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 Star smilie clear
missing mousetrap, Dobbies breakfast and The Big Boy's Toy Shop
  One of our mousetraps is missing.  Yes, missing in action.  I have a small set-up outdoors, bricks for walls and a couple slate tiles for a roof, forming a little one brick tall shelter to protect the two mousetraps and save the garden birds from injury.  The tiny gaps in the structure would only allow something as small as a mouse to get in.  This morning a brick was pushed an inch out of place, making a two inch gap and when I lifted the slate tiles...very surprised to see there was only one trap there.  
    Even more surprised than I usually am when I see a dead mouse, though I should expect to see dead mice, it still freaks me when I do.  I haven't yet managed to do this, lift a slate tile and see a dead mouse, and not involuntarily exclaim something out loud.  Something along the lines of...feck's sake! or OMG!  
    I'm guessing there's a Grey Squirrel running around with a mousetrap attached.  I'm keeping a look out for it, though I suspect it's kinda unlikely it'll return.  Meanwhile I've been to Amazon and ordered another mousetrap twinpack.  
    With The Sis-In-Law visiting her lovely family in Germany and The Husband still at work in Norway, The Bro invited me out to breakfast and a run into the Big Boy's Toy Shop in Edinburger.  How could I resist?  We had a great cooked breakfast at the Livingston Dobbies Garden Centre.  Dobbies do a two-for-the-price-of-one cooked breakfast between the hours of 9am and 11am, your choice of 6 items from the hot servery...including tomato, link sausage, square sausage, scrambled egg, fried egg, potato scone, hash browns, baked beans,  black pudding, erm, what else, ahhh...bacon, think that's them all but I could be wrong, and your choice of a big thick slice of either white or brown toast, and a drink, which can be tea, coffee or the fizzies.  All that, times two, for only five and a half of The Bro's Scottish pounds.  
    That's £2.75 for a meal that fills you up entirely for the rest of the day.  I'm so full I haven't eaten anything else today...has to be the most cost-effective way of surviving in these times of austerity.  I should go every day, especially if I go with someone else who pays.  THAT would be THE very best cost-effective daily living budget.  You could actually stay alive for free.  
    After our delicious brecky The Bro and I headed into The Big Boy's Toy Shop AKA Machine Mart, the specialist supplier of power tools, machinery and workshop equipment in Edinburgh.  The Bro had a VAT-free ticket he just couldn't refuse to use, and he needed a...summit and loads of bits.  I tried to pay attention, honest I did, but him and the shop guy were speaking a foreign language.  
      I've been in The Big Boy's Toy Shop before, twice already, quite recently, with The Husband.  I swear one of the shop guys was looking at me funny, the guy who sold The Husband a generator a couple weeks ago.  He had this sly smirk look on his face that said...she's being unfaithful to one of them.  I felt like such a power tool slut.  
 Star smilie clear
Chistmas weekend in Norway, The Shining, Unstoppable and The Shrink


  My Dotty P sale stuff is on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Hope you all had a well fabby Christmas.  The way it went here, as previously blogged, The Bro and Sis-In-Law and The Husband and I, we did Christmas dinner already, and shared a lovely time, delicious meal and had such a laugh.  I spent time with The Parents, and The Boy and I did pressie stuff on Christmas Eve's Eve.  This all left me family Christmas done and done, so I was all ready to go spend Christmas day with The Husband in Norway.  
    The Husband was on-call you see and duty-bound to remain in Norway.  Our favourite Norwegian hotel, The Hummeren in Tananger had given him a key.  The Hummeren closes for Xmas, but quite astoundingly, trusted The Husband to stay there and gave him a key to the main door.  
    Hence, there I was on Christmas Eve, flying to Stavanger via Amsterdam.  Of course I prefer to fly with The Husband so I don't have to focus, but when called on to go solo, I can do, and the more I do it, the better I'm getting at it.  Edinburger Airport is always easy, it's small and my only worry was at the check-in desk.  They had a seasonal sign declaring NO CRACKERS.  
    I didn't take it personally...they're talking about Christmas crackers, the ones with cheap gifts, a party hat and a joke inside.  I had four in my suitcase.  Now, remember, I'm the woman who took indoor sparklers to the USA, back again, then unintentionally took them to Holland.  Then The Husband explained to me them's fireworks, they come under the heading of 'explosives' when you're anywhere near an airplane. I admit, I did consider saying nought, but in that few seconds I had to decide, I reckoned the seasonal sign made it very clear, leaving no room whatsoever for pretend innocence.  
    I fessed up and told the woman I had four Xmas crackers.  She instructed me to step to the side and remove them then come back, which I did.  I handed them over, not particularly annoyed at all.  My suitcase had a load of Christmas dinner stuff, some of which might be illegal to take ocross borders.  But I didn't know that at the time, honest.  No really.  I swear.  
    At Schipol Airport I managed to stay on track and the flight to Norway was more than half empty.  It was so empty the KLM crew gave us all a savoury AND a sweet bag of nibbles with our drinks.  
      I arrived in Norway with all my lovely Christmas dinner goodies.  I was planning on spoiling The Husband with just how wonderful a non-cook Christmas dinner can be.  We had thick turkey slices, wraps, potato salad, 6 different cheeses, sundried roasted tomatoes, char-grilled artichokes, a festive Brussels pate with cranberry, oatcakes, mini pork pies, a mini stilton cranberry and spinach quiche, Christmas cake, Mince Pies, Christmas pudding and extra-thick Remy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac brandy cream.  A chocolate Santa, a box of Thorntons chocolates, Pringles and a tube of fruit pastels (one of The Husband's favourites).  I took cocktail sticks for the cheeses, festive red napkins, disposable cutlery and plates and a fine bottle of Pinot Grigio.  Did I forget anything?  I DON'T THINK SO!  Sterling work in my less than humble opinion.  And The Husband agreed.  She shoots, she scores!  How good am I.  That's not a question, just a declaration.  
      I also took a couple of DVDs.  On Christmas Eve we snuggled up in bed and watched a particularly apt movie on the laptop.  What else are you going to watch in an empty hotel?  
      On Christmas Day The Husband was up and away early to get the boring work stuff out the way.  When he came back around 11am we met three German kitchen staff in to do 3 hours food prep for a big Boxing Day lunch.  They made us a full-on eggs and bacon breakfast.  We hadn't been expecting that, was yummy.  
      After the yummy we headed off in the hire car, to the snowy bits of Norwegian mountains.  Up we went till the ears were popping, the ground was white and The Husband threw a snowball at me and the G10.  
      Back at The Hummeren, mid afternoon, about 3pm, we were having a look around hoping to watch a DVD on a better sound and vision set-up, because the laptop screen was a bit small and the sound too quiet.  The owner of the hotel dropped in at the same time, we told him our thinking.  Ahhh he said, in Norwegian...out of a walk-in cupboard he wheeled a 50inch flatscreen TV.  That got hooked up to the DVD playing laptop.  Sound was still insufficient...ahhh he said again and came back with a surround sound system to be connected to the laptop/TV combo.  While they were fixing the sound and vision I'd been setting out the dinner on a table in the lounge.  As if the proprietor hadn't provided enough for us already, he then came in with an ice-filled champagne bucket and a bottle of his favourite white wine which he gifted to us.  Then he took up the G10 and did photographer duties, there was nothing this hotel proprietor was too busy to help us with.  
      Today I flew back home again, on my own and fully focused.  Still stuffed with Christmas dinner, all I've eaten today is two packets of the freebie mini Doritos on KLM flights, I'm still full.  The Bro picked me up at Edinburger Airport at the same time he dropped The Sis-In-Law off.  Happy coincidence, I was coming as she was going.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The Shining.  The movie of choice when spending the night in an empty hotel.  Always great.  
      The Husband and I watched Unstoppable.  OK.  
      The Husband and I watched Shrink.  OK.  
 Star smilie clear
Happy Anniversary The Mum & The Dad, Vermin News, Merry Christmas everyone and The Inbetweeners Movie

The Inbetweeners
  The Mum and The Dad were over yesterday, on their Happy Anniversary, 49 years married, amazing.  
    Vermin News...  
    Starry Towers 6 : Mice 0  
    Starry Towers 8 : The Bloody Squirrels 0  
    It's only two sleeps till the rest of the world does Xmas, but The Boy and I have done one already.  We'll both do another on the 25th, but with different people in different places.  
    Merry Christmas dear readers, I hope you both have a lovely Christmas.  Normal service will resume after the day that is Christmas.  
    Merry* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。Christmas 。* 。    *
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ ___Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */_________/ \。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田  |門|  ˚• ˛
    Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched The Inbetweeners Movie.  On my own, after inviting The Boy to watch with me and being told that wouldn't be entirely appropriate.  Having since viewed the movie, I agree, he'd have been awfy embarrassed, poor wee lamb, they're terribly easily mortified teenagers.  I didn't find it as absolutely massively funny as reviews I've read would have had me believe.  But it was alright, I sniggered a few times.  
 Star smilie clear
sickos, bird seed feeder fixed, high speed memory and Deliverance

  The Husband and I have both had little health issues over the weekend, which I don't wish to mention in any great detail in my Berlin Journal so I'll mention them here.  
    First me.  At approximately 3pm on the Saturday, standing outside a Berlin tourist shop (the one opposite The Riechstag but it could've been any of them) waiting on The Husband returning (from the loo, but that's not important), I felt a wave of heat, discomfort and dizziness, which I assumed was the obvious, a usual hot flush menopause thing, but that soon worsened to nausea, fatigue and I seriously felt the need to sit down immediately before my legs gave way.  I sat on a cube thing.  A few seconds later there was the sharp stomach pains.  We had to return to the hotel where I spent the next  couple hours between sleeping in the bed and shitting the runny stuff in the loo, and I managed to get the right thing in the right place every time, which was a bonus.  
    We had tickets for The Barber Of Seville at The Deutsche Oper, so about 5.30 I got out of bed, showered, did my makeup and dried my hair, got dressed, even put on my new leather collar tux and glittery heal wedge peeptoes and was sat there with my clutch bag and opera glasses in my hand.  The entire process involved a lot of kneeling on the floor or the shower tray cos of the fatigue and nausea, it was awful, but I really wanted to go to the opera.  In the end The Husband advised against it.  I went back to bed at 6.30pm.  So very very disappointed.  I felt totally better and back to my usual self by the Monday, I don't know what caused it, but it had to involve bacteria and my digestive tract in some way.  I'd say no shit Sherlock, but...that wouldn't be entirely appropriate.  
    Now The Husband...he was complaining of cramp in a lower leg, which didn't cause me much concern, it's cramp, you wiggle it, it goes away.  It seemed to recur a bit too often, till the Monday on the way home it had become constant, he was limping in the last few hours.  At Berlin Schönefeld Airport as we went through security (talk about looking suspicious) he had an episode of breathlessness and chest pain.  I was watching him closely which didn't seem to reassure him much (irritable due to his symptoms I'm guessing), but I know what a person looks like in a cardiac event and they don't have a healthy colour about the face.  If I'd had the right equipment to hand I would've checked the other vital signs, but I was doing all I could at the time.  
    This passed, though the cramp/pain/limp didn't.  No sooner were we back at Starry Towers then The Husband was off again, away to Aberdoom en route to The Land Of...erm...I'm running out of "The Land Of" references, it was Norway, away back to work.  Due to flight issues he booked into an Aberdoom hotel to fly the next day.  Was about 7pm last evening just as he'd settled in and made arrangements to meet up with a good friend for coffee and chats, and I'd finished unpacking, doing laundry and other housework, I sat down and cleared my mind for a relax and a think.  Was then I became very worried, leg pain, breathless, chest pain.  I'm thinking DVT/Pulmonary Embolism.  I phoned him with the NHS 24 number.  They instructed he go to hospital immediately, and phone 999 in event of severe deterioration.  
    Was 2 in the morning before he got out of A&E, with two test results still pending, but the calf swelling had reduced a bit while he was in A&E, they'd obviously been monitoring that, and other test results were encouraging.  The biggy results were phoned to Starry Towers at 7am this morning, I spoke surprisingly politely to the nice doctor after I woke up.  The Husband is in great health but had the worst case of cramp I ever heard tell of.  The medical people were 100% behind the need for testing though, them set of symptoms could have been a death sentence.  
    In other Starry Towers news, that bird seed feeder I'm convinced a Grey Squirrel broke, in the couple hours before he set off for Aberdoom, The Husband fixed it.  It's back in the Starry Towers Lilac Tree, and approximately 100 small garden birds will be forever grateful.  Me too, I was figuring I'd need to buy a new one.   
      At Edinburgh Airport on the way out to Berlin a very nice man in Dixons Travel very enthusiastically explained all about memory card speeds to me.  He loved that I had my Canon G10, told me it's the best available so didn't try to sell me a camera.  He wasn't even trying to offload a memory card, just wanted to tell me, and show me with a giving me a speedy card to use in the G10 while he danced around to let me take pics of him jigging...that a memory card with a 45MB/s speed, a class 10, would give me amazing results with my G10.  Not all shop salespeople are predictably and cynically making their sales targets...who knew?  So back home I got a couple of these Integral UltimaPro 32GB SDHC 45MB/s Class 10 UHS-1 Cards from Alphamemory at Amazon, at the best price of £39.61 each.  I got the last two available today, so give them a chance to restock if you want them too.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers)I watched Deliverance in honour of recently deceased Bill McKinney, none too savoury sadistic rapist in this role, but damn he was frighteningly good at it.  That scene has entered my mind far too many times in the years since I first watched the movie.  So very disturbing, scream piggy (shudder).  
 Star smilie clear
Berlin and The Korean Kims
  Starry Towers 5 : Mice 0  
    Ich bin ein Berliner...well, I was for the weekend.  The Husband and I got back from Berlin today.  I'm putting together the Berlin Journal and Gallery and will let you know dear reader when them's all sorted.  
    North Korea has some despotic socialist dictator news.  Kim Jong-il is no more, death by physical and mental over-work apparently, or as the rest of the world knows it, a heart attack.  The official party-line is probably more accurate, this was no ordinary 'heart attack'.  His heart gave up under the pressure of too much lunatic mental crazy for just one heart to cope with.  On the one hand, death by natural causes in the sure and certain knowledge that his fecked-up abusive rule goes on is a better deal than a bullet in a bunker.  He wins...but on the other hand, he didn't have the benefit of taking a spouse/lover and his dog with him.  Back to the first hand, he was surely blissfully at peace in the end, knowing the product of his loins will carry on his lunacy legacy in the form of podgy prodigy Kim Jong-un.  The world awaits how this tyrant mini-me situation's going to pan out, one thing's for sure, this particular nut didn't fall too far from the nut tree.  
 Star smilie clear
clever dry-cleaning manoeuvres, Xmas shopped,  Squirrel News and Due Date

Due Date
  There's a lovely fashion faux pas on The Star Swag Blog.  
    The Husband needed a Tux suit dry-cleaned at very short notice.  He's in The Land that is internationally known as Norway, so it was all down to me.  One little matter that impacted on this important mission is I don't drive...for the safety of people and all other living creatures on the roads of Scotland.  Sooo...I phoned the Sunny D village shop and enquired about the dry-cleaning service they offer.  Unfortunately that service provision didn't fit in with The Husband's Tux plans as it would be available for collection too late by a matter of a few hours.  I got on the www and the phone, and found a local dry-cleaning service that was prepared to pick up and return to the door of Starry Towers, and dry-clean the suit for the meagre price of only £15 all in.  I would have paid double that, but that's cool.  
    Deans Dry Cleaners, Livingston, deserve a huge big shout out recommendation.  The dry cleaning lady promised the suit would be returned by tomorrow, way it turned out she was at the Starry Towers front door at 9am this morning.  Still can't get my head round the measly sum of 15 of my Scottish pounds.  
    I'm the queen of sorting stuff and The Husband will be kissing my arse for a good long while.  Wanna laugh?  Right, here you go, like The Mum long has he known you?  This was The Husband's suggestion as to how I could fix it for him and his tux.  He messaged me online that I could get a taxi into a local town, drop the tux suit into this particular dry cleaners, wait for it, pick it up and take a taxi home.  Wait for it?  He did emphasise that there was no pressure, just if I felt like it.  Sheeesh!!!  
      Finally, The Boy has given me his official Xmas gift wish-list.  He's asked for clothes, a jacket and three tops.  However, I've been listening intently for a while, sussing out what he likes, so I've already got him stuff.  Smellies and  some blingy jewellery items, oh yeah, and some boxers, black with a turquoise star print, because, if I was a boy that's the pants I'd wear.  So that's the Xmas shopping done and dusted.  
      Squirrel News : here at Starry Towers I recently got the squirrel bafflers to protect the peanut and fat ball feeders.  Good news is the bafflers are doing a sterling job.  I've seen a Grey Squirrel doing his best and failing.  Bad news is I reckon he's turned his attention on the Squirrel-proof globe-cage-style seed feeder and broke it.  
      Yesterday I watched him try to get to the seeds because he couldn't get to the nuts and balls.  This morning the seed feeder is lying in the dirt, the wire hanger bit broke off.  This is Squirrel War.  Don't be taken in by the supposedly innocent face, he's a cunt.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched Due Date.  Three things I liked about it, looking at Robert Downey Jr, The Grand Canyon and that bit where he rushes in to see the wrong baby.  The wrong baby was the only time I actually laughed, it's not a very funny movie, for a comedy it's a bit sad really.  Never mind, could just be my hormonal state.  
 Star smilie clear
Sunny D vandals, gold Camel Toe and RED

  I caught a bit of X Factor last evening, just enough to remind me how much I dislike all things Cowell.  And, two other little matters, that Coldplay singer guy is far too sweaty and the Little Mix girl, the chubby one, in thunder-thigh-emphasising gold lame leggings, gold camel toe.  
    Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched RED.  Bruce Willis abducted a girl and got back with his old work mates...and...I don't know what else happened because I lost interest.  
 Star smilie clear
Carole Myers and Jehovah's Witnesses target Sunny D
  Starry Towers 4 : Mice 0  
    This is a very disturbing, shocking story of nurse Carol Felstead or Carole Myers as she later changed her name, who died at age 41 on the 29th June 2005.It's a sad tale of a woman who had spent time in mental health wards and received therapy that included the false implanting of memories of satanic abuse, unknown to her family.  Her family were only informed of her death two weeks after she died.  There have been claims that no one knew of her family, this doesn't seem to be true, on a very simple level any amateur detective would've thought of, her passport contained her Dad's name and address.  Here are the Guardian/Observer article and the family's story told at the website.  And here.As they state on their website..."This website has been specifically created to draw public attention to the behaviour of Dr Fleur Fisher, the Ex-Head of Ethics of the British Medical Association, following the death of our beloved daughter and sister, Carole Patricia Myers (formerly known as Carol Patricia Felstead)."  
      Just had some Jehovah's Witnesses at the door asking if they could talk to me about how me and my family can live together forever.  I didn't need to be officially introduced, it was obvious by the cut of their jib and them few unrealistic supernatural words.  I immediately told them, politely but firmly, I'm an atheist and not interested in any discussion on the matter.  He says, "you're an atheist is there a reason for that?"  I politely, I respect their right to hold their beliefs and would appreciate if they would respect mine, and have a good night.  Out there in the cold while I relax by a roaring fire watching a 47" screen, shame bout that.  
 Star smilie clear
Xmas dinner, a bear, Blasted Heath prize and Amy
  The Husband and I went for Xmas dinner with The Bro and The Sis-In-Law today.  Due to busy lives, prior engagements, work etc we decided to do our family Xmas dinner today.  The venue was picked because a couple weeks ago I happened to lift a menu and felt my taste buds a-watering.  I put the menu about a bit and got positive feedback from The Husband and The Sis-In-Law.  The Parents decided they wouldn't bother, but the rest of us, minus The Boy, who's 18 and totally too embarrassed to be seen with us, were all in agreement.  
    It's a bit off-the-wall, but we enjoyed our Xmas dinner today at the Livingston branch of Dobbies Garden Centre and had a great time.  We booked a couple weeks ago and made one special request, the Sis-In-Law didn't want bacon with her Savoy Cabbage to accompany her Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass.  They said that was fine, and proved true to their word.  
      When we arrived at Dobbies today The Husband took a liking to this 77cm tall "Premier Sitting Bear".  He went off to buy the bear while I went looking for and found The Bro and Sis-In-Law.  We all went into dinner with an unpaid for bear, due to the queues at the tills being far too long for The Husband to be troubled with.  The staff in the restaurant were exceptionally good humoured, obliging, friendly and tolerant.  The Husband had asked for five meals to be booked as he was hoping his Dutch daughter Alice might have been able to visit and be there for the family dinner.  She wasn't able to be here, and Dobbies said, OK you've paid x5 £10 dinner deposits, we'll take that unused £10 deposit off the price of your drinks.  Which they really weren't obliged to do, we only paid for what we actually consumed in the end.  
      The table was set awaiting our arrival, with Xmas crackers and party hats for five, the bear took up the empty seat and even got his own hat.  
      I had the Roast Duck and Champagne Terrine served with Homemade Spiced Cranberry & Orange Compote and Arran Oaties for starters, my main was Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass served with Thyme Crushed Potatoes, Savoy Cabbage and Bacon and Chive Butter Sauce, and finished off with Rich Chocolate Torte and Mulled Pear served with Raspberry and Basil Creme Fraiche.  
      The 3 courses were followed by complimentary coffee or tea and a Mince Pie.  Only £15.95 for the 3 course meal.  My favourite, and The Sis-In-Law had the same and was equally satisfied, was the Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass main. Very cheffy to look at, delicious, and the Chive Butter Sauce, mmmmmm.  I wish I could open a tin of that every day.  We had a good time, and The Husband even got the waitress to put the bear through her till, which she was then told by her boss that she shouldn't.  But she did, and as we exited the building...the alarm didn't go off, so all was well.  The Xmas Bear has been named Honey.  
      Back at Starry Towers we had a lovely time laughing at The Bro making fun with the bear as if it was a puppet, he was very good at it.  The Sis-In-Law borrowed a lacy shrug for a night out and I tried on The Bro's new glasses.  I've thought for a while that I probably need my eyes tested, and am totally convinced now because The Bro got his first pair of specs today, they also happen to be the only pair of glasses I ever tried that actually improve my eyesight.  It's probably a genetic thing, he's 2 years younger than me, I think it's time I got spectacles.  
      Regular readers will know I'm a big fan of all Mr Douglas Lindsay's work, the Scottish author, creator of the cult "Barney Thomson" crime series.  You'll also know that I have two signed books already, one I purchased and one which he signed specially for me.  You'll also probably be aware that he has recently started working with the new Scottish ePublishers Blasted Heath, and that I'm a fan of their work too.  There's currently a free Kindle book available at Amazon for a limited period, the Government conspiracy thriller Lost In Juarez, so be quick and get over there/here.  
      The other piece of Douglas Lindsay Blasted Heath news is that the, signed by Douglas Lindsay, Blasted Heath Boxset Tin I won in a competition recently has arrived.  Mr Lindsay has signed his name on his page of the  booklet inside, and in big marker pen written a special message to me on the bottom side of the tin.  The comp prize was for an ordinary unsigned tin, but I asked nicely.  Buy your own at  That's me well made up for a while.  
      I've listened to the new Amy Winehouse CD Lioness : Hidden Treasures just once since it arrived at Starry Towers yesterday, made me cry in a sad, but a good way  This is the first I've been able to listen to Amy music since she died, apart from the occasional little snippets of REHAB I get when my mobile phone gets a call or a text.  That's been my mobile phone noise since it's release in 2006, I don't think I'll change it ever.  
 Star smilie clear
mice news and new travel dryer
  Good crystal wrist decoration news on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Starry Towers 3 : Mice 0  
    Mice News.  Another mouse in a trap this morning, dealt with by The Husband.  If by 'dealt with' you mean 'thrown in a wheelie bin', like a Coventry cat.  Imagine my surprise, and by 'surprise' I mean 'shock', when I went to put trash in the almost full wheelie bin...on top of the previously put in large kitchen bin bags was a dead mouse, right there, so close to my hand reaching in.  This illicits an involuntary scream from me.  The Husband, he laughs and doesn't understand why the fuss.  Yeee gads.  
    Reminds me of a time, maybe 20-odd years ago now, I was at The Parents house, The Dad was up a ladder to the attic.  He was handing items down and I was there to take them and place them safely on the floor.  To do this I had to climb a few steps of ladder each time.  This time I climbed the ladder, raised a hand, looked up, 1cm from my hand was a dead mouse The Dad was dangling by the tail.  I nearly fell off the ladder, he laughed, men and their dead mouse jokes.  
      Bargain Of The Week is this great little travel hairdryer.  The Okoia HD12 is on special offer at Comet.  With a saving of over £15 this is currently on sale for only £4.99.The most impressive feature in my opinion and why this little dryer caught my attention, is the size and weight, it's so little and light.  Much smaller and lighter than my other travel dryer, itsy bitsy compared to any others I've looked at.  It has a folding handle and duel voltage.  1200 watts, two speeds and two temperatures.  
      I'm always looking to minimise and streamline, lighten and hypersleek-up my luggage contents and this is a brill replacement with that in mind.  
 Star smilie clear
Heart & Hand shout out, Amy Winehouse, Hurricane Bawbag and mousetraps
  That's twice! Yes this is my second, and best, shout-out on a Heart and Hand podcast. Check out "RIP Graham Spiers' Career", get it at  
    A beautiful photograph of Amy Winehouse leaving Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom in November 2007 has been donated to her charity by photographer Brian Anderson.  The picture was taken the last time she played in Scotland.  
    Severe storms are hitting Scotland today and my hatches are well and truly battened.  I've been following the news on The Twitter throughout the day.  All the major bridges are closed, double decker buses taken off roads after one was blown over.  Cables down, power cuts all over, a wind turbine blown over, the list just went on and on.  A slate fell off the Starry Towers roof and I had to take down the Squirrel Bafflers and the hanging baskets, which still had Virginian and Night-scented Stocks in flower.  First I saw that a 102 mph gust was recorded at Glen Ogle.  Next Aonach Mor near Fort William (elevation 1200m) had reported a wind gust of 130 mph.  Shortly after there was a report of 151mph over the Cairngorm Summit.  The anti was upped just after with the news that 165mph had been recorded, Cairngorm again.  The highest gust ever recorded in Scotland was 173mph back in 1986 again on Cairngorm.  
      It was so sweet with some Scot naming the storm Hurricane Bawbag and it trending wordwide on The Twitter.  Sean Batty, the lovely Scottish weather man was trending later in the day too as a nation held it's breath, would he refer to the winds as Hurricane Bawbag?  No he didn't, but Scottish TV (STV) had a bit of fun with it on their website.  Sean was trending on The Twitter for a wee while this evening, he was thrilled.  For non-Scots, a bawbag is a scrotum.  
      Mice News.  There are mice outside, because I feed the birds they think it's for them.  Problem with them treating the Starry Towers estate like a top class restaurant is that when the weather gets bad they think it's a good idea to come into Starry Towers.  We've had 3 or 4 over the years.  All the little holes in the house interior, in cupboards and such, are all blocked up, but they still find a way into the attic space on the north wing.  So...the remedy...The Dad brought me two mouse traps.  
      The Dad set them up with peanut butter, but this morning it was down to me.  I gingerly lifted the slate tiles off the itsy little hut The Dad had constructed out of two monoblocks, two slate tiles and a couple sticks of wood.  EEEKK!!  A dead mouse, I was expecting it, but you know how it is.  The only good thing about this situation was The Dad had got me Intruder The Better Mousetraps.  These little traps are made for people who want the least possible to do with dead mice, while still killing them.  You simply press to set the trap and it's another press to eject the deceased.   And it's reassuring (kinda) that the trap grips the mouse tightly, quickly suffocating without breaking skin, so no messy blood, erm...good.  I went with gloves on and took a plastic bag, I didn't have to look at it's dead little face because it's head was stuck in the trap, I averted my eyes as soon as I could.  The Husband's home for the weekend, he'll be taking over mouse killing duties for a couple days.  
 Star smilie clear
Tom Cruise and an unexpected frog hat
  I don't particularly like Tom Cruise, but O M bloody G, he deserves some merit for this stunt.  Sitting at the very top of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.  It's my 2nd biggest nightmare, I'm strangely scared and OH WOW! and awesome! at the same time.  The picture is to promote his new movie Mission Impossible 4, fact is he's half a mile off the ground.  Makes me dizzy, nauseous and terribly afraid just thinking about it.  
      Yesterday I saw a strange man  wearing a slightly inappropriate outfit.  OK, maybe it was just different, if he'd been at a music festival or trancing out in Goa with a bunch of fellow Shamanic types on acid, no one would've blinked an eye...they'd just be staring into the middle distance or have their eyes closed.  
      Anyways, he wasn't in Goa or at Glastonbury, he was in a local town here, late morning, mid week.  He had some white tracky bottom type trews tucked into ordinary boots.  From mid shin up was the issue.  I've no idea what he was wearing exactly, was something white, maybe just a baggy shirt, but with a looser, almost dress-like, kinda butcher's apron without the stripes, longer black tabard type garment with dungaree type straps over the top.  It wasn't his clothes that first caught my eye, it was his purposeful stride with arms pretty much akimbo.  
      He passed me by then slammed a hand down hard on the bonnet of a parked car.  It was only after a lot of furtive glances that I realised what was on his head.  Strapped down with two substantial looking black bands, flattened down on it's tummy, with it's four legs splayed out, was a  green frog soft toy, very similar to this one.  Very strange, though he would've even got away with the hat in Goa or Glastonbury.  
      can also be worn on the head  
 Star smilie clear
Respiratory Clinic good news, health update, Cain Dingle and my Xmas pressie
  I've got starry wrists on The Star Swag Blog.  
    A year ago I had a seriously bad chest infection which required steroids as well as antibiotics and led to me attending the Respiratory Clinic with Nurse V.  She ran some tests and predicted if I didn't stop smoking I was on track to develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  Today was my year later call-back, and I got to surprise her with the good news that I've stopped smoking.  She was very pleased.  This time round my test results have improved and my lungs are now age-appropriate, they match the rest of me now.  I'd never have expected such an improvement in such a short time, it's only five months later.  This should be a welcome incentive for others thinking about quitting.  
    While I was there we covered a few other things.  Number one was I asked for and got a flu vaccine.  I usually take this every year at work, as nurses are encouraged to have the jab to reduce the risk of staff shortages at critical flu peek times.  As surely everyone must know by now, the influenza vaccine is not a live vaccine, so no, it doesn't give you flu, though if I had a penny for every time I've heard someone complain of being struck down with the flu after having the jab, I'd have in the £5 to £6 range...probably, I'm guessing.  This evening there's a mild localised pain to the touch at the injection site, which is to be expected.  The injection itself wasn't as stingy as I've experienced in the past.  Nurse V told me this year there's a bit of Swine Flu in the vaccine as this is still an issue in the northern hemisphere this Winter.  
    Next on my 'list' was my nose and it's rather annoying congestion, sneezing fits and having to position a hand so as to hold open a nostril while I fall asleep, not to mention my amnosia.  The last time I was with Nurse V she prescribed Beconase Nasal Spray for my hayfever type symptoms and advised me of the proper use of daily oral antihistamines, ie to start taking them before Summer.  I followed medical advice, no change.  So now I'm on the Nasonex.  Momethasone furoate treats the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, fingers crossed.  
      Last thing on my'll be getting the impression I'm a hypochondriac type person, but I'd argue that's not the case.  If I was I'd be at the GP all the time with these individual complaints.  The way I do it is I suffer for years before eventually mentioning stuff to a nurse.  So, last on the list was my lower back/right shoulder/right arm general aches and pains.  This stuff has been bothering me for years.  I put it down to natural wear and tear, but it's been getting worse till for a good long while now, the right shoulder can be excruciating, and the recent new right arm issue which was triggered again to the point of, jeeez feck this! by just a spot of light ironing.  
      I keep wondering if a chiropractor could sort me out.  There's a chiropractor shop in the next village along the road.  I saw the shop again on the way to the health centre today.  So I asked Nurse V what she thinks about chiropathy, is it a legitimate science or under the heading of 'alternative therapy'.  I have a natural distrust of 'alternative therapies'.  Nurse V suggested a physiotherapy self-referral.  So I've completed the referral form and I'll hear from them in approximately 12 weeks, which is fine.  
      So that's me all health issue updated and on track, I do this approximately once every decade.  
      I know nothing of The Vampire Diaries, it doesn't appeal.  But I keep seeing/hearing the most recent trailer on the telly, and I'm most impressed with this line of dialogue..."I will kill you and everyone you've ever met".  Don't know what character is saying it, to who, or why, but wowzer!  Everyone?  In a usual lifetime, even for a 20-summit yr old person, that's a huge load of people, would be quite a task, and I'm not sure I'd be able to put that much time and effort into evil deeds.  
      The excitement is building on Emmerdale is it not?  I like Cain Dingle, he's THE eye candy, but the script-writers have been really cranking up the reasons-to-dislike-Cain recently.  He's had sexual relations with a lot of females, causing bad feeling all over the village, threatening teenagers, one is wee sister, the other the mother of his child.  He failed to recognise the importance of his new baby's birth in relation to his sick granddaughter's medical condition, thus pissing his daughter Debbie off too.  I think I might have mentioned this GLARINGLY OBVIOUS PLOT-LINE already, yes I did, on the 18/11/11...the evidence is down below.  His entire family hates him, including his Dad, he's caused his ex to call off her wedding, so that family hate him too.  
      He killed their cat fer fecks sake, it's usually enough to place a live cat in a wheelie bin to cause a national TV, newspaper, Twitter and Facebook hate campaign.  In the past week the Emmerdale trailers have been hinting heavily at a seriously horrible pending Cain comeuppance will be happening very soon.  Judgement Day is coming and Cain'll be left fighting for his life after a violent attack.  Please don't kill him off.  
 Star smilie clear
The Husband home again, snow, Robin Squirrel Baffles, Happy Birthday Bro, Pandas, The Smoother, Alan Partridge and The Hangover II

