David Bowie — Touched my Life

11 January, 2016

I’m more than sad today to hear of the death of the incomparable David Bowie.

When my sister and I were muddy little sprogs growing up in the country with our lively and equally naughty pals across the fields the four of us couldn’t afford to buy a lot of albums, but there were two that we listened to all the time. One of them was Hunky Dory, and the sounds of it will forever be all muddled up in my mind with my memories of those golden early teenage days, and etched into my heart.

Not that I’m the first to ask the question, but where does life go? It seems to have flashed past from 14 to 54 in the blink of the proverbial eye.

Bizarrely, in the circumstances, my sister returned from New York this morning. She flew over last week to see DB’s new play and to watch a tribute band. Happily, she didn’t hear of DB’s death until she got home this morning. Now she feels it like a family bereavement.

I’d die happy to have been able to write just one line of one verse of any of these tunes. RIP David Bowie, and thank you x


Oh! You Pretty Things

Eight Line Poem

Life on Mars



Fill Your Heart

Andy Warhol

Song for Bob Dylan

Queen Bitch

The Bewlay Brothers






Stranger and stranger…

24 February, 2010

I’m not good at remembering to check the land-line answerphone but I noticed it flashing this morning. I found there a message from a young woman from a Personnel Services company. She said she was ringing to ask whether I might be interested in a job as an ‘Inbound Sales & Services’ operative for the Co-Op bank, and she left a number and asked me to ring her back.

I couldn’t understand how she came to be ringing me, or even to have my name and telephone number, as I’ve not applied to any Personnel Services companies and nor have I applied to the Co-Op bank for a job. I rang, though, largely out of curiosity, and she said she’d rung me yesterday and that her call had been about a job in Skelmersdale for a salary of £12,750-£14,950 plus some commission and benefits.

Even more curious, I asked what the benefits were. She said she would put me onto a colleague who would tell me more. I asked whether her colleague would then pass me back, and she sounded a bit vague and said, “probably.”

So, 20 seconds or so later I was put onto a young man. He didn’t seem to know that he was meant to be telling me about benefits, so I explained the history of my telephone call so far, and why I came to be ringing. He then said the benefits included health care, a pension scheme and an annual bonus. He explained that the job involved taking incoming calls from customers and then trying to sell the bank’s products to them.

He asked if I’d be interested, and I said that potentially I would. He then said the first step would be to do a credit check. I said I’d expect the first step to be for me to make an application, but he said not, since it involved working for a bank. Um… what? I asked him the name of his company again, as I’d not got it down properly in the first instance, and said I’d go and look it up before considering the matter any further.

Is it just me, or does this sound peculiar in the extreme? Ringing people out of the blue in respect of jobs they’ve not applied for (I asked the young woman I initially spoke to how she came to have my name and telephone number, but she wasn’t able to tell me) and then wanting to do a credit check before a job has even been applied for…???

Is there some obvious scam I’m overlooking? I don’t intend to ring them back, btw, but if there’s something obvious that should have occurred to me as an explanation then please point it out. The name of the company is Rullion Personnel Services, and they do seem to exist.

Choices have consequences

11 February, 2010

I’ve been trying to find a way to set this thread to ‘No Comments’, but either it isn’t possible or I’m just too thick to work it out. I’d appreciate it if people didn’t post any comments, though, because I just want to convey a bit of information and a POV, and I don’t feel able to deal with comments (whether kind or otherwise) at the moment.

I use the internet a lot, and, as all of us who do will have noticed, a practice has grown up amongst some people of imagining that they can write any old poisonous, malignant, insulting, hurtful stuff they like from behind their computers, and in particular (though not exclusively) to strangers. I suppose a few of them behave that way face-to-face as well, but I’ve got the impression that the majority of them believe that what we say from behind our computers doesn’t really constitute ‘real life’, and that real people won’t be hurt.

