I don’t believe it!

Girlfriends using Smartphone in 

….as Victor Meldrew would say (UK comedy actor) and as my dear old dad used to say ‘Is there no end to this stupidity?’. The saga to date with my new fridge order is a fine example of how things can go wrong when ordering goods over The Internet. Evidently the fridge got through customs on or about the eleventh of last month and then went missing. It is October 1 st and still no word since the 15 th regarding developments. I was informed they would be ‘dispatching’ another whatever that was supposed to mean. On Saturday (29 th) I was in touch with Amazon who were going to attempt to get in touch with the seller and find out what the problem was. Maybe I would receive an update tomorrow, that is the 2 nd. In the meantime I have just completed the lawn project that is as much as I was able without having the pebbles for the final stage. I wanted to purchase a certain type and colour of aggregate from Italy, though it doesn’t just exist in the country. I could locate only one supplier for this aggregate, a company based in Kent in the UK. I wasn’t able to locate a supplier more local to home or indeed one that had it for sale. Basically it consists of brown pebbles in the 15 to 20 mm range of sizes and is found in river beds. It is also called ‘tumbled’ stone. Having been informed that I would require a ton of it after giving them the dimensions the supplier told me that it would take eight to nine weeks to arrive!  ‘I don’t believe it’, were the thoughts in my head but if I wanted that particular type of stone I would have to grin and bear it. I placed the order and looked forward to a long wait. What annoyed me more than anything was the lack of online information regarding availability. All purchasing had to be done over the telephone too as they didn’t have the capability to purchase goods through their website. Sometimes the telephone method is better especially if there are any questions you want answers to. 

Shirley Anne


Only when I laugh

Make Me Laugh
Make Me Laugh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like a good laugh and I find I am doing just that almost every day, in fact at this moment I can’t remember when I didn’t laugh each day. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘It only hurts when I laugh’, well if I ever had the misfortune to become seriously ill I would most likely be in severe pain for that reason! I can make fun of almost anything and any situation for the way I see things it is far better to laugh than to cry except when grieving. I have been taking a course of anti-fungal medication to rid myself of a fungal infection beneath a couple of toes. The medication is in the form of large tablets to be taken orally once a day and I had a month’s supply. I deliberately misread out loud the instructions on the side of the box which stated ‘For oral administration only’ and said ‘For anal administration only’ and couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of swallowing medication that was supposed to be inserted in my nether regions! I’m still laughing as I write this. You might think it impossible for someone to make that kind of mistake but I’ll wager there will be someone foolish enough. My day on Tuesday was a lot better than it was on Monday though I did still feel a little queasy most of the time. I had to put it down to the extraordinarily fine weather we had been having, which for me was basically oppressive. I felt tired throughout the day and tried to relax as much as I could but I had gardening duties and didn’t feel inclined to just lie there doing nothing. I am my own worst enemy I suppose. As I sat at the table after my evening meal E opened the freezer door of the fridge/freezer we have in the same room and I asked if she could leave it open. It felt so good to be cool for a few seconds though I knew I couldn’t sit there with the freezer door wide open. Summer would be so nice if it was cold! To be honest I do like summer and the warmth it brings, it’s just that I don’t like it too hot. There’s a movie in there somewhere.

Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the ...
Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the trailer for the film Some Like It Hot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Some Like It Hot (1959). Movie starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe). I bet they had a good laugh making that movie.