The Hangover II DVD
  There's this season's collaricious outerwear on The Star Swag Blog.  
    The Husband (and the Z4) eventually made progress and stayed safe and sound, eventually getting off that boat from Norway to Denmark.  He travelled down through Denmark, Germany, Holland, then France and back to that bit that tacks onto the arse of Scotland...Engerland they call it...via the Chunnel.  
    We've got an inch of snow today and my new Squirrel Baffles arrived.  Reasons to get the camera out.  First up here is the Starry Towers Robin, looking ever so cute and seasonally festive.  
    So, onto the Squirrel Baffles, purchased from arkwildlife at £19.95 each.  I'll be calling them Bafflers, sounds more appropriate to me.   Here they are on their first day in use, unfortunately the two Grey Squirrels that have been annoying me of late, didn't show their fluffy tails today.  I can't wait to see them being baffled.  The Squirrels go for the peanuts first and foremost, if there's no nuts they go for the fat balls.  The seed mix is in a Squirrel proof cage type feeder, though I've never seen them even try that.  Hopefully that's me got the Starry Towers bird feeding station 100% Squirrel-proofed sorted now, I hate watching them going mad on the nuts, as I fret over the little birds fearing them and their baby bird eating evil ways.  
    the Starry Towers Squirrel Bafflers  
    I feed the birds all year round, but the Winter and snow especially, puts me into overdrive care mode.  Please feed your garden birds, on the right specially bought stuff, and ensure there's a fresh water supply, especially when it's hard icy frosty cold.  
    Yesterday there was snow.  Not the type of snow that causes problems however, so The Husband and I took a drive into Edinburger.  Driving past the Zoo gates there was a commotion, a very controlled commotion.  
    There were kilted pipers, a bunch of police people and a small crowd of primary school children.  There were a lot of Scottish flags being waved, there was bunting of Scottish, British and Chinese flags.  Call me cynical, really...go on and call me won't be the first...but I'd say the Zoo authorities had approached a local primary school to get this lot to attend.  Little kids and accompanying adults doing the flag waving welcome committee duties for the TV cameras.  I've never seen such an abuse of children, I've heard of and read of worse, but never seen with my own eyes, anything worse than this.  
      These little kids put in all that flag waving arm action effort, in the freezing cold, for a lengthy period of waiting watch two lorries with panda pictures painted on the side drive through the Zoo gates.  Later, watching TV news reports a few of the children were interviewed, at least them two or three get to say they were on telly.  When they grow up and realise they were used by the media, Zoo authorities and politicians in a cruel Panda abuse scam, I'm sure some of them will realise this is their earliest memory of disillusionment, akin to when they first realised Santa doesn't exist.  
      Sunshine and Sweetie are pawns in the commercial relationship between China and Scotland.  China with it's terrible human rights issues and it's Panda candy.  Holding out their pandas as bribes and sucked up by Scotland thinking...ooohhh, Pandas, our Zoo attendance figures and profits are going to sky-rocket, thank you China, sook, sook, sook.  I'm sickened actually.  
      Happy Birthday to The Bro today, my wee brother's 2 years younger than me, lets just say he's 40 summit.  I sent him a FunkyPigeo card this year, the personalised spoof biker magazine one, and the matching mug.  Hope he likes.  
      The Alan Partridge book, I Partridge We Need To Talk About Alan in audiobook form is almost 7 hours of him being very funny.  I'm currently listening and loving it.  Highly recommended by me.  
      Another personal recommendation is my Product Of The Week...  Maybelline's The Smoother.  A free sample came my way, I don't often bother, but I gave it a fling instead of flinging it in the bin.  This purports to be a skin retexturizing primer which will create a perfectly smooth canvas for ideal makeup application.  And it is.  This innovative fragrance free dimethicone silicone-based gel primer does a fine job of smoothing, pore filling, shine-defying  and delivering a silky matte appearance and a velvety soft feel.  I've never regularly used a primer before.  I did try one a few times years back, but all it did was deposit a scummy layer that the more I touched it, the more it rubbed up into little dry lumps of unwanted nuisance factor detritus and had to be cleaned off again before I could get on with actually applying my face, a disappointing failure, unusable.  So I'm really happy with this Maybelline Smoother.  It's supplied in a very small pot, but you only require a teensey tiny dab, it spreads very easily, and a little goes a long long way.  
      Maybelline The Smoother  
      I've got a little story to impart.  I did blog when I first met the man because I was touched at his telling me the story of his 93 yr old Mother and her love of chewing gum.  When I first set eyes on this ASDA delivery man my first thought was he should be retired.Sad thing is, he delivered my messages the other day and told me that the spirited old gum-chewing mother of his had died.  He spoke at length about his Mum dying and the other four funerals he'd attended recently.  I was in danger of feeling sorry for myself because of my inability of accepting the idea of death & dying, but I recognised his need as being greater than mine, and let him talk.  We were on the doorstep for a while.  He was able to bring a lighter note and a smile at the end, told me about when they were cleaning out his Mother's house, they found ten packs of chewing gum.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The Hangover Part II.  The biggest star of the original The Hangover was Las Vegas, Bangkok could never compete.  It was practically the exact same story, only set in the depressingly sad Bangkok.  
 Star smilie clear
strike action, Jeremy Clarkson and The Husband survives scary North Sea conditions
  Over on The Star Swag Blog there's the best star print item of clothing, like forever.  
    Bit of nurse strike action yesterday, because public sector workers are being shit on.  I've been an NHS nurse for 28 years, thinking I won't have to and shouldn't have to, do it for very much longer, I'm definitely the right side of putting the years in.  This recent turn of events, with the government changing the goal posts re pension and retirement ages is scary.  All my working life The Dad reassured me, I may be under stress, giving my all, but at least I could be confident that I'd get a good pension.  
    The government is now sticking two fingers up to my 28 years dedication.  That's not right.  I don't think it's just the conservatives, I reckon given the current world financial crisis, which seems to be all about self-serving greedy banker issues, it wouldn't matter what particular political party is in government, we'd be facing the same shit.  So I'm not angry at the conservatives per se, just the banking industry and politians in general.  Seem they weren't clever enough to see it coming, and if they were...then they're just self-serving bastards.  
    So here we go...someone had to make the first public dig at the cause.  JC's comments on the public sector strike on The One Show have caused ructions.  I like Jeremy Clarkson...I like Top Gear & I like his books.  I like his pal A A Gill, he's a snobby guy who reviews restaurants and critiques TV in The Sunday Times.  Gill is satirical and humorous too.  JC said he'd have all the strikers taken outside and shot in front of their families.  I wasn't offended, I saw it as a flippant joke, he doesn't actually really want people shot, it was a JOKE, badly timed sure, but just a joke.  If this gets him sacked from the BBC and/or Top Gear ditched, I will personally shoot everyone that's complaining about him and demanding his sacking.  
      I read humour in everything JC writes and hear it in everything he says...when he's being OTT bolshy & non-PC...that's his public persona I enjoy.  He might be like that in private... too as your ex-collegue has told you...if he is & given half a chance, I'd probably enjoy a good argument over a bottle of wine with him. Have you heard what he says about motorbikes? My husband is a fan of his work too, and he's currently got 3 motorbikes. Are you telling me you think Jeremy Clarkson would actually have human beings taken outside and shot? He was stupid, insensitive and got it wrong. AND like you say, has apologised. And when I said I'd shoot everyone complaining bout him...I was jokingand if he is...then given half a chance I'd enjoy a heated debate over a bottle of wine with him.  I'm thoroughly peed off with the UK public jumping on the outrage bandwagon baying for the sacking of my favourite entertainers.  The bit bout how I'll shoot the complainers...I'm JOKING.  
      Today The Husband spent 7 extra hours on a ferry in the North Sea, on his way home.  The Norway to Denmark section of the journey is usually a 12 hr sail.  But this turned into 19hrs.  For 7 extra hours the sea was so violent the ferry had to keep parking up facing into the wind, any attempt at progress during the worst 7hrs of the sail resulted in the boat being flung around too severely to persist.  I was worried...he's got the Z4 with him!  

Star smilie clear

Signed eBook Tin Prize News and Fatima's nostril invasion

  Soft knits on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Meanwhile here on The Star Blog, I've got another bit of great news to impart.  As I quietly mentioned on here, I won the Blasted Heath tin in the competition held by the lovely guys at this new Scottish epublishers.  Well, even better news is they've sorted it for my favourite author, Mr Douglas Lindsay (@thisblastedlife on The Twitter), to autograph my prize.  This is really special for me, and I can't thank all those involved enough.  For 'all those involved' read Allan Guthrie, Kyle MacRae and Douglas Lindsay himself.  I'll put up a photie when it arrives.  This is the good news tweet.  
      It was with more than just a touch of distress that I watched Fatima Whitbread and her nostril invasion.  I can't stand the nose thing, I've got an issue with the nose thing, you do NOT touch my nose.  Ever.  I reckon this is because I've got tiny nostrils, which are easily blocked.  Fatima Whitbread's issue was on the other end of the nostril size spectrum.   She had a cockroach up her left nostril.  That's disgusting.  Then she snorted and blew that nose like a coal miner fresh up from the mine.  A doctor flushed her nostril with a syringe of water, several times, I lost track of the details, watching through my fingers by this time.  I was wondering why they didn't get the tweezers.  I'd have just been totally freakin' and screaming TWEEZERS!!!  She took  Dealt with it way better than I could.   
 Star smilie clear
roses, Hysterectomy News Update & dieting and The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter DVD
  There's blingy friendship on The Star Swag Blog.  
    November the 26th and still roses blooming in the Starry Towers garden.  I was seriously tempted to leave them till December, just for the novelty and achievement, but the weather's taken a turn for the windy.  Strong winds throwing them around can cause root damage with all the battering, blustering and gusting.  From what I understand it's not a good thing to let them carry on flowering too long anyway, sometimes they need to be told it's time to rest.  This is the only time of year that I cut flowers from the garden and bring them in to the house.  
    As regular readers know, I had a total hysterectomy this year, everything went, the womb, the ovaries and the cervix.  With the gynae bits also went any tone I had in my tummy area.  The bruising and damage was quite extraordinary at the time, therefore I'm putting a gruesome reminder here again.  I can't believe that was me.  Five months later I'm left with a 6 and a 1/2 inch bikini line scar which is obviously much less dramatic looking since then, but the tummy has felt alien to me ever since.  You loose the ability to suck it in.  Well, until now.  My body is getting better.  
      I'm dieting and I've found my abdominal wall muscles again.  The dirty E word...exercise...has entered my world.  I'm tensing regularly, only problem I have is I can't suss out how to tense and breath at the same time.  I've lost 6lbs recently and am 8 stone summit, I hated being 9 stone summit.  Once I get back to 8 and 1/2 stone I will take a new photo of the tummy and scar and put it up here in celebration.  The positivity of loosing weight and working them muscles again, combined with the smoking cessation, and the obvious biggie...cancer risk reduction...makes the hysterectomy experience very worthwhile in the long run.  
      The kick up the backside I needed came from The Husband.  While he was making catty comments...which he did at times, lets not pretend he's a saint...I wasn't impressed.  When he took control of his own little bit of unsightly weight gain, that's when I got jealous.  He saw recent photies of himself in his motorbike racing leathers at the track and appalled at his sausage filling bursting out of it's sausage skin appearance he just went for it.  I'm not sure how much he's lost exactly, but the difference is obvious.  I couldn't have him getting slim and me not.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched The Deer Hunter yet again.  O. M. Geee...what a movie, Walken and De Niro, both in their youthful top form.  Horrendous scenes, De Niro's character Michael is such a hero and Walken's Nick is too.  "Here's to Nick"...indeed.  This is the movie when I first fell in love with Mr Walken, over three decades ago now, a love that hasn't wavered, not for a second, not even Joe Dirt could sway me.   
  Star smilie clear
  Couple of bits of bling on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Me! Me! Me!  I won!  I've won a Blasted Heath competition.  Blasted Heath are the groovy new Scottish digital publishers I was recently blogging about, the business of Allan Guthrie and Kyle MacRae.  You can find them on The Twitter @BlastedHeathens.  
    The competition was to win a Blasted Heath Tin and was hosted by Sarah at her blog.  Entrants had to post a comment telling Kyle and Allan why they deserved to win the free Blasted Heat Tin and "make it as witty and well thought out as you can!  Make them laugh and smile".  Was no sooner read than done.  I was witty, I didn't have to think about it, I made them laugh and was easy I just told them the facts.  Click on the picture of the blog comment revealing me as the winner to see my entry, the winner announcement, Sarah's thank you and my acceptance speech, which has been called awesome.  
    and the winner is...  
 Star smilie clear
new Bosch, Sheep magazine, BG & SKY problems, Source Code, Annie Hall and Bridesmaids

Source Code

Annie Hall DVD

Bridesmaids DVD
  I've added a load of new Norway photies to The Norway Gallery, still got hunners to sort and add.  
    The new Starry Towers Bosch is in situ, simultaneously warming the cockles of my heart and performing extraordinary laundry services in shhhh silent stealth mode.  It's fabulous, a baby could sleep in that thing on a 60 degree cotton wash.  I keep looking for stuff to wash, clothes, coats, rugs, duvets, pillows, shoes, curtains, anything I can fit in the drum.  Loving it.  
    There's a new celeb in the Shetland Sheep world.  In the November issue of the magazine The Shetland Breed, The Dad appears twice.  There's two photographs of The Dad and Rench Marilyn II.  As a bonus claim to fame, I'm now a published photographer, credited on page 16 for my photo of The Dad and Champion Rench Marilyn II at Yetholm this year.  On the cover of the magazine are three of The Deceased Octogenarian Friend's young rams, The Dad's Rench Dandy is at the back of the trio.   
    I'm so proud.  Of The Dad, and Tom, and the sheeps he named after me, and...ME!  Published!  On paper, not just on my own www website.  
    British Gas cold called me yet again today.  They probably don't consider it cold calling because Starry Towers is officially still linked to British Gas as the upstairs is with them, even though we shut the supply down two years ago, they still send us bills for zero of our Scottish pounds.  The plan is to have one gas supply from one provider for both floors of Starry Towers once we install a new boiler and heating system.  One thing I'm certain of, once this Starry Towers project is complete, we most definitely won't be purchasing our gas from British Gas.  
    Today BG was represented by a young sounding man called Chris.  He quickly became subtly condescending, then down-right offensive.  "You seem to be upset Mrs H..." (and for H read the H surname I had before I married and became the H I am now, remember I only marry men with H surnames)..."...I don't understand why you seem to be upset...", he then said, "I've only told you I'm phoning from British Gas and my name is Chris, so what bit of that had upset you, is it BG or my name?"  
    I could hardly believe his cheek, he interrupts me, he invades my house with his cold call, then gets mouthy like a teenager.  Quite flabbergasted so I was, I told him I wasn't upset, I'm annoyed at these phone calls trying to offer me some sort of deal to upgrade or benefit in some way...on an account that reads precisely £0 every time they make out a bill to us.  He persisted, I told him at one point that he was cheeky (and not in a good way), he kept on keeping on, I had to  talk over him to tell him I'm sick of their calls and say "goodbye, you have a nice day Chris" as I put the phone down on him.  
    Another big company is the cause behind my having to deal with these cold calls, and it seems like not a day goes by without at least one of these crap calls making me rush to pick up a phone before quickly realising two minutes of my life is about to be wasted.  I am so pissed off with SKY.  SKY is now our broadband, TV and phone provider.  Try as we might, we can't get them to provide the caller display function.  When we were with our last provider it worked just fine.  The Husband has activated the service on the SKY account, we've followed their trouble-shooting jump-through-the-hoops advice, we've done the *234# thing and received the message 'callers identities will be displayed', but that's a blatant untruth.  If SKY could sort this problem, then I could ignore the cold calls.  Driving me mental, but I can't find an answer.  
      The Husband was home for the weekend and we watched Source Code, entertaining enough and also kinda made me thoughtful, on the subject of death.  Yes, I enjoyed the movie, and brushing the sad bit out my mind swiftly, yes it was good.  
      TV is crap just now, so last night I watched Annie Hall.  Jeeez...Woody Allan.  Maybe I got bored with his selfish neurosis over several decades, maybe all that 35 years age gap marriage with Soon-Yi, the adopted daughter of his ex Mia Farrow, is just too big a deal for me.  And Mr Walken doesn't have a big enough part to make it all right.  I revisited Annie Hall three decades later because I just read a Sunday Times Magazine interview with Diane Keaton.  She seems a sweet lady, and immensely complex...and neurotic therapy addict.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched Bridesmaids.  Very funny, a lot of scenes made me giggle out loud, or GOL as I like to call it.  
 Star smilie clear
washing machine RIP, Dingle dilemma solved and Tell 'EmmSteve DaveSteve Dave 
  Problem here at Starry Towers, the washing machine is kaput.  It's been making a lot of bad noises for a few weeks, then I noticed clothing was a bit soapy at the end of the wash, it wasn't rinsing properly.  After that it just stopped spinning, so the clothes were soaking wet when they came out.  I've washed my last load with that machine.  Messaged The Husband on the www, he wrote back saying a new  BOSCH WAS32461GB 1600 Spin Washing Machine will be delivered on Saturday.  That's the way to do white goods.  
    Predictable plot lines..I don't know the details but it's getting on my nerves Emmerdale...I predict Cain's baby with currently pregnant teenager Amy will provide whatever it is his granddaughter, the sick Sarah Dingle child, needs.  Sarah requires a spare part, a kidney, bone marrow or a finger, something like that.  That Cain Dingle, played by actor Jeff Hordley, is no doubt an attractive bad boy character, and I was rather happy to see him return.  But I never understood how he was able to walk back onto the show having left at the exciting end of a kidnapping, ransom and police chase.  I must've missed the episode where they explained away the minor issue of him being at large in the Yorkshire Dales while filling the #1 slot on the UK's Most Wanted list.  
      After nearly two years (they started in February 2010) of free funnies from the lovely guys at Tell 'Em Steve Dave I've splashed out a few $s to purchase the podcast specials, which can be got at the online music store  The freebies can be got from Kevin Smith's  
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Norway 2011 three times and Rob Brydonudio bookaudio book 
  Over on The Star Swag Blog there's my new favourite nail polish.  
    My Continental Tripping 2011 Norway Journal #3 is finally done.  It's a lot of work sorting our photies and researching to check my info is factual, and most of all, remembering this stuff, the details.  I do keep a day-to-day key-word type diary while I'm away to make the remembering a tad easier.  
    On the iPod recently...the 8hrs 45mins of the Rob Brydon autobiography Small Man In A Book.  How he manages to be straight, (married twice, with children), while saying so much stuff that sounds so gay I just can't fathom.  I enjoyed the greater half of this, the bigger first half...nearer the end it gets a bit, then I did this, then I did that.  As an adult he concentrates on his professional working life and says very little about his private life, called private for a reason I spose.  And it comes to an abrupt halt just as he becomes successful.  Mr Brydon's got a lovely comforting voice and is great with the impersonations so it's an enjoyable listen.  
    I noted with interest that Rob says Jimmy Savile told him it's easy to get to the top, the difficult bit is staying there.  The very same thing Jimmy Tarbuck told Jonathan Ross as reported in Wossy's book Why Do I Say These Things.  Back in the day this was popular advice from men called Jimmy.   
 Star smilie clear
Smokin' Joe RIP, an eBay first, I detect a detector, The Bro finds a needle in a haystack, from obesity to anorexia, Burlesque and Kill The Irishman


Kill The Irishman 
  There's a faux fur trimmed parka on The Star Swag Blog.  
    I've been away, so this blog post is a catch-up round-up of some of what's been happening in Marilyn's World in the last fortnight.  I've been in Norway again, this time it was Stavanger, Tananger AND new-to-me the more northern Trondheim.  I had a great time in Trondheim because it was a new city to explore, soon as I can get it done I'll put up a journal of my latest trip and the accompanying photies.  I'm still recuperating after the surgery, taking it easy away from the pressures of life, gentle exercise (ie walking), and being waited on hand and foot and wined and dined by The Husband is just what the GP ordered.  While I was away The Mum was over laundering the bedding and cleaning windows and The Boy, YES, The Boy hoovered the house top to bottom.  I'm so fortunate having caring folks loving me.  
    Back to the cruel reality of death.  67 is way too early isn't it.  DAMN YOU CANCER!  RIP Joe Frazier.  

