Monday, 26 January 2009

Poo Sticks!

If you're thinking that this is a post about A.A. Milne's story about Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh's game of throwing wooden sticks on the upstream side of a bridge and seeing whose stick passes under it first, think again. It's not! We're moving in a totally different direction and adding a whole new dimension and different spelling to the phrase Pooh Sticks.

A few days ago I received a letter in the post from the NHS. Crumbs I thought, time for the dreaded mammogram or smear test. Amazing how fast they come around. Unfortunately they're both due in the next few weeks and I'm trying to psyche myself up for them. However it wasn't. It was to inform me I was about to be invited to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and that I would shortly be receiving a package in the post.


  • About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime.
  • It is the third most common cancer in the UK
  • It's the second leading cause of cancer deaths, with over 16,000 people dying from it each year

The idea is that the tests pick up problems in people who have no syptoms.

The package duly came and included a test kit with full graphic instructions on how to use it. I won't go into detail but suffice to say it includes 6 cardboard sticks which have to be used for samples of you can guess what, on 3 separate dates. As if once wasn't bad enough!

Then I have to send it off to be tested. Thank goodness. I thought it was a DIY kit and I might have to do that too. The letter says I'll receive the results within a week. Pretty amazing really!

If there are any problems with the results I may have to repeat the test or go for a colonoscopy. I remember Pam's posting about her "dreaded procedure" so I'm hoping I don't have to do either. However if I do hopefully it will detect any problems early.

Now what else can they test us for? The mind boggles but I have to admit at least they're trying.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

“I Hope We Passed the Audition”

For Beatles aficionados there’s a programme tonight on Radio 2 at 10.30pm, I Hope We Passed the Audion which is introduced by Charlene Spiteri (ex Texas). It tells the story of the Beatles final, live and impromptu concert forty years ago from the rooftops of the Apple recording studios in London.

Around lunchtime on January 30, 1969, a din erupted in the sky above London’s staid garment district. Gray-suited businessmen, their expressions ranging from amused curiosity to disgust, gathered alongside miniskirted teenagers to stare up at the roof of the Georgian building at 3 Savile Row. As camera crews swirled around, whispered conjecture solidified into confirmed fact: The Beatles, who hadn’t performed live since August 1966, were playing an unannounced concert on their office roof.

Crowds gathered on scaffolding, behind windows, and on neighbouring rooftops to watch the four men who had revolutionized pop culture play again. But what only the pessimistic among them could have guessed—what the Beatles themselves could not yet even decide for sure—was that this was to be their last public performance ever.

Christine Gibson, American Heritage Magazine

John Lennon's final words that day provided the group's epitaph:

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.”

Friday, 23 January 2009

Google Doesn't Like me Anymore!

Well I don't know what I've done to upset Google but this is the message I'm getting when I try to visit anyone's Blog.

We're sorry...
... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.
We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a
virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

If you're continually receiving this error, you may be able to resolve the problem by deleting your Google cookie and revisiting Google. For browser-specific instructions, please consult your browser's online support center. If your entire network is affected, more information is available in the
Google Web Search Help Center.
We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.
The message came up after I had linked to the T- Mobile advert on You Tube that Gill posted. When I tried to go back to Gill's website to say how great the ad was this message came up.

After that I couldn't get into anyone else's postings. Take a look at the video, it's brilliant. Wish I had been there when they were filming, I wouldn't have been able to resist getting up and bopping about. They can't use all of it in the ad, would cost them a fortune. I'm dying to see it on telly.

Well I've tried what they suggested but nothing has worked and I don't have any kind of virus or spyware that McAfee can pick up. It's taken about 4 hours to scan my lap top but nothing is showing.

I can get into my Blog but nobody else's. Weird!

So, sorry if I don't visit you for a while. It's not that I'm ignoring you and I know I'll miss you and suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Hope to see you soon and in the meantime, maybe I'll get some housework done!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Thank You Tim Berners - Lee!