Shirley Anne

Silly slang and other things

Butter and a butter knife
Butter and a butter knife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No work Monday seems to be the norm for me lately but it doesn’t stay that way too long either. I did get a call from a guy who had been struggling to repair a light and I went to his house to fix it for him. I was back home before you could say ‘Jackanory‘. Now there is a strange saying but of course it is only an allegory. E suggested we remove unwanted materials and tools from the bedroom in readiness for the furniture build. Hopefully the materials for building the furniture will arrive here within a few days. Then she suggested we, that is I, should call and arrange for the scaffolding to be erected in order for the problems we have with the roof to be resolved because the guy doing the repairs was taking far too long to get the work underway. He was supposed to be making all the arrangements but we need the work doing sooner rather than later. A little after lunch the owner of the scaffolding company called at the house to assess our requirements. We used this guy’s company when we had major work going on at the house in 2010 because we, that is I, liked him. His rates are very reasonable and this time he offered me a small discount from his estimated price. The scaffolding needs to be erected in two separate places but when he and I were talking I asked if we could have that scaffolding which was to be erected over the garage where I park my van to be extended across the full depth of the house so that we may have the rear chimney stack checked too. That stack isn’t in use and is unlikely to be in the future so we may decide to cap it off if it isn’t already done. So things are moving along as they should be. He stepped into the house whilst he made the calculations and E popped into the room to say hello. He asked how she was and after her reply I jumped in with ‘She’s having problems with rising damp in her wooden leg’ which brought laughter all round but he replied ‘Creosote is great for preventing rising damp’ which brought even more laughter. We like to laugh and joke around here. He told us that he aims to have the scaffolding erected on Wednesday or Thursday which will be yesterday or today as you read this. The price? £1000, and that is before any work starts! Should have bought a Bungalow! Now that isn’t a joke is it but hey, that’s the way it goes. After he left E sat and had her lunch and I sat with her although I had already eaten. I had wanted to be sure that one of us would be available when our caller arrived for I knew he would be calling around lunchtime.

English: Hot cross buns are a quintessentially...
Hot cross buns are a quintessentially British tradition at Easter.They can be eaten warm or split, toasted with butter for breakfast, tea or a snack. No one knows for certain when the tradition began, but in 16th century England, bakers were limited by law to occasions when these special doughs could be made. Good Friday was one; ‘cross buns’ marked this holy day towards the end of the Lenten fast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we were talking she asked why I had no butter on my hot-cross bun but she had said ‘You’ve put no butter on your bun’. I immediately thought how strange our use of language is and especially slang. The thing is, how could I have put ‘no’ butter on anything? Perhaps if worded this way you will see my point, ‘You’ve not put butter on your bun’. We use slang every day and we all know what is meant by what is spoken, that is as long as we are familiar with local colloquialisms. Anyway I enjoyed the dry, that is un-buttered bun I’d eaten supplementary to my lunch.

Shirley Anne

One down but a few more to come……

Laughter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday morning I went to look at a job but when there I discovered it was far more involved than what I was led to believe, I turned it down. In reality I could see the problems I would have had, the time it would have taken and the price the customer was prepared to pay and it just wasn’t worth the effort. The problem was a lack of power outlets in a very small kitchen crammed with appliances which had not been catered for when the kitchen was refurbished a few years ago. There was a boiler which didn’t have a dedicated supply and was plugged into one of the only two twin sockets in the room. The cooker hood was plugged into the other half of the twin socket. The other twin socket across the room had a multi-outlet socket plugged into one half and an extension lead plugged into the other half! Then there was the washing machine which although had been plugged into a socket beneath the units that socket was wired with an underrated flexible cable that had to be plugged into the first twin socket by removing the cooker hood plug. Whoever had wired the kitchen hadn’t a clue as to the amount of power outlets that should have been provided. The room walls were tiled of course so any additional circuitry would necessitate their removal in places, that is if access to the walls was possible. Built-in units prevented access beneath the worktops and much of the walls above were covered with cupboards too. Adding to the problems of course were a laminated floor covering and a bathroom in the room above which made it almost impossible to install extra wiring. It isn’t easy being an electrician working in a domestic situation sometimes and this electrician wasn’t prepared to get involved. Even for a young person the job wasn’t easy, let alone someone of my age who is supposed to be semi-retired. Now you know why I only take on small jobs. It meant I had to return home as I had no other work scheduled for the day. The day wasn’t wasted though and after a cup of coffee and a chat with E I set about doing one of the small jobs at home that had been niggling me to get out-of-the-way for some weeks. That was duly dispatched within an hour or so and then it was time for lunch. I took the rest of the day off. Whilst preparing my ‘late’ lunch our next-door neighbour telephoned and asked this question, ‘Have you had yours done yet’? I immediately responded with, ‘Yes, I had mine done twelve years ago’. It was all she could do but break down with laughter. She even hung up accidentally because she was in stitches laughing. She called back a minute later and explained the reason for the question. She was referring to the survey we are expecting by the local authority with regards to our domestic waste water. They are checking that our (and everyone’s) pipe system is connected to the correct drains. We have been expecting a visit but they seem not to be in any hurry about it. I am always making Pam, our neighbour, laugh. Little did she know that I was referring to my gender surgery which I had exactly to the day twelve years ago when I answered her question. I did subsequently mention that no, we hadn’t had the survey done when she called. There’s never a dull moment in our house. I am now thinking about the other jobs that need doing.

