Left-Over Posts? Snippets Not Quite Meaty Enough On Their Own To Make A Satisfying Post?
This Is The Place To Come To Use Them Up.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

How Easter eggs are made.


I Can Probably Manage The Breathing .

Sonata :
If Fridge Soup is anything to go by , the consumption of chocolate over the next few days will render us all senseless . So it's good to know that help is at hand . Next week , when biliousness threatens to overcome one , remember Harold Begbie's uplifting little song , meant for just such moments :

"If I Want To Be Happy" .

"If I want to be happy and quick on my toes ,
I must bite my food slowly and breathe through my nose ;
I must press back my shoulders and hold up my head ,
And not close my window when going to bed .

I must soap my bath flannel , and scrub all I know ;
I must then take a towel and rub till I glow ;
I must never be idle and loll in my chair ,
Or shout like a demon and act like a bear .

I must play and not fidget , read books and not flop ;
Begin with a purpose and know when to stop
I must love what is noble , and do what is kind ;
I must strengthen my body and tidy my mind ;

Yes , if I would be healthy and free from all cares ,
I must do all I've told you and mean all my prayers .

And , on a completely different note , I was pleased to see that the renovation of Amsterdam's lovely Vondelpark is nearly complete . A short walk from the busy center , it is an essential part of daily life . Youngest daughter holds her birthday parties there with large picnics and much laughter . When she lived round the corner in a tiny attic , she'd sleep there on breathless summer nights , along with half the neighbourhood . In true Amsterdam style anything goes , so knockabout football games are catered for with a large area where special plastic "grass" fibres are woven through the turf . This is now known locally as the Vondelpark Hair Extension " .

Happy Easter !

Easter eggs may be good for you, study suggests - Yahoo!7 News
No wonder my heart's in good shape!!
Hope yours is too and have a very happy Easter break, egg break that is, with plenty of down time and happy moments.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Toot toot sentiment to you, with knobs on!

Got a nice comment in Chinese script that's appeared on your blog post? Delighted to find that you have admirers in the People's Republic or Taiwan? Can't read Mandarin? Try this: copy and paste the comment text into a translation site such as babelfish (uk.babelfish.yahoo.com/) and look in wonder at what appears.

You didn't know your beautiful blogged prose and artistic photographs would elicit such a warm and imaginative response, did you? Here is a small section of what I received after one blog post, and translated into something quite odd:

female entertainer - sexual affection chatroom - color younger sister pastes the picture area - sexual affection movie The sentiment color sexual affection pastes the chart - sexual affection autodyne - sexual affection to paste the chart - sexual affection posture - sexual affection picture - toot toot sentiment color adult net
In translation, it's hardly enough to shock the vicar, but I worry about viruses and spam, and as I type, am beginning to worry about you lot too, as you do seem to love a slightly naughty topic! Toot toot!

Great-Aunt Tutt-Loudly

Not your morning bowl of porridge, is it?

Listen:  Nobody loves ice cream more than I.
Same goes for cream cheese, cinnamon, maple syrup.
But all of those for breakfast?  

Thinking of these breakfast items, I can feel the sugar-high headache, and the need for a 9am nap.

Friendly Restaurants' marketing people must have found that there's a market for these breakfast dishes, and they're probably right. Everywhere in this country (or perhaps just this region, since I think Friendly's is not nationwide) there are families with small children who crave sugar-stoking, and whose parents will just want the kids to stop whining, and so they will travel off for Sunday brunches of ice cream between maple-syrup-drowned sugary waffles buttered and coated with cinnamon cream cheese.  

Thoughts of the dyspeptic sugar-charged children...
I feel a headache and a 9am nap coming on.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

A Really Nice Country Walk

I am glad to see that, for the moment at least, contributions to this site have gone back to their normal, upright and clean status. I'd like to continue the good work and give you a poem which describes a country walk perfectly.

Fiona Pitt-Kethley

Country Walk

I went into the countryside for a walk
and took some bread for the ducks
and my camera to take photographs.
As I carefully shut the farm gate
the old bull said "Leave that open
Missus. I want to see that 
heifer next door - last time she had a headache.'

I went to the pond and threw bread to the ducks -
'Stuff your Mother's Pride', they said,
'We wants worms.'

I put up my camera to take a picture of a nest,
and the birds said 'God damn that voyeur,
let's crap on her lenses.'

I sat down for my picnic.
There was a little hedgehog nearby,
I undid my thermos and poured him some milk.
And the hedgehog said, 'Keep your filthy 
cow-muck. I haven't got stomach ulcers.
What I want is your pin-cushion for a dildo.'

