Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Evil Blogger... and other stories

It's a funny old world when you want to give someone money and they won't take it. "What do you mean Witho? Please elaborate!" I hear you cry... (NOT!)

Well, being new to the world of blogging, I started my career off with a free Blog*spot account, thinking "I'll see how it goes, and then upgrade if necessary". A few weeks on, and now that I've also managed to operate the multimedia messaging facility on my mobile, I'm itching to start embellishing my blog with low quality photos. However, according to this it seems that Blogger don't want my money - they are not accepting any upgrades from free accounts to Blog*SpotPlus or BloggerPro.

Fellow bloggers, what do you suggest I do?

Other than that, today is a sad day at work as it sees the mass exodus of most of our contractors (among them Steve "Neveratoss" who actually left on Friday as he's currently in the Dordogne, and Paul who often comments on my blog). Some of these guys have become part of the furniture, so it's quite a shock to see them go. I'll certainly miss the ad-hoc pub lunches... If any of you read my blog, goodbye and good luck! The office will become even more morgue-like - if that's at all possible.

I have spent most of the day wasting mine and the company's time (and of course the company's money). I used to give good value for money in my job - not any more... Despite me telling my line manager that I didn't want to do my job anymore last week, nothing has changed. My request to move role immediately for the sake of my health and sanity has been disregarded. My line manager felt there would be "considerable opposition" to me moving from my current project and failed to pass my concerns on to the "power(les)s-that-be". I wonder how "considerable" the "opposition" will be when I hand in my notice... ooh, I just can't wait... ("But wait you must Witho, don't do anything rash!" - The voice of reason)

Monday, September 29, 2003

And another thing...

Well, actually, this bears no relation to the previous post. Just remembered a book I was thumbing through over the weekend which contained the world's silliest signs. My favourite was a label on a Japanese food processor, which said, somewhat enigmatically:

Not to be used for the other use

It's a beauty

Shopping-based rants

Going out to the shops at lunchtime always seems like a good idea. "Hmmmm" you think, "I'll run a few errands, do a few chores, and maybe have a little browse..."

Yeah right...

If only the "other people" would just p*ss off, it would be great. By "other people", I'm talking about the people who have all day to go to the shops, yet choose to do so whilst I am on my (very limited) lunch break. The kind of people who stand in front of a rack of shampoos, looking pensive, and at the very moment you pass behind them to access the hair mousse section (for example), they decide to step backwards into your path, without looking. The kind of families who walk seven abreast (even if there are only two of them), very slowly, and form a kind of organic moving barrier to prevent you proceeding from one place to another. The kind of people who stop suddenly right in front of you, with no warning, whilst you are hastily trying to get back to the office on time.

My sister and I came up with a solution which we choose to call the "lunchtime curfew". Here's how it would work. At 12pm, a siren would go off in City Centres. This would indicate to the "leisure people" who wear "leisure wear" (i.e. people who are not in gainful employment and thus do not have such a limited "window of opportunity" for shop-based activities) that they should proceed in an orderly fashion to the nearest "council" food outlet for lunch (e.g. MacDonalds, ASDA "restaurant", one of those bakery-cum-cafés for our senior citizens or any mall-based food court). There they should stay until, say, 2pm. This would enable the mass of office workers on their lunch break to go about their multifarious chores quickly and efficiently, without having to do battle with a sea of shell-suits, snot-covered pre-schoolers and tartan shopping trolleys. The curfew would also apply to the be-clipboarded wastrels who inhabit our high streets with their talk of low quality shopping catalogues.

Now, I realise this scheme could be construed as, let's say, erm... radical. I prefer to see it as a pragmatic solution to a modern problem. Or something...

This made me chuckle...

Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?

Tom Stoppard

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Another day, another ailment

Dear Witho

Please stop being ill now. It is rather tedious for all concerned, particularly the big fella who has to put up with your whing(e)ing [hmmm, not sure of spelling], and your lovely next door neighbour who keeps doing stuff for you.

Love Witho

Yes, the latter part of last week yielded yet another ailment - according to my doctor it could well have been caused by the previous one. The details of this latest one I'm not prepared to share, suffice it to say, it was most unpleasant and distressing, such that I was actually in tears in the doctor's surgery (not like a Witho at all). Ended up getting on the first available train to London on Thursday night having been ordered to do so by the big fella when I couldn't stop crying on the phone. As soon as I was on my way to the station, the tears dried up. Just knowing I would see him made me so much calmer ("ahhhhhhh" / "pass the vom bucket" / "whatever" - delete where applicable).

