Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The Joys of Grumbling

I've lived in the country now for ten years and am still full in the throes of a love/hate relationship with it. Love the wildlife, the space and the quiet. Miss the buzz of town life - the culture and the carry-outs!

So when I found a little book on my shelves this morning with this subtitle: Many hundreds of examples of those chagrins and mortifications which have beset, still beset, and ever will beset the human race and overshadow its journey through this earthly paradise, the whole being conveniently displayed in an alphabetic arrangement for purposes of Comparison, Consolation and Diversion, I knew there would be a chapter on country life. And there was. Here are a couple of grumbles from the very chapter:

"And in my situation at Stamford there was not one person, clergy or lay, that had any taste or love of learning, so that I was actually as much dead in converse as if in a coffin."
That was the Rev William Stukeley writing in 1726. A few years later, here is an extract from a letter by Elizabeth Montagu:

"Though I am tired of the country, to my great satisfaction I am not so much so as my Pappa; he is a little vapoured, and last night, after two hours' silence, he broke out with a great exclamation against the country, and concluded in saying that living in the country was sleeping with ones' eyes open."
Oh yes - I get that one. I've written myself, that getting through late winter here is like living in a big sock - constantly dark and gloomy and nowhere to go.

But nothing compares to this marvellous litany of despair from Sir John Dalrymple in 1772, proving that there is nothing new in trying (and failing) to live the good life:

"I pulled down as many walls round the house as would have fortified a town. That was in summer: but now, that winter is come, I would give all the money to put them up again, that it cost me to take them down.
I ordered the old timber to be thinned. The workmen, for every tree they cut, destroyed three, by letting them fall on each other. I received a momentary satisfaction from hearing that the carpenter I employed had cut his thumb in felling a tree.
I made a fine hay-stack; but quarreled with my wife as to the manner of drying the hay, and building the stack. The hay-stack took fire; by which I had the double mortification of losing the hay, and finding my wife had more sense than myself.
I paid twenty pounds for a dung-hill, because I was told it was a good thing; and, now, I would give any body twenty shillings to tell me what to do with it."

Fabulous stuff! There really is nothing new under the sun (or in the dung-heap).

Monday, 18 August 2008

Laptop Love

Oh, this is so close to home it's embarrassing. Found through the lovely Selma over at Selma in the City, here is Meleah Rebeccah's video dedicated to the new love of her life - oh how familiar it all looks!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

The Real Olympic Spirit

I came across this fab video on Youtube. In the midst of the sound of world records being annihilated thanks to high-tec swimsuits, at an Olympic Games (sadly) free of any gaffes, as far as I can tell (the Chinese games will really be something for London to live up to), relive with me a moment of the TRUE Olympic spirit, from the Sydney Games:

This is what the Olympics should be all about. Bring back the keen amateur, I say!

A Jolly Comma Am I

And on the basis that you can't have too much of a good thing... have another quiz!

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.
You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.
You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.
Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.
You excel in: Inspiring people.
You get along best with: The Question Mark

Any question marks out there?!

Sneaker or Slipper?

Yee-ha! Guess I'm just a little bit country. Now where's Robert Redford?

You Are Cowboy Boots

This doesn't mean you're country, just funky.
You've got a ton of attitude and confidenceYou're unique, expressive, and even a little bit wacky.
You wear whatever you feel like – and you have your own sense of styleYou are straight shooting and honest.
You tell people how it isLow maintenance and free wheeling, you're always up for an adventure.
You should live: Where you can at least get to wide open spacesYou should work: In a job that allows you to take change

What kind of shoe are you?

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

And I Have To Thank...

I am very chuffed, and a little embarrassed, to have been honoured by Steph over at
The Panic Room with this award. Too many people to thank to name them all - my hairdresser, my dog, my therapist, my nail consultant...okay, I made that last one up...but most of all my readers - that happy (and small) band of frog-lovers. Thank you all for the comments you make, and the inspiration you give me, not to mention the great posts that you do which I then pinch. Anyway, enough of that before I start to cry. I'll just clutch my award and my bouquet to my heaving bosom and trip back down the steps in my six-inch stilletos, which don't seem like quite such a good idea now...thank you all, thank you, thank you...

Oo - I forgot. I'm also presenting some awards. Here we go -

And the first award goes to Selma for Selma in the City: this blog always lifts my spirits, and not because she lives in beautiful Sydney. Her writing is simple and poetic and shows me how it should be done.

Next is Archie over on the brilliant Archie's Archive. He has a wicked sense of humour (I'm still laughing at the cuckoo clock joke) and his weekly quizzes have become a vital part of my Fridays, as I battle to win the dunce's cap just one more time.

My third nominee is Jenny for her blog Widow in Oxfordshire. She is funny, witty and honest about learning to live alone, and her photos are always gorgeous. Go Jenny!

Isn't blogging fab? I just wish we could all meet up - I know we'd all get on so fabulously. Keep on blooging everyone!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Some Days Are Just Like That

Thanks to the very handsome Bear over at A Toy's Own Story for this:

(Click the picture to make it bigger)

Find more at Bear & Kitten

We've all had days like, where did I put my knitting needles...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Sock Joy!

Oh frabjious day! Thanks to Archie, who introduced me to raincoaster, who introduced me to the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - God, I love the internet!

Enjoy the looniness of the wittiest socks in Edinburgh: