Sunday Lunch

July 30, 2007

Almost everything in this photo is home grown.

PorkDinner 002

The Potato, Carrot, Bean and Turnip are from the Allotment.

The Pork isnt. Unfortunately.

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Fever pitch?

July 27, 2007

This picture made me chuckle. This is the BBC news team’s idea of a good picture to describe “Fever pitch”

Its just one girl looking annoyed that she has another girl sleeping on her shoulder.

Electric atmosphere? I’m glad I don’t go to the sort of parties they must attend!!

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Normal service resumes

July 26, 2007

About 2 weeks ago we discovered that our land-line wasnt working. As far as we knew, it could have already been faulty for a few days at that point. We dont get a lot of calls on the land-line, usually it either Paul’s Mum or Nan and the occasional sales call.

I think it was Paul’s Mum that phoned on the Mobile and said our line was engaged. Sure enough, when I checked it the line was dead at our end, no dial tone.

Obviously at this point, the broadband was still working so I wasn’t too concerned 😉

On the Monday, I called 151 to raise the fault with BT. The automated service did a test and confirmed there may be a fault close to, or inside the property. I spoke to a nice lady who advised to check the test socket inside the master phone socket in the house. This involves unscrewing the front plate of the master socket and removing it, to reveal the test socket where the BT wires enter the house. After checking this and still getting no dial tone, I resolved to call back the next day.

On the Tuesday I was connected with a less helpful Operator then the previous day. I explained that I had checked the test socket etc and asked to have an “Engineer” sent round. What followed was a most exasperating conversation……..

BT “Are you sure you’ve checked it?

Me “Yes, I’m sure.”

BT “Did you try it with another phone?”

Me “What?”

BT “Another phone.”

Me “I’ve already said I tried our cordless phones and plugged in an old style basic corded phone. You want me to try a third?”

BT “Yes, just to be sure.”

Me “I dont think that necessary, anyway I dont have another one to try.”

BT “You could ask a neighbour.” (Does he think I live in Ramsey Street or maybe Wisteria Lane?)

Me “You want me to go knocking on doors asking to borrow a phone?”

BT “OK, but if we send someone and the fault is inside the house we will charge you £160.”

ME “Thats fine, I’ve checked the test socket so the fault isnt in my house, so you wont be charging me anything”

BT “Unless we find its a fault in your house!”

ME “Grrrrrrr!!! Are you telling me that if I was a little old lady or even just slightly non-technical and I didnt test it properly and I made an honest mistake in calling you out, you would still charge me £160?” (gets breath back)

BT “Yes.”

Me “Thats the most heartless thing I’ve heard in quite a while.”

BT “”

Me “So anyway, can you send someone on Saturday?”

BT “No, I can only book you in for Monday to Friday, between 9 and 5.”

Me “But I’m working all week, what about the Evening?”

BT “Sorry, Evening appointments are only for customer paying for our [insert name of expensive care plan here*]”

Me “What about normal people who work office hours?”

BT “We sometimes have a limited number of Saturday appointments, you’ll have to ring on Friday** to get one of those.”

Me “Well, I’ll have to ring later then, thanks for all your help.”

BT “Thanks for calling”

So, later that day I go to the online fault tracker to make a note of the fault number, only to find that he has closed the call as fault rectified! Cheeky bastard! I was so mad.

However, at this point, the broadband was still working so I wasn’t too concerned 😉

Fast forward to Tuesday night and things start to get serious. The broadband starts playing up, connection dropping after a few minutes, that sort of thing. I picked up the phone to hear not silence but loads of noise on the line. Not a good sign!

I decided to log the fault online this time and again the test confirmed there may be a fault close to, or inside the property. After several attempts and Internet re-connects I managed to arrange an Engineers visit for Saturday morning. The broadband promptly gave up entirely and my world went dark 😡

On Wednesday Evening, I tried to fill the time but I started to get itchy feet. We had eaten, I’d washed the dishes, I’d finished off the new Harry Potter, but enough was enough! I fetched my screwdrivers and went outside to where the line enters the house and I uncrewed the cover plate. Technically this isn’t allowed as this bit is BT only territory, but what would it hurt to look? Yuck, the cover was full of spider webs, woodlouse husks and of course a bunch of wires. As I lifted the buch of wires to see them better, one of them split apart in front of my very eyes.

Yes! I was right! In your face BT! The fault is on your side!

Still it was a shame to wait until Saturday for the Engineer to come and splice it back together, wasn’t it? I did the job and yippee, we have a phone line and internet again. 🙂

My theory is that the break was caused by some corrosion or weakness that was steadily getting worse. When it got a point that it wouldn’t support the low frequencies*** of voice calls we lost the phone line. Then later, when it was failing on broadband it was the high frequencies that were dropping out, until it seperated enough to kill everything.

