May 31, 2010


Oops! The tiny screw just fell out of the side-thingy >>
so am having to balance them lopsidedly on my nose to read and type.

And -
have also just discovered that unless you have a spare pair of specs stashed away, you can't possibly fix your broken ones!!! Unless of course you are good at doing things by touch....? But let me tell you, those screws are itsy-bitsy tiny and can hardly be seen even with the aid of glasses! And this one landed somewhere on the floor....................aargghh.!

Pity I threw that old magnet away.

May 24, 2010


Found some...er... (maybe) useful survival tips on the web this morning - but am left wondering how many people cast away on a desert island and needing to build a fire, would have a brillo pad, toilet roll and 9v battery handy?! (See link below...)

And to ensure continued survival, after being rescued from the island and safely home again:-

Quote: "(Useful) technique to -
test the safety of your microwave oven.
Place your (mobile) phone inside the oven, close the door and then dial your mobile number from your land line.
Your call should go straight to voicemail because the microwaves can't reach the phone. If it rings you have a problem, because if the waves can get in, they can get out, too (!!)"
(Ref: Mail Online).

Another tip on how to combat B.O. (plain old sweat!) with fizzy 'love heart' sweets, is intriguing - if perhaps not a bit sticky(?).. I.E: Crush them up and apply directly to armpits..(!)
Of course, you won't be able to lift your arms whilst 'holding' the sweeties in place - but at least you'll smell nice!

These tips and more @

May 23, 2010


If there is a name meaning the complete opposite of 'hoarder', then on reflection, I might have to lay claim to it.....

That does not mean the Geri dwelling is cleaned from top to bottom every day - on the contrary - but it does mean that I can not save 'stuff'!!!

In fact, clutter in any shape or form, makes me seriously anxious. And anxiety is bad. Starting with a nasty niggling feeling; slowly increasing to a heavy oppression; and quickly followed by the inevitable 'can't take anymore' (!) explosion of frantic clearing out of cupboards, drawers and neatly filed away boxes - boxes that have already been sorted umpteen times throughout the years, but 'need' sorting again. 'Stuff' that past muster a couple of months ago, is rifled through yet again - and thinned out even further..

All old school books and reports (way back to infant times and handed down to me by my mother when I left home) have slowly staged their way to the dustbin. Old dolls; bald teddy.... binned. Come to think of it, I never had any reading or picture books whilst living at the parent's house. The only books I - and as far as I know my brothers too - ever saw in the house, before we bought our own, were borrowed from the school library... Our father was in the Royal Air Force and we moved house within England and overseas, at least once a year. Books were too heavy to pack and transport. Ornaments and pictures too. We never had either of these adorning our 'living quarters' whilst I was growing up.... Hmm, perhaps therein lays a clue......(?)

Anyway, back to the clearing-out phobia. Bank papers older than 3 months; college books; other documents (divorce papers) and old business licence (memory of independent, working days)... all gone. Well why keep them? It's all PAST life.... And it is truly, genuinely perplexing to me, that people 'hang on and hang on' to old memorabilia - stuffed away in old suitcases in attics and cellars etc. and doomed never to see the light of day again until they pass away and other folk have to clear it out....

Photographs: Ah yes. Well those at least, I saved - by giving them all to my children as soon as possible after they were settled into homes of their own. I also gave them their own school reports and drawings and little school made clay pots and animals etc... but unfortunately threw away a lot of their old toys. Things they would like to have now, I am sure.
And I genuinely regret 'clearing' those out, since I feel now that they were not mine to clear.

Don't know when it all started. Don't know why. But the feeling experienced once the clearing out is done (again) is like a huge distressing weight lifted from my mind. Physically too, I literally feel 'light headed' and full. As though I have just eaten a good meal.

But there it is..... And it is amazing to me that I still have any 'stuff' left to throw away. Well, there is always the stray advert or magazine coming through the door. Despite having a NO junk mail/NO local newspaper sticker, above the letterbox!

Okay. I know this is all a bit OTT. Off Key. One sandwich short of a picnic. Ten pence to the shilling, etc..
But at least I will never keep a whole 'clachan (hamlet) in a valley', on a shelf in my garden house, like my eldest daughter does!!!!!! Heh-heh!

May 14, 2010


There is supposed to be a photo' here of a big pile of treasure - but it wouldn't upload or download or whatever it's supposed to do..... (oh well, back to the drawing board).

Anyway, as witnessed in the very first posting on AU, my horror and anxiety when faced with a vending machine is almost phobic(!). But I wouldn't mind having a go at this one!!


May 10, 2010


An email received from family in the UK. (Making sure I'm kept up-to-date with British news)!

A little boy goes to his dad and asks, 'What is Politics?'

Dad says, 'Well son, let me try to explain it this way: I am the head of the family, so call me The Prime Minister. Your mother is the administrator of the money, so we call her the Government. We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the People. The nanny, we will consider her the Working Class. And your baby brother, we will call him the Future. Now think about that and see if it makes sense.'

So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his nappy. So the little boy goes to his parent's room and finds his mother asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny.. He gives up and goes back to bed.

The next morning, the little boy say's to his father, 'Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now. '

The father says, 'Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about.'

The little boy replies, 'The Prime Minister is screwing the Working Class while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and the Future is in deep shit.'

May 8, 2010


Hooray - worry warting over!!

Grandkids arrived safely back from France yesterday - and daughter's Cairo flight landed safely on Dutch soil this morning.

Eat your firey heart out Eyjafjollajukull!

