Saturday, 15 January 2011

Moving

I first started blogging in April 2005.  It wasn't a blog proper, it had no rss feed or comments, it was basically an online journal hosted at our family website.

I can't emphasise enough what a relief it was for me to have an outlet to rant, rave, document and generally record life's trial, tribulations and small wonders.

In common with other people living with depression (or aspergers or shyness or PND or whateverlabelyouwantohangonpeople) I didn't always get the balance right between privacy and honesty.

I never exactly forgot I was writing in the public domain but I didn't think anyone would give a damn what I thought.  How wrong I was.

The already unfriendly playground mafia became downright hostile and for a while I stopped publishing my blog.

Another big reason for stopping blogging at the family site was that my extended family would read it (which was fine) but then felt that they were up-to-date with my life and didn't make quite as much effort to keep in touch.  I could understand this.  They felt like they were in touch but it was a one-way thing.

That's were Eltbus Glob came in. It wasn't anonymous, but sufficiently removed from the family website for me to feel a bit more at ease and re-engage with my extended family via good old-fashioned telephone calls.

So this is my final posting at Eltbus Glob but you will find me over at http://barker-family.info/jbarblog/ with the rest of the Barkers.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Listen to reason

My colleague's hearing aid was playing up this morning which made for an interesting shift!  We had some amusing misunderstands and we laughed a lot. 

Considerably less amusing  is trying to communicate with people who can hear but won't listen.

The worst culprits are Leos.  Really, listen here...according to Your New Star Sign, Leos are "not very bright and compensate for their lack of intelligence with poor people skills".


New research has discovered that because of the Moon's gravitational pull on the Earth, we have been mis-calculating what sign the sun is in for much of the year.

It is particularly confusing for some Sagittarians ("full-bellied, with a tendency to flatulence") who now have new star sign, Ophiuchus ("well turned out, excellent carpenters").

No of course I don't believe in astrology but I do love chana dhal and bombay potatoes (hence the 'full belly') so, this evening, we marked the sun's transition into Capricorn with a Makar Sankranti feast and some wonderfully syrupy sweet soan papdi. 

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Nerd Duh*

* This is post #100/hundred and while it is not momentous, it is fairly typical of my humdrum life chez Eltbus Towers.

This morning, Mo and I had a long blether in the Pitstop Cafe - five minutes away from school.  On my way home, as soon as I reached the furthest point away from school, my mobile rang.  Lucy was unwell so I retraced my steps and collected her.

When we returned home I could smell a struck match sulphury smell.  I traced it to the control panel for the alarm which was really, really hot.  I telephoned the alarm engineer who came around and replaced the battery.  What would I have done if I couldn't have got hold of him?  What do you do if you have a very hot appliance you are unable to switch off?  Do you phone 999 and say "there isn't a fire but..."?  Answer on a postcard please.

Nigel brought home an ancient O'Reilly Email guide that the hospital library were giving away. What a cool/nerdy/thoughtful husband I have!  I'm going to use it for crafting.  I think I'll make envelopes in an ironic snail mail v. electronic mail sorta way.

We had a surprisingly simple and pleasant tea.  I've been sprouting red clover seeds in a jar for three days and today mixed them in with peppers, cabbage, carrot, apple and pine nuts and had a really tasty wrap.

After tea we played Doctor Who Top Trumps (you can claim free Football Top Trumps here); Mini Makit Toy and hama beads (who invented those?!).  Taking advantage of everyone's good mood, I suggested we do a spot of bedroom tidying accompanied by Lady Gaga.

When it was time to get ready for bed we could hear "Rah, rah, ah, ah, ah, Roma, roma, ma" from Lucy's room.
"Lucy, it's time to get your pyjamas on" Nigel reminded her.
"Awwww, but I just really love singing" she wailed.
Clearly she is feeling better.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Only a few days to stop the Scary Dairy

Big agricultural companies plan to build US-style 'mega dairies' in Lincolnshire. Cows in these huge factory farms never see a blade of grass and remain in an industrial shed their whole lives. Experts warn that these cow factories would be bad for climate change, bad for cows, and bad for other farmers.

Lincolnshire councils have the power to stop these farms being built, and stop this US-style farming spreading to the UK. Help build the pressure -

Sunday, 9 January 2011

World Hunger Day: 9 January 2011

A reminder on World Hunger Day that a BILLION people live in chronic hunger and 20,000 will die today.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Prestonpans Puzzle

Every Wednesday the family has an evening away from the television.  We get out the board games, jigsaws and puzzles and have a 'games night'.

One of our favourite games is a single-player game called Railroad Rush Hour.

Trains are placed on the grid as indicated on each puzzle card. The object is to steer your red loco through the gridlock to the exit.  What's great about it is that solving the puzzle has nothing to do with intelligence but needs patience and logic.  It's often the case that where an adult struggles to manoevre obstacles, a child can solve it in a few moves.

I think we bought it from the Happy Puzzle Company as one of their bargain bundles (great for stockpiling for birthday presents).  It has been discontinued but many very similar Rush Hour games exist.

Since stopping watching Eastenders, we've been enjoying evening more screen-free evenings.  Last night however, we decided to play some online quizzes at Sporcle.  It was good unifying fun - and so much more difficult than it looks (who could have guessed I would fail to name ten 3-letter body parts in 2 minutes?!).

Here is a puzzle for you:

We were sent this photo by someone researching their family history.  The sender thinks it was taken pre-WW2, probably 1938 and possibly at a Miners' Gala.

Is this Prestonpans? 

Do you recognise any of the (presumably demolished) buildings?

What about the dapper young chap?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Taxing Times

There are some days when you shouldn't get out of bed, let alone the house, and today has been one of them.

I ventured outside for the first time since before Christmas (excluding trip to surgery+pharmacist), only for Georgie to fall straight into a pile of dog mess.  Lovely.

In a repeat of last year, Nigel went to work only to find he was locked out.  The train on his return journey was cancelled and he had to get a replacement coach.

When he got home I ordered him to put his feet up and have a well-earned rest - no, that's not true - I got him to build my raised vegetable bed. 


I can't wait to start 'growing my own'.  Fortunately, vegetable and fruit seeds, tubers and bulbs are zero-rated for VAT which increased today to a record 20%.   38 Degrees'  'Tax Dodger Ads' appeared in the Guardian, the Torygraph and the Times - I really liked Sue Marsh's posting on her Diary of a Beneft Scrounger blog.
 

Today is the start of National Braille Week - the dedicated website has lots of Braille facts and games.