Shirley Anne

Just for fun

drunkenmouse_e0An Irishman, a Mexican and a blond guy were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building. They were eating lunch and the Irishman said, “Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch I’m going to jump off this building”

The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, “Burritos again! If I get burritos one more time I’m going to jump off, too.”

The  blond opened his lunch and said, “Bologna again. If I get a bologna sandwich one more time I’m jumping too.”

The next day the Irishman opened his lunch box, saw corned beef and cabbage and jumped to his death.

The Mexican opened his lunch, saw a burrito and jumped too.

The blond opened his lunch, saw the bologna and jumped to his death as well.

At the funeral the Irishman’s wife was weeping. She said, “If I’d known how really tired he was of corned beef and cabbage I never would have given it to him again!”

The Mexican’s wife also wept and said, “I could have given him tacos or enchiladas! I didn’t realize he hated burritos so much.

“Everyone turned and stared at the blonde’s wife.

“Hey, don’t look at me,” she said, “He makes his own lunch.”


God created the mule, and told him, “You will be mule, working constantly from dusk to dawn, carrying heavy loads on your back. You will eat grass and lack intelligence. You will live for 50 years.”

The mule answered, “To live like this for 50 years is too much. Please, give me no more than 20.” And it was so.

Then God created the dog, and told him, “You will hold vigilance over the dwellings of Man, to whom you will be his greatest companion. You will eat his table scraps and live for 25 years.”

And the dog responded, “Lord, to live 25 years as a dog like that is too much. Please, no more than 10 years.” And it was so.

God then created the monkey, and told him, “You are monkey. You shall swing from tree to tree, acting like an idiot. You will be funny, and you shall live for 20 years.”

And the monkey responded, “Lord, to live 20 years as the clown of the world is too much. Please, Lord, give me no more than 10 years.” And it was so.

Finally, God created Man and told him, “You are Man, the only rational being that walks the earth. You will use your intelligence to have mastery over the creatures of the world. You will dominate the earth and live for 20 years.”

And the man responded, “Lord, to be Man for only 20 years is too little. Please, Lord, give me the 30 years the mule refused, the 15 years the dog refused, and the 10 years the monkey rejected.” And it was so.

And so God made Man to live 20 years as a man, then marry and live 30 years like a mule working and carrying heavy loads on his back. Then, he is to have children and live 15 years as a dog, guarding his house and eating the leftovers after they empty the pantry; then, in his old age, to live 10 years as a monkey, acting like an idiot to amuse his grand children.


A college professor had just finished explaining an important research project to his class. He emphasized that this paper was an absolute requirement for passing his class, and there would be only two acceptable excuses for being late. Those were a medically certifiable illness or a death in the student’s immediate family.

A wisecracking student in the back of the classroom waved his hand and spoke up “But what about extreme sexual exhaustion, professor?” As you would expect, the class exploded in laughter.

When the students finally settled down, the professor gave the student a long, appraising look. “Well”, he responded, “I guess you’ll just have to write with your other hand”


Shirley Anne

Nice food?

