It’s so cold, I can’t move my face.
This is what it must be like to have Botox.
Let me explain. I’m not too aware of the actual sensation of feeling cold, but I do tend to notice small things like having no sensation in my toes or fingers.
I remember back in school, many, many decades ago, we had a PE teacher who we called Witch Hazel for no apparent reason (but then I also got the nickname ‘Lily-Trot’ using similar logic).
It would be this time of year and hockey season was in full swing. Witch Hazel would be standing there in full North Pole gear, looking like the infernal offspring of a 1970s Football Manager and a Grizzly Bear. Sheepskin coat, wooly hat, fur-lined gloves etc.
Anyway, she’d be standing there with only her nose exposed to the elements (well, one element – ice!) and there was us in our shorts and T-shirts, icicles hanging off our ears.
“Get moving!” she’d shout “You’ll soon warm up!”
It was a lie.
And that’s when I discovered the existence of FOPs.
Fluorescent Orange Patches.
The skin on my thighs would be so cold that these little bright, bright orange patches would appear. I have no idea why. I think it might have been some kind of protest march by my skin cells. Not quite sure either what my blood cells were up to. On the whole, they’re a bit like me – they keep themselves to themselves. They were disconcerting, but they encouraged me to keep moving in case anyone decided to play join-the-dots with my legs…
And then there’s the human obsession with snow…
This confuses me…
I’ve heard “One swallow does not a summer make” but it seems one snowflake will a blizzard make.
Did that even make sense?
One flake, and everybody is going crazy. The scenes in supermarkets are like something you’d expect to see at the End Of Days. Yes, because when the end of the world comes, I want to make sure I have enough milk and bread to see me through Judgment Day.
And then there’s the other classic of confusion…
“It’s too cold to snow.”
Yup, the cold is so hardcore, even the snowflakes are too scared to come out.
But I’ll finish there with one useful rule of thumb.
You know it’s cold when washing your hands in hot water warms them up.
You know it’s really cold when you warm them up by washing them in cold water.
Stay warm, everyone.
…and let slip the dogs of walkies!
A new year.
Mini tourist season is over until the next big holiday.
*sigh of relief*
As I was picking up my groceries the other day, a rather fiercesome human barged past me and announced to his equally clueless family in an accent that was clearly anything but local: “Is this it? They’ve not got much here, have they?“ Well, bog off to Brighton if it’s shopping you’re after, mate!
How on earth did this man choose this as the perfect destination of his Christmas break? Stick a pin in the map?
(In case you’re wondering, I had a lovely Christmas, surrounded by family. We did everything from scratch and we planned everything meticulously a long while previously. It was our Christmas, we made it, nobody else had to).
And of course, with tourists comes that other delight. The tourists’ dog. You know the one that they’ve had since a puppy and in all that time they’ve not trained it to do anything more than sit, stay or possibly a cute “rollover “trick? You know the types. The dog that has never been trained to come back when it’s called…
The dog that, when it runs off and starts picking fights with other dogs, promptly ignores its owner screaming its name repeatedly. Because, yeah, you scream my name like that, I’m gonna come back to you, I don’t think. I’m outta here, you two-legged sucker!
Free to roam.
Free to… well, do other stuff.
How many times have I heard the owner of a free-range pooch exclaim “I don’t know what’s wrong with Mister Woofles this morning; we’ve been out for over an hour and he still hasn’t done his business yet!”
Oh yes, he has. Mister Woofles unloaded the minute you let him off the lead.
Mister Woofles has in fact left such a huge deposit that it has its own postcode. Whole generations of dung beetles have moved in and are celebrating with a ticker-tape parade. Their appeals to the dung beetle deity have been heard and answered. Mister Woofles’s contribution to the environment has ushered in a new Golden Age of dung beetle prosperity.
And then I saw this yesterday…
What sort of dog owner puts a sticker on the back of their 4×4 saying
“Beware of the dog. It bites. You have been warned“
and then lets them roam free – without muzzles – on a beach popular with dog walkers during doggy rush hour?!
If you’re going to do that, my dears, please make sure that the dogs are muzzled and please include yourself in that number.
So… you’re acknowledging liability for your animal being potentially dangerous, but if it bites me, it’s my fault?
But you can’t say anything, can you? Nothing freaks out the passive-aggressive more…
Which reminds me…
Don’t you just love passive aggressive people calling other supposedly passive aggressive people out for being passive aggressive by using passive aggressive means to complain about the passive aggressive behaviour?
As with that now practically traditional Social Media post of “if u got a problem with me tell me 2 my face“ There are two problems with this…
Number one: tell you to your face? Which one?