Anyway, was off work on Friday so didn't get a chance to find out what effect my "worm-can-opening" antics had had at work. I'll have that pleasure when I go back to work tomorrow (am back from London now, despite taking a week's worth of clothes up to London just in case I couldn't bear to come back!)

Gotta go now - my lovely big fella is going to call any minute and I'm just an old-fashioned girl with dial-up access...

Thursday, September 25, 2003

We are not worthy

Just been looking at this blog which many of my readers probably already know, since I got to it through Steve's blog which is the "hub" and the inspiration for many of the blogs around here. Anyway, I digress. Londonmark is proof that there are people out there who:

a) can spell
b) have some command of English grammar

Check it out for some beautifully written, extremely funny pieces, the like of which I can only aspire to...

By the way, I have done two pro-active things today:

a) I've applied for a new job , a worthwhile job, a job which could (just could) make me feel good about my career again (hence the cv printing débacle)

b) I told my line manager that I didn't think I had any future in my current job and that my morale was at an all time low

The proverbial can of worms is now open!

I've been stewing on this for such a long time, it feels good to be taking that first step. Where it will get me, I'm not sure, but it's better than doing nothing.

Witho, you've gone all serious - DESIST!

Cheeky monkey...

Dear Witho

Printing your cv out on the work printer so that you can apply for other jobs is clearly a little bit cheeky. No more cheeky than blogging from work though...

Love Witho

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


... to Vikkicar - a fellow blogger who popped by to say hello. In the usual tradition, if you leave a comment and have a blog of your own, I'll link to you. With my massive readership, that's got to be a bonus for anyone... err possibly...

I tried to upgrade my blogger membership - mainly so I can put some groovy pics on the blog and tart it up a bit - but the poxy thing wasn't working when I tried... bums...

Well, I appear to be suffering from "blogger's block" at the moment, so I'll be off now.


New link

Check out Ro's blog. She's like me - a bit embarrassed about blogging, so be gentle with her.


Fox's Ginger Crunch Cream biscuits rule....

National Exploding Cranberry Juice carton day!

Apparently, the 23rd September was "National Exploding Cranberry Juice" day. I only found this out when I arrived home from work, opened my bag to put my keys away and thought "I'll just take that carton of cranberry juice out.... hmmm, that feels a bit light, almost as if it's not full of cranberry juice.... hmmm... hang on a minute...... [insert many expletives]". I then arrived at work this morning and shared my experience with my friends in my usual "green-screen-based" fashion, only to find that a friend had had a similar experience last night during their grocery delivery! What are the chances of that?

So pencil that in for next year folks, you don't want to miss out!

The pleasures of an evening spent drying 10 pound notes out on the radiator, wiping the sticky residue from any number of credit/debit/loyalty/membership cards, soaking coins in a bowl of soapy water, mopping the kitchen floor and realising that my favourite black coat would need dry cleaning cannot be underestimated.

Oh, and the dramatic irony of putting the carton in the bag in the first place and thinking "Hmmm, I hope that doesn't explode..."

All in all, the icing on the cake of a generally miserable day.

Thought for the day...

I cannot tell if what the world considers "happiness" is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while they claim to be just on the point of attaining happiness.



Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Effect vs Affect

Dear "people-who-don't-know-the-difference-between-these-words"

The two words mentioned above are not interchangeable. Learn the difference and use the correct one for the correct circumstances. Remember, just because spellchecker doesn't pick it up, it doesn't mean it's right!

Love Witho

Big shout out...

.... to Amber, Snowball and Bogie for popping by to say hello. As a thank you, I've added links to your blogs in the usual place

I feel a lot of love in this blogdom...

Your wish is my command

A good friend of mine who has been collecting some of my pre-blog "Dear Witho..." ramblings reminded me of a message I'd sent a couple of months ago, which went like this:

Dear world

Please provide the following:
A nice tall man to give me some lovin'

Love Witho

A couple of weeks later, I met the big fella....
Now ain't that a tale to warm the cockles of your heart?

Now, that's a funny phrase isn't it? I, personally, don't believe that there are shellfish lurking within my ventricles, but I could be wrong...

This phrase (i.e. "warm the cockles of your heart") was the answer to a cryptic crossword clue that a friend and I were doing some time ago. We knew it had something to do with seafood and feeling good, but just couldn't put our finger on it. One solution we came up with was "when the lobster is your world" - as Roy Walker would say:

It's good, but it's not right....

