Thought for the Week

"A hug is a perfect gift - one size fits all and nobody minds if you give it back."

Earthquakes and Hangovers

WOW! What a truly eventful weekend!!

Friday night, went out with the girls. Did all the usual, round the pubs, girly chat, drinking games, dancing to the live music in some bars, then went for a Chinese meal.

I was busy chatting away to one of the girls I had never met before, we were getting on like a house on fire, but then I would hear "Come on, drink up slow coach". Looking round there was a bunch of faces all looking at me, all with empty glasses or bottles, and all waiting expectantly for me to shut up and drink up! So, almost every pub ended up with me downing my bottle in one, or there-a-bouts. Needless to say, it didn't take me long to get tipsy. Yes, tipsy. It took a little bit longer for me to get well and truly drunk! But I did.

The meal was great. Lots of lovely spicy food and a good old natter. Not sure what we talked about, I was too drunk to remember, but I got home about 1am, waffled to both my girls as I recall, who hadn't long been in themselves and went to bed.

I remember someone asking me if I needed to say hello to the inside of the toilet bowl before I went to bed!!! I wasn't THAT drunk I told them.

I certainly didn't have any problem falling asleep. It was staying asleep I had trouble with. I woke at 2:30 and went down to the kitchen for a pint of water. I remember being a little wobbly on my feet, but hey, it was dark, it had nothing to do with the copious amounts of alcohol I had consumed.

At 04:15 and again at 06:00 I once more visited the kitchen for glasses of water. Still feeling worse for wear, but at least I was sobering up, I thought.

At 06:45 I woke yet again. This time though, it was the cold sweat syndrome. You know the one, that cold sweat that happens directly before being sick!!!! Hell yeah. 5 minutes later I was knelt in front of the toilet bowl, I would have stood but I couldn't. I had a hair band in my pocket which I immediately tied my hair back with... (been there before!!) and I waited.

I waited some more. I felt like death warmed up. The cold sweat intensified. The sea-sickness too. I sat on the floor with my back against the wall, my knees up, my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands.

Boy did I feel sorry for myself.

Eventually, the deed was done. The multi coloured chinese was no more and I clearly remember thinking to myself, 'It's not all bad, at least it didn't have time to make me put weight on' lol.

I brushed my teeth and went back to bed feeling somewhat better.

The last time I woke up was about 8am. I came out of my bedroom, G had just gotten dressed and my youngest daughter came out of her room too. She took one look at me and said "What a mess Mum"

"thanks darling, I love you too" I laughed.

With that, she was about to go into the bathroom, and I pushed infront of her. The cold sweats were back and I had a feeling they weren't going to wait for a teenagers time span of 'quickly'.

This time, stood in front of the toilet, I had my hands rested on the shelf, and groaned a little. Then, with no more warning, up it came. The final contents of my stomach. Hell I felt rough.

Picture it. Standing bent in two over the toilet, feeling like nothing on earth and suddenly....

.... the bloody house began to shake.

I remember thinking "What the f**k" as I turned my head, still bent over the toilet towards the doorway. The rumbling and shaking continued for about 10 seconds, and as I looked up the towels were dancing and things were falling of shelves. I swear I saw the wall move too.

I came out of the bathroom to calls from downstairs from G and immediately said to him "Did the earth move for you too darling" but he didn't see the funny side!

He swore some expletives I won't repeat and went out into the street, thinking the chimney had collapsed or something huge had crashed into the house.

I peered out of the landing window, and one by one, the neighbours began to come out of their house. It was so surreal. Everyone was emerging into the street. All with the same question. "What in God's name was that"

The immediate thought, when everyone realised it wasn't just their own house, was a terrorist attack on the nuclear plant at Dungeness, but we quickly discounted that as we were all still alive.

Maybe it was a terrorist attack on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link! Maybe it was a huge gas explosion.. shit, it couldn't have been, not to have made the houses rock like that.

Earthquake someone said. How the heck could it be an earthquake, we are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not on the edge, not near a fault line.

The landlines were all dead.

The mobile network was almost no use at all because so many people were trying to use it simultaneously.

The electricity was dead.

No one could get any information.

There were sirens

Lots of sirens.

Then the whirring of a helicopter. A quick dash into the garden showed it was a police helicopter ambulance from a neighbouring county.

More sirens. The air was filled with them. Police. Ambulance. Fire Brigade.

G had gone to check on his Mum. She had a battery operated radio and this was the first concrete information we got.

An earthquake had hit. Measuring 4.3 with the epicentre just a couple of miles away.

Holy Shit. Excitement. Nerves. Confusion.

It was hard to know what to do. So we stayed put and waited for the electricity to be restored so that we could get news updates from the TV.

More whirring. Another helicopter.

Sky News! Damn, they didn't take long to get here.

