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Granny & Death & Terry & Me


It began by chance, a book sent in error from a club, a blurb that struck a chord, that became a twenty year trek through the wit, the word play, the entendres, the sideways swipe, the unobvious parody, the literal and the Literal musings of a man’s meanderings of a fantasy land. I have no idea why Sir Terry caught my imagination, whether there’s enough reality in the fantasy to hold a ring of truth or I was just entertained.

When two of his books, Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music were made into an animated series, I practically wore the VHS out watching them over and over, the colourful characters firmly in my mind I could see and hear them as I read and reread the books. The dulcet tones of Tony Robinson reading the audiobooks often accompanied sleepless nights.  Later when tomes like Hogwatch, Going Postal and The Colour of Magic were filmed, they were top of my birthday/Christmas lists, staying close to the story, capturing much of the books comedic quality without tipping over into absurdity. 

Every one of the forty-one works has had its own flavour, often parodying cliches of religion, science, mythology, folklore, business acumen, dynasties and continents or authors like Shakespeare, Tolkein, Dicken’s and Potter.  A few of his notable characters have burrowed and set up home in my psyche, Granny Weatherwax and Death being the primary.  I can loose hours perusing numerous quotes or mini scenes. Such as (in exaggerated witchy hag voice), “When shall we three meet again”, “I can do next Tuesday” replies Nanny Ogg in her West Country tone; or “On nights such as this, witches are abroad.  Well, not actually abroad. They don’t like the food and you can’t trust the water and the shamans always hog the deckchairs.” In this time of election decisions I’m reminded of Ankh-Morpork’s take on democracy, “Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.”

With the death of Sir Terry and the publication of The Shepherd’s Crown, the final novel, something had an end. I delayed reading the book as I wasn’t ready to say good bye to this comforting friend. Last week I took up the book and began. The first few chapters were pure Pratchett even if the content was the death of my favourite character, but after that the book felt disjointed and unpolished. After the epilogue Sir T’s PA Rob added a letter, he told of their working methods and how books came together, but with the last book there had not been the time to fully work on the drafts, although often the final draft had to be crowbarred from his hands as Sir T was ever quite totally ready to say it was complete and done. It’s well known that this is not his finest, but it is his last and maybe demonstrates that despite his failing mental faculties he was determined to write to the end and not leave us hanging.

Farewell Sir T, Granny and all. 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Books, people, Review

 

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What’s my X for?


Well, a little around three hours ago Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a General Election and I am already tired of the media reporting and I’ve got another seven weeks until Election Day  (June 8th) and the harping and bemoaning after the result. Is there such a thing as election reporting fatigue?

But this does drag up a recurring question – exactly what am I voting for with my all powerful X?

  • Is it Mr(s) Somebody
  • Is it Mr(s) Somebody representing This Political Shambles Party
  • Is it This Political Party
  • Is it all of the above
  • Is it none of the above coz we don’t know

People griped about not having voted for TM to be PM, well I’ve never had a paper asking me to select a PM. I’ve also never had a tick box for a coalition so absolutely nobody ‘elected’ the Government in 2010.

So, batten down the hatches for political fliers filling up the recycling bin. Go raid the charity shops for cheap DVD’s to avoid the endless media drivel. Deactivate your social media accounts as opinionated ‘erberts get hot under the collar over trite trivialities.

Already the media reporters have nick-named this the #BrexitElection, well only if you (the media) harp on and don’t give equal time to issues such as education, NHS, social care, police and justice, defence, taxation, benefit system AND how changes can be implemented, costed and monitored. But I am a stupidly common sense semi-intelligent person, so I know that ain’t gonna happen.

*sigh* if I go missing again, I’ve gone into hiding, or hibernation, or been committed…

 
15 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Grumble, In The News

 

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When Enuff Is Enough


It doesn’t have to be a Friday thirteenth for a day to test, frustrate or just get the better of me. Major Murphy, Sargent Sod and Field-Marshall Fate must have had a conference and decided to wage war on my patience, resilience and strength.

