Friday, March 31, 2006

I - Day (the reckoning)

Well I did it. I managed to blag myself a place on the PGCE course after all. How could I doubt myself, I hear you say :D. So i-day (the real deal) wasn't as black after all.

All I need to do now is persuade someone to give me lots of money for
Howell Poultry , and I'm a happy bunny. Luckily, David Algar of El Grupo Libros is providing some sterling advice, and helping me through the process. Hat-Tip David!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mamelukes and Janissaries

Ever laid awake at night and wondered what is the difference between a Mameluke and a Janissary ? Well, Wiki to the rescue again!

Mamluks (also Mameluks, Mamelukes, Mamlukes) (the
Arabic word usually translates as "owned", singular: مملوك plural: مماليك) comprised slave soldiers who converted to Islam and served the Muslim caliphs and the Ottoman Empire. Over time they became a powerful military caste, and on more than one occasion they seized power for themselves, for example in Egypt from 1250 to 1517.

They were mostly Turkic, along with some Georgians, Circassians, a few Mongols from the regions ruled by the
Juchi branch of the Mongol family sold into slavery for various reasons such as bankruptcy. The Turkic element then was dominant, and most of them were from the Russian steppe, in the lands alloted by Genghis Khan to his son Juchi and Juchi's heirs. After being converted to Islam, they were trained as cavalry soldiers

The Janissaries (or janizaries; in
Turkish: Yeni çeri, meaning "new troops") comprised infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguard. The force originated in the 14th century; it was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826.The first Janissary units comprised war captives and slaves.
After the 1380s
Sultan Selim I filled their ranks with the results of taxation in human form called devshirmeh. The sultan’s men would conscript as a form of tax in -human- kind a number of non-Muslim, usually Christian, boys – at first at random, later, by strict selection – and take them to be trained. In later centuries they appear to have favored essentially Greeks and Albanians. Usually they would select about one in five boys of ages seven to fourteen but the numbers could be changed to correspond with the need for soldiers. Later they would extend the devshirmeh to other Balkan countries

So, the Mamluks were Turkic cavalry, and the Janissaries were Balkan infantry, both little better than slaves, sold into service of the Sultan.

(prodnose) ..where is all this leading us?
(me) ...............I'm not sure, to be honest.
(prodnose) ..just as I suspected
(me) ...............stick it in your pipe and smoke it

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Under Milk Wood

I Watched Under Milk Wood ( the movie) last week, and have been meaning to review it.
I'm afraid it will have to be review 'lite'

Overall, I thought it was a worthy effort. The whole play was faithfully reproduced, with the voice of Richard Burton as the narrator. The village characters were well played by most of the 70's 'Taffia', with a creditable performance by Peter O'Toole as Captain Cat, and a young David Jason as Nogood Boyo.

The major negative for me was Burton and 'Ryan' (of 70's Ryan & Ronnie fame), meandering through the town acting daft. At one stage, there was a menage-au-trois with a mystery woman in a shed in a field. What that was about, I really don't know. Daft tittivation, I think. Oh, and then Ruth Maddock frolicked topless in the bay.

The scenery was excellent, filmed in Lower Town, Fishguard. the sets worked well, too.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Busy Backson

I am very sorry, but I have mainly been busy backson this week.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Hoist by his own petard

A lovely little article from hurry up harry. : -

I didn't get the hoist by his own petard pun, until someone reminded me a petard was a a bomb ...........
(I'll quote it in total, as it's pretty damn good as it stands).

Ahmed Akkari - the Imam who shopped the MoToons all over the Middle East - is in trouble:
A French TV documentary crew secretly filmed Imam Ahmed Akkari threatening to have Naser Khader -- a founder of Denmark's Democratic Muslims network, which opposes violent protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad -- bombed.

"It is truly shocking that an elected Danish politician can be the object of threats in this way," Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters. "I take for granted that the police will investigate what happened and will deal with it."

