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Topics - Gyppo

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1
Odd little incidents provide cues, which allow you to see what you're writing about, to be 'in the moment', rather than just remembering.  In this respect the writer is like a 'method' actor, keying into a relevant moment and all the feelings which came with it.

When I need terrified grey eyes I see, as clearly as ever, Mum's eyes when I woke her up from her occasional wartime flashback dreams.  She'd be locked into the moment, unable to wake herself properly.  Despite being awake, eyes wide open, she couldn't really see me, or her own room, just the past which had suddenly become an all encompassing 'now'.  All I could do was 'talk her down' until she fought her way back out.

After that a cup of tea and a settling down chat, and the lights left on, or the curtains shut to hide 'the bomber's moon' which sometimes triggered these episodes, and she'd tell me things she'd never have shared at any other time.  Most of which I'll never pass on, like a priest honouring the secrecy of the confessional.

But the eyes I'll share when a character needs them.

And one little funny moment.  The night when Mum, having shaken off the horrors, suddenly averted her now reality attuned eyes and said, "Maybe this would be a good time for you to put some clothes on."

Being stark bollock naked ranks low on the list of priorities when woken by the eldritch howl of terror ;-)

Gyppo

2
Whilst I was pre-occupied with writing a poem every day in April for the NAPO challenge, the prose part of my brain was taking a rest.  But the subconscious never truly sleeps.  This little idea kept niggling at me until I gave in and typed it up quickly so I could get back to the task in hand.

Not sure where it's going yet, but I've already ruled out a few things.

A question for you Ladies.  Would you trust a complete stranger to this extent?

Gyppo

=====

   John was riding faster than the law allowed, 'Exercising the
Norton' late at night along the dark New Forest road between Cadnam and
Lyndhurst.  A gently rolling and open stretch, with a few minor roads
joining it at intervals, access for smaller villages and the odd 'big house'.

   He had it all to himself.

   His headlight bored a bright halogen tunnel through the night
and he was whistling the Doors 'Riders on the Storm'.  Thoroughly
enjoying his solitude, but still looking forward to getting back to
Frances.

   A pale blur of movement in the roadside bushes grabbed his
attention as he flashed past.  He was braking hard as his mind caught
up with what his eyes told him.  Stopped, foot down, motor still
running, he looked back over his shoulder.

   He wasn't hallucinating.  A naked woman.  A fair-haired naked
woman.  Running frantically towards him, her mouth moving wildly.

   A dark thought crossed his mind.  If she was 'bait' for some
kind of hijack then the people behind it were in for a shock. He
unzipped his riding jacket, just in case, felt the knife harness under
his un-tucked shirt.

   Then she was close enough to hear.

   "Help me!  Please.  Don't let them catch me."

   She reached him, a fairly short wench, but still taller than
his wife.  Several bleeding scratches as if she'd run through brambles,
and bleeding feet.  Terrified grey eyes

   "Whoever you are, please take me away from here.  They're not
far behind."

   "Jump on."  He didn't hesitate, although his eyes searched the
darkness behind her.  A naked pillion with no helmet could attract
far more attention than he normally enjoyed, but he simply couldn't refuse to help a damsel in distress.   He could imagine Frances's raised eyebrow, darkly and silently questioning, hear her laugh.

   As the suspension settled down under her weight she locked her
arms around his waist, leaned in tight, and he could smell her sweat
and fear.  Clicking into gear he rode away fast.

    Being the kind of man he was, he flicked the extra little
switch on the bars which turned off the rear and number plate lights.

   He had no idea what might be happening, who or what was after
her, but why make it easy for them?  The headlight was still a bright
lance, running ahead, but the black Norton was now as anonymous as any
bike could be.  He could see no lights behind them.

   A mile further on, still alone in the darkness, he pulled
over, turned his head to speak.

   "You look a bit obvious back there.  I can't offer you a
helmet, but Frances's one-piece oversuit's in the left hand pannier. 
Might help a bit if we meet a police car."

   "No police!" She jumped off, fumbled at the catch, and then
backed away as he kicked down the stand and moved to help her.

   Terror rolled off her in waves.

    She held one arm across her breasts and the other over her
groin.  Oddly this made her look more vulnerable than she had when
completely exposed, running naked in the red glow of the rear light.

