We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about ~ Charles Kingsley 1819 - 1875 
Blog ©winnie caw 2004
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Saturday 10 April 2004
  Tomorrow is Easter and I decided to send ecards to special people to cheer them up in this gloomy English spring. As Stu says, it is April. April showers bring May flowers so here's hoping! I opted for bunnies but there is so much to choose from; animated, funny, cute and religious. But first, here's an Easter rap...  
Amazon.com / Easter ecards

DGreetings.com / Easter ecards

Christianet.com / Christian - Religious Easter ecards

Detective Wednesday 31 March 2004

  I was watching 'Perry Mason' and almost came up with that anecdote. Again. That one about how the music at the start of the programme used the scare the pants off us children in the early sixties, as we walked up the dark stairs to our beds. The boys have heard the story before. More than once. It's part of our family folklore.
  Like, how Mum always (but always) has to watch 'Columbo' when it is showing on TV. Stuart would like to include 'Quincy M.E.' in this list of 'Mum's Unmissables'; but I've long outgrown Quincy's little foibles. As has the person who started this tribute website, apparently. Back in 1996. Before going off on his boat, maybe?
  There are other little TV rituals in our house, which must be endured. We always watch the Boat Race - except when we get back from Saturday shopping to find we've missed it - well, the average race is about 18 mins. This year it was on a Sunday evening. Far more sensible. 
  Then there's the Grand National, which should be less of a blood sport this year as they are 'safening' the hurdles. And the Derby run right next to where I was born, originally on the first Wednesday in June.* One year, I remember listening to the first half of the race on my Walkman as my train entered the Hastings/St Leonards tunnel, and catching the last moments of the race when the train emerged.

*not on an horse, and not in June, neither 
  And, of course, the Eurovision Song Contest. Unmissable. My boys have been subjected to this all their lives, and I think others are finally starting to get the point. The point? There is none. It's just one of those pointless enjoyable exercises in life, this time signalling the official start of summer and the silly season.
  Speaking of detectives, I've forgotten the name of one of my favourites. He is an L A P I (a Lapi, to you) and his dad's name is Frank. Can anyone help? [postscript: of course it's 'The Rockford Files'!]
Smiley Face   Monday 29 March
  "When you're smiling, when you're smiling; the whole world smiles with you..." etc. 
  This may not work  when you're strolling along the road in the wind and rain and you beam at passers-by. They may well be inclined to cross the road in terror. It's easy to smile when the sun is shining, you're in love and your ship has just come in (whichever particular boat that may be).  Not so easy when your cat has just died, the kids are playing up and you don't know how to find the available funds to pay for all that electricity, gas and water coming into the house. Though, in the case of water, perhaps that should 'going out of the house'. A stroll along the Internet Highway is one good way of cheering up and getting an education along the way. An informative and entertaining way to pass the miserable hours is to be found @ The Straight Dope.
  It's an Upsidedown World.
Leap Year Sunday 29 February
  Feels like a special day. We only get one once every four years. So what's everyone doing? Not a great deal, it would appear. 
  Major events in history on this day? Dying, being born, excommunicating, persecuting, burning at the stake:


Honen, founder of the Jodo sect of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, died in Kyoto.

Pope Paul III was born. Paul would play an important role in the Protestant Reformation, excommunicating King Henry VIII, giving official approval to the Jesuits, initiating the Inquisition against Protestants, and more.

Scottish reformer Patrick Hamilton was burned at the stake at the age of 24, making him one of the first martyrs of the Scottish Reformation.

The Salem Witch Trials began when Tituba, the female slave of the Reverend Samuel Parris, Sarah Goode, and Sarah Osborne were all arrested and accused of witchcraft.

Anna Lee, founder of the Shaker Movement in America, was born in Manchester, England.

Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenberdorft Sr. was born near Hamburg, Germany; he had a Christian name for every letter in the alphabet and shortened it to Mr Wolfe Plus 585 Sr.

