and what time he needed to go out.

He said he was aiming to leave around 3pm (OH: Well, we can’t have dumplings, then!  Don’t they take about three and a half hours to cook?   Me: No dear, dumplings are not supposed to bounce) and he said they were going to a birthday party.

Further questioning elicited the information that the birthday party was being held at Activity World, which surprised me, because I thought it was for kids, but apparently not.  You can hire this place on an hourly basis, and providing you are willing to pay a little extra for insurance in case you break something, children of ALL ages can play!

So my extremely well-built six-foot-tall son and his equally shortness-challenged friends will be spending a couple of happy hours wearing themselves to a frazzle on slides and swings, chasing each other through three floors of climbing nets, platforms, and twisty tubing, and (I have it on good authority) playing hide and seek in the ball pits.

Now,  it’s long been a complaint of mine that we don’t do enough to allow our youth – particularly young men – to let off steam physically, so I think this is a great idea!  I’m sure they’ll have a blast!

And the police car?  Well, the birthday boy is about to join the police force as a cadet, and that’s his birthday present.


Edited to add clarity – a couple of people seem to think it’s Son No. 2 who is joining the police force.  It isn’t. He was going to a party held by the future police cadet and was taking the mini police car with him as a gift.  Sorry I didn’t make that clear!

Posted on February 26, 2009 in Conversations by Jay24 Comments »


I think we may have been slightly hysterical following our foray into the torture that is Morrison’s supermarket for our weekly shopping trip.

As you know, OH has been coming shopping with me since my shoulder surgery so that he can help me get things off high shelves, pack the bags and do the heavy lifting.  So there we were, standing in the car park, and I was feeling like a spare something-or-other watching him get the laden bags out of the trolley and into the car.

He looked up briefly from his task and saw me watching. He must have sensed some kind of ‘useless’ vibe from me, because he said, with a smile

‘It’s my raison d’etre.  I’m here to help out so you don’t hurt your shoulder’

‘Does that make me a Sultana?’ I quipped, wittily.

Quick as a flash, he looked me up and down and said -

‘No.  You’re just the ‘current’!’

You have to love a man with a sense of humour!

But what with the childish giggles and the fondling of hands in the ice cream aisle*, I’m sure people think we’re a couple of old fogies having an affair.  Other married couples of our age just don’t seem to behave as we do.

Or do they?  Do tell, if you know different!

Oh, by the way, if you want to believe that’s me up there, and that’s how I dress for shopping trips, feel free … but in fact it’s another stock image from Morguefile.

* He had warm fingers for a change and I was surprised, alright?

I thought about showing you pictures of my fridge for ABC Wednesday this week, it being the letter ‘F‘ and all, but you’ve seen it before and it hasn’t changed much.   So I thought a bit and decided to show you my feet instead.


You see, when I went for my pedicure last week I thought I’d be smart, and schedule my hair appointment immediately afterwards so I could sit and let my toenails dry before going out.  So, all went very well, but about halfway through my full-head colour, my feet got chilly, and I slipped my shoes and socks on, but no-one thought to let me know that I hadn’t rolled my jeans back down again before I left the premises, and I was halfway to the car before I realised.

Someone might not get a tip next time.  I mean, well, really!!

But I was sure you’d rather see something more interesting than that, so I wandered around the house looking for inspiration – because for this round, I’m posting stuff from my house and those feet shouldn’t have got in here at all, really.

The first thing I found was this pile of folded rugs, still waiting patiently to be washed on the dogs’ abandoned feeding station.


We used a lot of those little rubber-backed rugs, because The Pirate was non-too steady on his legs and would slip on our laminate flooring.  Now, of course, there’s no need for them so there they sit, waiting for their turn in the laundry queue.

In the office, I found the futon, with more of those rugs on it, this time washed and waiting to be put away somewhere.  Also a lot of assorted flotsam, including this hat, which may or may not be a fedora. Looks like one to me, but OH isn’t sure.


The futon looks all wrong like this.

We used to keep it clear, because The Princess loved to stretch out on it when someone was working in the office.  Upside down, naturally.


Such a sweetheart, she was, and I do miss her flooziness!

But we won’t dwell on the sadness.  Moving on to happier things, here is Fred in a frame.


Fred Abberline is the main character in the movie From Hell, and is (of course) played by Johnny Depp, who says ‘fuck‘ quite a lot.  Not Fred, although as it happens, Fred says it too.   I meant Johnny does, as in ‘Fuck it!‘, which seems to be one of the guiding principles in his attitude to criticism and pressure from the media, Hollywood, and basically anyone who wants him to conform.  He’s always very nice to his fans, though.

And I’m very fond of Johnny Depp. Look!  He’s even on my fone.


Uh … sorry about that.  Phone.  I mean phone.

And funnily enough, he is also on these lovely folding storage boxes -


They weren’t very expensive, but they’re sturdy and decorative, and I keep a lot of my beading supplies in them.

And just for fun, let’s finish as we began, with feet.  These are OH’s feet.


Yes, he has socks with days of the week on them.  No, it doesn’t say Wednesday, but that’s because I took the picture yesterday.  Rest assured, if you’re reading this on Wednesday, his socks today will be black and blue, instead of black and shocking pink, and they will say ‘Wednesday’.

Posted on February 24, 2009 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay16 Comments »


This is the story of a little girl and her dog.

The little girl’s name is Maya.  She was diagnosed at the age of three years old with a rare neurological disorder which meant that she had great difficulty speaking and swallowing, and she grew isolated from other children because she couldn’t interact properly with them.  Her therapist suggested the family get her a dog to help with her social skills, and after a year searching for the perfect companion, they found Jack, a little terrier who’d been tossed into a dumpster and abandoned.

Maya was instantly drawn to Jack, and he to her.  The family adopted him, and he helped Maya an awful lot with her speech, because she would talk endlessly to him, and with her social skills too.  She became more confident and outgoing.

Lovely story, isn’t it?  A little recycled dog and his girl, happy together after a shaky start in life for both of them.  Everybody say ‘Aaaaaw!’

But it gets better.

One day, Maya was asleep alone in her bedroom when little Jack, downstairs on his own bed, jumped to his feet, ran upstairs and began scratching frantically at her door and barking.   Her mother opened the door to find Maya suffering her first seizure.

Unknown to the family, Jack was one of the rare dogs with a natural ability to detect an incipient seizure, and alert his owners – now, it may be true that all dogs have this ability, but not all will come and tell you.  Jack will, and frequently does.

Maya now has seizures up to six times a day – it’s part of her condition, and doctors had warned her parents it might happen, but until that day when Jack alerted them, she never had.  Ever since that day, Jack has been Maya’s self-appointed seizure alert and assistance dog, as well as her constant friend and companion.

Or as her family put it, her guardian angel.

Full story and video here.