   Taking a deep breath he spoke gently, as if to a frightened
horse or dog.

   "Maid, if I was going to rape you or hurt you,  I'd have done
it by now."

   He draped the one piece coverall across the seat and stepped
back several paces.  She still hesitated so he turned his back and
heard her move forward, heard the rustle of fabric, a few pained
hisses, and then the long rasp of a zip.

   Watching the road behind them he heard a shaky but determined
voice.  "I'm ready now."

   She was a few inches taller than Frances, legs and forearms
sticking out noticeably beyond the cuffs. He straddled the Norton and
waited till she was sat behind him again.

   "Whatever your problem I can offer you sanctuary for the night."

   She stiffened and then relaxed a little  as he continued.  "My
wife will be there, and she can come out to meet you before you decide
whether or not to come in."

   She nodded once.

   "Or she can lend you some clothes and you can wander off into
the night again and do your own thing.  Your choice."

   She shook her head, tightened her arms around his waist, and
he rode on.

   It was late enough for the police to have already caught the
late night drinkers and they slipped through Lyndhurst without seeing
anyone.  A couple of miles later he unlocked the gate to his private
track, rode through, locked it behind them, and rode the bumpy quarter
mile to his home.

    A light came on in the porch, and Frances opened the door.

   John kicked down the stand, swung his left leg up and over the tank, and left his passenger sat on the bike.

   "Frances, there's someone here who needs a woman's reassuring
words before she'll come in."  He lowered his voice.  "She's naked
under the suit."

   She frowned, recognising her riding suit, then smiled.

   "It makes a change from injured animals.  You get the kettle
on."

   =====

3
The Bar & Grill / May Day Greetings to you all.
« on: May 01, 2022, 08:17:00 AM »
    The pagan votive offering has been hung, all the doors and windows opened to welcome in the Summer, and the ritual has been observed.  My home is now blessed for the next year.

     Picture below, left click to enlarge.

    A big black crow performed a slow flypast for me, and a seagull screamed.  All without prior arrangement or coercion.   

    I was civilised enough to wait until 7 am before playing the 'Padstow' song, rather than blasting the neighbours as soon as the sun came up.  It's only once a year.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9KvspjpKN8

    Like a grey pony-tailed dancing bear I trod the measured barefoot steps thorough the bungalow and around my boundaries.

    All is well.

    Gyppo

4
The Bar & Grill / Finally: Closing the loop. Picture included.
« on: April 29, 2022, 08:01:20 PM »
    An appliance rental firm used this image in a recent post. (Left click to enlarge.
It looks far better when it's bigger.  Even if you have to scroll across to the right.)

    It's a German vacuum cleaner, so let's make two easy assumptions.  The lass using it is skinny, so obviously doesn't eat much.  But we all know how German  Hausfraus love to cook.  YouTube is littered with their offerings

  The things they can inflict on an unguarded bag of flour, or a handful of potatoes are legendary.  It's probably imprinted in their genes.

    But in the right side of the picture Ms Skinny-Waist  is seemingly vacuuming up a plate of freshly made pastries ;-)

    Thus closing the self-perpetuating cook - indulge - diet 'loop' before it can get a grip around her middle.

    Gyppo

5
May Amuse: "The Pissy-Cat". A man, a gun, a cat, and an aerosol can of cream
« on: June 14, 2007, 06:52:40 PM »

          This was originally a letter to my Uncle in Canada, suggesting that Looniness in Uncles may well be hereditary.  NB:  No animals were harmed during the research for this tale.

   *****

          As an Englishman (albeit 'colonialised') - with our racially programmed love-hate relationship with small furry animals - you might appreciate the following story.

          The Pissy Cat
          (An Englishman, a Rifle, a Cat, and a Can of Cream.)

          Mother bought some aerosol 'squirty cream'.  Cream which also contained Brandy.  Quite a serious amount of Brandy as it happens.  The real stuff too, not just some chemical flavouring masquerading as the real thing.

          But...  It got 'lost' in the bottom of the fridge until it was well past the 'use by' date.  My horrified taste buds revealed that whilst the Brandy part was still fine the cream was most definitely off.

          Young G (my Nephew) arrived just in time to see me crouched over the sink with my tongue sticking out, refusing to put it back in until I'd scrubbed away the taste of sour cream.

