Friday, November 30, 2012

Nice neighbours

As I was trying to wake Jan this morning, around 9.00 am, there was a knock on the door.
It was our next door neighbour and she had something for us. Her husband had obviously spent a huge amount of time putting together a two page spread sheet schedule of all the christmas activity around here. Wasn't that kind. What nice neighbours.
Anyway, Jan was looking down the list and mentioned that we should go to the Dickensian Christmas Fayre in Grassington tomorrow.
I happened to mention that as she hadn't bought any new clothes for a long time, she wouldn't need to dress up.
I expect she'll start talking to me again soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The fragrant Helen Flanagan

I don't understand all the fuss about Helen Flanagan and it's a pity that she's been thrown out of the jungle.
It would seem that she is being mocked by the media and her co-contestants in IACGMOOH (TV programme for overseas readers).
That's not fair.
I enjoy listening to her talk about all her problems, her views on the world and the more I can see of her the better.
She's got a great future in front of her and she obviously needs all the support that she can get.
I'm fascinated by her impeccable dress sense and love of tanning products. She's an inspiration to us all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Men can multi task

What a tough day and in particular I had a tough afternoon in front of the television.
It all started this morning with Jan cooking eggy bread and bacon (don't you just love a cooked breakfast at the weekend) whilst feeding the dogs and sorting them out. I of course had the onerous job of reading the newspapers. She then cooked a delicious lunch of pasta with tuna and broccoli (one of my favourites) whilst cooking some special food for Max (I continued to wade my way through the papers) and then later in the afternoon taking them both for a walk whilst I watched sport on the TV.
With a big, tasty match between Chelsea and Man City and the year ending championship deciding Grand Prix, both screening at the same time, it was difficult to know what to watch. But good old Sky came up with the solution, they showed both events on a split screen so that you didn't need to miss any of the action and you could flip easily between the two. Excellent.
Who said that men can't multi task?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cuff im Dano

So I'm sitting there, bored out of my mind, having taken my mum to hospital for a regular eye check-up.
I know, I should be reading a book or something but previous visits have been very quick so I didn't bother to take one.
Anyway, it felt like the lights were going out, as two burly prison warders escorted a manacled prisoner. It was the first time I'd ever seen anyone handcuffed let alone handcuffed to a prison guard at the same time. Whilst it all appeared to be in the line of duty for the two guards the prisoner, a young Asian man in his twenties, looked disoriented and slightly frightened. I felt sorry for him.
This then made me wonder what I'd do if he tried to escape and my knee-jerk feeling was that I'd help him. Given that I had no idea what he'd done or how serious his crime was I started to berate myself (quietly, because I don't go in for self flagellation) for being such an idiot.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My kind of shop

Having moved back to Yorkshire nearly two years ago I'm amazed at how the county has changed and improved since I last lived around here 40 or so years ago.
Prior to moving to France I lived in the south of England, in Berkshire to be precise, for about 20 years. As southern readers will appreciate, you can get a little blasé at all the goodies available to you, especially living so close to London, and you can develop the notion that the sun only shines on the home counties.
Well, we were out and about the other day and went exploring in Northallerton. My memory of the town was pretty bleak but some local friends had told us about a really good shop called Lewis and Cooper. Boy were they right. It's an amazing place, full of all the goodies basics that are difficult to find elsewhere. A treasure trove of nice things, a cornucopia of stuff to spoil yourself with, my kind of shop. With good reason it's known as the Fortnum and Masons of the north. They've even got one in Harrogate, which we didn't know about, but it isn't very big compared to the huge Aladdin's cave in Northallerton.
If you can't think of what to buy me this year they sell on-line.  As a friend of mine says, 'just mentioning it like.'