More sirens.

More whirring.

The electricity was finally restored about 2 hours after the earthquake hit. Sky News was running with it as Breaking News, headline story.

The TV pictures were very surreal. They were of the road two away from mine mostly. Chimneys broken, destroyed. Some sitting precariously where they had once stood firm. Some were covering the sidewalk. The police were taping houses off and evacuating the occupants. The Fire Brigade were being deployed to remove the worst affected stacks first.


We were very lucky at home. A couple of minor cracks indoors, but the chimney stack looks pretty secure.

A very good friend of mine didn't fare so well though.

The vibrations and shaking were obviously too much for him.

He fell, breaking his leg and several other parts of his body.

He may never be the same again.

He's in bits!

But at least it was only an ornament!!!


This is what I what I walked into in the office this morning!!! Lucky it happened at the weekend!! Thats my desk under that lot!!!! lol

Personality and Pinholes

OK, I am being very lax in posting... so little time, so much to do.

Inview of this, today, I have cheated. I have stolen this entry, right out of the pages of Miss Understood, seemed like a good plan, on account of the fact that I have a zillion and one photos to edit and nearly as much work left to do on my exam!

The idea is a Personality test. Why don't you all have a go too? Click here and see what sort of personality you have, you might surprise yourself!!! I did.

If you roll over the coloured squares, it tells you a bit about me, how I think, how I see the world and my strengths and weaknesses!!!! Believe any of it you like, just ignore the red bit!!! It's not true, least not on any day of the week with a 'y' in it!

In my hurry to get back to what I should really be doing, I'm gonna leave you with a couple of the pinholes I developed last week.

These are a couple of exposures I have made as part of my exam material:

Today's News

While writers block is turning out to be rather more of a hinderance than usual, I came up with a backup plan! I'm resourceful like that!

OK. So I came up with a plan completetly by accident, give me a break.

I logged onto the internet this morning and my home page had the headline:

33 killed in college massacre

This story has been all over our news, and I guess it will be for the next week or more. I felt I wanted to say something, but what could anyone say, other than the obvious?

How was it allowed to happen?

Should America think about tightening their gun laws?

This is the question that is always raised, at least here in Britain, everytime we here tragic news story's like these. These story's have become all too familiar, and the trouble with that is the shock value when the story breaks diminishes with every new one. The shock value, I guess, is what makes people take action for change.

Anyway, I digress. I quickly decided two things. One, that there were probably not sufficient words to express what I felt. Two, selfishly, I wanted to write about more light-hearted things.

So I read down the list of News headlines.

Call to bring back Grammar Schools

As a past Grammar school student myself, I back this plan 100%, but is not very light-hearted, so I move onto the next one.

2.5M households facing fuel poverty

Fuel prices. Grrrrrr, don't get me started on that one, how can the government allow these companies to raise their prices by 20 - 30%? Nope, this is definitely NOT lighthearted.

I continue looking down the list of headlines.




... all doom and gloom.

Is there nothing, apart from blogland, that could shine a beacon of smiles today? Then I saw this one!!

Hungarian Motorway blocked by 5000 rabbits

I just had to click the link to read the story. You gotta haven't ya? How the hell do 5000 rabbits come to be on the motorway?

Mental image No. 1:

Maybe that's not what they meant!!!

How do rabbits block the motorway? Are they being herded by a shepherd like sheep are, or by a farmer like cows? I don't think so!! lol

So I openend the link and read the story.

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary's busiest highway, connecting Budapest with the Austrian capital Vienna, was closed early on Monday after a truck carrying rabbits crashed, letting 5,000 of the animals loose on the road, police said.

... So, let me get this straight. The lorry crashed, the doors flew open, 5000 rabbits ran out of the back of the truck, and decided to conduct a sit-down protest on the motorway right?

The M1 motorway was closed around 40 km (25 miles) west of Budapest and could remain closed for hours while police try to capture the escaped animals, highway police spokeswoman Viktoria Galik said.

... So, let me get this straight, the lorry crashed, the doors flew open, 5000 rabbits ran out of the back of the truck, and decided to conduct a sit-down protest on the motorway right?

Get real. Closed for several hours?
You mean to tell me that a rabbit, on an outing with 4999 of his nearest and dearest is going to just sit there.

How long do you think it takes a rabbit to leg it?

What would you do?
Stand there, with all your mates because you miss that little cage you were trapped in...

... throw a party and entertain the motorists...

... or would you run for it...
Hey, Watership Down, comes to mind! Where is Fiver and his sixth sense when you need him huh?

"There are thousands of them on the road but they're not using their newfound freedom well; they're just sitting around, eating grass and enjoying the sun," Galik told Reuters.

Ok. So, the lorry crashed, and 5000 rabbits DID run out of the back of the truck, and sit on the motorway!

