30 September 2009

Incy Wincy Spider

OK, yes I agree that spiders do very good things for the environment & they are a necessary evil I suppose. But they are far less good for my heart & paranoid nerves at finding them in places they should not be.

Three times in as many weeks I've been confronted by hairy spiders lurking where they've no business to lurk!

On getting ready to go out dogwalking while talking to my brother & trying to fumble on my Primark Ugg boots, looking down to put my toes in to see an empty boot & looking down two seconds later to find a hairy spider emerge from my boot & nestle itself in to the heel.
I have never squealed so loudly & jumped out of a chair so quickly as I did then. My brother looked at me like I was demented while I threw my boot to the other side of the room. The dog started barking in shock & the puppy just looked at me with his head cocked to one side & his look clearly said that I was a complete looper. It's ok for him, he can just play with them & eat them.
I got my brother stick his hand in both boots to try & get the spider & other lurking spiders out. In the end I had to go & get the hoover. I need my boots & my brother couldn't remove the spider without squishing it in to the toe of my boot.

When I get up in the morning & stumble over to my wardrobe in my caffiene deprived state & lift up the door on my wardrobe (my wardrobe is canvas) I really do not need to be confronted by a fat hairy spider sat on my jumper pile. Especially not with it's hideous legs bunched up underneath itself like it's about to jump on my face.

On the plus side, it woke me up like nothing else. On the negative side, my whole family thought some mugger had managed to climb in through my window on hearing my screams & shouts of horror.

And last by no means least, I was sat down on the sofa earlier & trying to get comfortable. For some reason we have humungous sofas & when I sit back on them, my feet just about hang over the edge of the cushion. They are stupidly deep.
Anyway, I couldn't get comfortable so I got up to plump up the cushions, pulled them both up off the sofa to see a spider scrunched up between the back of the seat cushion & the back of the sofa.
This meant I shrieked & waved my arms in the general direction of the sofa as my stepdad looked on in utter bewilderment wondering what on earth had made me behave like a madwoman all of a sudden.

I can cope with rats. I used to have them run across my welly clad feet when I was on the farm. They used to hide in the horses hay & when I went to fill the nets up, the odd one or two would jump out & run across my feet & out of the feedroom door.

That was just about bearable.

But I really cannot cope with spiders. They move far too fast & in far too unpredictable a manner for my liking. One minute they're scuttling across the floor & the next they're running up your leg. Bluergh!

When we had our Arab friend stay with us a very funny thing happened. I was sat on the laptop & he was sat watching a film when all of a sudden he sort of squeaked & pointed. The biggest spider I have ever seen in my life was sat between the doorway of the living room & the chairs we were sat on. I nearly dropped the laptop & when I turned round to my friend to ask him to kill it or catch it, bearing in mind he was the male & should be all masculine about these things, I saw him stood in the chair pointing at the spider & telling me to get rid of it!

This lead to us looking for suitable spider killing ammunition within arms reach of us both. The T.V guide failed spectacularly & lead to the spider scuttling forward a few paces. A particulalrly chunky copy of Horse & Hound, which I objected strongly to being thrown as I didn't want spider intestines all over the back of it also failed in the spider killing attempt. Which was just as well as my objections were silenced by the sight of it flying past my eyes & landing far too wide of the mark. I told my friend he was a rubbish shot. He told me to do better because despite being the man, there was no way he was going near it.

I went for broke & got hold of my stepdads work boots. The boot landed on it's intended target but I could still see the legs so me & my friend tried to persuade each other to go & finish the job. Neither of us gave in so I kept a wary eye on the boot for the next 30 minutes until bedtime.

It goes without saying my parents were very bemused to come down in the morning & find the contents of the coffee table thrown in the vague direction of the doorway.
It turned out we'd failed in our attempts at spider killing as my mum came face to face with it outside my room a few days later. It turned tail & leaped down the first two stairs before being captured by my stepdad & released.

After all this I have come to the conclusion I need a spider catcher. Somebody who is around 24/7 to rescue me from my spider induced frights & to nicely catch & discard the spider in a friendly way. Failing that, a smack with the heel of a well aimed boot will do... ;-)

29 September 2009

Cocaine Blues

As everyone who has Windows Messenger will know, it's an easy way to keep in touch with friends & acquaintances & those people who are just in your group of friends but who you don't want to get too friendly with.

I have about half a dozen true friends, a few good friends & a handful of acquaintances on my list.
I was chatting to a friend the other night when somebody who I used to know fairly well popped online & said hello. The reason I say 'used' to know is because I ended up distancing myself from this person.

Now, the reason I distanced myself from him is because I became aware that he did cocaine most weekends in the same way somebody else would have a cigarette & after making it quite clear I wasn't interested in trying it, I distanced myself from him as much as is possible to do when somebody is a close friend of your friend. This became less difficult as a few months later I moved Counties & the only contact I have with him is at most, the odd hello on Messenger so I was very surprised for him to say hello the other night & start up a conversation.