Friday, 26 March 2010

Yes, No, Yes, No

Climate 'deniers' accuse journal of censorship - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Reckon this one will run and run?

Something else I want the answer to

Why are slippers called slippers?  The other day, I realised our kitchen floor was a bit slippery.  So I thought, 'If only I had a pair of slippers, this would mean I would slip around less than I do in my socks.'

Then I realised how silly that sounded.

Life is just one big puzzle to me.  Somebody help.

Vignettes of French Life (No. 4 in a series)


Mango dessert FAB057

Literal translation of (excerpts of) the accompanying French text:

An END to groping and ruining your eyesight!

NO MORE multiple manipulations trying to get to Mission Impossible!

ONE GESTURE is sufficient for almost anything!  (Editor’s note:  with the exception of Mission Impossible, perhaps)

NO MORE risk of self-deception due to microscopic touches. 

ABANDON yourself to a prepaid card:  all you need is to slip it in. 

Thursday, 25 March 2010


                                                                                                                            Possible new human ancestor found in Siberia - Yahoo!7 News
We all get those lucky days sometimes!

A End


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Take It As Red

Have a fun day with lots of bright points!

However It Began ....

Whether Von's article is right and however writing began , I love this alphabet in a battered copy of The Children's Treasure House that I found in a marvellous second-hand book shop in Haarlem the other day .
Frozen to the bone , we'd gone in to thaw out . We finally tore ouselves away an hour later with a bag full of finds and warmed through by the woodburning stove , the owner's love of his stock and his offer of coffee .
We'll be back !

Monday, 22 March 2010

Alphabet Soup

How Nature Inspired the Alphabet : TreeHugger

It may just be a Man Thing

My son sent it, saying it wouldn't be funny if it wasn't so true:


Now I must try not to worry about him even more than I do......

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Kids Know What They Like . . .

I heard this one on BBC Radio . .  some time ago, now.

Mums talking about the television their children watch.  One said . . "My little boy likes to watch Parliament Live in the afternoons."  This caused some surprise.  A 3 year old watching grown men and women droning on and on . . . ?   
"Oh yes.  He loves it.  He sits in front of the screen with the oven gloves hanging over his head, shouting

The Late George Thomas, (Lord Tonypandy) sometime Speaker of the UK House of Commons, wearing his ceremonial "Oven Gloves".)
This truly great and much loved Speaker died in 1997.

A Splash of Colour in a Grey City

I snapped this picture downtown, two weeks ago. I wondered if this couple was waiting for a parade or preparing to busk down at the harbour. I waited, but they just moved on - a happy couple out for a Sunday stroll, in their Sunday togs.

Imagine the effort it took to dress up like this. There are so many forms of self-expression, but clothing is one of riskiest, especially in a grey city like ours. (as seen in the man passing by with the stroller)

Forget wearing purple. When I'm an old woman I'm going to wear striped stockings and a red tam.

I Blame Television Myself .

Middle Daughter watched her small son prodding at the contents of his baked potato . "What are you doing? ". "Digging for dinosaur bones ".
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Picky eater".

More culinary expertise from me....

Think "Lime and lemon curd would be nice!"

Buy lemons and one lime.

Make curd according to favourite recipe (thank you, Delia).

Notice that recipe-adaptation lime has been totally forgotten.

Think "Lime and lemon curd would be nice!"

Repeat ad nauseam.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Writing as an orgasmic experience



Listen up, all you writers!  I’ve just heard/read the best quote ever about that feeling that washes over us when we’ve written something we really, really like.     

Courtesy of Judith Mercado who can usually be found at  http://judithmercadoauthor.blogspot.com 

it is,

‘I’ve just made love to my writing and am basking in the afterglow’


Wednesday, 17 March 2010

How Privacy Vanishes

How Privacy Vanishes Online, a Bit at a Time - NYTimes.com
So there you go, scary hey?

Apollinaire Said

Apollinaire said
'Come to the edge'
'It is too high'
'Come to the edge'
'We might fall'
'Come to the edge'

And they came
And he pushed them
And they flew


On this day in 1918, the French poet, Guillaume Apollinaire was wounded in the head by a shell splinter
(subsequently dying in the influenza epidemic on November 9th, 1918).

