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.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

My contribution to the Butterfly Effect

I have recently had moments of Omnipotence.

A ladybug trapped in a puddle of condensation on the picnic table. On its back, legs working, wings trying to flip it right side up. I lowered my finger, its legs latched on for dear life, I raised it out of the water and flicked it into the grass.
I was near the open front door. A bee flew inside. A honeybee. Honeybees need to be outdoors doing their jobs so that the vegetables will flourish. I held up both my hands in a pushing position. The bee turned right around and flew out again.
A bumblebee caught between the glass and screen of the livingroom window. A water glass, a piece of paper: a bumblebee released to freedom.
A tiny spider rappelling toward the kitchen counter from the wall cabinet above. I caught her thread on my finger and took her, swinging in the breeze, to the shrubs outdoors.
A tiny green Jiminy Cricket in my sink. Caught in my hands, transferred to his natural habitat, the Great Outdoors.

If the Butterfly Effect is real, I might have played havoc with the entire universe this week.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tanka Time

In a grey landscape
bright colours lift the spirits.
Paint on a brave face,
and all who come in contact
with you, the artist, will smile.  

Blame all this on a strange lady called Penny, who likes playing games!

Makes A Change From Cod And Chips

Rosary .

A rosary of jellified Jerusalem artichoke bouillon surrounding king crab , crab salad , caviar and a cream of Jerusalem artichokes , it's described in yesterday's Volkskrant restaurant review as a culinary performance . The combination of lemon and hazel nuts , artichoke and crab was faultless ... the rosary itself rather bland apparently .

So given the distance , the length of the waiting list , the possible cost and my urgent need for supper now I might settle for something more plebeian .

But , if you're not in a hurry , Oud Kluis is the place and Sergio Herman's your man .

Monday, 20 June 2011

Car Salesmen Are People, Too

From: Bob B*****

Sent: June-20-11 9:20 PM
To: debs@shaw.ca
Subject: Your car may need servicing

Dear Deb?,
A couple of months ago you were working with our Sales Department, but ended up purchasing your vehicle?at another dealership.??Even though we weren't able to provide you with your new vehicle, we would like to help you keep?the vehicle you did buy running the best that it can.? I am Bob B****?, the Service Manager here at CMP Automotive Ltd. ?.? I manage an award winning?group of service specialists.?
I would love the chance to show you why we are the best Service Department in the area.? Please call us at (403) 207-1011?and schedule your next oil change with us.? In fact, if you mention that you received this email when you schedule your?appointment, we'll give you 10% off our normal price.
Thank you for your consideration,
Bob ?
(403) 207-1011?

From: Deborah S [mailto:debs@gmail.com]
Sent: June-20-11 10:43 PM
To: 'Bob ‘'
Subject: RE: Your car may need servicing

Dear Bob,

Thanks for your note. I thought I’d just let you know that you didn’t miss out on a sale, and that no one else got one from me either. I decided just to keep the car I had, as nothing else seemed quite as right for me as it is.

But the real point of my writing back is to let you know that you need to check the formatting of your emails, as the punctuation seems firmly stuck at the question mark. It made me laugh, but I’m sure you don’t want that reaction from all of your prospective customers.

My son recently gave up his job in sales at a car dealership after a valiant effort, and thanks to his experience I can appreciate how difficult and sometimes dispiriting a job it is. I wouldn’t like to think that your apparent uncertainty might lose you a potential sale.

I wish you, quite sincerely, every success in this creative endeavour to bring in customers.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Payback's a....

I used to work with a woman who was grossly overweight. In her absence, to amuse my coworkers, I would, cruelly, do an impression of her, waddling up the aisle between desks, making steamboat horn noises.
And then I myself grew . . . large.

This is not my eye. My eyes are brown.

A few weeks ago, I noted the abnormal swellings on Fridge Soup's mascot's eyes. Now I have a puffy eye.
I suspect Friday's inordinately heavy application of eyelash primer and mascara as the culprits.

But I'm not ruling out Karma.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Look! Lorries Mating

and that in broad daylight in the village square.

Quick, somebody throw a bucket of water before they rear up.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Rainy Sunday

The Guardian newspaper has a Blind Date column; you can apply to feature in it, have a meal with a complete stranger and afterwards  give your date marks out of 10.

Last week's couple:

she: 42, development manager
he: 42 advice sector deputy manager

What are those professions? Any ideas?