          Whilst I was suffering - and trying to swear without moving my tongue - Mother was agonising over the best way to dispose of the can, because apart from that one little squirt it was still fully pressurised, with the usual warning notice.

          "I could always shoot it."  I announced casually once my tongue was fit to resume speaking duties.

          G was delighted!  Being the family pyromaniac he would have preferred to stick it on a fire until it exploded.  But no red-blooded teenager can resist watching his Mad Uncle do something that sensible - and usually only half-informed - adults see as incredibly dangerous.

          I remember watching you - and doubtless encouraging you - to do things that common sense should have warned against.  Things like dropping eggs from a bedroom window, or throwing them through the blades of a large revolving fan, or taping matches to the fan blades and arranging for them to gently strike across a matchbox.

          I still recall - with undiminished pleasure - the look of horror on your face when one of the matches flew off the fan and dived into the dust under your bed.  Closely pursued by one of that fine English species, Unclus Loonicus.

          At least we both had the good taste not to prove what happens when the sh*t hits the fan!

          Returning to the present...

          I know that such cans always say 'DO NOT PUNCTURE - EVEN WHEN EMPTY' but, unless you are daft enough to Grab & Stab, it's nowhere near as dangerous as people seem to think.  If aerosols were as dangerous as rumour suggests they wouldn't be allowed on shop shelves.  Aerosols of lighter fuel are a different game entirely, but I wouldn't play with those.

          So the scene was set for some serious fun with Uncle's gun.  Don't worry, I'll get to the cat in a minute.  It's called Kerry, by the way.  The cat, not the cream.

          The can was strategically placed at the bottom of the garden whilst we had dinner, sitting in the sunlight to bump the pressure a bit higher.  Pressure in the can, not us.  Although G was fizzing a bit with anticipation.

          After dinner I fired two shots.  One at a spare can to make sure I still knew which end to point at the target - it's been a long time since I fired a shot in anger, or even in cold deliberation - and the serious one which drilled a neat hole right through the middle of the pressurised can.

          There was no spectacular bang...  Just a demented hissing as the can leapt into the air and cart-wheeled around the garden, spraying cream in all directions for about two seconds.  Just as well we took the washing in first!

          Going to explore the aftermath we found the garden - and the overhanging tree - reeking of Brandy and looking as if a flock of pigeons on Ex-Lax had been using it for target practice.

          With rain forecast we didn't worry about cleaning up.  I declared the can 'dynamically de-pressurised' and binned the mortal remains.  Unfortunately it didn't rain  that evening.

          The next day I was fascinated to see some zig-zaggy tracks in the grass and followed them to one of our bushes where Kerry was sleeping it off.   I woke her to make sure she wasn't dead - she's a pretty old lady - and instead of being her usual alert and thoroughly wild self she looked totally plastered.

          When she reluctantly moved it was with extreme caution, as if every action hurt.  Closer study of her tracks revealed that she's been forth and back from her 'crash out corner' several times.

          So there you have it, the sad and salutary tale of an involuntarily piss-head cat.  Three days later she seems to have recovered, but she still stops and looks wistfully at the end of the garden when passing through.

          And one is left with this serious thought:  "There may be controls on guns and fireworks, but surely these cans of aerosol cream should only be handled by properly trained  and certified professionals!  Not certifiable amateurs!

          *****

          Footnote: Kerry is now - amazingly - nearly thirty years old, which rather supports the old saying that 'a little of what you fancy does you good.'.
 
     ***

6
Here's a one-stop-shop if anyone wants to use it.

See it as a backup for the Tangled Branch or wherever else you may be hanging out with like-minded souls for the next thirty days.

Here's one to kick it off.  My Muse kicked me out of bed at just after 2 am.  Let's see if she stays as eager for the whole month.

Napo 1

Sun Worship

Shards of reflected light
slither slowly across my wall.
A refracted rainbow,
elemental physics in action.
A magic older than man.
Summoned by a dangling CD
spinning slowly,
on a dusty thread.
Light borrowed, gratefully,
from a distant sun,
without which nothing,
absolutely nothing,
would be possible.

