Monday, 27 May 2013

Musical Monday #10

Today is The Last Day of Tortoise-Sitting.

Oh we’ve had some times.

They’ve eaten.

They’ve walked.

(There were going to be more videos here, but blogger won't upload films I took on The Camera, thanks blogger.)

TIMES, I tell you.

They’ve also played The Exciting Game of 'hide in The Bush at the end of The Garden and go to sleep, so when The Human comes to put us to bed for The Night it has to crawl into The Bush after us, which a) slowly destroys The Hell out of The Bush and b) scratches The Human all over'.

Thanks guys.

So it is goodbye from Harry,

And goodbye from Teefa.


And now for Musical Monday, this is from a film I haven’t seen (although I intend to) (EDIT: I have now seen it.  I didn't like it) but it is a perfect example…

of how NOT to woo a woman.

Rose Marie from, uh, Rose Marie
Performed by Nelson Eddy (with Jeanette MacDonald)
Written by Rudolf Friml, Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Pet Hate

You know what really bugs me?

When people say this:

Because that means that they KNOW I have a blog and yet they haven’t BOTHERED to look at it even remotely recently.

They THINK they’re being polite and showing an interest when they’re actually doing THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

That is all.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Musical Monday #9

Last week I wrote a list of Feel Good Things I had done.

I completely forgot to mention I saw a squirrel.

Plus this:

As I peered closer at The Tissue, I saw this:

Someone had gone to The Trouble of designing a tissue with a sun coming out from behind clouds motif.

I don’t think I have ever seen a more comforting sign.  It was so unexpected to see some art on The Rag on which I was going to wipe The Nose.  There it was on this fairly cheap tissue that I was trying to peel in half because it was too thick, a message that The Universe is full of delightful surprises.

Or I’m nuts.  When I pointed it out to The Housemate, he certainly looked at me like I was nuts.

This week has been even more amazing.  Because I bought BAGELS.


I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I quite like bagels before.

And if you don’t get that joke, then you don’t read The Blog obsessively enough (see here).

Also this week, I went to a bar to watch some live music and discovered that when you don’t like apple juice, limes or mint leaves having them mixed together into a mocktail doesn’t change that fact.

I took some pictures and stuff, but The Phone was pretending to be broken at the time and apparently choosing which of The Commands to obey on a whim.

This is all I’ve managed to salvage of The Night:

It sounded MUCH better live.  It was really good.

But one of The Songs performed (not the above) gave me an idea for what to use for today’s Musical Monday.

So watch, listen, enjoy and cheer The Hell up.

Think from The Blues Brothers
Performed by Aretha Franklin, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Brenda Corbett, Margaret Branch and Carolyn Franklin
Written by Teddy White and Aretha Franklin

And remember, if you enjoyed this post: React, Comment, Share!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Musical Monday #8

It’s that time again.

The Point of Musical Monday is to cheer me (and you) up because I’ve been really down lately.  However, I’m not actually down today.

Here are just some of The Feel Good Things I’ve been doing this week:

Exercising.  I’ve become bored of being Mr-Burns-weak and have decided to become FIT.  I know I tried that once before, and it only lasted three days, but I’m going to stick at it this time.

Eating.  I discovered a whole vegan chilled section at Tesco that I didn’t know existed.

Looking after a pet.  The Tortoises are here and caring for another living being does make life a lot more fulfilling.

Watching TV.  I’m watching the final season of Frasier which is probably the most deliciously over the top and therefore energetically hilarious.

Messing about on Twitter.  A while back I discovered a whole bunch of fellow Philip Quast fans on Twitter and this week I asked them to cheer me up.  As well as sending me some wonderful Quast-stuff, we started telling terrible jokes and one of them led into a stream of awful punning.

Valerie @phantom0794
Q: How much do pirates pay for corn? A: A buccaneer...

Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
That's so corny! Arghhhh... ;)

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
Or maybe it's too a-maize-ing! Gah, someone stop me, please! ;)

 The Hill @RLJHill  
I can barley take any more of this.

