Cookery programmes, music and stuff

28 October, 2010

Well, here I am typing from my real keyboard at my desktop computer for the first time since… lemme see… mid July, I think! The screen looks absolutely HUGE, I have finally have music again ♥ and the spacebar doesn’t stick 🙂

I’ve been keeping a close eye on various cookery programmes, as usual, and having endured enjoyed a whole 4 months (!) of the first series of Australian Masterchef I’m now well into the second series. This series seems to be shorter, which is a bit of a relief. Much as I enjoyed all but the preliminary stages of the first one, I did feel as the final episodes approached as though I was nearing the end of some sort of gruelling mountain marathon of the mind…

I’m also delighted to see what I think must be the third series of Masterchef: The Professionals well underway. My money’s been on Claire the Scouser from the start, and I wiped away a small tear of joy and relief to see her win her place in the Finals, which start next week. I was sorry to see young Alice go–a closely fought battle, and I felt she was a bit unlucky to lose it–but I’m sure she’ll do well, whatever she does next.

Piglet continues to thrive, along with Puss-Puss. I’ve promised her a run in the woods a little later, but I suppose we’d better get a move on if we’re not going to be stuck out in the dark again, as we were a couple of days ago. It’s hard enough to keep track of Piglet’s rabbit-chasing antics in daylight, and virtually impossible after about 6pm, now that the days have begun to close in.

Here’s something I’ve not listened to for ages. I used to do a lot of running to this song, and listening to it now brings back an echo of pre-race tummy butterflies.

Paralympic Games — Learning Disabilities

23 November, 2009

Does is seem right that athletes with learning disabilities are to be allowed to compete against physically disabled athletes in the 2012 Paralympic Games?

To me it doesn’t seem fair. The whole point of having a separate set of games, I thought, was that athletes with physical disabilities are at a disadvantage when competing against able-bodied athletes.

Learning difficulties create difficulties of their own, but are they likely to adversely affect a person’s ability to move at speed/with strength, in the same way as a disability that affects limb function? In broad terms, I’d have thought not. (I say “in broad terms” because clearly some physical disabilities are more likely to affect speed/strength than others.)

All things considered, if I were a physically disabled athlete who had put in years of training I think I’d be feeling pretty fed up right now. Perhaps there should be a third category of olympic competition, specifically for those with learning disabilities…? It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Lost tent pegs — aaagh!

15 September, 2009


Just while I’m already whining…

I’ve lost my tent pegs! Where on earth can they be, I wonder? I hate to think of them lying out on some wet and windy hillside, crying in their little bag. If anyone hears tiny weeping noises while out walking in the Scottish Borders then please have a heart, and check the ground for my wee pegs. You’ll recognise them easily, because they’re the slightly bent titanium ones with a coating of dried mud, and they live in a little green Terra Nova peg bag. Poor things.

In the meantime, this provides me with an excuse to buy some new kit 🙂

Oh, God…

2 September, 2009


My house is on the market at the moment, and I’ve just shown a couple and their young daughter round.

How can it be that despite having spent hours tidying up (Piglet is very untidy…) it wasn’t until I showed them into my bedroom that I noticed the bra hanging from the top of the door?

*creeps away, horrified*

Edited to add: Okay, so I thought that was bad… but 30 minutes after the first lot I showed a second lot round, and in the intervening period Piglet had been upstairs and produced the largest poo ever produced by a Border Terrier, on one of the bedroom carpets.

I give up…

So, are all piglets this stupid, then?

6 August, 2008

Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get out of bed and navigate to my clothes in the morning.

I somehow missed out on microwaves. My father had a little one in the corner of the kitchen, but none of the rest of us really used it, and I’ve never caught up. A few years ago I thought I’d better get one, just in case. I thought it would be useful for defrosting home-made chicken stock. It seems it wasn’t, though. I think the stock is still in the bottom of the freezer.

Anyway… a couple of days ago I wanted to use some butter straight from the fridge. It was solid, and it occurred to me to shove it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. I did, and a few seconds later the microwave started making terrifying electrical flash things, and there was smoke, and loud noise and popping, sizzling noises. I was tempted to run, but I grabbed a tea towel and made a frantic poke at the Off button. Fortunately it stopped. It seems there must have been metal in the butter wrapper. How extremely scary it was! Shouldn’t butter wrappers come with some sort of warning?

And now today I realise that I’m too stupid to be able to work out how to use the zoom lens on my clever new D-SLR camera. With my little point-and-shoot I just pulled a lever thing that rested conveniently under one of my fingers, and the flower or insect dashed in close. There doesn’t seem to be such a lever on the new camera, though. I think perhaps I’m supposed to turn the housing on the lens, but in my Canon EOS 400D for Dummies book I was told that manually turning it might damage the lens, and now I’m terrified to touch it. And when I look up ‘Zoom’ in the Dummies index there’s nothing there 😦 I’m stuck…

Edited to add:
Okay, so I think I’ve sussed the zoom thing. It seems there’s a difference between the zoom barrel and the focusing ring, and it’s the focusing ring I’m not supposed to turn unless the camera is set to Manual Focus. Phew!