Gyppo


7
The Bar & Grill / I really shouldn't do this, but...
« on: March 28, 2022, 03:17:05 PM »
If you're at a loose end -  and likely to be tempted by the devil - here's a comical little utility called the Dialectizer.  It can be found at
http://rinkworks.com/dialect/

You type or paste in a bit of your work, or perhaps some famous speech or poem, and it offers options for rewriting in various dialects.

I gave it one of the short John and Frances tales from The Station Bar, and asked it to to render my words in 'Redneck'.  I can guarantee you've never heard Frances and Fred The Head, body-less barman extraordinaire, talking like this. Later on, when it's too dark to work outside tidying my shed, I may translate it into Cockney.

=====

Frances took th' bran'y balloon an' sat alone at th' bar, gazin' into th' amber depphs as her han's warmed th' liquid inside an' th' vapours rose. She breathed them in appreeciatively.

Fred felt wo'ried, cuss it all t' tarnation. It was unusual t'see her alone.

"Whar's 'Is Nibs. Yo' haven' fallen out, haf yo'?"

"John-Boy? No he's fine. Busy wif a Kango gun diggin' out th' entrance to th' old fall out shelter unner th' noo house. We let th' builders pour a noo slab fo' th' flore on over ev'rythin'. We kin't haf an outsider doin' it, we're hankerin' t'keep it secret. So John-Boy's taken up th' floreboards, covahed ev'rythin' in mah noo kitchen wif destsheets, an' it'll take a couple of days t'git it all lookin' no'mal agin.

"We is livin' in th' van outside. But th' noise is ho'renjus. So I've jest excaped fo' a spell. It's not as though ah can he'p."

"Thet all?"

Frances shook her haid an' held up one of th' po'table Bost Viewers.

"No. I've been tryin' t'git a sneak preview of whut Th' Bost has in sto'e fo' us in th' next book. Shet mah mouth! He's already scared me witless. But it's blurry, which usually means it's sumpin purdy bad, cuss it all t' tarnation."

"C'd be he's jest undecided, cuss it all t' tarnation." Fred, like most of th' chareeckers, had a layman's unnerstan'in' of how th' Bost Viewers wawked, cuss it all t' tarnation.

"Thet one, undecided? He may change his mind sometimes, but he usually knows exackly whut he be hankerin' t'do wif us. It's probably sumpin ho'rible. ah can feel him diggin' into mah past, fum befo'e th' fust book, fum befo'e ah met John-Boy. Thar's nothin' ah's ashamed of, but I'd prefer some of it t'stay decently in th' past.

"Now ah knows how John-Boy felt when Th' Bost decided t'give him a fambly he'd nevah told me about.

"ah's happy wif th' me ah's now! Fry mah hide!"

She looked aroun'.

"Yo've got a purdy full house tonight. ah's surprised Rhonda hain't come t'arm wrestle th' trimenjus cowgal."

"Mebbe later." Fred was hopeful, ah reckon. He an' Rhonda had a nice li'l racket gwine on bets.

A tall pow'ful figger materialised alongside Frances.

"T'other glass of absinthe, mah Dear Feller." He glanced at Frances an' smiled, cuss it all t' tarnation. "Sumpin fo' yo', Mah Dear?"

She swirled th' bran'y in her glass. "No thanks, ah's fine." She felt he looked mo'e insubstantial than most of t'other patrons, even th' homely demon she was tryin' not t'notice. Eifer his autho' was about to snatch him back into a sto'y o' he was one of th' Wretched Incompletes, th' pore creatures who had nevah pow'ful been finished befo'e bein' supplanted by t'other.

Th' man drank th' absinth' an' shuddered, cuss it all t' tarnation.

"Eff'n yo' hate it thet much," Fred axed, "Whuffo' does yo' keep six packin' it? We haf all known an' a few unknown six packs hyar."

"Absinthe," intoned th' man sententiously, "Makes th' heart grow fonner. ah surmise thet eff'n ah six pack an inelegant surfeit of th' foul stuff mah creato', Ken, may, by proxy, become mo'e fond of me agin an' invite me back into a sto'y."

He lurched away an' slumped mo'osely into a co'ner, whar his aura of pa'pable mizzuy, tempo'arily displaced by his sudden movement foun' him af'er a few seconds of aimless drif'in' an' settled back aroun' him like a dark nimbus.

