Tag Archives: weather

Christmas Eve

So, here it is, Christmas Eve.

Actually,  7.00 a.m. on Christmas Eve.

Is it the excitement of the big day tomorrow or the thought of all the work I have to get through between now and then to make the magic happen for the family that has driven me out of my bed at such a stupidly early hour when I’m not working or could it something a bit more mundane? Something like, for instance, the snore meister driving out of my warm, comfy bed once again?

Yup. You got it in one. It’s the snore meister striking again. I could have done a bit of striking of my own but decided that it wouldn’t be good for marital harmony. No amount of bellowing “SHUDDUP!” in his ear or poking him with a sharp elbow made any difference so I got up to chat with you instead.

I’m feeling a bit cheated in the Christmas tree department this year. The tree we got is undoubtedly very beautiful, bedecked as it is in all it’s finery. It isn’t a hump backed tree or suffering from any kind of male pattern baldness, it doesn’t lean awkwardly and is beautifully proportioned, it isn’t stunted in height nor does it go in for streaking by shedding all it’s needles every time everyone looks at it the wrong way.

Sounds like a perfectly well behaved, polite and well brought up tree, doesn’t it.  It just has the one MAJOR fault.

It smells of………..nothing.

Where’s the gorgeous evocative christmas tree smell that fills me with nostalgia and makes my tum tickle with excitement at the thought of Christmas being just a few days away? There isn’t even a whiff of it. Before you ask. No. I didn’t buy a fake tree by mistake.  I know there are some very good ones around but even I’m not that stupid, stressful as it’s been over the last week or two.

Am I?  I’d better go and check. No. It’s definitely real!

I may have to go and squirt toilet cleaner all over it to make it smell of pine and then tie a few cinnamon sticks to it for added depth and then get a dog or two to pee up it for the finishing touches.

My poor posh cat has had a time of it this last week or two.

Firstly, I set about him with a grooming brush and clippers a couple of weeks ago.  Every winter his fur gets matted but this year it was worse than normal so I ended up clipping huge great rugs from each side of him. I’ve since been seen down the local market hawking thses rugs since his fur is as lovely and soft as pashmina. I got a good price for them as well, I can tell you. Great lumps of cat fur are now gracing the doorsteps of local gentry.  I’ve also been selling the fur that I’ve extracted as I’ve combed him to local gypsies who have been sending it to the gnome down the road to weave  into a tapestry for the forthcoming royal wedding. (I’ve been watching too many pantomimes!).

What? Don’t believe me? You don’t think one cat can possibly have had that much fur removed? Well just take a look:

One very Pi55ed off cat

So apart from the shame of being shaved and sporting a very trendy (if I say so myself) mohican. The poor creature has since developed a problem with his ear. I noticed it the other night when he sat under the Christmas tree crying. I thought he was crying because it had no scent and he felt a bit cheated but it turned out he was crying because a lump the size of a grape had appeared in his ear and was clearly causing him great distress.

Off to the vet we popped. The cat had needles stuck into his ears and came out minus 10 mls of blood that they drained off his ear. I came out  minus the £60 they drained off me.  All’s well that end’s well, I hear you thinking.

But no, that would be far too simple. After risking losing my face administering the ear drops as I’d been instructed, I noticed the lump had returned.

Bloody hell!

Back to the vet’s we popped, this time with the cat growling ‘ you’re gonna pay for this, bitch’ under his breath at me all the way.

The vet stuck the needle in his ear again. And again. And again. All the while the cat looked at me malevolently, the threat of retribution in his eye as he held my gaze.  “We need a bigger syringe,” the vet announced. The cat’s legs buckled, as did mine. Poor kitty had a huge needle stuck in his ear followed by another one, this time injecting him with steroid.

Steroid! Don’t give him steriods!! He’ll be wrestling Great Danes to the ground with one paw!  Not to mention what he’s going to do to me when we get home!!

