Monday, February 28, 2005

February Archive

Monday, February 28, 2005
This is the She Weevil's lot
"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known" Garison Keillor

Thanks to my mate Fingerchimp over at BBC Collective for this little pearl of wisdom. It started as a search (a fairly lazy one, I have to say Fingerchimp) for the wit behind the Honda advert "Hate something. Change something" you probably google it an get a video clip or something but that's all a bit to technical for me or my clockwork computer - I'm upgrading to steampower in the summer. It's uplifting and catchy in an odd and morose way. Just like the man himself whenever I've seen him interviewed.

Once, a long time ago, I wanted to be a doctor then a forensic scientist before Kay Scarpetta had even picked up a scalpel. Things in my life,and ultimately me, made it, if not impossible at least, very difficult. All the smarts in the world still can't persuade me that this is what I would have wanted had I known but that was eleven years ago.

Instead of graduating as a doctor at 23 I was newly divorced with two small children few qualifications and no home of my own.

My two small children are almost grown. They are budding and tall and strong human beings with a sense of themselves, a sense of their family and a sense of their place in the world. They have a brother now and a stepfather that we all, it must be quite obvious from the schmalzier bits of this, adore.

If I stayed at school I wouldn't have met and married my children's father. If I hadn't met him I wouldn't have my children. Sure, I might have some children but not them - it wasn't in the plan. If he hadn't met someone else and abandoned me when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant I wouldn't have divorced him. If I hadn't divorced him I wouldn't have moved back in with my parents. If I hadn't moved back in with my parents I wouldn't have rediscovered myself and gone to University and got my degree. And if I hadn't gone to Uni, I wouldn't have met The Painter and have the two year old genius.

The Painter and the little genius are wonderful but it isn't them on their own that would be the absence. It is the whole that is our family that I now realise I wanted all along. The rest of life does matter but only as an adjunct or a facilitator to our family.

posted by She Weevil @ 11:59 AM 2 comments

The writer's blog has been cleared ...
... normal service will resume shortly.

posted by She Weevil @ 9:35 AM 0 comments

Sunday, February 27, 2005
A bit blogged ...
Stuck in a meme because I'm a bit blogged on a post I started this morning. Just so you don't think I've forgotten you I've put this up. Yes, you guys can answer it too. What? What did that Blogexplosion ultra-right wing nut say? It will impune his manhood; well, if he can find it I'll check for him. Which one are you.

Congratulations! You are Susan Mayer, the divorcee
and single mom who will go to extraordinary
lengths for love.

Which Desperate Housewife are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

posted by She Weevil @ 12:44 PM 0 comments

Are you a man or a mouse?
This morning I wake up and am greeted by the above staring at me from the AOL homepage. Yeah, I know all you browser snobs, AOL's not very cool, but for various reasons it suits us.

I also know that this is from a story in the Mail on Sunday, something, thankfully, I no-longer need to give house room. Again, I acknowledge this is a no news story; an attempt to spin the Charles and Camilla story just that little bit. And he's right, the media is profiting from him and his relationship; he didn't seem to mind in the heady days of 1981 when the press was positive. You need to take the rough with the smooth, don't you?

Anyone who has the "personal" wealth, standing or privilege that he has should be unsurprised that your average man or woman in the street would be a bit tired and compassionless about his "private" life.

Okay, money can't buy you happiness, but it can go a long way towards smoothing out the tribulations of ordinary life. His private life has become an industry. If it mattered so much to him he could have relinquished his place in the accession and gone off to live happily ever after a long time ago. If you want to have your cake and eat it, don't you have to realise that some people might find you somewhat greedy.

As for the British public lacking in compassion, their open hearts and wallets say something different.

"The British public has created an amazing £300m fund that is making a huge difference to people from Sri Lanka to Somalia," Mr Gormley said.
"Thanks to their generosity, hundreds of thousands of people who lost everything now have food, clean water and shelter." BBC News

posted by She Weevil @ 8:04 AM 0 comments

It started with this
Inconsequential glances
roam around a room
like unbroken horses
in a high-barred paddock.
And eyes, wild and bright
use myopic disregard
as an excuse.
A look
the tilt of head,
colouration of the skin can
forbid, dismiss, invite observers in.

Across a barren room the
green blur of your eyes
that brightens in my gaze
bids me in, and
though I look to note
the subtle daily changes in your life
I cannot now accept
that invitation which you send;
for though we hold each other dear in mind,
we have seldom met and never spoken.

posted by She Weevil @ 12:07 AM 2 comments

Saturday, February 26, 2005

When I started this blog over on AOL Hometown it was going to be about my life including my garden which, until we moved, was a huge part of my life. It was also going to be illustrated with The Painter's botanical illustrations. We don't have a garden anymore and the waiting list for our allotment seems to be neverending; so if you arrive from blogshares expecting to see gardening and horticulture here, it is in spirit if not in fact. Thanks to Lil' Faerie for her -5 rating in Gardening and Horticulture. If she'd read the whole blog she'd have known.

posted by She Weevil @ 12:41 PM 3 comments

When Saturday comes ...
Well life returns to some kind of normality in the Sheweevil household. AD and SS have, by and large, been fantastic. The two year old genius is being, well, two. He will stand a ten minute visit to the hospital which, as it takes us an hour to get there and an hour to get back on the bus, is a bit of a shame. Really though, he's being good. Daddy is in the hospital for his sore hair. If you saw it you may not disagree.

