Saturday 31 July 2010

Holy Macaroni Batman!

Sorry dear bloggie friends - but I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this, so I thought I'd share the cause of my hilarity here.

But ya know!! It's Saturday - so let's just CHILL.

Charlie says: I'm staying here until the madness ends.

On a writer-ly note the gorgeous and adorable Welshcake (who was a STAR by being very kind and constructive with my writing when I first dipped my amateurish toe into the writing thing - many moons ago) has won the YouWriteOn 2010 children's book of the year. Yay for her!! Go Justine!

Have a silly Saturday everyone!

Friday 30 July 2010

Letting go

Bloggie friends, if I told you that I thought the essence of Toy Story 3 was about letting go and moving on no matter how painful would you believe me?

And not just letting go and moving on but doing so knowing in your heart of hearts that it’s the right thing to do – that yes you will grieve and you will mourn what has passed and what you’ve said goodbye to - but that in time things will fall into place and you will learn to love and live again?

And if I tell you that sobbing while wearing 3D glasses do not work, would you also believe me?


I hope so!

Charlie says: I had my own film to watch. The beginning was alright but then it was downhill all the way!

Have a fry-up Friday everyone!

Thursday 29 July 2010

Toying about

Thank you lovely bloggie friends for your sweet comments about my haiku yesterday - I really appreciate them! Thank you. You are all just so fabulous! I hugged a tree today in all your honours. Oh yes I did!

And now dear bloggie friends, I'm feeling quite excited! Why? I shall be seeing Toy Story 3! In a Cinema! In glorious 3D! I have the ticket! Hoooray!!

I've heard nothing but good things about this film and all the reviews I've read say it's guaranteed to make grown beefy men cry. If that's the case then I'm a gonner!

Remember Toy Story 2? This is the scene that had me blubbing into my tissue like a great big blubbing baby and traumatised me for a long time after.

Oh to be discarded because we have passed our sell by date. I shall be packing my Man Size tissues today.

Charlie says: I love my toys! I hug them like so and never let go!

Have a thoroughly modern Millie Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Haiku - Attishoo!

Wintry showers fall
I shiver under layers
Of soggy wet wool


Above dear patient bloggie friends, is my tiny stab at Haiku poetry.

It's also my small contribution for the Winter in July challenge that lovely Kat over at aKatscorner is hosting.

She thought it'd be brilliant to post something wintery this Wednesday while the temperature is soaring and searing through for this scorcher of a summer!

Unless you are in Australia or New Zealand of course, where it is currently a snowy winter!

Please do join in if you wish!

Charlie says: I prefer the sun to your ahem.. "poem".

Have a wobbly Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Wonky drawers

When I first moved into this house I was determined to create my little office area that I could truly be happy with. After all I was going to pen the latest blockbuster wasn’t I? LOL!

Anyway, apart from the obvious desk and chairs etc, I also wanted a little drawer unit on wheels for me to roll over to wherever I saw fit and to stuff it with lots of paraphernalia (or research!).

And so I bought a flat pack version and built me a stunning little thing!

Except the drawers turned out wonky.

When pulled, the front bits just came off my hands.

So last weekend I decided, enough!! I must tackle the mammoth job of keeping my drawers from falling out (oor-err missus!) And so I shall be doing just this using this:

"No more nails"! Who says I like cutting corners?

Charlie says: I’ll supervise. So there. PPTHHPTHPFFTHPPPT!

Have a tap-toeing Tuesday everyone!

Monday 26 July 2010

Elementary dear Watson

So there’s a rather fabulous programme on BBC1 : Sherlock

Not just any Sherlock Holmes, a Holmes and Dr Watson brought kicking and screaming to the 21st century.

They still live in 221B Baker Street , Holmes mentions a violin and Mrs Hudson is still around. But this Sherlock prefers to txt and Watson packs a gun being an ex-soldier after being wounded in Afghanistan.

And the whole thing plays out like CSI meets Law and Order meets iconic British made up detective.

I hope all my bloggie friends from far and wide get to see this soon.

My only beef in the first episode was the use of this:

Not only was this prolific in the first episode but a few of them had phones in them that worked!

In reality these red boxes are slowly being eradicated from the London landscape and if you do see one – you’re guaranteed a phone that’s been vandalised and worse.

There’s a great 30 second scene where a traumatised Dr Watson (fresh from Afghanistan) is told by his therapist to blog about his experiences as a form of therapy!

Charlie says: My form of therapy are eat, play and rest all funny with my tail up in the air like I just don't care!

Have a momentous Monday everyone!