Last weekend I sat with note pad and pencil and went through every page, paragraph and sentence of the website, noting down edits, amendments, corrections and general tidying that needed doing; I made notes about what to do for a whole new page, a significant addition to a page and a complete reconfigure of the site menu and presentation of the music bio. That came to seven pages, and I haven’t even touched the photos and videos (may not sound like it, but I enjoyed it, I was making headway and planning).  Tuesday morning I sat at the desk and worked through one page of straight forward corrections, about an hour and a half.  The cost for doing that, I couldn’t get up from the desk, no amount of umph-ing, trying, willing, wishing or expletive resulted in a successful up, so I did the chair shuffle to the sofa and get up from there.  In the afternoon I worked on my crochet project and the price for that was struggling up-ness from the sofa, loo and bed. My reserves were flat, I’d had enough, I get angry, I am not wanting to dance on tippy toes across a high wire, just stand up, not rocket science is it, but boy do I have to work at it, every, single, time. Count how many times a day you stand up, imagine having to run up strains every time, you’ll quickly start thinking “Do I need to get up and do that, can it wait and then do two or three things together”.

Wednesday I created some new graphics, another hour or so at the desk, but I cheated, Big Sis was here so she could lift me, when she arrived. Yesterday, I began the task of creating an eye catching new page sub menu, making sure the HTML I write is correct to every . > and “.  After a little more than an hour I sat back, looked hard and hit the delete button, it was crap. Great. I am sure my frame of mind is clouding my vision for this new page, so I cannot see what I want to work towards.  Again, I couldn’t get up. Again the chair shuffle to the sofa, an afternoon spent on the crochet project, and again difficulty getting upright, but hey, on the bright side it only took me an hour to get from sofa to kitchen with loo stop rather than the two hours on Tuesday.  They say finding the positive is a good thing, I hate that kind of thinking, because it does nothing to get my arse off the wooden toilet seat. I am all about the practical, it’s ingrained. 

For some time getting upright from the desk has been an issue, and I do not see a way around it. I’ve tried tweeking my method, restricting the duration at the desk (I’d prefer to be there two or three hours), it makes no difference. I think the desk height is a tad higher than the draws I use beside the bed or the sink beside the loo. Can’t change any physical aspect but I need to be able to sit at my desk, there is enjoyable work to be done, I can occupy myself and feel some satisfaction. I cannot use a laptop as I cannot hold my hands/arms over the keyboard to type. I need my desk. 

I know there are battery powered toilet seat risers. I know there are seats that rise and tilt, we see the tv ad often enough, but things that tilt will throw me to the ground. But easily useable desk chair that behaves like a dining chair, is there such a thing.

Historically I have known the work-a-rounds to manage, how equipment can help, but in this day and age, with my level of deterioration, is there an answer other than ‘you cannot do it anymore’?

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Grumble, Life, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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AWOL now back, more rejuvenated & rebellious 


Lol, my screw literally did fall out! I use a dining chair as a walking frame (the seat also acts as a carry shelf), the seat pad is screwed from beneath but recently one of the screws was unscrewing itself and I kept tightening it but a couple of weeks or so ago there was the sound of something hitting the floor, yes my screw fell out.

I’ve had a fabulously, relaxing, fun, couple of weeks as my BFF in the whole Universe came to play I mean stay.  Lazy mornings, tasty foods, evening DVD’s, selfish indulgence galore. An obligatory visit to the local yarn store (new crochet project in progress). Whilst there a flyer was spotted on the counter about a film being shown at the Library, as part of the community cinema. Sully, is a film we have both been wanting to see, so we trotted down the street and attended. It was an excellent film, I had to remind myself I was in public and not to growl at the personage I disliked. It was totally engrossing, thoroughly watchable and seeing it on a larger screen with surround sound added to the experience.  There is always one thing each visit that crumples us both into tearful laughter. This time it was our efforts to send her Dad a video of us singing happy birthday. The snag was keeping the thumb on the go button, it slipped and the looping short video made me look like I had a nervous tic, the dang app sent it so we had to type ignore that. Then inn the second attempt after explaining our error as we took a breath to sing, thumb shifted stopping the filming. We gave up and recorded a video and then sent that in messages. Her poor Dad must have wondered what on earth was going on! Still he and we all had a good hearty laugh.

