31.8.07

DIABOLUS
FELINO!


It's the Devil Cat,
Part Six.


THE GRILL HANDLE MYSTERY
OF COLLIERS WOOD


We decided to barbeque the other night
but it got bit cloudy and cool so I thought
I'll do the burgers under the grill.

I needed the handle for the grill. It normally
lives behind the sink next to the kitchen
window behind the draining rack. Nobody
had used it for weeks so that's
where it should've been.

But it wasn't. So I'm thinking well maybe
somebody's used it and put it away somewhere
else, a drawer, a cupboard perhaps. I go
through every single drawer and
cupboard in the kitchen. Nothing.

Then I start looking behind the cooker,
maybe it's fallen there.
No. Under it? No.


I was completely stumped. It's not exactly
a tiny thing so it can't just dissappear.
But I couldn't find it anywhere. I gave
up and thought well, it will
turn up somewhere.

Ten minutes later I was putting the washing
machine on and bend down to get some
washing powder from under the
worktable next to the sink and...
I couldn't believe my eyes.

The handle was there, lodged
between the bottle of clothes
conditioner and the wall.

There is no way it could fall down there from
the worktop above, there's no gaps.
None of us would put it there - obviously.

So how the hell did it get there?! It's
about three meters from the kitchen
window where it normally lives
to where I found it.

Very very strange.


30.8.07

PAINS AND ACHES

I have a pain in the arse. Literally.

When I was waiting for Tommi to arrive at
the airport last Friday my right bum cheek
and right leg started to ache like mad.

I thought it might be
Sciatica, a sort of leftover
from when I did my back in a while ago but
just make sure I went to see the doc
yesterday and she confirmed it.

Apparently it should go within two weeks
and all I can do is take some painkillers.
The pain comes and goes, sometimes it's
so bad I want to scream. Luckily it hasn't
ached too much at night so I've been able
to sleep - the NHS website says that "nerve
root pressure is often relieved by lying
flat as the weight of the body is then no
longer pressing out the pulp from the disc."

Tommi goes home tomorrow so I'll have the
weekend to recuperate before my cousin's
daughters arrive on Wednesday
and it's go go go again.


WELL, HE COULD'VE
AT LEAST...


...kissed the girl!

Me and Tommi went to see
The Bourne Ultimatum today.

I've seen the first two and this third one
is the best yet. Plus they've left the door
open as it were for a fourth one
which I hope they'll make.


Matt Damon was on form and the whole
thing was thoroughly enjoyable.

One thing though, without giving the
plot away...he could've at least
kissed the poor girl!


29.8.07

FINISHED!

We finished building the fence today.
There was only one panel to do
so it took only an hour and a bit.


There is a massive pampas grass where the
panel went so at times working round it was
a bit difficult and all three of us look like
we've been self harming as the grass
scratches your skin even
through clothes!


Mira the cat (below) decided that the
tools have to be kept warm so she
had a nap on top of them!


So, we went from this...

...to this.

Yesterday we had a day "off" so me and
Tommi visited Covent Garden,
Oxford Street and Soho.

We had a drink in
Lamb & Flag which is
one of the oldest pubs in London.


We also visited the new Arsenal stadium
in Highbury, north London. Tommi is a
huge fan so it was like the mother
ship was calling him home!



27.8.07

IT STARTED WITH A...

Not a kiss but with a great
big metal spike.

Today the lads (my friend Tommi and Mr S)
started to build the fence. There was a lot
of twisting and banging, nailing and
screwing and sawing.

And even blood as I managed to
hit my thumb with a hammer.


I was on the drinks & snacks/handing
out tools and gerenal gofer duty.

Archie the wolfhound and Mira the cat
came
out to check out the action as
well
(4th pic down below).

Three of the panels
of are up -
had to stop because it got
dark,
it will get finished
on Wednesday.


Please click on the images
to view a larger version.


26.8.07

TOMMI BAKES

My friend Tommi who's visiting from
Finland is a rare man: he likes to cook
and bake. I always look forward to his
visits as the food is out of this world!

He likes to cook with butter and cream
a lot so my waistline takes a direct hit
when he's over here but I can't resist
any of it, it's so delicious!

Tonight he baked his famous "lihapiirakka"
meat pie which he makes with
his grans' recipe.

It's really simple: mince, boiled egg, onion and
loads of
aromat seasoning. We'll probably
eat half of it tomorrow and half
of it goes in the freezer.


CAT'S DON'T
LIKE WATER


Well, I beg to differ!

