Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stenchbreath vs The Cat

An eager cat attempts to befriend Stenchbreath

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Roger and random thoughts

Roger said he'l leave a comment on my blog if I wish him a happy birthday. He was annoyed that I didn't mention this on my blog. Roger, my blog is not for wishing happy birthdays. That's why God gave us text messaging and Facebook. But happy birthday.

Happy birthday to Wandering Photographer too. We must have a belated birthday drink soon.

I hurt my shoulder pushing weights. So I've started swimming instead. I swim 20 or 30 lengths per session. That's between 500 and 750 metres. It doesn't seem much when you write it down. But it feels a lot. I love it. Maybe I will knock the gym on the head. Swimmers have better figures than gymaholics anyway.

I broke my bike again. The rear axle snapped. So I bought a new one. But when I fitted it, it ground against the wheel. So I took it to the bike shop where I bought it. They persuaded me to fit new brake blocks and a new rear wheel, then charged me £50 for parts and service. Robdogs. I might go to the auction and buy a new one. I might cycle to Belfast soon. But not up Cavehill. Maybe someday, when I have a trustworthy bike.

I'm still working at the call centre. I'm getting good at my job, but I'm very busy. Sometimes I take aroung 90 calls a day. My tongue gets tired and my brain gets fuzzy.

I've been off the drink for a few weeks. It feels good. I'm saving a lot of money too.

On the other hand, I've discovered the joys of ebay and have bought lots of unnecessary items.

I bought a battery charger and heavy batteries today. So hopefully I will be able to take more photos before my camera packs up.

I cut my own hair and made the back all lopsided. The nape, is that what the back edge of your hair is called?

I've become addicted to 'The Wire' on BBC2, but have to wait two weeks until the next series due to the snooker.

I've been getting up at 5am to watch my beloved Western Bulldogs play Aussie Rules via illegal live streming websites. But I think the sites have been closed down. Boo. There is still live streaming radio.

When I say I'm off the drink, I did have a pint with Roger yesterday, and a pint the week before with some random strangers. I only drank one pint of ale each time, so it doesn't count. Both times I smoked half a cigar. Now that the summer nights are here, I may have more, in the beer garden. It's my guilty pleasure.

Teeth Part 2

Following on from......

Halfway through the treatment, many thanks to Dr George and his carbamide peroxide!

Oh me of little faith!

£8.99 on ebay, a bargain

Monday, April 13, 2009

Country Walk

I took advantage of the mild spring weather and the bank holiday to take my first walk over the back roads to Portavoe for a while. I could have got some good pictures but as usual my power-hungry camera decided to run out of batteries as soon as I turned it on. I think it must have a fault. I must look into getting a replacement in the unlikely event of having some money any time soon.

Anyway, just like this time last year a mild, dry spring means you can tramp over the fields and byways without wading boots. Summer might be a different matter, so enjoy it while it lasts. The predominant colour in the hedgerows is yellow; the gorse above is a golden riot, while the dandelions dominate below. It's too still early for the white and pink flowers, such as hawthorn or wild garlic. Gorse is a traditional Easter flower; when I was a kid you found a few people collecting the flowers to boil up with hens' eggs. It dyes them an attractive golden colour for rolling down the hills. Does anyone still do that? You can make wine out of them too, if you're brave enough.

I walked over the old lane and up the backroads, along a road I haven't used for years. There were wild geese overhead and pheasants hooting in the trees. I was keeping an eye out for the local buzzards. This magnificent bird of prey was until recently a scarce sight, having been hunted close to extinction. These days, you can't fail to spot them; they seem to have overtaken the kestrel as our most common raptor and are visible circling the skies all over the north east countryside. I usually see two or three wheeling around, but this time one flew low over a field before alighting on a low tree about fifty metres behind me. Bloody lack of camera, it would have made a good picture.

I just hope the pheasant shooters and gamekeepers keep their guns away from it. I'm sure they take a few pheasants, although they mostly feed on dead carrion. Speaking of which, I found a big old dead rat squished on the road. I didn't know rats grew that big. It was rabbit sized. It'll make a tasty meal for a buzzard or carrion crow.

As I was passing the entrance to the reservoir, a man called to me about a much larger piece of carrion. He was examining something under a blackberry bush.

'Someone's dumped a dead dog here' he said.

I didn't know quite what to say. Was he asking for help?

'Oh, lovely' I replied. 'Who would you call about that? The water service?'

He didn't reply. I think he just wanted to share his discovery. He rootled around under the bush a bit more and said 'It looks like one of those Staffordshire terriers.....no wait it's one of those illegal ones......"

'An American pitbull?' I offered.

'Yeah, one of those.' he agreed. I asked if it had a collar but it didn't. I decided against going over for a look, so with a 'Some people huh' shrug I continued on.

People use the hedgerows as a dumping ground. It's usually just bottles and cans, but shortly after the dead dog incident I discovered another disgusting sight. Someone had left two ten litre cans of rancid cooking oil by the side of the road. They looked like they came from a fast food restaurant. They were full of dead flies. Beside them was a clear plastic bag full of something grey, squishy and indefinable. Behind the hedge, spring lambs bleated at me.

Why do people drive out to the middle of nowhere to dump their rubbish? The bottle bank is free to use, and surely there is a recycling facility somewhere for old oil. Ferals.