All too soon she was packing for home, already counting down to her return (168 days).  We had jested that her cats might be happy to have her home, but also cold shoulder her for leaving in the first place, her cat Hunter came running as soon as he heard her voice and was rubbing himself round her legs, so pleased to have her home.

So, yes, a change is as good as a rest.  

Oh yes, I had a birthday in there too, lots of goodies and treats. Next year is an “0-heck” number, yikes!

Back to making working lists

  • Work on the web site
  • Carry on with crochet project
  • Try and keep things tidier
  • Research Greenwich trip
  • Clear and tidy desk + draws
  • Chase up Neuro Consultants Letter

That should do for now.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 7, 2017 in General, Life, people, Projects

 

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I Think I Am Bad For Business!


Whilst twiddling my thumbs in the wee small hours, a thought percolated in my noggin. Apart from the last place everywhere I have ever worked no longer exists!

While at school the obligatory two-week work experience was done in the admin offices at the local psychiatric hospital. Many years ago the former naval hospital was refurbished into numerous plush, sought after, town houses and apartments.  During my studies at College to get letters after my name I worked for a period of time at a fabrication business, which was taken over by a larger one and then everything moved away (also the winter snow meant College closed but I still went into work through the snow drifts).  After completing my courses (and getting those letters after my name) I went to work in a section of the Department for Education, hmm, yeah, well, that was partially disbanded and partially amalgamated with other sections.  Off to a speciality advertising agency, if you needed your logo and details printed on things, we sourced it, pens, key rings, clothing, carrier bags, travel adaptors and umbrellas, manic in a word, well it was the eighties. 

When that went to the wall, off I hopped to a temping agency, that too no longer exists, nor do the companies they sent me to, from holidays camps, to builders merchants, to security companies, to car sales, to ship chandlers, to law firms, accountants. Some were for a week or two, some were months or longer, most were where the first temp ‘upset’ things so I was the rescue party.

Next stop a Baronial Estate, the job I enjoyed the most, it had the greatest variety. I’d grown up with the family, it certainly topped up my anecdotes supply.  Recently the new 4th Baron (I worked for the third) has decided to no longer operate that area of the various businesses on the Estate, another one closed.

I’d moved on to a couple of companies contracted to work for the Ministry of Defence, both now gone and forgotten.  Finally onto another Government Department section, which is still shuffling the bureaucratic red tape even if the actual building I worked in now has a different function.

Hmm, I wonder where I could put my ‘business black widow’ skills to good use, join the Labour Party maybe or the Trump Administration, how about the banking industry ……….. then again, it might be a wise thing I am now classed as “unfit to work”, I doubt the post brexit economy could cope with me.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in General, Life, people

 

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Almost A Pair

Not exactly a book for World Book Day, more a confusing encrypted series of letters and numbers that this student decoder is trying to transform into something closely related to useful and delightful. In other words, I’m reading a crochet pattern to try and make a matching pair of cute elf booties.  It needs a tweek, but these will go into Great-Niece’s toy box for her dolls.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in General, Life, Projects

 

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Doris’s Dudgeon


Doris got her dander up round these parts yesterday.  She was fickle in her choices of destruction. 

In the morning she took a dislike to the roof of the local Baptist Church, a building frequently used for AA meetings, a drop-in centre, Food Bank, as well as other things. The crew of volunteers were preparing lunch for the lunch club when the tile roof gave way. Thankfully no one was seriously injured, one person was treated by the neighbouring GP clinic.

Where my little road meets the Main Street there are a coupe of tall advertising billboards, it’s nothing unusual on a wet wild windy day for the paper to peel off and I watched as a corner piece flapped back and forth, slowly getting bigger.  Later in the day I saw a police person wrapping police tape around the lamppost in front of these hoardings and thought it curious as the adverts were not peeling that badly. Today, however, some beefy burly types in eye-aching orange kit erected proper barriers and dismantled both structures.

But last night as I munched through my paella, listening to the gusts fart their way through my front door, there was a crash outside my curtained window. Utoh.  Peeking through the curtains it was too dark to tell whether it was a roof role or the terracotta clock/barometer that used to hang in my parents courtyard. It was not until this morning I found out for sure, but in truth I already knew. 

*sigh*

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in General, In The News, Life

 

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