    RIP Legend  
    I had to use the discount code from The Daily Record to buy my Blasted Heath Tin because there was an eBay first for me.  I failed to win the auction for the one and only signed by all five authors Blasted Heath tin, damn and blast.  If you're not the guy who did win it then quickly get over there and enter RECORD at the checkout for a £3 discount on an unsigned one.   
    As I blogged on the first of the November (see below) Blasted Heath is a new Scottish ePublishing company, and I believe in them, due to their association with my beloved favourite author of all time Mr Douglas Lindsay, he of Barney Thomson barbershop death junkie fame, I'm hoping they succeed in a big time type way.  
    I'm usually in like a shark at the end of an eBay auction, swiping it from under the nose of the last smug 'you are the highest bidder' at the last second, but given that I was in Norway and using my Asus Eee (a bit rickity slow, can't handle too much shit at the one time) I spoke to The Husband who put the item on his Bid Burglar.  He entered £116.28, and we sat back to watch.  It was sitting at £50, in the last split second of the auction...£118.28 won the day, and it wasn't us.  Some other Bid Burglar won it with a higher Bid Burglar bid.  Fair dos.  I was actually looking forward to giving to charity, the money was going half to Cancer Research and half to LiveStrong.  I reckoned I was happy to give a hundred to anti-cancer charity...FECK YOU CANCER!   
      Also, I do like a bit of charity-giving when I get something nice in return.  AND it was to be my third item with a my favourite-author-of-all-time name-tag-scribble, should've been my third and way most expensive Mr Lindsay autograph.  Alas alack, just wasn't to be.   
      I searched up and down and all around Starry Towers for my metal detector.  The Dad was even in both attics, no sign.  So on the second day of the search The Boy's back from his Dad's the night before, he shuffles in, in his pants, scratching his bed-head hair and rubbing sleep from his eyes.  I only asked him out of desperation, did he remember it?  Remember it, he'd taken it to his Dad's place, a long time ago.  All's well that end's well, and it was a very happy ending to the metal detector tale.  The Boy got it back to me, the batteries, with a use-by-date of October 2009, still working.  And I passed it along to The Brother who was planning on finding a needle in a haystack with the help of The Mum, always up for a challenge is The Mum.  His 'needle' was his bullet camera and the 'haystack' was both sides of the entire 1.3 miles of  Knockhill racetrack.  I didn't think he stood any realistic chance of finding it, even with the help of The Starry Towers metal detector.  
      But he did, the Camsports HDS-720p was a foot off the side of the his own words "just where I started braking for the hairpin.  We were prepared to have the whole day looking but ten minutes later we were heading back to the car...took it home and plugged it into the laptop and downloaded some good footage...I must have been doing between 80-90mph when it parted company with the bike and hit the track, then it's lay for three weeks with the Scottish weather hammering it."  That's a damn good camera.  
      I'm delighted and absolutely astounded, I love that he found it, a whole packet of Jammy Dodgers is what he wins.  Great big heaps of positivity, a massive dose of pure luck and a steely hard core of Scottish tightness, fabulous.   
      I was reading an article about the ex-UK's Fattest Teenager and came across a LOL moment.  Spotted this (chicken) nugget of funny fact information...a much quoted spokesman for the National Obesity Forum is Tam Fry.  His name suggests to me he'd be a mega-sized Glaswegian tucking into pies, chips and deep-fried Mars Bars, supporting fatties in their right to eat all the most unhealthy food options and campaigning against a Fat Tax.  But it's not that type of forum, it's a registered charity and seems to be on a government/NHS level, fighting against fat.  Well, they say they're tackling the diseases caused by obesity, but it's the same thing.  
      Was in this article in Closer magazine that I read of the Jones family and Tam said Mrs Jones was failing as a mother and hiding behind the excuse of a possible genetic predisposition because her son Aran is fat.  Tam's right of course. Aran learned his unhealthy lifestyle from her, though Tam should've included both parents there, the Dad is also fat, though isn't included in the article.   
      The Jones family member I feel sorry for is the daughter Malissa, they made up their own spelling of the name Melissa for a start, in a kind of spell it like you say it type way.  Malissa at age 16 and 34st, was Britain's Fattest Teenager and was given £10,000 of bypass surgery on the NHS.  It worked, she now weighs just 8st, unfortunately 2st of that is saggy skin and Malissa is now anorexic, terribly disfigured and depressed.  A horrendous result.   
      from obesity to anorexia  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Burlesque while we were in a Norway hotel, I took the DVD with me because I know The Husband likes Cher and a bit of high kicking les Folies Bergère type corseting.  The best that can be said about Burlesque is about the singing and dancing, it is worth watching for the Christina Agurelalalala performances, not her acting, definitely not the acting, not hers and not noone elses, pheeeew the acting was bad.  Ms Cher is like 101 years old and lit kindly, but still, her face is so strange, I know it's unkind but I was amazed at her surgery mask.  
      The Husband and I watched Kill The Irishman.  My Mr Walken as a loan-shark who (spoiler alert!) gets blown away by a car-bomb.  Damn them Irish mobsters in 1970s Cleveland.  For the first half of the movie I found it all a bit poor, but round about the bit where the Mafia guy frenziedly stabs the young boy in the car boot it all goes a bit more seriously Goodfellas quality.  Couple of points that stayed with me, when did Val Kilmer get so fat?  And Vinnie Jones was rather good.   
 Star smilie clear
Blasted Heath and Amy Amy Amy new album 
  There's a new ePublisher, launched today, and it's Scottish.  
      Blasted Heath, founded by Allan Guthrie and Kyle MacRae, is Scotland's first digital-only publisher.  I became aware of them thanks to my favourite author Douglas Lindsay.  He's involved and some of his books are highlights of the launch.  They are giving away free ebooks, in all the file types, compatible with all the gadgets, I'll be getting mine for the Kindle.  The website also kindly explains all about the different file types and guides novices through the world of ebooks.  This info is on the Blasted Blog tab.  I learned how to get my free kindle email address sorted so I can send docs to my Kindle without being charged by Amazon.  I'd previously knew it was possible, just couldn't fathom out how to do it and Amazon don't make it obvious, the info is there, they just don't put it in an easy to find place.  
      Today Blasted Heath started with the free novella End Of Days by Mr Lindsay, sign up to their free newsletter here, and they'll email you the code and instructions on how to get that.  Then tomorrow and the following four days there's more ebooks available free for 24hrs, see here for the details.  The individual novels are available in a USB stick/tin presentation pack too.  I'm feeling really enthusiastic about these guys and their business and sincerely hope they succeed.  They're also offering the first five launch novels in a special Blasted Boxset, a branded USB stick in a cute little branded tin which includes a colour brochure with author and book information.  If you wish to purchase said branded stick, tin and booklet, there's a discount code to get you £3 off.  Enter RECORD at the checkout.  
      I'm holding off using the code because I'm bidding on the charity auction on ebay in the hope I get the one and only signed by all five authors branded stick, tin and booklet.  I do a lot for charity when charity does a lot for me.  I lurve giving when I get, I know this may sound a tad repulsive to many, but but but, that's the way I roll, like it or lump it.  Is it my fault?  This is a mix of nature and nurture and I'm Scottish, end off.   
      Blasted Boxset  
      These are the five freebies...  
      the five freebies  
      The other big news for my entertainment world is the announcement that there will be another Amy Winehouse album, of material I've never heard before, set to be released in December.  I read the NME article by Dan Martin here.  The material, 12 tracks, spans a long period, from a 2002 demo of ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ through to her Tony Bennett duet, ‘Body And Soul’, from March this year.  I'll be buying because I can't stand thinking I'll never hear Amy stuff I don't already know.  I want to hear everything she ever did.  Miss you Amy.  
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Halloween, Z4 folks, the Sunny D path and Paranormal Activity 2

Paranormal Activity 2
  If you need an umbrella-ella-ella, have a look on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Happy Halloween and all that bullshit.  Last year The Husband entered into the traditional swing of things and filled a big basket with a mix of sweets and a big black rubber spider on the side, put a light-up pumpkin in the window and was prepared with coinage, but no guisers arrived.  So this year on my own here, with no welcome-pumpkin in the window I was expecting a quiet night of glittering up my nails, soap operas and a spooky movie.  I was disturbed by a loud door chapping.  
    For fully 30 seconds I deliberated on what to do,  Even though I should've half-expected this, I didn't.  I was near on finally decided to ignore them, but a spark of Z4-in-the-drive-worry suddenly struck me.  As I switched on the hall light and approached the front door I heard them...'who said she wouldn't answer' one of them said, excited babbling, I unlocked and opened the door.  Three boys in costumes with their faces on show, one boy in a werewolf mask, and a girl who had made no effort to dress for the occasion staying in the background, she was in a pink hoody.   
      The little beggers are just lucky my nail job was dry and not damaged with the ripping open of a Mars Bar 5-pack.  They told jokes mostly, and when I asked if no-one was going to sing, one of them did.  I didn't push for a dance.  I gave these five guiser kids Mars Bars to make sure they didn't egg the Z4.  I engaged them in conversation, they were surprisingly friendly and open with their information.  I asked if they know The Boy, my 18yr son, they did, one identified himself as the younger brother of one of The Boy's friends, another gave his name willingly even though he had no older sibling.  I told them The Boy was going to be peed off I gave away his Mars Bars.  They told me tales of how they got freaked by some man who had stared at them for an eternity then eventually gave one of them a £1.  Make them view you as a real human and not an anonymous victim.  That's the correct psychological approach.  And its wise to threaten with an 18yr old son if you've got one.  They know he will hunt them down and kill them if they do any damage, so that and the Mars Bars, and all is well at Starry Towers.  Cheap night really and I actually enjoyed the encounter.  
     At the weekend there, Sunday morning, The Husband and I were up and out dead early and met up with a bunch of Z4 owners to do this Z4 drive thing.  The Husband is on a www site for Z4 owners you see.  Not our usual kind of behaviour at all, but we thought we'd give it a try.  The idea was after we met up we'd go for a drive down through the Borders, have a coffee stop in Moffat then go on to meet up again at South Queensferry.  How to stick out like a sore thumb in a Z4 group...have a red one, and keep your top on.  Our Z4 was one of only two with the most powerful Z4 engines.  I found it strange that no-one showed any interest in our top of the range superior model.   
      Nine cars set off, seven arrived at The Bridges.  One missing in action was explained, apparently the new convertible got stopped for speeding and another went missing en route, no-one knew why.  This wasn't a pleasurable day out.  
      When we set off on the drive they all had their soft tops down apart from the one coupé who doesn't have that option, and us, with our hard top on because it's winter.  Some of them quickly pulled over and put their soft tops up, but four, I kid you not, four of them did the entire journey roofless.  It's Scotland, it's winter, it rained...hardy people.  Problem was, the way I saw it, I found myself gripping the seat with two hands, when I wasn't holding onto the seat for dear life, I found my hands grasping at bits of my clothing.  I was never relaxed.  But on the way back up after Moffat, The Husband let them go and I could relax.  
     On a convoy type excursion you expect to stay together, all the better for turning heads and impressing the members of the public, or so I thought.  But some of these people treated this like a race and disappeared quickly.  What's the point?  We drove through narrow bendy-twisty country roads with bumps and holes in, roads we'd never normally take the Zed, we'd go Range Rover for this terrain.  
     The Husband does this kind of thing on a motorbike on racetracks.  If you're in a sports car, then that's what race tracks and Germany is for.  I wasn't impressed.  The roads of Scotland are shared with walkers, horse-riders, cyclists...oncoming traffic.  Some of these Z4 people were just plain stupid, putting other's lives in danger as well as their own.  
     By the time we got to South Queensferry, I was sickened at their antics but very happy to see The Rail Bridge with no white scaffolding men-at-work stuff on.  Best view of the day, though earlier in the day we'd seen The Devil's Beef Tub with clouds in and it looked strikingly lovely, but it was gone in a flash as we had to keep up with the 'boy racers'.  
     Another of my daily walks around Sunny D and I traipsed along a new path, and when I say 'new', it's obviously been there a good long while, it's just new to me.  The 'No Loitering' sign at the half way point on the path indicates there's been massive amounts of loitering on that path.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched Paranormal Activity 2 It's a prequel.  The dog's a disappointment, rubbish at sensing the paranormal presence and not even very good at noticing normal human activityt.  With a German Shepherd you expect to be better protected, or at the very least, better warned.  
  Star smilie clear
walking, bus trip, Emmerdale lesbian, Z4 CDs, Amy loved her Vodka, FB interactive stalker movie starring you, shadow on the sky and You Kill MeYou Kill Me

  Confession Time...after my total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, 17 weeks ago, I followed medical advice.  Not my usual behaviour, but I had The Mum and The Husband making sure I did, so I was outnumbered.  They said don't hoover till 12 weeks post-op so I didn't, they said don't lift, so I'm not lifting, they said walk, start with short strolls out of your hospital bed, build up to 20 minutes and do it every day.  When I got home I walked at least 20 mins every day, slowly to start with, building up to a brisk pace.  I did that for weeks and weeks, but I'm confessing I eventually got bored with it, it fell away...then stopped.  Exercise scares me.  
    But, reluctantly, I've seen the errors of my ways and started again and I'm back on track.  The weather's been nice this week, so probably a major factor in getting me back out the door.  Yesterday was a beautiful day, and saw me out on a brisk 25 minute walk.  I found a path in Sunny D I didn't even know existed before.  I walked half way down the path to check out where it was going, tomorrow I'm going to walk the full length of the path to clarify it emerges where I think it must, there will be photographic evidence.  
    Today I did my walking at The Centre and MacArthur Glen.  Met up with my old friend C, she's an old friend first and a work colleague second.  We went round some shops and stopped off for Diet Cokes, caught up and had a giggle.  She was well ramping up the attention to personal grooming with one inch long glitter fake acrylic nails and a very freshly applied (like 10 minutes ago) henna tattoo on her right hand.  Awkward moment when we passed two of the Work Reunion guys off The Facebook.  The guy who did a Jezza Kyle style relationship issue out in the public forum of a social networking site, ie The Facebook, and I commented on his post that it was all going Jezza Kyle, then it all got deleted.  Yeah, him, and his BFF who is another of The Facebook reunion guys.  Yeah them, C and I passed them while in MacArthur Glen.  Was all hi, hi, but we kept walking, awkward.   
    To get to The Centre I travelled on a bus, unusual for me.  I accompanied The Boy on his way to work, we shared the back seat in the bus.  He wasn't keen I have to tell you.  But it grew on him, he even sent me a text later asking if I got there OK as his stop was before mine. It's all changed on the buses, the number of the bus and the route it takes...exciting (hear the sarcasm in my voice).   
    In-car music in the old silver Z4 was via an iPod connection to my iPod and it's six BMW folders, the new red Z4 has a CD player for which I was tasked with making 6 CDs of my favourite tunes.  I finally got round to the job this evening, got carried away and made 7.  Takes sooooo long, took up several hours of my life, but it's done now so I'm feeling a satisfactory job-done tingle.  That's us musically prepared for the upcoming Z4-forum Scottish Pre-Winter Meet.  The good news is the meeting place is just round the corner from Starry Towers, the bad news is they're meeting at 0800 hrs.  My goodness, that's early for a drive, even if there'll be about 10 better be fun.  The Husband is looking forward to the photo ops.  
    The Boy sent me to Take This Lollipop...OMG!  It's www scary fun, like watching your very own psychokiller stalker movie.  1 : 0 to him.  Take This Lollipop is an Interactive Live Action Facebook Connect experience, only uses the info you've put out there on The FB, and tailors it to scare you in a top quality movie trailer experience, starring you.  Halloween's a coming, shit your pants if you're on The FB, check it out at TakeThisLollipop  
    On Wednesday this week Mount Rainier in Seattle in the USA...the conditions were just right, the sun rose further to the south as the winter solstice approaches and the 14,000 feet (4300 meters) of mountain was in the exact position to block the first rays of morning sun before they hit the sky they threw a shadow onto the cloud cover.  Beautiful.  
    Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched You Kill Me starring Ben Kingsley and Luke Wilson, I should've been more impressed I think.  I just don't like watching movies on my own.  
 Star smilie clear
another hyper-annoying TV ad 
  This TV commercial  is soooo annoying, but also kinda creepy in an abattoir slaughter-house type way.  
    Advertising Colman's new Instant Beef Gravy Paste in a tube, there's a shiny dancing gravy bull to the tune of I Like The Way You Moo, Colman's adapted  version of the Bodyrockers song I Like The Way You Move.  Yeeuck.  
    The mother makes the gravy, has a little taste off her dipped finger, she smiles contentedly, I'd go so far to say, she looks well smug.  See it here.  Then it gets horrid, the glistening high-shine bull jumps up out of the gravy boat and dances around looking far too jolly about his part in this dinner.  A bit of uh-hu-hu-uh type dance moves and he back flips into the gravy boat and next thing the gravy's being poured over a meat and two veg dinner plate.  The happy Mum and Dad plus 2 kids (one of each sex of course), then get tucked in...smugly  Way to make me go veggie again.   
 Star smilie clear
Steps reformed, The Facebook, Nice Scottish News & Nasty Scottish News 
  I think I may have annoyed an old work colleague, a man I haven't seen for years, but they're organising a reunion (just like Steps), so a load of them are now in contact on The Facebook and I've been invited.  This one guy wrote on The Facebook re his relationship.  Yesterday he put up something apologising publicly for not being attentive enough, taking her for granted blah blah blah.  Today he put up saying he is in a relationship...he hopes, with question marks, he was looking very wimpy pathetic.  I responded to his post, how it was all getting a bit Jezza Kyle round here with public displays of relationship issues and said I'd pull my chair up and get the popcorn.  He only went and deleted my post.  What?  What did I say?  
      As an update to this story, he deleted the entire post later on, I think he either realised for himself or the woman involved, told him what a plonker he was being.  I like to think my wise words helped.  
      I was on a roll on The Facebook today.  A female friend had posted several sad news stories throughout the day, then this evening she said...'I feel doom-laden'.  I asked...'Is he Bin's brother?'  Now come on, that was a good liney, always trying to bring cheer and a smile to the faces of my 'friends'.  She deleted she didn't, only kidding.   
      Nice Scottish News : Maurice Hurrell of Tullibody in Clackmannanshire has been awarded the fifth annual Scottish Conkers Championship title in Peebles...nice.   
      Nasty Scottish News :  28 year old Stuart Walker was found dead on an industrial estate in Cumnock, Ayrshire at the weekend, badly beaten, charred and partially dressed.  The Daily Record broke the news online with a headline proclaiming it was the 'gay-slaying' of a 'lamppost murder victim', which at the time was just a tad presumptuous, to say the least.  The Daily Record had run with Mr Walker's homosexualty and assumed this was a gay-bashing  hate crime.  We also know now he wasn't tied to a lamppost.  Of course it's shocking whatever the motive, but surely they shouldn't assume he died because his killer/killers hate gays.  It could be that he was murdered by a same-sex homosexual psychopath.  Could well be gay-on-gay murder, because it is actually true that most murder victims die at the hands of their nearest and dearest...FACT.  We don't know at this stage.  But the Daily Record's sensationalising headline and story led to thousands upon thousands of Twitters tweeting saying how bad it is to be murdered because of your gaydom.  
      This young man died brutally, The Daily Record and The Twitter reduced him to his sexuality.  That's what annoyed me.  Many many heterosexual women are murdered by heterosexual males...a lot of them cases is because they are in a heterosexual relationship with the heterosexual killer or are the victim of a heterosexual psychopath serial killer type.  The Twitters don't start proclaiming them cases are a 'straight-slaying', but they go ape-shit at the mere sniff of a gay thing.  
      Updated TV STV news this evening reported that the gay-slaying aspect is wrong, police are apparently treating this as a domestic murder.  I hate it when everyone jumps on the bandwagon without stopping to think.  
      I spent my day in The Starry Towers Estate, pottering around tending to the flowers, I'm surprised at how flowery a lot of them still are.  It's nearly November.   
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Marco, still not enthusiastic, Unknown and Machete


  A pair of bargain gloves on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Marco Simoncelli (20/01/87 - 23/10/11) RIP.  The gorgeous boy with the amazing hair.  I don't watch much motorbike racing, but I'm aware of a lot of it because The Husband takes his bikes out on race tracks on a regular basis.  And in more recent times The Brother does too.  It's a dangerous game but I've always been reassured by The Husband that a race track is the safest place to ride a motorbike, and it is, I understand all the reasons why.  And I'm well happy with The Husbands' recent decision to retire from road biking.  Marco always stood out for me when I watched any of his racing, his crazy beautiful hair, I always wondered how he got a helmet on his head.  This evening I read on the website that he had to wear a helmet in a size too big to get his hair in.  
    Now I fear it could have contributed to his death as his helmet flew off in the fatal accident, but The Husband says the size shouldn't make a difference, it's more likely the helmet hadn't been properly strapped when he put it on.  He was such a beautiful boy, and his death brings home the risks all racers take, at all levels.  I can't stop thinking about this tragic event, my thoughts are with his loved ones this evening.  
      I put in a special effort to catch Ricky Gervais on Curb Your Enthusiasm.  I've never 'got' the whole world of Larry David, Seinfeld or Curb.  It must be me, I just don't find any of it funny.  But tonight was the Gervais episode, so I wasn't funny either.  

  Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Unknown.  Was alright, but perhaps too many unrealistic turns and twists.  Too much made of the intricate details, like the secret passwords had to be written in a code, I'm sure any agent worth their fee would be able to commit such stuff to memory.  And just cos it's set in we have to have Stasi agents coming out of the woodwork?  As if that isn't hunger is resolved and Neeson leaves Germany with a new wife.  
      I watched Machete.  Very glad I am that I kept this bad decision to myself, it's rubbish, I couldn't even watch to the end.  
 Star smilie clear
Gaddafi, The Mum and Duvet News 
  The big news today is Gaddafi is dead, really really seriously definitely dead, I've seen some extremely graphic and, despite his evilness, still very disturbing proof.  Took Libya a while, but they got him in the end.  The uprising started in February this year, he came to power 42 years ago and ruled like a true despot crazy man.   
      See, it seems like a good idea at the time, ruling like a despot crazy man, but doesn't always pan out well in the long run, especially these days with the www and stuff.  I've seen so much video footage, chilling, his people really really hated him.  Should've perhaps just taken his own life rather than endure the mob violence.  No mercy.  Trying to hide like a rat in a drain pipe, apparently beaten then shot with a bullet to the head alongside one of his sons, gruesome stuff.  But then, he did more gruesome stuff to many many others, including funding and having his sticky fingers in terrorist activity throughout the world.  Karma, ugly karma, and a long time coming, but karma none the less.  
      Lets hope the people of Libya get it right next time with their choice of leader, if they have a choice.  They're good at celebratory gunfire, careless, deadly and wasteful firing of bullets into the sky, what bit of that seems like a good idea.  But, historically,  not so good at being ruled.  
      On The Twitter there was humour in 140 characters or less, these are my favourites :  
      "Fuck me, they got Gadaffi; Bin Laden and Voldemort are dead. It's surely only a matter of time until Jeremy Kyle's reign of terror is over." - @thegambon on The Twitter (actor Michael Gambon)  
      "At last,after years of atrocities & the appalling treatment of millions,it's over. Details are sketchy but at last Westlife are splitting up" - @alandavies1 on The Twitter (actor and comedian Alan Davies)  
      I had a nice day, due in some part to the fact that I chose a long time ago not to be a despot dictator crazy woman ruler of an oil rich country.  No, for me it was a quiet day with The Mum.  The Mum was over to do some heavy housework tasks for me, she set off to clean the windows, but getting a bit carried away she took a Stanley blade to the outside of The Starry Towers windows and removed the paint spots left there by The Starry Towers paint 2009.  I've been meaning to get round to it.  The Mum done a great job, the windows are sparkling.  
      Duvet news : We also stripped the bed and The Mum persuaded me I need a lighter tog duvet to help with the menopausal night sweats.  I've been struggling on with a Slumberdown Climate Control 10.5 tog, having changed down to that from a 15 earlier this year...due to to the menopausal night sweats.  But she's right, 10.5 tog was still too hot, and I never got the climate control feature, didn't seem to work.  I'll report back tomorrow after a sleep under the new Slumberdown Refresh Anti-Allergy 7.5 tog duvet.  
      Of all the symptoms of the total-hysterectomy-surgery-induced full-on menopause, and let me tell you, now 16 weeks post-op, the abdominal wound is still tender, but the night sweats are the worst.  The Husband and I had a duvet battle last weekend.  All I remember was him wrapping me in 10.5 togs, he claims I was pushing him out of bed and he was protecting his bed-space.  He doesn't understand the vicious cycle aspect of this sleep-fight.  All I knew was I was dying of heat and wet and he was wrapping me in 10.5 togs, of course I'm going to fight against it, I actually thought I was actually being killed...what's not to fight against?  The Husband was taking it too personally.  
      The Mum and I took a stroll round a few shops up at Livingston and had a great mum-daughter day.  
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Dale Farm,  Anti-Slavery Day and Chinese Toddler News
  There's fabulous furry boots on The Star Swag Blog.I watched a lot of the Dale Farm eviction action today...such a waste of taxpayers money, I was wishing police could've just knocked the scaffolding down and be done with it, but s'pose that wouldn't be PC...not PC and...probably contrary to Health & Safety.  
    This illegal site had been at the centre of a legal battle to evict them for more than 10 years.  One wee clue about the 'culture' they're always on about..'travellers' not 'settlers', so travel!  Funny how the 'culture' changes to suit.  The police and bailiffs were up against gypsy settlers and their supporting activists, I'm guessing these professional protestor people spend their lives protesting one thing or another.  Shouting about human rights, what about the human rights of the rest of us, the ones who are socially well-behaved, law-abiding and pay taxes.  There's a load more of us than them, thankfully, or the country really would go tits up.    
    Check this one out, one minute she's got her coffee and stressing over smoke damage to her hair extensions, the next she's holding aloft a giant crucifix.  Unsure where that came from...or why.  Then there's the OUR HOME tyre situation...THEY set that caravan on fire themselves.  
    Has that man, who-ever he was, had a look at how the travelling community treat their young girls?  Taking them out of school at an illegally young age to prepare for their lives of marriage, subjugation and caravan cleaning?   
    It's been a mixed year for travellers, or gypsies..when they're making money out of their 'culture' it's OK to call it a gypsy thang.  See Channel 4's series Big Fat Gypsy Wedding for permission.  I realise the wedding TV show was exaggerated and showed only a few.  I'm guessing Paddy Doherty, who lives in a house and went on to star in and win Celeb Big Brother 2011 was a main benefactor.  But there were some seriously worrying true aspects of the travelling community life shown with pride, see past the ugly dresses and fake tans of the young brides.  Most of it was testosterone driven men, strutting their stuff and lording it over the females.  The loud-mouths on camera at Dale Farm were all female from what I saw, because the men usually stay secretive?...maybe because they've perhaps got criminal type activity to hide?  Ironically, yesterday, the 18th October 2011 was Anti-Slavery Day in the UK.  
    Sign the petition to raise awareness  and hopefully prevent the 2012 London Olympics being big business for the slavery trade.   
    This year alone, the traveller community have a shit-load they'd wish to hide.  It's alleged a bunch of the Connors family from Greenacres caravan site in Leighton Buzzard have been engaging in human trafficking, slavery, forced labour, tarmac-ing drives and trimming hedges all over Scandinavia with young men who were removed (ie freed) from the site following a police raid on September 11th.  Remanded in custody to reappear at Luton Crown Court on the 5th December...I count 7, Tommy Senior, Josie (the only woman charged), Johnny, James (Jimmy), Tommy Junior, Patrick and James (Big Jim).   
    The last time The Husband and I sailed home from the continent, was Denmark to Harwich, there were a couple gypsy vehicles on the same ferry.  I know the vehicles were gypsy, one was a van towing a caravan, the other a pickup lorry with all the tarmac-ing equipment in the back.  We'd first met them when we stopped off to view the "Man Meets The Sea" sculpture at Sædding Beach prior to getting on the boat.  In the car park, they'd rolled out a green 'lawn' at the caravan door and the approx 10 yr old boy was strutting around and physically assaulting the much younger and smaller girl child.  
    Once the boat was out at sea the kids were helping themselves to food from the buffet, none of the ferry catering staff seemed to notice, the thieving was pretty blatant, so I don't know how they missed it.  The adults were in the bar/lounge, obvious by their terrible fashion decisions...the oldest of the men, approx 45 yrs...wearing a waistcoat over a T-shirt...that's all I'm saying.  The kids came in dropping off food.  The oldest of the women could only be in her late 40s, tight jeans, red calf length stiletto boots, red hoodie, heavy make-up, sour-faced, kept her eyes cast downward.  She and the younger approx 20 yr old girl, I passed them several times on the boat, they didn't make eye contact, even with me.  
    Appalling news from China.  I watched the video yesterday of two year old toddler Wang Yue being horrifically run over by a van in a side street outside a hardware market in Foshan in southern China's Guangdong province.  The van driver crushed her under the front wheel, stopped briefly, then drove off running the back wheel over her little damaged body.  The security camera caught more than a dozen passersby walk, ride motorbikes or drive other vehicles round the little girl's severely damaged, bleeding and broken body without stopping to help. They clearly notice the badly injured child, as some motorists swerve to avoid her body and three people walk past.  
    As if it's not bad enough, then another truck runs over the child, with the front, then again, with the back wheel.  Seven terrible traumatic minutes pass before a woman, sees her then does the humane thing, drags the child's body to the side of the street and alerts the mother so that she could take the child to the hospital.  This evening I can't find definite news of her status.  Shocking footage, once seen you can't unsee it.  Then today there was the story of the three year old Chinese boy who fell down an abandoned well shaft, they rescued him, I'm  surprised they bothered.  
 Star smilie clear
Worcester, Daniel O'Double-Entendre  and Mong-Wars got me a famous Twitter reply 
  The Husband and I were in Worcester yesterday and set me a-wondering why its pronounced Wooster?  We were there to attend the funeral service of an old friend of The Husband's.  I say 'old' friend, as in 'long-time' friend, this man wasn't even 60 yrs old when he died from cancer.  A very sad time for his wife, and their three children, all grown into fine adults but still young 'uns that just lost their Dad, very sad.  
    Worcester and surrounding area is made of bricks.  There are some old religious buildings constructed from good old stone, but practically everything else is brick, some of the brick is kinda nice looking, lots of it very ugly.  I say 'kinda nice' because much of it I couldn't decide.  Terraced, semi-detached and detached two-story dwellings, many of them look unfinished.  Houses right next door to each other, one can look OK, next door looks like a hovel because it's a bit less well maintained.  But it's the bricks, I just don't like the bricks.  
    When first we arrived in Worcester we located the crematorium then drove to The Crown and Sandys in the nearby, very picturesque, village of Ombersley.  There's a lovely feel of history and people caring about history in the place, indeed the bit I saw is at the centre of the Ombersley conservation project.  In this bit it's all timber-framed black and white medieval, very quaint, very nice...from the outside, but inside, I'd be afraid a house here would fall down about my head.  The Crown and Sandys (pronounced Sands) is an impressive former Coaching Inn with a fantastic history dating back to the 17th Century.  
      It amazes me that some of the buildings are still standing.  On the outside The Crown and Sandys is very much part of this beautiful all English nostalgia, inside it's all Eastern European immigrant workers and crap cola on tap.  Really crap cola on tap, I had to refuse one of the glasses they squirted for me, it was see-through, the colour of bog-water, tasting of the soda water, and another was borderline.  And the exposed bricks, all uneven, sloping off to the side, very dodgy.  
      The Crown and Sandys was the post-funeral meeting place for the refreshments bit, but we went there before the service  because The Husband wanted to meet up with another old friend who was attending the funeral service.  I got to meet him, his ex-wife and a daughter.  All lovely people.  
      Anyways, it was Sunny D to Worcester and back again in one day, up at 3am, left Starry Towers at 4am, got back home around 8.30pm.  Of course The Husband lays claim to the hero-of-the-day crown because he had to stay awake and do all the driving, and I got to slept a lot in the car - but I was the one who got a jiggered neck from all that nodding-off and a load of people on the M6 got to see my wide gaping mouth with drool on my chin.  You can't recline a Z4 seat very far at all.  
      I'm appreciating, though not exactly enjoying funeral attending.  I say appreciating because it does make me think about an unavoidable aspect of life I know very little about.  And does raise the concern of how many people will attend your own.  The Husband made comment at this funeral, that he doesn't think this many would turn up to his, and this was a small, family, very private and therefore intimate event.  The Husband could name a load of people he knows through working in the oil industry that knew this man but didn't appear for the funeral.  The nature of the oil industry means many people he worked with would be in foreign countries and unable to attend because of this.  I told The Husband we'd bury him in Norway, loads would jump at the opportunity of a couple hours off work in the offices of his oil company.  I was kidding though, just thinking.  
      And thinking of my own, when it's my turn, maybe I should make a Death List - inform these people if I die.  I know some people who wouldn't necessarily be aware if I died.  I know I've been informed of some funerals after the event, and thought, awww, I'd have went if I'd known.  The Husband really should make a Death List so I can inform the people who know him but that I don't know, he knows loads of people.  I don't know why he's worrying about attendance figures, he has way more friends and colleagues than me.  
      This funeral had songs played too, I haven't thought what music I would want, and what The Husband would want.  A brother of the deceased's wife took the stand to read a passage from Narnia, he was a wonderful narrator, annunciating at every turn, so impressive was he, I can only conclude, he's got to be an actor at some level or another.  I even Googled his name and came up with stuff about an actor in the Worcester area, I think it's him.  
      On a much lighter note, I accidently caught a wee bit of Loose Women today on the telly, and it was really accidental, it involved the bit with Irish crooner Daniel O'Donnell.  I think what caught my attention was the screaming of the women in the studio audience.  His fans were in da house, big time.  I don't understand, never have, why women love Daniel O'Donnell.  
      Daniel O'Donnel wearing extremely dubious pink jacket  
      My  Nana (Mum's Mum) was a DO'D fan.  I could just about understand her love of him a wee bit because in them days he would kiss all his fans.  Nana got kissed a couple of times.  
      The funniest bit for me, apart from him wearing this pink jacket and looking gay-as...the Loose Women had been discussing duvet wars and what side of the bed you sleep on.  Was  Lisa Maxwell if I remember correctly, looking at some picture we didn't get to see of Mr O'Donnell on a bed, she said 'you're all over that bed Daniel, you're not on one side or the other'.  She might not have meant it as a double-entendre reference to his gaydom, but...he is isn't he.  
      On The Twitter two of my favourite funny men have been embroiled in a very public argument over the use of the word 'mong' by Ricky Gervias.  Ricky has stated his view of the meaning of the word, Richard Herring has been offended, Twitter Wars have ensued.  It got so bad it was distressing me that two of my favourite funny men would stoop low to argue on The Twitter.  I went to The Twitter in the first place to stay informed on my favourite comedy and podcast stuff.  I've been a bit surprised at these two publicly giving it playground slaps at each other over such an inconsequential matter.  Richard Herring took great pleasure at offending the very oldest of the  generations with his Hitler moustache, Ricky is using the word 'mong' in the belief that the word has changed meaning and no longer offends the older generations .  
      They've  both done stuff that could offend in my opinion, but neither offended me personally, I see the humour, I understand.  But it's all gone crazy on The Twitter.  The up-side is my tweets got me a tweet from Richard Herring.  
      Mr Herring Tweets me  
 Star smilie clear
Smash and Knockhill
  The Husband worked all week, then home again for the weekend.  He brought with him a bag of the original normal sized Smash for me.  Smash being the famous very tasty salty-sweet Norwegian snack/sweetie mash-up, consisting of salted corn bugle shapes covered by Nidar's milk chocolate mmmm, scuse me a mo, munch munch, mmm-mmm-mmm, crunch, mmm-mmm, right that's them all gone.  On reflection, the mini version is slightly better.  
      Licks fingers, wipes lips, moving on...we had a family get together up at Knockhill today.  The Parents and I followed The Husband and The Brother up the M9 to Scotland's national Motorsport centre.  We left a couple hours after them cos they chose to go at some unreasonably early hour of the morning.  When we got there they were already zooming round the track at great speed enjoying a trackday.  
      A shout out to our good friend Linds who had joined them for thrills and happily, no spills.  
      Knockhill has good facilities.  From hygienic toilets to decent eateries at The Champions’ Clubhouse and Kinnairds Restaurant.  We spent our snack and drinks time in Kinnairds, with The Dad getting treated at my insistence and him not even making the slightest attempt at pretending I shouldn't, chips followed by cake for The Dad then, fun, I adore The Dad.  And The Mum...The Parents and I had a lovely time chatting, watching the guys on their bikes and taking photies, the guys seemed to really enjoy going round and round very fast, each to their own an' all.  
  Star smilie clear
Psychic News and Heart and Hand shoutout
  RayBans on The Star Swag Blog  
    Psychic News : Well, skelp my arse and call me Sally yet again.  As reported by on 13/10/11, Simon Singh has very politely thrown down the gauntlet, inviting 'Psychic' Sally Morgan to prove her abilities and honesty by agreeing to testing.  
    According to the article Ms Sally stated on her FaceBook page that her management team intend "to commence libel action in relation to press allegations that she is a cheat".   Mr Singh feels her pain and is tirelessly "working with the Merseyside Skeptics Society and Professor Chris French at the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London, to construct a suitable test that would offer a chance to demonstrate whether or not she has psychic powers."  How very generous and nice of them, she should jump at the chance...but she won't.  
      Pleased to report I got a shout out on The Heart And Hand Podcast.  There I was, going about my business this afternoon, plugged into my iPod enjoying their latest podcast.  It's #51 (if I've been counting correctly), titled Twitchy The Tramp In His Ditch.  Near the end David Edgar and Scott Van Den Akker are chatting about the Steps reunion tour (sometimes they talk about stuff that's not football...come to think about it, mostly they talk bout stuff that isn't football), and Scott mentioned me!  That was a like WHAAAT...OHHHH REALLY LITTLE OLD ME? type big surprise.  
      Heart and Hand  
      To be sure I rewound, I listened 3 times, what he was saying is if any listeners are ladies like Marilyn on The FaceBook (they know of me from The FaceBook and The Twitter)...the lady listeners don't have to join in the Steps thing they were asking for from The H&H Listenership.  I posted on The FB telling Mr VDA how thrilled I was to hear mention of myself on the pod, and that I'm much relieved I'm excused from Putting-The-Steps-Women-In-The-Order-You'd-Do-Them Duty.  
 Star smilie clear
BBF Wine & Whine, drinking on the job, Jarvis Cocker News and Food Label News
  Getting all domestic goddess on The Star Swag Blog.  
    The Best Friend was over last night for another of our highly enjoyable Wine & Whine nights.  Was one of the least whiniest nights we've ever had, maybe because we only had to do the BFF's whining.  I've been off work for a couple of months due to The Op, so wasn't feeling the need to off-load much.  
    The Best Friend brought me a box of chocs, in return I offered her the coffee sweets out of my Thorntons box (the only ones left), she declined.  Yeah I know, poor exchange.  Today when The Dad dropped in to check if I needed any heavy lifting done, I tried again, he too said he wouldn't, I said he should take them to The Mum, no joy...oh well, I put them in the bin.  
    The Best Friend and I did our Wine and Whine outdoors, sitting at the patio table, wrapped snugly in Slankets.  I wore the black, she went all Greta Garbo in the leopard print.  It's October in Scotland an' all, Slankets are fab.  
    On the subject of boozing, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, has raised her concern that many of her fellow MPs drink on the job.  She's correct to do so I reckon, it's terrible and ridiculous.  When I was a student nurse, back in the '80s, I heard tell of many nurses-drinking-on-shift stories.  Tales of covering up and older female nursing assistants putting male charge nurses to a bed to sleep it off.  That was bad, but that was the old days.  
      During the tale-end of the old days when I was a student nurse I met up with an old school pal and went for a pub lunch.  She was a dental assistant in the health centre I was based at while on a placement with a Community Psychiatric Nurse.  
      I partook of a cheeky little Pernod & Diet Coke on our lunch date, all was well.  Later that afternoon, back on duty I had to administer a depot injection to a patient in their own home.  I swear, it was extremely distressing for me, the patient, the CPN, no-one else seemed to bat an eyelid.  Me, I was freaking, I never drank on duty again.In 2011 nurses can be sacked for even smelling of booze from the night before, so forget getting bladdered on their dinner break.  Should be the same for MPs.  If I can't nurse with a drink in me, and I know I can't, they can't effectively run the country drunk, they just don't know it.  They really are a bunch of hypocrites, yet again it's one rule for the plebs another for the rulers.  
      Jarvis Cocker News : I've been enjoying Jarvis Cocker in the Eurostar TV adverts, there's my man on the telly.  AND there's more Jarvis Cocker News, he's taken up a book editing post at Faber and Faber.  I'm quite excited, who knows what this could lead to.  Meanwhile his own first book, Mother, Brother, Lover: Selected Lyrics, is to be published next week by Faber and Faber.  I've pre-ordered my hardback copy already, at Amazon for only £7.49  
      I just became aware that the UK guidelines on food and drink packaging dates are changing in the hope that it'll reduce the massive amount of perfectly good food stuffs thrown out.  It's all to do with the immensely bewildering best-befores, display-untils, sell-bys, consume-bys, chuck-it-out-bys and give-it-to-a-passing-bin-raker-bys.  Apparently from now on all food and drink must be labelled with one date only – either a ‘best before’ or a ‘use by’.  That isn't extreme enough for my liking, one date only should mean one...a use-by.  I have no sense of smell, so I think I have to rely on the packaging dates more than most.  I'm glad they're improving the system, but now they're admitting the old system is so wrong and misleading and that loads of foods previously labelled as untouchable can now be considered to be edible, I'm still confused.  
      What we need is a this-will-either-make-you-sick-or-kill-you date.  That's clear and not confusing at all.  This new system will still leave me and my anosmia in a 'best before’ or a ‘use by ' dilemma.  The new thingy will mean that most foods – such as tinned and dry goods, jams, pickles and snacks – will carry a ‘best before’ date to indicate when they will no longer be at their best but are still safe to eat.  
      ‘Use by’ labels will go only on food which is unsafe to eat after a certain date, such as soft cheese, meat, fish, eggs and ready meals.  I say they should stick a 'use-by' on everything.  Cos maybe even a 20 year old tin of beans might make me a bit nauseous.  
      Today I tested the current food-date label system for myself and ate deli chicken slices that were labelled as best before 07/10/11.  They'd got kinda lost in the Starry Towers fridge, easy done.  So five days after I'd normally have thrown them out...I couldn't tell any difference taste-wise, and I'm not ill yet.  If I'm not in bed with food-poisoning diarrhoea and vomiting tomorrow I'll eat the other pack, same deli chicken slices, but it'll be 6 days too late.  Interesting.  
 Star smilie clear
Las Vegas Wedding with Elvis Gallery sorted, shoplifting, books, Z4 lid painted, Woodpecker,  Beefeater, Macca wedding part 3, Dementia News, cyber-suicide note, Animal Kingdom and The Fighter

Animal Kingdom

The Fighter
  And more!  SALE Tees and a tunic The Star Swag Blog.  
    I shoplifted a carton of milk from the Sunny D village shop.  I'd went into the Sunny D village shop in all innocence, with no intention to be thieving.  What happened was, I got talking to The Sunny D Shop Silver-Haired Fox AKA the Sunny D Post Office Guy.  During a short lull in the conversation, while he was concentrating on the job in hand, sorting out my package, I thought I'd just get the milk, so I did.  Took it out the fridge then went back to talking more with The Silver-Haired Fox.  After our conversation I just waved goodbye, strode nonchalantly past the lady at the shop counter bidding her a pleasant day and walked right on out with the milk.  
    Walking along Main Street it suddenly dawned on me what was in my hand.  STOLLEN MILK!  There could be no-one more surprised than me.  I swear, I have never ever, to my knowledge,  shoplifted unintentionally.  I nearly turned around and went right back, but the virtual grocery shopping had arrived, the Tesco lorry guy was unpacking out front of Starry Towers, I was torn, but obviously the Tesco thing took priority.   
    Took approximately 15 minutes, after I'd told the Tesco guy what I'd just done (my character witness if needed), for me to put the groceries away in the fridge and freezer.  Then I walked back in the shop, the lady on the counter just said "96p".  She'd seen me shoplift, The PO Guy joked how he was going to run after me, but the shop lady said she knew I'd come back.  I'm getting worse.  
    The stuff the PO Guy and I were talking about that so distracted me was books.  He'd asked me what I was doing that fine day, I told him I was thinking maybe the thrill of a bit of daylight robbery a la The Smiths was on my mind.  No I didn't, truth was I was sorting out old books to go to the charidee.  YES, I do my bit for charidee, I just don't talk about it.  The Starry Towers book shelves are straining with too many books and we've got Kindles.  The PO guy told me he takes books to the nursing home where his wife works.  There's five or six male residents there who read ferociously and can't be kept in books.  I told him I'd give him a dozen or so, but on reflection, I decided to give the lot.  I bagged them, a dozen or so carrier bags full, and he took them all away.  I felt good, less clutter AND an act of selfless charidee.  Or maybe The Silver-Haired Fox does regular car-boot sales and took away twenty quids worth of free merchandise.  We'll never know for sure, but I like to think not everyone is as skeptically devious as I am.  
    The Husband was home for the weekend, first thing was going to get the roof for the Z4.  The hard top has had a spray job, it's now Imola Red to match the car.  The Husband was talking to a Sunny D man who told him there'd been discussions in the village, had we painted the silver Z4 or got a new car?  It's looking so Bat Mobile, I love it, so I got the G10 out.  I climbed a ladder for the first picture.  
      The reason The Husband struck up a conversation with this Sunny D man was to talk about getting that window job done.  There's going to be some Starry Towers News soon.  
      While I had the camera out for the Zed I got some pics of The Starry Towers Great Spotted Woodpecker, looking well satisfied at the job he's done on the Starry Towers Lilac Tree.  
      We dined out Saturday evening, I was feeling shitty due to allergy type symptoms, nasal blockage, itchy sore eyes, tickly throat, skin reactions and nodded off all afternoon on the sofa.  (I've went back on the anti-histamines and feel normal again).  So dinner was at the local Deer Park Beefeater.  I started with my fav Camembert, The Husband had the Garlic And Herb Breaded Mushrooms.  The starters are massive, almost full already, we set about the mains.  The Husband had the 9oz Ultimate Beef Burger with Jalapeños and Cajun spiced onions & peppers, for me was the Chicken Burger with the Flat Mushroom and Black & Blue Sauce topping.  The burgers come with Bottomless Chips, in either plain or spiced.  We both had the plain, and didn't need to ask for seconds, but apparently if you need more, they will keep bringing Bottomless Chips if you wish.  The Husband ordered sides, Cheesey Garlic Bread and Battered Onion Rings.  After that we waited a while, then had Caramel Apple Crumble Pie with ice cream.  Well done us.  The waitress was a very friendly lady called Andrea.  
      Macca and me have stuff in common, we're both rubbish singers and three marriages each.  Both of us happy that our firsts were good decisions at that time in our lives, moving on to embarrassing and short lived seconds, though mine cost me only £62 to get rid, he had to splash much more cash, and moving forward to our happy, much more sensible thirds.  Cogratuwelldone Macca.  
      Disturbing  Alzheimer's Dementia News from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, it might be contagious.  I've spent the last 28 years cuddling up to Dementia sufferers, many with the Alzheimer's type.  Their research has shown that when they injected human Alzheimer's brain tissue into the brains of mice, the mouses exhibited changes characteristic of the disease - suggesting that some cases of Alzheimer's may spread from person to person.  They're not saying (at this stage) that a hug can do it, it's all to do with consumption of contaminated food, blood transfusion, tissue transplant and surgery (I just had some of that).  Hope further research doesn't go on to prove this as fact.   
      A couple of weeks ago ex Wheezer bassist Mikey Welsh said on The Twitter that he'd dreamt of his own death, he tweeted that it would be in a Chigago hotel that weekend, then he tweeted he'd made a mistake, it would be the following weekend.  I'm thinking, in between tweets he'd changed his travel plans.  Now that's a very modern method of suicide note.   
      Move Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Animal Kingdom, the 2010 Australian movie about a Melbourne criminal family.  I liked it, I like Guy Pearce who played Sgt Nathan Leckiea.  Also starring an old Kylie lookalikee with a bad habit of kissing her boys on the lips.  On Googling it was 1947-born Jacki Weaver.   
      The Husband and I watched The Fighter, boxing, drugs, hard-times and crazy family, especially that mother and those special needs sisters!  Very good.   
 Star smilie clear
Gardening News, results, the latest waste of my tax payers money, another hyper-annoying TV ad, Steve Jobs, The Resident and Black Dynamite

The Resident

Black Dynamite 
  Shades of blue on The Star Swag Blog.
    My big 2011 bulbs order arrived today.  No..not the entire UK supply of 60 watts still available online, but flowery garden plant type bulbs.  I did the bulb shopping back in June, they deliver when the time is right.  The Anglia Bulb Company are a good bunch, they gave me freebies and the bulbs arrived all nicely packaged with advice to wait till the weather cools down, obviously The Anglia Bulb Company are in Anglia, good advice if you're in the south of Engerland.  Up here I can safely introduce bulb to soil on the next dry day I reckon.  I'm a big Allium fan, The Starry Towers front garden puts on a good show every year.  The start of the year goes, snowdrops first, the tulips, then the alliums, then it goes all roses and everything else.  So far, Allium wise, I have are a lot, loads, of the normal sized purples and three giant purples.  The performance of these flowers is so impressive I decided to introduce many more to the mix.  
    More giant purples, more purples, giant whites, whites, violets, lilac blues and some purple reds.  The Starry Towers future Allium show is going to be even more way impressive.  I also got more Anemones in blue shades (freebies) and blue Irises (freebies), and more Tulips.  The Starry Towers front garden puts on a fabulous Tulip show but still has some that aren't red, purple or black.  My aim is to remove all the other colours, but I've been trying to do this for several years, the yellows and what not seem to be putting up a good fight.  I want it to be all red/purple/black.  With that in mind I ordered more reds, lilacs, blacks and violet blues.  I've got a load of bulb planting ahead of me.  The worst thing about it is trying to not accidently damage the bulbs that are already down there, finding the empty spots isn't easy at this time of year while they're lying dormant.  Some gardeners swear by lifting their bulbs and replanting every year.  Ohhh M G, they must be mental.  
    Couple of results to report this evening.  Last week at the GP surgery I gave her a fresh, very fresh, urine specimen.  I'd asked the receptionist for a bottle and produced the goods there and then, well, not exactly 'there' at the desk, I visited the loo.  I'd had a couple of weeks of urinary tract symptoms, the pain, the urgency, the frequency, the blood.  The GP tested it and found leucocytes and blood.  I phoned the surgery today to be told the official result after Culture & Sensitivity testing.  The specimen contained white blood cells and no microbe growth.  This indicates Acute Urethral Syndrome I think, the receptionist could only tell me what a doctor had reported on the specimen result..."leucocytes no growth".  I'm sure at my next GP appointment I'll talk to her about it and take her advice.  The symptoms haven't returned at this time.  
      The other result I got today was a letter from the Consultant Gynaecologist who performed my Total Abdominal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy.  They send all the bits away to be tested by the pathology people for cancer cells, I feel sorry for the people who receive the bits.  My bits result abnormality, which is a very good thing..  
      A few days ago I got a letter saying something about the Scottish Parliament would be sending round a Mori Poll type person to ask me bout stuff, something to do with a survey, they say the results influence their decisions on what the country needs.  More prying and a waste of my tax payers money, didn't I just complete the big 10 year census, bunch of nosey bastards.  Today a wee grey haired, grey bearded, spectacle wearing man rang the Starry Towers door bell saying it was he, he was here to ask the questions.  I said, naaahh, he said, can't I persuade you, arm up your back etc, he tried a smiley friendly approach, I said naaahh really actually.  I said, I told them stuff this year already, I'm not doing this, and away he went.  It did dawn on me maybe I had to do it, on pain of monetary fine type punishment, but it can't be so, or he'd probably have threatened me with that.  I'd like if our politians would stop wasting our money, but it doesn't matter what lot get in, they all do it.  I'd like for some right tight true Scrooge type Scots to get into power.   
      On another money matter, Coleen Nolan, promising Park Christmas "Saving" Club will give families a magical Christmas, aye if they don't go bust and keep your money like Farepak did a few years back.  Who are these people that sign up for this?  I'm guessing it's the people who appear on Jeremy Kyle, them people.  "Savings Club" is a very misleading term, though apparently totally legal, they don't give you interest on your "savings", they take your money in exchange for the goods they're selling...that's like what a shop does.  I'd argue too...not very good quality goods either, tat type stuff, many that can be personalised.  Personalising catalogue goods is never a good thing.  Most annoying TV Advert Irritant at this time, not only do they swerve the boundaries of honesty they also have a Nolan.  An airbrushed Nolan?
      It's all iSad on the www, Steve Jobs died at age 56 today, he was an outstanding genius of a man.  I love my iPod but hate iTunes, so if they could just make iTunes better now he can't argue bout it, I'd be grateful.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Boy and I watched The Resident.  I invited him to watch it with me, he turned it down, I counter-attacked with the threat I'd watch it on my own then, he volleyed back with a make-me-salad-and-ham-sandwiches while I have a shower and I'll watch it with you...I made his supper.  This was always going to be better watched with The Boy.  I knew we'd have a laugh and a scare together.  We both enjoyed it.  
      I watched Black Dynamite on my own...boring.   
 Star smilie clear
Weather and Garden News, Italian justice, the Z4 and The Runaways

 The Runaways
  A little bit of crochet for the cold on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Weather went a little bit OTT here in Sunny D this afternoon.  I was out front tending to The Starry Towers gardens, a little bit of gentle pruning.  Dead heading the roses and my new favourite chilling pastime, nipping the growing tips of the Escallonia bushes, makes for lots of new fresh growth.  It's like every few days there's new stems, I just keep nipping, the Escallonia's seem to appreciate it, they're positively flourishing.  Hope winter 2011 doesn't hit them as hard as the last couple winters.  The older ones nearly died, I had to cut them right back them two years running, somehow they survived that severe dunt and look well healthy again, just massively shorter than they used to be before the heavy snow, severe temperature dips and hard frosts.  
    So, there I was, blissfully nipping away, and a weather phenomena occurred around me.  A really strong wind got up, an out of the ordinary wind, it came blowing up Main Street with gusto.  Autumn leaves rushing past me at ground-level, right down the road and pavements, woooo-ooo-ooooo-ooooosh.  No blustery gusts swirling and changing direction, it was all heading east, a west wind, fast and strong.  I stood in it watching the leaves and feeling the power, was lovely.  
    This picture is the Starry Towers hanging baskets.  The winter pansies that previously filled them were disappointing this year so the baskets sat empty for a while this summer.  As a kind of late summer after-thought I sprinkled the last of the stock seeds in them.  I'm pleasantly surprised to find the Virginian and Night Scented stocks had enough time to blossom.   
      I was out with the G10 taking a photo of the baskets, and thought of The Husband, he's in The Land Of Glacial Crowfoot (Norway's hardiest plant).  I figured he'd appreciate a couple pics of the new Z4 looking all lovely and shiny in the drive, and he did...loadsa Brownie points for me.  Reminding him what he's got back at home...a lovely shiny red Z4 and a great wife...a great wife who gently suggested a Z4 in the first place, swayed his decision to choose a Z4 the first time round, with the silver, and absolutely refused to entertain anything else but a Z4 this second time round, hence there's this lovely shiny red car in the drive.  Sometimes I even amaze myself.   
      Amanda Knox is going home.  The 24 year old has spent the last 4 years in an Italian jail, vilified as a murderess.  Seems there's been a miscarriage of Italian justice as a judge released her today due to unreliable evidence.  I'm happy for this young woman and her family, and also Raffaele Sollecito and his family, four years in jail for a crime they didn't commit.  Italy...go sit in the corner and take a long hard look at what you did.   Of course the person who undoubtedly suffered the most is the murdered girl Meredith Kercher, and I feel for her family and their loss.  But what's the use of wanting to keep people who didn't kill Meredith imprisoned?  Seems the Italian justice system and the world's media has done a very bad thing to these two young people.   
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched The Runaways.  A wee bit duller than I expected, the Joan Jett music I like was only heard near the very end of what came across as quite a clichéd and boring story.   
 Star smilie clear
Starry Towers Garden Update, Op Update, Super and Jersey skanks

