Monday, February 28, 2005

Nocturnal emissions...

... though not the kind you were thinking of, I suspect.

I awake the other night in one of my usual bewildered states, thinking: "Wha...?". The Big Fella, beside me, suddenly starts speaking, clearly and eloquently, projecting his voice across the room:

"I would do so, but forty minutes with any attempt at innuendo would clearly make it very unwise!".

"Wha...?" I think, again. I blink as my eyes become accustomed to the dim light and turn to look at him. His eyes are tightly shut, his breathing is long and slow. He is asleep. He had spoken with perfect diction, no slurring, no babbling, none of the usual trappings of somniloquists (and what a fantastic word!). What was going on in his head as he spoke is probably best left unanswered, but so impressed am I that I note his outburst in my mobile phone (we operate a paperless environment, don't you know... either that, or it was the first thing that came to hand...).

In the morning, I present him with his nocturnal "oeuvre". Evidently, he has no recollection...

A Monday less ordinary...

... mainly because I can walk without hobbling, I can sit for a while without my right knee seizing up, I can lower myself into the driver's seat of my car without wincing. I missed running club yesterday. I have a chesty cough and my lungs are not operating at full capacity. A 12 mile run would have been unlikely to improve this situation...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Witho is...

... the seven dwarves, all rolled into one!

Dopey: Yesterday's lunchtime shopping trip proves this beyond all doubt. I went out to get another £5 microfleece from Tesco "Home 'n' Wear" (yes, that's what they call it round these 'ere parts!) as I was very pleased with the other one. La Witho loves to snuggle. I actually came back with hair dye, deodorant, cotton buds, Woolworth's pick 'n' mix, a sandwich, two bags of salad, two bananas and a packet of Lockets. No fleece. I didn't even make it upstairs to the Home 'n' Wear section...

Grumpy: I refer you to the "precarious" posts below. No further questions, your honour.

Doc: Having suffered from a sore throat all of yesterday, I correctly predicted that I would have a head full of snot today. Ergo, I am "Doc" Witho. Aaaaaccchooooo!

Happy: I come home to my Big Fella. Nuff said.

Sneezy: Aaaaaaaaccchoooooo! Sorry, what was the question?

Sleepy: Ask the Big Fella. Witho loves to sleep, but only in the "standard" places. Sleep can only occur in bed if it's "bedtime". If it's an afternoon or post-work "nap", this should happen on the sofa, preferably with feet on Big Fella's lap (if available).

Bashful: Hmmm, depends who I'm with. If I know you well, my "bash" is in very short supply, but if I've only just met you, bring on the "bash"!

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go...


Yes, I know, it's *so* last year to post about one's iPod, but I'm having a bit of an issue with mine at the moment. My main use of it is in the car. I connect it to my car stereo (in the old fashioned way, via one of those things which looks like a cassette) and schlap it on "shuffle" so that I can be treated to "Witho FM" - like a radio station, only without the annoying DJs, adverts, news, weather and songs you don't like. So, not like a radio station at all then...

Only trouble is, the varying volume. Is there any way in iTunes (or on the Pod itself) to standardise the volume across all the tracks? I have to keep fiddling with the knob (!) which, frankly, I'm not too keen on doing whilst driving.

I suppose I could look it up myself, but I'm pretty sure someone out there will have the answer and hey, it gives me something to post about!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got white candy skulls to eat...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The precarity precariousness (I can't spell either, apparently!) continues...

A telephone conversation

Witho: Hello?
Unidentified person: Hello, is that Witho?
Witho: Yep
Unidentified person: Hello, this is [insert name] from the Teacher Training information line. I just wanted to catch up with you, I spoke to you some months ago when you were thinking about training to become a teacher and wondered if you had got any further with that
Witho: Er, well that's kind of gone on the back burner now
Identified person: Oh? Can I ask why?
Witho: I just don't think I can *do* it
Identified person: What part of it are you concerned about?
Witho: Er, the part that involves standing in front of a class of children, engaging them, being able to hold their attention, capture their imagination, having any level of authority, being able to gain any kind of respect... y'know, just minor things (!)
Identified person: Have you tried to arrange to spend time in a classroom, to gain an insight?
Witho: I tried a few schools - all of which ignored my request...
Identified person: Oh dear. Well, do you think you might consider teaching again in the future?
Witho: Yes, I might
Identified person: Well, if you do, just give us a call...