 Valerie @phantom0794
Getting lots of mileage out of this kernel, aren't ya?? ;p

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
There's a grain of truth in that. :p

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
Same here. I canola take so much. ;p

 The Hill @RLJHill  
You are cereal killers of jokes.

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
We're a bit flaky, yes.

 Valerie @phantom0794
But I still want you all to have a rice day

 The Hill @RLJHill  
With a bran like yours, I'd expect you to come up with better jokes.

 The Hill @RLJHill  
Perhaps wheat better stop.

 Valerie @phantom0794
Giggling must stop.. Need to go oatside and get some fresh air...

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
I corncur. ;p

 The Hill @RLJHill  
This has brought such a rye smile to my face.

 Valerie @phantom0794
Good clean bulgur comments

 The Hill @RLJHill  
hay, this has been fun.

 The Hill @RLJHill  
Your punning is ex-straw-dinary.

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
It'll take me a while to millet over.

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
Even though I'm squirming with every fiber of my being.

 The Hill @RLJHill  
I can seed why it'd take a while.

 Valerie @phantom0794
Who planted this idea to begin with...

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
Oh, who planted the SEED, you mean! ;)

 The Hill @RLJHill  
Now, now, no blaming, be a good spore.

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
I think you may have spelt that wrong. ;))

 Mia @PhilipQuastFan  
As exciting as this has been, I must go. There's polenta for me to do.

 The Hill @RLJHill  

 The Hill @RLJHill  
I couldn't think of any more and I couldn't work out how to get that one in.

 Valerie @phantom0794
Thought you were just pollen my leg for a minute... Glad there wasn't a hidden meaning lost on me ;)

 The Hill @RLJHill  
No, I'm seriously (cerealsly?) stumped (does stump count?).

 Valerie @phantom0794
Sure! I certainly won't bark about it ..

 The Hill @RLJHill  
Thanks, then I won't grass you up either.

 Valerie @phantom0794
Thanks.. We don't want any deep rooted hostilities

 The Hill @RLJHill  
Shoot, I just can't think of any more.

 Valerie @phantom0794
and we've done rather well, for peat's sake...

 The Hill @RLJHill  
weed better not stop now!

 The Hill @RLJHill  
I'm having sow much fun.

 Valerie @phantom0794
Glad no one's told me to sod off yet

 The Hill @RLJHill  
If they did, it would soil our fun.

 Valerie @phantom0794
they can just leaf us alone then!

 The Hill @RLJHill  
Don't worry, it'll be vine.

 Valerie @phantom0794
just because we're willing to go out on a limb...

How could you not feel UP after that?

But there’s always room for a musical number.

And this week, while rooting out the films I took of The Tortoises two years ago, I came across this video from Christmas 2010:

That was like The Fifth Take or something, because Woody kept messing it up by speaking (he does in this one too, but at least he didn't cut me off for once).  (Woody ALWAYS cuts me off.)

So I know exactly what musical number to pick – although technically not a musical number, it is a song from the character’s perspective so I figure it counts.  Plus I LOVE it.

Strange Things from Toy Story
Written and performed by Randy Newman.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Bears

A while ago, I was going to write a post about the two teddy bears in The Living Room, Disgruntled Bear and Hide The Silverware Bear.

They add their own angle to every situation, because Disgruntled Bear is disgruntled by it and Hide The Silverware Bear has some sly take.  They make The Living Room a much more amusing place.

But these two bears no longer live in The Living Room because of The Lodger.  They have moved into my bedroom, along with about a thousand other things I own.

And it is here that I notice several other bears peering at me.  I am in a constant state of lessening items I own.  I have too much stuff and am always streamlining it.  So why is the teddy bear population actually increasing?  Where did they all come from?

My favourite toy when I was a kid was Bobby Badger.  I got him for my third birthday.
But who was my favourite toy before I was three?

Let’s look at that picture again.

This is Letterbox Bear, Bobby’s brother or whatever (they’re from the same series of toys).  I got him for Christmas the year before.  He was my go-to-guy before I turned three.
For nine months or so, he was king.  Then he was usurped.  This never bothered me because he was my second favourite toy, he still got to sit at the top of my bed and he and Bobby are bestest friends.  Then someone had to go and make Toy Story and give me guilt.