Sirloin steak, served with garlic butter and f...
Sirloin steak, served with garlic butter and french fries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I treated E to a one day’s belated birthday meal on Friday, her birthday (anniversary of) was on Thursday but she had been invited to dinner by her sister and her mom so couldn’t dine with me. I suppose the ideal would have been dining together with them but I fear that wasn’t possible as I am sure they haven’t yet accepted me after ten years. No matter. Although I treat E to meals out she does the driving. It works well for me as I like a drink with my meals but she doesn’t drink these days, partly because she never was one to drink much and now her medication prevents her doing so. Occasionally she might have a drink at home but that is a rare event too and is always limited to a small glass of Bailey’s or something similar. I on the other hand can drink a full bottle of red wine with no problem. We drove to a place some 12 miles away, a place we often visit but this time we arrived in the early evening as opposed to the middle of the afternoon as we are usually inclined to do. The management of this establishment changed last year and as far as I am concerned, for the better. It is one of those places that has made the conversion from a pub that sold food to a restaurant that doubles as a pub. Whereas before we would find a table then place an order at the bar and later paying the bill in the same way, now it has full waiter/waitress service as you would expect from a restaurant. The menu has changed of course but that is usual anyway and will change again as they see fit, but that too is usual for a restaurant. I have never had a problem in the past with the food that is served as a rule except for one or two minor things. On Friday however the sirloin steak I ordered was a little tough and was served on a cold plate. I didn’t create a fuss over that, it was edible and I was hungry. I suppose I should have called the waitress to complain but that is not my style unless the food is exceptionally bad. Later, when we had finished that course, the waitress approached to see if everything was all right. I told her that the steak had been a little tough and that the plate had been cold, as was E’s plate. She apologised and we left it at that. We ordered dessert, which was unusual for us because we both had a starter course and don’t usually have both a starter and a dessert but we were pushing the boat out as a treat for E. When the meal was over E had a coffee but I still had wine to finish, then we asked for the bill. When we saw the bill we noticed that we hadn’t been charged for my dessert nor for E’s coffee by way of recompense for a poorly presented steak. We thanked the waitress for we hadn’t expected such a response. Our time together was good and E had me in stitches with laughter with some of the things she said. More importantly she had an enjoyable time too, after all it was for her benefit but then it always is when I treat her.

Shirley Anne


I can’t help it

laughter (Photo credit: withrow)

I can’t help it so people tell me but they jest, well I hope they do! No, what I mean is that I love a good laugh. Rib-tickling laughter is something many of us would benefit from, it is healthy and adds years to an otherwise boring and dull life. I find I can laugh at many things, even myself, that is important, to be able to laugh at one’s self. I love comedy in any form, especially slapstick comedy. I was watching a movie, well several of them lately all with slapstick comedy as a main theme, I couldn’t stop laughing and at times I was in real pain but couldn’t help myself. Sometimes one thing leads me to think of other scenarios and makes me laugh even more. E has a bit of a problem when she doesn’t see the same funny side of things as I do and looks at me wondering why I am still laughing ten minutes after seeing something or hearing something that has tickled me. Tears would be dripping from my eyes and she sits there pan-faced which makes me laugh even more! Laughter they say is the best medicine. I remember years ago when I worked for the electricity supply authority which had a contracting department, a plumber who walked about with a constant smile on his face. He was always laughing about something and his work never gave him reason to moan. He simply found life enjoyable and you could see it in his face. I haven’t quite mastered my work being totally enjoyable and free from causing me some annoyance but by and large I do enjoy my work. I must be doing something right. I find that by just stepping back from a problem for a moment and seeing the funny side often helps me get through it. After all, what is the point in moaning about things all the time? I can’t help laughing, I like laughing and it is usually contagious, a bit like yawning but at the opposite end of an enormous pole. Go on, have a laugh today and see what a difference it makes to your day. I will, I do it every day.

Shirley Anne