Today we'll be giving the old place a bit of a huck out - oh fun. We want the place to look nice for the return of the Painter. It's not imminent but it's looking more likely than it was a week ago. I can't say that it's taken this to make me appreciate him; it hasn't. I realise how lucky I am every day but I do know that nothing will ever be allowed to meddle with the dynamic, or try to destroy our family ever again. Just know, wherever you are, I have finished playing softball.

Anyway, I'll away and remove the boxing gloves and pull my marigolds on instead. Mmm, smell the rubber - britblog interest in sex readers standby.

posted by She Weevil @ 9:35 AM 0 comments

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Pursuit of Solitude - visit The Painter's online gallery - follow The Painter link in the sidebar.

posted by She Weevil @ 4:56 PM 0 comments

Hangover ...
This morning I woke up with what felt like a hangover. Given the stuff that's been going on you'd be forgiven for thinking that's exactly what it is. But for four weeks today i have been, what's the American phrase? Oh yes, clean and sober.

Clean, well sometimes, certainly in the drug-free sense. Not always sparkling fresh but then that's the way the Painter likes it; Britblog voyeurs eyes widen with expectation but, sorry, I'm not going to go into that at the moment.

Sober, again, it's difficult to tell at times. People often accuse me of being a bit of a sobersides. I have a rather manic personality and swing both ways - their eyes will be on stalks - from finding things intensely serious, to seeing only the fluffy and funny in a situation.

Seriously though, I haven't had a drink for four weeks, so to wake up with what, in all respects apart from a banging head and nausea, feels like a hangover was a bit of a surprise. I put it down to coming down from a sugar high.

The last few days have left me feeling less than hungry. I have been eating before you all rant, just not much. I haven't felt like it. Yesterday evening though, I went a bit daft. I put the daftness down to reaction to the stress I'm under obviously, now I realise, under the careful tutilage of Badaunt and Madbaggage that I'm actually premenstrual.

I have that vacant, pretty vacant absence of mental faculty and the toe stubbing, plate-smashing lack of physical acuity. Oh, and not to forget the inability to work out that I'm actually premenstrual. Normally, I rely on the kind offices of the Painter to let me know "Are you about to start your period - do you need some peanuts?" For some reason I crave peanuts; can some clever dick explain please.

Last night, not realising it was just PMS, I bought a Terry's chocolate orange, two bags of higly flavoured but differently flavoured crisps and a large bottle of dandelion and burdock. I fully intended to share the chocolate orange with the children but go 3/4 of the way through and apologised that there would be none left to share. Note to Social Services - I had in fact given them each a chocolate orange egg - they do not seem scarred but who can tell? This morning, I feel like the proverbial. My skin is tight and dry, vacant posession is available for any evil spirits out there and my mouth tastes like a badger's bum.

Thankfully I now realise I do not have to swear off the chemical cocktail I imbibed last night; it's not a tartrazine tantrum it's just my period. Hooray!

posted by She Weevil @ 11:18 AM 3 comments

So, yesterday, whilst trogging around the Intermanet thingy I found this. Actually I was looking at my Celebdaq portfolio. I'm not trying to be flippant here, it just struck my as weird that in the same week that I was so gutted, a high profile early stroke should be in the news.

Bit late to say it, but why isn't there more information out there about them?

Since Saturday I have learned:

Stroke research UK: Statistics (

Stroke is the biggest cause of severe disability in the UK.

Stroke deaths account for about 12% of deaths from all causes in England and Wales.

Approximately 12% of beds on general medical wards are taken up by stroke victims.

Over 100,000 people a year in the UK suffer a stroke. 70% of these people will be alive a year later.

10,000 people in the UK under the age of 55 suffer a stroke every year.

1,000 of these stroke sufferers are under the age of 30.

Approximately 70% of people who suffer a stroke in the UK survive longer than a year

If you want information on preventing strokes look here. It happened to us; it happened to Edwyn and Grace Collins. Don't let it happen to you.

Grace, my thoughts are with you and Edwyn and I wish him a speedy recovery and you the peace in your heart you need to help him get better.
For further information for people dealing with the aftermath of a stroke visit the Stroke Association and Different Strokes.

posted by She Weevil @ 8:12 AM 0 comments

Thursday, February 24, 2005
Bigfoot ...
I could equally well have called this blog Bigfoot. I once used an email hoster because they were called bigfoot.

I'm 6'2" and I have problems buying shoes. I suppose I can get shoes to fit but only if I want to go for the orthopaedic look. There are shoe providers in the UK who sell shoes for women with larger feet (I'm only an 8 1/2-9) but they are all, well, so comfortable.

I did think perhaps it was a provincial problem. I live in a small city in the South West of England. I grew up in a smaller town in the same region. I presumed that bigger cities would cater better. They don't.