  There's a foxy tail on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Warning!  I'm feeling brave enough to share a photo of my bruised post-hysterectomy abdomen in this blog post, if you don't want to see, don't go on down the page.  It's not pretty, seriously, it's really horribly ugly.  Remember I told how every nurse and doctor that saw it did recoil while saying stuff like...woooahh that's some bruising!  While they regained their composure and tried to look nonchalant checking my blood results to ensure I wasn't accidently getting too much anticoagulant.   
    So, first...I recently blogged about a really itchy skin reaction and I thought it was probably due to some plant contact, it was effecting my wrists every evening after I'd been pottering in the Starry Towers gardens.  By the time I'd scratched around it would spread to my arms, my back, my front, my legs, everywhere really.  Well, I've sussed out what was causing the problem.  I was adding information and reading up on my garden plants...I have the information on most of my plants gathered into one word doc...and something caught my attention.  It's the Echium Blue Bedder.  The clue...the words "caution : skin irritant".  I was collecting seeds from them a few days running, and though I was wearing gloves, I wasn't careful about my wrists and arms.    
      When I explained this to The Husband, his response was he wants to collect seeds and put them in The Boy's bedding and underpants.  In defence of this suggestion and laughing off my horror, he says it's just like itching powder, all the kids do it.  Do they?  Maybe back in his public school boy days.  
      So this Echium does this to everyone, it isn't me, its them.  Which is good, I'll just have to be more careful, problem solved, I can stop the antihistamines tabs till next year.  Echium is a great plant for the bees and other such buzzy insects in the garden, so don't let a little skin irritant put you off.  It's also known as Vipers Bugloss and is probably THE best plant to have in your garden if you care about the bees.  I found this information explaining why it's so good.  Having read this stuff my next project is acquiring Borage and Phacelia, though I think I may have Borage already, I'll check with The Mum.   
      It's all to do with the plant's amazing pollen production rate and it's pollen protection methods.  This year I've gathered seeds from the Echium, the poppies and the Rose Campion.  I also got some cuttings I'm really pleased about.  I already have a purple Buddleia but was hankering after a lilac one.  On my walks around Sunny D I saw a load of the lilac ones, tempting to just steal, but I felt a bit awkward about that.  One day I saw a lady in her garden and eyed up her lilac Buddleia, I asked her nicely, turned out it was a nurse I knew from way back, she was very giving, told me to take what I wanted.  Two of the cuttings have since rooted, I'm going to give her a box of chocs to say thank you.  
      Op Update (including the grizzly swollen and bruised tummy pic).  It's 15 weeks tomorrow since I was in theatre and got rid of my bits, lets remind ourselves what bits...from the top...two ovaries, two fallopian tubes, a uterus and a cervix.  Wake up in a hospital bed after such an operation, and you're the owner of a severe post-hysterectomy menopause.  The sweats, the flushes, burning up is a most uncomfortable unusual sensation.  The Husband's getting used to it now, he'll be hugging me, then wooaahh there hot stuff, you just get over there for a minute.  The bed isn't getting used to it, it's damp, I'm hoping the mattress cover is doing a good job of protecting.  I'm sick of this flushing thing, it's not quite so bad during the day because I can react in the moment to flap my hand around my face, open the car window or turn up the AC, remove a layer, blow down the neck of my top or dress and stand outside if need be, but the nighttime wetness following me around the bed is gross and it's disturbed sleeps every night.  By the time the sweating wakes me...the bedding, sheet below and duvet's all wet.  It's icky and sticky and so uncomfortable, it's nasty and not nice, I hate it.  I throw the duvet off then get chilled, I bring the damp duvet back up, then need to throw it back off again.  
      The last couple of weeks I've also had some urinary tract symptoms, dysuria (pain and burning on passing urine) and a frequent need to pee, a teaspoon at a time.  And there was blood.  This would normally be indicative of a urinary tract infection.  But in the early stages after the op I had these symptoms, at that time I put it down to the op, especially because I'd had a catheter for the first couple days post-op.  When these symptoms first returned I was in Norway so had to let it go, thinking I'd go get treatment when I got back home.  Then I found they were coming, getting worse, then going away.  A few days later they'd be back again.  Very confusing.  It fluctuated so much I put off making a GP appointment specially for them knowing I was back to see my GP on Friday (30/09/11).  She tested my urine sample and on finding blood and leucocytes she sent the sample for culture and sensitivity testing.  I'll phone the surgery early in the week for the result.  She wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic so if I need it I won't have to go back to the surgery.  Meanwhile the symptoms are absent at this time.  
      It's not all bad, I'm feeling positive in a couple ways, my body feels more like my own again, the abdominal swelling is much reduced, and I can now step down out the back door and go upstairs without feeling my abdomen lurching in that unnatural heavy and sore way.  It's not easy to define how it feels after abdominal surgery, it's kinda a numb sensation, unattached and alien, unable to suck it in like normal, but all too much there, sticky out, uncomfortable and painful.  Even when the initial very painful stuff dies down there's the twinges of sharp pain for a long time.  I still get a few here and there.  And sometimes when I inadvertently touch the abdominal scar area, when I do it by accident, cos I don't like to do it intentionally, it's that thing that sends squeamish yeeeuck feelings to the brain.  The effected area is getting smaller I think, like sensation is slowly returning.  The doc says there's no way of knowing how much sensation will return, maybe the entire area will go back to feeling normal, maybe not.  Currently the 'dead' nerve area is approximately a few mm below, and about 10cm above the actual scar.  It's that 'dead' way when touched gently, but it's still sore, like an old bruise type sore, if I put any deliberate pressing pressure on it.  
      Another good thing is the bowel function, in this last week the constipation seems to be gone.  The GP did tell me I could expect it to be a while, and I should take Senna till it got better, she was right bout that too.   
      I'm feeling positive enough to share the photie of my post-op abdomen, you were warned.  This is post-op day 4, the Friday, the stitch was removed the next day.  The bruising is fading, turning yellow, it looked even worse on post-op day 1.  
      Due to the fact that I work in what is widely regarded as, and IS in actual fact, a 'heavy' branch of nursing, I'm about half way through the recovery period before I can safely return to work.  I've been supported in that by many nurses I've talked to, including nurses who have had a hysterectomy themselves, nurses who understand the physical demands in wards like mine, nurses who realise what a total hysterectomy actually involves.  There is the guilt factor, but The Mum and The Husband are very supportive and are thinking only of my welfare, and so is my GP.  I'm never the best one to judge what's best for me, so thank goodness I've got these people on my side looking after me.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched Super this evening, a super hero geek movie.  The self-declared supers in this one are the usual geeky distressed individuals with low self-esteem and socialising issues of their own, but the portrayal of the violence came as a bit of a shock for this type of film.  You want to like the 'good guys', not easy when these people turn out to be violent psychopaths every time they put on their ridiculous outfits.  And the police never get a look in, in real life the police would've apprehended this pair early on because of their ineptitude and lack of guile, he frequently leaves the scene in his own car, registration plate obvious to all.  There's much more blood and gore than Kick Ass or any other of the comedy super hero movies, these people put on silly costumes then actually smash skulls, stab and kill.  And some of the 'baddies' they inflict their form of vigilante violence on aren't actually all that bad.  It's a very dark version of the genre, the portrayal of the violence does detract from the humour, it's not very funny watching some kid, who might have or might not have keyed a car, get his head caved in by a diminutive psychopath in a green and yellow latex suit. Too nasty and not funny enough.  
 Star smilie clear
Sheep News, The Next Three Days and Skeletons

The Next Three Days DVD

Skeletons DVD
  There's some beautiful leather on The Star Swag Blog.  
    The first Sheep News is on The Shetland Sheep Blog.  The Dad's first show as sheep owner and official shepherd and Rench Marilyn II is Champion.  Aye, she's awfie braw, great wool you see.  
    After the sheep judging The Husband and I had a wander around the rest of the show, which led to him spotting a lady photographer with prints for sale.  And who was in several of the photographs?  Only The Octogenarian Friend Tom...sadly missed.  The Husband came home with a framed A3 size photograph of The Octogenarian Friend.  The photo was taken at the 2010 Yetholm Show, which turned out to be, Tom's last ever agricultural show and his final judging.  A moment in time, unaware of the camera, the picture taken by a stranger who was attracted to his face, an interesting face, a face that reminded her of an old uncle, a face just thee months before the end of this great gentleman's long and fulfilled life.  
      There were a lot of characters at this Yetholm Show, 2011, and life is for the living and all that stuff.  Back at base camp with the Shetland people, Mrs A announces it's Brandy Time.  Mrs A is my new favourite Shetland Person now I don't have Tom.  Mrs A is of a certain age, lets just show respect and say 'retired'.  The Tom show-ritual was Ice-cream Time, Mrs A's is Brandy Time.  Checking her watch, seems the sun was over the yard arm, so all hail Brandy O'clock.  I wasn't sure, was it too early?  Naaah, a ritual is a ritual, I ritualed ice-cream with Tom, so I felt I really should ritual brandy with Mrs A.  I'd never had brandy before, and I reckon I'll keep it for agricultural shows, but I enjoyed the natter and bonding with Mrs A over a tot of B.  And there was no denying the buzz/inner glow effect, Mrs A called it a 'little boost'.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The Next Three Days.  Starring Russell Crowe.  Exciting enough, twisty-turny and all, little too syrupy at times, and all too simply tied up, but all in all, was good enough.  Wasn't a rollercoaster though, it wasn't THAT good.   
      The Husband and I watched Skeletons.  This isn't a straight forward type of movie.  It started poorly for me, it got so bad I actually suggested watching something else, worried that if I was struggling, The Husband's patience would be wearing even thinner...I thought.  But he said, no, lets see what happens.  The beginning, probably up to the first half hour or so, does become a tad too boringly confusing and surreal.  This is two exorcists paranormally doing supernatural shit to find out people's closet-bound skeletons.  If I'd known that I'd probably not have went there.  Then Paprika Steen appears as Jane, the middle-aged going slightly loopy, woman with a husband who disappeared 8 years back.  She was lovely, and a great actress.  She makes everyone else became more interesting and real, the human stories and emotions became clearer beneath all the Sally Morgan type psychic storyline.  I started to care.  By the end of the movie, I'd really enjoyed and was well satisfied with the spoilers the movie, you'll probably like it.   
 Star smilie clear
Wull's Sheep graphics, Weather News, allergies and Avatar

Avatar DVD
  There's a cute lace 60s dress bargain on The Star Swag Blog.  
    I made little Wull's Sheep graphics to herald Sheep News.  
    Wull's Sheep smilie   
    A gorgeous day here at Starry Towers, they're saying it's a very-mini Indian Summer heat-wave type thing that will probably last a day, maybe two if we're very lucky.  I spent the day checking the estate, little bit of pottering, trowel in hand, secateurs in the other, happy as a sheep with it's nose in a packet of digestive biscuits, so I was.  Late afternoon The Dad dropped by with some fresh potatoes recently pulled from a sheep friend's garden.  We will be having home-grown potatoes and a melty bit of butter with a sprinkling of Starry Towers grown chives at the weekend when The Husband's home.   
    Starry Towers garden wise, there's loads of rose second flushes, late Summer flowering shrubs and Rowan trees heavy with berries.  I was perhaps a tad premature with stopping my anti-histamine tablets, I'm having itchy wrists every evening, I'm thinking it's due to allergy plant contact.  My nose is really blocked tonight too, as bad as my Norway holiday nasal passage blockage, I put the Norway stuff down to the hotel feather pillows.  I don't do feather pillows.  I'm going back on the Cetirizine tomorrow, my drug of choice.   
    Movie Watch (no spoilers)I watched Avatar.  I know...took me a while to get round to it (Sci-fi cartoons not my fav genre).  Wasn't all that impressed, overly syrupy sentimental story looking too much like a computer game. I was glad at the time and even gladder now, that Hurt Locker got the Oscar, a way better movie.   
 Star smilie clear
Bible John/Peter Tobin, Sheep News and Product Of The Week 
  Is Peter Tobin the 1960s Glasgow serial killer Bible John?  Could be, I hope he is because it would mean Bible John didn't get off unpunished.  I watched the STV documentary In Search Of Bible John presented by David Hayman tonight, a well made programme, had shivers up and down my spine.  Chilling.  They used age regressing techniques to arrive at an image of what Peter Tobin probably looked like back in the '60s, and compared that to the photofit image that was believed to be what Bible John looked like back then, first image below..  They also showed another photo of a young Peter Tobin with what is probably a missing tooth, and it did look a lot like an eye-witness description from the '60s.  Second image is artist's impression of Bible John, Tobin in the '60s and Tobin now.  
      The programme makers apparently made two versions of the documentary but went with the one that includes a plea to Tobin at the end.  David Hayman speaks to Tobin, "I have it on good authority that Peter Tobin likes to watch programmes about himself on the television in his cell, so Peter, if you are watching, here is my message to you.  Put all this conjecture to rest and tell the truth. It is time to put a lot of people out of their misery at last.”  Worth a shot, appealing to the serial killer natural inclination to brag.  Peter Tobin is currently adopting that other serial killer natural inclination, that of holding the position of power and superiority.  He has previously bragged to a psychiatrist that he killed 48 women then said "prove it".  Tobin is the poster boy for bringing back the death penalty.  I'm opposed to spending my tax payers money on maintaining a life such as his.  
     Peter Tobin Bible John  
      Sheep News : on a much more pleasant note, The Dad is officially a shepherd with his own...growing... flock of Shetland sheep.  Joining Rench Marilyn and Rench Marilyn II are two little ewes and a ram, all three of Rench fame, bred by the much missed Octogenarian Friend, Tom Findlay.  The girls are Rench Davina and Rench Iolanthe, and the boy is Rench Dandy.  They are so very sweet, look at them cute little faces.  I've borrowed these photies from The Brae Flock FaceBook page.  The Dad's sheep live with The Brae Flock.  
      I predict there's going to be a whole load more Sheep News on The Star Blog, The Dad will be breeding and showing his Shetlands, and I get a nice warm fuzzy feeling in memory of Tom.  Aiming for the top Dad, I reckon we could well be at The Royal Highland Show watching The Dad pick up some rosettes in future.  I predict a Shetland Sheep Success Story.  We just need to come up with a great new name for the flock, I suggested Wull's Woolies, but it didn't get a good response.  
      Product Of The Week is Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector DailyAll-In-One BB Cream.  A BB is a Blemish Balm, which makes it sound like a spot cover item, but it's actually the newest cosmetic big thing.  Multi-tasking foundations.  They claim to do a whole bunch of good skin stuff.  This Garnier BB claims to brighten the skin in the same way a primer does, provide luminosity and radiance, even out the complexion like a lightweight foundation, cover blemishes like a concealer, hydrate like a moisturiser, soothe skin like an anti-inflammatory, contain UV protection (factor 15) and have the sort of anti-ageing ingredients more commonly found in serums to smooth fine lines.  I got mine, the 'light' shade, with one of my Scottish pounds off at Boots, only £8.99.  
      I like it a lot, enough to make me change from my usual preferred foundation I've used for several years.  Garnier BB is wet, I can practically feel my skin drinking it in on application.  I find it's so luminous and 24 hour moisturising that I no longer need to apply my used-to-be absolutely essential Nivea Visage Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Day Cream beforehand but I still have to apply a light dusting of 17 Shine Control Pressed Powder to control the shine.  I've got one or two blemishes and fine lines I'm watching closely, in the hope they'll be soothed and smoothed out of existence.  
 Star smilie clear
Project Barnum, business cards and annoying TV ads 
  Do you believe in the widely held nonsense that comes under the terms of the supernatural, paranormal?  If the answer is yes, get off my website, if you believe that vulnerable people are being ripped off by some people claiming to be blessed with an ability to communicate with the dead?  Them that pretend to receive messages, mostly along the lines of, everything's fine and I love you?  You can make a difference.  There's a place you can add your name to try to change the situation.  Psychics/mediums/clairvoyants, also known as liars, charlatans and con-people should be prevented from fooling their gullible fans with their cold-reading and other such techniques.  Project Barnum is asking theatres to stop psychic shows, sign the petition here.    
      Others are so unstable they do it for nothing.  I've been Reikied, free gratis.  By a very damaged woman, she'd been suckered in and believed that she had powers to heal others because some 'Psychic Surgeon' had removed the foetus of her dead twin from her neck, and thus, improving her life greatly, she felt so good about her experience she got trained and was now doing it to others.  On the one hand I could see an obvious improvement in this woman's circumstances.  She described to me her sexually-abused childhood, the mental illness was blatantly obvious.  She explained that psychiatric services had tried to help her, she'd been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and given medication.  She met the 'psychic surgery' people and stopped medicating, broke away from the medical services.  She harboured a deep hatred of doctors and the medical model of care and treatment.  She was high on the paranormal, but she was so out of touch with reality, it can only end in tears.  
      I'll never know if she was part of a whole group of damaged people supporting each other in a strange deluded group therapy community self-care setting or if she was one innocent victim of a few bad guys.  Hey-ho, she wouldn't listen to anything I tried to tell her anyway.  
      If you meet me in person I'm going to give you one of my own personal business cards now.  Made them at Vistaprint.  Neat.  
      Sometimes adverts annoy me so much I feel the need to tell you about it.  There's two annoying me greatly right now, they are so feckin wrong.  Both are for SURE deodorant.  A bit ironic, because I'm a SURE roll-on deodorant devotee, I use the Sure Crystal Clear Aqua, no white marks on my LBD.  It works, does what it says on the tin and all that.  Still, doesn't give them a pass to talk shit, the ads in question...  
      #1  the jingle bells.  SURE asked women to use jingle bells so they realised how much they moved.  Personally, and maybe it's just me, but I know how much I move.  Motion Sense Technology...I'm not persuaded.  
      #2  the fine fragrance collection.  He's on his way to his perfume launch and notices out of the chauffeur driven car window that women never stop.  He must be 60 or 70, where's he been?  I don't understand how it took till now before he noticed that women move a lot   
 Star smilie clear
croc of con reply, Google+ and REM 
  Exciting new nails on The Star Swag Blog.  Yes, I said exciting, nails can be exciting, go and see.  I've tried the new polish and already had unsolicited compliments, and solicited ones.  
    Also The Continental Tripping Journal 2011 #2 telling the tale of my most recent trip in the direction of the Scandinavian countries is completed and online.  
    In the interests of fair play, I'll give anyone their right to reply, even liars, con-people and crazy folks, here is Sally Morgans' reply to Chris French.  
    Another  annoying thing is that Google+ social circle thing.  Was bad enough when they were making that blue arrow point to it every time I was a-Googling, but even more of an inconvenience and a bother is...on the black bar, I used to have the 'shopping' option, but the +You thing has knocked my shopping off into the 'more' drop-down box.  I'm no real pleased at that and can't figure out how to make the +You go away.  
      Something else a bit annoying, that REM waited so long to split.  
 Star smilie clear
well spank my arse and call me Sally and Comedy Central night with The Boy 
  Surprisingly (ahem ahem), there's a few summits on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Well spank my arse and call me Sally, who'd have thought it, a 'psychic' duping the foolish.  And spookily enough, I recently was called Sally, on my birthday card from The Husband.  
    Today's Guardian article written by Chris French on Sally Morgan, you know, THE Sally Morgan of croc-of-con fame, tells of evidence of her so-called 'psychic' tricks.  Not that evidence is needed, just nice to see charlatans come a cropper.  If it leads to just one of her believers realising the error of their deluded ways, then great.  
      Trailer Watch (spoiler allert).  The Boy and I watched the trailer episode of the new season of Two and a Half Men- without Charlie Sheen.  I had to wait for The Boy, to make the SKY thing work, I don't know how.  He tells me this Comedy Central is there all the time and easily found, channel something or other.  The Kushty's character seems a bit of a simpleton and he isn't Charlie.  Way I figure with the storyline they've left the door open, Charlie could return.  Him and stalker/mad woman Rose could be covering up, he could've ran away and disappeared himself to escape debt and woman troubles.  The story of his exploding badly damaged corpse and closed coffin, no one saw the body.  My work here is done...signed Miss Marple.  
      Then we watched the Charlie Sheen Roast, also  on Comedy Central...very very very funny. The Boy and I laughed, we laughed so hard, though The Boy did admit, a couple times he felt bits of 'too soon' and/or 'too emotional'.  He was offended by some stuff he called 'racist' and the bit when a joke was made at Steve-O's expense bout his dead friend Ryan Dunn. Yeah, dead Ryan Dunn, THE Ryan Dunn who drove under whatever substance-influence and died in an accident of his own doing.  He could've wiped out a couple of Mum+Dad+2.4 kids, wasn't it a good thing that he only killed himself and his pal?  This tells me, my son is a far more decent and caring individual than his mother, I failed to be offended at all.  However, The Boy is a lot younger than 30 yrs, and this could explain how he views stuff.  I blame the UK education system, pathetic with their un-funny PC 'moral code'.  And his age, I remember having very similar strong -ism feelings and ideas when I was his age.  
      The Roast was all really really hilarious.  Amy Schumer deserves a special mention, whoever she is, she's edgy.  It was a Roast, don't be on the stage if you can't take it.  I ♥ Charlie.  
 Star smilie clear
Norway trip 2011 #2 and E-fag News 
  There's a really lovely dress on The Star Swag Blog, and everyone should buy at least one, but probably two.  
    The Husband and I are just back from Norway again, but he's walking out the door to go again...such is the life of the international traveller, bon vivant, oil industry insider, racing champion and human comet that is The Husband.  I flew out to Stavanger, via Amsterdam, a couple of days there then The Husband and I drove back in the new Z4, via Denmark. There'll be a write up journal available ASAP and photies up when I get the time, meanwhile this is the Viking who returned to Starry Towers with us.  
      As a non-smoker...twelve weeks and 4 days, thanks for asking...I'm very satisfied and highly recommend the E-Cigarette, as seen on Johnny Depp in The Tourist.   
      I've been using mine with the nicotine-free cartridges for approximately 12 weeks and find it's fantastic for them times when you really have to have something to suck and blow, though The Husband does make frequent suggestions on what else can be used instead.  Every time the Stop-Smoking Nurses spoke to me and we mentioned the E-Cigarette they had to tell me the NHS does not recommend the use of E-Fags and why didn't I try the gum or the inhalator or a patch, something the NHS does recommend.  But I'd be telling her, I'm using the E-Fags with NO nicotine, it wouldn't be good to start taking nicotine again, and these E-Ciggies must be safe, watch The Tourist.  
 Star smilie clear
weather and IEMs 
  New shoes on The Star Swag Blog.  
    There's some weather trying to get noticed here at Starry Towers.  We're getting the tail end of Hurricane Katia, it's almost embarrassing, with it's 'travel disruptions' and it's 'gusts of up to 70 mph'.  STV had to go to the obvious place to get anything worth trying to be excited about.  They reported from the Saltcoats sea-front over on the west coast.  They chatted to one older couple who'd driven down to watch the waves blow over the road.  
    Here at Starry Towers one of our large Rowan tree saplings got knocked off it's pot feet in it's big pot.  A to-be-expected hazard for such tall young trees in big pots on patios, when the pots each sit atop three pot feet.  The pot feet raise the pots off the floor level to help save the plants/trees from Winter frost damage, but they make them much easier to coggle over, and in high winds it's the taller specimens that catch the gusts.  
      I'm a big fan of the work of Frank Skinner and have an avid listen to his twice weekly podcasts.  They speak of this minor phenomena, the Idiotic Eureka Moments (IEMs).  This is when you have been aware of something for a lengthy period of time and suddenly realise there is another meaning or level, and it seems so clear you should've realised way before now.  I've had two, yes TWO, IEMs in the last week.  Isme, I thought it was pronounced like Izmy, it's a clothing catalogue I think, they sponsor Loose Women.  Well I just realised isme, 'it's me!'  that dress, or this blouse, IS ME!  I get it.  And Doc Martin, the Martin Clunes TV prog, his name is Doctor Martin, like Dr Martin, the boots, I'm not really sure if this is intentional because I can't see the connection between a country GP and tuff footwear.  
 Star smilie clear
9/11, dams  and Limitless