You might wonder why I'm grateful to Tim Berners - Lee and what that has to do with a virtually empty perfume bottle. Well this scent has nearly driven me batty recently and thanks to Tim Berners - Lee, I can retain what little vestige of sanity I have.

This rambling is about scent, (perfume as the posher people call it) and my feeble attempts to track it down, so it could be a good time for those amongst you who are not interested in this topic to jump to the end of the posting and grab the gist. I've given you the opt out opportunity!

Well, I've had this scent for years because I don't use perfume very often. I got out of the habit when I shared a room with a colleague who drowned herself in Sunflowers. For those amongst you who don't know what Sunflowers smells like, well to me it has a very fresh strong smell rather like cucumber. Now don't get me wrong, I love cucumber, however I prefer it on a plate to eat, not wafting around me 8 hours of the day, permeating my olfactory senses as though I had a piece of cucumber wedged up my nose.

It made me realise perfume smells differently to various people, that not everyone likes your choice of scent and perhaps it's best left to be used in places where there is plenty of space around you, to let the smell dissipate. So I only use perfume occasionally now, when I go out somewhere nice. That's not very often these days. Sympathy for me, Ahhhhh!

Over the years I've managed to persuade loved ones not to buy me scent as I am very fussy about it; there aren't many I like. In a previous posting I mentioned having to give away or throw out some very expensive perfume presents because I couldn't stand the smell. Ungrateful rat that I am.

Well this bottle is one scent I do like, along with my old favourite Le Dix (Balenciaga) which I can't buy locally now. However I can't remember what the heck this scent's called. I've had it so long and I've thrown the box away; the bottle top was such a heavy one that kept dropping off and so I threw that away too. It has absolutely nothing on the bottle to identify it. I do know I bought it about 10 years ago in Lanzarote. As you see I'm not extravagant.

Racking my brains to recall it, I was sure it was made by one of the French designers, so that eliminated quite a lot of today's perfumes from the so called celebrities like Jade and Posh. However that was as far as I could go. So I put the bottle away for a few months in my "holiday" drawer (where I keep the bits and pieces I only ever use on holiday) so I wouldn't see it regularly and be reminded about it.

Now it wasn't so much that I was desperate to buy another bottle of the scent, although I decided I just might, if I couldn't find another perfume I like. As I say I'm fussy! However I went into the drawer for my granddaughter's inflatable armbands and I saw the bottle. Fatal! It started my brain off again, I put it in my handbag and decided to ask about it next time I went to a shop with a big perfume department. I did, and they very kindly tried to identify it, but not surprisingly it had them totally baffled. Well really it was a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.

So back the bottle came and stood on the windowsill for a couple of weeks (well I don't pretend to be houseproud). Today, Lauren, my granddaughter sprayed what was left of it about in the living room and it smelled delicious. I decided there and then I was going to have to try to find out what it is, just on the off chance I can afford to treat myself when we go on holiday in May.

Off I went to the Internet and I researched perfume websites where they had dozens of perfume brands all in designer alphabetical order. I checked all the main ones, Balenciaga, Balmain, Givenchy, Saint Laurent and so on but with no success. Then I decided that maybe I had got it wrong and it wasn't a French designer, so I went through the rest. That took over an hour, I hadn't realised just how many perfumes there are out there!

I kept wishing that there was an alphabetical list of perfumes with a photo of the bottle. I felt sure I'd recognise it if I saw the name. At this point I started to wonder whether it had been discontinued. That didn't worry me too much, at least I would know what the blinking scent was called and could throw the bottle away and forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind.

So Google to the rescue! I put "discontinued perfumes" in the search and it brought up a site with perfumes in alphabetical order. Not necessarily discontinued ones though, it seemed every perfume ever invented came up. Undaunted I started at the letter A, as you do. I worked my way through to I and was getting a bit naffed off by this lengthy but comprehensive search. So I put the thinking cap on again. I decided to do a bit of that sort of free thinking, you know when you let your mind go a bit blank (not hard for me) and see what comes into it, well that's if you're lucky! I
t kept running through my mind that it was two words both starting with the same letter. Once I got that, I suddenly thought of the letter V. Amazing! I have no idea where it came from. I still hadn't a clue about what the words were though.