It’s a subtle guilt but a nagging guilt that didn’t surface until I grew up, which makes me susceptible to MUST-ADOPT-TEDDY-BEAR fever, even though I’m an adult so won’t play with them and there’s no room in the house.

The only teddy bear I have left from childhood (and I mean specifically bears) is
Letterbox Bear
and from my teenhood
Hedley (who actually looks more like a water vole or beaver)
I got Hedley at the Millennium Dome, so I have to keep him as he encapsulates a memory.  Mainly of my travelling companion saying she didn’t think I was the type of person who collected cuddly toys.  She also once said, after I simply reached the limit of ‘coping’ with bullying, that she didn’t think I was the type of person who cried.  So apparently she knew nothing about me.  He’s called Hedley after a character in a story I never finished writing.

But then came Free Meeeee Bear.
This was a free gift with some bulk package The Mother had bought, and every day for months I walked past this open box with this tiny bear stuck in a plastic bag, staring at me with its bulbous black eyes like a baby seal.
Finally, The Mother freed the bear and gave him to me.

O’Bialystock Bear
At university we took a magical trip to the Bear Factory.  The idea of making a bear from scratch sounded unbelievably exciting.  It really wasn’t.  First off, it’s creepy, second off (?) it was incredibly expensive and third off, it was too limited — I was obsessed with the idea of making a bear in a suit so he could be my CID Bear because I was currently obsessed with The Bill.  They didn’t have any outfits that fitted my purpose, so I gave up on making a bear.  However, as I left, I saw this little bridegroom bear, meant for wedding gifts.  And it struck me that if only he was wearing a Homburg rather than a top hat, he’d look an awful lot like Max Bialystock (I was also freshly obsessed with The Producers).

I Don’t Have A Boyfriend Bear (aka ‘Romeo’ according to his label)
After one Valentine’s Day was long over, I came across a whole basket of these bears reduced to £1 each.  The idea that a bear designed to be given as a token of love had completely failed to catch anyone’s attention was sad, particularly to someone as painfully single as me.  I picked it up and its seductive powers started to work because it was so soft that my hand didn’t want to put it back.  How could I after showing it attention?
Look, he wears his heart on his sleeve!  Ahhahahahahahaha

Disgruntled Bear.
I met Disgruntled Bear when, presumably due to his expression, he was donated (abandoned) by his owners and put in a jumble sale.  He failed to catch anyone’s eye and was chucked at the end as one of those toys that will never get rehomed to continue his journey of no one wanting him.  And no one ever would with a face like that.  Because no matter what angle you look at him, no matter what he is doing, he always has the most off-puttingly disgruntled expression.

Knowing no one would ever love this bear, I rescued him and I can never give him up, because no one ever will want that angry, dissatisfied little bear.  And now he is free to be disgruntled by absolutely everything as much as he wants.  He has pride of place in The Living Room (or did, before The Lodger moved in).

Edmond The Explorer and Peter The Pilot
I went to a car boot sale with The Slayer and The Housemate one time.  It was a lot of fun and I’d like to do it again.  Hint hint.  The only thing I saw that piqued my interest was a whole table of the coolest teddy bears I had ever seen at only £2 each.

But I knew I already owned a lot of rubbish, so I left them.  However, at the end, I skirted back over just to see and the two that caught my eye were still there.  How could I not adopt these two?

Hide The Silverware Bear
So named because his expression is scheming, slightly sinister, with larcenous intent. 

 The Housemate bought it because the bear reminded him of me.

Take Me With You Bear

While on holiday, The Housemate was attempting to win a Dick Dastardly from a grabber machine.  He eventually ensnared the tricksy toy, and as Dastardly rose, clinging desperately to his feet was Take Me With You Bear.  So despite being a fairly cheap, bland toy, for his impressive dedication to escaping the machine, he has a home with us.