Monday, September 22, 2003

Passing the time...

Dear Witho

Sitting there at your desk muttering to yourself does not, in itself, constitute "work". Nor does daydreaming about the big fella or, indeed, blogging!

Love Witho

Back to the grindstone

Back at work today after last week's disaster. Spent a recuperative weekend with the big fella which was much needed and much appreciated.

Now, this 'ere work thing - what's all that about again? Hmmm....

Sunday, September 21, 2003

The big ton!

Woo-hoo! The site meter reckons I've had over 100 visitors! Cool...

Friday, September 19, 2003


The French word for a hermit crab is:

un bernard l'ermite

which literally translates as:

a Bernard the Hermit

That, dear readers, is one of my favourite French facts. There are many more where that came from, as no doubt you'll discover by continuing to read this blog...

A tout à l'heure!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Herbal Infusion? - Schmerbal Schminfusion!

Dear Witho

Never ever drink Camomile "tea" again. Not only does it look like wee-wee, it also smells like it and, I can only imagine though clearly cannot confirm, tastes like it too. In fact, it probably *is* wee-wee - dessicated and crumbled into a handy sachet format and packaged in such a way as to draw the likes of you into its evil spell.

Just stop messing about and have a cup of TyPhoo - you know you want to!

Love Witho

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Free SMS

By the way, if you do find yourself unable to send texts from your mobile, here's a website where you can send free ones without having to register...

More mobile phone-based ranting

Here we go again. Today is the day that my old number was due to "port" from my old SIM card to my new SIM card. My first indication that this was happening was when attempting to send a text message - it kept saying "Message not sent, try again later". I then tried phoning my mobile from my landline with the new SIM card in situ. At first, I got through to my old voicemail, then I started getting "The number you have dialled has not been recognized". So I left it for a bit, tried calling from the landline again, and eventually got through to my new network provider's voicemail, so thought "Wa-hey! I'm in action!"

Yeah, right...

Tried sending various text messages to various recipients but got the mysterious message "Number not in use". Phoned network provider customer services line (which, I might add, sounded suspiciously like it was based in India - what kind of topsy-turvy world do we live in?) who told me that it could take up to 24 hours until I can send texts.

Now, up until a couple of months ago, this wouldn't have been a major issue. However, over the past month I have sent several hundred text messages (yes, largely to the "Big Fella" - long distance relationships are great...) so to be out of action for a whole 24 hours is just not acceptable. Furthermore, the aforementioned acne-ridden youth made no mention of this potential issue when I signed up for 12 months of contract-based nonsense.

So whilst I can make voice calls (which I don't), I can't send text messages (which I do, all the time).

Witho is not a happy bunny
Still off sick too.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Feeling sorry for self....

Poor old Witho is sick at the moment. After returning from my New Forest walk on Sunday, I felt extremely ropey - sickness, diarrhoea, fever etc. Then discovered that the rest of my family were also suffering so looks like we caught a bug off my baby niece who was ill last week with similar symptoms. So I'm currently at home getting extremely bored and fed up. I've been ill on and off for the past 3 weeks and for someone who's never ill (i.e. Witho), it's rather tedious and quite worrying too.

Make it stop!

But on the plus side, I've just booked a dirty weekend for me and the Big Fella - can't give any more details as it's a secret and he might read the blog...

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Blogging from home

Here's my first post from home - not that I should be proud of the fact that most of my time-wasting occurs during working hours, but hey, how can I resist when I'm sitting in front of a PC all day? Anyway, it improves my morale at work (or something....) - and believe you me, my morale at work is in dire need of improvement!

So here I am again. Just had a busy "first-part-of-weekend" up in the big smoke with the family but back home now getting ready for phase II of the weekend which will involve a (hopefully pleasant) walk in the New Forest - a lovely day for it too. Phase III will require me to gorge myself on pub food after the walk... bit of a chore, I know, but I'll do it for the good of society...

Didn't tell the family about the blog... not sure why. Just like I'm not sure why I haven't told my closest friends (apart from the big fella of course).

Bye bye little blog, see you again soon....

Friday, September 12, 2003

A new day, a new font size, and a bit of a rant....

The more hawk-eyed among my (clearly massive) readership will notice that I have reduced my font size and moved the sidebar over a bit. I think it looks better like this. There are sure to be further refinements as I get the hang of my new-found skill of "HTML-tampering"....