Stupid rabbits.



Run for your lives little bunnies.

My Guest House

In my last entry Miss U said she liked the photograph of my house and wanted to come and stay, which of course she is welcome to, anytime.

I did however mention to her that I have a small guest house she could stay in if she wanted to visit, and promised that I would post the pinhole photograph I took of it.

Now my brain is in gear, I realise I am not back at college for another week yet, and so, early this morning, before work, I wandered down the garden to the house and took a couple of shots, exterior and interior, so I could blog it for her anyway.

I figured photographing it early in the morning was the best way of ensuring nosey neighbours wouldn't jump to the conclusion that I was selling up, taking shots for the estate agents, etc.

That got me to thinking.... (yes, I do occasionally!)... how would the estate agent market the property if I were to put it on the market?

We are pleased to be offering this purpose built guest house situated in a poplular area of the town. Just a short distance from the motorway, harbour and Channel Rail Link, and on the main bus route.

The property was fully renovated 3 years ago and benefits from lounge, kitchen, bathroom, one bedroom and is within reasonable walking distance of the town centre. It also provides a good sized, well established garden and patio area.

Viewing highly recommended.

So, Laney, what do you think so far? Fancy coming to visit?

The garden is quite large, and being established, there is plenty of wildlife. Birds of all varieties are regular visitors, we even have a woodpecker. We are on the edge of the town here, and it has been known for the odd fox to stray into the garden in search of food too.

Very, very early in the morning, you can sometimes hear the hedgehogs snuffling in the borders rooting around for breakfast-

The baby rabbits are really cute when the come out to play, and they don't seem to be bothered by us at all, they just sit there and stare at us-

and next doors cat visits daily. Poor cat, I don't think they can be feeding it properly, it always seems so skinny and it's fur has fallen out-

Do you think I should call the RSPCA?

Oh, one drawback, but you can't have everything, I haven't finished furnishing the house yet and so for now the dining room only has patio furniture in it... I sure hope that doesn't put you off visiting me though-

On the plus side - we do have a washing machine in there already, so that you can keep ontop of you holiday washing. Saves that awful end of holiday washing mountain when you get home again doesn't it!-

I think that about sums it up really. I guess you would like to see the whole thing wouldn't you.

Well, here it is --- my Guest House -

And yes, I know.

I'm a MAD COW!!!

Keep smiling.

Pinhole - Chapter Two

OK, so I may be a little late, but I got here in the end!!

Several of you have asked me what happened to the second pinhole photograph I took and have been patiently waiting for me to post the results.


I developed the picture at college a couple of weeks ago, duly washed it and let it dry. I was pleased with the result, at least there was an image, and eagerly scanned it and saved the scanned negative onto my key drive to take home and work on.

So far so good....

I did the same with two other pinholes I had taken. One was of my Mums front garden and one was of the beach. Each one was processed and scanned and carefully saved.

I put the negatives into an envelope to protect them and keep them from getting scratched and took everything home. I even remembered to remove the last negative from under the scanner!!

I went home and proudly showed off my new pinhole pics. :o)

I took them to my Mums and showed her.

I took them into work and showed anyone and everyone that looked even slightly interested!!

So far so good....

I spent some time working on the images, reverting them from negative and adjusting the sharpness and contrast etc, but didn't have time to write about them. College work had to take priority, so for the next few days I concentrated on that. I have several key drives, and I tend to take whatever I am currently working on into work and spend my lunch break on it, generally this means a little less time is required on them at home; at least in theory it does.

Once I had achieved the necessary college results, I decided it was time to get this entry written.

1 computer - check
1 blog account - check
1 pair of hands with fingers all attached - check
1 keyboard and one mouse - check
1 key drive - check

I signed in to my blog, flexed my fingers, and was poised over the keyboard. I decided to upload the images first. Does anyone else find it frustrating that you write half a page, and then when you insert a picture, you have to drag it all the way down from the top where it plants itself?

I find it tiresome, especially when, not knowing about these things, I find all of a sudden I have extra line spaces wherever I have used the enter key and have to go back into the html and delete all those pidling spans... oh, just me then!

So, I put my key into the USB port, it was empty. I have two identical ones, I had picked up the wrong one obviously.

I put the other one in the port.

College stuff.

I put the third, different, key drive into the computer.






So there you have it. After all the years I have used computers, I had managed to delete my pinhole images before I had transferred them to my computer. Bugger.

This is the first opportunity I have had to rescan them, and hence the reason you have waited so long!!! Told you I had a bad memory!!! The air was a little blue for a while... lol.. but at least I still had the negatives.

This is the negative of a photograph I took in my back garden. The two vertical dark lines are where the light has bounced around the curves of my tin because I used gloss paper.

