Wednesday, 30 July 2008


...I should quit while I'm ahead.

After seeing this story about the huge British Gas price rises, I thought I'd better look at my pre-payment meters to see what they say at the moment. That way (like a grown-up) I can keep track of how much my gas and electric actually are, rather than just thinking "Blimey, that £10 went quick".

So I looked at the electric one first. It says that I have £5.84 on there (good) and that my standing charge is 82p and that I am paying 11.89p per kWh. (I will find another grown-up to explain to me if that is good or bad).

Lulled into a false sense of security by my lovely electricity meter (where I just pressed one button a few times and it gave me those numbers), I decided to look at the gas one too.

Biggest mistake of the day.

For the gas one you have to put the card in, and you have to press the two buttons in sequence, and then you have to go through millions of tiny hard-to-read screens before you find one that looks as if it makes sense.

Also, if you try to just crouch down to do this, forgetting about your dodgy ankle, your ankle will give way and you'll start to fall over. So you'll grab at the gas box, and it will pull away from the wall (just the box, none of the piping - don't panic about that).
Then you will fall over onto your back like a drunken beetle. In front of people.

Luckily I missed cracking the back of my head on the wall, I hit the bin instead. The graze on my hand has almost stopped bleeding now too.

Of course, after I'd hauled myself upright again the meter had gone back to the original screen so I had to press buttons randomly again.

My evil gas meter says:
credit £12.67 (good)
tariff 4 7.501 (uh-huh)
tariff 5 2.865 (errm)
wid4 7.34 (wid4? wtf???)
C.V. 41 (??????????)

If anyone knows what the fuck that all means - I don't care anymore.

I shall be aware of the rate on my lovely electricity meter and ignore the evil gas meter.

And I shall continue looking for a new place to rent. Somewhere without big gaps round the doors, with double-glazing that is actually effective, and where the gas meter is not of the evil pre-payment type.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Sunburnt feet and legs...

...are hurting more than I'd expected.

I've never burnt my legs before and I was so careful to slather my arms, back and face in cream that having burnt legs is annoying.

My right ankle disappeared last night cos it was so swollen. I like my ankles and was not happy to see one of them go.

These are my feet today after a day at work (in my slightly too big shoes that are currently too tight)

After sleeping with my feet on three pillows last night my ankle had looked normal this morning, but now it has gone huge again - a good reason for lying on the sofa this evening I feel.

I bought this today, so I have something good to read while I flake out and recover. The cover is just as beautiful as her first book too!

I have added Oulton Park/feet/rain/badges photos to my Flickr too.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Weather... a funny thing.

It has been hot and sunny (and muggy) all day.

About three minutes ago the sky got really dark.

In the time it took me to walk through to the kitchen, the heavens opened.

Looking out of the window it looks like the world is under water. It's hard to see the houses that back onto mine because of the heavy heavy rain.

Esme has vanished to a safe place, Foley has decided that I am the only safe place and is either sitting on my lap or following on my heels.

I am so very glad that it didn't do this while we were at the racing yesterday. Even though my right leg is more than a little swollen with sunburn...

Thursday, 24 July 2008

My most favourite book in the world... The Dark Is Rising. Ideally I would be able to cheat slightly and make it the 5-in-1 edition that has all the books in, but if not then just the one will do.

There is a very beautiful hardback edition available (with the same publishers price as the paperback) which is permanently on my recommends bay at work. If you follow the link you can read my review...

*waits for people to do that*

I have to confess that I hadn't actually seen the film, just read its Wikipedia entry. The thought of the story changes made me furious!

Then today it arrived from LoveFilm (I don't actually remember selecting it) so I thought I'd better watch it.

Oh. Dear. Me.

Let's take a story about a boy who is the youngest in his large family ( he has 5 brothers and 3 sisters). They've lived in the same village all their lives and know everyone there. The family are close, the boys sing in the choir at the local church and one of the twins (Paul) is very musical. On Midwinter's Day (his eleventh birthday), Will discovers that he is an Old One and must find Six Signs (wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, stone) to ward off the rising of the Dark. Will is aided by Merriman Lyon (described as a tall man with a fiercely curving nose and lots of thick, wild, white hair), temporary butler to the wheelchair bound Miss Greythorne from Huntercombe Manor . Despite storms and flood Will manages to find all Six Signs and this allows Herne the Hunter to lead the Wild Hunt against the Dark and banish them for a time.

Now lets see... We'll make the family American, they've just moved to a small English village. There are still six boys, but we'll lose two of the girls and make the remaining one the youngest. We'll make Will 14 instead of 11, make his brothers "typical" teenagers, mean to their little brother whenever possible, and we'll make the twins into proper little horrors. Instead of Will being the seventh son because the family's first child died a few days after being born, we'll make it that he had a twin who mysteriously vanished. Let's make that the fault of the father, that gives a good reason for him being totally detached from family life. Then we'll make Miss Greythorne able to walk, and make Merriman into Ian McShane. Have we ruined it enough yet? Nope... Ok, let's cut out any possible references to British folklore and mythology, stick in a random love interest, and make Will have a few "superpowers" along the way. Oh, I nearly forgot, let's make one of the Signs Will's soul and give him his vanished twin back at the end of the film.

Oh. Dear. Me.

I can't think of a book/film adaptation that has been so wrong. I'm not a fan of the Narnia films, but at least they seem to be sticking fairly true to the spirit of the books. This one just takes a few names, a general premise and then invents everything else that it can. Fair enough, the film of Practical Magic did this, but it remained true to the spirit of the book. I'm not keen on David Jason as Rincewind, he doesn't fit my vision of him, but Terry Pratchett was happy with it and ultimately he's his creation.

I would quite like to hunt down every single copy of this film and destroy them.

All I can do is say that if you've seen the film (poor you) and not read the books then please, please, please read the books! Read the books and discover Susan Cooper's mythologically enhanced fantasy masterpiece.


(I do have to say that the only character in the film I actually liked was Christopher Ecclestone as The Rider. Ignoring the whole silly English doctor part he also played, as The Rider he was pretty spot on - he'll be the only bit of it I care to remember.)
Oh good, someone else feels the same way, and managed to express all the hideous changes in fabulous list form!

Monday, 21 July 2008


...I was going to blog about the lovely time I had in Cardiff last week watching my baby sister graduate.

But since my shoulders are bloody killing me and I couldn't get a doctor's appointment until Thursday - I am going to have a long hot bath with a Big Blue bath ballistic in it.

I shall probably have a glass of wine (in one of my pink glasses) too.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Welcome... my new pad.

Grab yourself a beanbag while I pour you some wine.

I hope you like it here, I just felt it was time for a little change...