With instructions to give him yet more ear drops, this time in both ears, we were sent away once again, ear and wallet both stinging.

Unsurprisingly, the cat won’t come near me now. He sits on the landing,  kissing his steroid built muscles like a body builder and staring at me as if daring me to approach him. The ear drop game is developing into the sport of cat wrestling.  I think we may start to sell tickets soon. If I’m going to lose my face via the cat’s claws I may as well make some money out of it!

The snow and ice have resolutely stayed with us. As you already know, I love this weather. Not so much when it comes to driving on it but you can’t have everything.

Isn’t it funny how you develop new strategies and adapt behaviours as conditions change?

I used to get in my car and drive away. Easy.

Now I get in my car, sit sideways on the seat and clap my feet together like a seal for a minute or two. Not for the entertainment of passing strangers, or in the hope of getting the odd mackerel thrown to me, you understand. It’s to get rid of all the ice on my boots before I set off driving. One scare too many in the, ‘feet sliding off brake pedal’  department  soon taught me that strategy – and if I get the occasional mackerel as a result then that’s just a bonus, isn’t it?

Just to keep the winter theme going, here are a few more photos:

icy reservoir
winter walk
icy cobweb
icy leaf

And finally: Hasn’t Baby Bunting grown?

Baby Bunting

Mrs Fussyknickers

I’m sitting here with my eyeballs bleeding after spending the whole morning finishing off the total redesign of Mrs Fussyknickers’ album.  Now she’s dithering about the cover, in spite of my recommendations. She just wants me to get samples of all 50 fooking covers so she can see for herself. It’s seriously getting on my nerves now that she’s such a control freak and clearly doesn’t trust my judgement. Why did you  pick me to do the job then ya silly mare?  You need to trust the professionals you employ or you might as well do it yourself.

Ok, rant over. It’s just that I hate doing a job twice and specially when the rework is inferior to the original. GGggggrrrrrrrr.

The new, drastic diet started today: milk shake yum yum yum.   I”M STARVING!!!  No wonder I’m crabby, I’d better keep out of everyone’s way today  – although I did say I’d go and help out at the factory when I’d finished my work here. Even grabbing the dog and walking off some tension isn’t looking good as it’s pouring down and has been all morning. That and the 50 mile an hour winds aren’t exactly enticing me outdoors. Shame really, a walk in the woods never fails to cheer me up. Think I might do it anyway. Even I don’t want to be around me today!!

Our pre holiday holiday starts next week courtesy of airmiles. On Tuesday we’ll be jetting off to St Lucia for a week, it’s not really a holiday though, it’s to go and see the wedding planner and make all the arrangements for our renewal of vows ceremony. When we get back then we’ll have three weeks at home before sailing off into the sunset on our proper holiday. Wish we could that every year, wouldn’t it be great; wall to wall holidays. Mind you, we’re so knackered after all the pot filling that we’ll probably be comatose all the time we’re there and not see or do anything.

Oh well, break time over. NEXT JOB, PLEASE!!!!!  See ya soon.

Over the rainbow

The Wednesday walk was brilliant yesterday. A good, two hour yomp around Pleasington. This week there were no dogs or beginners to slow us down so it was full speed ahead. The half a mile of ankle deep cow muck/mud that we had to wade through wasn’t fantastic though. More than one person lost a shoe in it or had it pour in over the top of their boots. Luckily, I wasn’t one of them.  The walk leader’s ears must have been burning as there were plenty of dark mutterings aimed in his general direction for leading us through it.

It was a gorgeous, golden and warm,  albeit humid evening. A bit of a breeze would have been nice but you can’t have everything. As we walked we could see there was a thunderstorm brewing in the distance. We watched  the sky turn to that wonderful slate grey and yellowy colour  that you only see during a thunderstorm and it contrasted beautifully with the sunlight and the shadows dancing on the field around us.  If we hadn’t been walking so fast I’d have stopped to get photos of it.