"Stone me." Fred winked at Frances. "I've heard some excuses fo' bein' a pisshaid, Frances, but thet one's real doozy. Sad thin' is it probably won't wawk eifer."

"Unlikely." Frances agreed, cuss it all t' tarnation. She looked at th' sturdy divah's watch on her slim wrist an' frowned, cuss it all t' tarnation.

"Have ah been hyar thet long already? Better git back an' wawk mah magic wif two burners an' th' li'l stove in th' van, as enny fool kin plainly see. An' eff'n John-Boy reckons he's sittin' at mah table t'eat wif all thet corncrete dest drif'in' off him on over our dinners he's got t'other thunk a-comin'." She finished off her six pack an' moved off wif determinashun.

Fred had see it all befo'e, but it still fascinated him t'watch th' way way peekoolyarrs moved aside t'let th' quietly cornfident li'l dark haired figger pass through th' crowd, cuss it all t' tarnation. He long ponytail swished jest above her hansum li'l bum an' once agin Fed was reminded of a distant time when he'd been mo'e than jest a talkin' haid. Sometimes it hurt, but at least it was a reminner he was, despite all probability, still alive.

"C'ess la vie, Frances."

===

8
The Bar & Grill / Strange - and thankfully brief - Encounter ;-)
« on: March 28, 2022, 09:33:47 AM »
Went down town on the bus yesterday.  The driver was a chap I've never seen before.  As I got off I realised he was staring at me.  A really intense stare.

I thought, but didn't say, 'You'll know me if you see me again'.

I wondered briefly if he was one of the local kids, grown up enough so I didn't recognise him, but equating the grey haired old passenger with someone he half remembered.  Then he spoke.

"You have exceedingly harmonious vibrations."

Ha, he was one of those people.

He was of course correct.  I was in a truly laid back and happy state of mind.  A lovely day and things were going well in my world.  But I didn't want to discuss this with a total stranger.  So I just said  "Thankyou.", got off the bus, and walked away.

If he's driving again next time I may deliberately 'shield' myself and watch to see if he looks puzzled ;-)

Gyppo




9
The Bar & Grill / It's that time of year again. Picture.
« on: March 26, 2022, 03:25:48 PM »
At this time of the year, as the evening sun starts to go down, there is an hour or so when the angles work out just right, and my home-made 'hippy mobile', twisting slowly in the breeze from an open window, sends a glorious array of colours cascading over my office walls.  This picture, just a still, only captures part of the magic.

Left click to enlarge

10
The Bar & Grill / Customer Service. (It's a two way street.)
« on: March 11, 2022, 11:58:22 PM »
   I often hear that 'customer service' is dead.  That businesses don't give a rat's arse once they've sold their product.  Doubtless this is sometimes true, but...  I sometimes wonder why I usually get a better result when I complain about anything.  Could it be the 'stroppy ones' usually charge in, all guns blazing, and get the service rep's back up right from the first words?

    Attitude, perhaps?  When I have to complain I want a result, not just to vent my spleen on some poor unsuspecting stranger.  Here's an example. ;-)

    I had a problem with the runners of my shower curtain not sliding freely in the rail.  It's a comparatively lightweight see-through curtain bought as a replacement for the much heavier and totally opaque one which was there when I  moved in.  A claustrophobe's foretaste of his personal hell, despite being otherwise quite spacious as the place was designed for the elderly/disabled.  Yes, it does steam up, but it remains adequately see through.

    The runners in the rail were sticking when I wanted to move the curtain, and starting to tear the eyelets.  I wondered if there was some kind of build up of 'crud' in there.  So  I emailed the manufacturer and asked if they had any advice.  Here's how it went...  (A polite, friendly, useful, and very human exchange.)

    =====

     Dear Sir/Madam.

     I have one of your 'contour' shower units for the elderly/disabled in my bungalow.  This is a Housing Association property, so I can always contact my landlord if anything major goes wrong.  I am generally very happy with it.  But I have one simple question.

     The hooks are binding in the track of the curtain rail, enough to be a damned nuisance.  Is there anything simple I can do myself to alleviate this?  I am a reasonably agile and tall old beggar so I can reach the rail with no problems.

     Thank you,

     John.

     I received a reply about an hour later.
 