I once spent the day walking the length of Oxford Street with cash to burn being oggled at by anorexic shop girls who obviously thought I had no right to breathe let alone buy something from their PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT.

The question "do you have this in a nine?" will generate one of three responses: pity, the "my-husband's-sister's-cat's-nephew's-owner has got big feet too, or the I'm-staring-at-you-because-you-have-two-heads response. None of these are particularly likely to engender a sense of pleasure in the experience.

So now to the gratification of one of my sisters, I am forced to look here. Oh, how she would laugh as she jams hers into a size smaller than she takes.

What I would really like to be wearing is this. Thanks to Manolo over at his blog for the link. Who'd have thunk even he'd have to sell his own stuff on eBay?

posted by She Weevil @ 11:21 AM 2 comments

On high ...
... Just had a phone call from the Painter. This may not seem like much but read Gutted and you'll understand why it is. Plus he never phones me even when he's hale and hearty. He phoned me to tell me he loves me.

Just found the meme below . Seems weirdly accurate. Until we moved into this flat we really did grow our own food (see November's archive).

Meme - hark at her. I only found out yesterday what it was via Wikipedia and now I'm using it like an old hand.

Off to the hospital this afternoon so will have more time later to write.

posted by She Weevil @ 10:50 AM 0 comments

Obsolete occupations

You are 'growing one's own food'.

You are guided by two words: 'Live simply.' You
value quality over quantity in most things, and
you have little use for the materialism and
consumerism of modern culture. You know the
value of hard work and try to be
self-sufficient as much as possible, and what
you do you do well. Unfortunately, no man is
an island, and you cannot do everything
yourself. Your puritanical work ethic makes
makes people think that you are weird, and not
much fun. Your problem is that growing one's
own food has been obsolete for a long time.

Brought to you by Quizilla

posted by She Weevil @ 10:45 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Stolen ...
from the blog you can clickthru to above

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

My Sentence is "Is Magda really having a passionate encounter with Mr Windsor?" from Girls Out Late by Jacqueline Wilson. Not reading it, it's just in one of our many piles of books. This one happens to be by the computer.

posted by She Weevil @ 2:22 PM 4 comments

Long slow comfortable ...
... sorry all you britblog interest in sex voyeurs, I mean readers, this is another recipe for soup. This time oxtail soup, which, when I make it, takes two days. You can make it quicker but you will really need a whole day. A sunday soup.

Just to clarify - I am interested in sex and one day I may even post about it, but for now I'm thinking about soup. Souper.

You need

2 large onions finely chopped
a clove of garlic (small bulbule)
4 carrots finely chopped
3lbs of oxtail cut into 1 1/2" slices
two tins of chopped plum tomatoes
olive oil for frying
3 bay leaves
black pepper (freshly ground)

Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan until smoking hot. Add the oxtail four or five pieces at a time so that the temperature in the pan remains high. Seal on each side and remove to a plate. Carry on until all the meat is browned. Turn down the heat (remove it from the heat if you are cooking on an electric stove or the onion will burn) and add the onion, garlic and carrots and cover and allow to "sweat" until the onions become translucent.

Return the meat to the pan and add the tomatoes, pepper, bay leaves and 3 pints of water. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer away very gently for a few hours until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone. Don't let the liquid evaporate away too much or the soup will catch and be spoilt.

Let the soup go cold (overnight is ideal) and remove the bones from the soup and any bits of cartillage, oh and the bayleaf. It's easiest to do this by hand. If you want a chunky stewy soup, gently mash the meat and carrots with a potato masher. This will break down the fibres of the meat into individual strands. Add about 1 pint of water and a small glass of port and bring back up to the boil and heat for 10-15 minutes making sure it his heated right through. Add salt to taste.

If you want a smoother soup liquidize once you have removed all the bone and cartillage. Return to the pan add about 1 pint of water and a glass of port bnring to the boil and allow to simmer for ten minutes Season to taste.

Serve with really good, preferably homemade, bread (click here and look for Paul Hollywood in the dropdown menu) and a nice robust red wine, in front of an open fire.

posted by She Weevil @ 11:39 AM 0 comments

Thank-you Deek Deekster ...
... for reminding me that Stig of the Dump is one of my very favourite books. And for his kind words.

The BBC once turned it into a drama and it lost quite alot in the translation but the true crime would be if they made a Hollywood version. NO! That would be a crime against nature, man and literature. Original is not always best but in this case it is. If you can find one with Illustrations by Edward Ardizzone, so much the better.

posted by She Weevil @ 10:16 AM 0 comments

Infinite possibilities ...
The Painter and I were talking the other day, BS (Before Stroke), about the way the world had changed since we were children. Yes, I know, sad old gits that we are.

I remember listening to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the radio the first time around and then watching it on the TV and thinking how excellent a guide would be but how impossible to have every book in the Galaxy on one little thing.

Of course, now we have it and it’s the internet. Not all the books are there yet especially the intergalactic ones, although you can probably find some hosted in the USA (what is it with you guys? Isn’t real life weird enough already?). A lot of the other stuff is self-absorbed drivel (like this for example). But not knowing the answer to something and being able to google it is amazing when you stop to think about it. The collective knowledge of the world floating around us and available to dip in and out of at our whim.