Hmmm, I *really* needed reminding of how gutless I am at a time like this...

Running club

We did another timed run last night - exactly the same 4 mile route as the timed run we'd done 7 weeks ago. I knocked 5 minutes off my time. I should have been pleased, but I wasn't. I was desperately disappointed. I was running at full pelt, but couldn't keep up with my running partner who disappeared off into the distance. I didn't enjoy one single bit of that run.

I wonder when I'm going to stop disappointing myself, both professionally and personally. I wonder where my self-belief has gone....

Monday, February 21, 2005


I feel "precarious". The slightest thing could set me off. Leave me alone with my thoughts and I will cry. Like I did at lunchtime as I drove into town.

I can't seem to work out exactly what it is that's bothering me, apart from the broad category of "work".

What has happened to me? Why can't I just get on with it, like so many millions of people do? Why can't I just *do* it?

Sunday, February 20, 2005


All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

James Thurber

According to this philosophy, Witho is still "work in progress", but we already knew that.

Blogger ate the post that I'd drafted on Friday and I haven't had time over the weekend to "regurgitate" it. I've a busy week ahead (a two-day trip to a paper mill with work) but I know I have a responsibility to you, my loyal reader (I use the singular advisedly). I will do my best...

Meanwhile, in the absence of posts, note the change of scenery around here - the banner in the style of the iSeries font (taking Dear Witho back to its "emulatory" beginnings) which also appears (or not, as I've discovered) in the comment box, along with gravatars (being a paying customer of Haloscan, I had to implement this myself... you do the math [sic]!).

Now, there has been some controversy and suspicion surrounding gravatars - I personally think they're just following the tradition already used in many internet forums and trying to give a bit of extra "fun"ctionality to Blogland. Naïve? Moi? Peut-être... On verra bien


Thursday, February 17, 2005

You know you've got a good 'un when...

...on a cold night, he goes up to bed before you while you're finishing your blog post and gets in on your side of the bed so that when you finally clamber under the duvet, it's already warm... My own, personal hot water bottle!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

More reasons...

Safeway in Taunton is no more. Last week, it spent some time having yellow and black make-up applied to re-open as Morrison's.

On Friday evening on my way home from work, I popped in for the first time to check out its new livery and get some "viennoiserie" in preparation for our weekend visitor, S.


Viennoiserie, I believe (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong), is the French collective term for croissants, pains au chocolat, pains aux raisins and other butter-based breakfast produce of French provenance. Interesting this, as (in my experience) the French rarely appear to admit to eating food from any other country. E.g. The sausages which we call "Frankfurters" are known as "Saucisses de Strasbourg". What we know as "Swiss Fondue", they call "Fondue Savoyarde" (i.e. from the French département of Savoie) and so on.

Now, "Viennoiserie", I assume, means "Viennese thingies" (or words to that effect) - i.e. of Austrian origin! Unless, of course, they're talking about the French town of Vienne, just down the "Rhône" from my old stomping ground, Lyon...


So, there I am on the approach to the car park, salivating at the thought of brioche, and I notice a sign:


*narrows eyes*

Don't remember that little fact from the raft of advertising for the new store.

Now, I understand why they have introduced a charge. The supermarket is situated just shy of the town centre and, I imagine, commuters to the heaving metropolis (!) have been taking advantage of the free parking and walking into town. The cheeky monkeys! Plus, the parking charge is refunded at the checkout for the "real" customers (you have to spend over £10, so no nipping in for a paper and a packet of fags!).

But do they *need* to charge until 8pm Monday to Wednesday, 9pm Thursday and Friday? Most town centre parking stops charging at about 6.00pm...

On Friday night, on my way home from work, I just didn't *need* it. For a start, I didn't have any coins on me (despite vowing to always have a supply of change for just such eventualities). So, I had to leave the car ticketless and peg it over to the store entrance, where I espied a fluorescent-jacketed man whose sole purpose was to give out change to newly confused shoppers (evidently, I wasn't the only one who had had this issue...) As luck wouldn't have it, he'd just run out of change (thus negating his sole purpose in one fell swoop). Meanwhile, Winnie (that's the car's name, you know) is still ticketless in the car park and vulnerable to attack, but I'm on the case and bowl up at the Customer Service desk, fiver in hand, on my mission to procure small discs of metal.