    Ellen Sheriff - Contour Showers wrote:

     Good Morning,

    I can send you out some replacement hooks and gliders?

    Kind Regards

    Ellen

    I replied...

    Dear Ellen,

    This would be much appreciated, thank you.

    I'd best give you an address.

   [Address here.]

    Thanks again,

    John

    A little parcel arrived this morning and half an hour later,(most of that time spent in gathering together the right tools to remove some very tight screws in the wall, the job was done.  So I closed off our emails with a friendly thank you note.

    Dear Ellen,

    Hooks and gliders arrived this morning, delivered by a very soggy Postman.   Thus providing an excellent and timely 'grey day' project to keep this old man out of mischief.

    Thank you.

    John

    I would venture a small bet that Ellen, whatever kind of lady she is, super efficient or otherwise, has smiled a few times during these exchanges and now feels satisfied at 'a job well done'.  Which makes me smile too.

    ===

   Gyppo


11
Word Play / Tempting Fate: (Early Spring Clean.)
« on: March 07, 2022, 01:59:51 PM »
Yesterday would have been a good day for some overdue house maintenance.  It was bright and dry, but the spirit was weak.  I went shopping instead, to restock the 'store cupboard'.  On the bus I met two other hardy old men who, between us agreed it was a lovely day, but 'bitter cold'.  I suggested it was 'definitely a bit nippy', but they outvoted me with two 'bitter colds'.  Once the sun was hidden below the rooftops I agreed with them ;-)

Today was too good to be spent 'just bumbling around' on the computer, so I did some more physical stuff.  Whilst the spirit moved me ;-)

=====

mea culpa.  Possibly.

If the heavens open, or a massive storm strikes, then it's probably my fault. ;-)

I am washing a king-Sized duvet today.  In the hope that I will be able to get it out on the clothes-line and at least partially dry before the sun goes down.

My washing machine has a far bigger drum than many, designed to take a 10 kg load, and is definitely bigger than that needed by a single person, but the maker claims it can handle a king-sized duvet.  My doctrine has always been that a bigger machine can always handle small loads, especially on a half-load setting, but a smaller machine can't cope so well with excesses.

There's a load out drying already, and it's well on its way to coming back in before I have to peg out the 'behemoth'.

If the whole business goes pear-shaped and I end up with a gargantuan soggy mess draped over the shower rail in my bathroom until the next suitable 'drying day' I do have a brand new 'backup duvet' in reserve, still in the factory wrappings.

But before that eventuality I may as well take down the shower rail, (Only three  screws), and work out why the curtain has lost it's ability to glide freely along the rail.  It's reached the point of pissing me off every time I use it.  A squirt of WD-40 along the track might well provide a temporary fix, but if there's a few years of accumulated crud in there all this does is help spread it around.  We shall see.

Update:  One of the screws has proved to be a real bear to remove.  So much so that for now I've temporarily shelved that bit of the job.  I can put up with being irritated for a bit longer.  An overnight squirt of WD40 might encourage it to re-think its bloody intransigence ;-)

This bungalow is between 7-10 years old and I have no doubt the rail is the original fitting.

=====

Whilst the duvet's off I'm going to turn the mattress.  This is a very hefty chunk of high density foam and a bit of a bugger to move.  Still within my capabilities to handle on my own, but awkward enough to have been delayed longer than it should.

=====

I've also cleaned several years of crud off the cover on the light in the back garden.  Over the last year I've felt it was getting a bit dim compared to when I moved in.  The plastic has yellowed a bit with age, and the accumulated fly and bird crap haven't helped.  There was also fly crap on the bulb itself and a few dead flies and spiders inside there in a communal grave on the bottom ledge.

=====

It's only 2 PM, so who knows that other miracles may occur 'whilst the spirit still moves me'.

=====

Sorted out and binned a stack of cardboard which will go off to be recycled.  the untidy heap under one end of my desk has been bugging me for a few days now.