Oh, and there’s also Trapped In A Basket Bear

Letterbox and Bobby BFFs


Tortoise Sitting: Day 1

So far today, Teefa got stuck on a tiny wall and Harry rolled himself on to his back, so I had to rescue them.  Both incidents were caused by the same garden feature.  Hoping they have learnt their lesson to avoid it.  If it happens again, I’ll have to think of someway to block their access to it.

Teefa, shortly before getting stuck.

Also Harry went exploring under the bushes (looking for an escape?).  The holes in the fences are blocked up, but I lost sight of him in the undergrowth and had to poke around for ages until I located him wedged under a root.  Wasn’t sure if he was stuck.  The Housemate removed him from it just in case.  He went straight back in.  Guess he wasn’t stuck.

Harry basking.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Mii Contest

The Mii Addiction ended with a mii contest.

The challenge was to create a mii who looked like ‘a shady salesman’.

Inspiration struck at once (due to my penchant* for Home Front history) and I set about crafting a mii based on Walker from Dad’s Army.  This wasn’t quite achievable and what I came up with didn’t do justice to the shady salesman aim.  

So I worked on The Mii for a bit and made him creepier and shadier and christened him ‘Mr Spiv’. 

I was quite proud of Mr Spiv. 

I entered him into The Competition.

Eventually The Submissions were passed on to judging.

To judge a mii contest, what happens is you are shown a small selection of The Entrants (ten, in fact).  You can pick up to three that you feel ‘best embody the theme of the contest’.  If you want to see more entrants, then you can swap these ten for another ten.

Now I must have looked at over two hundred miis and I am certain that was a tiny percentage of the actual amount of submissions.  And nearly all of them just appeared to be completely normal miis.  You know, people’s personal miis.  There was nothing interesting or remotely evocative of a shady salesman about them.  I saw maybe ten or so that were actually trying.

And I realised that it didn’t matter how hard I tried to make Mr Spiv look like a shady salesman or how accurate he was to The Theme.  Because the chances of him actually being seen by anyone was exactly that, chance.

I voted for The Three Miis I liked best, but I don’t know how many other hundreds of miis I never saw at all that fitted The Theme even better.  I got bored of swapping them after a few dozen times.

I realised that I no longer even cared if I won or lost.  So I don’t think I’ll be entering any more mii contests.  The chances of being seen, let alone voted for, are too small.

This is how well I did, although I have no idea what it actually means:

The top level is the 10th Level.  So being on the 9th Level is a lot better than I first thought when I saw it, but I’ve no idea how many other miis are on each level.  Is it 50 on each, or are we talking hundreds?

See what I mean?

* I know this word is pronounced in the French way, something akin to ‘po-sho’, but I really find that sounds silly and pretentious when said by English people.  So instead I’m going to say predilection from now on.

Friday, 10 May 2013


Tomorrow The Housemate and I will become the proud pet-sitters of a couple of tortoises.

Therefore, I thought I'd reminisce about the last time we looked after them.  Like how they'd stop doing whatever they were doing the second I turned on the camera.  Oh the times we had.

There was hiding...

And walking...

and eating...

and bathing...
and basking...
What exciting adventures will we get up to THIS time?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Useless Things I Found In My Room

The Room is in a perpetual state of ‘being tidied’.  Or rather, every now and then I have an almighty room tidy except something interrupts before I have finished and so The Room is left in disarray, with piles of sorted out things all over the place that eventually collapse and mudslide into each other and then other stuff gets left on top until it’s all just one big mess and I have another almighty attempt at tidying it all away.

Here are some of The Useless Things I found in The Room during The Last Tidy:

A small wicker dish.

A large white ribbon.

A pretty cage.

A huge glass jar that I keep for The Sole Purpose of crunching The Bare Toes into in The Morning.

A very limp blue stress ball of gunge that seems to be melting.

A robot cat that makes annoying noises, gets depressed and then turns itself off, leaving me feeling sad and guilty.

Old prescription glasses.

And Trapped In A Basket Bear, who I have now pinned to The Ceiling, so that every time I walk past it, I duck, The Mind screaming WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?

Oh, and about a million notebooks containing partial story ideas that one day I will actually have to read.