Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bailey! My how she's grown!

We are now officially "Dog people" as we acquired a Golden Retriever puppy that we called Bailey in April this year. We had her at 8 weeks and she is 6 months old now. She has grown from about 10lb to her current weight of about 50lb. She will probably end up at 70lb. She is a lovely dog. We did not have too much trouble with house training or destructive behavior. She is not great at walking on a leash but I expect that will come with time. Heres some pictures:

Talk about a coincidence!

Plymouth, MA is a lovely place. It is home to the Plymouth Plantation (a mock-up of a pilgrim village), the Mayflower II (replica of Mayflower which the pilgrims sailed across the ocean in to land in America) and Plymouth Rock (said to be the first rock the pilgrims stood on when they landed on shore after their arduous journey). Below is a picture of Plymouth Rock. Don’t you think it’s amazing that the first rock they stood on was one that actually had the date carved into it! What are the odds?!!!

Could it have been much worse?

Over the weekend I went to Plymouth, MA with a friend for a Pub Crawl. I won’t go into details, suffice to say it has motivated me to generate a “top-ten” list.
Ten things that would be worse than my pub crawl in Plymouth…
1. Staying in watching husband cut his toenails
2.  Having a pap smear
3. Cleaning hair out of the drain of the shower
4. Having a gum graft
5. Childbirth

6.   Nope…I don’t have ten. It was pretty bad…

Lesson Learned...Not!

I read in the BBC News today that a young woman holidaying in Cornwall was rescued by the same lifeboat crew three times in four days after being cut off by the tide.
In each case, she had been cut off by the tide while out walking and the lifeboat crews had to go into the water to rescue her.
She has since been given a "comprehensive safety briefing", the RNLI said. Despite her triple rescue ordeal, the woman was unhurt and said to be "fine".
“Fine”?! I think she must at least have a screw loose somewhere. And I hope that comprehensive safety briefing included the words “fucking idiot” …

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Latest painting

Female viagra

I read today that the US FDA has approved a pill known as the female Viagra pill. The drug is called Flibanserin, and is produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Apparently when taken daily by men, it reduces their beer bellies down to a six pack, silences their farts and gives them a six inch tongue. Sounds pretty effective...

(Apologies to my mother for this post)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pumping iron

On June 19th I posted an entry declaring my intention to return to the gym. Well I'm pleased to report that I did join up, and have also attended a weights class. After just one session I don't look quite the same as the model whose picture I posted, but the micro bikini is quite fetching...

More art?

We spent an hour or two wandering around the Centre Pompidou, Paris' modern art museum. The Musee National d'Art Moderne, France's national collection of art dating from 1905 onward, has  100,000 pieces on display, including the work of fauvists, cubists and surrealists as well as pop art and contemporary works.

I enjoyed many of the exhibits, such as those by Matisse and Monet, puzzled at the Picasso paintings, and was positively appalled by these little gems:

Sightseeing in Paris

Paris was everything I imagined, but was made even worse by the 90+ degree temperatures. It was hot, crowded, noisy and worst of all, full of arrogant French waiters. We barely got inside any of the attractions due to the 3hr ticket lines. However we saw the outside of many of Paris' finest landmarks. Here's a few pictures...

And on to Paris...

We took the high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris. It was relaxing looking out of the window at the passing scenery, although like most train-lines it passed through the worst, graffiti covered areas as well as open countryside. Navigating the Paris metro with a large, heavy suitcase was difficult (at least for Tony who was the one carrying it). But we eventually made our way through the crowds to our hotel, the imaginatively named, Paris France Hotel.

What to say about our hotel? Well, as Tony stated, "I kept expecting Basil Fawlty to make an appearance". Nuff said...

The hotel has been around since the 1920s. The rooms varied, we had one with a really big, modern bathroom, and one where the shower was so small, if you dropped the soap you were guaranteed to be gripping the shower hose between your buttocks once you'd stood up.

We did have some great views from our hotel balcony though...

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Time for dinner

Here we are connecting as a family at the rooftop restaurant "Floor 17" in our hotel in Amsterdam...

I believe its called "Art"

Today Tony and I returned to the Anne a Frank house to see if arrival before it actually opened would avoid the queues. How wrong we were! The line was three times as long as yesterday, so we gave up on that and went back to the hotel to enjoy a morning coffee on the rooftop terrace of the hotel ( floor 19). Later we went to visit the Rijksmuseum, which was in a very impressive building and contained pictures and other exhibits from Dutch artists.

I enjoyed seeing the 3 Van Gogh paintings, I assume the rest are in the aptly named Van Gogh museum. I was not so impressed with the other exhibits, but here's one painting that did catch my eye. I captured the main essence of it in this picture...

