EDitorial ± 29-Jan-2001
Amazon And On And On
- Open Me I'm A Dog, by Art Spiegelman
- Zodiac, by Neal Stephenson
- Curious George's Are You Curious?, by H. A. Rey
- Close To The Machine, by Ellen Ullman
- UNIX Power Tools, by Jerry D. Peek, et al
I was hooked. Since that first package arrived I've become an Amazon devotee. It's not just the discounted prices (which are often eaten up by the delivery charge anyway), but the little things, such as:
- customer reviews: see what other "real" people think about a potential purchase
- front covers: if I can't see what the book looks like, I'm not interested
- alerts: when a new book is published from an author I've bought before, they drop me an unsolicited email
- freebies: for being a regular customer I got a thermal coffee cup in 1999, then a Jenga-type wooden puzzle in 2000
- customers who bought this also bought: what an inspired idea
Be seeing you!
EDitorial ± 22-Jan-2001
That Darn Cat
(Mrs Conclusion) I just spent four hours burying the cat.Let me attempt to explain. We acquired Cosmo (like the name?) some 7 or 8 years ago from the Blue Cross home down at Trimley when he was a mere babe. And an incredibly cute kitten he was. Lovely looking thing, perhaps a Russian Blue, who willingly did everything you'd expect: pawing bits of string, chasing bouncy balls, and having the odd mad five minutes running up & down the stairs. There might be the odd nip, but surely that goes with the territory. Then along came the children.
(Mrs Premise) Four hours to bury a cat?
(Mrs Conclusion) Yes - it wouldn't keep still.
All at once, the amount of attention lavished on our furball went from one end of the scale, the top, right the way to the other end, the bottom. And if my memory's any good, I believe he even disappeared for a few days. He became an antisocial animal, and we didn't do a lot to make him feel wanted, I'm sorry to say. It didn't help that as he was beginning to thaw, along came another child.
Wouldn't have been so bad if we'd all learned to get along under the same roof, but Cosmo and the kids never learned to mix. An unfortunate situation that resulted in both girls getting scratched on a handful of occasions, once around the eye, which added to the rather tense co-habitation. Recently I was the only one willing to pick him up, and that was done gingerly for fear of claws and teeth.
So with (yet) another child now starting to crawl, we decided it was time for some drastic action. And one phone call and car trip later, he'd been returned to the Blue Cross with few questions asked. May he find a happier home.
Be seeing you!
EDitorial ± 15-Jan-2001
I Want Candy
What I like are cheap sugary thrills. For instance: one Christmas present I was lucky enough to receive exactly three weeks ago (thank you, Bentleys) was a cash-and-carry box of pink shrimps, a selection of which are pictured. Yep, those ones you've most likely not had since you were at junior school. Confectionery doesn't get much more artificial, or tasty, than a Barratt candy shrimp, in my view. Must have had about 20p worth the other night while I was washing up. Only stopped when my teeth started furring up. Truly a gift that keeps on giving.
A random selection of other calorie-and-additive filled favourites:
- Marshmallow (any shape or form, provided it's in quantity):
- My birthday present from the Bentleys was a box of Flumps, the unmistakable yellow and pink double helix, long since eaten up
- Arctic roll:
- Take a sheet of swiss roll, coat it with jam, then wrap it around a block of vanilla ice cream; tremendous
- The Belgian bun:
- Walloping Chelsea bun-type-thing covered with white icing; hugely popular in Ghent
Fruit salad, blackjack, bazooka joe:
- those Haribo bags: even I draw the line at sweet fried eggs
- always floss after cleaning
- you did go to the dentist in 2000, didn't you?
EDitorial ± 8-Jan-2001
How To Get One Across
Like any number of things, I tend to go through phases of doing crosswords. I got the bug again most recently at Christmas, which is always a prime time for the so-called jumbo, a cryptic crossword three or four times the size of your typical daily effort. Although me and my father-in-law made good progress with the Guardian biggie (which had a J.S.Bach theme), we ran out of time, but I managed to complete the one in the Times. Even ran down the road to catch the post to send it off. Didn't win.
Here's some rather nice cryptic clues from this weekend's Times crossword:
Broadcast for the crew at sea (7,8)I solved these (brain the size of a planet): mail me if you can work them out.
Overlapping signs showing where books are (9)
Dream on till a don produces this sherry (11)
If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Down, across, but rarely diagonally:
- remember that old Reader's Digest column, Increase Your Word Power?
- treat yourself to a shiny new dictionary for 2001
- use plain English: eschew obfuscation
EDitorial ± 1-Jan-2001
One Way To Spend New Year's Eve
Then, early evening on Saturday 30th, his condition dipped as his temperature spiked and his breathing got more laboured. Gail rushed him off to see the doctor at Ipswich's indispensable 24 hour Riverside clinic up on Landseer Road, who promptly advised her to take him straight to Heath Road hospital without passing go. And there he (and she) stayed, overnight, while he had a couple of nebulisers, to aid his breathing, plus a chest X-ray.
When I was with him on Sunday afternoon, with one eye on Murder On The Orient Express on the box, one of the tests came back positive: he'd got bronchiolitis, most commonly caused by something called RSV. As such, due to the risk of the infection spreading, he had to be placed in isolation...with the half-dozen other infected babies on the ward.
And this was home for the next two nights, during which time his oxygen level was checked using the dreaded saturation monitor (which beeps if this falls below a certain level). So that's where you'd have found us as 2000, with Dale Winton's assistance, turned into 2001. Certain unfortunate babes, and their long-suffering mums, had been in isolation when we arrived, and were still there when we got the all-clear Tuesday lunchtime.
If You Take Away With You Nothing Else (We Took Theo)
Tons of thanks to:
- everyone on Bergholt Ward at Ipswich Hospital
- family & friends for help, especially with the girls
Be seeing you! And hoorah for the NHS!