Police spokesman Flemming Steen Munk said the inquiry would begin as soon as Akkari returned from Bahrain, where he was attending a conference that finished on Thursday.
If convicted, Akkari would face a maximum of eight years in prison.

Akkari, a spokesman for the Islamic Religious Community in Denmark, told Danish National TV he regretted his threat and said he "in no way" wanted to provoke an attack on Khader.
"I am deeply sorry about the remark,
which was meant as a joke, but was taken seriously," he said in an open letter to Khader, who lives under police protection.

Syrian-born Khader, a member of parliament for the opposition Social Liberal Party, told Danish media he did not want to comment on the threat until he had seen the documentary, which was scheduled to be broadcast later in the day.

Oh dear.

Religious leaders who are easily upset by jokes about prophets with bombs in their turbans really oughtn't to be making "jokes" about ... erm...
bombing their political opponents.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Diary of a nobody

A post from Clive Davis reminds me of a forgotten favorite novel.

The Diary of a Nobody is a real gem, which gets you chortling at every turn. I was introduced to it by two mates of Nick's, whilst on our way to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. These two had the distinction of having studied at the cheapest public school in england, and regularly refered to Mr Pooter in their conversation.My curiosity was tweeked, and I read the book upon my return. Some Quotes from Amazon: -

this is the story of Mr Pooter, an office clerk and upright family man in a dull 1880s suburb. His diary is a wonderful portrait of the class system and inherent snobbishness of the suburban middle classes

This delightful Victorian comic diary is a classic of "English Humour" which has never been out of print since its first publication in 1892.

City clerk Charles Pooter asks: 'Why should I not publish my diary...because I do not happen to be a "somebody"?' He proceeds to catalogue all the social clangers he makes unwittingly as he bumbles his way through life, yet a sympathy develops for Pooter in the face of it all

Mr Charles Pooter is a well-meaning city clerk and one of a growing number of upwardly mobile, lower middle-class suburbanites set on improving their social standing. Aspiring to posterity, he embarks on a diary in which he is actively drawn into petty confrontations, including run-ins with idle tradesmen, insolent office juniors and abusive neighbours; while simultaneously dealing with his wife's heedless indulgence in flights of fashion and the reckless antics of his vagabond son Lupin

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Family that walks on four legs

we watched The Family that walks on four legs the other night.

A Documentary about a remarkable anthropological find - the discovery of living human quadrupeds in a remote part of Turkey. Filmed in secret over the past year, the programme is an intimate portrait of an extraordinary family, and an examination of the intense scientific debate the family's existence has fuelled. American paleoanthropologists think their skeletons could hold vital clues about the origin of man, and a Turkish neurophysiologist believes they are wholesale genetic throwbacks.

the turkish prof seemed to be going for the headlines, whereas the yanks were more measured. the story of the family was touching, but no great discoveries were made. It just seems that the slightly backward kids were never taught to walk, with the background of islamic acceptance.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sonic il Riccio

Dylan has been unusually quiet this afternoon. He has been esconsed in the lounge playing a video game, loaded into the PS2 by myself, and left to choose the options himself. When I went in to check, later, It seems that he has played for 1 hour in Italian. I guess it doesn't matter when you are 4 and can't read............

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I - day (The real deal)

Here is the unexpurgated version of my post of yesterday, on teachblog, for those who like to read between the lines :)

Following on from i-day , and i-day (reprise), today is I - day (the real deal)!
I have just come back from Swansea Institute, depressed and my interview for a place on their PGCE course starting in September, 2006.
I was interviewed on a one-to-one basis by Karen Gummett, the Course Tutor for the Chemistry with Science stream, who was rubbish.
This was quite an informal session, conducted in Karen's office, sitting on the same side of the desk and in comfy chairs.

Karen chatted a bit about the general prospects of graduates leaving the course, which she reckoned were next to zero , and the availability of jobs in the area i.e. none. Also, if I could find a school wacky enough to want to employ me, the government has fibbed about how little they would pay me, which would be 19k max. She mentioned that I might think that being mature was an advantage, but by mature, they mean 27/28, silly! And did I realise that teaching was very tiring, and that it was all go, all day long!