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Big Brother

The recently introduced greeting on the Yahoo opening page , when one wants to check one's emails , is disquieting .
"Hello __ . What are you doing now ? ", prompts a paranoid , "Why do you want to know ? "

Oh , and I nearly forgot . I'm suddenly smitten with Tarik Lamirat . Do listen to his marvellous version of La Foule ( Youtube ) . Even Edith Piaf diehards will be humming along .

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Whoever it was who recommended The Virtual Linguist...

Thank you!

From The Virtual Linguist, March 10, 2010
cynanthropy: a type of madness where you believe that you are a dog
dasypygal: having hairy buttocks
furfuraceous: covered in dandruff or bran-like scales
ichthyomancy: fortune-telling by studying fish entrails
jenticulate: to have breakfast
omphaloskepsis: contemplation of the navel
phobanthropy: morbid dread or strong dislike of mankind
qualtagh: the first person you meet on leaving the house, especially on New Year's Day
snollygoster: an unprincipled person, especially a politician

I had a good time emailing that list to several people. Only two, linguaphiles like myself (and the rest of you), responded. One of my respondents is a server in a chain restaurant, and says that she sometimes offers her guests "ante-jenticular orange juice," and when asked for explanation, says it's the opposite of post-prandial. She notes that "You have to pick the right guest..."

The only word on that list that I imagine myself using, ever, is the last, surrounded and controlled as I am by snollygosters.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Mental Pause

The phrase ' mental pause', made me think of my working situation just before I retired at age 70. There were three nurses working in the intake depart at the home health agency where I worked. We dealt with information for referrals to the agency. One of the nurses was a redhead, one was a brunet and I had white hair. Well folks who knew us called us the redhead, blackhead and whitehead. Now they could remember what color hair we had but sometimes forgot our names. I could answer the phone Blada, blada, blada this is Peggy, may I help you. I would often get, and we all did, are you the redhead or the blackhead? No mam, I am the whitehead. Okay I want to speak to the blackhead. Now we all did the same job and could take care of whatever the caller wanted or needed, but when some one wants a blackhead or redhead, they don't want a whitehead. But we lovenly call each other that. even though we have been split up 2 years now. I miss them so much.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


My slightly-barmy friend down the street, she who once tried to return my stepladders and found herself at my door carrying her own ironing board instead, has just returned from a month's yoga intensive in an ashram. Masochists' boot camp more like, but anyway....

While there, she found that her wind-up torch had run out of battery power, so she packed it away and had to do without light in her tent for the whole of her stay. Only after she got home did she remember why she'd invested in a wind up torch.....

Blood Brothers

My friend Jay Diamond who also posts on Fridge Soup and I went on a coach trip yesterday and did what hundreds of thousands of people have been doing for 25 years: we went to a performance of Blood Brothers. For the first time.

The trip took seven hours out of each of our lives, which we'll never get back. The journey was bad enough, being shut in with a coach load of geriatric 5th-formers for ninety minutes each way; having to sit through the extraordinary noise of the performance was worse.

How this musical can have lasted as a firm favourite in the Firmament of Musicals for 25 years is a mystery to me. Admittedly, the performers were well-trained professionals, well up to standard and giving their all, but there was almost no musical merit to the thing; it had maybe two or three musical themes all-in-all, which were endlessly repeated. The story line is a sickeningly sweet mishmash of sentiment; had all the characters ended their futile lives with a volley of shots after the first 45 minutes, I'd have been well pleased. Sadly, only two of them, the eponymous brothers, got killed at the end, which means that the show will run and run for another 25 years. There'll always be brothers to replace these two.

Guess what else happened? An elderly gentleman in our row was obviously caught short about 40 minutes into the first act; he struggled his way through the row, all of us getting up as he trod on each foot in turn.

Ten minutes later, he actually struggled back in! The highlight of my evening!

Why Can’t I Own a Canadian Like This One?


Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. She has said that,  as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Memory Like An Elephant . ... An Elderly Elephant ?

Sonata :

This has to be seen on DVD . In your own home .... preferably alone if you're as tuneful as me .

Then you can sing-along as loudly as you like . You'll find , to your astonishment , that you remember the words to every one of the songs !

But the day of the week or the Prime Minister's name .....? I found myself calling him James Brown the other day .

A gate for Pondside

The gate at Trelystan,
delicately and beautifully
leading from nowhere to nowhere.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Algebra in Wonderland

Op-Ed Contributor - Algebra in Wonderland - NYTimes.com

Will wonders never cease? Who'd a thought?


Only yesterday was the 12th anniversary of the death of my friend's daughter, who sadly died in her early twenties.