Armed now with pound coins, I find the nearest Pay and Display machine (which is, of course, a fair distance away) - only to find that it's out of order, after approximately one day of existence! I hope they've still got the receipt!

I stomp angrily across the car park to another machine and finally get my ticket to both happy parking and eventual viennoiserie...

On Saturday, we treat ourselves to lunch in town, after visiting our house-to-be for another nose around. Somehow, the trendy café managed to serve a mushroom soup at which even the Big Fella turned up his nose. Quite how they'd managed to extract all the flavour from the mushrooms, I'm afraid I can't imagine... I often sit in cafés, imagining how I would make a better job of running them...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Monday thoughts

Getting up was very hard this morning.

This may have been due to the fact that my legs don’t work properly because I ran 11 miles yesterday in a variety of weathers, including rain, strong wind, a flurry of snow (one flake of which landed in my eye) and bright sunshine.

Equally, this may have been due to the fact that BF is on half term and I’m “jealous” of his ability to stay in bed.

Or perhaps this was due to the fact that, at the moment, I’m finding it hard to feel particularly positive about my new job.

My new job, which requires me to drive for 35 minutes to another town. That wasn’t part of the plan.

Neither was going back to my IT profession.

Nor working for a profit-making organisation.

But a plan needs substance. It needs to be more than a vague pipe dream of an idyllic lifestyle. It needs a lot of thought, a lot of work and a lot of…well, planning.

I’m not there yet. Until I am, I won’t give up the day job. It’s hard not to be negative sometimes…

Friday, February 11, 2005

Song association

Witho has a colleague named Leon (pronounced in the French style, even though there is no acute accent - i.e. sounds like "lay-on")


Witho sits at her desk singing "Dosed" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, not knowing why

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ah well...

Posted by Hello
... but it's not forever! Honest...

(Click on the pic to enlarge if you haven't got superfly-eyes!)

For the uninitiated, click here

Monday, February 07, 2005

Road rage

Dear Somerset County Council

Forgive me. When I saw the signs which said "[insert road name] closed", I assumed this meant that [insert road name] was closed and decided to take an alternative route, adding a considerable amount of time to my journey to work. You see, I didn't realise that the "[insert road name] closed" only applied at night - silly old me, eh? Mainly because it didn't say so on the signs.

However, having phoned you up to check when the road would re-open only to be told that the road was open all along, I now realise the error of my ways. I shall immediately enrol myself on the nearest "Mind-reading: A road user's guide" course to prevent me from making the same "schoolboy" error again.

Love Witho

Saturday, February 05, 2005

One question:


 Posted by Hello

I am struggling to imagine a scenario where I would think to myself: "Hmmm, I'd *really* like a coffee/occasional table which looks like a small hippo who has successfully put his head through an oval of sheet glass without breaking it"

Spotted in what can only be described as an "emporium" near to where I work...

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Charmed, I'm sure...

One of my Christmas presents from my brother (though, knowing him, I'm sure he had no input either into the choosing, purchasing or wrapping of the item - that's what my sister-in-law is there for. I remember the first time I got a "girlie" birthday present from my brother - it was when he started going out with [insert sister-in-law's name]... I was lucky if I got a Texan bar before this) is the item you see below.

Posted by Hello

It's a charm bracelet - a contemporary version thereof. Apparently, these things are "all the rage" somewhere or other, though I've never seen one. They are described as "Italian charm bracelets" - you only have to type this into Google to see sites devoted to them - and quite a money spinner they must be.

It's a simple stainless steel framework - the idea being that you slot links in with different designs. Currently, I have a yin-yang symbol (being a bit of a hippy), an ice cream cone (?), my first initial and a heart which says "Aunt" on it (from my nephew, apparently, though again, I'm not sure how much input he had into this affair...).

There are loads of other charms available (just look on ebay) - some hideously tacky, of course, but I think most people could find something they like.

I've got my eye on one which has a picture of a hand being held aloft, with the slogan: "Talk to the hand". Like it.

I don't know why I'm telling you all this really, but I'm aware that I haven't posted much recently. I started my new job this week which is giving me plenty to think about, and it's all been quite frantic with the preparations for house-buying...

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