Sunday 25 July 2010

Picture perfect

I found this pic, dear bloggie friends after reading a news article about how dogs are helping children to read. The news article is here with a brilliant snap of Batman the greyhound who continues to do just this.

The article also mentioned a scheme called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D). It's run by an American non profit organization Intermountain Therapy Animals.

Their aim is to "work with children and adults who are physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled, as well as others who can benefit from the unique qualities that interaction with an animal can provide."

This pic below is one found in the gallery page of their website.

Copyright (c) 1996-2009 by Intermountain Therapy Animals

What struck me about this photo is how intimate it is. How the boy and the dog seem lost in their own world - everything and everyone shut out.

I just love the way the child and dog mirror each other. I love how they seem to have finally found the one creature who understands.

Those lucky enough to have found such a soul-mate know. Those of us still searching recognise and hope.

Do you see all these too?

I really believe that we can never underestimate the effect a pet has with children nor with the inner child in all of us.

Charlie says: I'm not reading Iams Beef in Gravy pouch here.

Have a book filled, pet-filled weekend everyone!!

Friday 23 July 2010

Behind you!

Charlie is looking for something!

What are you trying to find you silly cat?

Oh me in this pic

Bloggie friends - the institution I work for had a sports day/picnic. The official photographer took one decent pic of the department I work for. Minus me.

My image has been obscured by that bending woman!

We're a strange and eclectic bunch!

And before I forget (cos I did yesterday!)not only is Ann doing a fantabulous giveaway, the ever so gorgeous KarenG is too (I want her signed copy of her book Uncut Diamonds please, thank you very much) as part of her Lettuce be Writers fest! All is explained here.

Charlie says: You don't need to look hard to find me.

Have a fizzy Friday everyone!

Thursday 22 July 2010

Persona non grata

Awww thank you so much for your kind and supportive comments yesterday!!
You guys and gals ROCK!
You are all just too AWESOME!!!

Today I had to have a blood sample taken – it’s an ongoing medical thingy so am very used to the procedure except this time there was a new system in place.

Instead of the blue A4 size paper that my doctor ticks for the phlebotomist to read and know what blood samples goes in which tube, my doctor now gives me a tiny barcode.

The idea being the phlebotomist scans the barcode and et voila!! All necessary information will appear on her monitor. No more messing with bits of A4 paper – that’s so last month!

Except when the nice phlebotomist scanned my little barcode – she found nothing. The barcode failed to register anything. I had become persona non grata.

So I spent another couple of hours chasing up medical personnel able to activate my little barcode.

So maybe my blood could be taken and I could come off my fast (I had to fast for 24 hours before my blood test) and EAT something before I faint.

New technology eh? Who’d have em?!?!

Charlie says: I like paper. It makes good bedding.

Fellow soul blogger sister and shoe fetishist Ann of Inkpots n Quills is running a fab giveaway, details here! Please pop over and say I sent you and please could she give me her giveaway prize, thank you! LOL! :-)

Have a techno-paradise Thursday everyone!

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Writer's purgatory

Bloggie friends – I’m in writer’s purgatory.

I’ve had a load of failures with the competitions I’ve entered so now I’ve stopped my short story writing for now.

I have one bright spark though – I still await the academic assessment of my first three chapters of my er.. “novel” due in August. I thought that once I get a completely objective overview I’d know what to do next – as in carry on or just give up completely and fulfil my destiny as Crazy Charlie-Cat Lady.

In the meantime I really need to return to some neglected household duties.

Like ironing.

Here is some of my pile of (at last count) twenty –four items that I really really need to iron.

And here dearest bloggie friends is my saviour!

Yes – this wondrous service called "The Ironing Maiden" has just opened down the road from me. And joy of joys - for pennies per item they will do your ironing! Ahem.

When a door shuts a window opens. Or something

Charlie says: I have a better idea. I sit on your clothes and press them.

Have a crease-free Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 20 July 2010

What you eat is in the stars

Astrological stars that is!

Now this is all fun and games and not to be taken too seriously but I did laugh at my one:
Cancerians benefit from a natural flair in the kitchen so a varied diet is ideal. Be careful with sugar, pastry, white bread and beer as you've a tendency to comfort eat and try not to go too lavish when you're entertaining or feeding the family. Your tenacious attitude and patience will see you through in the end.
For the rest of the signs go here

Now I love beer. I love my chocolate and yes I do tend to follow the most lavish recipes I could find when - ahem - entertaining!

Which sort of brings me to that time when I first tried to impress my gorgeous date with home cooking. It was very early on in our dating ritual so we were still a little shy and a little reserved and so I said "I'll surprise you" and he said "Ok!" and I cooked a lovely pasta dish with lots of aubergines, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers!