PEAR CIDER

I'm always moaning about how pear cider
is not readily available in the UK like it is
say in Finland but today I discovered that
apart from the Swedish
Kopparberg
(which I normally buy in IKEA) there
is a home brewed one called
St Helier. And very nice it is too!


The flavour is slightly less sweet than
Kopparberg. Recommended!


25.8.07

AIRPORT
HAPPINESS


We always think of airports as a place
with endless queues and inflated prices
but there is one bit of which is
constantly happy: the arrivals.


I went to meet my friend Tommi yesterday
at Heathrow Terminal One when he flew in
from Finland and while I was waiting for
him I was enjoying watching people
meeting their loved ones.

The hugs, the shrieks, the tears. One mother
was meeting his small son who was escorted
by a member of the groundstaff and she was
so happy to see him, the tears were endless.


Either she hadn't seen him in ages or she
was so proud that he'd flown by himself.
He could've not been more
than five, bless.


The best reunion happened right in front of me.
A man in his 40's was nervously waiting for
a lady. He had a bottle of Moët & Chandon
champagne and glasses (real ones, not plastic)
filled ready to go and a huge
bunch of flowers.

I thought we was going to drop to his
knees and propose but he didn't.
They just had the drink and left.

Ah, airport romance!


24.8.07

FRIDAY'S
HAPPY FACE


BILBO THE CLEVER
LIFEGUARD


Cornwall's first beach rescue dog has
been praised for helping to prevent
a swimmer getting into difficulties.

Bilbo, a 14-stone Newfoundland,
has been with the Sennen Cove based
Penwith Lifeguards for two years.

His quick-thinking stopped a tourist from
entering the water when the currents were
too dangerous.
"It was like he was saying
to me 'it's too dangerous - don't go in',"
said Lein Snippe from Holland,
who is currently on holiday
in the county.

"Bilbo, without any direction from me,
just took straight off down the hill,"
said his handler, Steve Jamieson.

"He placed himself between her and the
sea and just wouldn't allow her
any access into the sea at all.

"When she did creep into the
sea he swam in front of her."

"The dog just came from behind and just
seemed to be playing," said Ms Snippe.

"But the moment I got to the water it was
almost blocking me, trying to avoid me
going any further. The more I got
in the more nervous the dog got."

"Basically he was telling
me 'don't do it'."


The Newfoundlands' webbed feet and
water-resistant coats make
them ideal lifeguards.

Bilbo has had to pass swimming and fitness
tests to join the team and spends his days
patrolling Cornish beaches with his handler.

He has his own lifeguard vest with safety
messages written across it to warn
holidaymakers not to go beyond
the designated swimming
and surfing areas.

"He's really well known on the beach and everyone
just loves him. He gets invited to Crufts every
year as a celebrity and participates
in educational talks to schools."

"We've spent thousands on signs warning
people about swim safety but no-one takes
any notice. He's the best PR we
could ever have hoped for."

Historically,
Newfoundlands are well known
as a working dogs that has helped fishermen
by bringing in nets full of fish and
pulling the carts full of fish to
the local villages.


NEW CAMERA

My trusty old Kodak decided to call it
day yesterday. It's been playing up
for a while but it finally
broke down completely.

So I ordered a new one, another Kodak,
because I also have a Kodak "loading dock"
which transfers the photos into the PC
and charges the camera as I can't
be bothered with batteries.


This is the new one, just
waiting for it to arrive.

I thought I'd better get it now and get used to it
before my Amsterdam trip as I'm planning
on taking hundreds of shots there.


23.8.07

LILY'S £1800 LEG

Lily is one very lucky chicken!
Well done Vicky for saving her.


20.8.07

SUNSET OF
THE WEEK


WELL, IT'S WARM...

5000 YEAR OLD GUM

Another strange thing to come
out of Finland: 5000 year
old chewing gum.

23-year-old student Sarah Pickin discovered
the chewed cob made from birch bark
tar during an archaeological
dig recently.

Sarah, (below) who studies at Derby University,
was on a volunteer programme on the west
coast of Finland and also uncovered
part of an amber ring and a slate
arrow head at the
Kierikki Centre.

All the items will be on display at the centre
after they have been analysed in laboratories.

Sarah's tutor, Professor Trevor Brown,
an expert in heritage and conservation,
said: "Birch bark tar contains
phenols,
which are antiseptic compounds."

"It's generally believed that Neolithic people
found that by chewing this stuff they could
treat gum infections.
It's particularly
significant because well defined tooth
imprints were found on the gum
which Sarah discovered."


