Friday, 30 November 2012


Believe it or not, I was glad I had mine with me this morning, despite the day starting at 0°C. I had a stock pile of milk bottles to take to a bottle bank, because my local dairy switched suppliers of the sterilised, skimmed milk I prefer, and their new, 500ml bottles have to be re-cycled.

You wouldn't believe how much of a nuisance this proved to be. My standing order was for three pints a week, and the bottles went back to the dairy with the milkman when they were empty.

A change to the lesser measures meant I began ordering more bottles, ergo more trips to the bottle bank. With recent weeks of wet weather, I decided to wait until my glass bottles filled the whole of my trolley,  rather than regularly ending up like a drowned rat taking a single week's worth of glass to the recycle point.

I should have counted how many clonk, crash, shatter noises I created as I slid glass containers down the chutes to meet their fate, but I didn't. Suffice it to say I had a smashing time...

The six foot high metal bins with their three Black Holes of Doom for Glass on their front slope panels, stand like sentinels on the wide pavement near Havant's former Post Office. Now it's no more than a Parcel Office which opens each morning for people to collect items the postmen haven't been able to deliver for them.

As the day crept nearer to noon, the heat of the sun was a whopping 4° (so said the BBC forecast) and I parked on the friendly bench in front of the Parcel Office to do some people watching.

A gent had hands plunged deep in trouser pockets, rouching up his windcheater and inadvertently hoisting his trousers to half mast as a result: a lady with yard long, spindly legs teetered by on huge wedge heeled ankle boots, for all the world like a  human giraffe: a young lad in a track suit wore his red laced trainers untied, and the laces were like writhing snakes up each shoe front.

Considering the low temperatures, it was surprising to see how many braved them in summer like clothing, with no more than a cardigan topper in deference to the chill - though they probably had parked their warm cars just around the corner, while they picked up their parcels, or posted their letters in the box alongside the bins.

The sun was directly facing me, and I was glad I had sunglasses in the depths of my trolley - a leftover from the last of the summer days - so there I sat, with them perched on my nose, completing the strange picture of what I was wearing - boots, jeans, duffle coat, gloves and  a thermal beanie hat! Oh, to see ourselves as others see us!

Monday, 26 November 2012

It's About Time...

I treated myself to another rant.
As ever, it's about WORD VERIFICATION NUMBERS. I have yet to find, after joining the Blogworld in December 2008, that this universal menace has ever had any great bearing on the amount of SPAM, or indeed, Corned Beef, that one receives as a result of removing it from one's blog.

For all Blogger's faults and foibles, of which we know there are many, I do think they have improved their options for SPAM control. The best, I've found, is the COMMENTS page which allows you to mark comments as SPAM, and the FOLLOWERS page which allows you to then remove the perpetrators of said SPAM comments from your corner of Blogland.

There are some people who clearly have a hidden agenda when they sign up to follow you, e.g. somebody who calls themselves a strange name like 'MrXIsWatchingYou', who runs a blog entitled 'HolidayTrips round Timbuktu in a Micrometeorite' my well be assumed to have nefarious motives, not to mention a dodgy assortment of undercover agents waiting to pounce on unsuspecting lady bloggers around the world and send them a deluge of SPAM, though still probably no Corned Beef.

The photo I took this morning, shows what dire methods I often need to resort to in order to decipher the NUMBERS which have recently inflicted the already wobbly-word-verification-nightmare, thus adding insult to injury. They are mostly fuzzy, odd angled shots of peoples' gateposts or front doors, and without the aid of my trusty magnifying glass, as shown, are completely indistinct, illegible and indecipherable, even though I AM NOT A ROBOT!

Obviously, my picture is out of focus, as I was holding the magnifying glass in my left hand, while trying to manipulate my camera controls with my right, and my eyeballs have yet to learn the trick of looking in two places at once,

I'm working on that... But only if you promise me to at least THINK about removing Word verification from your blog...

Friday, 23 November 2012

Recycling Circles?

Back in 2008, one of my first few posts was about Freecyle, an organization which helps recycle 'stuff'. Members offer, or request items and no money changes hands. After my initial enthusiasm, I put my membership on hold - until recently.

A large , black, Dalek shaped compost bin I'd bought with ideas of being 'green', turned out to be a white elephant, as my kitchen and garden waste proved to have the wrong ingredients for making compost.

So I rejoined Freecycle a week ago, and within twenty four hours a keen gardener had come and collected my, to me, useless bin...

I must explain, it was designed to stand on the earth - not my unavoidable concrete slabs - thus it had no base. Once he had taken it on his merry way, I was left with this...

Don't you think it look's like a dragon's nest, where all the baby dragons have struggled from their eggshells and flown away, back to a land of myth and magic?

If you click on the word Freecycle at the start of this post, you can read how this all started!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Learning zone?

Found a wonderful piece of advice on Mr Kindergarten's blog, and possibly the best way for you to enjoy it too, is to sit back and enjoy the six minute video right here.

Toolbox Project Introduction (2012) - 6:30 from Peter Hwosch on Vimeo.

I think the world would be a happier place if adults could have their own toolbox always on hand, too..

Friday, 16 November 2012

What, you missed me?!

 Sorry, Merisi and anybody else who's come calling on the off chance of a Napple Note or two. I've been caught in a whirlwind of writing classes- poetry and prose and editing for other people- and so the days go by with Napple taking a back seat.

And to prove I've been having fun, I'm going to let you read my latest flight of fancy and see if anybody can think up a good plot line for how this yarn might develop?! The working title is 'The Cottage'...

 It started as an ordinary day. Ever increasing daylight infiltrated like a spy, and the room came into focus through the lingering darkness. A chest of drawers cowered beside a Granddaddy wardrobe; a laid back nursing chair as good as yawned at me from one corner, while a swing mirror stood like a sentry in another.  The usual crowd of onlookers was waiting for me to perform my Morning Ritual Dance.

This always started with a Quilt Arabesque, while each foot fought to be the last to touch the cold floor. My Aunt’s cottage was basic. No central heating, but with an afterthought bathroom added downstairs and old sash windows in every room which made sure fresh air was compulsory , day and night.  At least the pump out in the yard was now decorative only, and hot and cold water was on tap. Very civilized.

A quick pas de deux with my dressing gown, once my toes had wriggled into sheepskin slippers, and I was ready to exit left with a bundle of clothes no costumier would countenance: jeans: T-shirt: sweater and as many thermal undies as possible.

But the curtain came down on my light hearted, theatrical mood as I opened the bedroom door, for there on the landing was my Aunt’s body, throat ripped apart and congealed blood puddled on the floorboards. Even if the cottage had been connected to a telephone line, I couldn’t have found the breath to call for help…

The blanket of silence over the cottage reassured me that whoever the killer had been, they were long gone, and I was in no immediate danger, but it was difficult to find courage enough to step round blood and body to get to the bathroom – which I needed desperately now, before I added further to the mess on the floor, either by being sick or wetting myself...

Once I’d made it there and both stomach and bladder were under control, I was thankful for the hot water that helped stop my shivers – at least, those due to the cold; the ones caused by shock were liable to take longer to disappear. But somehow, I dried, dressed and readied myself to run down to the village.  Thrusting my feet into the boots I’d left on the rug below my duffle coat, I grabbed scarf and gloves from the shelf above, and was glad to close the front door behind me.

At the end of the lane, I looked back up the hill.  From this distance, the cottage looked welcoming, but… I knew what lay inside…