Oh my kitchen reeked of these veggies roasting in garlic infused extra virgil olive oil and lots of it!!!

Unfortunately it turned out that my dream date not only disliked the texture of aubergines and peppers but he was allergic to mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.

At least he liked beer and chocolate.

And in if you really want something spooky, here's his astrological diet prognosis:
Sensitive Virgo stomachs deserve a vegetarian diet. Too much meat, spice or fast food will only bring you down. Plenty of exercise is essential not only to lose weight but to help relieve some of that stress. And keep the exercise varied – badminton, squash, cycling or running, depending on your energy levels.
Charlie says: My stars today predict that I will be fed lots of MEAT.

Have a starry starry Tuesday everyone!

Monday 19 July 2010

The Horror


I thought I had grown immune to when people decide to finish off their morning toilette on the train –from those who think nothing of putting their make up on or brushing their hair (and that includes cleaning their hairbrush) or even those who decide to paint their nails in full view of everyone.

I thought I had mastered the art of ignoring my fellow commuters who think nothing of using the train carriage as an extension of their bathroom.

I thought I had mastered the Londoner’s persona of insularity to perfection but what happened yesterday, bloggie friends was even too much for me.

A very normal middle-aged woman – normally dressed – looking normal with one head, hair, limbs…

… took out her nail clippers and begun to clip not only her fingernails – oh no – but… HER TOE NAILS as well.

Clip, clip, clip.

I only managed to keep my revulsion at bay by telling myself to remember this feeling – this moment – as I watched her – if ever I decide to try my hand at horror story writing.

Charlie says: I may take my baths whenever and wherever but at least I’m cute with it.

Have a pristine Monday everyone!

Sunday 18 July 2010

Bloomin' Marvellous

Yes clever bloggie friends - that mystery plant in my earlier post has bloomed into this wonderful agapanthus as you've said it would!!

So here it is in all its glory!

Charlie says: Glad that's solved, now to bed!

It's Sunday so we hope everyone is taking things easy and just being totally fabulous as always!

Have a great day!

Saturday 17 July 2010

The Hard Sell

So I take advantage of Clarke’s shoes mega sale and treat myself to another pair of proper sensible shoes.

As the sales woman wraps my purchase she asks if I want to buy the “special polish treatment” cream to protect the shoes’ leather from scuffing.

I say no thank you.

She then tries to sell me the spray form equivalent.

Again I say no thank you.

She then talks about another spray for waterproofing my shoes.

I say no thank you.

Then she points to a shelf full of bags and says “I think that bag will go very nicely with these shoes”.

Guess what I replied, dear bloggie friends?

Charlie says: I hope you were polite.

Have a wicked Saturday everyone! :-)

Friday 16 July 2010

Being Certified

Charlie approves my Certificate certifying that I am now certifiably competent with the use of computer applications.

ECDL stands for European Computer Driving Licence. Ahem.

Excel Spreadsheets? Pah! Word 2007? Double Pah! Voice Over Internet Protocols? Eh?

We had a small ceremony in a pokey room in the basement of our workplace. Our names were called and we each had to shake hands with the Head of Staff Development and Training before he gave us our certificates.

This was followed by a sandwich and orange juice buffet.

Oh I live the high life!

Yet it was six intensive weeks of tests, handbook courseworks and lotsa exams - and all done in my lunch hour and in any spare time I could find during work.

So I'm very chuffed with this small success!

Have a fizzy Friday everyone! May you all celebrate the little triumphs in your lives!!!

Thursday 15 July 2010

Torrential flip flops

Thank you lovely bloggie friends for reading my microfiction short story and for all your very generous comments! You guys and gals and furry friends ROCK!!!


So the weather has finally turned and the forecast was for "heavy downpours."

Of course I wear my sensible shoes. However by the time I reach my station, my sensible shoes decided to eat my feet and infect them with blisters.

So what's a gal to do?

I limp to the only vaguely clothes shop-like shop that's open at 8 am. The theme of this shop is Beach Wear! And so I leave with a pair of flip flops and very grateful feet.

Just in time for the heavens to open and the rains to pour down torrentially.

At least I had my umbrella with me.

Charlie says: You have your umbrella, I have my fish!

Thank you so much lovely Bin for Charlie's fish - he loves it!!

Have a terrific Thursday everyone!

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Short and Sweet (like me!! LOL!).

"Charity didn’t think twice about taking money from the kitty they kept for their Christmas celebrations.