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A good day

Jan was having a 'good day'.
I mentioned that I fancied pasta for lunch and she said, 'that's exactly what you are going to get.'
'Isn't it scary how we often think the same things,' she said?
'It would be even more scary if you really knew what I was thinking,' I said to myself.
Anyway, on the way back from wherever we popped into Booths because I fancied my favourite, pasta al vongole and we needed clams. They didn't have any but they did have some good looking cockles (which are actually clams by another name) and I asked for half a kilo.
My newest best friend (didn't catch his name) weighed out 500 grams and, realising that he only had about 250 grams left, muttered to himself, 'I'll never sell that small quantity,' so he put them into our bag free gratis.
This is one good store. I think I've said that before.
The pasta was the best Jan had ever cooked so all in all a very good day.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Romanzo Criminale

It started, when we lived in France, as a way of killing an hour after taking the dogs for a walk. Historically, Jan made a cup of tea, I stuffed something sweet into my face and we put the shutters down and lit a fire to keep out the freezing night air.
We then watched an episode of something interesting like The Wire or The Sopranos. Nothing too intellectually challenging but an excellent way to kill that dead hour before whatever the evening had in store. Funny how these things start.
Anyway, we've continued that tradition here in Ripon. Now we are more likely to record stuff and will then watch episodes of the latest thriller on subsequent days rather than wait for a week between episodes. That has two advantages. The first that you can fast forward through the adverts and the second that you don't have to try so hard to remember what the hell is going on.
We have just finished series two of Romanzo Criminale and very good it was too. Recommended. If you buy the DVDs make sure you get English subtitles.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where did you get that name?

Have you ever wondered at the unusual names given to children. This might help explain.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The bottle

A Man asked a waiter to take a bottle of Merlot to an unusually attractive woman sitting alone at a table in a cozy little restaurant.

The waiter took the Merlot to the woman and said, 'This is from the gentleman who is seated over there'..... and indicated the sender with a nod of his head.

She stared at the wine coolly for a few seconds, not looking at the man, and then decided to send a reply to him. The waiter, who was lingering nearby for a response, took the note from her and conveyed it to the gentleman.

The note read: 'For me to accept this bottle, you need to have a Mercedes in your garage, a million dollars in the bank and 7 inches in your pants'..

After reading the note, the man decided to compose one of his own. He folded the note, handed it to the waiter and instructed him to deliver it to the lady.

It read:
'Just to let you know things aren't always what they appear to be, I have a Ferrari Maranello, BMW Z8, Mercedes CL600, and a Porsche Turbo in my several garages; I have beautiful homes in Aspen and Miami , and a 10,000 acre ranch in Louisiana . There is over twenty million dollars in my bank account and portfolio. But, not even for a woman as beautiful as you, would I cut off three inches. Just send the wine back..

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Each time that Jan says or does something horrible to me, of which there are many examples and then, shortly after, she suffers some minor pain, I mention that it's god's way of getting her back for being horrible.
Now, I have no means of being able to verify this but it seems that according to this article there are certain muslim clerics who would probably agree with me. I might just stop sticking pins in her doll as it seems that the direct approach has a much more satisfactory outcome.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just don't touch the tyres

I quite like Halloween. I realise that it's a recent American import but basically it does no harm and is a darn sight better than the havoc we used to inflict when we were youngsters. Mischief Night we used to call it.
I like all the little ones dressing up and I like it when they come round begging for sweets. It's once a year for goodness sake, once a year to show an effort and get on with your neighbours. Once a year to avoid getting your tyres slashed or scratch marks down the car (just kidding). Once a year to show that you are a good all round egg and not worthy of your neighbours opprobrium.
I like giving the children sweets, not in a Jimmy Savile sort of way, but because they are usually tiny tots who have made an effort to dress up and that should be rewarded. Must admit we had a bit of a panic this year because even though we bought a huge tin of sweets and a back up bag of chocolates  (which I could eat if we had any left over) we ended up with just two small chocolate bars at the end of the two hour feeding frenzy. Phew.
I'm off to dress up now to see if I can get Jan to reward me in some way.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Une noisette svp

This video of 'I was made for loving you' is rather good, even if it is in French.
I'm under instructions to point out that it was originally made by the glam rock band Kiss, but you've probably heard it more recently as an advert for Costa Coffee.
Thanks Craig.