My friend went to the local grave side, taking loving thoughts, memories and some flowers.When she arrived there she was greeted by a beautiful array of white carnations, placed by an unknown 'caller'. She was very touched and pleased that someone else had also remembered this particular date.

Strangely enough, a week earlier my friend had attended the funeral in London of an old buddy. A few days later she received in the post a letter from the daughter of the deceased buddy explaining that she had been clearing her mother's belongings and came across an item of interest, which was included in with the letter. It was the 'Order of Service' for my friend's daughter's christening. Apparently my friend's buddy had also attended the baby's christening over thirty years ago and had kept this service sheet as a record.
This came as such a touching gift, especially as my friend had lost her original order of service and at such a sensitive time of rememberance. 

Withdrawal symptoms

Oh I have had a rough 24 hours. My printer went bad yesterday and after taking it out and looking at it good it is broken. Well I can live without a printer for a few day, but I completely lost the internet. Saturday night, Sunday morning the hours drug on. I was wringing my hands, walking the floor. Poor hubby could help in no way. Was the cable hook up out? Was the entire network down? Well, I finally realized my best friend is on the same network as I so I called her and described my situation and we went through this and that and she finally said to me did you press the reset button on top of your cable box?  Reset button. I did not know of such a thing well we talked and she described the button. Guess what? I pressed the reset button(that I had never seen before) and walah, the internet is up. Whew I feel better now.

Photos from Cave Creek Regional Park

Here are photos from Cave Creek Regional Park mentioned in the next post. The first is on the Slate Trail (with saguaro cacti), the 2nd a Desert Tortoise (close to a foot long) and the last Cave Creek with water (rarely like this, it's probably dry now)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

I Know My Place

Sonata :

I stood outside the Turkish shop today , looking at the fruit and wondering whether to buy Mineolas or mandarins .

Suddenly a very little , very ancient and determined Chinese woman prodded me and , picking up a mandarin , said , "These are very nice . Hold your bag open . Take this one ....and this one ... How many do you want ? This one's nice ....". Then , when the bag was full and I was about to tie a knot in it , she found one last one I mustn't leave without . "Very nice , you'll enjoy them ." she said firmly . Then , amazingly , got on a bike and pedalled off .

So I paid for them , took them home and we did enjoy them greatly . I'm not sure we would have dared not to .

Be Glad You Don't Have Thoughts Like These

We say we’re ‘looking forwards’
to some special kind of day.
But with two eyes always facing front
forwards is the only way.

To look back we must turn around
and needs must stop a while,
before we end up tripping,
and landing on our smile.

If we had eyes behind our heads,
We’d not know where we’re going,
But only some place where we’d been
would be the one that’s showing.

We’d never catch up with ourselves
and life would be a bore,
because we’d never recognise
some place we’d been before.


Self-taught photographer wins portrait prize - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Photography the democratic process.......

Friday, 5 March 2010

Vignettes of French Life (No.3 in a series)



Here in France, people speak  French.

And write in French. 

And, very cleverly, read it  too.     

I do all of the above,


the outcome of each of these activities depends substantially  on the topic, what’s in my glass and how readily my linguistic synapses snap to attention.        

But I will not be working on my building up my French reading skills any time soon, as I must first get through the 49 English books that jumped off the table this morning at a second-hand book sale yelling, ‘Pick me!! Pick me!!’ 

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

I'll do my best , but ....

Sonata :

I'm fairly certain that I won't play cricket or canvass .... but can't , hand on heart , swear that I won't suddenly find myself strumming a ukelele . Can you ?


For the Internet, New Connections With Peering - NYTimes.com
So there you have it Geeks and Nerds, all explaining in a neat package!

English Restaurants

 The Choice is yours, where would you rather eat, at

 No Bones Jones

or at

Monster Yorkie Pudding Wrap

Monday, 1 March 2010

We Did It !!!!!

The End of The Game

I’ve never been a fan of a game where the players have to suit themselves up like the Michelin man just so they can get off the ice alive.

But last night’s match between Canada and the USA, in Olympic City, formerly known as Vancouver? I just wish I’d been there, although the last minute price for a seat to put your bum was rumoured to be in the region of $60,000! 

That hockey game now means that Canada has more gold medals than any other country has ever won in the Olympics.   It also means that I will allow myself a day or two to be thoroughly un-Canadian in my flag-waving, chest-beating, full-throated patriotism. 

O Canada, our home and native land

True patriot love in all thy sons command

With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the true North strong and free

From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. 

God keep our land glorious and free

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee…

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.