Posted on January 20, 2012 in Conversations by Jay14 Comments »

Well, I blame the drugs anyway.

Since I’ve been taking tablets for my high blood pressure, I’ve been experiencing tinnitus to some extent, and when the doc put me on new ones, it got very much worse. There were other, more serious, side effects too, and in the end another doctor in the group practice took me off them, much to my relief. However, the tinnitus seems to be permanent, sadly, and may in fact be made worse by one (or more) of the other six thousand drugs I have to take these days. Perhaps the Omeprazole, taken for acid reflux … and you will know, if you’ve ever had this hideous thing, that a little tinnitus, dizziness and blurred vision is a small price to pay to escape the quite horrendous ‘HELP ME I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK!!’ type of pain that it can cause.

Of course, it might be the diuretic I have to take – also for my blood pressure. But I do need to keep this under control or I’ll probably die of a stroke or aneurism or something like 80% of my ancestors seem to have done. Anyway, it seems that myxoedema, yet another of my not-very-interesting disorders, can also cause tinnitus because of water retention, which can affect the ears. So, the diuretics can both create and solve tinnitus depending on the cause. How very Catch 22.

But all this depressing cogitation on the subject of medical problems, drugs and side-effects is not without humour.

You see, because of the tinnitus, I now sometimes have a little difficulty hearing speech when there is other noise going on. So last night when I was listening to Italian radio on my laptop while playing online Scrabble* and OH began singing, I was distracted. I stopped playing Scrabble and OH’s pleasant baritone took over.

OH (singing): ‘Oh, a wimaway, a wimaway, a wimaway, a wimaway .. the lion sleeps tonight! In the jungle, the … something … jungle ..’

Me: ”Wimaway’ .. What is ‘wimaway’? What does that mean, anyway?

OH: ‘I dunno. I’m (starts to run water into the kettle) munching the gargles of youth!’


OH: ‘What??’

Me: ‘Munching the gargles of youth!!’

OH: ‘?’

Me: ‘That’s what you said: ‘munching the gargles of youth!’

OH: ‘No I didn’t!!’

Me: ‘What did you say, then?’

OH (sternly): ‘I said ‘I’m as much in the dark as you are”


Now, it has to be said that OH has his own little difficulties with his prescription drugs, which cause much hilarity due to a touch of aphasia at times plus some really interesting hallucinations … but that’s another story, and on this occasion, I believed him. It was my ears, and I’m officially going ga-ga.

As they say, if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.

Or maybe it was ‘in few dinner crafts, unicorn’?

Yes, yes, I’m sure that was it.


Oh, to hell with it.


* And how’s that for multi-tasking?

Yes! A whole £46 plus loose change – that’s what we saved on our internet shopping order today, plus a discount of 15% for a voucher I got by email.

No wonder I’m smiling as I type this!

As you can see by the picture this is Ocado, an internet supermarket which carries the Waitrose brand. I love Waitrose! It’s not the cheapest supermarket in the world, but it stocks some great lines. Some of my favourite things include the nicest ‘sachet’ chicken stock on the market (containing no yeast, which is important to me), their ‘Cornish Quartz’ brand of mature cheddar, a genuine sourdough loaf (ie, not packed with extra yeast and/or made by the Chorley Wood method), Pane di Altamura, and Tarallini, a baked version of the Puglian snack food made of flour, olive oil and fennel seeds. Oh, and a rather interesting toilet roll made of waste sugar cane. How’s that for ecologically sound?

Actually it constantly surprises me that more thought isn’t given to toilet rolls in the ‘green’ campaign, because the amount of paper – much of it virgin – which is tossed down into the sewers is criminal. Why not use waste sugar cane – or even bamboo, which is fast-growing, resistant to disease and pests, and actually produces a very soft fibre? Digressing even further from my original theme:

How many trees can we save if we switched to recycled toilet paper?*
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States could save 470,000 trees, 1.2 million feet of cubic landfill space, and 169 million gallons of water if everyone in the US traded one roll of regular toilet paper for a recycled roll. That’s just for one roll. Imagine if we all made the permanent switch to recycled toilet paper!”

And that, dear readers, comes from the history section of the bizarrely intriguing ‘Toilet Paper World‘. You couldn’t make it up, huh? I’m left shaking my head in amazement at the idea that someone has built a site entirely devoted to toilet paper. But there you go … there it is, I found it, and I linked to it, so Ken Fischburg is clearly just fulfilling one of the world’s lesser known needs.

Anyway. Back to Ocado.

I shop now and again with Ocado, not only because I like Waitrose stuff, but also because it’s nice to get the heavy stuff delivered to your door, and because I get vouchers by email which can save a lot of money – £15 in this case – and they do great special offers.

By browsing only the special offer section and picking out things we normally use, I managed to save £46.90. Say it slowly; forty-six pounds and ninety pence. That’s more than a lot of people spend on a whole week’s shopping!

This is store-cupboard stuff, for the most part, and includes multiple purchases of things like toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, cleaning fluids, and the hard-to-find breakfast cereal that OH favours. OK, I admit it, and eight bottles of vino. Which were ALL on special offer.

It gets delivered within an hour time slot (I chose 12-1pm) and if they’re going to be late (or early) they ring. They also take away all the carrier bags, if you want them to.

And the really poetic thing about all this? Having worked out the prices against the savings, we’ve decided that those eight bottles of wine come entirely free with this order, because our savings pretty much cover the cost for them.

That should last us a few days!

* This is a horrible sentence, grammatically, but it is not mine. It’s just a quote, OK?

Posted on January 14, 2012 in Hounds by Jay23 Comments »

For this week’s Saturday Pet Blogger hop, I give you Ranger’s silly ears.

I don’t know if you can see very well in this short video, but as he was walking, with his ears up like satellite dishes, the tip of first one, and then the other, was flopping over backwards at each step.

Of course, when he stops, they both flop forward.

And at other times – such as when he’s trying to work out what on earth that woman is doing with his buddy in all that water – they look quite normal!

Well. It makes me smile.

Please join in, if you’d like. The rules are on the Pet Blogger hop main page (use the link above), but basically they’re pretty standard. Add your post to Mr Linky, and be sure to link back to mention ‘Saturday Pet Blogger hop’ and link back to the original blog.

Posted on January 13, 2012 in Conversations, Oddities by Jay12 Comments »

OH was in the supermarket today, picking up a few things for me while I was visiting the hospital with Sid.

He finished collecting the things we needed, took his basket to the checkout and began loading them onto the belt. Suddenly, the young checkout girl rang her buzzer, and after a couple of minutes along came a supervisor in answer to the call. The girl turned to her superior and said in a low, but still audible voice:

‘I really need to use the loo. Could you get someone to take over?’

The supervisor nodded and walked away, and the shopping continued along the belt. The checkout girl rang it up, and OH bagged it and got out his credit card and popped it into the machine.

While he was waiting for the total to appear on the screen, a second woman appeared.

Woman to Checkout Girl: ‘I hear you need someone to take over for a few minutes?’

Checkout Girl (Quietly): ‘It doesn’t matter now!

OH completed the transaction and quietly left. He really, really didn’t want to know the reason for her change of heart!