She then explained the course timetable in detail, how the 'academic' part of the course dovetails into the 'practical' part, How great her course was compared to the completely rubbish GTP. We then talked about how the course was assessed, and the expected quality of written work She thought that the expected level of work was 'postgraduate' and on a par with MSc / PhD work .

I then chose to talk about my recent experiences at Bishopston School, Gave Karen a copy of my observation sheet, and we discussed several aspects of classroom techniques. which seemed to go quite well

Karen then asked me some questions based on the GCSE Science course My turn to be rubbish, and a follow on AS/A level type question.which I had no clue whatsoever about. I did point out that I had revised GCSE as mentioned on the interview letter, and then she asked me more A level stuff.

I was then given a written test, choosing from a list of subjects, to produce an A4 sheet of work. This seemed ok, apart from my handwriting being almost illegible in places, and my burbling on a bit

Overall, I think the interview went well, I have to say that, as I showed her a link to teachblog and there is an outside chance that she'll read it,

but I guess the proof of that will be if I am offered a place on the course! fat chance!

Karen mentioned that I would be informed in about 2/3 weeks.

Watch this space! don't hold your breath

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Get "svejked" !

(Illustration by Josef Lada)

I was delighted to recieve an e-mail today from Zenny K. Sadlon, aka 'dainfomaster', regarding a post I made back in feb listing the top 10 books of our book club members. It seems that he is an enthusiast of Svejk, and all things svejkish (?). His slogan is: -

Švejkologists of the world . . . come together!

you can explore all things svejk at his sites: -


This blew me away in a way that Nick experienced when that bird contacted him after one of his posts. It's an amazing feeling.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Let X=X"

Thought for tonight: -

"I met this guy," and he looked like he might have been a hat check clerk at an ice rink. Which in fact he turned out to be. And I said, 'Oh, boy, right again'."

Thanks to
In Dissent and of course, wikipedia , twice

Monday, March 20, 2006

Your horoscope.

Your horoscope.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Acts of Succession or a Succession of Acts

Don't ask me how we got onto it, but my Mother and I were debating recently how and why we couldn't have a Roman Catholic monarch.

So, tipping my hat to wikipedia, I have summed up some of the events that lead to this particular piece of British legislation.

The Act of Settlement in 1701 was one of a number of acts to exclude Roman Catholics from the monarchy, the first being instigated by Henry VIII (Act of Supremacy), repealed by Mary Tudor and re-instigated by Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth then created her own Act of Settlement and Oath of Supremacy known as the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, which ensured that all members of government or high office (and even students entering University) had to swear that the ruling Monarch was also the Head of the Church of England. Protestants held the throne until the then Duke of York (later James II) converted to catholicism despite his brother's (King Charles II) opposition, Charles later demanded that the Duke's children be brought up as protestant. (Interestingly Charles converted to catholicism on his deathbed).

Another act was created, this time by Parliament, called the Test Act, under which all civil and military officials were required to take an oath (in which they were required not only to disavow the doctrine of transubstantiation, but also denounce certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church as "superstitious and idolatrous") and receive communion under the auspices of the Church of England. James II refused to do this and so had to give up certain official posts because of it. He couldn't be Lord High Admiral for instance. Already the anti-catholic legislation was chipping away at the role of an English Catholic monarch. Anti-catholic movements at the time tried very hard to exclude James from the throne, but it wasn't until the Glorious Revolution that he was eventually removed.

Personally I think most monarchs before this were afraid to plug the final gap in case it caused a catholic uprising, and tried hard appease many of the catholics in this country.

Bascially, the exclusion of Catholics from ruling wasn't just in one act, it was a string of acts/bill/oaths leading up to the 1701 act , starting with Henry VIII and culminating in William and Mary - there were lots of acts/oaths created, repealed and re-instigated during that time.