That’s rubbish, of course. We’re all real people, and our interactions on the internet are just as real as those we have anywhere else. We’re responsible for what we do and say to strangers on the net in precisely the same way as we are for what we do and say to people face-to-face.

Life is often a hurtful business, of course, and I don’t expect anybody to be able to get through it without suffering some scrapes and bruises. Nor do I believe that people should censor their views on the off-chance that they might offend somebody else. On the contrary, I believe it’s important that we should be able to say what we believe. We don’t have to say it nastily, though, which is the point of this posting. We don’t have to flail around wildly, or go for the jugular and aim to inflict maximum pain in order to make a point. I don’t understand why any decent person would want to post that way, and certainly not in somebody else’s space.

I know I’ve expressed this POV before, both here and elsewhere, and some of you who’ve seen me saying it may feel I sound like a broken record. Maybe some people think I’m sanctimonious. Well, if so then so be it. I’m saying it again, because I feel it’s important.

By way of illustration, as a direct result of things said by two people in the thread I posted here two days ago I received an email, this morning, terminating a friendship. On the face of it that might sound childish, but the point is that the friend who wrote to me had–rightly or wrongly–been so affected by things said on here that she just couldn’t get past it, and felt that things could never be the same between us again. That was not the result of things that I had said.

That friendship was very important to me, and the loss of it will cause me pain for the rest of my life. As a side-effect I’ve also had to withdraw from the Challenge, but the real loss is that of my friend.

I know that in the main I’m preaching to the converted, here, as only once or twice has anybody ever got nasty on this blog. I don’t plan to start moderating comments, because, despite recent events, I still don’t believe I need to. I feel so strongly about this subject, though, particularly in the light of this morning’s events, that I wanted to point out exactly what can happen when we choose to batter strangers on the internet. Things said here ARE personal: they DO wound, and the reality is that sometimes they’re INTENDED to do so.

Again: please don’t leave responses this time, for the reason I gave at the top.

Yesterday’s thread

10 February, 2010

I’ve made yesterday’s thread private, because I found the sight of the nastiness on it so utterly depressing this morning.

Anyone who posted to it, who for any reason wants to re-read it, should drop me an email, and I’ll find a way to make it accessible to you.

I’ve never done this before with a thread on my blog. I hope it’s the first and last time.

Spaying Piglet…

2 February, 2010

I spoke to the vet about spaying this evening.

I’ve been looking into it since Piggly was a little baby (she’s now an adolescent of 14.5 months old) and I decided I wanted her to have a couple of seasons first, because apparently whipping a little puppy’s bits out before they’ve matured stunts the dog’s development (despite the advice from many vets to have them ‘done’ at 6 months, before they’ve had a first period). At the same time, though, there are what appear to be objective studies which demonstrate that piglets puppies who go unspayed are more prone to hormone-related diseases (including cancer) later in life.

I also took advice also from a friend of my bezzy online pal–a highly regarded breeder of terriers–and I reckon that now that Piglet’s had two seasons it’s time to have her spayed. Having spoken to the vet, I think I’m going to book her in for Monday 22nd February.

Still, despite feeling pretty sure that it’s all for the best, I can’t shake off a feeling of real unhappiness at the idea of it. I’ve tried to work out why, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is it because I’ve not had puppies children of my own, and regret that? I don’t know, but that’s probably part of it. It could aso be because she’s such a truly lovely little dog in every way–pretty, loving, playful, michievous–and it seems a shame not to pass those Piggly genes on. That’s probably part of it too. I know I don’t like the idea of her being in pain after the operation, but in life, of course, it’s sometimes necessary to bear a little pain for a greater good.

I’m planning to ring the vet in the morning to make the appointment. Nothing is set in stone, though, so if anybody out there has strong views one way or the other then please let me know. I like to take everything into account before making decisions about important stuff like this.

*cries a bit*

*goes off to hug little Piglet*


21 January, 2010

Baby PW -- My last good night's sleep!

I have to get a new bed.