Although I did read on online news this morning that besides still wafting over parts of Britain and Ireland, there is a new volcanic ash threat to Atlantic flights: i.e., UK-US. So good luck to all those travellers.

It seems this angry Icelandic giant could carry on spewing its guts - without respite - for a couple of years yet.

Meanwhile, youngest daughter has invited me to a small family reunion this afternoon.
Wonder what she's brought me....? Just kidding!

Volcano latest.

May 4, 2010


There is a distinct difference between accepting that you are glimpsing the ghost of a little black cat darting about your house - and of thinking that you are 'imagining things', every time said cat cavorts playfully at the periphery of your vision!

I have no doubt, that the ghost of a little black cat has been living with me for a number of years now; and that she occasionally disappears for weeks at a time, to visit other members of my family in their own houses. (Sort of goes off on her 'holidays'!).

All this came to light of course when I casually, and half jokingly mentioned that I was being 'haunted' by this animal and surprised family members also admitted that they too sometimes 'saw' a little black cat, flitting silently around their houses.

We did have a real, live black cat once. In fact we had five family cats, during the years my children were growing up. All of whom came to us either as young strays, or were born in the house, or from another litter - and all lived to a ripe old age (17, 18, 19 and 20). All except the little black one that is. She was the first cat we ever had - a young stray (found by yours truly) starving and sick in the snow - and who when recovered, became mother to four kittens; two of whom found homes elsewhere and two we kept, because they got too big waiting for homes - and we'd become too soppy about them to want to part with them anyway...

Our little black mama cat was about 14 when she became very ill and had to be 'put to sleep'.

I sobbed all the way back from the vet's on the bus, with her little lifeless body wrapped in a blanket on my knee..... and buried her in the garden - and my heart ached for months. Nay, years!

What the heck, I hear you say. It's just a cat...

Yes, they were all 'just cats'; and they all got ill in the end, with quite serious old-age illnesses (brain tumour; hyperthyroidism/heart problems; kidney failure) and all had to be 'put to sleep' and buried in the garden. Except for the fifth one - a little grey and white cat. She moved with me to my present abode - where there is no garden - and I had to have her cremated and her ashes 'scattered at sea' in The Hague.
Actually, I was a bit bothered by that afterwards, because cats don't like water and it didn't 'feel right'. But there was no other choice (council rules and regulations) so it wouldn't therefore have surprised me, if she hadn't turned up on a few celestial visits - to reproach me for her soggy end...! But no. It's not her.

It's definitely the little black cat.

That's her in the photograph (taken when she was alive)!

On the other hand. For those of you who prefer a more rational explanation for my feline phantom, I have googled up this site:


I came across the phenomenon of 'animal hallucination' during a psychology course.

It's not the worst hallucination in the world! Rather comforting actually. And I don't have problems with my eyes, apart from needing glasses for reading, so am still convinced that in mine and my family's' case, this is not some kind of brain/eye syndrome - but a true haunting! And just so you know, our hearts and minds will remain open to our little black cat ghostie, for as long as she needs us. And that's just purrrrrrfect!!!

May 3, 2010


This is all that is left of a rather large leek I have been chomping on - now and then - throughout the past week. (Finely chopped leek, sprinkled liberally onto a layer of old cheese and enclosed within wholewheat bread. Yummy!).

The only trouble with raw leeks (and old cheese too, for that matter...) is that the memory of them lingers on in the mouth for days....and days....and days..

Not normally a problem - unless your partner complains(!) or, a large piece of enamel breaks off the back of one of your few remaining upper molars - and you have to promptly visit the dentist!

That latter thing has happened (of course!) - and leek addicted Geri has now emailed said dentist for an emergency 'please squeeze-me-in' appointment; and is regularly checking the in/email box for a reply.

In the meantime, toothpaste and mouthwash are being regularly and anxiously employed - and the old gums and tongue are quite sore with all the extra attention!

That'll teach me.

Trouble is, I can still taste and smell that leek! Have heard that parsley helps extinguish the odour of garlic but I don't have any readily available - and anyway, it probably doesn't work on leeks? There are plenty of dandylion leaves along the hedgerows though....so perhaps I'll give those a try. Although, they might not work either - and knowing my luck, will also stain the teeth bright green!

Just imagine the dentist's shock, when I open my mouth and he stares down into that green, evil smelling pit.....! Aarrgghh!!

Meanwhile, the old tongue is being irresistibly and continually drawn to the jagged cavity in the back of that molar - and is poking itself ragged! If this doesn't put me off raw leeks for the rest of my life - don't know what will.


May 1, 2010


I have an unusual craving to see colours today. In fact, I need to see them so much, my head and eyes are aching with the longing of it.

Violet; indigo; shimmering blue; emerald green; bright lemon yellow; passionate orange; firey red! I want them all!

The sky outside the window is a misty, whitey-grey; and every parked car within my line of vision is either dark grey, dark blue or dark green.

People cycling and walking past are hardly noticeable in their beige summer rain coats.

No colours anywhere.

A misty rain is falling - but there are no sunbeams to paint a prism through the clouds.

Hmm.... I see grandson no. 1. has left his coloured chalks behind.... Maybe a spot of self made 'street art' will brighten things up around here?!

Saw two students draw an exact replica of the Mona Lisa on the paving stones in the town center last year. Won't attempt that - but a few rainbow patterned flagstones just outside the front door should brighten things up today!
And unavoidably p**s the neighbours off - although that wouldn't be my intention.
(They are always washing the pavement over here. It's a Dutch compulsion. Stoop washing. Drives me nuts).

Here's to colours! Long may they brighten the eye and lift the spirits!