The Bill of Rights (apparently as important to this country's constitution as the Magna Carta) of 1689 stated:

"it hath been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this protestant kingdom to be governed by a papist prince".

After this the Sovereign was required to swear a coronation oath to maintain the protestant religion.

The Bill of Rights also ensured that succession should pass to the heirs of Queen Mary, then to Mary's sister Anne and her heirs, then to any heirs of William by a later marriage. The Act of Settlement 1701 further clarified things by providing that the throne would pass to Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James I and her descendants. Under the Bill of Rights only the descendants of Sophia who were not Catholic, or married to a Catholic could succeed the throne. In addition, it specifies that it is for Parliament to determine who should succeed to the throne, not the monarch.

Fascinating stuff!

Memories of my youth (again)

There is a wondrous smell in the kitchen at the moment.

Ben Donald (who god preserve) of Mumbles, appeared like a vision on Saturday, bearing gifts of two fine home, and hand, made pasties.

We had been chatting some time ago, and he happened to mention that he makes proper Cornish style pasties at home, and wondered if I would like to try one. Silly question!. Anyway, the oven went on an hour ago, and I was amazed to be transported back to my youth.

My father used to play Rugby for a local team, Swansea Uplands, and whilst he was performing, I and a few of the other kids, would skulk around the back of the club getting up to mischief. Soon after half time, a magical smell would issue forth from the clubhouse kitchen, because Freddie Bourne, the groundsman, had put the pasties for the teams in the oven to warm through. There were always a few spare for us boys to beg out of the sympathetic hands of Freddie, and I can taste them now. I can picture him clearly, with an old Mac' tied with baling twine, scruffy wellies, and a tatty flat hat, and always a cheeky smile and time for us kids.

So I have to thank Ben for more than just some excellent pasties, but also some fine memories to wash them down with.

The Humour of my youth

Here is an example of what passed off as humour when I was young. I remember a letter like this, gestetner copied, doing the rounds in our school. Oh how we laughed!

Haven't times changed.

Letter from an Irish Woman to her son
Dear son,

You’ve now been away for three weeks, and we thought you were still in the lavatory. Just a few lines to let you know I'm still alive. I am writing this letter slowly because I know you can't read fast. You won't know the house when you get home - we have moved. There is a washing machine at the new house, but it has not been working well. Last week I put in 14 shirts, pulled the chain to start it, and haven't seen the shirts since. About your father - he has a lovely new job. He has 500 men under him - he cuts the grass at the graveyard.

Since you've left home, your father has become a sex maniac and tries to make love to me every opportunity he gets. Please excuse the wobbly writing. Your sister Mary had a baby this morning, but I haven't found out if it is a boy or a girl, so I don't know if you are an uncle or an aunt. Your uncle Patrick drowned in a vat of whiskey. Some of his workmates tried to save him but he fought them off bravely. They cremated him and it took three weeks to put out the fire. Your Aunt Lily has had her teeth out and a new kitchen sink put in. I went to the doctors on Thursday and your father went with me. The doctor put a small glass tube in my mouth and told me not to talk for ten minutes. Your father offered to buy it from him.

Your grandmother who has been bedridden for 35 years took a phial of Epsom Salts yesterday. She came down the stairs for the first time today. The funeral was at two o'clock. The insurance man called this morning and said "If the last installment on your other granny's funeral isn't paid, up she comes. Your father ate five pounds of potatoes all to himself. He managed it because the potatoes were only small ones. Your Uncle Joe drank a bottle of varnish yesterday and had a horrible death, but a lovely finish. Your Uncle Paddy, who has been on Andrews Liver Salts for 37 years, died a fortnight ago. Yesterday we had to go up to the cemetery and beat his liver to death with a stick

The body of a woman believed to have been murdered 600 years ago was discovered here today in the Donegal hills by archaeologists. The local Royal Ulster Constabulary are looking for a 642-year old man to help with their enquiries. Your brother Sammy, who has two wooden legs, was fire watching last night when the building went on fire. The brigade came out and saved the building, but Sammy was burned to the ground. The insurance company wouldn't pay out as they said he hadn't a leg to stand on.