Okay, granted, google doesn’t give you the answer in the way the Encyclopaedia Britannica used to (although even they have their off days, now it appears). It only gives you an answer but such infinite possibilities

posted by She Weevil @ 10:07 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
... well the Painter has made lots of progress since my last post and I suppose I should be feeling better than I do. Toady though, I have just plummetted and feel like I've gone through the bottom of my boots.

It's not being on my own with the kids: I've been there, done that; it's just the enormity of it all. Today I had to fill in lots of forms because the Painter is self-employed: 48 pages of forms. You have to be really sick to put yourself through the effort of claiming and then you're probably too sick to fill the bloody thing in.

And on top of all this, I'm still having problems with his family. I don't want that nause now. I just wish they would all disapear and leave us "scum" to our own devices.

He's kind of in denial at the moment. He knows what happened to him and he's been lucid throughout but he thinks he's coming home before the two bath towels I brought him have been used.

Eternal optimism, I suppose - unusual for him, but I'll let him off. Just feeling swamped.

Nothing witty to say really - (she never has anything witty to say anyway - I know what you're thinking), just wanted to give you all an update.

posted by She Weevil @ 11:02 AM 3 comments

Sunday, February 20, 2005
Gutted ...
... like the mackerel in the picture below. This evening just as we were finishing off our highly nutritious and delicious meal of not pot noodle the Painter had a stroke. Ordinarily, I would reprimand such fruity behaviour in front of the various-sized little ones, but this was one of those real 999 emergency which service please moments.

As I write, having just got home from the hospital, my great love is completely paralysed down the whole of the left side of his body and our life has changed forever. He is 42 years old.

The reason I'm sitting here telling you all about it, gentle reader, is that it's ten past three in the morning and the only person I usually talk to at this hour is the Painter and the only person I want to talk to at this hour is the Painter.

Look at his paintings - click through to his gallery and wish him well. I do.

posted by She Weevil @ 3:09 AM 3 comments

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Catch me if you can - do you like me? You can see more here

posted by She Weevil @ 3:06 PM 0 comments

Backhanded compliments
A couple of mentions and link backs to two sites tha have mentioned my little outpouring in the last couple of days: The Cure for the Common Life has nominated me in the Cure For The Common Blogspot Awards in the Blogs I don't get category. If you don't get me either, please vote there. It would be nice to win anything really, as the last thing I won was an espresso for two machine when I lived on my own and before that a bar of galaxy chocolate (it seemed big but I was only five) for a firework picture I did. Whistler had nothing on me.

The other one has had an absence of Pot Noodles in his life, so step kindly gentle friend. Rantzalot (Sir) mentions me in his Personality Blogged2Death thread and thank goodness for it.

Hi guys. Weevily lovely to have you stop by.

posted by She Weevil @ 2:48 PM 2 comments

The origins of the She Weevil
SheWeevil, she-weevil, or sheweevil: all variations of She Weevil which in itself, in case you haven’t realised, is a direct reference the She-devil. If you are unfamiliar with the fantastical works of Ms. Fay Weldon then blogger off to the library and get familiarised. Alternatively go to work on an egg.

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil was adapted for television by the BBC in 1986 and I missed it for reasons that will become apparent further on in (read! You blog exploders, read!). During this discourse I am completely discounting the American cinema adaptation with Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr.

During the summer of 1986 at the age of 17-and-a-lot I had the ___ fortune (fill in the blank yourself) to join the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Don’t get me wrong, it was something I really wanted to do at the time but for various reasons they weren’t right for me and I certainly wasn’t right for them. I joined up on 9 June 1986 and spent the first five weeks of naval life banned from watching the television like all the other girls I joined up with. From HMS Raleigh I went up to HMS Dryad to do my Radar training. I bloggered about quite a bit and had to re-sit my final exam. Once I’d passed I was sent to work in the Cunningham Tactical Trainer. All of this time, through the summer and on into the autumn I watched virtually no TV.

After awhile I realised that I was being called She-devil by one of the hookies over in Cook Building. I didn’t know what or who he was referring me to but it didn’t sound good. When I found out I was even less impressed. I suppose with the benefit of hindsight I see where he was coming from but to me at 17 Julie T Wallace did not conform to the stereotype. At 6’2” with short red hair and flashing green eyes, neither did I but maybe I wanted to more than I knew.

Anyway. Now I’m thirty-six. When I started writing sheweevil I was thirty-five, I’ve had three children and am more Julie T Wallace than she is herself. I sometimes scare myself and often scare men. They don’t like the fact I look down on them – physically at least. I sometimes feel like a giantess and people’s children point and I get mistaken for men. Which is odd really as I certainly am more than ample in the boob department. They generally can’t believe a woman can be the size I am.

Okay now I sound like the incredible hulk. I’m not green, just a bit browned off. In my head, where I am self-deprecating in a dry and mostly humorous way, I’m a bit she-devilish but not quite, I am more me than that; more she-weevilish.