Limitless DVD
  There's a stylish accessory over on The Star Swag Blog.  
    On this ten year anniversary, my thoughts are so sincerely with the many innocents effected by the terrible actions of the few bad bastards on THE 9/11.  My heart breaks for everyone who suffered and everyone who is still grieving.     
    I find my eyes welling up with tears on a regular basis because I keep thinking of that day, and the people who died knowing their plane was slamming into a Twin Tower, the people at their desks when a plane killed them instantly, quite by surprise.  The people on the floors above, trapped, knowing for a half hour or so, realising, they were going to die, phone calls to loved ones, some made contact, some left messages.  The ones who jumped.  The police and fire-fighters who willingly entered the buildings to do their jobs.  OMG!  I'm crying.  I can't stop crying about 9/11.   
    Currently I'm so surgically-induced-menopausal deranged I have little control over the gushing emotions I'm feeling.  I think it's a mix of my hormone turmoil, my recent birthday (I'm nearly 50 you know) and the aging process reminding me, every time I look in the mirror, we are all going to die, everyone dies.  My old Octogenarian Friend died December 2010, and I'm not quite over that, and the big 9/11 anniversary footage.   
    The world stood still for me as I watched events unfold on a TV at work.  I was supposed to be administering medications in the east sitting room of ward 32 at Bangour Village Hospital, a job that would normally take half an hour tops took me several hours, I couldn't work for watching.  I knew the suffering I was witnessing, and I knew there would be repercussions resulting in an escalation in human pain, suffering and death.  The actions of these few deluded extremist bastards would make the world a worse place.  And of course that's exactly what happened, religion strikes again.  
    The Husband and I released the Cruachan today, with a visit to the hollow mountain that is Ben Cruachan on the north shore of Loch Awe in Argyll.  A working power station in a massive cavern buried one kilometre below the ground, where four enormous turbines convert the power of water into electricity.    
    The visitor centre is a great example of getting the tourist trap experience right.  It's modern and clean, pleasant facilities with really nice staff.  We shared a toastie and side salad, The Husband wanted the toastie and I wanted the salad.  We spoke of sharing at the till, when a lady delivered it to our table they had thoughtfully divided the meal onto two plates and when she spotted we hadn't lifted cutlery, off she went and fetched that back for us, with napkins.  The pony-tailed and decoratively tattooed chap Mikey was our guide.  Mikey is in the Scottish Stand-Up Comedian mould of tourist attraction guide.  Much the same humour as the man at The Falkirk Wheel, indeed both started their routines with the same we-set-off-in-boat/bus-then-stop-just-seconds-later-and-announce-end-of-trip joke.  To his credit Mikey was a lot more topical, sharper, fresh (and younger and better-looking).  Though his material always related to the audience members as if they were all foreigners, which, given that I was there, we weren't.  
    The tours are regular, quite quick and not very spectacular, but still, I found some of the information interesting, mostly that 15 men died building this.  And I certainly have a better understanding of it's history, workings and purpose.  A 440 MW reversible pump-storage power station built in the early '60s (that makes it round-about much the same age as me), it is a fantastic engineering feat.  One disappointment is this wasn't devised as a purpose-built tourist attraction, damn them, what were they thinking I ask you?  They could've put a lift shaft in.  Anyways if you want to see the dam at the top of the Ben you have to walk up there of your own accord and apparently that takes quite some time, and, well, it's walking.  In today's weather that would definitely be trudging.   
    If you fancy a visit, you can get all the information at the Cruachan website.  I like this hydropower, especially stuff that's out of sight underground.  While enjoying our meal we couldn't help but notice, most - but not all - visitors were of a certain age, ie most could say, 'I'm nearly 70 you know'.  Not complaining like, a plus point is they tend to be very well behaved, zero riot threat.  Overheard in the cafe, a group of four elderly Englanders, two men and their ladies.  The loudest of them, a man, seemed like a bit of a character, he was saying how he doesn't like this email thing, much rather phone to make a booking.  Started me, what it would be like back in the day, in my best impersonation Englander accent...see what I don't like is, I don't like these new telle-phone-otics, this modern technology, what I like to do is get on me 'orse, ride over to the next town, right, get off me 'orse, tie me 'orse up, walk up the garden path, knock on the door, go inside, sit down...then negotiate a ticket buying booking deal.   
      We saw a lot of trudgers today, heads down, a heaviness about them, cold and wet, how can that be pleasurable?  The hot meal by the log fire and the shower and warm bed in a hotel at the end of each trudging day sounds very nice, but the trudging itself, nahhh.  What you could do instead is, drive a vehicle, when you get to your accommodation that evening, run around the car park for a few minutes, get some air and a bit of a chill about you, get a bit breathless, work up a sweat, then pop in to the hotel, a wee dram, a hot meal by the log fire, hot shower, warm bed.  Much better.  We prefer the motorised trudging, especially the type afforded by the reassurance of a Range Rover.   
      On the scenic route home The Husband was swayed by a road-sign stating 'not suitable for caravans', off we went up a single track road, found ourselves on and climbing up, no other than, feckin heck, the famous Ben Lawers.  Regular readers will know my funny Ben Lawers's worth the re-telling.   
     Several years back The Husband and I were driving through this area, he was relatively new to The Highlands and the Scottish lingo.  Seems he'd been taking in his surroundings and wondering.  Lawers village, the Ben Lawers Hotel, Ben Lawers Street, Lawers Community Hall, Lawers this and Ben Lawers that.  He announced, I'll need to Google this Ben Lawers, he must be really important as everything's named after him.  I laughed, a lot, then explained a BEN is a mountain, anyways, our Ben Lawers story is a funny tale, makes me laugh every time.   
      You'll understand, it was rather nice when we found ourselves taking the RR up Ben, we went elbow-deep in Ben...and then...The Husband pissed on Ben.  A bit inappropriate that.  I did get photographic evidence too, which is in probably even more seriously inappropriate.  Anyways, the exciting bit is, up there on top of Ben there's a dam.  Very similar to the one we didn't see back at Cruachan, so that was nice.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Limitless last night.  T'was entertaining enough, but I think a tad too simplistically tied up at the end.    
 Star smilie clear
Celeb BB 2011 blink and I missed it 
  There's a load of stars on The Star Swag Blog  
    Yes, a load of stars on The Star Swag Blog, but not so many on CH5.  I'm preparing this blog post while watching the Celeb BB final, having accidently stumbled across it with an unfortunate press of a remote control button.  That went past quick, this 2011 Celebrity BB thingy.  I've occasionally been aware of a bit of it here and there, the boy and girl band competition action, I admit I saw that and found it mildly entertaining.   Seems just a couple of nights ago there was a load of them still in there, whoever they all were, though I did recognise the Jedward lady-boys and the Katona woman.  Who is this Paddy of which they speak?  They not only speak of him, they're screaming for him.  He don't look up to much to me.  What?  What is he saying?  FFS!  This is ridiculous, 'I'm me' he keeps saying, me?  WHO are YOU?  I'm not a fan of your work.  I have absolutely no clue what the feck is going on, I'm out of this BB loop, which is probably a good thing really.   
 Star smilie clear
dentist, 60 watts of actually being able to see in a room when you switch the light on, Weather News and a big croc 
  Over on The Star Swag Blog there's a couple stripy little numbers.   
    One day it's your birthday, the next, your sitting in a dentist chair, and I reckon, that's a right good and true analogy of how life will treat you.  It wasn't deliberate, my choice of dentist date, it just happened.  I really don't seek out situations dripping in poignant difference and melancholic incongruity.  Honestly.   
    When I was a child The Parents ensured I attended the dentist exactly as advised by the NHS system, I was in the chair on a very regular basis.  I'm assuming back in the 60s/70s children in the UK attended at least 6 monthly, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was an annual event, whatever it was, I was there, I have very good, loving parents who brought me up right and proper.   
    In childhood I went to a dentist in Lanark for all my inspection, filling and drilling needs.  I also required orthodontist type input, but all the treatment was done by the same dentist guy.  I just can't remember his name, he'll be well retired by now.  Retired or dead.  In this day and age the orthodontist stuff gets done by a different professional, I know this because The Boy has had much the same dental reshaping and he had to go to an orthodontist for that side of toothy stuff.   
      But, anyway, thing is, the older I get, the less admiration I have for dentists.  I often feel true hatred for the bastards.  The one I have at this time, she's a bit frosty, but in general she seems to know what she's doing and I haven't detected any money-grabbing behaviour from her.  In the past...suffice to say I've suffered at the hands of dental disparities.  I won't go into detail...not right now.  Today's appointment went fine.   
      Afterwards I went for a stroll along the Main Street in this local town and visited two shops, a Co-operative and a Semi-Chem, then returned to Starry Towers on a bus.  It's not something I do very often at all, but I'm thinking it's no bad thing to check out what's going down on the streets.  The best buy of this out-of-the-ordinary experience, I came home with x18 60W bulbs, I stripped the shelf of their mini globe screw 60s.  I'm scared shitless of the day I have no more 60W bulbs and have to peer half-blinded into a poorly lit room waiting for at least 17 minutes before the government-approved eco-bulb gets up to top performance.  I like a room I can see in.    
      Weather's turning here at Starry Towers, why just yesterday I had to ask The Boy to assist in the removal of the swing seat canopy.  When the wind gets up it causes the seat to lift right off the ground and sometimes this can knock pots off pot-feet.  I don't like it at all.   
      Summit else I don't like, is the capture of the one-ton croc in The Philipines.  The Bunawan town mayor Edwin Elorde says they intend to turn this into a tourist attraction.  The so-called 'eco-park' doesn't even exist yet, but he says they'll build it around the crocodile.  So far they've captured, tied up, strapped down, pushed a huge tube down it's throat and pumped gallons of water into it's stomach.  I'm not convinced they know what they're doing.  
      I'd imagine this creature would jump to it's death, given this choice of living, his future's about as bright as a 25W eco-bulb.   
 Star smilie clear
my birthday 
  Colour block that frock on The Star Swag Blog.  
    With the ten year anniversary of 9/11 in a few days, there's a lot of coverage of the events on the TV and in magazines.  I can't stand it.  I'm an emotional wreck and very tearful because of the menopause and this stuff is so unbearably painful, I can't imagine how terrible it is for them that lost their nearest and dearest, I didn't personally know any of the victims, and it's breaking my heart.  The story of the son in one of the planes that crashed into the towers, phoning his Dad to say goodbye and I love you, and telling him, don't worry Dad, it'll be over fast.  Meaning he, his wife and their two year old daughter would die immediately and not in prolonged agony.  Oh my, how does anyone live with that pain?  Have to not watch the 9/11 stuff.  
      The footage of people jumping from the towers, how bad must it have been in there that to jump from many floors up was preferable?  Terrible, bless them all.   
      On a lighter note, it's my birthday, I'm even closer to being nearly 50, which is one of my favourite sayings, I'm nearly 50 you know.  
      Right, you know the concept of Moonpig, cards you personalise to make them really special, individual and appropriate, a Moonpig card makes the recipient feel really loved.  As The Husband is in The Land Of Hurra For Deg Som Fyller Ditt år! and because I'm his one and only special ikkle darlingo sweetienuts, I got Moonpigged, awe, lovely.  But what I want to know is, who the feck is Sally?  
      The Mum visited and The Boy and I had chocolate fudge cake.  I'm not saying what The Husband is giving me, because he doesn't know yet and I want to keep it hush hush till I see him.  That's how we roll here, I find what I want, he finances it, I obtain it then give it to him just seconds before he gives it back to me to open and portray the very picture of surprise and delight.  It works better this way, we tried it the other, more traditional way, but I was never all that very surprised or delighted.  
      Here's a very upbeat happy cheerful Starry Towers Sunflower, planted by a garden bird from one of their feeders.  Sweet.  
 Star smilie clear
Op Update and the Birds Eye Bear 
  There's some lovely nail stuff on The Star Swag Blog  
    My well-radical Hysterectomy plus Bilateral Oophectomy and consequent plunge into deepest darkest Menopause is ten weeks old today.  It's a real slow process.  My experience of it anyway, I'm finding it a slow recovery, slow but steady.  The difference from day 1 post-op to now is absolutely amazing to me.   
    In the beginning I was reeling from the physical and psychological scarring, it's quite a dunt you know.  However, in about the last week or so I've started to feel an improvement, my body seems to be returning to normal.  Right up till about one week ago my lower abdomen area was so hard and really sticky-outy, making wearing anything even slightly restrictive/tight very uncomfortable.  It felt so bad I've had to have bare legs all Summer.  Thank goodness I had a Summer op, I now know a Winter op wouldn't have been doable for me.   
    Quite often I've felt, ironically, pregnant.  Not just pregnant, but ironically pregnant.  This bump was alien, not part of me, and it comes with a massive amount of loss.  All the things that I've lost.  The physical bits and pieces they took away, the hormones-no-more, my fertile youthfulness, my babies that will never be (there are some good points then).    The tummy is still tender to the touch and the immediate area around the stitch line is numb.  I don't know for sure what's the worst thing, numb or mild lingering tenderness?  Probably the numb, it's so strange, gently run a nail over the numb bit, and nothing.  So unnatural it's really unnerving.  I find I have to immediately scratch another bit of skin near-by, a bit that has nerve endings in full-on working condition.  This some-how makes things feel better, much better, puts my mind at rest, a little bit.   
      One major problem that hasn't got any better is constipation.  I went to see a lady GP last Friday, out of necessity due to the sick-line situation.  She advised I take Senna, on a daily basis.  She says the bowel-experts advice it's way better to take the Senna than to risk damaging your internals with the straining.  I was right glad to hear this because, the straining really was pretty sore, it didn't feel right at all.   
      The Boy dropped by this afternoon, to pick up some footie clothing, on route to his weekly 5-a-side game with his mates.  On his way back out I suggested he should take a bottle of water out the fridge.  He'd surely need a bottle of water, off to play football and all, he said nahhh, he'd be OK, he was in a hurry, I really, get a bottle of water, out the fridge, seriously...THE FRIDGE!  NOW!!!   
      He did what his mother told him, he could tell it was important.  Then he experienced our Birds Eye Bear, and I swear I witnessed him actually shudder, he finds the Bird's Eye Bear unnerving.  I find that funny.  
      We'll be eating fish fingers till Xmas, but he's worth it.  
 Star smilie clear
Car Wars or The Great Z4 Change of 2011 
  A couple of weeks ago I mentioned The Husband was thinking of a car change.  I didn't elaborate because, well, to be just one step up from total brutal honesty, The Husband was kinda, like erm, wrong.  I know, I know, I thought that wasn't possible too.   
    There's the Range Rover, I heart the Range Rover, so does The Husband, no argument there.  The RR is our extremely reliable workhorse of a vehicle.  For Winter weather and other such bad road conditions, we both agree, it's great.  I recall the Top Gear episode when Jeremy Clarkson drove it down a river in some far flung, I think it was Deepest Africa.  He drove an RR over all terrains, it got right exciting, so it did.  His conclusion was 'the world's most unreliable car turns out to be the world's most reliable car.'   
      We don't have an issue with our RR.  Our problem was with the fun car, the Z4.  See, he wanted to swap our pretty baby for this fat-arsed Mercedes Coupe type car, apparently it has a massive huge wonderful engine type thing going on, and I saw for myself how luxurious it was indoors, all wood and leather and electronics, but it has a huge fat arse.  It's got a sun-roof window thing, it has these side windows, when the windows are's one big long side open middle bit between front seat and back seat windows...I weren't impressed.  It didn't have a soft top, it weren't a convertible.  It was big, did I say 'big'?  It was more than big, it was huge, fat, massive, a glut of car, not sleek.  Common, it looked like loads of other cars on the roads.  Bottom didn't look like the Bat-Mobile, an essential quality for me.   
      The Husband was annoyed at me.  I called him 'impulsive', he agreed he is, he likes being impulsive and tried to be that...but I got emotional, I huffed and later, alone together, I cried.  I wanted to keep the Z4.  It was actually painful for me to imagine being Z4-less.  I couldn't face life without.   
      He told me the Mercedes had such a fantastically smooth and comfortable connection with the road, whatever, worryingly, when it got parked with one front wheel right up on top the in the car noticed, not The Husband who was doing the test-driving, not the garage guy accompanying us, and certainly not me.  That's how wonderfully smooth and comfortable this car was, which is great and all, but, seems to me, this car could well run a person over till they are dead, and no-one in the car would even notice.  I've heard of cases on the news like this, suggesting a driver run over a person and didn't know it, I found that incredulous, I'd go as far as to say, that prior to this test-drive, I poo-pooed that nonsense.  However, I'd say now it is very possible.  The dead person would have to be lying in the road waiting for a passing Mercedes though, because I think we'd still notice if the fat-arsed Mercedes struck them down first before running them over.   
      He argued that vehicles, engines, mechanical stuff, motorbikes, cars, was his thing.  He said that he never knew a car decision should be based on 'looks'.  He said 'looks' like it was a bad thing.  He reminded me I don't drive.  I was so very upset, I love this man, we are so good together, he's by a long chalk the best of my three husbands, but...seriously...NO!!!  
      Anyways, what I wanted we had already found, I wanted...gorgeous, the status quo...a Z4.  What he wanted...change...a bigger engine thing in a fancy big heavy lux thing.  I wasn't looking to change, though having the concept of 'no-Z4' suggested...I'd be willing to change to a Corvette, The Lemon Popsicle we enjoyed in Las Vegas was the trigger that caused me to encourage The Husband to buy a Z4 on our return to Scotland, in the first place.   
      It got bad, and I was left quite traumatised.  The Husband dealt with the situation better, cos evidently, he moved on quickly enough.  I was still smarting and hurting, worried bout the future, I was scared.  Anyways, I admit I was probably wrong to get all pouty and tearful (in my defence I am surgically-menopausal, which is the most severe kind of menopausal), BUT...however, the final result turns out to be for the best for both of us.   
      Woo-hoo!  Check it out!  The only way I could ever possibly part with our beautiful silver for another gorgeous Z4.  The Husband has picked an M Series Imola Red Z4.  I don't know the details of the brag-worthy engine stuff, all I know's Bat-Mobile out-standing gorgeous, and he's well pleased with it.  The one other thing I know is it has 4 exhausts compared to the silver one's solo exhaust.  I'm happy.   
 Star smilie clear
The Dad's got three Marilyns now 
  Foldable pumps on The Star Swag Blog.  
    My regular readers know I had the privilege of enjoying the friendship of my Octogenarian Friend Tom, general good guy, wise-old-man and Shetland Sheep Aficionado for the last few years of his long and interesting life.  Tom rewarded my friendship by naming a sheep after me.  The Dad became good friends with Tom too, bonding over the Shetland Sheep.  With Tom's passing we were all left deeply saddened and grieving, and my sheep, Rench Marilyn, would be sold.  
    Rench Marilyn is now 3 years old and a mother.  Her baby,  Rench Marilyn II was born on the 1st April 2010, both would go to Lanark Market.  Sad, but such is life in the world of farming and animal husbandry.   
    Lanark Market on the 18th August 2011, the sheep sale was on, but first Rench Marilyn II won a trophy for 'Best Wool On The Hoof'.  Then the sale was really on, and The Dad bought the Marilyns.  Both of them, mother and daughter.  Sentimental reasons he said, 'he named her after you' he said.  Isn't he wonderful.  Yes he is.  I lurve The Dad.  
      The Mum and I went with The Dad the other day to visit the Marilyns and the rest of the sheep he's been taking care of while their owners were on holiday.  It's quite surprising how forward sheep are when you've got a packet of digestive biscuits in your hand.  They flocked to me.  I was butted, stood and jumped on, I was chased and I was nibbled.  And I was nuzzled affectionately, they're so very sweet.  I was mostly laughing, but I was verging on hysteria a few times, especially when one of the little rams was trying to eat my necklace.  They're an adorable breed these Shetlands.  
 Star smilie clear
  Unless you actually one of my family you probably wouldn't have noticed I wasn't in Scotland for 9 days there.  
    The Husband took me on an E-Trip in the Z4.  We drove down to Harwich and boarded the Dana Sirena ferry to Esbjerg in Denmark, a four hour drive up Denmark and a second boat to take us over to Norway.  And a week in The Hummeren Hotel on the waterfront at Tanager near Stavanger.  
    I flew back on Tuesday, Edinburgh via Amsterdam.  I wasn't looking forward to the lone trip home, all that having to focus, right place at the right time, don't miss a plane.  But, fortune smiled on me there too, and a knight in shining armour type swooped from out of nowhere, treated me to the Business Class Lounge with wine and nibbles then ensured I was in the right place with perfect timing.  I didn't have to focus and I still got on the right planes, success.   
      The story is on The Continental Tripping 2011 Norway Journal and more photies will be added to The Norway Gallery when I get the time.  
 Star smilie clear
ciggie rights & wrongs 
  Right, here's something to get really annoyed about.  According to The Daily Record a paedophile is suing over having to share his Scottish prison cell will cigarette smokers.  As a recent giver-upperer, 9 weeks and counting, thank you for asking, I can empathise with both sides of this issue.  In fact, I can see another side and I'm particularly well placed to appreciate the intricacies of all three.   
      This scummy, low-life, foul, wicked (in a bad way), not-fit-to-breath-Scottish-air, bastard, ie a paedophile, is 63 year old Mahmood Qadri, currently receiving free bed and board from Scottish tax payers.  He claims being forced to share a cell with cigarette smoke has infringed his human rights and has caused him “significant and prolonged physical and mental distress”.  I'll significantly and prolonged-ly dole out more physical/mental/painful/broom-handle-up-arse type pain to distress him further if he doesn't watch it.  Smoke he says, I'd give him fire.  He doesn't even deserve to breath Scottish cigarette smoke, you can see where I'm going with this, he doesn't actually qualify to be breathing, full stop.  Given the option, I'd like to get medieval on his ass.  Full of whimpering demands for his human rights, no concern for the human rights of little children!  
      Was Jack MaFeckinConnell too shit-feart to go to the prisons and tell the scary bad people that they couldn't have a fag in their rooms?   
      Now the third view on this issue, a larger-picture view.  Lets look at the hospital setting.  I won't talk of all hospital wards, obviously many type of ward should rightfully have a complete smoking ban.  But what of the mentally ill?  What of people with mental health issues who are taken from their own homes and admitted to hospital against their will.  Due to illness, at their most vulnerable, with their human rights already rode rough-shod over, they are also told they can't smoke, not indoors anyway.  If a patient wants to smoke they have to go outdoors, and depending on their mental state at the time, but regardless of the weather conditions, often a nurse will have to escort the patient.   
      Yet criminals get to smoke in a public building setting.  For example, a 30 year old man who raped 3 women, a 54 yr old man who robbed two shops at gun-point and a 23 yr  old who knocked an 88 year old demented lady to the pavement as he made off with her handbag, they get to smoke indoors, in their own cells, laying around on their beds, relaxing with a cup of coffee and watching the TV.   
      The little old 88 year old demented woman who got pushed to the ground as the lad made off with her pension, she never really got over that episode, even after her fractured wrist had healed, her son says she was always fearful after the terrible time she was assaulted and robbed.  Her memory deficits rapidly worsened, she was forgetting to eat, cigarette burns were evident on her clothing, she was phoning her kids multiple times throughout the night and she refused to leave the house, even for doctor appointments because she insisted a bad man was waiting to harm her.  She became convinced that she could see a bad man outside, watching her house, and was soon phoning her son and daughter with rambling tales of a man who was talking to her, demanding that she give him money.   
      Of course her family were worried sick and in regular communication with hospital and community health care staff throughout their mother's rapid decline.  And then comes the inevitable, the joint decision, joint, that is, between family and care team, the old lady wants none of it.  They decide Mum has to go into hospital to be properly assessed.  Mum's argumentative and can be aggressive, a section of the Mental Health Act strips the old lady of a couple of her basic human rights.   She has no say in what roof is over her head and if she wants to smoke it'll be at staff convenience and outside, all weathers.  And when I say staff convenience, they do have a lot of other things to do and have to prioritise, obviously they can't take every smoker outside every time a smoker wishes to smoke.  It can lead to disgruntled smokers and harangued nurses.  
      Long story short, the old lady says feck off on a regular basis and spends the rest of her life in an NHS challenging behaviour unit.  Despite it now being 'home' and against her will, it's the same NHS smoking ban, same issues, same outside in the rain, snow, high winds, whether you're 88 and on you're last legs or not.  The Patient Advocates jump up and down over every other issue, but no-where to be seen when it comes to cigarettes, I don't understand.  Where's the no-win-no-fee lawyers when you need one?  How long before a next of kin takes this one to court and costs the Scottish tax-payers a few million?  
      Who's better off? the lad who robbed her or  the old lady?  The bad guy of course.  All smokers take one step forward, not so fast little old lady,  where'd you think you're going?  I'm arguing for the freedom of choice, in long-term care situations and prisons, a smoking room option.   
      he can smoke, she can't  
      [The Dementia scenario and criminal cases, though typical, are fabricated and not based on any particular individuals I know.]  
 Star smilie clear
booby prize 
  Isn't this a form of self-harm?  BeShine is a German 'model', and when she refers to herself as a 'model', I'm guessing there's only one category of modelling she does, which most probably doesn't involve cat-walks and photo-shoots for Vogue.  
    I'm guessing that because, well look, BeShine has surgically enhanced breasts.  She's been surgically enhanced right up to a size 166XXX, and according to the article by Ashley Van Sipma in Closer magazine, she intends to have silicone injected to take her to size Z, could anyone tell the difference?  BeShine started as a 32A, now she's got 5st of fat hanging off her tiny ribcage, straining her spine and stretching her skin.  The T shirt proclaims 'I ♥ boobs', I can't imagine how anyone could ♥ that much boob.  
    BeShine doesn't reveal her real name or the name of the surgeon who keeps agreeing to perform the ops.  The surgeon should have his/her medical credentials closely scrutinised then removed.  
 Star smilie clear
Herring and Amy 
  The cause of the night out was a man in his 40s who seems utterly incapable of getting back on the TV and has the name of a fish.  That be right, The Husband and I went to see Richard Herrings' 2011 show, What Is Love, Anyway?  On at The Cow Barn in Bistro Square, Edinburgh at 9.50pm till the 28th August.  Just a couple opportunities left at the Edinburgh Festival.  As is his usual, Richard is working very hard, with two shows most days, his Love evening show and an afternoon chat/interview show.  Same with the podcasts, two a day, a podcast of the afternoon show, I've listened to one so far, and a short 'warming up' which I haven't had a chance to listen to yet.  All the info and the links are on Mr Herring's website  
      Both The Husband and I had a good time and found much humour, warmth and joy in What Is Love, Anyway?  The stuff bout his Granny, though I'd heard him tell the basics in casual chat with Andrew Collins on their Collings And Herrin podcasts, was expertly honed and delivered.  And the stuff bout dating Julia Sawalha was satisfactorily interesting and funny.  
      I have to tell you too, when deciding, to do or not to do, the Sirloin Seat option at £5 a seat extra, do it!  Worth it for the looks on the people's faces at the front of the queue that have stood in the rain for about half an hour.  With a matter of minutes to curtain up, just walk up to the front and you Sirloin Seat ticket holders will be shown to your seats by a member of staff, the best seats in the room, AND you get a cushion for under your bum.  
      The drugs didn't do it.  Toxicology results indicate no illegal substances in Amy Winehouse at the time of her death, 23rd July.  Two thoughts, one, alcohol is legal and two, chronic long-term substance abuse damage.  The report states alcohol was present, but at this time is unable to say what, if any, part alcohol played in her death.  And three, when I think about it, eating disorder?  Her poor ravaged underweight body looked so frail, surely incapable of coping with even a bout of Flu.  Remind yourself how healthy and beautiful this woman used to be.  The first image was how she looked in 2004.  She was gorgeous with everything to live for, the shocking deterioration in the following 7 substance-abusing, body-wrecking, skin-scribbling, man-disaster years is just horrendous and should never be romanticised.  This wonderful, talented, lovely, healthy, gorgeous woman with the voice of the decade and a song writing skill to match, had no self-love but a massive self-destruct switch she clicked a while ago.  A spiral of substance-abuse and depression is what I see.  If she disliked anything about her body shape and looks at the start of her 20s, how was she coping with what the mirror was showing her in her last couple years?  As a fan of both Amy and Pete Doherty, I always wondered which one would leave first.  
 Star smilie clear
woulda, shoulda, coulda, but didn't, Jar Of Hearts, Everest and Festival News 
  As I mentioned yesterday I complained to Sainsbury's about a missing item and getting last week's magazines.  Complaint responded to, and as expected, apologies and a £3.51 discount voucher.  The email said they would speak to my branch staff about the magazine date issue to ensure I never receive last weeks issues again.  They should really credit my account, rather than give me a refund I can spend at Sainsbury's, it's my money, but, I'm being pernickety, and I had summit much bigger on the cards, the JJB Aguero shirt incident.  I was going to send letters, real ones, with envelopes and stamps, involving the Post Office.  I was determined heads should roll, it's a swizzz.  But The Boy insisted I drop it.  What a sorry state of affairs.   
      I'm listening to Lovestrong, the Christina Perri CD.  In the Z4 the other day the radio was on and that's how I came to hear Jar Of Hearts, a single from this album.  The raw emotion of this girls voice, the lyrics...there was a tear.  I purchased the CD, she's very good.  I'll try to not cry when I listen, she's a wee bit too Emo for me to deal with comfortably, or...nonchalantly.   
      Leo Houlding is my new, or probably more accurately, my first, my only, Extreme Sports Hero.  After watching him climb to the top of the mountain quicker than Jeremy Clarkson could drive there, on Top Gear, I was impressed, then he threw himself off the same mountain in a double or quits bet with Clarkson.  That was it for me, signed, sealed, delivered, he's my Extreme Sports Hero.   
      I just got tickets to a show.  The Husband, who returns from Europe tomorrow, doesn't know it yet, but we've got a date and he's taking me out Friday night.   
 Star smilie clear
aiming for complaint restraint 
  Right, I'm annoyed, I had to complain today.  Goes against my non-argumentative peace-loving, passive nature, but damn them all to Hell, I had to complain.  This involved a couple emails and a phone call.  Yes, that serious, I phoned customer services.  I'll start with the lesser of the wrongs.   
    Complaint # 1 : Sainsbury's brought my online shop direct to The Starry Towers kitchen.  Couple of middle-aged gentlemen, very polite and efficient.  Delivery Man A was telling me he was being trained, this was his first day and he'd already put his back out with the lifting.  He had an Eastern European accent, which goes against the widely held racist generalisation that all Eastern Europeans are hard working and non-complaining.  Delivery Man B didn't complain, Scottish, he hadn't put his back out, maybe cos he'd made the trainee do most of the work.   
    Anyway, once they left I checked my shopping against the receipt.  I recommend you all do that, always.  There was an item missing, a pack of gum worth 46 of my Scottish pennies.  That wasn't so very annoying, I was even prepared to let that go.  Yes I know, not like me at all.  But then the decision was taken, nay, ripped, out of my hands a minute later.  The magazines!  Closer and HEAT come out on a Tuesday.  I had deliberately arranged my Sainsbury's shop to drop on Tuesday.  When I shopped online and put the magazines in the virtual shopping trolley, I was buying the latest issues which would arrive in my local Sainsbury's that morning, maybe even on the previous evening, I don't know how these things go, I can only make intelligent assumptions.  They gave me last week's issue.  I already have last weeks issues, I bought them from Sainsbury's, last week.  I wrote an email.  At time of blogging I await a full refund and an apology.  If same aren't forthcoming, I will have to never ever online shop at Sainsbury's ever again, even though they do the best 0% fat fromage frais and the lowest carb healthiest cold meats.  
      Complaint # 2 : JJB.  I am appalled at this situation with football shirts.  The Boy wanted the Manchester City FC home men's long sleeve shirt with the name and number of recent signing, Sergio Leonel "Kun" Agüero del Castillo.  We went to JJB online and bought it, just two weeks ago it was.  JJB were selling the shirt with #16 Aguero on the back.  The Boy spent 50 to 60 of his Scottish pounds buying this.   
      Yesterday this Agüero fellow played his first game for Man City and his shirt said Kun.  Kun Agüero.  From what I can make out now I'm investigating, this guy has put Kun on his shirts, for a while anyway, it's a nickname, he seems to like it, it's been on shirts when he played for Athletico Madrid and his national Argentina team.  In my opinion the shops shouldn't sell the kit till they know what the kit should say.  The football teams should get their acts together to insure they speak to the shops that sell their goods, so that kids, that can't afford to buy two of the same shirt, don't have to buy two!!!!!  OK, now I'm angry, I'm really angry.  This is a disgrace.   
      I was very polite, and so far, it's got me no-where.  I emailed JJB, no answer, I phoned JJB customer services, to be told JJB have no obligation to sell the right thing, just a close approximation of summit it might be, they might even get it right sometimes.  Absolutely shocking.  I even Tweeted Manchester City FC and that Sergio KUN Agüero fellow.  
      I'm so annoyed, I think I'll start a campaign, I'm currently working out the campaign strategy.   
 Star smilie clear
Schmangle, Requiem For A Dream, Dick and Chapter27

Requiem For A Dream DVD 

Dick DVD

Chapter 27 DVD
  Biba bargain on The Star Swag Blog  
    First I got my Slankets, then I found my Shmangle, a nice blue one.  I'm trying to figure out what it means, Sh/mangle, or Sh/man/gle?  In the Sl(eeve)(b)anket stylee.  Can't even work out where the SH comes from, never mind trying to get my head round the MANGLE bit.   
    Thing is you see, I've lost my sunbathing-slash-picnic rug, and when I say 'lost' I mean, it's been stollen.  The one with the waterproof backing for when the grass is a bit damp.  It's now being kept in a vehicle for when The Husband wants to lie on the ground in relation to mechanics and vehicles.  I weren't very happy bout it either.  To make up for this loss I've found this fantastic replacement which is two things in one.  It can be used as a rug with a waterproof backing for when the grass is damp, AND it can be worn, it's got a hood. The Shmangle Festival Blanket is a large, lightweight, multi-purpose, hooded blanket with a waterproof outer layer and a cosy fleece lining that packs away into a small drawstring bag.  The multi-use Shmangle can be worn or used as a groundsheet for sitting on damp grass.  You can shelter under it from the rain, wear to keep warm around a camp fire or use it at night as an extra cover over a sleeping bag.  That won't be happening.  It can be easily folded away into its drawstring bag and carried like a small backpack or just slung over your shoulder.  
    It measures 140cm x 170cm and packs down to 38cm x 25cm x 15cm in the bag.  Weights 900g and is available in a choice of four outer colours.  The inner side is multi-coloured striped fleece.  A major plus point is it's machine washable.  I got mine from FunkyLeisure  
     Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I tried to watch Requiem For A Dream, the junky movie of the Hubert Selby Jr novel.  That was hard work, I gave up after about 20mins.  I read the book a couple decades ago, but the film, too druggy, nothing happening, not for the first 20 mins anyway.  Too depressing.  Even though there was Jared Leto.  
      I watched Dick.  A Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams comedy parodying Richard Nixon's Watergate.  That was OK, there was a bit of Will Ferrell.   
      I watched Chapter 27.  A bit like watching Titanic, (I'm assuming, though I've never watched Titanic), I knew the ending of this movie before I started watching, but  it was OK, and for a Jared Leto movie, a lot easier to watch than Requiem For A Dream.  There was a bit of Lindsay Lohan too, I'm not saying that's a good thing, just stating a fact.   
 Star smilie clear
Slankets, Youth In Revolt and Roger Dodger