  Just another day. Think I'll go and watch the flowers grow....
"A weblog (sometimes called a blog or a newspage or a filter) is a webpage where a weblogger (sometimes called a blogger, or a pre-surfer) 'logs' all the other webpages she finds interesting." — Jorn Barger, Weblog Guru Saturday 28 February
  Website bookmarks. Suddenly the sun comes out and all becomes clear (I ought to clean my windows). Scrolling down my 'favorites' I have invented a new game; 'Guess who logged this one?'. For example, you'd be wrong in thinking that Star Wreck is one of mine. I actually nabbed it for stu, though I'm not sure that he ever got around to viewing it. Conversely, wouldn't you say that Rare names from Mythology was one of winnie's, in keeping with her fascination for Greece/mythology/names? Wrong. It was Kate and Alex's search for a name for the kitten. They decided she was a 'Nona' (one of the Fates). When Nona started walking funny a few months later, we soon discovered what the problem was. 'She' was a 'He'. They promptly searched the site again and came up with 'Morpheus'. I find this totally confuses the poor animal who has only recently discovered his manhood and I still call him 'Nona'. He doesn't mind.
  Ally's cat
  I digress. Must go and clean my windows.

Crossing Bridges

Thursday 26th February
  Crossing Bridges is the title of my unfinished novel which I began in 1995 (doesn't everyone have one, written or inside their head?). The problem was, I knew who my characters were but couldn't figure out what they were doing together or how things would progress between them. Isn't that life? We bumble along from crisis to crisis and sometimes wonder how we will ever surface. Truth is, we couldn't do it on our own.  
  Yesterday I decided to do something with my hair. Slowly over the years it has gone from strawberry blond to an interesting mixture. This not the first time I have attempted colouring my hair. Last time, with disastrous effects. This is another hurdle. Fading eyesight. When you pick up a bottle of 'medium brown' hair colourant in the chemist's instead of 'medium blonde', you end up with black hair! And have to walk round like that until it finally washes out. And every time you forget this disaster, having not looked in the mirror since it happened, in shame, some kind person is sure to remind you - 'It doesn't look so bad. I'm getting used to it.' You may be, sunshine, but I've always been blonde and I can't take this brunette look. I also noticed that people were treating me differently (call me paranoid). I'm not sure that blonds have more fun, but I certainly got away with more before I turned brunette.  
  Anyway, I asked Alex what he thought 'after the event' yesterday. 'Well, you haven't done it yet.' Didn't he notice me sat watching 'Whale Rider' with the towel wrapped round my head? Perhaps he is immune to Mum's little quirks. So, obviously, it's a subtle change. As Stuart said, 'It's only supposed to cover 50% grey.' That's all right, then. 
  Taking my new look outside to massacre the garden. The hydrangea needs its annual haircut and the ground elder is evil and will take over when your back is turned. Yes, I know it's frosty and freezing out. That's why we Brits are born with the pioneer spirit. Even the weather is against us. 


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Wednesday 25th February 2004

Index to Pages

Everybody seems to be getting into this blog thing. It hasn't yet made it into my Penguin English Dictionary (2000) - bookcase edition - but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. It's a C21st word. Blog. 

Heard in the Newsgroups

There are days when I have felt 'bloggish'. Sort of a blah-blur-sog-fog day. These are usually not the days when I am blessed with exotic flights of fancy and Confucian streams of consciousness. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained (I would put that in Latin but I never got around to learning it at school).

Computer Quotations

One Sunday morning in early 2000 we (that's my son Alex and me) decided to go for walk. Being of an acquisitive bent, Alex's feet took us past the rain-soaked fields of Hawkenbury and into town and the Shopping Mall, in search of a modem for our PC. I will skip all the trials and tribulations of finding a decent ISP and the fights over whose turn it was 'on the PC' that followed. It was a time of discovery. Every time I logged on, I followed a different path through a myriad of websites - information, entertainment, fun. Finally, I decided to share some of this wealth with others who may not have the time and good fortune to find the gems that I had stumbled across. This was the start of whimsy, in March 2002.

Fun Things


Story Index

January 1st 1995


Well, a bit of a cheat really, as this is the 9th January and I now feel guilty enough to start keeping this journal.


5 years and counting until the end of this century. Sorry - I can't keep writing with this pen - it's dire!