Are you getting it yet?

posted by She Weevil @ 2:27 PM 0 comments

Mmmm ... Full of Eastern Promise ...
Metcheck (check the link in the sidebar) is one of my obsessions. Snow is one of my others. Unfortunately you guys at Metcheck have fallen short in the snow department this winter. Except for the stuff you promised on Christmas day which duly came but I missed because I had my hand stuck up a Turkey, none of your snow forecasts for my region (click above, on SNOW) has come to pass.

My obsession with snow was, I think, created when I was a proto-person living in the North of Scotland. I was very little and have very vague, faded, black and white memories of my mum bringing in frozen stiff white shirts from the washing line and dancing with them. I remember the brightness of the white and the cold.

Then we moved to Cornwall and the snow happened once every two years if you were lucky. The first Christmas we were down there it snowed heavily on the Boxing day. Like a good Scot my dad went out with his shovel and cleared the path and salted it. The neighbours in this small Cornish village all looked out of their windows wandering what this madman was doing and by 11 o'clock the foot of snow which had accumulated over night had melted away.

We only had enough snow to build a snowman once, in 1978. The snow came in April. My children - the two older ones - have seen it once. The little one not at all. All my mum's arguments that it's horrible stuff that makes old people break their hips (?) never really worked to dissuade me. Somehow I can never get over the swirling white flakes against the black grey sky in my infant years and the brightness of a washing powder advert the next day. It's just too strong an image.

posted by She Weevil @ 9:23 AM 0 comments

Friday, February 18, 2005
Where the humans eat
Currently listening to Where the Humans Eat by Willy Mason on the BBCi Collective Session. The trouble with having a teenage daughter is she steals my CDs and my makeup - one of the plus points is I get to hear things like this.

First saw Willy a couple of weeks ago on MTV2 singing Oxygen and now he's on BBCi Collective. I like droning angst but only when it comes out of the mouth of someone else's child.

Half-term hasn't been as bad as it promised to be, notwithstanding the parsnip soup affair. And nowhere near as bad as it used to be at the old place. The Police presence around here is great, if somewhat ineffectual. The graffiti still gets graffed and there seems to be a glut of young male things (sorry, men is too much of a stretch) drinking Stella and wearing Burberry. Their main accomplishment seems to be that they have perfected the art of spitting.

When we used to live in the innercity you never saw a policeman from one week to the other. DH once hit a car battery that had been thrown by a young male thing at a girl from a tree and landed in the road. The police refused to attend. The boy across the road wouldn't take his rittalin and the boy next door to him used to get into to his flat by shinning up the drainpipe.

I don't think ritalin is the answer but if you feed your children on a diet of potnoodles and McDonald's there's bound to be some payback. The ritalin miscreant was often heard to shout down the street "Shania, your pot noodles ready".

Come day go day
wishing me heart it was Sunday
eating potnoodles all the week
McDonalds on a Sunday

As strange is it may seem, I am not a food fascist. I am partial to a McD or a BK and sometimes only a potnoodle will do. I don't ban my kids from eating them it's just that the food they have at home is better, tastier and more nutritious. It also costs less. Real food, unprocessed food, always cost less. Here endeth the sermon.

posted by She Weevil @ 3:54 PM 5 comments

Thursday, February 17, 2005
Perplex City has started ...
I had an email, the email, I have been waiting for from Sente since I found Perplex City in November. I go into some length further down the page but basically it is a reflection of what a sad sack I am.

I am going to be spending (wasting) my time looking for a cube that exists only for the purposes of a game.

Oh, well. Here we go. I wonder who won the sweepstake?

posted by She Weevil @ 10:01 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Oh what a beautiful morning ...
Current observation data: Valid for Plymouth 0800 UTC on Wednesday 16 February 2005
Temperature - -1 °C
Weather - Clear
Pressure (MSL) - 1031 mb
Pressure trend - Rising
Wind speed - 2 knots
Wind dir - N
Wind gust - N/A
Visibility - 10.0 km

It really is a wonderful morning outside. Inside however it is a different kettle of fish. Forget all that crap about eating my delicious soup with people you love. Sincerely meant when said, it has a rather hollow taste now.

Dinner was rather late - Tuesday is Karate for SS (Surealo Son) and the Painter (as I used to call him on the AOL Hometown incarnation of this blog). Consequently AD and SS were tired and rather grumpy. Generally doing everything with the minimum of effort, trying to escape to do something else every two seconds. Setting the table for dinner which consists of delicious homemade soup with an absence of bowls. Then descending into to glumdom the moment their folly is highlighted. Well okay, perhaps I was also a tad grumpy by this time and perhaps, also, I did not merely point out the error of their ways; I accept I was probably quite sharp in a kind of growly, biting (this would be one of the almost never occasions), she weevilkind of way.

Having all sat down to eat, I asked how the GCSE revision session AD had been to that day had gone. Her answer had been rather vague when I'd asked her earlier in the day. She'd gone to it supposedly to catch up with coursework which was due in last summer. Her teacher has been on and on about it; we have been on and on about it to the point that I've realised that she just may fail to do it. I could do it for her but of course I won't.

