Posted on January 14, 2013 in Conversations, Funny by Jay14 Comments »


Ahahahahaha! I can hardly type for laughing!!

By now, you must all be aware that there are times when my dear OH becomes a little creative with his words. Sometimes it’s lack of sleep, sometimes it’s a side effect of medication, or a teensy tiny memory problem. This time, I think it was pure frustration.

See, the phone rang this morning, early. I picked it up.

Me: “Hello?”

Voice with thick Indian accent: “Hello, Mr S!”

Bad start, Mr Coldcaller. Very bad start. I know my voice is rough in the mornings, before my thyroxin kicks in, but being mistaken for my husband never fails to annoy me*.


Indian Voice: “Hello, Mr S!”

Me: (coldly): “Who’s speaking, please?”

Indian Voice (completely unabashed): “Hello! My name is Andy Smith, and I want to tell you about …”

Me: “Oh, come on!! You have got to be kidding me! TAKE ME OFF YOUR CALLING LIST!!”

And I put the phone down. I mean, OK, I understand the psychology. Give yourself a name which sounds familiar to the occupants of the country you’re molesting calling, and people will warm to you.  Except that we ALL know that people on the Indian sub-continent do not give their children names like ‘Andy’, and they don’t have surnames like ‘Smith’. And in case ‘Andy’ should turn out to be a shortform of some Indian name I am unaware of, let me tell you that sometimes it’s ‘Susan’ or ‘John’ or ‘Linda’. They must have a ‘Name your Baby’ book at the call centre.

So, I have to ask: just who do they think they’re kidding?  Because it isn’t me.

Fast forward to later in the morning.  The phone rings.  I answer it.

A smarmy sounding Scottish voice asks to speak to Mr or Mrs S.

Me: (Coldly): “Who’s speaking?”

Scottish Person: “This is Blahblahblah (sorry, I’ve forgotten who he said he was, but it wasn’t Andrew. Which is actually a perfectly legitimate Scottish name), and I’m calling from the Centre for Energy Cons … ”

Me: “Take us off your list, please.  We shouldn’t be on there in the first place.”

Scottish Person: “Oh. Why is that?”

Me: “Because we’ve signed up for the Phone Preferences Service and asked not to be cold called.”

Scottish Person: “Ah, I see. Well, you do have to update those frequently, you know. But in the meantime, I will certainly take you off our list.”

Me (surprised at the un-smarminess): “Thank you!”

I went to tell OH, that he needed to update our Phone Preferences list thingy.  He asked why, and I recounted the conversation with Scottish Person.  He practically frothed at the mouth.


Me: “Football shit?   BHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!   Oohhh … ”

(Gasps for breath and slaps knees)

Me:  “I think that’s going to have to pass into my lexicon! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

Tears.  Tears of laughter actually came to my eyes.

I think he started to say ‘fuck’, realised it wasn’t the right word and tried to make it into ‘bullshit’ and failed. But to hell with it.

Never mind why he said ‘football shit’.

Just enjoy. I know I do.


* Unless you are a friend of mine, in which case I freely forgive you, and can even find it funny.




What about this one, then?

Take your best shot, everyone! I can’t really give you many clues to this one, except to say that mine is not the only home this photo could have been taken in, not by a long chalk.

The answer to this puzzle is something which is useful, not decorative, and is called into use pretty much every day – at least in this family it is. It’s kind of multi-purpose, though I’m pretty sure there are some who only use them for the purpose for which they are manufactured and sold.

For the purposes of Western Society, they’d be classed – I think – as indispensable objects. Something basic to put on your list when fitting out a house.

OK? You should be able to take a guess by now! The answer will appear tomorrow evening, as usual – that’s Tuesday evening, UK time, around 10pm.

Have fun!

For more Macro Monday pictures – not all of them puzzles! – go and see Lisa of Lisa’s Chaos. There are some wonderfully talented photographers taking part, every week.

