On bad weather and snow buggies

“Mostly we have good weather. Sometimes we have bad weather. But that’s good too. Bad weather is good for the soul – it gives you something to complain about”
– an old woman who lives in the darkest place on the planet. It’s dark ALL THE TIME! ALL day, EVERY day, EVERY year. ALWAYS. FOREVER. ARGH. The programme was great, and her attitude was amazing. 🙂

She also said:
“You can’t say I only stay here because I don’t know anything else, because I do. I’ve travelled. I’ve got a photo of me under a palm tree. That’s good. And palm trees are good. And it’s good when they stay where they are. I guess it doesn’t matter where they are – as long as they don’t get in the way of my snowbuggy!”

(We don’t actually have bad weather at the moment. This is meant as a reminder for when we do.)

On new telephones

Once upon a time there was one glasblower, one phone and one number.
A little while later, a second glassblower arrived. Shortly after his arrival, there was a small argument resulting in a second phone and a second number.

Time passed.

Last year, I strolled onto the scene and used the first phone without so much as a ‘by your leave’. The first glassblower wasn’t there much, so they didn’t complain. Although to be honest, I don’t think they even noticed.

The story would have probably stagnated about here…

…except that at some point between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, the powers that be turned both our phones off at work.

No one said anything to us about it, it just happened and we noticed it once it had finished happening.

Three days and several emails to The Phone Man later, a very jovial chap appeared in the workshop and installed two shiny new phones.


One would think new phones ought to be much the same as old phones but these weren’t. They have close to 3000 buttons (give or take a few) compared to the 12 the old ones had for a start, some have pictograms and others even change their function depending on what else you’ve pressed.

Obviously we had to try them all out 🙂 (in that respect, and in many others, I am very grateful for my colleague – he says he hates technology, but gets quite excited by the prospect of pressing buttons to see what happens).

We each have a private number and share the workshop number. We can switch between the two so we can decide if we want to call on behalf of ourselves or the workshop.

We can’t just talk to people (how boring would that be?!), we can now look up their numbers, find out how many people share our names (13 and 16 respectively), redirect all calls, redirect a specific call (“oh, you want to talk to Mr Soandso, hang on, I’ll put you through”), turn the microphone off (“psst, it’s that idiot again – are you here?!”) or the speaker on, add people to the conversation or put people on hold.

We can see who phoned who and when.

We can choose from 30 ring tones, 8 volumes and a dozen background pictures (this is a landline phone, remember?).

We can place requests for the phone to let us know when people are available and we can let them know they should phone back if they aren’t.

It’s quite exciting really.

It took us almost an hour with both phones and my mobile to figure it all out – now all we need to do is wait for someone to phone us!

On Birthdays and Blorthdays


Go and visit Claudette.
She’s one of my bestest blog-friends, and it’s her birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAUDETTE! :)).

Also, my blog is 3 years old.

And it was my birthday on Friday.


Everything points to having a Blorthday Party.

I’m not really sure how Blorthday Parties work, so you’ll have to help me out. All ideas welcome (although I reserve the right to declare them ridiculous as I see fit…).

As a start, I suggest you post me a blog url you think I might like, before heading off to see Claudette.


If it’s YOUR birthday too, tell us so. It won’t necessarily make anything happen, but at least we’ll know 😉

On having a bath with a fridge

While we changed the worktops in the kitchen, the fridge was banished to the bathroom, where we danced round it, trying not to get any of the decades worth of dusty grease on our clothes in passing.

In the end, DB had a bath while I bathed (= scrubbed) the fridge ;).

Both looked and felt (and smelled ;)) a whole lot better for it!

On rolling trees

This is a very small pile of enormous chunks of tree:


The pile behind the house is a LOT bigger.

We rolled, heaved and wheelbarrowed it all into a huge heap.

I was probably not as much help as I could have been, because I stopped to look at the ivy,


And the rings,


and take pictures of the proceedings.

I also took this picture of the back of the van once we’d finished unloading it


The blue patch was originally covered with a flattened cardboard box…

(Edit for Skybright: the wood’s for DB’s parents: They have a wood burning stove, we have the woodpile and the woodsplitter…)

On illogical guilt

Can someone please explain why my brain feels the need to produce guilty-conscience-feelings for vacuuming so noisily during 5 minutes of DB’s TV programme (which he was dozing through anyway), whereas his is perfectly content to relax so lazily through my cleaning???

It’s not as if I mind him lying on the sofa, watching TV while I vacuum, he’s ill (again), and could use the down-time…it’s just my thought patterns I don’t understand.

If you have any ideas, please throw them my way!

On making mincemeat of it – part 1

Every year, I make a load of mincemeat, for myself, my family, and anyone else who wants some.

Every year, I make it up as I go along, and no one’s complained yet.

This is part 1 of the recipe – insofar as it can be called a recipe – for 2015.


A word of caution to anyone who wants to actually use this recipe:
Please wait until I’ve finished and got it into jars, BEFORE starting. I tweak recipes as I go, and that’s probably annoying for people who follow instructions… (or who live further away from shops than I do).


Take one huge saucepan…


…the rind and juice from 8 oranges (ca 2kg) and 8 lemons (ca. 1kg)…


…16 grated apples (or half grated, half chopped) (ca.3kg). I took the cores out, but I suppose you could leave them in…


…6-8 packets (ca.1,5kg) of raisins/sultanas, checking for bits of twig first…


….a tub of chopped prunes/dried plums…


…a tray of dried figs…

…4/3 cup of soft light brown sugar and 4/3 cup of soft dark brown sugar. (It probably doesn’t matter what kind of sugar, and I might add more tomorrow)…

…and a lot of allspice (2-3 tablespoons).

Stir well, and leave to sit overnight.
(A couple of pictures are missing – I’ll add them later)