And here's a couple of pieces of modern art. The first one needs no explanation other than to note that this is not a model of an owl...

I believe for this last one, the artist had visited one too many " coffee shops" beforehand. Don't you just love the effort that's been put in, especially with the pubic hairs made out of nails !!

AmsterDAMN (thank you Robert!)

The first day of our vacation went well. After learning how to use the Amsterdam tram system, we made our way to the old town to take in the sites. A canal tour seemed in order so, after a false start on a boat whose propellor broke within the first 5 minutes, we set off on an upgraded boat where we were served a glass is something sparkling whilst navigating through the waterways of the city. Very relaxing, especially in the 100 degree heat!

We were amazed at the number of bicycles around the city, hundreds if not thousands. There were bicycle lanes everywhere and you were as likely to get run down by a bike when crossing a road as you were by a car or a tram.

Later we went to a photography museum, which included a section called people are strange, here's a couple of my favorite exhibits.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Three point five hours of creativity

Today we had to go into Newport to open bank accounts and other riveting activities. Newport is the town of my birth and quite frankly, is a bit of a dump, but it's essentially what I remember. However the entertainment seems to have changed somewhat from the druken haze that was my youth. We saw the below notice board, being scrutinized with some disbelief by two old ladies..." Good grief!" One of them said, "I'm still trying to get my knee fixed, I've got no time to fix that!".

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back in the home country

Just arrived back in the UK after traveling from Boston last night, via Dublin. Here's a couple of things I heard on the way:

In Dublin from the stewardess at the gate ..."passengers for Bristol, please proceed true gate tree tree tree"

In England, from my GPS/Sat Nav ... " at the roundabout take second exit to the roundabout, then enter the roundabout"

Aye, it's good to be home!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Latest masterpiece

Just finished this painting of Trafalgar Square. Its almost like you were there!!!

Senior prom

High School prom....what in gods name is that all about? Emma got asked to the Senior prom this year by a guy who she didn't even know. Of course she accepted...

So what's involved in preparing for the prom? We, obviously we had to get her a dress. I thought that might be fun. We went prom dress shopping with her and her friend. Hundreds of net and tulle long dresses which, frankly, all looked the same apart from slight variations in color and amount of bling attached. After trying on a bazillion, and her friend having to try them on too (whats with that?), a dress was selected. But this was only the start. We needed silver sandals to go with the dress (ka-ching!), a small clutch bag in just the right shade of apricot (ka-ching!), a sparkly necklace (ka-bloody-ching), a hair decoration (ka-you get the gist), a boutonnière (huh?). My wallet was empty and my enthusiasm drained.

The day of the event arrived. Emma's entourage of friends came to help her get ready. There were 8 girls in my bathroom, perched on the side of the bath, the toilet, wherever, doing her hair and makeup and generally offering advice. I was tempted to join them and see if I could pickup a few tips...Then we had photos in the garden. Each friend needed a photo taken with Emma. Then the group shots of varying combinations. By the time her date arrived we'd all forgotten who he was and why he was there. More photos...

Thank goodness it only happens once per year -  I (and my wallet) need time to recover.

Fun at Armsby Abbey

Spent a very enjoyable evening at the Armsby Abbey pub in Worcester last night (http://armsbyabbey.com). We went with 2 other couples,  never been before but what a fun place! Good music, excellent food, lots of atmosphere, dimmed lights, eclectic crowd. They even had homemade pork scratchings/cracklin'!! The Armsby Abbey specializes in beers from local micro-breweries. I had "Weihenstephaner Hefe Dunkel" - the glasses were huge (as shown by the picture)... I would've had more than two glasses but it got too difficult to pronounce...

I detect a problem

Is there anything worse than being woken up at 4AM by the small beep of a smoke detector indicating its battery is running low. Thats what happened to us this morning. We have approximately 9 detectors scattered over the 4 floors of our house and its impossible to tell which one is emitting the beep. The beeps are about 2 minutes apart. The only way to tell is to stand under each one staring up at it on the ceiling, waiting for the beep

I lay in bed thinking, I can sleep through this....it will stop in a minute. But it didn't stop. Thankfully I have a husband who is much better at this sort of thing than me, so I graciously let him do the honors. Hopefully this will explain to the neighbors that the naked man standing on a stool looking skyward at 4AM was not us trying out a variation of a 50 Shades scenario...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Not a piss artist any more

In the past 2 years I've started painting, not my usual walls and wood trim, but watercolor painting. I took a few lessons and liked it. I'm not great at it but I'm improving. Heres a few of the paintings I have completed (and that I'm prepared to show here!)
Makes a change from being a piss artist I guess (non-UK visitors go here for a translation: http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/p.htm)