Posted on January 12, 2013 in Conversations, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay8 Comments »

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

I don’t usually take part in Q & A’s.   To me, it seems as if they’re probably boring to most other people to read and they won’t want to go round umpteenzillion other blogs reading all the same questions with very similar (or worse, uninteresting) answers, so I skip them.

However, I’ve been catching up with who else is blogging about greyhounds – this being a particular interest of mine, in case you haven’t noticed – and I’m seeing lots of this one popping up. And you know what?  I’m finding that I’m interested in the answers!  So I thought I’d give it a go.

I’ll try to keep my answers short.  Yeah, I know, you’ll believe that when you see it!  Ha!

1. When did you begin your blog?

Amazingly (well, it amazes me) in February 2008! That makes it nearly five years old.  Wow.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

I wanted to write.  I’d sold a few small pieces, but only non-fiction, and I wanted to write fiction.  I was trying .. and I’d heard that blogging was a good way to impress people get into good writing habits and get a lot of good practice.

So here I am, still writing non-fiction.  Guess it’s what I’m best at!

3. Is your current purpose the same?


If not, what’s different?

Well, these days I tend to blog to entertain and make new internet friends and get things off my chest.  Of course, it is still good practice and maybe I do actually impress a couple of people on the way.  I think they’re a retired couple living in a remote Polynesian island and don’t have much else to think about.

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

I’m not sure that I have … other than getting in that practice, of course!

4. How often do you post?

Depends.  I try to make it at least twice a week.  Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less.

5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

Schedule?  What’s a schedule?

If you don’t publish on a schedule, why? How do you think your decision affects your audience? How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”

I doubt I could keep to a schedule to save my life*.  How it affects my audience I have no way of knowing, since I never have blogged to a schedule.   A topic is post-worthy when I think it is.

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.

I’ve never kept track, but off the top of my head, probably about four or five hours blogging, two or three visiting.  Tips?  Don’t bother to write lists of tips for keeping on top of things, you’ll never remember to look at them!

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

Um… a post is successful if it gets a comment or two and people seem to like it.  It’s also successful in a different way if Firestats says it’s getting a lot of hits.  Some very strange posts get a lot of hits; for instance, one all-time favourite is ‘Touch Typist Stricken By Disappearing Keyboard‘. Who knows why?

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?

Firestats lets me know if it’s a referral from another blog or Facebook etc, or from a random search engine search.  I value the search engine hits less, because from my own experience, people often land on pages they didn’t want and stay about two nanoseconds.

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

What the heck is Google Analytics, how does it work, and how do you search for your own blog in it?  I have no idea.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

Just keep on blogging, I guess. Maybe it would be nice to pick up a few more readers, but it doesn’t bother me too much.

This is a Blog Hop from Go Pet Friendly!

*Well, OK.  Maybe then.  If I really had to.



Posted on January 11, 2013 in Hounds, The Home Front by Jay5 Comments »


This being Friday, and Illustration Friday’s prompt coming far too late to get an offering done in time for today, I’m taking this opportunity to update you all on this week’s progress (or lack thereof) on those two thingies up there: the 30/30 dog walking challenge for January and the attempt to follow the 5:2 intermittent fasting protocol.

I’m supposed to update you all on the 30/30 challenge today anyway, so that works out quite well, does it not?

This week has been a tad difficult.  Firstly because Sid is still recovering from his injury, so I could not walk both dogs at the same time and give Jeffie his 30 minutes walk time.  Secondly because I haven’t been too good this week for two reasons, one of which was acid reflux.  Now, for those lucky souls that don’t know, acid reflux is not simply ‘indigestion’ or mild heartburn, it ranges from making your feel nauseous and bloated to searing chest and back pain which can render you incapable of doing anything much at all (except curling up in a foetal position and screaming), and I can assure you that the last thing I feel like doing when in its ugly grip is walking.  The second thing is that I have been suffering a bit with generalised pain, which morphed into sciatica when I got out of bed this morning, resulting in a rapidly scheduled visit to the chiropractor.