Your children reach a point in their lives where they have to make their own mistakes - this is one of them.

Dinner then went it to meltdown - I should have done french onion soup with gruyere croutons - all that melting would have been apt. Apparently, she just can't do it, she's thick and it's all our fault. If we didn't row/hadn't given up various vices/had a better car/wore different clothes everything would be okay.

The exam jitters have started.

posted by She Weevil @ 8:52 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Duck Soup...
... well actually it's curried parsnip soup.


3lbs of Parsnips
4 large of potatoes
1 large onion
3 pints of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp of mild curry powder
1 oz of butter.

Chop the onion and soften the onion in the butter until translucent. Add curry powder and fry gently for two minutes to cook the spices out. Ad the chopped parsnip and potato and soften slightly with the butter and onions. Add the stock and cook for 45 minutes or until the parsnip and potato are very soft. Allow to cool slightly then liquidize. To finish check seasoning and add black pepper and salt to taste. Add a small carton of double cream and reheat to serve. Serve with the best bread you can afford (or make your own) in large hunks; eat with people you love.

posted by She Weevil @ 6:11 PM 3 comments


Sorry really egotistical thing to do - but it's the only easy way to get the photo into my profile without signing up for even more things that I only want to use once. So you'll have to put up with the mug shot on here until it archives itself. Sorry.

posted by She Weevil @ 5:04 PM 0 comments

Sweet Little Mystery ...
Apparently the cat, it however may have been a third party who let the cat take the wrap, has just broken my Wet, Wet, Wet End of Part One CD. Max, the cat, just knocked it off the windowsill and it fell onto our beautiful Marley-tiled-original-and-somewhat-jaded 1960s floor. A small lunette flew out and away somewhere only to be found with the barest of feet in the dead of night. I suspect it's gone under the skirting board - I'm sure I will find it.

Someone is probably trying to tell me that it's passed it's shelf life. Somebody is probably also trying to tell me to take better care of my CDs. Sorry, I am a very bad CD owner. I took as gospel the advice when they first came out that they were indestructible. Although this has been personally disproved on several occasions, I take the view that they really should be. And if I decide to use one as a mat for my coffee cup, with a quick wipe it should be okay to play in my CD player for the rest of time.

Cats not withstanding, all CDs should be Sheweevil misuse proofed and then we wouldn't have the depressing and fruitless search for the sharp little niblet and the eventual lacerated foot, would we?

posted by She Weevil @ 12:04 PM 0 comments

The electric man cometh ...
An a big hooray to the men and women of Western Power. He actually arrived this morning and wasn't due until this afternoon. Was passing, saw our window open and thought he'd give us a try. A local service for local people.

He came because after eight years on a key meter we've managed to pass go, collect £200 and have an ordinary meter installed.

For those of you who don't know, the key meter (gas equivalent Quantum card meter) is both useful, in that it allows you never to have the feeling of not being able to pay the £368 bill that arrived on your doorstep, based on estimated readings since the year dot, and an iniquitous tool of a capitalist regime.

It affords those who can least afford it the privilege of paying for their power upfront and at a premium. Thank the Lord for the Late Great Margaret Thatcher and her deregulation of everything. It all works so much better now. British Gas actually built up a credit balance of almost £300 pounds at my last abode and then made it almost impossible for me to claim it back.

Breaking News - what? She's not dead? Shame.

posted by She Weevil @ 11:09 AM 0 comments

Getting jiggy with it
In order to feel like I'm not just blogging in the wilderness, I've been jigging about with the site, the format, the links and various odds and sods to get it to feel a bit more me. So that when you all read and re-read my startlingly sagacious words you have an insight into the "me-ness" of me.

Yesterday I added a link to blogexplosion - that flashy thing(not in the sense of "look, I've got a Porsche") but the thingy that keeps flashing. If you have a need for sheer numbers added to your webcounter then I can definitely recommend it. If it's quantity you want then blogexplosion is just the ticket. Never mind the quality, feel the width. 66 visitors were added yesterday who would not otherwise have stopped by.

Well, i think I've stopped playing for awhile - blame it on Joe over at the Woolamaloo Gazette. He revamped his site and it inspired me to be a bit more me. AD thought it was rather girly, which is odd as I don't consider myself to be girly. I am Woman - hear me roar. I just thought it looked, well, nice.

posted by She Weevil @ 10:33 AM 0 comments

Monday, February 14, 2005
Pooh ... I missed it
For the last few days I have been waiting for my favourite weather site (is there no limit to this woman's nerddom?) to make a Valentine's Day free release of their new gizmo Precipitype. Usually I check the site with monotonous regularity but today I forgot. And now I've missed it. Fume.

posted by She Weevil @ 5:32 PM 0 comments

... back to the forum
A different one this time. I spent Friday evening feeling quite wretched after apparently offending and impuning a person on said forum.

At this point you may be thinking, well I just don't care. In which case it is probably advisable that you click one of the various links and go somewhere else. Of course you could always use your back button but that is so boring. Take a leap of faith and click into the unknown. Or you may be here because you clicked the britblog/interest/sex link. If this is you then search for the word "voyeur" and you'll get to the right bit of the blog (wink). If you are vaguely interested, then hang on for a couple of minutes and I will endeavour to explain.