However, my "phone-tampering" skills are clearly not all they were. I'm currently trying to send photo messages from my new phone but it's not playing at all. My "current network provider" advised me to try sending the photo message to my own phone. When the message arrived, it was a text message directing me to the webs(h)ite of my "previous network provider" (who I haven't been with for 2.5 years) despite the fact that my new phone is more than capable of receiving photo messages...

Like, hello? (said in annoying American female college student accent as per "Clueless")

Hmmm, think I'll have to wait until my "new network provider" contract becomes active before trying any of that nonsense again....

Thursday, September 11, 2003


Just noticed the date today - so where was I on September 11th 2001? I was in the dentist's chair (one of my regular haunts unfortunately). The first collision must have occurred during the tooth extraction - I could hear some sort of kerfuffle on the dentist's radio but clearly was more concerned at the time with the scary steel instrument being inserted into my mouth. The second one occurred when I was at home, nursing my new gaping wound, whilst watching the news. A live link in the background showed the second plane ploughing into the tower before my very eyes. That was weird...

Growing pains

Dear Witho

You are 31 years old. As such, please desist from having acne - this is the stuff of adolescence. Furthermore, when will you learn that picking, squeezing or otherwise manipulating the aforementioned pustules only serves to hinder the healing process?

Thanking you for your attention in this matter.

Love Witho


Just installed a so-called site meter and now my scroll bar doesn't work anymore. Great, will have to test out my dubious HTML skills to fix it!

Thought for the day - courtesy of my "Zen" calendar

"And all the loveliest things that there be
Come simply, so it seems to me"

Edna St. Vincent Millay

By the way, happy anniversary big fella!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Respect to the blogosphere!

Just happened to mention my blog to my colleague Steve, who then mentioned me on his blog and I've already had some visitors and comments and a link from another blog too!

Thanks all for your warm welcome!

Will I ever get any work done from now on?

Back to the mobile phone debacle, I sorted out my PAC code and am now the proud owner of a lovely new phone with separate camera attachment - thus resolving the aforementioned "bulkiness" problem of integrated camera-phones, but fulfilling my desire for (short-lived) novelty.

Compliment vs Complement

Dear Other People

Why don't you seem to know the difference between the two words cited above? I do, and I only went to a comprehensive school...

Love Witho

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Bah! So-called modern technology...

Okay, so I identified both the (free) camera-phone and appropriate tariff, gave seemingly endless personal details to an acne ridden youth, then realised I'd forgotten to point out a rather vital point... I wanted to keep my existing phone number. Apparently this involves getting a "PAC" (?) code (a term made up by lunatics to confuse and frustrate the likes of me no doubt) from my current network provider. My current network provider whose "customer services" phone line provides no facility to talk to a human being to discuss the possible meaning of these so-called "PAC" codes.

It seemed so simple....

Currently awaiting e-mail based correspondence from aforementioned current network provider... I won't be holding my breath

To camera-phone or not to camera-phone; that is the question....

I need a new mobile. Well, I probably don't need a new one, but clearly want one. Well, I certainly need a new mobile telephone package due to drastically altered telephone habits over the past 4 weeks (I'll tell you why on some other occasion, if you're interested) which creates an ideal opportunity to get a nice new handset while I'm at it! The question is, do I get one of these so-called new-fangled camera-based 'phones? I suppose the answer will be somewhat dependent on the following (further) question:

"Does the camera-phone come free with the package?"

Being, in essence, a little bit "council", I'm always keen on the cheapskate option, if available.

Pros of camera-phone:
Lots of my friends have them and it could be fun to send photos!

Cons of camera-phone
They are quite bulky
The picture quality isn't great
The novelty factor will probably wear off after... oh, minutes!

But I want one!
I shall now venture into the dreaded Shopping Mall to carry out my detailed research...

"Must... resist... blogging..."

Hmmm, it was only a matter of time I suppose. I've been reading other people's blogs for several months, thoughts oscillating between "this is great, I want to do this!" and "this person's spelling/grammar is appalling!" (pedant that I am...).

The reason I've started this one is that I already have a blog of sorts at work. My colleagues and I send instant messages to eachother via our antiquated green screen e-mail system, and recently mine have taken on a "Bridget Jones' diary"-esque nature. A friend suggested that I should publish my various ramblings as he enjoyed reading them. Admittedly, this particular friend is a complete nutjob, but as Max Ehrmann once said:

"listen to others, even the dull and ignorant, they too have their story"

So I did, and here I am.

Expect nonsense - lots of it...

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