For the first time, Stuart and Alex stayed awake for midnight (Stu had a snore mid-evening which we'll gloss over) to see the New Year in. We all put three layers on and went onto Forest Road (literally in the deserted road) in time for the first fireworks just before midnight. We knew when Big Ben had struck when the whistles, cheering and fireworks started in earnest. It was eerie. We never saw anyone - just sound effects. Stuart lay down in the middle of the road 'a la Klinsman'. I saw a fox dive across the road like a massive Persian cat at full belt. It was extremely cold.


We all had a sip of Scotch on arriving home and Alex rang Gran in Perth, Scotland; speaking to Joyce first and telling her about the seasonal teddy Father Christmas had given him. They started rushing around like mad fleas at which point they were put to bed!

  Monday 9th

Finally got around to sorting out the photos for 1994 and sticking them in the scrapbooks I bought last Saturday in Friday-Ad. I tried all over town to find the ring-binder scrapbooks by Silvine, but no-one seems to stock them anymore. Scrapbooks in general are very thin on the ground. I don't think children are that interested in hobbies these days. At least my two boys will read, draw, listen to music, play with the dog etc., as well as running around the house and causing general mayhem. Stuart is mad on 'Queen', the rock group, so bought him an album made at the time of his birth for his eleventh birthday this coming Friday. He was born on Friday 13th and maintains that it is a lucky number for him, if not for anyone else!

A member of the Family

Everybody seems pretty miserable with post-Christmas blues and the accompanying colds and flu. We don't have that problem in this house. With Christmas and all three birthdays, all in three and a half weeks, by the time that lot is over February is just around the corner, and then Spring. Since Fluff arrived my poor garden looks totally worn out. The lawn is full of dug dog trenches and any Spring flowers don't stand a chance!

  Thursday 19th

Heavy week this week with too hectic a schedule. I should be in Brook Street temping agency learning Words for Windows, but after being sick this morning I rang them with excuses. Tuesday was my 41st birthday and I was spoilt rotten. 17 cards, to start with (beat Stuart's 9 cards). Went to a talk at the Camden Centre, given by Tina Heath, ex-Blue Peter presenter. We thought it was going to be advice on living with teenagers, but it was more of a Christian testimony. Back to Carolyn's for lunch - Tuna and Pasta Bake and chocolate torte with a candle on the top. Yum! Flowers from Cathy, tights from Liz, and leggings from Carolyn. Didn't get a birthday cake for the day, so yesterday I bought a 'naughty pets' cake from Marks and Spencer's. Beautifully made. Expensive? Yes! at £8.99p, but so much nicer than having to make my own. Then late evening brother Colin rang me. Called in at the Browser's Market in the Camden Centre and picked up some bargains. It's cheaper than charity shops or the auction these days. I paid £4.99p for a blouse at British Heart Foundation before Christmas. Blouses were priced at £1.99p when first I graced them with my custom 3 years ago. Only problem with the Browsers Market is that I come away with more books, when our house is already swimming in them!


Helped Carolyn and her brother Nick put a new ceiling in young Nick's room. Their cat Pippa was put down yesterday. Although only 2 years old, she had a bad accident a year ago, her tail had to be amputated and she has never been the same since. Very sad because she is their only pet. They have decided to progress to a hamster.


Stuart had his 11+ exams last Wednesday and Thursday and was shattered by Friday (his birthday). I didn't give any parties this year, for the first time. In actual fact, I feel they are getting too old for parties - or is it that I am feeling my age? On the Saturday, he went with some friends tobogganing in East Grinstead, preceded by tea at friend Steven's house. He enjoyed it, but the excitement gave him a sick headache (again - too busy all week) and he was sick shortly after arriving home. He bounced back the next day, as always, and was sorting stamps, playing boardgames, making Airfix models - OTT, as usual.

  Monday 23rd

A Cat Tail

'Lucky the lazy lump

lies on the boy's top bunk.




After four days of the most atrocious sick headache I feel weak but better today.


Finally got around to moving a number of daffodil bulbs (already in leaf) into the front garden, in preparation for Fluff's onslaught on all plants above ground level in back garden. Also moved rose (what's left of it) as he has been using it as an anchor for his marrowbone chewing.


It has stopped raining (at last!) after 3 inches in the past week, and my washing is having a good blow.


Must go and be blown along to school to collect Stuart and Alex. Ta ta for now.

House Rules



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