Your loving mother

P.S. I was going to send you ten pounds but I have already sealed the envelope.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rude Blogs

The Blogosphere is an amazing place, full of amazing things, and then some others. I'm not sure I can actually thank chase me ladies (which is an amazing thing) for introducing me to two other places which are stupefyingly awful (caution: before clicking the links be aware the content is profane):-


emerald bile

I have been feeling so smug about the wonderful, useful and altogether education-broadening blogsphere and then I come across a completely different corner of this web-community that I didn't know existed.

I am, somewhat unusually, speechless.............


We watched The Chronicles Of Narnia last night, and I was mildly disappointed. The plot was very linear and two dimensional, and the story just didn't 'work' for me. I found myself fiddling about and playing with things, rather than concentrating on the film.

I guess that we have been spoilt by the likes of LOTR, and Star Wars, and so expect constant action, multi layered plots.These days, we take the fantastic CG graphics for granted, for example a centaur seems run of the mill.

The acting, however, was very good, the children, and the White Witch stood out. IMDB gave it a reasonably good 7.3

Searching IMDB also produced this charming little anecdote about Georgie Henley, who plays Lucy.

As a thank you gift for being in his movie the Director, Andrew Adamson, gave each of the children an iPod. When Georgie got hers she thanked him whole-heartedly, but once he was out of earshot she turned to her mother and said, "What is it?"

Friday, March 17, 2006

St Patrick, a Welsh Born Icon?

This one's for Nick.

Happy St. Patrick's day begorrah!

Apparently, St. Patrick was Welsh!

From the ubiquitous wikipedia : -

The tiny Welsh village of Banwen has often been suggested as his birth place. It was clearly occupied in Roman times, sitting on the Neath-Brecon Roman road and next to the two Roman forts in Coelbren.


Sometimes I sneak around and listen in subways.

Sometimes I sneak around and listen in subways. Or I listen at soda fountains, and do you know what?
"People don't talk about anything."
"Oh, they must!"
"No, not anything. They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else. And most of the time in the cafes they have the joke-boxes on and the same jokes most of the time, or the music wall lit and all the coloured patterns running up and down, but it's only colour and all abstract. And at the museums, have you ever been? All abstract. That's all there is now. My uncle says it was different once. A long time back sometimes pictures said things or even showed people."
Ray Bradbury,
Fahrenheit 451.

From clive davis


Tessa Jowell is the first British minister in recorded history to retire from her family on order to spend more time with her government. - Andy Hamilton...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Saved by 'sand' poured into the wounds

From new scientist

DETECTIVE Danny Johnson was on patrol outside Tampa, Florida, when a report came through of a possible shooting in a junkyard three blocks away. Arriving on the scene, he found an elderly man sitting on a tractor, with a large hole in his leg that was bleeding profusely.
Realising it would be some time before the ambulance arrived, Johnson opened a packet of sand-like material and poured it into the wound. Within seconds the bleeding had practically stopped, and the man survived. "The medic told me that had I not put the substance in there, the guy would probably have bled out and died," he says.
The material, called QuikClot, which is issued routinely to police officers in Hillsborough county, Florida, was developed for the US military to cut down the number of soldiers who bleed to death on the battlefield. More than 85 per cent of soldiers killed in action die within an hour of being wounded. Improved haemorrhage control "could probably save 20 per cent of the soldiers who are killed in action", says Hasan Alam, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Cella's Review

A thought provoking article published by cellas review today. He argues about how islam has benefitted from our western liberalism over the years, and about how society may be a better place with a strong Islamic faith versus a secular nihilist view.