How about vicar for her and vicar's wife for him?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Rainy Saturday

The gardens are loving it.
I think the raindrops tickle the leaves and make them giggle.
And the giggling makes them grow.

With that in mind I took all the hanging (and other) plants off the screenporch and put them outside. These are the plants that survived my lack of care over the indoor winter, so we know that they are strong specimens.
I can hear them tittering and chuckling from here.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Keeping The Peace In Europe Gets Trickier

Naturally you won't be surprised to hear that a return trip from Amsterdam to Leeuwarden on Saturday night involved a lengthy detour and a spell on a German Intercity ( again ) . I should really start Twittering my travel plans .... it would be kind to warn others of my intentions so that they can , at least , choose another day to venture on a train .
But , be that as it may , there we all were , standing four-deep on Amersfoort platform as the Schiphol to Bad Bentheim train drew in . And in we all streamed . In the last couple of months , the line north undergoing extensive repairs , we northeners have become remarkably used to this little diversion . The occasional German traveller less so .
We now all feel thoroughly at home . Refreshments are eaten , shoes are eased off , jokes are shared . Gezellig, hoor !
But this time there was a slight frisson . There was something unspoken in the air ....
Till one Dutch woman joined in a conversation about menu plans for the following day . They , she announced , were going to eat lots of salad . Cucumber salad . "So HEALTHY !! ".
Fortunately the train drew into Deventer at this point and we all got out , leaving the German passengers in peace .
Anyway , now it's Tuesday and it's BEAN SPROUTS that are the culprits . With any luck , now the outbreak seems to be subsiding and Dutch cucumber growers ( who don't diversify but have placed all their bets on that one vegetable) can begin to harvest and sell their produce again .
But when my favourite little cucumber , origin unknown , will reappear , Heaven knows .
But I wished the rather nervous couple left in "our" carriage a pleasant journey before I fled .

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules for Writers

  1. The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
  2. Fiction that isn't an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn't worth writing for anything but money.
  3. Never use the word "then" as a ­conjunction – we have "and" for this purpose. Substituting "then" is the lazy or tone-deaf writer's non-solution to the problem of too many "ands" on the page.
  4. Write in the third person unless a ­really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly.
  5. When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it.
  6. The most purely autobiographical ­fiction requires pure invention. Nobody ever wrote a more auto­biographical story than "The Metamorphosis".
  7. You see more sitting still than chasing after.
  8. It's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction (the TIME magazine cover story detailed how Franzen physically disables the Net portal on his writing laptop).
  9. Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.
  10. You have to love before you can be relentless.[3

Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections and Freedom, among others.

Friday, 3 June 2011

How Times Change

Everybody has now seen - or at least heard of - the film 'The King's Speech'.

How about this little episode for an understanding of the king's speech:

Between coming to the throne and the outbreak of war, sometime between 1936 and 1938, George VI and his Queen visited Canada.  Getting off the train on a whistle-stop tour to go walkabout they were greeted by enthusiastic crowds of people.

One horny-handed son of toil shouted: " Hi ya, King".
To which the King replied: "I'm fine, thank you, how are you".

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Mantra Dancing


I saw this poster on the notice board in the supermarket

Tempted? No dance skills required , apparently .

I wonder what mantras are chanted . Do you think they begin in a circle , cups of chamomile in hand , and throw it open to discussion ? Or does the leader choose ? Perhaps , as the dance develops and they're all weaving about , it grows organically .

But , if you get to pick your own , I think mine might be "this too will pass" .

( Hands up all those who , at first glance , thought it said Mattress Dancing . Just me , then ?) .

P.S. I'm not deliberately ignoring everyone else's posts . Fridge Soup commenting is a privilege I seem to have lost .... Blogger is such a bundle of surprises ! And Google Chrome is definitely a step too far for my 9 year-old computer that was , granny-like , so proud of its Windows XP prowess .

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Sweet relief.

We have gone from March weather to July weather here. From too cold to be able to do anything outdoors to wanting to be outdoors every minute, and not wanting to miss a minute of it all in sleep.
In the Cold And Dark Time my world shrinks to house, barn, work and the drive thereto and therefrom. Every bit of it is work: stoke the fire, bring in wood, listen and feel the car on the icy, snowy roads. I need to be in control of my environment for safety and comfort.
In the Light And Warm Time, Life goes on without my contribution. Birds dart and sing, leaves and flowers grow, I am physically comfortable without any effort.
It's such a relief to let the world take care of itself!