The link above is to a forum about Perplex City which is a new Alternate Reality Game (I think that's what ARG stands for). For a really in depth explanation of Perplex City look here. Anyhoo, as part of this "game" various people "found" postcards. They then found Perplex City and then the forum and posted on it. Then after a couple of entries they disappeared.

Believing that this was a game, I thought it was legitimate to question the identity of people who happen to find bits of info. But apparently it's not. Everyone knows that it's against the rules for people "in game" to post as "out of game" characters. Stupid me.

No matter that all these findings seemed entirely coincidental and improbable to me. I am supposed to suspend disbelief. Well okay, if that's what they want, I will.

I did think that Alternate Reality Gaming was probably something that at least gave conventions short shrift and rules are only conventions. I don't have an answer to this ramble. Just posing a few questions to myself. And using me noggin. You won't find that in the Michigan University Concordancer.

posted by She Weevil @ 12:28 PM 0 comments

As promised ...
... the little number quiz.

1. 747 JJ
2. 60 SIAM
3. 1963 AOJFK
4. 3 BM
5. 12 IIAF
6. 50 WTLYL
7. 20000 CWKTRW
8. 14 LIAS
9. 24 HFT
10. 57 HV
11. 1066 BOH
12. 101 D
13. 3 STH
14. 42 MOLTUAE
15. 7 DS
16. 7 WOTW
17. 100 CIAD
18. 14 DIAF
19. 666 TNOTB
20. 1666 GFOL
21. 999 EWSP
22. 52 PCIAD
23. 15 MOADMC
24. 1314 BOB
25. 29028 HOMEIF

posted by She Weevil @ 11:42 AM 1 comments

Origins of dust
Like love you never know quite where it comes from. Or how there happens to be so much about; there's always enough to go around. You don't ever run out. But it can also be a bit of a problem: covering over everything; needing to be cleared away every so often or the outlines of things just become indistinct, fuzzy, blurred.

But I do love you as much as all the dust in this house. My health visitor once said to me that there was nothing wrong with being stuck on the shelf as long as you got regular dusting. I don't think this is quite what she meant but ...

posted by She Weevil @ 11:18 AM 0 comments

This is the dusty dust card - written on the newly painted wall in pink chalk a valentines card with Dust and a heart!

posted by She Weevil @ 11:15 AM 0 comments

Dusty dust
some people make large gestures with dozens of roses or expensive rings. Some people book holidays or plan expensive dinners à deux. And some, the ones you would least, expect make surprising and romantic statements of their own.

posted by She Weevil @ 10:54 AM 0 comments

Politics of the Forum
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to spectate on some really unsavoury behaviour. One of the forums that I visit fairly regularly went into melt down. Lots of people were hurt; some people will probably never venture in again.

This is the post-modern village. We have gone, in two generations, from knowing the inside leg measurements of our neighbours and their five direct antecedents, to not knowing the name or indeed quite what our new neighbours look like. Instead, we know the minutiae of our cyber friends' lives. But the world of text-only communication is fraught with the danger for the misreading of tone or the plain misreading.

I don't really understand what went on. There was some allusion to it happening before. I just know that when people start throwing mud, inevitably there will be rocks in there and people will be hurt. I think a famous book sums it up fairly succinctly. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone. Nuff said.

posted by She Weevil @ 10:32 AM 0 comments

Friday, February 11, 2005
Week of Hell ...
Half-term that is. It hasn't really started yet but the slug people downstairs are off. No, I don't mean they are taking a well-earned break. Their shenanigans have started. Shouting up and down the stairs. On second thoughts, have looked out the window and they are getting into the car, laden down with matching luggage - an assortment of sizes of Matalan carriers. Maybe it is a holiday - hurrah. Maybe just a picnic...

Now don't get me wrong. I am sure they are perfectly pleasant people. I have described in detail the behaviour and uniform of the daddy. Mummy, I have to assume is just another mum under similar kinds of pressures as me. This does not account for her uncanny impressions, though. Chiefly, if you remember the illegal copy of the Exorcist you and your friends huddled around after a couple of bottles of a well known brand of Peach Schnapps - you will no doubt remember the green Ms Linda Blair and her immortal words "Your mother s**** c**** in Hell." Mrs Slug uses somewhat different vocabulary but the vernacular is very similar. Her children seem to be called, I assume in order of size, F***** and little F*****. Quaint. Only another 10 days of it.

On the subject of ranting mothers, I may well be one later. This week AD (Arty Daughter) has been offered a place at Art school to do her post 16 education and this morning received her pre-GCSE report. She is, as we speak, blissfully unaware of this fact. In fact she is sleeping. Her ability in art is prodigious and apparently all consuming. As I say I may well have to have a bit more of a rant later.

My lovely sister is giving up smoking, has been to the DR and everything: got all the right stuff. But has decided with her DRs agreement that stopping during half-term, as the mother of 4 primary school boys and a Lotte (18 months) (K, you are mental, as we used to say at school - no offence intended to sufferers of mental illnes of which I am one), would just be insanity. She's taking something ...ban but I thought that thatwas for water retention.