Youth In Revolt DVD

Roger Dodger DVD 
  Saving the planet one swag at a time, on The Star Swag Blog.   
    At last I have Slankets.  I've liked the sound of a Slanket since first I heard of them.  A cosy warm blanket, with sleeves, ideal for times you just want to wrap up and get cosy on the sofa.  I opted for this animal print trio, the zebra, the leopard and, well, erm, obviously the other one has to be the black panther.  I don't wear them the way they advertise that they should be worn.  In all the demo pics they show the Slanket being put on front-ways.  I wear it back-ways, so my bum gets cosy covered too.  
    Slanket animal prints   
    Many options in colour, kids and adult size, travel size, double size, it's all there.  Some of them, including these three are a bargain half price, at £14.99 each at FindMeAGift.  Orders over £30 are free delivery, and until Wednesday 17th August, enter SUMMER10 at the checkout for a 10% discount.  My Slankets arrived with a special offer of a 10% discount off my next order.  I don't think I need any more Slankets, but I might have to find someone-else a gift.   
    And here's a lovely poppy from The Starry Towers Estate, just one, and there's been many of them over this Summer.  I'll be gathering and spreading the seeds in a wee while.   
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched Youth In Revolt.  Geek movie no one would watch with me.  It's very funny, Michael Cera is as usual a fabulous geek with perfect comic timing.  In his rebellious alter-ego mode he's cool, smooth.  He's a wee sweetheart.  The story is outrageous but strangely believable.  Also there's Ray Liotta and Steve Buscemi.  
      I watched Roger Dodger.  More lonely geek movie, this time with Jesse Eisenberg.  A cutting painful tale of one man's battle on the single's scene.  It's apparently in the 'humour' section, but I didn't find it funny, it's a good movie, I enjoyed.  But I found it sad, poignant and emotional.  And there was Isabella Rossellini, have always adored this woman.   
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staying in Scotland 
  Crochet chic on The Star Swag Blog  
    The Sister-In-Law was living back in Germany for a wee while there, with the idea that The Brother would be selling up here and moving over to join her at a later time.  I wanted them to stay in Scotland.  Anyways, their plans have all changed and she's coming back.  Yeaaaahhhhh!  That's good.  And she got her old teaching job back, must be a great teacher everyone loves.  I reminded her she'll have to return her farewell gifts, a bottle of good whiskey and a sizable sum of leaving-cash.   
      The Husband is back from The Land Of Gas and Gravlaks, commuting back and forth on a weekly basis.  I think he's got cars on his mind, we could be test driving.  Meanwhile here's something we didn't expect...Breaking News!  Riots Hit Scotland.  
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annoying things of the day, Star's Prawn Cocktail and Planet Of The Apes

Planet Of The Apes DVD 1968

Planet Of The Apes DVD 2001 
  I was up The Centre with The Parents this morning, still couldn't find any rioting.  But I did get my new ToyWatch strap shortened at Timpsons in fair exchange for six of my Scottish pounds.  It's over on The Star Swag Blog.  
    There's some improvement on the anti-Scotchland front, the BBC News service has stopped referring to the 'UK Riots' and changed the tagline to 'England Riots', at last.  CNN and SKY News are still calling it UK.  
    How much would you have to like Haribo to loot them out of Poundland?  You'd have to be really exceptionally chavy to do this.  I'd have made off with the M & Ms.  
    Some days it's the big things, and some, it's the little things that are most annoying.  Every time I hear the voice-over at the start of the Nanny 911 show, 'we gathered a team of world-class nannies from all over the globe...'  No you haven't, you've got 4 or 5 (Nanny Debs and Nanny Stella spring to mind), and they all sound English.  
       I made some home made healthy prawn cocktail today.  It's very easy, and it would have to be, I'm no cook.   
      Star's Prawn Cocktail   
      some cooked and peeled prawns   
      some big dollops of 0% fat Fromage Frais   
      a squeeze of tomato puree   
      some Splenda  
      a wee press on the electronic pepper grinder  
      and a sprinkle of any other herbs and spices you fancy   
      1  put all ingredients in a bowl, a dish, any appropriate receptacle   
      2  mix it all up, with a spoon, a fork, any appropriate tool   
      3  eat   
      Right, that's that.  Here's something that has me perplexed.  On The Twitter right, I'm not famous and I don't do anything to make myself popular in a follow type way, and consequently I have 11 followers.  Not many, but no surprise.  The big surprise is a couple of my followers are famous.  
      Nancy Sinatra follows me, yes, that Nancy Sinatra, the one who sang These Boots Are Made For Walking, Frank's daughter.  I know how this one happened.  A while ago I followed her, then she followed me back, then a while later I unfollowed her, but cos she's in the thousands, she hasn't noticed.   
      Right that one's a little surprising, but the big surprising one is The Daily Record.  Yeah, the national newspaper The Daily Record.  Why The Daily Record is following me we'll never know.  I'm not the font of all Scottish breaking news, so I can't figure why The Daily Record is following me.  
      Huge reduction in England's rioting tonight, is it raining?  Maybe they're just tired.   
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  I watched Planet Of The Apes.  Both the 1968 and the 2001 versions.  I'm preparing for the 2011 version.  I enjoyed my evening on monkey watch duty.  Damn you, damn you all to Hell! (1968).  Damn them, damn them all to Hell! (2001).  I'll be on damn-to-Hell watch duty on the 2011, they've got to include a version it somewhere, out of respect.    
 Star smilie clear
thugs and thieves in Engerland 
  There's the cutest bit of swag on The Star Swag Blog  
    How crap is it when you have to return early from holiday because of your job?  I'm sorry, I'd totally refuse.  But, I s'pose, my job doesn't involve the same gravitas of a government post.  This situation is a bit more serious, given that it involves a country out of control, that country being England.  However consistent the efforts of the BBC and SKY TV, this is not a 'UK RIOTS' situation.  It's an ENGLAND RIOT situation.  Anyone in Wales rioting?  One 16 year old in Scotland mentions the idea on The Facebook, gets arrested and charged with trying to incite public disorder.  It's horrible, but it's all going down, down there, in Engerland.  One 16 year old boy in Scotland on The Facebook says, hey lets start a riot in Glasgow, and people report him to the police.  He's been charged, and that's that as far as we're concerned.  We won't be doing the riots of August 2011.  
    I'm on high alert up here, and can vouch, I'm keeping an eye on the streets.  All I saw on the streets today was the usual through traffic in Sunny D, and also on my daily Radical Hysterectomy Post-Op Recovery Walk...I got talking to a woman about a bush.  
    This rioting situation down there is absolutely terrible.  So many sickening scenes.  One of the most telling, one of the saddest tales and somehow, most personal, is of a young disorientated, concussed, injured boy, according to The Twitter this young man is called Ashraf Haziq.  In hospital tonight with a broken jaw.   
    His spilled blood on the pavement.  If I could've been there with a taser.  They're cruel, displaying horrific disrespect, lack of empathy and sociopathic tendencies.  What begins as hopeful, it initially looks like they're going to his assistance...quickly and sickeningly dissolves into a cruel pack of psychos.  Like cowardly hyenas.  
    I can hardly believe how bad these people are, how immune to humanity, how pathetic.  I have dreams of human evolution, and it doesn't involve these idiots.  Come on England, restore your law and order.   
 Star smilie clear
Happy Birthday The Mum and London's burning
  There's a bag or two on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Happy Birthday to The Mum.  Much to the annoyance of The Mum, it's that day of the year again.  I'm getting to the age I understand what she's feeling bout this birthday/ageing thing.  
    Am I happy I don't live in London.  It's frightening what's happening in certain areas of the capital city.  These crazy mindless criminal thugs.  Jail the lot of them ASAP.  Wouldn't you be dragging your teenager off the street right now?  So how come there's so many of them robbing shops and setting fire to buildings?  My teenager, The Boy, was rummaging around in the bottom drawer of the freezer, looting himself a Flake Ice Cream Cone, as I'm glued to SKY News.  I commented on the shocking situation in London, he says, 'I support the rioters'.  I retort, 'but they're a bunch of thugs'.  He shoots back, 'you'd be the same if your drug dealer got shot'.  The humour is already out there, as usual.  
    I texted The Husband's Cousin's wife, Margaret, as they live in Greenwich.  Worried that they might be having to live the sharp edge of this London riot nonsense.  Margaret texts back...we're in the Alps.  Panic over.  I think they should bring in the army, shut it down.  The police and fire brigade can't hope to control this situation.  It's not just London either, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, where else I do not know.  Everyone just go home.  Bunch of onlookers standing around taking photies and videos on their phones.  
      Scotland can't be arsed with this kinda shinanagans.  I couldn't live in any place where 99% of my neighbours were rappers and gangstas innit.  Anyways, here's a nice picture of a bee on a Globe Thistle from The Starry Towers estate.  
 Star smilie clear
GP, The Bro and The Sis In Law and fingers crossed for the Buddleia cuttings 
  On The Star Swag Blog you'll find the result of my second trip to Uniqlo.  
    I went to see a GP on Friday there (5th August) and luck of the draw gave me a guy doc.  I wasn't impressed.  But no big deal, I'll be back to the surgery in 4 weeks, to see a female GP.  Tomorrow is 6 weeks post-radical-hysterectomy.  I'm not even allowed to hoover for 6 more weeks,'s 12 weeks post-op till I can hoover a carpet.  I'm still wearing the anti-embolism stockings as per my Consultants instructions.  They ain't pretty, they aint even comfortable, BUT, they are necessary.  I'm going to stop wearing them tomorrow, but I'll be keeping them for future flights.  
    The Husband and I went a-visiting this weekend.  We were invited to a BBQ at The Brother and Sis-In-Law's place.  We had a lovely day.  Unfortunately it started to rain, so the food got taken in to the kitchen and finished in the oven.  We were sitting outside under a very impressive awning, then went indoors for a few hours of cosy living room time.  We giggled, a lot.  
      This morning, before The Husband had to fly back to Norway I took him on a little walk around what's recently become my usual circuit of Sunny D.  I had a hidden agenda this time, and I got what I was after.  You see...I have a purple Buddleia, and I'm fancying the lilac colour to match.  So, along the street there I took 4 cuttings and back at Starry Towers I stuck them in the garden, fingers crossed an all.   
 Star smilie clear
I'm so healthy, oh so healthy and missing Amy 
  Colour-popping wedges over on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Let's get the self-congrats out the way.  Today marks the 6 week anniversary of my Ciggie Quitting, congratuwelldone to me.  Seriously, that's it, I'm a non-smoker.   
    Still seriously into my health kick, what with the fag-stopping and the Dukan Diet, I've found a route around Sunny D that takes exactly 20 minutes at a brisk pace.  You go down to the east end of Main Street, turn left, round the cul de sac, retrace your steps back along Main Street, till you reach and slip into the crescent.  Round the crescent and take the back road, follow to the western end of the village.  Back onto Main Street and walk back down to Starry Towers, 20 minutes, exactly.  Excellent.  
      I'm getting much more oh so healthy, and yet still in the early stages of radical Hysterectomy surgery recovery, my tummy hurts to the touch.  Even when walking, sometimes it hurts with each step, especially so when stepping down stairs for some reason.  And there's the more intense throbbing stabbing pains that occur sometimes just out of the blue.  GP visit tomorrow for another sick line.  
      My mobile phone ringtone has been Amy Winehouse singing Rehab for years now, well, since 2006 when it was released.  Every time the mobile rings I hear her most famous song.  Reminds me she's gone and how much I'll miss all the music she could've but won't make now.   
 Star smilie clear
LearnPro OCD, talking to the printer, it's a snip and Sooty 
  I've been to LearnPro, the NHS eLearning website.  Two reasons, an email informed me my last years online educational input was out of date requiring the annual effort, and...I've got a lot of time on my hands.  Over the last two days...I've done LearnPro in extremis.  I searched for every possible appropriate module, and even winged it on the Blood Transfusion Module 1 'Safe Transfusion Practice'.  I will never transfuse anyone (remember I'm a nurse of the Mental Health persuasion...NHS I beg of you, do not trust us with blood transfusion), but probably good if I know if some nurse is ever transfusing me badly.   
      I LearnPro'd so much, when I get round to printing the evidence, I'm expecting the certificate to run to 3 pages...maybe 4, could it even stretch to 5?  Oh wait a minute, The Husband tells me he recently made my laptop talk to the printer in the study, lets test this out...   
      ...he's right, my laptop does talk to the printer now, which is very good.  I gave it a try and initially nothing happened, but after changing three of the five ink cartridges, t'was all systems go.  I'm well impressed.  
      Disappointed my certificate is only 3 pages long however, hmmm, maybe I'll need to search for more than the 30 courses, comprised of 67 individual assessments, that I've completed so far.  Hell yeah!  OCD collector completest issues been indulged yet again.  
      Talking about OCD, sometimes it's not a good thing.  Shamefaced I have to admit, it caused me to do summit silly today.  I was trimming the lawn edges at Starry Towers, on my knees, with scissors, and...innocent whistling and rolling of eyes...I cut through my earphone cable.  I was engrossed in my task, and the listening of Richard Bacon's 5Live podcast, the one with Sally Morgan guesting and talking shite, as them 'medium' people do, and, rats!  Over to Amazon for more Sennheisers.  The CX 400 II Precision Noise Isolating Ear-canal Phones with Integrated Volume Control are my earphones of choice, bargain price on Amazon, RRP £59.99, only £18.49 plus free delivery from Prime Electronics.  
      On Twitter I learned that Sooty has physically assaulted the millionaire  Paul Daniels by smacking him with a pizza.  The magician was taken to a hospital A&E department and treated for suspected head injuries and a black eye.  Sooty apologised.   
 Star smilie clear
Dukan News, poker hair, Easy A and Dogma

Easy A DVD

Dogma DVD
  Over on The Star Swag Blog there's some luverly stuff.  
    Another lb down this morning, that's 4lbs in less than a week, and I ain't been hungry once.  Dr Dukan seems to have got his science right.  Yesterday I ate so much ham, chicken, quark and virtually fat free fromage frais and a couple of eggs, quite frankly I didn't feel much like eating after all that.  
    Food Of The Week is Muller Light Yoghurt.  Tastes so good it satisfies the sweet cravings.  When I want chocolate or cake I eat Muller Light.  The Dukan allows only the vanilla and the toffee as there's no fruit in them.  
    I did 25 minutes of brisk walking today, before midday.  Yes, I know, I'm astounding myself the amount of healthy type stuff I'm doing these days, must be my age.  
      Product Of The Week here at Starry Towers is Lee Stafford Poker Straight Dehumidifier Spray.  It works a treat, does what it says on the tin and all that.  Comes in 200mls for the dressing table and 50mls for travelling.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).   I watched Easy A this evening, was good enough.  Resulted in me buying Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Greatest Hits on mp3 download from Amazon.  Was the song Bad Reputation, performed by The Dollyrots in the movie, but originally by Joan and her Jetts.  
      I watched Dogma.  My favourite Kevin Smith movie, it's got Affleck and Damon, my favourite movie with them in too, and Alan Rickman.  In honour of Kevin Smith's 41st birthday.  
 Star smilie clear
Invalid News, terrible teeth, ex-Stig, fan & grinder, One False Move, Bad Education and And Soon The Darkness (2010)

One False Move DVD

Bad Education DVD 

And Soon The Darkness DVD
  There's more American Apparel leather pouches on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Invalid News : feels like not much is happening at present, but as part of my short series of occasional infomercials on the after-effects of a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, I feel it's absolutely necessary that I issue an update.  It's been a while since the last.I'm up to 5 weeks of rest-n-recuperation following, least you forget, my radical hysterectomy.  That's major-abdominal-surgery in anyone's book.  Five weeks tomorrow.  I have a GP appointment booked to go get the next sick line.  A hospital doctor wrote the first sick line, for 6 weeks.  That was a good thing, gave me one less thing to worry about at the time.  I don't know how it is for other woman, but for me, when I woke up after the op, my world was already turned upside down.  
    I got through the first 48 hours, under the influence of some drugs, I can't deny.  Nurses were asking me to judge my pain level on a scale of 0 to 10, so they could fill in a SEWS chart.  I was giving them a number but explaining that, surprisingly, the most troubling of my pains wasn't in my abdomen, it was in my back.  Then I recalled, they took me down from the ward to the theatre in my bed, but just prior to going in to the anaesthetist, in the corridor, they slid me over onto a trolley.  The middle section of this trolley was raised, quite severely, I remember saying in surprise at the discomfort in my spine...oh no, this is going to hurt me back.  Lying on that for at least an hour is going to feck your back up, but as long as the surgeon finds it easier to operate on your abdomen when it's pushed up in his face, that's ok then.   
    Now, 5 weeks on, the back pain has settled, and lots of other things have changed.  I've previously talked of constipation, pain and bleeding.  Crying got a brief mention, along with bruising and fatigue.  I'm considering putting up a photograph of the bruising, I think the pics were taken maybe 5 days post-op.  The bruising was horrendous, but the photies aren't exactly flattering.  
    The Not To Do List becomes a more serious problem as time goes on because advice says don't, but you start to feel like you can, but you still shouldn't.  The other thing is the tummy thing.  They took stuff away so I was expecting if anything, a little dip rather than a massive lump, but what I got was the massive lump.  There's swelling and it's hard swelling, with this strange unnatural sensation about it.  This is finally easing, getting smaller and softer, but still sticky out.  The bleeding seems to have really totally stopped, a few days ago.   
      Constipation is still a big issue, but this is complicated by the Dukan.  I just purchased Dr D's oat bran and his Digestive Aid Fruit in fruit fibre and full of the aperient goodness of figs, tamarind and dates.  I will report how that works out.  I'm still finding it impossible to push.  I can't push bowel or bladder wise, hurts too much.  I have to try to relax to allow things to fall out, let gravity do it's best, which quite frankly, isn't good enough.  Too much information?  Sorreeee!   
      With all this ample me-time, I'm doing a daily walk and I've just started giving the Dukan Diet a go, and can I just say, I now crave and I'm lovin' virtually fat free vanilla flavoured Muller Light yoghurt.  On the Dukan, yoghurt starts to feel like your spoiling yourself, it's a treat.  I'll tell more of my Dukan experience once I reach impressive weight-loss, which I fully expect will happen, and soon, 3lbs so far.   
      The other day on the Jeremy Kyle Show there was a really distressing, mind-blowing, almost unbelievable sight.  Really?  In this day and age?  These are the teeth of child neglect.  His adult carers/parents should be jailed.  It shouldn't be possible that a child can grow up in the UK and enter adulthood with teeth like these.  Surely to goodness there was something dentists could do about this, when he was young, experts should have intervened and changed this young man's life choices.  Cos with teeth like these there can't be many options.  Seems this was a repeat episode from Oct 2010, but I can't get over the disgrace of these teeth.  
      The Husband and I were in Morrisons the other day.  Two best buys to report.  The Halco Air Cooler Mini Fan, batteries included, only £2, was The Husband's £2 too, so a real bargain.  Available in a choice of 4 colours, I got the blue, and it works really well.  Then, I was after an electronic pepper grinder mill because the non-electronic grinder we have is doing my head in.  It's not the grinding, that's easy.  It's cos our main pepper grinder has a tight fitting lid,  and I struggle to open the lid to sprinkle the pepper.  So.  Made my way over to the kitchen bits department, and there it was.  A chrome/silver metal & clear perspex Cole & Mason electronic pepper grinder.  It was on it's on, it didn't have a price label.  I took it to the tills.  The Morrisons till lady asked me if I'd noticed the price.  I told her honestly that there hadn't been one that I could see.  She proved to have little tolerance for sussing out prices, seconds later she put it through for one of my Scottish pounds.  Thank you Morrisons till lady.   
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched One False Move, which held up well considering it's age.  Made in 1992 starring Billy Bob, he plays an evil bastard most times, great actor.   
      The Husband and I watched Bad Education.  The latest in our endeavour to watch all the films of the wonderful Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar.  This is another of his masterpieces, though The Husband wasn't totally won over, which I reckon could possibly be because of the major gay element.  It's all Catholic priest choir boy sexual abuse, transgender and gayness.  
      The Boy and I watched And Soon The Darkness, the 2010 American remake of the 70's British original.  Though there was some OTT smuck acting at times, for what it was, it was a good version of it's genre.  Had both of us on tenterhooks a few times.   
 Star smilie clear
Happy Birthday to The Boy, Religious Zealot News, Gloagburn and The American

The American DVD
  Stargazer products on The Star Swag Blog  
    The Boy is 18 today.  I find it almost impossible to tolerate the notion that the last 18 years of my life have passed so very quickly.  And tall, he's very tall, I find it incomprehensible that I could possibly give life to such a tall creature.  The Boy spent the weekend in tents on the shores of a loch, with friends and fishing rods.  He's been Moonpigged in the card department, chocolate caked and Thorntons provided a large box of choccies.  He's now an iPad owner and has a bunch of money he intends to use some of to purchase an Xbox.  He's at a friend's house tonight as they're leaving early to attend a footie friendly in Blackpool tomorrow.  That boy has a far better social life than I.   
      Today The Husband returned to work and a very sombre office in Stavanger, Norway.  An entire nation is mourning.  We here at Starry Towers and extended family are thinking of the suffering and loss of Norway.   
      Religious Zealot News : Norwegian Christian Fundamentalist terrorist Anders Behring Breivik is charged with 76 murders.  He placed a bomb, then personally put a bullet in as many people as possible.  The majority of the people he killed were young, teenagers, unnarmed and innocent.  He is a pathetic coward who requires weapons and kills children.  Same as all terrorists.Many men who do this type of mass murder tend to commit suicide at the end, hence evading capture and unishment.  This man didn't, indicating an obvious self love, grandiose delusional ideology and I'm guessing he's looking forward to his future in jail or psychiatric institution, the attention and, in his way of it, progressing his cause.   
      Obviously this man is ill, he's sick.  In his twisted psychotic mind this is the way to save Europe from a Muslim takeover.  I understand this man is mentally ill and personality disordered in the extreme.  Fact that he's religious is hardly surprising given that he's psychotic, one has to be delusional to be religious, goes without saying, even though I just said it.  Under the pseudonum of Andrew Berwick, this guy wrote a 1516-page manifesto he titled "2083 - A European Declaration of Independence".  Phew!  1516 pages...mad.  It's obviously way easier to read other people's thoughts on this than to actually read it for yourself.  I certainly don't have the time or inclination, but if you have precious little else to do, I'm passing it on.  I may have the inclination to dip into it at a later time, out of a professional interest in mental illness and the physiology of the human brain, my own atheism and dislike and utter frustration at religion and what people will do in it's name.   
      The Husband and I were out for a drive up north over the weekend and chanced upon The Gloagburn Farm Coffee House near Tibbermore in Perthshire, for lunch.  Very nice.  We both opted for The Gloagburn Farmhouse Seasonal Salad of chicken, egg and a mixed salad dressed with Summer Harvest Dressing and bread and butter.  I asked for my dressing to be on the side, and this was provided with no fuss, in a tiny little jug, cute.  Now I wish I'd nicked the jug.  
      On the way into The Gloagburn Coffee Shop I stopped to buy some iron garden ornaments.  By the time I'd picked and purchased my little iron chicks and a second set for The Mum, The Husband was disappeared.  I had a little wander around, no sign of him, he had to be out in the conservatory restaurant area already.  A waitress enquired, 'can I help?', I told her I'd lost The Husband.  She took me through to the conservatory area and indicating over there, asked, 'is that him?'  Yes it was.  I was wondering, is it that obvious?  Do I look like I'm married to The Husband, have we started to look like each other?  Turns out 3 different members of the waiting staff had approached The Husband to ask if he was ready to order, and he'd told them he was waiting cos he'd lost The Wife.  We don't look like each other yet, but we do behave similarly.   
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The American.  Always a pleasure to look at Mr Clooney, and we were vaguely aware of what it was all about, but really...hmmm, bit going no place.  Loads of bits that didn't add up.   
 Star smilie clear
Amy Winehouse 
  RIP Amy.  14/09/1983 - 23/07/2011.   
 Star smilie clear
  My heart goes out to the people of Norway.  The Husband just returned from there this evening, he was lucky enough to have been in Stavanger, he'd caught his flight and been on his way home before he became aware of the developing situation in Oslo.  He has many friends and work colleagues in Norway, and we're both so very sad at today's terrible events.   
 Star smilie clear
4 weeks of nicotine-free and Best Friend visit 
  Nails rock on The Star Swag Blog  
    Congratuwelldone to me, today is 4 weeks of No Smoking.  The Best Friend visited today, a catch up and lunch on Patio 2.  Lunch was Melba Toast and Extra Light Philadelphia Cheese BECAUSE...not smoking plus a radical hysterectomy equals hey fatty-tum-tum.  This evening I purchased The Dukan Diet for my Kindle.  Watch this ever-decreasing space...I hope.  The Best Friend went away intending to purchase an E-Ciggie and a Kindle.   
 Star smilie clear19/07/2011
Wendi and The Bro at Knockhill
  There's a trip to Uniqlo on The Star Swag Blog  
    Johnnie Marbles...anarchist, comedian (allegedly) and idiot...diverts the seriousness of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee questioning of the Murdochs with a shaving foam faux-custard-pie-in-the-face.  Wendi Murdoch, the younger (third) wife of Rupert Murdoch reacts like something off Jeremy Kyle.  
    angry? NO kiddin!  
      The Brother, first time on his new 1000cc, at Knockhill, in the rain, 130 miles an hour, on one wheel.  
 Star smilie clear18/07/2011
Knockhill and my Kindle 
  We had The Brother over for dinner and the sun came out just in time for eating al fresco.  The Boy was even tempted to join us, for Raclette followed by fresh strawberries and grapes with vanilla ice cream and double cream.  The Brother and The Husband were up at Knockhill for the motorbike racing version of a footie kick-about today.  Boys and their nice new souped-up toys plus their mutual highly competitive spirits.  Both of them on their new race 1000's, The Brother's Kawasaki ZX10 and The Husband's Yamaha R1.  Who would triumph in this friendly bit of fun?  Awaiting data-analysis results at time of going to blog.   
      The time has come for me to require a Kindle, and a Kindle I have acquired, from Amazon.  It's proper name is the Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology.  Amongst all the great features, the best has got to be the text to speech, this thing reads to me, like an audio book, but much cheaper, yippeee!  
      This neat gadget comes with it's own needs, the first and most important one being stylish aesthetically pleasing protection.  This came in the form of a lovely blue leather protective case.   
 Star smilie clear17/07/2011
Weather News and The Adjustment Bureau

