Monday, December 31, 2012

Two seconds of fame

I knew I was destined for TV.
A few months back we went to Fountains Abbey because they were filming The Antiques Roadshow there. Jan had a tea set from the Ming dynasty or whatever and wanted it valued and I fancied seeing what they did and how it was organised. And on top of all that it was only 10 minutes away.
Anyway, last night they showed the episode from the abbey and I sat glued to the television, ignoring the stuff they were talking about but continually scanning the crowd looking for any beautiful people.
About 45 minutes in, one of the chaps they were talking to rang a bell with me. There was a table and a film crew near us where they had to ask a stupid mother and baby to move away because the child was crying and making a huge fuss and they couldn't hear themselves think.
I half remembered the incident and the people involved. This was my moment.
'Look Jan, look,' I said. 'Who's that gorgeous hunk right at the edge of the screen?'
In a flash I was gone. Naturally you couldn't see Jan because I now realise that they only show very photogenic people, those that they think can reach stardom.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Something different

I decided to be a vegan this morning so I started the day with an apple and a few nuts. It was rather good and I suspect very healthy.
Jan served a 'turkey Caesar' for lunch which was a bit more challenging. She told me that I'd have to remove the turkey, parmesan cheese and eggs (from the sauce) in order to remain a vegan.
Sod that I thought, I'll start again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Still looking to crack the code (from yesterday)

We were watching Dynamo on television last night doing the most amazing tricks. If you have never seen him I urge you to look him out. He's amazing.
At one point he climbs to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain to the Christ the Redeemer statue. Just below the statue he levitates about five feet in the air in front of a whole crowd of people. They were all around him and he left with them open mouthed at what they had seen.
Anyway, I said to mum, 'did you see that? Isn't that amazing?' She said, 'well he didn't levitate very high, did he?'
Jan and I were in stitches. I'm still looking to unlock the code.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cracking the code

It all started when I suggested that we go out for our Christmas lunch. Jan agreed, which rather surprised me* but we booked to eat at the Bruce Arms. I have to admit that this is the first time that we'd ever eaten out at Christmas but I felt that as there would only be three of us and and therefore easier to organise and not too expensive, Jan should have a treat and not have to cook. So far so good.
Anyway, as the time approached I thought that Jan was looking a little down. 'What's the matter?' I said.
'It doesn't feel right, 'she said. 'I'm not used to this.'
'So let me get this right,' I said, 'you would rather spend hours sweating over a hot stove, preparing a huge turkey meal and all the bits that go with it?'
'Er, yes,' she said. 'That's what I'm used to to. That's what I feel I should be doing.'*
I scratched my head and moved away before I said something inflammatory, cos I'm like that.
Still, Hugh (the chef proprietor) offered a scrumptious choice of starters and mains and she seemed to enjoy it. What surprised me though was Jan's choice of main course*. Beef Wellington.  Normally, she doesn't enjoy great slabs of meat and believe me this was a huge piece of fillet, which she polished off with gusto.
Life for me is still a huge learning curve and I realise that I still have so much to learn. Cracking the code still eludes me.

Note the * represents each time I have to reassess my core beliefs. Each time I realise that I'm a long way off cracking the female code.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Where is he?

It's funny to think that he's already in Australia (at the time of writing). Check it out here.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A rather special experience

Jan's son Luke and his girlfriend were visiting so we took them around Ripon to see the sites. Last visit of the afternoon was to the Minster. It was dark and raining outside but you could see the warm welcoming lights of the Minster through the glass doors at the front.
We were alone, there were no visitors, so as some went off to explore I sat at the back and admired the Christmas decorations and sat in the warm glow. What made the visit really special was listening to the Ripon Cathedral Choir who were practising for the evening service.
We had our own private performance of seasonal music and carols. Excellent.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Shop early

One of the reasons for not looking forward to xmas is having to replace broken bulbs in the various decorations around the house. Jan likes decorations (OK so do I) but it's an inevitable chore.
Anyway, I had to find some small bulbs and went to the obvious electrical specialist in Ripon. As I approached the counter with a small bulb in my hand, without even looking at the bulb, the chap behind the counter said, "don't tell me, 34 volt, 3 watt, we haven't got any." So not only does he know about electrical stuff, but he's also a mind reader. How cool is that?
OK, so with no joy in Ripon we headed to Harrogate. Jan needed a stint in M&S and I knew where we could probably buy the bulbs. She got what she wanted in M&S, but I failed with bulbs. Bum.

I like marron glacé. I've tried to find them at various stores and despite asking blokes in suits, in all the stores we went to, all I got was a blank stare. Seems like it's not a very well known product. Harrogate was bound to have them somewhere. Lakeland had sold out and we bought the very last box in Lewis and Cooper.
Shop early for christmas kept ringing in my ears. Jan was totally unsympathetic. Nothing new there then.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Christmas classic

It's 12 years since Kirsty MacColl died and unbelievably Shane MacGowan is still going strong, ish.

Happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Hometown

A bit of nostalgia. Thanks to Ivan for reminding me.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Back and forth over the Pennines

Having been really disappointed with the tat of the 'christmas market' in Harrogate the other weekend we set off to explore the Dickensian market in Grassington.
As there was no parking in Grassington itself, we used the park and ride some four miles away. When you saw the number of cars queuing to get into the car park you could see why they'd organised it. It was quite a good market with many people dressed in period costumes and a reasonable range of stalls. We got there about 10.30 am and by 12.30 we'd had enough but not before I'd scoffed that old Yorkshire standby, a kangaroo burger. As we left, literally hundreds of people were pouring into the village so we left just in time.
Then, not being satisfied with one trip over the Pennines, the following day we met friends for lunch near Skipton at the Tempest Arms. What a busy place and the food ain't bad either. I started with Yorkshire puddings and onion gravy and frankly could have stopped after working my way through three huge puddings. This was followed by a smoked duck combo which was also very good. Recommended.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just a teensy rant

What is it with this boy band JLS? Have they ever made a 'good' record? Why do folks get excited about them? To my mind they take 'average' to a whole new level.
And whilst I'm at it do you think the Labour Party could find someone to talk about the economy who doesn't sound like the increasingly annoying, adenoidal Rachel Reeves?
Isn't anyone smart enough to see that she can't be taken seriously?

Feeling better already.

Monday, December 3, 2012

How it all began

In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dorothy.  And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg…  Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?" And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?"

And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success.  Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew.  It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures - Hebrew To The People (HTTP).

And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung.  They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. Indeed he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."  And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be known.

He said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."
And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."
"YAHOO," said Abraham.

And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.  Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside.

It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).  That is how it all began.  And that's the truth....