Happy half term and may your fuses all be long.

John Morris - Online gallery of art for sale at

posted by She Weevil @ 5:44 PM 0 comments

Thursday, February 10, 2005
Congratulations, DH
Today DH sold two paintings and I am very proud of him. It has been a struggle for us to keep going but he really must.

I love you, John, with all my heart.

posted by She Weevil @ 11:48 PM 0 comments

Visit Sarah86/lovelyzakky here
and then just bookmark it/add to your favourites. Well worth a read.

posted by She Weevil @ 4:25 PM 0 comments

Must read books for toddlers
If you love your child you MUST (or you will be a very bad parent) read Where's My Teddy and It's the Bear and Hug all by Jez Alborough. Oh, and anything and everything by Shirley Hughes.

posted by She Weevil @ 11:12 AM 0 comments

Buy! Buy! Buy!
Camilla Parker Bowles on Celebdaq. Yes just another one of my many attempts to escape reality is my fairly successful life as a trader on the Celebdaq. Obviously, I put on the business suit version of stretch leggings to play (all right, I'm lying, still just POCW). I really have not much truck with the dried up old haddock and even less with her soul mate. He even has a landmark named after him in my national capital.

That would be the one with the big castle atop a lump of volcanic rock.

For those of you in any doubt it's a 19th Century unfinished neo classical temple/monument.

Says there it's commonly known as Edinburgh's Disgrace. My dad (hi, on yer cloud) always called it the National Disgrace.

posted by She Weevil @ 9:55 AM 3 comments

Today I am sporting ... stretch leggings. Very fetching, you might say, or perhaps you're thinking, what a scrubber. Oh well, they were in the washing pile that constitutes my unbuilt, self-built wardrobe, they were easy to pull on and I have no intention of venturing into the outside world today. Or maybe ever again.

If I had the energy and the money I might pull on a beatiful pair of tailored brown tweed slacks - second thoughts in the house of five cats, pissy old cat woman might actually end up looking like a furball coughed up by one of said cats.

At least the black lycra leggings pull on and peel off easily, the hair comes off them easily and they cost me £2.50.

Yesterday was such a filip. To have such lovely comments about my rantings was as unexpected as it was welcome. But in the afterburn of yet another row, it is difficult to find the energy to even carry on.

In case you think I am sitting here topless, this may not be such an awful prospect for some (you know who you are, you britblog/interest in sex voyeurs), the fact that the only surgery of the plastic kind I would contemplate is a breast reduction, the thought of myself flopping around while tapping away is quite distasteful.

So for the record I would like to clarify that I am wearing a Scotland rugby jersey - a wedding anniversary present from PH who is really DH - that I gave birth to the boy genius Lachlan in.

A picture of sartorial elegance.

posted by She Weevil @ 9:24 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Hi to all you foodies
Thanks to everyone who has dropped by from UK TV Food. Don't be shy, leave a comment - say hi.

posted by She Weevil @ 1:41 PM 0 comments

Spring has sprung ...

... the sap is ris, I wonder where the birdies is?

A dadism - my dadism. Wherever you are, dad, scowling on your cloud, I love you.
But it's almost here and looking out at the trees has made me realise the loss of my garden very intensely. This blog, which started off as an AOL Hometown Journal, was supposed to document life in my garden along with some anecdotal lifestyle stuff. Oh, and some beautiful pictures would accompany it (see the link at the bottom). If you have followed it, then you will know that my garden is lost to me now - we don't even have a window box.
By the eighties brick boxes that are at the back of the flats there are three mimosa trees. I only had one in my garden but I had planted it just after we moved in and loved it. In seven years it had grown to virtually its full height and was just starting to fill out. In the middle of winter, once it started to flower, it burst forth with amazing clusters of yellow flowers. The soft silvered green of the foliage gave us a beautiful dappled light in our bedroom.
On the beech trees to the front of the flats are long yellow-green catkins like the ones on my contorted hazel.
Thompson and Morgan have sent me their latest seed catalogue and I can hardly bear to open it.

John Morris - Online gallery of art for sale at

posted by She Weevil @ 10:21 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Have a cuddle in a cup
... or a hug in a mug.

Lentil Soup.

Take six large carrots and slice. Two large onions finely chopped. About 300g of red lentils, a glove of garlic, two large bay-leaves, six black peppercorns and 3 pints of stock (ham stock works best but adjust to suit your own tastes). Cook for about an hour, until the lentils have broken down completely. Remove bay leaves and liquidize. Serve piping hot with fresh crusty bread and black pepper to taste.

posted by She Weevil @ 5:31 PM 0 comments

Sunday, February 06, 2005
New - 2005
Dreams like a scarlet
paint-splash in the blackness of night:
diagonal slash;
Ragged and dripping.

The flash of electric blue
branding my brain
like the after-glow
from a stared at light bulb.

And days: oyster dull.
Days of soft grey.
Fading, fading, fading

posted by She Weevil @ 10:38 PM 0 comments