As is usual in conversations that are of the generic 'Hi, how are you?' type I returned the 'how are you?' question to be answered with a message that left me a little bit stunned really. (I'll call my friend Charlie from here on in, if nothing else, it's appropriate).

When I knew Charlie fairly well, he had a nice apartment in London. A secure & well paid job, he didn't go without much & although not by any means well off he had a comfortable standard of living.
So to be told by Charlie that he has lost his girlfriend/fiance, his job & car & (presumably) his home, is £12,000 in debt & as a consequence, is on a Government repayment scheme meaning he pays £100 per month of what he owes for the next 10 years & cannot get credit in any way, shape or form and, in his words, has a 'serious cocaine habit' left me a little stuck for words. Although quite how he is supporting his habit is a bit of a mystery.

I certainly don't disbelieve what he is saying. When I knew him it had graduated from Friday nights, to weekends, to occasional midweek dabblings. I just can't believe he's been so stupid to let it get so far. He surely must have seen what was happening?

I did say to him that if he really wanted to break the habit then there are places & people who help with drug problems. His reply was "Drugs? It's cocaine." Which leads me to believe he doesn't think cocaine is that serious, and that makes help a no go I guess.

I suppose I feel sorry for him in a way & I can also see how he got himself in to this mess but I don't really know what to make of it except to be glad I'm no longer in a social circle that tangles me up in his activities.

I don't want to see or hear any more of this drug.
I've seen too much of the effects, too much of the shitty side of it, too much of the rows & hurt it's caused my family through my two brothers & I am sick to death of the way it's seen as a 'glamorous' accessory by people.

22 September 2009

Puppy Love

After the bundle of fun AKA Sam that we took on a year or so ago we now have another puppy who is now almost 13 weeks old. He is not dissimilar to the picture above.

All I can say is, if children are as hard work as puppies I want to stay single & responsibility free forever!

He is an Irish Setter & so full of beans he rattles.

Tricks include;

Biting feet that are either innocently walking past or coming down the stairs. Usually mine. I am convinced this is because I dance like a monkey & shriek like a fairy when he sinks his teeth in to my toes...

Peeing & pooing in places he shouldn't. Like under the dining room table that is a b****rd to get underneath & clean!

Sniffing out & stealing anything that he shouldn't have & is not his.

A disturbing habit of helping Sam to clean his 'bits'. He doesn't seem to realise that this is not acceptable behaviour...!

Tearing to shreds anything that gives in to puppy teeth. Including his used puppy pads. Mmm, nice....

Either refusing point blank to walk on the lead or racing so far ahead I end up looking like Wiley Coyote....

Being a total drama queen. One teeny step on the paw & he limps & squeaks like he's dying. One click of the food cupboard on the other hand, & he sprints like Linford Christie on speed...

Somehow thinking it is acceptable behaviour to leap on your lap the minute you sit down.

Emptying the pride & joy of my mother's world AKA; The Flower Boxes. Which Sam seems to think it is his duty to help with. Which then led to a large flowerbox & it's contents being spread all over the garden & patio.... Pansy carnage like you've never seen before.

Jumping in to the paddling pool & almost drowning himself. Before completely wrecking the thing with his teeth & claws five minutes after his grand rescue.

Being deposited in the garden for a wee, prevented from entering the house for a full 15 minutes & then peeing on the living room carpet the minute his paws touch the floor.

Humping my sisters thigh. Three times in a row.

Having a cuddle on my lap & then attempting to hump his squeaky toy. While laid on his back...

Clamping his teeth on to the bottom of Sam's ear & proceeding to box it with his paws.
While Sam is trying to sleep.

Finding a fatigued & highly stressed (so stressed he almost had a nervous twitch!) Sam early in the morning while the new puppy innocently looks up from biting Sam's tail.

Thinking maxi skirts are the new 'in thing' by hanging himself completely by the hem or trying to crawl up the the inside of said skirt.

Chewing anything that doesn't move.

And attempting it even if it does move...

Being offered a treat & rather than accepting it like a gent, taking it like a Phirana & almost biting your fingers off as well as the treat offered.

Getting half way up the stairs & when confronted by somebody coming down (me ususally)) launching himself at bare feet so the person he's confronted runs up the stairs at the speed of light to avoid the pin sharp teeth & the puppy running to the top of the house as fast as his gangly legs will carry him before he's caught.

Falling in love with the resident snob cat. A Persian X who thinks she is the bee's knees & when the new puppy is scratched across the face by her, he is stupid enough to go back for more...!

On his recent trip to the vet, insisting on sicking on my bag rather than the ample newspaper provided for that very purpose.

Trying to get himself decapitated by attempting to run the gauntlet with closing doors. He seems to think he has the power to run through/avoid solid objects rather than collide with them.

Making out he is an abuse case when he's taken for walks. What is with the whining & laying down on the pavement squeaking like an underfed & underloved mongrel when all he's been asked to do is walk for five minutes?!

Trying to scare the postman by doing cat leaps with bared teeth. The postman laughs while the puppy tries a bit harder to ruin his boots...