Here’s what I managed:

Saturday.  A walk with Jeffie around the village, taking in the local recreation ground, exiting on the far side to walk around and back to the main road and back to meet OH with Sid nearer to home.  It took us about 40 minutes and Jeffie loved it – even the bit through ‘Terror Park’*.

Sunday.  We drove into town for a walk around Central Park.  This is great for an unfit dog, because the perimeter path has four or five paths off it which lead to the centre and there are benches at regular intervals, which means that Sid didn’t have to do any more than we felt he was capable of, while Jeffie could wear himself out.  Jeffie got to do half an hour, and Sid about fifteen minutes.  They like it there, because there are some great new smells and lots of strange dogs they can size up.

Monday.  I took Jeffie north out of the village, and across the fields turning south to the mid-point of the village and back along the road – about 45 minutes. I rang OH when we were at a prearranged spot, so that he could bring Sid to meet us for a shorter walk.  The map for this walk is at the top, and there are three stiles to negotiate.  Possibly it was those three – quite high – stiles that did my back in, combined with the soft spongey ground after all the rain we’ve had.

Tuesday.  I wasn’t feeling well at all because of the aforementioned acid reflux.  I managed two 15 minute walks, one in the morning and one in the evening.  I don’t know if that counts as 30 minutes.  I doubt it, but it’s all we could manage.

Wednesday.  I had to take Sid back to the vet, so OH walked Jeffie in the morning and I took him out for 30 minutes in the evening.  They loooove going out after dark, dogs being crepuscular creatures.  I am not quite so keen, but I’ll do it for them.  Jeffie trotted along all keen and lively, with head and ears up pretty much all the way.  He can’t actually see very well, but he watches the car headlights going across the top of the road ahead of us, and … well, any kind of movement.  He is always super interested in anyone wearing white trainers because they look to him like two small scurrying white animals.  I’m pretty sure he can’t see the person at all in the dark!

Thursday.  I took tripod Sid swimming for the first time since early November, when he had a mystery skin problem which might or might not have been ringworm. While this was being investigated* he wasn’t allowed in the pool, and this might possibly have contributed to his leg letting him down over Christmas.  He adores swimming and nearly ran up the ramp and threw himself in, but we were ready for him and stopped him, just to be safe.  And then I took Jeffie out in the evening again for a 30 minute walk – despite having to have my back pummelled and crunched back into shape that afternoon.  Aren’t I brave?

And here we are on Friday.  I’ll be trying not to do too much, but I will fulfill the 30 minute obligation if I possibly can.

Oh .. the fasting?  Well, I tried, this week, to get back to it after the slacking over Christmas.  I did OK until lunch-time, on Tuesday, when my stomach began to announce it’s unhappiness over the whole thing.  I ate perhaps a tad more for lunch than I would normally do on a fast day to try to pacify it, but by dinner time it was stating in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t stop this nonsense I was Going To Suffer.  In fact, it was already making me suffer, and it continued to do so for about four days.  So for now, I’m going to skip it until my stomach settles down. I feel like a failure, but what can I do?

All I want to eat is sweet stuff and carbs.  I’m beginning to wonder if I have more of a yeast problem than I thought.  Anyone have any experience with whole body overgrowth of yeast?  I know I should stop eating the way I do, and I have a feeling that if I managed to cut sugar and carbs etc for the necessary three months my acid reflux might disappear.

Good luck with that, me.


UPDATE:  Jeffie and I just got back from a 45 minute walk around the village.  I guess that ties it up for this week!


* Terror Park is the local recreation ground.  Jeffie was fine with it until one day when we were walking through he was startled by a small screaming monkey flying through the air at him accompanied by an eldritch mechanical screech.  In other words, a small girl was using the flying fox.  Hardly had he begun to get over that shock than a boy kicked a football in his general direction and that was it.  We had to work quite hard to get him in the gate for a while after that. He’ll do it now, but he’s wary. Very, very wary.

** It wasn’t ringworm. We still don’t know what it was, but lab tests ruled that one out.