Thursday, May 31, 2007


Things that have been fixed include:
  1. The tooth is now back in place with a semi-permanent resin attachment
  2. The car now goes like the clappers thanks to a new bit I got off eBay a lot cheaper than through a dealer (£35 vs. £160)
  3. I also bought a circuit board off eBay for my central heating/hot water boiler (£60 vs. £200), fitted it this morning and the house is now toasty warm again. After two days of a plumber not being able to fix it , I did the damn thing myself. Hurrah!
Just need one more major thing to complete my collection.

Come on mum and Addenbrooke’s, make the full set...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Smiles all round

Things to make you smile (if you haven’t already seen them):
  1. Badgers
  2. The glorious lolcats
It’s what the internet is for.

Aside from porn, obviously.

Thanks to Alex for alerting me. Cheers, fella!

Just press the cure button

Hey all,

Been a bit lax of late with things piling up (though his Royal Dogness stopped by to keep my sanity levels up) and the situation with mum is not great.

A bit of background on my mad mother (who I love to bits, as it happens). She’s 68, lives on her own in a bungalow in a small village in Norfolk and is very well-liked by all her neighbours who often come to her to borrow from her extensive collection of tools and DIY items in the garage. She’s become the honorary auntie to a host of small children who know her as “Auntie B” and never seems to have hair the same colour twice (much like North American television, only more stylish).

‘Active’ hardly compasses the way my mum lives her life. She has probably repainted some or all of the bungalow at least twice in the last twelve months, is a dab hand at laying carpet, rewiring and often can be found zooming about in her car, doing the shopping for some of the young mothers in the village.

This is not, fairly obviously, a frail, old woman.


Nurses and orderlies shuffle about in the aimless way they don’t on ER. MARK SPENCER and CONCERNED NEIGHBOUR stand by the bed of AUNTIE B. A NURSE is filling in a questionnaire.


Does she have home help?

No. Why would she?


(ticking a box)

Does she suffer from pressure sores?

What? She doesn’t stay still long enough to get them.
Can you get them on your feet? From running around?

MARK starts looking over the form that the NURSE is filling in.


(to herself)

Wait a minute.
(he indicates the unconscious patient in the bed)
See her there?

The NURSE nods.

Imagine someone the complete opposite of that.

Loud. Rushing about. Fit. Busy.
This is like the antimatter version of my mum here.

The NURSE nods, then returns to the form.

Does she have her meals delivered?

MARK screams and punches the NURSE through a wall. He begins to build a gigantic sacrificial tower from forms, clipboards and pieces of passing junior doctor.

Back to reality. It seems that mum has nothing wrong with her back muscles per se. What she does have is a dose of septicemia that the docs can’t seem to find the root cause of. The septicemia is a staphylococcus aureleus (SA) infection, though thankfully not MRSA. It’s a tough gig for me to see her so frail and weak, knowing what she’s usually like. I can only imagine how throughly pissed off she is with not being able to be up and about, fixing a neighbour’s roof or something equally taxing.

It would seem that the initial back pain was from her kidneys giving out due to massive dehydration.

I now have a stinking cold, so can’t go in and see her. Grrrr...

Thanks to all that have stopped by and wished her well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


For reasons of clarity, this is not a post for sympathy, rather it is a document of my own astonishment at not being particularly perturbed by recent goings-on.

A brief summary of recent events:
  1. Central heating/hot water boiler defunct and in need of expensive repairs
  2. Front left centre tooth crown has snapped off at the gumline, leaving me with a new look that couldn’t even charitably be described as “piratical” or “rakish”. “Pikey” would be nearer the mark...
  3. Windscreen of car has just received an unwelcome belt from a flying stone and now got three long cracks in it, so needs replacing
  4. The car’s already not running right and will need an unspecified amount of work on it
  5. My mum’s poorly after having a muscle in her back go into spasm and is now unable to walk
  6. I’m months behind the writing for the Lahost album
It just gets funnier and funnier, no?

And the most frustrating thing is that this is all in the midst of a tidal wave of work that I’ve been after for years - I’ve spent the last six to nine months craftily working on getting a particular firm to start handing us work and, lo and behold, they throw a ridiculous amount our way.

I’m also at the stage of hair growth that only a mother could love, between mid-length and long. Usually described as a mess. I would post a picture, but I keep it under a hat most of the time. Here’s an example from Niagara Falls, courtesy of the excellent Caroline.

Mmmm, plenty of plates in the air, no? ;-)

Luckily I am blessed with a mental amount of absolutely top friends who always rally round and say just the right thing to keep me on track. They’re ace, and indeed ‘skill’.

More blogging when the tiger I have by the tail stops being so stroppy and submits.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Colonial One

Well, well, well...

This post finds your humble fabulist in parts foreign. Canada to be fairly general, and Toronto to be precise. News Sluice’s temporary location while the plumbers are in is situated on the dining table of Caroline.

My planned excursions are the fairly obvious (CN tower, Niagara Falls) combined with the less touristy (meeting up last night for a Mexican meal with DMc, John Callaghan and the mighty Jim Henshaw, as well as doing a spot of trawling round the musical instrument stores on Monday with John, in search of a Geddy Lee signature bass and whatever else I might be able to somehow convince myself I can take back as carry-on...).

Caroline has been a top girl in providing hospitality, as well as a small beach-head for Imperial Blogging™ in the colonies. The food seems edible, the natives are friendly and the internet over here goes at warp speed - hurrah!

Very nice colonies they seem too. It’s always slightly disorienting for someone who grew up in towns and cities that grew and twisted into their current forms over hundreds, if not thousands of years to be plonked down in a grid-plan city. There seem to be no points of obvious reference with which to orient oneself. Obviously there are, I’m just not seeing them.

Several DVDs have been purchased, including a couple of requests from back in the Old Country™, as well as a few items of clothing from Roots 73. Undoubtedly there will be purchasing aplenty before I sheepishly attempt to return home with half of Canada in a case. The strength of the British pound is quite something to behold when confronted with a pile of DVDs that total what you’d expect to pay for just the second series of Extras. Eerie.

Still, off to the theatre next week, guitar shopping and, if the weather holds out, catching a movie at a drive-in somewhere out of town.

More soon! I might even throw out a review of Rush’s new album if I can actually find a copy in a store... (Best Buy didn’t have any, the bastards...)