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.

Friday, 26 November 2010

S'funny about names.

Fridge Soup has a follower named Bob Scotney. I wonder if he's associated with Scotney Castle?
The Old Castle, glimpsed beyond a carpet of colourful flowers, from the Bastion in Kent.

I would have thought, as apparently would others as well, that a Scotney would be a Scot. If that were the case, I was all set to ask, rhetorically, what a Cockney would be.  But Scotney's French in origin.
It is in fact of French origin and derives from a place called 'Etocquigny', a village in the department of Seine-Inferieure, Northern France. It is probable that the original nameholders came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066

Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Scotney#ixzz16Qs2G7w0
Think of that.
Did you know that, Mr. Scotney?

Back in our family names we have Wakefield. Several years ago I mentioned that to a descendant of the noble Percy family who'd immigrated to these particular colonies. 
"I'm guessing that we must have come from Wakefield," I chirped happily.  
The center of her face seemed to freeze. The look of distaste grew outward.  The Percy breeding saved her from a full gasp of horror. A friend from England was visiting her and they exchanged a quick look. When she was able once again to move her jaw, she advised me in a confidential tone, "Don't tell people that." She wrinkled her nose and lifted her upper lip just slightly. "It isn't a nice place."
Apparently having one's roots in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, is a tad shameful.  Who knew?
Later I read something about Wakefield and a Viking, "Hereward the Wake," and I chose thereafter to think of my family as latter-day carriers of Viking genes.  Hereward, incidentally, didn't like the Normans very much.

S'funny about names.
When I watch the rolling of the credits for BBC productions, the preponderance of purely British names strikes me. I suppose that's changing, or has changed now, but it seems to me that (although it's hugely politically incorrect to admit these days) it would be sort of a comfort to be surrounded by people whose genetic history is more or less the same as one's own.  
I know, I know: People are people, no matter the label they carry, and I don't mean I don't like people whose native cultures are other. Merely an observation.

I don't know what the current view of Americans is. I guess everybody used to hate us for being arrogant. That perception would, of course, be based on the behavior of tourists who had the money to travel all over Europe complaining about everything from toilet paper to God knows what. We poor slobs who've never been able to afford world travel are happy and as eagerly friendly as seven-week-old puppies. Even when some noblewoman tells us we're mutts.

Never Seen Him Before In My Life !

Husband is not a town person . The further he can get from pavements , lights and bustle the better . But , failing deepest pastoral seclusion , he tends to stay at home with his double bass .

But , now and then , he'll agree to take the train and go shopping for something interesting , as long as there is no shilly-shallying and there's food involved at some point .

Today was such a day . We ended up in Groningen and he was coaxed as far as a big shop . It wasn't until we were in the middle of the men's department that I caught sight of his feet .

Dear reader , you do not go shopping in the Bijenkorf in your painting shoes that are splitting at the seams .


"Well , they're comfortable , and I know how far you like to walk when we're here ".

Never mind , he enjoyed dinner ..... and , once his shoes were hidden under the table , so did I .

Friday, 19 November 2010

For the lexophiles

It's been a long time since I've contributed anything, and I have been feeling the guilt.
I apologize, in advance of your reading, for this.

* A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
* A will is a dead giveaway.
* Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
* A backward poet writes inverse.
* A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
* When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
* The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
* You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
* He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
* A calendar's days are numbered.
* A boiled egg is hard to beat.
* He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
* The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
* Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
* When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
* If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
* When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
* Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
* Acupuncture: a jab well done.
* Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.
* The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
* I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
* She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
* A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
* No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
* A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
* Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
* A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
* Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
* I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
* A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
* A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'
* The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
* Don't join dangerous cults: practice safe sects.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

You Couldn't Make It Up

In Cologne today, a 60 year old man drove his car, at speed, off a ramp and into the Rhine. His on board satnav (navigation device for you colonials) told him to. Nobody had told the makers that the road ended in the river. The man managed to save himself but the car sank to the bottom.

It gets better.

The authorities got the divers out to recover the car. An underwater locating device told them exactly where it was.