Now that Piglet, Piss-Piss and I share sty space, my existing bed is no longer large enough. Nor is it comfy enough. And the duvet is too small.

I keep waking up with Piglet lying right in the middle of the bed, hogging the covers, and having to try to drape my legs around her. As soon as I get comfy the cat comes to lie on my head on the pillow, and drools on my hair!

*rubs eyes*

I’ve been up since 3am. This has to stop!

I’m now thinking of buying an ultra-comfy bed to last me years and years and years. Once I have it I plan to get in and stay there. Quite possibly permanently, if I don’t catch up on sleep soon…

I’m thinking Vi-Spring. Any other recommendations, peeps?

This was quite a good one too

Should I get a water meter?

14 January, 2010


Trying to get organised here, I’m currently sticking bills and things in a folder. Not something that comes naturally, it has to be said *g*

Anyway, I’ve noticed that last year my water rates were £489 and this year they’re going to be £618. For one person who doesn’t use a great deal of water, this feels like a lot of money.

D’you reckon I should get a water meter, peeps?

A whinge

13 January, 2010

I applied for a job back in November. It was with a large, national employer that I’m not going to identify here, because of course I’m afraid that if they stumble across my complaint then that’ll be the end of my prospects of a job with them.

Anyway, they were advertising a job in the town where I live. I had a letter inviting me for interview, and I went along in December. I had aptitude tests and an interview, and then I filled in what felt like a hundred forms.

A couple of weeks later I received a letter telling me that I’d been succcessful. Deep joy! However, as I read on it turned out that they’d actually been conducting a recruitment ‘excercise’ across the whole county, and that I’m now on a waiting list of people qualifed to be appointed to jobs as, when and/or if they arise during the next 6 months. Heaven only knows how many other people might be on the list, and how many jobs (if any) might eventually turn out to be available.

This has really pissed me off. I need to get a job to help cover my expenses while I wait to sell my blasted house. I also need a job to get a mortgage in order to buy my next house, since this one’s now been on the market for more than 12 months, and obviously I have bills to pay. If they’d come clean and made it clear that they were simply conducting some sort of notional recruitment exercise I’d still have applied, but at least then I’d have known where I stood, and wouldn’t have imagined that by the end of January I’d be able to cover the bills without eating further into my rapidly dwindling capital.

IMO it’s cruel to draw people into this sort of process with the promise of well-paid (well, ish…) employment at the end of it, and only when they’ve jumped successfully through all the hoops tell them that there might well not be a job after all. This employer should certainly know better.

Right. Whinge over for now.


11 January, 2010

I have a streaming cold.

Can’t imagine how that can have happened…

*goes off to find fresh hankies*

Yippee!!! Thank you, Gayle :-)

8 January, 2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you to multi-talented Gayle, who’s solved my boiler problem!

It’s not yet entirely clear what caused the problem, but talking it through with Gayle on the phone helped me to ID the switch on the wall… I turned the boiler off, and then turned it on again, and after that the water became hot!

Gayle is lucky not to be here, because if she was I’d be swinging her round the room and covering her in happy kisses ♥ So would Piglet and Puss-Puss, who were beginning to look decidedly blue.

I’m off for a lovely soak in the bath, now, while I bake a huge potato, and then I’m going to watch the magificent Horizon’s The Secret Life of the Dog, which was recommended to me as brilliant by a woman I met on the Ingleton to Lancaster bus this morning. The woman loved Piggly (who crawled onto her knee from mine, wee ungrateful monster!), and she said that she’s going to look them up on the internet tonight (Border Terriers, that is) with a view to getting one.

Whooohoooo! Thank you, Gayle!!! ♥ And thank you again to all the rest of you who made helpful suggestions. Y’all are absolutely the best! ♥ ♥ ♥

p.s. Oh… and to anybody who found it confusing that the electric shower didn’t produce any hot water… it turns out that it’s not an electric shower after all. Doh… Thanks again to Gayle for info! *g*