She felt her donation will always be more - especially as she’s now employer of the month."

The End

The words for this Wednesday's 33 word story are:
Charity, Kitty and Donation.


This is the FINAL Wednesday microfiction blogfest as the lovely Ellie Garratt who has hosted this concentrates on her other writing projects.

Thank you Ellie for such a fun short but sweet writing prompt. It kept my writer-ly brain ticking over!

Charlie says: Maybe now you'll get the hoover out!

Have a whacky Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 13 July 2010

The One that Got Away

Kind bloggie friends please bear with me!

This is one of my pieces I sent off for a competition and of course didn't win!! But I liked it so much I thought I'd share this with you. The prize was a book on how to write short stories and you had to write - creatively - why you wanted this book.



How do I write a story
That’s short and full of glory?
It must engage the reader
So they may perhaps consider
How life in all its complexities
May be distilled in such narratives
Without them realising
The difficulties of composing
These perfect little vignettes
I need all the help I can get.

Thank you.


Charlie says: While you were typing up that sad excuse for a poem, I beheaded Mr MacDoonagoogle.

Have a tutti-frutti Tuesday everyone!

Monday 12 July 2010

The End of Audley

Thank you all so much for my birthday wishes! Yes I am older and none the wiser but happier to have such lovely bloggie friends!

So what did I do? Well yesterday I recuperated from sunburn because on Saturday I decided to visit Audley End House - a stately Jacobean home built around the 17th century and fully restored along with its gardens and stables.

Unfortunately without a car and a very long queue for taxis at Audley End rail station, I resorted to walking the 1 and 3 quarters mile to the house.

Here is the helpful sign for those going by car.

I took this photo standing on the pavement earmarked specially for those walking to the house.

Yes the footpath was along this busy road!

But look what greeted me after 40 minutes walking in 30 degree centigrade heat.

Was it worth it? OH YES!

Charlie says: I hope you stopped frequently to roll around like so!

Have a sunscreen Monday everyone!

Sunday 11 July 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (and Ann of Inkpots n Quills)!!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

In the land of make believe!

So what if I dye my hair, I still got a brain up there!

The 80's - my decade - mad, bad, and just a bit whacky - like me!
p.s. Pecker is kind of a saucy word in the nicest sense! LOL!
pps. Charlie never targets anything bigger than a sparrow or mice - such a bully! :-)
ppps. There are TWO green woodpeckers - a Mr and Mrs Pecker methinks! Yay!

Saturday 10 July 2010

Keep your pecker up!

Here is another reason why I'm not a wildlife photographer.

I was in my bedroom when I heard this unusual bird-call. I peered outside my window and lo and behold there was this wonderful green woodpecker and guess where it was?

It was next to my strawberry pot plant, cawing away!

So I grab my camera and run out at full pelt. Unfortunately I must have sounded like a herd of elephants stampeding because this beautiful bird took off the moment I came barging through!

And of course Charlie watched the whole thing from where was.

He's too mortified by my effort to say anything! :-)

The woodpecker that could have been (taken from English Country Garden site)!

Have gloriously HOT HOT HOT Saturday everyone! Stay cool please!

Friday 9 July 2010

Practical Wanderlust

Sweet bloggie friends - thank you so so so so much for all your witty and comforting comments about my work shenanigans!

I have to add that in times like yesterday, I always recite this mantra:

“Ignore Adversity”

Taken from "Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" – lesson no.2 to true Queenliness.

Now let's talk travelling!

One day I will find the courage to plan a weekend away – maybe to a quiet and rural retreat or maybe to a wild and unspoilt place by the sea or if I’m really adventurous to somewhere exciting like NYC. I always wanted to go there!

Oh but what shall I do about Charlie?

Here’s one solution:

A pet backpack has been invented for such a purpose: found here!

Charlie says: I prefer this, thankee very muchee!

Awww, I don't think I'll be going anywhere away from Charlie any time soon! I think I'll stick to travelling in my dreams and imagination! That's what they're there for.

Have a world is your oyster Friday everyone!

Thursday 8 July 2010

Sisterly Detente

I’ve blogged before about the two women I work with (M&J) – both not only friends but cliquey with it. I get on with them as far as work goes. And most times things are tickety boo and going along nicely.

Today was a classic though.

I’m the first one in the office and am at my desk when J enters. We do our usual small talk “Hello, how are you, nice day isn’t it?”

So far so good so ok.

Then M arrives and J explodes in an apoplexy of effusiveness: “Oh wow you look lovely and so summery! Your skirt is really pretty. You really look so nice and I love what you’ve done to your hair… oh you are so beautiful really, you should always wear your hair down and that top is just pretty and…”

M is all “thank you, thank you, you are so kind, thank you…”

They stop and a horrid pause descends.