They brought the car up only to find that it was  the wrong one. The one they salvaged had a body in it. Car and body had disappeared four years ago.

Divers went back down and this time came up with the right car.

If you need to get rid of somebody or something bulky the river authorities in Cologne can show you a handy spot.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

To Pee, or not to Pee?

This has to be in Britain. Even our dogs queue !

Bad Things Come In Threes ?

So last week I was bitten by one of the pre-schoolers .

Yesterday we had a fire at work . The fire alarm suddenly whooped overhead and we all stopped in our tracks .

Fifteen pairs of eyes swivelled like sattelite dishes to work out what's happening . The two adults in charge and the unflappable , capable stagaire looked quickly at each other over the children's heads and The Plan goes into action .

Quick check in the otherwise empty building reveals smoke curling out under the door , behind which the central heating boiler sits . So the register is grabbed and checked . Children all counted and out we file , children carefully holding their section of the special rope , all as quiet as mice startled into silence by the noise and our sudden seriousness .

This time it turned out to be a short circuit in the furnace and easily dealt with . No one was hurt and the older children were thrilled by the praise heaped on them by the firemen for their excellent behaviour .

But now I'm hoping that " Bad things come in threes " isn't really true .

P.S. Sorry but I , for obvious reasons , was too busy to take a photo at the time so I've pinched one printed on a local news site . It's very tiny and not very dramatic ...... a bit like our fire , actually . For which I'm heartily grateful ..

Get well soon

Get well card received by my companion after I brought him home from hospital with pacemaker:
I heard your
got all
It's a good thing
they have those
to fix your

Monday, 15 November 2010


I will not tweet
Or ever e-read
An I-Who?-Me-YouPhone is not what I need
I just want a decent broadband speed

Sunday, 14 November 2010


If circumstances justify depression, is it depression or just a normal reaction to what life has thrown at you? Is treatment of some kind advisable or helpful or will it inhibit the reactions necessary to face the depressing elements head on?

Work Hazard

I think Friend watches too much television .
We'd met for a coffee in a bar in town yesterday afternoon and were catching up on this and that .
"I was bitten this week ", I said .

"NO !!! Who by !!?"
Duh ! An overexcited two year old , of course . But maybe a head of garlic behind the crayons wouldn't go amiss .

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Language Watch

The American Hyphen Society is a community-based, not-for-profit, grass-roots consciousness-raising/education-research alliance that seeks to help effectuate the across-the-board self-empowerment of wide-ranging culture-, nationality-, ethnicity-, creed-, gender-, and sexual-orientation defined identity groups by excising all multiculturally-less-than-sensitive terminology from the English language, and replacing it with counter-hegemonic, cruelty-, gender-, bias-, and, if necessary, content-free speech.

The society's motto is "It became necessary to destroy the language in order to save it."
Its headquarters are in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 

(from A.Word.A.Day )
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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Proof that context is all

On my Google Chrome home page, it asks me if I'd like to 'restore all removed thumbnails'.

It's one of those phrases that you get used to seeing, and then when you look at it closely, you realise how weird it sounds.

I suppose it could be written elsewhere, say, in a beauty salon on a list of instructions entitled 'Steps to Take when Faced with Disgruntled Hand Care Customers'.

There's only one other context I can imagine this being said in and it's one I don't like to dwell on.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Questions And Answers

Conversation overheard on a Street Corner on a Rainy Day.

First woman, holding leaflets:                                hello
Second woman, waiting to cross the road:            hello

First woman:             Is there anything you would like to pray for today?
Second woman:        Better weather

First woman:             I wonder what it would be like in heaven today.
Second woman:        Boring

First woman:            Boring?!?!?
Second woman:       Well, sitting on all those white clouds, playing lutes
                                and harps.

First woman:            What? That's not what it says in the Bible.
Second woman:       Well, what do you expect? All those old men
                                 writing it up over several centuries.
                                 What do they know.

Second woman crosses the road.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Thursday, 4 November 2010

And Were You All Scared By A Witch On The Hunt For Sweeties ?

If not , this
might do the trick on St. Martin's , but only if you live in Holland .
( It's a spider lantern , of course)