Number two: could you be a little bit more identity-specific please?
And there’s always some sucker (who is probably completely innocent of any charges) who rises to the bait, bites and replies, asking if they are the target of this barblessly barbed comment. To which the reply is invariably “if the shoe fits, wear it.”
Well, that’s all fine and dandy, except…
Those kind of statements aren’t shoes, are they?
They’re flipping flip–flops.
Designed to fit everybody. Guaranteed to make everyone uncomfortable.
Always remember, folks… Flip before you flop.
*TRIGGER WARNING *
This post contains unbridled cynicism which
snowflakes, sorry, some folks might find offensive. Oh, Autocorrect will get you every time…
Sorry I’ve not posted anything in a while. Basically, I had nothing to say. I don’t want to be one of these people who write blog posts just for the sake of it. I’m not people, for a start!
I swear, some bloggers must look at their traffic, panic and say to themselves:
“OMG! Nobody’s paying me any attention! Better write something inflammatory with a click-bait title to drive the paranoid masses to my blog site because that’s what all the courses tell you to do.”
So you end up with stupid titles like:
Mince pies will kill you!
Sage and onion stuffing is the only way to save the universe!
(I know I’ve talked about that kind of thing before…)
How many times have you read a blog that has one interesting sentence in it and the rest is just filler because you know they have to post something? It’s like these films you see they have one good idea, stretched over two hours of painful nothingness usually disguised as art with perfect camera angles and humongous pauses between characters because they truly have nothing to say?!
I had an email the other day from somebody who apparently sold 1 million books before breakfast. How had they done it? By creating themed books using ‘rediscovered’ chunks of classics from authors who were too dead, too long to care about copyright…
I’m on a roll here…
Or those emails to give you the ‘number one tip to being a successful writer’… “And I’m going to help you” which is nestled into a thousand words of utter blah?
And that tip?
Wow. That’s a revelation.
Or those videos that promised to tell you the number one tip for (fill in the blank) which actually only needs to be a 10 second video but is somehow stretched out to (at least) 3/4 of an hour, thanks to various ‘cameos’, including some random bloke in a white coat who is obviously a scientist telling you about all this research that has been done in some university that probably doesn’t exist in some country that you never heard of.
But he says he’s a scientist and he is wearing a white coat, so it must be true, right? And why do those videos never have that little bar underneath it tells you how much you’ve watched?
Do you know how, when you watch these videos, you end up feeling quite drained?
Well, it’s not drained – it’s aged.
You have actually physically aged while watching the video. When you pressed that ‘play’ button, you were a young thing, full of life and hope and dreams.
But it only takes a couple of minutes after the video has finally ended for you to realise you’ve just moved up an age bracket in the inevitable survey that follows.
You may have started watching that video on “how to stay young looking longer” at the lovely age of 29, but you’re actually 48 by the time you finish watching it!
I’ll stop there.
I promise to behave next time…
“Autumn falls, tumbling, crumbling down a dying hill of gold.”
…is a line that never made it into a book. I know. I read the manuscript. The original one. Funny how so much of what we plan ends up on the scrap heap. While this wasn’t the most eloquent piece of prose ever (probably why it never made the final cut), when I read the published book, I was quite surprised at how changed it was.
If you hang around long enough, everything changes.
If you hang around a bit longer, everything changes back again.
So, autumn’s here. The clocks go back soon. Longer nights. Yippee!
And no, that wasn’t an ironic ‘yippee’ either.
Everything is quieter now.
Of course, it’ll get crazy at the end of the month (Halloween). And then next month everyone will be celebrating the ritual burning of a political scapegoat. I’ll be avoiding the firework fumes while dealing with a freaking-out furbaby. Bonfire night will no doubt be spent in the bathroom (her current hidey-hole) listening to Chopin. But as life goals go, that’s not such a bad one.
Ah. Life Goals.
You know how everyone does this whole ‘summer body’ obsession? Well, in our house we get ‘winter body‘ ready.
And no, that doesn’t mean we spend November eating celery so that Christmas Day can be spent repeatedly eating our own weight in mince pies and pigs-in-blankets. Who the heck came up with that name? Have you ever seen a pig, or indeed any farm animal, wrapped up in a blanket? Outside of a YouTube video, that is. I’m sure there must be some. Let me know if you find any.
And these days, why aren’t they called Heritage-breed-in-duvets..?
Right. Note to self, taken.
It’s all too easy to disappear in hibernation mode at this time of year. Vanish into the marshmallow-morass of duvet-days, hot chocolate, and comfort foods. The one episode of a favourite tv show becomes a binge-watch of the entire series.