So, thats that, I cancelled the Engineer visit on the automated service just in time to settle down to Wire In The Blood. By which I mean surfing the ‘Net with one eye and watching telly with the other 🙂

Happy days 🙂

*I think he made this up, I cant find it on the website!!!

** Lying shit, when I reported the fault online the following week, Saturday appointments were available to book.

*** I think its that way around with the high and low being kept apart by the bradband filter thingy.


Breathe again.

July 25, 2007

The 25th of July 2005 was the day I stopped smoking.

I just wanted to say “Happy Anniversary” to my lungs.

p.s. The Internet is playing up at home, I’ll post about that later, if I can!


Who’s the gayest of them all

July 23, 2007

The Channel 4 Gay-O-Meter has calculated that Andy is 46 percent gay!

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Find out just how gay you are with the Channel 4 Gay-O-Meter


Gay season.

July 20, 2007

So, Channel 4 are doing this Gay season thing at the moment and all power to them, the programmes look really good.

But, and you guessed it, there is a but, I find the tagline just a bit annoying and quite offensive.

It says, “….celebrating 40 years since the legalisation of homosexuality….”

This annoys me because it implies that like, since the beginning of time until 40 years ago, it was illegal to be a gay. This is plainly bollocks, the legal (or illegal) thing was invented by us, or more precisely (some of) you.

I think this should say “…. celebrating 40 since the de-criminalisation of homosexuality…..”

After all, you criminalised us! Prior to that, we were doing fine thanks.

I know its just a little difference but its a big difference (does that make sense?) and it’s really got my grump!!


The beet goes on.

July 19, 2007

I do hope you’ll forgive the turn this blog is taking of late, you see I have another toilet related post for you today 🙂

During a mid-afternoon toilet break today (deja vu anyone?) I had quite a shock.

Looking down at the stream passing into the bowl, I noticed it was a little off colour. OMG, I thought as I noted that the contents of the bowl were slowly turning a browny-red colour. Browny-red, of course being another word for diluted blood red, I began to panic.

OMG, omg, omg!

All sorts of strange things started popping into my mind, like this…..

Have my kidneys packed in from too much booze? Posssible

Have I eaten something sharp by mistake, maybe small pieces of metal or glass in contaminated food? Unlikely

Am I bleeding internally and should I try doing a number two to test this theory? Eeeuuuw!

Will I be able to get a Doctors appointment or need to queue at hospital for hours? Queuing sounds most likely

What will Paul say? No idea

Somewhere around the handwashing point, I start to focus and think more rationally….

Do I feel unwell? No

Isn’t there something about dark blood in urine being from the stomach? Probably, brighter red is bladder/further down, not sure though

Should knowing something like that make me panic less? Probably not

Didn’t that colour look a little like the water after you boiled the beetroot this morning? Eeeerrr, yes

What about food? Yeah, thats it food!

So that got me thinking, you see I did have a lot of Beetroot on my sandwiches at lunch. Except I’ve eaten lots of Beetroot before and never had this reaction. I checked a few websites that seemed to de-bunk the Beetroot/Urine connection.

Then I found this…..

Beeturia (Pink Pee)

Be aware that ingestion of beetroot can colour urine red and also discolour stools, causing the unwary to hot-foot it to their GP for urgent tests. The pinkness of your pee depends on the acidity of your stomach; some people don’t see pink pee afterwards and some do (approximately 10 – 14%). If you don’t see pink pee then your stomach is at the strongly acidic end of the normal range – if you do see pink pee then your stomach is at the less acidic end of normal, and the colour hasn’t been broken down on the way through your gut.

Beeturia is a harmless occurrence and you do not have to exclude beetroot from your diet if you are affected by it. If you don’t normally have pink-stained pee after consuming beetroot, you might like to try an experiment. Try taking some antacid tablets, then eat beetroot. Remember to look at what you’re doing the next time you visit the toilet. That should satisfy your curiosity.

Good old BBC!

I had indeed taken a Ranitidine tablet just after lunch. I suffer with Heartburn a lot and always carry some tablets, I decided a long time ago that life is too short to not eat any of my trigger foods*. So I’d popped a pill knowing that the Cheese on the sandwiches would give me heartburn.

So, it seems I’m going to live and will be able to continue enjoying the beautiful Beetroot, which btw are ones I grew myself in my own garden 🙂

*there are so many and mostly things I enjoy, like Bacon, Eggs, Sausages, Cheese and Butter (a meal in itself) and then some things I dont mind avoiding because I dont like them anyway like Pastry, Batter and Cider!