I've also been collecting newspapers for a project but I've got enough of them now.  They've been stacked in a box to keep them tidy.  When we get a run of warmer days so I can work outside I'll get started on that job.  Till then the box can sit in a corner and not bother anyone.  If I throw a cloth over it then it can double as a coffee table, or even, being well-packed, a stool ;-)

Gyppo

12
The Bar & Grill / An almost immutable law of Gyppo-land.
« on: February 25, 2022, 01:02:15 PM »
    It's an almost immutable law that very little comes into my home, or stays long, without some modification or other.  My new phone felt a little too slippery compared to the chunky feel of the old Nokia, and being that bit wider my fingers don't close around it quite so much.  As a consequence it has now been Gyppo-fied.   

    Six little stick on rubber buttons on the back which make it feel far more secure, and don't seem to get in the way when putting it in or out of my pocket.  As an unplanned bonus they also stop it vibrating off my desk and hurling itself onto the floor.  This was verified when my Sis phoned just after I'd applied the buttons and put it back down.

    A few second earlier and I'd probably have been startled into dropping the damned thing.  It made a hell of a racket, amplified by the wooden desk top ;-)

     Left click to enlarge.

    ===

13
The Bar & Grill / The naming of storms.
« on: February 21, 2022, 09:53:40 AM »
    As a writer I know that names are important.  Names have power.  Names can make or break a character.

    If I was a serious Force 10 storm, and I found out some soul-dead utterly uncreative prick at the Met Office has christened me Storm Dudley, ffs, I'd be really pissed off.  I'd go around slamming unlocked doors and gates, ripping them off their hinges, howling and spitting, and when that didn't make me feel any better I'd just have to chuck a few cars around and uproot trees.

    Having survived Storm Eunice we are now being buffeted by Storm Franklin, another male name.  This means, traditionally, the next one will have a female name.

    If they call it Gail all the other storms will piss themselves laughing.

    Gyppo

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The Bar & Grill / It's a 'second coffee' morning.
« on: February 20, 2022, 12:24:50 PM »
I usually stick to one cup a day.  The stuff's not good for my blood pressure and, rather surprisingly, after years of swilling it like water, I didn't find it that difficult to cut it back.  There are even days when I go without entirely.  Not deliberately, just when I'm pre-occupied.  I really can't stand the taste of de-caff so that was never a viable alternative

But the morning ritual persists.

And today is a two cup morning.

It's a grey day, with low grey featureless cloud blanketing the sky like a watercolour background wash.  There's occasional slightly darker ones scudding across, seeming almost to touch the rooftops.  Probably a trick of the eyes, the overall grey removing any sense of perspective.  Just as in Summer when small high clouds, little white fluffballs, seem to open out the sky into an infinite blue reach.

The wind is picking up again, with just a prickle of fine rain, and although in my immediate area we missed the worst of Storm Eunice just recently, I can't help thinking this might just be the opening skirmish of another soggy and blustery day. [1]

But I've been busy outside for a while, dragging out some stuff from my shed for my Nephew to take to the tip in his car.  Such as a rolled up carpet which came with me from the house but never made it indoors.  I added some plastic garden furniture which has served a good turn but has gone brittle in the sunlight.   I was unaware of this pending fragility until the recent storm threw it around the garden and broke off big chunks of black plastic.

I added a dead printer, a dead monitor, a terminally ill keyboard, and the sad remains of an ancient wooden chair which was beyond even the wildest dreams of restoration.  I believe it originally came from my Gran's house, which makes it well over sixty years old, but even nostalgia has it's limits.

After waving it off to the tip, with the rain prickling my skin, I came  back indoors and decided I'd earned the second coffee  ;-)

After lunch, with these unsettling tidy-up thoughts still lurking in my otherwise unoccupied mind, I may feel inspired enough to break out the steam mop and wash the kitchen floor.  But I wouldn't bet on it ;-)

Gyppo

[1]  UPDATE:  My instincts were right.  It turned out horrible after all, with horizontal rain.  A good day to sit indoors and watch the world 'blow by'.

But never mind.  It's going to be a curry night tonight.  I've been thawing out the last portion of the big batch I made a while back.






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"I was putting stuff away in the kitchen and telling my eldest lass that this was the tail end of my last grocery order from 'Iceland'.  (A UK online shop.)

"Oh!  What have they done to offend you?"

I must have looked blank before she said "Oh, you mean this is your most recent order...".

Years of pedantry and refusing to accept 'You know what I mean' are coming home to roost ;-)

Gyppo (Hoist with his own petard.)

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