Once I had inverted and flipped the photograph, this is the scene that I shot. Due to my insane stupidity, I have only spent about 5 minutes touching this one up, but still, is not bad for my second attempt I guess.

I have now purchased some matt paper and have taken a few more, yet to be developed. Hopefully this will eliminate the light bounce and leave a clearer, cleaner image.

My Interview

OK. I have been interviewed by the lovely Miss Understood, so here are the questions:

1) Single women…the ones who never seem to be able to find the right man…often envy their married friends and the lifestyle they lead. The company, someone to love and support them, someone to just curl up with on the sofa, someone to take them to B&Q or bring them a cup of tea in bed. Do you, or have you ever wished that you were single? Even just fleetingly? If so, what were the circumstances?

Absolutely I have, but it has only ever been fleetingly.

It is my nature, possibly a maternal trait, to put myself last in the pecking order of family life, whether that be what to have for dinner, or making time for something important to me etc. I cannot take care of my own needs until I am happy that everyone else's needs have been met.

Many times in the early years of my marriage I wished that I was single. Singledom would mean NOT having to be answerable to anyone but yourself, NOT putting myself last everytime, NOT having to consider 4 other people everytime I wanted to slip out, and singledom also would have meant being able to grab 10 minutes to myself whenever I needed. These thoughts were always fleeting, as the very thought of not being with G, made me immediately grateful that I wasn't single. (I know, I know, here's the sick bucket... do try not to overfill it!!!)

2) Is there anything that you still want to achieve or do during your time on this earth? If you were given a death sentence tomorrow, would you feel satisfied that you’ve led a happy and fulfilled life?

The one thing I would most like to achieve I guess is to run my own business, successfully. I aim to make that happen, and in the not too distant future too.

If I was given a death sentence tomorrow? I guess I could make a big long list about how this part of my life was unhappy or that part was not fulfilling, couldn't we all. At the end of the day, I would leave this world satisfied that I have raised 3 wonderful children of whom I am extremely proud. They have grown into lovely young adults with good manners, good sense of humours and they know right from wrong. They are all hard working members of the community, never expecting that they can sit on their backsides and the world will owe them a living. They have very strong family values and if I never achieve anything else whilst still here on earth, I will die a happy woman.

3) Do you ever worry about getting old? How do you feel about the way you look? How confident/happy are you with your body image compared to 20 years ago?

This feels like you're cheating this is definitely 3 questions right here... !!!!

i) Age - I worry often about getting old. I get aches and pains in places that 5 years ago I wasn't even aware of!!! I hate the thought of becoming incapacitated when I am old, of not being able to care for myself. At least if the mind goes first, you don't know what you're missing... hang on a sec... I think my mind already went!!

ii) Looks - I'm pretty happy with the way I look now, clothed at least. The last few years, while finding life more than a little difficult to cope with, I let my weight run away with itself. Last May, I decided enough was enough and joined Weight Watchers. Since then I have lost 36 lbs and have only 4½ lb to go to goal.

iii) Compared to 20 years ago - Well me stomachs gone south, my boobs too, the eyes have bigger bags, and the grey has just started to creep in. The flexible bits are not so flexible and the curvy bits are more like detours in comparison, but what the heck.

4) Is there a secret to having a successful marriage? Has your happiness with G come naturally, or do you think you both had to make sacrifices for it to have worked and lasted so long?

There's no secret, it's a cliche, but you have to work at it.

My happiness with G was not always so strong. In the early days, it was quite stormy sometimes. It would be unfair of me to describe specifics when he has no means of reply, but in the end it boils down to one question. Do you want to be together?

If both parties really want it to work and really love the other, and both partners can talk calmly and openly about what they want and what upsets them then I don't see that it's a question of 'sacrificing' ........

A strange analysis:

You know that if you were to put your white shirt in the washing machine with a brand new red shirt, the white shirt is gonna be pretty pi**ed off when it comes out pink. Come to that, you'd be pretty peeved too, so what do you do?

You don't decide to put them in together anyway and sod the consequence do you?

You don't decide to just not bother washing the red shirt either ....

You just wash them seperately, you 'adjust' the way you wash them but you still wash them.

Marriage is pretty much like's not a question of 'sacrificing' ........ it's more a question of 'adjusting'

5) If you could spend a day photographing any person in the world, who would it be and why?

Oh gosh, this is a tough one. Who would I choose. I am tempted to say... nah, the bucket is probably already full from question one!!! So who. I'm allowed to photograph anyone right! OK, seriously.

I would photograph you Laney. I would love to spend the morning being able to rummage through your wardrobe and have a fashion shoot with you, a fun, playful shoot. Then in the afternoon I would love to photograph some extremely tasteful glamour shots, something gorgeous, in a soft diffused light. I might even split the profits with you!!! lol