We could hear the thunder rumbling away. It was God’s stomach rumbling because he’s waiting for his dinner is what my Mum used to say.  Well, I don’t know about that – what I did know was that there was a grave danger of getting the second good dousing of the day.

A light rain started to fall as we were about half a mile away from the end of the walk.   As we passed the railway station I spotted this gorgeous rainbow. I couldn’t see that it was a double rainbow until I downloaded the photos.

Rainbow over Pleasington
Double rainbow

Did I mention I’d hot a lomo app for my iphone. I did?  Oh well, this is what it did to the rainbow.  Incidentally, all of these are pretty much straight out of the camera, not bad for a phone.

Lomo app rainbow

After stopping for a couple of minutes to take a few photos of the rainbow and railway we headed back to our cars to make our way home.

Within seconds the heavens opened and torrents of water descended from the skies.  The drive home was interesting to say the least. As I arrived home B and N were both waiting for me at the front door with big grins on their faces expecting to see a drowned rat get out the car.  I think they were a bit disappointed when I told them I’d just missed the downpour.

Foiled again

Bloody weather.  I got soaked to the skin this afternoon taking poochie for a walk and wasn’t keen to get soaked again tonight on the Wednesday walk so at 6pm, after keeping a close eye on the huge black clouds hanging over us I made the decision not to go. Within ten minutes of it being too late to go the bloody clouds parted and the sun shone through. Now it’s a glorious evening and I’m stuck at home with no where to go. Gutted for me.

Ah well, I’ve just  watched a nice film starring the brilliant Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, ‘Last Chance Harvey’. Very sweet and not a single person got shot/chased in a car/murdered/blown up/wore a space suit. Lovely.


After whinging my brains out today at my friend and rival photographer, Paul  about lack of reprint sales from portrait sittings, I home home to find a monster sized order waiting for me. Yay!!!   Obviously a good whinge is the way to go. The future is whinging.


After dog training the other night we arrived back at Deb’s house to find her daughter in a flap. She’d lost some work and desperately needed it for the following day, could I possibly help as I’m a computer genius (blushes slightly).

If only she knew the truth, just keep bashing the keys and talking bullshit till the right thing happens. The real computer genius in this house is Boofuls. Anyway, I invited her to come down with the laptop and the offending memory stick to see if we could find and get the bugger to print for her.  While Boofuls was messing with the computer I asked her – and the little sister who she’d brought along for moral support, if they’d like a glass of lemonade.

Easy enough question, I thought.

By the the look on their faces you’d think I’d asked them  what their opinion was of the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs Boson experiments.

“Err, dunno.’ Came back the answer as they both squirmed on the spot, shuffling their feet and giggling like lunatics.

Well, y’see it’s at this point that I tend to get a bit tetchy, I try not to, really I do.  I pasted a smile on my face and tried not to appear menacing.

“It’s a simple yes or no answer. Would you like some or not.”

“Errr, not bovvered.” Squirm, shuffle, giggle.

“Right, two lemonades it is then.”  Ggggrrrrr.   Basic social skills really aren’t that difficult, are they?  I know we live in the back of beyond but ffs!!!

I stropped off to the kitchen leaving Boofuls to make (very) small talk with them. Thank God it didn’t take too long to get it all sorted out for them.  To their credit they did manage a feeble, ‘thank you’ as they left.

Here a few photos taken on my new  iphone. I’m stunned with the quality of them when the photos are taken in good light, or even in average light.  It doesn’t cope too well in low light but then I have to remind myself that it is after all only a bloody phone!  This first photo is a massive crop and it still looks acceptable, I’m soooo impressed. Now if I could only work out how to ring people….

Hairy Moth

Darwen Tower from Tockholes

This next photo has been very clumsily tinkered with. If you guess what I’ve done to it – and I’ve left you a massive clue- you won’t win anything at all.

Tockholes field