Adjustment Bureau DVD
  There's new nail polish on The Star Swag Blog  
    Weather News :  it's been a wonderful week of sun and warm, lots of warm, even hot a few times.  Lovely for the recuperating recently radically hysterectomied invalid.   Till yesterday that is, yesterday was all thunder, lightening and a down pouring of rain.  
    Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The Adjustment Bureau.  It pains me to report, but report I will...I wasn't too keen, neither was The Husband.  It was almost enough to put me right off Matt Damon.  I used to think I'd have a Damon OR an Affleck, but increasingly over time, and most definitely after this movie, I'd ONLY have an Affleck.  Either Ben or Casey, but mostly Ben.  Back to the movie.  Turns out it's not the thriller I was expecting, but a bit of romantic nonsense.  The Trilby Gang have an annoying air of what they say goes, end of, no arguments and no point audience members trying to feel involved, they're making it up as they go along.  And another thing, the DVD cover isn't true to the movie, he should be jacketless with a hat, and she never wears that dress, shoes or the necklace.  AND another thing, Emily Blunt's accent sounds entirely fabricated, Matt Damon looks like a wax work and Terence Stamp's like cardboard.  
 Star smilie clear15/07/2011
Battle at Kruger, £161m near but yet so far and attention seeking naming 
  A little bit of Missoni inspired style on The Star Swag Blog  
    £161m of The Lottery cash goes to Mr & Mrs Weir in Largs, I am so bloody envious.  
    The Parents have been over the last couple days checking I'm OK and helping out, cos The Husband had to go to The Land Of All Things Norse.  I was telling The Mum about one of my all time favourite YouTube clips.  Team Buffalo take a bit of time getting organised, springing into action is not their forte, but when they finally get their shit together, they rock.  Team Buffalo in The Battle at Kruger.  
      I'm not a number.  Yes you are, you're number 7, Harper Seven Beckham.  The pressure on celebs to name their children differently, must be terrible for the poor dears.  Posh and David got the brothers to name this one.  Allowing children to name things is ok, I recall The Boy the first time he was encouraged to name a toy, a green mouse from Old Amsterdam.  He named it Green.  More recently he was privileged in being awarded the honour to name my two big Rowan trees...Zeus and Erik.  Allowing children to name pets is a big step, a deep breath, OK we can go with Snowy/Fluffy.  Allowing children to name other children...your asking for bother.  Of course, there's way worse than Harper Seven.  There's even another Seven, Seven Sirius and his sisters Puma Sabti and Mars Merkaba.  Then there's Audio Science Clayton, and little Tu Morrow, see what they done there?  See the Attention Seeking Strange Names list here.    
 Star smilie clear12/07/2011
new Douglas Lindsay short, The Pier Tea Room, Podcast & Twitter News, Invalid News, and Run Lola Run

Run Lola Run DVD
  There's a gorgeous tan tote on The Star Swag Blog.  
    My favourite author, that lovely man Douglas Lindsay, is releasing a new short story on a daily, episode by episode basis.  Government Of The Living Dead is available on his website barney-thomson.  Mr Lindsay gives so much for free, go buy his books, Amazon have them all, on paper and for the Kindle, on their Douglas Lindsay page.  The Kindle versions are selling for only 86p or one of my Scottish pounds.  This can't be right, he's practically giving it away.  
    Yesterday The Husband and I went a little bit North, and a bigger bit West, on one of our fav drives, to Stronachlachar on the banks of Loch Katrine.  The Pier Cafe there has a new extension which we found very impressive.  The food was great and the staff THE friendliest we've met for a long time.  After we'd eaten, and I was loitering on the veranda taking photies, I got chatting to the lady who'd cooked our lunch.  She was an older lady, lovely woman, had a cataract op last week, it went well.   
      I've been eating a lot of melty cheese this last week or so, Brie, Raclette and Gruyere.  I've eaten Brie and Cranbury 3 times in 3 different Scottish cafes, this was the best.  The Brie toastie at Mona's Of Muckhart was an untoasted sandwich (shhh...I reckon she had a hangover), the Brie toastie at The Glen Cafe was good, BUT, just not as mmm-mmm-mmmelty as the perfection achieved by The Pier Cafe.  Here's The Husband quietly contemplating the life and times of Rob Roy as he gazes at beautiful Loch Katrine from the new extension, splendid, even on a cloudy day.   
      Twitter News.  I tweeted a happy birthday to The Divine Miss Em, and got a reply.  Emily Dean, child star (Day Of The Triffids), fashionista, magazine editor type, friend to the stars, co-host of The Frank Skinner Absolute radio show and the podcasts.  Again, happily, you don't have to go over to the dark side to listen to The Divine Ms Em, get the podcasts directly from Absolute Radio.   
      A tad annoying this, but I find my iPod refuses to recognise, and therefore, won't play, Absolute Radio mp3s.  So, prior to putting them on the iPod, I have to convert them from mp3 to mp3 using Quick Media Converter from CocoonSoftware.   
      As part of my short series of occasional infomercials on the after-effects of a total hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy, today I will be discussing bleeding.  If you're a bit funny bout this type of thing, look away now.  This post-op bleeding can last up to 6 weeks.  I'm in the early days of post-op week 3 and of course, the bleeding is ongoing.  I read today that a total hysterectomy plus salpi-ooph is also called a 'radical' hysterectomy.  I will be referring to my operation as Radical from now on.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers)The Husband and I watched the 1989 German movie Run Lola Run.  She doesn't  Lola runs and she runs, then she runs a whole load more, quite exhausting watching her.  The first two runs work well, by the third, it's getting old.   
  Star smilie clear10/07/2011
dinner with The Bro, parasol shopping, News Of The World, Transsiberian and All About My Mother

Transsiberian DVD

All About My Mother DVD 
  There's a new Summer frock on The Star Swag Blog, and it's a bargain.  
    The Brother had a day at Starry Towers today, and joined The Husband and I for a trip to B&Q and Dobbies.  A parasol, a granite parasol base and seat cushions and  fhe table on Patio 2 were bagged at B&Q.  Then on to Dobbies for a few finishing touches for dinner and to show The Brother the balsamic vinegar and olive oil bar.  Every time I'm in the Sunny D Dobbies I pretend it's my first time and diligently taste test most of the Balsamic and oil options.Late afternoon the new Raclette got it's first use out on Patio 2 under the new parasol, and was greatly enjoyed by all, a lovely day.  
    News Not Of This World.  Goodbye News of the World, though I never knew you at all.  Goodbye to the self proclaimed 'World's Greatest Newspaper'.  Was it?  The World's Greatest Newspaper?  Definitely not.  I s'pose it was the 'World's  Greatest Newspaper' that ran from '1843 to 2011', because there isn't another that ran from 1843 to 2011, maybe that's what they mean.  I've never bought a News Of The World in my life, till today, I'll put it away to sell on eBay in 20 or 30 years, but 7.5 million people regularly purchased this rag.  The public get what the public want, or in this case, what 7.5 million of the public wanted.  Sleaze, naming and shaming, phone hacking and alleged payments to police officers.  
    Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Transsiberian. Woody Harrleson and Ben Kingsley.  Was OK.  I'm trying these days to take a leaf from Kevin Smith's book and not criticise in my movie reviews.  So I'll whisper this was a little bit boring.  
      The Husband and I watched All About My Mother.  Another intricate and interesting emotion full tale of human nature from our favourite Spaniard, Pedro Almodovar and a bunch of great acting .  
  Star smilie clear08/07/2011
Invalid News, The Mum's Stewed Fruit, The Glen Cafe and The Tourist

The Tourist DVD
  This picture of me relaxing on the swing seat would have anyone thinking this hysterectomy business is a walk in the park.  This picture is very misleading.  Along with the pain, disability etc etc etc, another major issue is constipation  
   A combination of narcotics, three days with no food, reduced physical activity and abdominal surgery had resulted in a bowel that was going nowhere...very very slowly.  When things did eventually move, the result was massive, painful and took forever.   Don't tell anyone, but The Husband had to take a stick to it to make it go away.  Then it was no go again for more days, I lost track.  Anyways, I took to the Lactulose, before The Mum came to the rescue.  Now I'm medication free, on the porridge and stewed fruit, and all is well, on a daily basis.  
    The Mum's Stewed Fruit   
    a big pan with no lid
8 medium sized eating apple
3 Conference pears
8 small pieces stem ginger
8 dates
1 cup cold water 
      1  peel, chop and slice eating apples and pears
2  finely chop the ginger and dates
3  put all the ingredients in the big pan with no lid and bring to the boil
4  turn the heat right down and simmer for 15 mins stirring occasionally
5  leave to cool 
      Will keep in the fridge for up to one week.   
     The Husband and I took a drive out to The Borders this afternoon, a favourite route along the A708.  Past The Grey Mare's Tail, then stopping at The Glen Cafe on the banks of The Loch o' the Lowes, next door to the much larger St Marys Loch, approx half way between Moffat and Selkirk.  Lunch for me was a Brie and Cranberry toastie with side salad and coleslaw, while The Husband tucked into a large all-day breakfast.  With a Coke for him and a diet Coke for me...£12.50, very reasonably priced and a friendly family run business.  The Glen Cafe is a popular eatery as it looks out on the water and there's lots of parking available.  This road is a favourite with bikers too, so there's usually a few shiny bikes worth looking at in the car park (says The Husband).  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The Tourist.  Frothy nonsense with a couple of too obvious clues which give the game away really early on, but for all that, it's a fun watch.  The Jolie woman looks more beautiful and healthier than usual.  Very Sophia Loren stroke Jessica Rabbit.  And there was Johnny Depp with his E-Ciggie, 'smoking' on a non-smoking train carriage and in a Venice restaurant.  Making E-Fags cool.   
  Star smilie clear
Invalid News, E-Ciggies, Mona's of Muckhart and Talk To Her

Talk To Her DVD 
  Over on The Star Swag Blog there's the latest, bangiest on trendiest, mostest devinest in handbags, the Leather Pouch.  Mmmmm.  
    This is, erm, day 10 post-op.  I've been reducing the Paracetamol and stopped taking it yesterday evening.  Took Tramadol last night in the hope of getting a full nights sleep, but it didn't work, so I won't bother with them again either.  It's strange, but today is seems the pain and discomfort is the same without the Paracetamol as with it.  I'm managing short walks with The Husband to the Sunny D village shop, and today is the first day that I don't feel over-whelming fatigue.  I'm still bleeding slightly and having some horrible sweating.  My abdominal wound is healing well and tidy.   
    Today marks the two week anniversary of me stopping smoking, and not showing off or anything, but nicotine addiction?  I'm so over it.  I had four days of nicotine gum then got totally over it, nothing like a little Opium for making a girl forget her Silk Cuts.   
      What I am doing is all Johnny Depp in The Tourist.  I've got a new dummy, a Halo nicotine-free e-ciggie.  I've got the white, the silver and the black, for whatever mood takes me.   
      The Husband and I took a trip in the Z4 today, post Hysterectomy I didn't fancy getting in and out of the Z4 till today.  We drove over the Forth Bridge and up to Knockhill where The Husband had a word with a couple of the Knockhill guys.  He and The Brother have a track day coming up.  Then we headed perilously close to T in the Park to the village of Pool of Muckhart.  At Pool of Muckhart we dropped into Mona's of Muckhart.   
      Mona's has gifts, plants, cards, sweets, jams and home baking etc for sale, indoor and outdoor seating, and a full menu of hot and cold meals, snacks and beverages.  It's comfortable, clean and welcoming.  The food is very nice, but I have to mention our experience.  Could be out of their ordinary, maybe a one-off coincidence, maybe someone on duty had a hang-over, but I heard one man saying as they paid their bill, we asked for brown you gave us white.  When it came to my French Brie with cranberry sauce and sliced apple on wholemeal bread, served with a delicious side salad, I'd asked for it to be toasted, it arrived untoasted.  All I'm saying is, one woman looked a bit bleary.   
      Mona's of Muckhart  
  Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Talk To Her.  The next in our Almodovar spree.  Another intricate and interesting Spanish tale with several eyebrow-raising twists.
  Star smilie clear
Invalid News, not smoking, Raclette, 127 Hours and Up

127 Hours DVD

  Colour blocking on The Star Swag Blog.
   I'm back, post-op, still alive.  I went to hospital last Monday (27/06/11) and before I knew it I was in knee length socks, a backless gown and then I was down in theatre being cut, bruised and parted from my uterus, tubes, ovaries and cervix.     
   I should be feeling great, after all, I'm MRSA negative, my bloods are within normal levels, urine NAD, chest clear AND I've given up cigarettes and the nicotine replacement therapy.  The hysterectomy was Monday afternoon, they starved me from Sunday evening till Wednesday afternoon, sent me home Thursday, stitch out Saturday. It's been a painful week.  I'm really swollen and bruised, so bruised that every nurse and doc that looked kinda recoiled slightly and said summit along the lines of, phew that's a lot of bruising.  And I had funny spot bruising all up my front thighs that none of them can explain, I think they must've sat a tray of instruments there.  
   Anyways, it's all done now, and a week later, it's not great.  I'm bruised, sore, tired, tearful and finding it a bit tricky to not do things I'm not s'posed to do, not easy cos on the To Do list is nothing.  Meanwhile the Not To Do list has lifting, bending down and everything else.  The Husband is at hand taking care of me.   
   As a bi-product of the op, I gave up the ciggies.  I was thinking I'd go cold turkey on the day of the op, but at my pre-op appointment a nice doctor lady advised that every day pre-op without the fags would be a bonus, so I gave up the day after she told me this.  Day 1 of no smoking was Thursday 23/06/11, I started chewing nicotine gum instead, then gave up the gum on Sunday 26/06/11.  Them Smoking Cessation nurses got me and told me to stop taking nicotine into my body at 10pm the night prior to the op.  Basically, I just did what I was told, for a change, no fussin, no arguing.  Last bit of nicotine gum got spat out at 10pm as per instructions and the morphine, disability and hospital confinement got me through the cold turkey.  
     Last month we were treated to a Raclette meal by The Husband's cousin & wife in London, and I loved it.  T'other day at our local Dobbies garden centre we found Raclette cheese.  Back at Starry Towers I ordered up a Severin Raclette Party Grill for 6 people at Mekassa for the low low price of £37.99 with free delivery. It includes 6 non stick coated mini pans for under the grill, the top can be used as a BBQ, a powerful 850W heating element, enamelled steel housing, variable thermostat and pilot light and low generation of smoke due to the water filled grill tray.  
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched 127 Hours.  Very good, and that's canyoning added to the list of things I should try to avoid at all costs.  
      The Husband and I watched UP.  Also brings to mind an activity worth steering clear off, ie flying to an inhospitable foreign land with your house tied to party balloons, but the movie is great fun, simultaneously silly and serious.    
  Star smilie clear
Op Day tomorrow
  Feeling squeamish here at Starry Towers.  It's going under the knife day tomorrow.  I'm officially fasting now and no more nicotine till I'm out the other side of the anaesthetic and feeling like chewing gum.   
    Just in case it all horribly goes wrong, thank you all for everything, goodbye dear friends, goodbye, think of me kindly, I tried damn hard to do only good things, when I did bad, it was probably not all my fault. Goodbye, I love you all. M x   
    If it goes well, speak soon and someone pour me a Pernod.  
     Speaking of nicotine, I gave up the ciggies on Thursday (23/06/11), I'm on very occasional Nicotine Gum chewing and playing with my new E-Cigarette.  On that subject, I'm away to buy some nicotine-free cartridges and a Slanket.    
  Star smilie clear
Rench Tom News, Operation News and Paul

Paul DVD 
  The Dad is showing Rench Tom at The Royal Highland Show, in memory of The Old Octogenarian Friend.  The results are in with Rench Tom taking a fourth in his class.  Well done The Dad and Rench Tom.  
    The day is fast approaching, The Op is sooner than I'd like it to be.  I'm coming over all squeamish and a little bit glum.  Fasting overnight, checking in late morning, on the table early afternoon then four nights in hospital, what's not to look forward to?  Sheesh, I can think of oh, maybe approximately 5386 other places I'd rather be, and that's just off the top of my head.  
    Anyways, the condemned woman has spent her last couple days of freedom with a womb, gardening, mowing the lawn, up a ladder, bending over, carrying heavy things and tidying out cupboards.  No-one else is going to get down on their knees with a pair of scissors and trim my lawn edges.  No-one else is going to fold and stack the towels the way I like them.  And now I've got to go to work on my last two days with a womb. 
     Last minute contact from the hospital means the off duty stands as is.  With more pre-warning I could've asked for some time off to panic, clean and hysterically rearrange and sort.  But I'll be finishing work 8.30pm, one last sleep, then the big snooze 'n' lose in a theatre near you, well, near me, up at St John's Hospital.  
     Movie Watch (no spoilers). The Husband and I watched Paul. Very good and an excellent piece of animation work.   
  Star smilie clear
iPod problem
  Where's the sun?  I've got the hat, now all I need is the weather.  See the hat on The Star Swag Blog  
    The unthinkable has happened, disaster, what to do?  My 160GB iPod is full.  No seriously, what do I do?  Apple doesn't make an iPod with a larger load of GBs.  Apple claims a 160GB holds approximately 40,000 songs, I'm disputing this figure.  The obvious answer is to remove stuff, which I've just done, but it goes against my completist OCD nature.  What if one day when I'm not in Starry Towers I wish to hear Loretta Lynn sing Harper Valley PTA?  Or Ice Queen by Within Temptation?  Really, Ice Queen by Within Temptation, never heard of them.  Just had a wee listen and deleted it, don't know how it came to be on there.  I'm guessing a movie soundtrack?  
  Star smilie clear
Fathers Day and Snetterton results
  The shopping spree continues with a couple short items from Rise, check them out on The Star Swag Blog.  
    Happy Fathers Day to The Dad.  He was over in the Sunny D direction today, tending to Rench Tom in preparation for the little ram's appearance in the show ring of the Royal Highland Show next weekend.  The Dad dropped in to see me and got his Fathers Day card (with sheep on) and his gift, a little toy lorry.  The Dad is a retired lorry driver and this toy truck has his name on the side.  Yes I'm sure this item is intended for little boys, but as I know full well, men of all ages have a boy-like charm and sense of fun.  His reaction to this unexpected gift brought joy to my heart.  
      Black-Flag Racing was formed in 2008 and won the Endurance Racing Senior 600 TAG championship of that year.  I was present at many of the races and that night of glory as they picked up the silverware at the Milton Hilton back in February 2009.  Photographic evidence of the racing and the Milton Hilton dinner dance awards ceremony are on The Bike Gallery.  
      After the major triumph of 2008 they had a good long look at themselves, and pondered what the future held.  Was it time to start being sensible, to grow up?  It's an expensive business careering round a racetrack at every opportunity, and it's not entirely without risk to life and limb.  Should they admit they had a good time, but now in this time of austerity measures, global financial hardship, other major demands on their wallets, like for instance, major DIY home improvement jobs that need done ASAP, could it be time to retire from the track?  Time to say thanks for the memories, we had fun, but it's time, time to move on in adult-responsible-mode?  Hell no!  They upgraded to 1000cc bikes instead.I wasn't surprised.  
      Black-Flag Racing were down enjoying a boys long weekend playing with their favourite toys.  After a couple days of track playtime at Snetterton, they were out today for the big finale race, the 3 hour endurance race with a Le Mans start.  First time out on their new 1000s, they came in eighth position.  Well done you guys.  
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Snetterton, chocolate and the grass - it's all about the OCD!
  Tights on The Star Swag Blog.  
    The Husband's away at Snetterton with BlackFlag Racing, The Great Dodski and The Husband are on the track with the background support of Aberdoom friend Mr B.  I mention this because while he's away I tend to take the opportunity to keep Starry Towers spick and span.  All the little jobs that can't be done with The Husband around because he willingly leaves stuff lying around, which I can't cope with.  I stop fully functioning, I retreat.  I try my hardest not to allow my OCD to impinge on normal family life, but anything out of place makes me feel, lets just call it... uncomfortable.  
     When the mess is away I can go OCD crazy and all the little jobs get done on top of the overall highest level of tidy excellence.  And it was in the midst of this OCD tidy tweaking that I discovered 2kg of Cadburys chocolate.  You read correctly.  2kg of Cadburys milk chocolate in the form of x2 1kg giant bars.  I now remember I bought and put them away for Xmas.  Worst thing would've been if the chocolate went out of date before I rediscovered it, that would've been a crying shameful waste.  Sorry got distracted there, but it was by a substantial quantity of chocolate, back to the racing.  
     The Snetterton racing will be televised, on Motors TV channel on July 14th, that's quite exciting, The Husband likes to be on TV.  We all remember when the Sunny D Post Office got robbed, the major Scottish News camera crew arrived and he was 'innocently' up the road to purchase crisps before I even noticed he'd put his coffee down and stopped talking.  Result...the people of Scotland got The Husband on the 6 o'clock news.  
     Back on 02/05/11 I told of my Starry Towers Lawn Project.  The lawn was in a sorry state, more moss than grass, and it weren't pretty.  It was all my own fault for not feeding the grass, it hadn't occurred to me, but starving grass gets weak, allowing weeds and the worst, the moss, to go crazy till what your left with is what you can only refer to as 'a lawn' if you laugh and roll your eyes at the same time.  
     It was time to get serious.  I purchased a big bag of EverGreen 4-in-1 Complete Lawn Food, Weed and Moss Killer and a load of Miracle-Gro Patch Magic.  Voilà.  I've got the lushest, healthiest, freshest, greenist green in Sunny D.  These products work, though I have to qualify that by adding that I can only vouch for the OCD on-your-knees-perfection approach, and that takes hours and hours over many days to achieve.  It's worth it.  
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stories he told me
  New shoes on The Star Swag Blog.  
    I'm listening to Rob Lowe's unabridged book on my iPod, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, which I found at BookDepository for £14.71 with free delivery, then ripped and converted to mp3 files, and it's great.  Seriously folks, this man tells good stories he previously only told his friends.  Some of them are truly fascinating.  His personal life events, highlights and lowlights are compiled into a chronological timeline and told in equal measures of entertaining and self-effacing honesty.  He does impressions of the people he quotes, the stand out one for me being his Christopher Walken.  "I saw your name. It's good. It was on a list.  Of the cast.  I'm … glad it was you.  I wasn't sure.  If it was true".  
      from left : John Heard, Rob Lowe, Roberta Maxwell, Kate Burton, Amy Irving, Stephen, and Christopher Walken  
      From a very young age Rob some how or other met famous people.  He employs a narrative trick of describing a famous person encounter, before revealing who the famous name is at the end of the tale.  It comes over well, we're encouraged to experience his experience the way he did, before that person became famous, and/or through the eyes of a young innocent Rob.  Name-dropping was never before so nicely done.  
  Star smilie clear15/06/2011
Pippa's arse shock, Temperley Tourist Trap, Changing Lanes, The Magdalene Sisters and Broken Embraces

Changing Lanes DVD

The Magdalene Sisters DVD

Broken Embraces DVD
  Starry Towers 8 : Grey Squirrels 0.  
    I get the Sunday Times, throw the newspaper straight in the For The Fire Box , or pass it to The Parents if I see them soon enough, then spend the following week devouring the three magazines.  Only fastidious Star Blog readers, ex-husbands and/or ex-boyfriends and stalkers will be aware I rip articles from magazines and read while showering.  Most people, apart from fastidious Star Blog readers, ex-husbands and/or ex-boyfriends and stalkers, would deny it's even possible to read in the shower, let me tell the rest of you, it's not only extremely do-able, but it's also one of my most favourite Me-Time activities.  
    A couple things from my most recent Sunday Times magazine reading, both strangely connected to the recent royal wedding.  In this first one, the royal wedding connection is tenuous.  An interview with Fiona Bruce tells me she was Rear Of The Year 2010.  If you'd asked me, I'd never have guessed, Rear Of The Year not normally being in my sphere of concern.  I'm not famous enough to win it, or it would be very much at the top of my To Do list, it would say 'win a Rear Of The Year Award - join a that arse!'.  
    The Fiona Bruce interview made me think and tonight I'm in shock.  I thought I was safe in my assumption of this years winner.  I was all set to confidently predict Rear Of The Year 2011.  
    Always one to check my information before blindly blogging (really), and Google told me it's not so.  I'm glad, shocked and stunned in equal measures.  The (female) Rear of The Year 2011 is Carol Vorderman.  WTF?  Huh?  Why?  I'd of thought, wrongly it transpires, that this would go to the most talked about toosh, the arse most in the public awareness.  I think maybe they just awarded too soon, before the wedding.  How silly will they be feeling now?  Very, I'm guessing.  Rear Of The Year 2012 prediction...Pippa's arse.  I don't even know why this bum award lot are credited like they're all official and important.  They spell Marilyn Monroe 'Marylyn' and Jane Russell 'Russel-'.  The Rear Of The Year website is a very sloppy website.  
    Segueing nicely onto another tenuous Pippa/wedding story from The Sunday Times.  The regular Relative Values article features Alice Temperley and her sister Matilda.  Temperley designed the emerald green gown Pippa wore to the evening reception party.  Alice Temperley is quoted in this article thus..."...just before the royal wedding I really felt I needed to get away and have an adventure.  So I joined Matilda in Ethiopia, where she was working (working is stretching it...her sister is a photographer)...we stayed with the Mursi tribe, who attach testicles to their heads before wedding ceremonies.  I asked one of the women to take out her lip plate and I engraved William and Catherine on it with a nail.  I know they love Africa, so I've just sent it to them as a wedding present.  It's a piece of history they'll really appreciate."  No they won't.  It'll go in the bin if they know any shit, or Harry'll bring it out as an ashtray at parties if they're crass and thick.  
      What part of that story makes you sickest?  I'm struggling.  Is it that she is portraying her expensive Into Africa trip as some sort of humane mission, while in reality the Mursi tribe are now a popular tourist attraction mostly because of the lip plates.  Tourists pay to take photographs of these girls and women with their mutilated faces.  Whatever the historic and cultural origin of this nasty bit of female branding, which not only involves the cutting and stretching of the lower lip, but also the removal of teeth, there's a strong suspicion today that they continue to do it for the tourist-buck.  It's like coming back from Australia with a couple of big chunks of The Great Barrier Reef in your suitcase.  Cue the 'my friend went to Africa and all I got was a lousy labret' T-shirts.  The silly woman doesn't understand she should be Guilt Tripping over her exploitation.  She purchased the lip plate off a person's face and took a nail to it...engraved the names William and Kate and sent it to them.  As a wedding gift.  She also named her young son 'Fox'.   
      Stupid people with too much money are prone to visit far flung places and return home smug, thinking they just experienced the real deal, ignorant of the fact they got ripped off, exploited others and played their part in destroying the very culture they think they just experienced.  TourismConcern is trying their best to get the message across, and have a page about the lip-plate Mursi.   
      Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Changing Lanes.  Gripping.  If your most excited by gripping, this is a slow burner, but when it gets you it gets you, it gets you in heaps, by the balls or the brain or the whatever other bit of your body you get most gripped.  Ben Affleck is fantastic (as most always) and Samuel L Jackson turns out, as usual to be the righteous man.  Takes his character a while to get there, but you always know he will be in the end.  What does Affleck do in the end?  Watch the movie and find out.  The Husband commented the only thing missing for him were subtitles.  A good tale, well told.  But I have a hankering that they shouldn't have gone for the obvious, but now out-dated, stereotypical race card, this story would've been better if they'd done it with two men of the same race and not the rich privileged white guy verses the poor downtrodden black guy.  In a time when the USA has a black president we're all aware that colour is no barrier to personal progress.   
      The Husband and I watched The Magdalene Sisters.  A Peter Mullan movie set in 1960s Ireland, depicting Catholic institutional abuse.  I hate Catholicism.  This film will upset you, I've been thinking about it vividly since.  They are still the largest paedophile ring in the world, ever.  This movie tells the tale of 3 teenage girls who were told, get thee to a nunnery.  They got 'sent away' into a life of slavery and abuse of all kinds for innocently shaming their Catholic families and communities.  The last of the Irish Magdalene Laundries was closed in 1996.  1996!  Wikipedia tells the insanely disgusting story here.   
      The Husband and I watched Broken Embraces.  Another Pedro Almodovar movie in our quest to view his entire back catalogue.  And since I'm now the proud owner of what seems like hunners of his DVDs, we will bloody well watch them.  Contains, as usual, many of the Almodovar favourite things...Penelope Cruz, a film being made within a film, an intricate narrative, family, simple primal desires, passion, sex and Spain.  We liked it for the intricate narrative and all the other favourite Pedro Almodovar favourite things, and the feeling of cosy familiarity we now have with his work, it's like dipping into a favourite book of short stories now.  And the subtitles of course, we do like the subtitles.    
  Star smilie clear
totally Shameless, new kins, sheep news, sexual predator killers all start so