Never mind I went to the letter V and worked my way through. Eureka! There it was, Vice Versa by Yves Saint Laurent. So would that mean it was discontinued because I'd already checked the Saint Laurent website for their perfumes early on? So I did another search and found a website with information about the scent. Apparently it's a limited edition. No wonder those poor women in the perfume department didn't recognise it if it's not even on the Yves Saint Laurent website. Looks like there are a couple of websites I can buy it from. Well I could if I had £60 to spare. I don't, so that's that. At least it's stopped me wondering about what it's called because I think it would have definitely driven me batty.

Now lots of people probably think I am batty, letting something as insignificant as that irritate me when life has so many other problems. PG Wodehouse called them "life's banan skins", love that expression. Anyway I think it's the little things that do get on our nerves and if we can get them out of the way, we can focus on life's bigger issues. I remember at work on occasions I would have a massive problem thrown at me and I didn't bat an eye. I just sat down and thought about how I could resolve it. Yet on other occasions, something really small would get me going, irritate the life out of me and on a couple of occasions I threw a bit of a wobbler!

Once I had the information I started thinking about the Internet, how it really helps us in all sorts of ways we couldn't have imagined twenty years ago. How we can meet and communicate across the globe almost instantly with people and how we have the world's information at our fingertips. Information, a mammoth library to help us resolve the "silly" little things in life like identifying my scent bottle, useful stuff like researching and booking holidays and interesting stuff like finding the latest medical information, new hobbies and interests.

This is where my gratitude to Tim Berners - Lee comes in. Well after all he did invent the World Wide Web, nearly twenty years ago and I'm not sure he gets the credit he deserves for it. Surprise, surprise, in this day and age of computer greed (think Microsoft et. al.) he gave it away free! How altruistic was that!

So thanks Sir Tim, I'm really grateful to you and for more than finding my elusive scent.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Friends Award

Now I'm not very good at dealing with awards, I find them a bit worrying, confusing and time consuming. My apologies to anyone who has sent me one and I haven't done anything with it.

I've met so many lovely people it seems ungracious to limit who you send it to. I keep forgetting what to do and it takes me so long to check out the instructions, who to give it to, whether they've had it sent to them before and the more people you have to pass it on to the longer it takes. Then I worry in case people may think it's like a chain letter (Catholic guilt), so eventually I give up.

Anyway despite these worries and misgivings I'm posting The Friends Award.

I received The Friend Award from two lovely people in the last two days, Brenda and
Gramma Ann and this time I'm acting on it quickly, no procrastinating!

I'm not limiting the number of people I'm including here and if you've already received this award, then you don't need to do anything. These are some of the lovely people I've "met" that I'm passing it to:

Bennie and Patsy

Brenda at Rinkly Rimes

Cloody and Frank

Gaynor at Me, Life, Cross Stitch, Vegetables and Other Stuff

Gill at That British Woman

Granny Annie

Hippo Chick at Pam's Ponderings

Jeanette at Jen's Chronicles

Kori at Between a Whisper and a Roar

Kris at Quilted SImple

Maggie Ann at Knitting Kat

Marjorie at Cappuccino Thyme

Marla at Life's a Chair of Bowlies

Merle at Merle's Third Try

Patty and Abe at Old Lady Lincoln


Sarah at Brit Gal in the USA

Strawberry Jam Anne

I'd better stop now, it's getting out of hand!

If you haven't visited these blogs, pop in and see them. They'll be pleased to meet you.

The following explanatory paragraph is to be included when you post about this award, it's very nice!

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.
Deliver this award to eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

My Singer 338!

Well here it is my very first sewing machine, the one I got for my 21st birthday in 1966! I know it cost my Mam  a lot to buy it for me...