I passed the newly ploughed fields, still full of wood pigeon, pecking the sown grain. I can't believe the farmer doesn't cull them. Judging by the contestants on Masterchef et al, wood pigeon is a fashionable and expensive food. I should try and snaffle some. I will google 'trap wood pigeon' after I write this.

I cut over the fields and back home. The potato field was full of rotting spuds. I knew I should have picked some up a few weeks back, when the farmer was gathering them. They've gone to waste now.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Yellow teeth

After attending a wedding last week and viewing the subsequent photos, I was shocked at how yellow my teeth have become. Indeed, some of them are turning a distictly unpleasantly brown. It isn't the dread nicotine that is doing this; I gave up smoking over two years ago, except for a very occasional cigar.

I presume the main culprit must be the 10 cups of strong tea I drink every day. I love tea. At work, I'm restricted to snatched cups of 20p brew from the vending machine, and I'm not allowed to drink at my desk. As my tea drinking break is only 15 minutes long, and the tea is very hot, I sometimes mix it with cold water so I can drink it faster. This means I can drink two or three cups in the allotted teaspace.

When at home, I am unrestricted. I have a special pint mug for my tea. I use two bags in this and mash the brew for 3- 4 minutes. Some days, I can drink ten of these. Ten pints of tea a day is bound to have a deleterious effect on my once pearly, Hollywood smile.

So, being as vain as the next dapper metrosexual, I have decided to do something about this. I asked a friend at work with a dazzling smile how she keeps her teeth so white, despite her smoking. 'Laser treatment, £250,' came the reply. I can't afford that kind of denistry, as tempting as it may be. So I searched for tooth whitening products on dearest Google and friend Ebay. After reading numerous product reviews, I settled on Dr Georges Teeth Whitening System. It's the number one home tooth whitening kit in America so it must be good. I trust the Americans on such matters. Look at the teeth on 'The OC' and 'American Idol' and '90210.' I bet those boys and girls are all big fans of the Dr George.

The package was waiting for me last night and I eagerly set to work. First up are the patented "E-Z Trays," two clear rubber gum shields with a tab on the edge that acts as a handle. After reading the instructions, I boiled a pan of water and let it simmer before I dipped the shields in to make them plaible. I shoved them in my gub and with fingers and tongue I pressed them and pulled them and sucked them as per Dr George's instructions until they fitted snugly. I ran them under the cold tap to make them hard and moulded.

I got out the 5.2 oz bottle of 16% Carbamide Peroxide Gel and syringe from the package. I was supposed to suck out a bit of the liquid and apply it too the gumshield thingies but due to my clumsiness and the viscous nature of the gel I got it all over my fingers and the syringe. But I eventually got a bit on the gumshields and stuck them in my mouth.

The literature promises that " Due to the snug fit and thick gel, the gel stays within the tray, even on the lower teeth. You can even speak while you whiten! " I can report that "no it bloody doesn't!" The gel soon floods from the gumshield, mixes with your saliva and soon you have a mouth full of gel. If you are thinking that 16% Carbamide Peroxide sounds a bit like bleach, you'd be right. It feels like gargling with Domestos. Indeed, the instructions warn "DO NOT MIX WITH HOUSEHOLD CLEANSER FOR STRONGER RESULTS." Not that I was tempted to do this, but you'd see how some daft folk might be tempted by the taste of the stuff.

I was supposed to keep the shields in there for 20-30 minutes, but because I kept having to spit out bleachy saliva I bailed out after 15 minutes.

I tried again an hour later after hatching an ingenious plan. I stuffed my mouth with kitchen roll, paying especial attention to the under-tongue region. This wasn't very pleasant but stopped my mouth filling with spit. So I watched the last half hour of 'The Wire' with two plastic gumshields full of bleach and a mouth full of kitchen roll. That's livin alright!

Friday, April 03, 2009


No, if your daughter's lost her effing passport she can't have another one tomorrow. It doesn't matter how posh and patronising you are. You can't speak to my team leader and putting the phone down and ringing my colleagues won't work either. Ha Ha. What sort of effwit goes out drinking and using her passport as ID at every effing boozer in Sittingbourne (probably) until she loses it? When she's got to fly to Canada in 2 days? eff away off and dry your eyes.

And no, you don't need a passport to travel to the Isle of Wight. If it was an April fool's joke on me I wasn't in the mood. If your mates were playing an April fool on you, you fell for it. And you're a effwit.

And how the eff am I supposed to know how your sister is going to get a French passport to go on a school trip by Saturday? A french passport? And axeing me how old you can be on a French parental passport before you get your own? Look up 'UK' in your effing encyclopedia.

And 'how do I register for the machine at Terminal 5 that reads your eyes so I don't have to queue up with the other plebs' ?????? What am I , the effing Bladerunner helpline or something????

And can you PLEASE take the effing crying baby away from the mouthpiece or call back when she's not crying? I know it's hard being stuck at home with a bunch of kids but it hurts my ear, it really effing does, and I can't hear what you're saying.

And if you're Turkish and your daughter is British but lives in Turkey and you live in the UK but you're daughter lives in Turkey with your sister-in-law and the child's mother ran off and disappeared and you want to apply for a UK passport - effing slow down a bit. You're a nice bloke and this is all very exciting for you but if you talk at 1,000,000 miles an hour I'll just have to get you effing repeat everything 1,000,000 times.

And very rich people - stop phoning me from effing private planes to get your effing passport renewed tomorrow. It's a very bad line and the noise from the effing plane engine drowns you out.

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