Then J looks at me and says: “Oh you’re lovely too.”


Charlie says: Looking good is hard work. One has to have baths.

Thank you all so much for reading my little story. I really appreciate that you've taken the time to do so.

Have a tenacious Thursday everyone!

Wednesday 7 July 2010


"She saw a perfect reflection of herself in Paris Hilton’s latest paparazzi pic.
The face in her compact mirror screamed Katy Perry though. Happy, she ordered
the soul food special and tucked in. "

The End

Today's 33 word story includes these three words mirror, reflection, soul. Thanks to the lovely Ellie!


Blogger has not been able to publish your comments for my post yesterday so I apologise if you did comment and it's not appearing. I have read them and I appreciate them - thank you!


Karaoke. Discuss.

Karaoke is not really my cup of tea but it was rolled out as a "treat" by my managers at the end of our tortuous Staff Away Day Let's Talk Strategies and Projections So We Can All Keep our Jobs time yesteday.

My throat at the moment is hurting badly from belting out such classics as "Enough is Enough" by the divine Ms Streisand and glorious Ms Summer and "Nine to Five" by the irrepressible Ms Parton

Charlie says: I hope your work colleagues had ear plugs. Pfhtphfphhhtpppt!

Have a singalong Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Wild Expectations

This lovely bloggie friends, was a very pale, very delicate, very patient butterfly or moth that was sunning itself on my front door.

I do not do it justice here.

And this wise bloggie friends, was a verdant grasshopper, impeccable and flawless – a uniform green amidst the yellow of my rose.


There's a reason why I've taken to writing stories.

Wildlife photography is definitely not my forte!

Charlie says: Go away, these are mine, all mine!

Thank you Deborah for Charlie's pressies!!!

Have a wild Tuesday everyone!

Monday 5 July 2010


Thank you all so much for your birthday wishes for Charlie!! You are all fabulous and beyond lovely!!!!

He spent the day asleep and early evening pottering around.

Oh sorry, that’s what I wish I did instead of going to work! LOL!

Charlie says: Unless you open up my box of pressies you are invisible to me.

My internet connection is suffering a mild dizzy spell – it’s taken me an hour to log in here at home so sorry for this very short post!

I have no idea what’s wrong with my router and connections and I'm too frazzled to ring the help centre.

I’m ignoring the mischievous glint in Charlie’s eye…

Have a macaroon filled Monday everyone!

Sunday 4 July 2010

My Perfect Companion

I sought you out and you were brought to me
Looking lost and a little shy
Your preferences were a mystery
I had to start from scratch.

How to understand your little purrs
How to listen to your heartfelt sighs
How to brush your long fur
What toy you loved the most
(Mr MacDoonagoogle)!

Nearly four months you’ve been with me
A sumptuous eternity
Today you turn eight years old

Today I dedicate this post

To you my perfect companion

Happy birthday my glorious Charlie!

And a happy Fourth of July to my American bloggie friends!

Have a cracking Sunday everyone!

Saturday 3 July 2010

A Dish Best Served Cold


After I pretend to lose his box of pressies!

10 minutes later...


And this is all I am able to upload today without twisting my spine permanently as I try to use the keyboard!

Have a summer of loving Saturday everyone!

Friday 2 July 2010

The Back of Beyond

The diagram above, kind bloggie friends, illustrates how you should sit on your chair when at your office area in the home or at work. :-)

The science is explained here.

So you writers and desktop/laptop users out there - now you know why you have back pain and muscle strain from hunching over your keyboard.

It's not you - it's your furniture!

But do not fret lovely bloggie friends. The perfect chair and pc desktop table have already been invented!

Eh Voila!!!

Charlie says: Double sigh. Mad woman still hasn't opened my pressies.

Have a floofy Friday everyone!!

Thursday 1 July 2010

Thank you so much for reading my little story, thank you! Me and Charlie love you all!

And speaking of love - this month of July is a Birthday Bonanza Month!!!

Today my silly blog turns 6 months old.

And on US Independence Day (drum roll please) Charlie turns 8 years old! How cool is that?!?!?!

And exactly seven days later on the 11th… guess who goes over the hill and under the bush and round the side of that manky looking ditch?!?!?

YES, kind and lovely bloggie friends, on that day, I’ll be – AHEM – 41!

Charlie says: I'm still waiting for madame oldie to open my pressies. Sigh.

Have a technicolour Thursday everyone!