Sarah said: "I was very excited to learn more
about the history of the items.
I'm keen to work
in this area in the future so the experience
has stood me in good stead."


On a related note the Finns also
invented sugar substitute
Xylitol
chewing gum.


19.8.07

THEY TRIED TO
MAKE ME GO TO
REHAB


And I said yes yes yes!

Last night we, that's me and KB and
our friends Mel and Ms E, had a meal
at one of Colliers Wood's best
kept secrets,
Rehab, to
celebrate KB's 40th.

Her actual birthday is at the end of
the month but as she's going to be
away in Greece we started the
celebrations last night.


We've eaten in Rehab before and it never
dissappoints. The food is gorgeous
and the service is efficient
and friendly.


I had my usual (I know, should try
different things but hey, if it ain't broke...),
a pizza called Robert Downey Jr (bottom
of the pic) and it was so massive
I managed only half of it!


From there we carried on to the pub and yes,
the head is somewhat delicate this...
er, afternoon. I think it was the
Long Island Ice Tea that did it.... :-)

More in KB's blog


17.8.07

FENCE

A part of our garden fence is totally naggered.
The neighbours put it up and they must've
bought the cheapest possible panels as it
was falling down after a couple of years.

We've just had a delivery of new panels
and posts which we'll put in place when
my friend Tommi comes over from Finland
in a week's time. They're not too heavy but
it helps to have two men on the job.


IT'S FRIDAY!

PAULINE THE
SQUIRREL MUM


A woman has become "foster mother"
to three baby red squirrels left homeless
when the tree their drey was in
was chopped down in
Northumberland.

Pauline Kerr, 62, from Coldingham,
feeds the squirrels eight times a day
with a milk replacement in a syringe.


She stepped in after forestry workers
accidentally chopped down the
tree and the squirrels' mother
went missing.

Ms Kerr has christened her new pets
Jasper, Daisy and Rosie and they are
expected to open their eyes
in four weeks' time.

They are living in an incubator in the house
but once she believes they are ready
they will be returning to the wild.


QUATER OF A
CENTURY OF CD's


Gosh, this news made me
feel old this morning!


The word's first compact disc was produced

exactly 25 years ago
in Germany,
sparking a global music revolution.


I remember scoffing at the idea that
some small silver disc is going to replace
my beloved vinyls. And do be quite
honest I thought the CD would
never become popular!

Obviously the sound quality is million
times better but I do miss looking
at all the album covers and
artwork in a bigger scale.


16.8.07

CUTE PIC
OF THE DAY


TODAY IN THE
GARDEN


This flower popped open overnight,
I like the way it looks dramatic
against the dark sky.

14.8.07

SUNSET OF
THE WEEK


HOW MUCH

So, how much is too much?

One cup of cappucino
a day is enough for me!


STUFF OF
NIGHTMARES


Falling through a chess board, being eaten by
a giant cockroach and being nanny to Jordan's
(below) children are some of the nightmares
Britons experience, a new
poll has revealed.

A total of 3% of adults have nightmares
every night, while 23% get them once a
week, a survey by hotel chain
Travelodge found.


The most common nightmare was being
chased, followed by drowning
and being trapped.

Others include being covered in insects
and snakes, being stuck in a haunted house,
being squashed in a sausage machine
and being naked in public.


The main reasons for getting nightmares
was stress and watching scary movies.

The recent floods were also seen as
a reason for having bad dreams.


As many as 7% of the 2,000 adults polled
had had nightmares about celebrities, with
ex-PM Sir John Major, radio host Vanessa Feltz
and
football hard man/actor Vinnie Jones
(below) among the famous names
haunting slumbers.


Belfast appeared to be the UK's nightmare
"capital", with 43% of its residents who were
surveyed having had a bad dream in
the week before the poll.
In contrast, the
corresponding figure for Liverpool
residents was only 9%.


Travelodge director of sleep Leigh McCarron
said: "As usual there are a few off-the-wall
scenarios that our research has
thrown up such as being eaten by
a giant cockroach."


"However, there are common themes evident.
Dreams about being chased tend to be a
reaction to stress in life. The attacker in
the dream often represents emotions
like fear and anxiety.
The second most
common dream according to our research
concerns drowning. This is said to reflect
concerns about unresolved issues
or a current crisis."

On a personal note I have a couple of recurring
dreams. One where I'm at school and something
horrible happens (I used to hate school) and
in the the second I'm running up the stairs and
reach the top of a block of flats where we used
to live (on the top floor) (above) in
Finland but I can't find the
door to our apartment.