You know what I mean.
It’s okay, I won’t tell.
So, the following plan has been put into play:
- drink more water
- go running more often
- start eating more raw stuff
- get more sleep
Okay, I had to stop after the last one. Combination of laughing too much to type, and the temptation to follow it up with ‘find where the unicorns live‘…
So, as it’s the 1st of October, I’ll close by saying:
White rabbits, everyone!
Let’s talk privacy. And no, I’m not talking about shutting the toilet door… And I’m not talking about those people who have the most cringingly personal phone calls – very loudly – while out in public. Those kind of things are annoying, but they don’t really hurt anyone. Well, someone may need therapy after the first one but…
I’m talking something way more insidious than that. Not that catching someone on the loo is insidious. However, this is something that’s been an issue for ages and is now finally getting sorted. I’m talking online privacy.
You and I, we don’t know each other, do we? I mean, I rant, you read, That’s about it. Some times you even leave me little messages. I like that. BUT!
I don’t know your name, or where you are, or any of those kind of things.
And that’s how I want to keep it.
I’m not going to collect any of your personal data. Nor is the website. In fact, the only way that’s going to happen is if you choose to fill in any forms on this website.
Here’s the grownup stuff…
- If you leave comments, the data is held by the WordPress.com website.
- There’s a contact form on the website. It’s connected to a Gmail account, So if you did ever fill it in, then that data would be shared with Gmail.
- Any email sign-up form on this website is connected to a MailChimp account, so if you complete it, then the data would be shared with MailChimp.
Right… anything else?
Oh yes… Any other data stuff collected about you is held by WordPress.com and is only available to the end user (the owner of this website) and it’s anonymous, like, for instance, visitor statistics. So you can freely come visit as many times as you like! I won’t know it’s you. Nobody will.
No data from this website is downloaded by the owner of the site and stored anywhere other than the places I’ve already talked about – you know, the cloud services I mentioned previously.
I’ll talk more internetty stuff next time…
Thanks to Sarah Marie at https://sarahmariegraye.com for her help with getting all this gubbins together.
People always joke that you can tell it’s Christmas because Easter eggs are in the shop. Well, we’ve just done with Easter (there are still loads of eggs in the shop, mind you) so, one could be forgiven for thinking that it must be summer now. Is it just me that gets confused by this, or do you humans have a problem with it too?
True, it rains all the time here, so it could very well be summer and nobody has told me. But the rain slamming down on the conservatory roof feels at odds wth the flip flops and picnic paraphernalia I saw half an hour ago in the shops.
The clocks have gone back. The body clock however is having slightly more difficulty adjusting. I’d hate to wake up late one morning and realise that I’d missed summer. It is, after all, the best day of the year. Yes, I know. I don’t like sunshine. It hates me back. But a summer’s day is delightful, if confusing in the wardrobe department.
Sunhat and wellies?
Scarf and sandals?
Waders and sunglasses?
Oh, the combinations are endless.
The furball continues to take me on long walks (she’s currently mapping the local area in her little doggy brain, and enjoys knitting places together in the oddest combinations). She also continues to try to drag me into the sea after her. And all the while, she still refuses to stick her nose out of the door if it’s raining. Consequently, she’s in the conservatory, surveying her kingdom from the warm, dry safety of her sofa. And while she’s out there doing her ‘Mistress-of-all-she-surveys’ routine, it’ll hopefully give me the opportunity to squeeze in some yoga without her
a) giving me an impromptu face wash
b) mistaking my ‘downward dog’ for me wanting to play with her (that often ends up with a rope toy swung into my face)
c) showing me up with how weirdly bendy she is
Our earlier walk was, surprise surprise, on the beach, which this past week has been increasingly populated by tourists with their free-range mutts. Next week, she’s got a shock in store. I’m starting running again. And she’s coming with me.
Ah! I know what the giveaway thing is. I’ve remembered why I keep thinking summer might be on its way.
Endless holiday adverts and people bashing on about being “beach body ready”
The beach is ten minutes down the road.
I have a body.
Oh! You mean the body has got to be perfect?
And by that, you mean so skinny that I could snap in half if caught in a high wind?
Well, that’s going to take a bit longer.
Because I refuse to be told what to look like.
Because even if I did, the vox populi (which thanks heavens, is not vox dei) would still find something to binch about.
Because I prefer to be strong than skinny.
And because, in order to fulfil this impossible and fake ideal, I’d probably have to give up chocolate.
And I’m no quitter.