Islam has, throughout the history of its aggression against the West, benefited immensely by, and in many cases cunningly exploited the divisions within the West. Some of the first Byzantine provinces to fall after the Mohammedan Revolution were those, like Egypt and North Africa, whose internal repose had already been shattered by the conflagrations of the great heresies of Christian antiquity.

read the article here

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Water Bears - The World's Toughest Animal

Following in the wake of my post re the toughest dudes in the world being the Sacred Band Of Thebes, I can now reveal the worlds toughest animals:- Water Bears !

They are apparently the World's Toughest Animal. You can shoot them into space, take them to the deepest ocean depths and let them go, deprive them of air, water, and food for years and they don't care. Send them into the core of nuclear reactor. They'll be fine.


1. Tardigrades can survive being heated for a few minutes to 151 °C or being chilled for days at -272.8 °C (almost absolute zero).
2. Radiation— Shown by Raul M. May from the University of Paris, Tardigrades can withstand 5700 grays of x-ray radiation. (Five grays would be fatal to a human).
3. Pressure—They can withstand the extremely low pressure of a vacuum and also very high pressures, many times greater than atmospheric pressure. In theory, they could even survive the vacuum of space, though the possibility of it is slim.

That's one tough cookie.

thanks to
The Technology Underground Blog

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Havana suite

Went to see Havana Suite at the taliesin tonight, & thought it was deeply moving. In fact, it would be ideal for my recommendation (film) for El Grupo Libros. However, I have failed miserably to buy a copy anywhere.

IMdb doesn't list any available copies, and neither does Amazon. Bugger. Gutted as a fish on a friday. So I guess you'll have to just read the reviews & salivate...

borderlines film festival

kent uni (pdf)

imdb (8.1/10 ! praise indeed!)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Disgusted of Swansea

Yesterday, Chris took his poor, temporarily crippled wife to Tesco Extra in Fforestfach. Boy, does he know how to show a girl a good time!

My still sutured and painful appendage is not up to galloping around Tesco, so Chris suggested I use one of the motorised carts that are usually seen whizzing around the store. To be honest I was surprised when the staff readily agreed to let me have one, as I'm not registered disabled or anything like that.

However, once I'd worked out the controls we were off, with Chris making lots of 'Lou and Andy' jokes and me threatening him with my walking stick.

What a dreadful experience.

Once I sat in this contraption it seemed as though I ceased to exist. Shoppers tutted, ignored my pleas of 'excuse me' as they stood blocking aisles, walked in front of me, some even ignored me when I asked them (politely) to move their trolley just a little bit so that I could get nearer to a shelf. I don't think shopping has ever been a more unpleasant experience .

Apart from the rudeness of the other customers, it was very difficult to reach anything that was out of arm's reach, and only one kind person offered to help me get something from the top shelf.

Chris was gobsmacked at the attitude of other customers, and you really can't believe it until it happens to you and I left the store feeling quite depressed.

I now have a whole different perspective on life in a 'chair' and vow to be much more considerate and helpful myself in the future.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Split loyalty? no way Guiseppe!

from :

World boxing champion Joe Calzaghe will lead the Wales team out at the Millennium Stadium for the RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Italy.
Calzaghe, 33, beat American Jeff Lacy to unify the WBO and IBF world super-middleweight titles and will parade his belts to the capacity crowd before kick-off.


On Wednesday last I presented myself to Ward 8, Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli and was admitted as a 'day' patient. This momentus occasion was the culmination of a 2-year wait on several NHS waiting lists to have my right knee 'seen to'.

I fell over a few years ago and injured my knee, when I was 6 months pregnant with Dylan to be exact, and apart from a nasty scar it appeared at the time that I hadn't done any lasting damage. However about 2 1/2 years ago I developed a resounding 'click', that developed into a 'crunch' and my knee became quite painful, unstable and swollen, and was given to locking up in an alarming manner every now and again. Eventually I had to give up cycling, walking up/down hills and trips to the gym.