When someone is loading the dishwasher with their used plate, thinking it his job to lick the crockery clean & attempt to climb in to the bottom drawer of said dishwasher.

Stealing laundry out of the washing basket as quickly as you're getting it off the line. Leading to 50% of the time chasing an errant puppy with a random item of clothing in his mouth & 50% actually doing the job you set out to do.

Peeing in shoes. Even though his puppy pad is right next to the shoe & he has free access to a perfectly good garden.

Refusing to step paw in the rain as he fears he may melt. Then proceeding to poo/pee on the kitchen floor. Before being told he is a Very Bad Boy & being shut in the garden for ten minutes.

Being caught wrecking the bean & chilli plants & then giving his best 'Me? I'm innocent' look. While holding a full leaf in his mouth & the wreckage of what was formerly known as a plant behind him.

Sam, who is supposed to be setting a good example & not following the reprobate behaviour of the new puppy, giving his best innocent look while simultaneously attemting to hide any evidence of wrongdoing. Like muddy paws/nose or chocolate smeared nose/paws (Sam has never stolen in the whole time he's been with us. Now he's acting like Fagin's top boy!)

Sam trying to hide his guilty look while the puppy tries his best innocent look. They both know they are completely in the wrong but wil try in their own way to worm their way out of trouble.
Sam's guilty look consists of small eyes & rapidly beating tail while the puppy just pulls his 'puppy face' & hopes for the best. He needs to start hoping a bit harder....

But for all that I wouldn't change them & I'd never have anything else other than a gundog now. They are so full of personality & love that it is impossible to see them than anything else other than their own people rather than 'just dogs'.

13 September 2009

On A Mission

I have decided I not only need to tone up completely (not washboard stomach & no thighs but just toned) & lose a tiny bit more weight but also I need to get fit. So, along with horse riding I am taking up pilates & (regular) swimming along with walking the new puppy & attempting to train him to walk properly & not drag me along as if I'm not even there!

I don't like the way the lessons are heading at my old yard. It's great for livery but not for lessons so I have moved to a new yard, had a taster lesson & booked a regular lesson as I feel I'm getting way more out of it than just sitting on the horse & carrying out instructions that I already know inside out.... Horse riding costs too much for that.

So, my new Instructor & yard are improving my technique & pushing me forward rather than going over old ground all the time which is what I wanted but didn't seem to be getting. Any horse riders who are reading this will know what I mean....

As for swimming & pilates.... I shouldn't really be doing any high impact sports so I only run a tiny bit & because I can't run as much as I'd like (which is rubbish because I really enjoy running), I've decided pilates & regular swimming is the way to go.

I am determined to get back to my toned & slim self so here goes! It is a horrible feeling when you put your old jeans on & they are ever so slightly too tight.....
Men are allowed to be slightly overweight, it suits them. I feel I just look slightly past my best with a bit more weight on me!
Then again, that could just be my built in paranoia but I've always stood by what makes me happy & I don't feel happy like I am so I'm changing it, slowly but surely.

Oh. No

I fear I am turning in to a chav. Or suffering a temporary lack of taste because for some inexplicable reason I am really liking these tracks *look of shocked embarrassment*!

Waley - Chillin'

Tinchy Strider - Tiny Dancer (I know what the original is like, even less of an excuse!)

I have no idea what is happening to my music taste but I really do hope it is a temporary blip & rectifies itself soon!

5 September 2009

Banksy Vs Bristol Museum

I was taken to see this last week & all I can say is it was amazing.
We got there at around 10.30am & didn't get in to the museum until 3.30pm. The queue was massive! There isn't much else that I'd even consider queueing for that amount of time to see but Banksy is not only iconic but also somebody who I think is a genuine artist. I find his art very amusing in most cases & I would have been kicking myself if I hadn't gone to see it. Especially as it is so close to me.

It did help that the person I went with was very good company & it certainly didn't feel like we'd spent five hours queueing.
I did feel kind of sorry for him on reflection though as I'm known for being a chatterbox.... Poor guy probably still has earache now!

We certainly didn't run out of conversation or get bored though so even the queueing was fun.
The only thing I did forget was to apply sunscreen properly before I went out. I was running late & the application was a bit hit & miss which is very unlike me as I have fair skin & burn fairly easily so I'm always conscious of the sun.

It was slightly overcast when I left with a bit of a chill in the air & then the minute we started queueing, the sun broke out & stayed out. Perfect weather as we had the sun but also a bit of a breeze.
The drawback of this is I now have a T-shirt shaped tan....! Worse, the T-shirt had slits down the back so my back is now faintly stripy... Not a look I'd recommend!

This link shows a little bit of what we saw :o)
There were some very good pictures on Banksy's website but they've been taken off.

If you have the opportunity to see a Banksy exhibition then I would highly recommend going.
Even if you're not in to art it's something that you will enjoy & at least see the funny side of, as I did when I saw a painting of the House of Commons with the MP's replaced with Chimpanzees..... ;o)