I visited my GP, and there began a frustrating wait on list after list. First I had to wait to have an x-ray (an appointment is needed in our local hospital now for non-emergencies), when that came back clear my GP faffed about for a bit and then referred me for an MRI, and after that particularly bizarre experience I had to wait to see a consultant. He concurred with the opinion of my GP that I had a meniscus tear (torn cartilage to you and me) and I was plonked on yet another waiting list.

The procedure I was waiting for is called an 'arthroscopy':

Arthroscopy is a procedure to look inside a joint by using an arthroscope. An arthroscope is like a thin telescope with a light source. It is used to light up and magnify the structures inside a joint. An arthroscope is passed through a small cut in the skin and into a joint. Most arthroscopic procedures are done on the knee joint. In addition to simply looking inside, during an arthroscopy a doctor can use fine instruments which are also passed into the joint through a small incision in the skin ('key-hole surgery'). These instruments are used to cut, trim, biopsy, grab, etc, inside the joint.

More information about this can be found here if you're interested: Meniscus Cartilage Tear

Mr. Leyshon, my consultant, came to see me after the operation and explained that he had not only found a meniscus tear (and completed a partial menisectomy no less) but had also found some trauma related to the original injury and had repaired that too. So all the whinging about my sore knee was vindicated!

After coming around from the anaesthetic and once I had eaten and had a drink, the physio explained how to climb up and down stairs and I then left the Prince Philip at 5.30pm ever so slightly lighter than I went in.

All in all it was an unusual experience, not one I would wish to repeat any day soon, but not altogether unpleasant. The staff at the Prince Philip were brilliant, and considering all the rigmarole that occurred inside my knee joint it was not too painful either.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wireless Networking

we are now the proud owners of a Wireless Network at home. This took three weeks, off and on, to set up, due to problems such as
a) a faulty router
b) a faulty ethernet cable
c) someone pressing the reset button with a safety pin, rather than a paperclip
d) a messy, messy network, and a network bridge setup that was poo
e) another faulty router
f) a wobbly socket at the back of the wireless modem
g) me
h) Kim
i) Dylan

But, hey, we got there in the end.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Proposition

When we were in London this weekend, I noticed several posters for The Proposition . What caught my attention, was the writing credits were given to Nick Cave, and the Star is Guy Pearce. IMDB gives it 7.6/10, which is praise indeed, so that's one to add to my list for when it finds it's way out into the sticks.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ivor Cutler, No, I am not a nutter

Thanks to Nick for pointing me in the direction of the Telegraph Obit for Ivor Cutler , who died on Friday last.
I'll take the liberty of posting some of it here: -

Cutler would ask his audience to consider, for example, the hygienic way to drink water from the gutter, or the erotic joys to be derived from sitting in a bowl of shredded wheat. One story, in its entirety, reads: "The meeting of their bodies gave her more pleasure than she would have believed possible. I'm glad I'm a spider, she whispered."

His songs, of which there are more than 300, are not misrepresented by this refrain: "What happens to sharks when they're old? / They don't just fade away / What happens to sharks when they're old? / I'd rather not say." New Statesman & Society commented: "The deceptive, almost oriental simplicity of his [works]… often cause their simplicity to go unnoticed."

It was once said of Ivor Cutler that he was "a man for whom the tag 'eccentric' seems pitifully inadequate". He himself said: "I don't work in a way that is socially useful, but I do say things obliquely about society… Yes, I am an eccentric. No, I am not a nutter.

you can see a list of his works here .

He was a truly great man, the like of which I cannot name.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Gone to London to see the Queen......

Gone to London to see the Queen......

back Monday :wave:

Bird Flu hits EuroDisney

Bird Flu hits EuroDisney

poor donald..........

Thursday, March 02, 2006

frustration @ The Onion

I can't seem to cut & paste quotes from the onion, america's funniest parody newspaper, and publish them here. I guess it's some feindish computer geek trick to stop me nicking thier stuff.........

so, you will have to take a look for yourself, at the site that never ceases to raise a mild titter in these halls.....

Heaven 'not as opulent as pope expected' story

'Gay couple pressurised to marry' story