Friday, 27 March 2015

Death, extended life, confusion and disappointment

It's already been well over a week but I have finally decided that I can't let the passing of my favourite author go without a mention - I was first introduced to his books around 1988 (Thank you Keith Skedd for the introduction to a world of entertainment,  close to my sense of humour but way beyond my comic ability ) just after the publication of his fourth Discworld book "Mort". I was smitten with the tag line  "Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort he offered him a job." Thank you Sir Terry Pratchett for a body of work that often left me laughing out loud and never once disappointed and lets hope death has offered you Morts old job.....

Extended Life
On a happier note, this month saw our cat McG celebrate his 20th Birthday - not bad for a chubby little kitten of no fixed ability.  He hit a stone in weight when he was 6 months old and has technically been on a diet for 19 and a half years.  He has a kill count of 1 (which we strongly expect was a bird that stunned itself by flying into a closed window) so is probably guilty of the crime of assisted suicide rather than cold blooded murder....

We almost lost him in 2002 when he got crystals in his bladder and ballooned to almost twice his size - a week in animal hospital (fortunately Rolf Harris was no where in sight so we know he wasn't abused) It was touch and go with daily health reports matched only by hourly vet bill updates....happily McG had a much more successful recovery than our bank balance which flat lined and received the last rights twice before finally limping back to recovery - He was worth every penny.

About 5 years ago, during an annual check up the vet told me to bring him back in a few weeks time when we were ready to have him put down.  This second life threatening situation was relatively easy to rectify by changing his diet and more importantly his vet....

McG celebrates his 20th Birthday by
spending it in bed...
We finally managed to get to the Lee Valley Velopark - which was one of the few Olympic venues we failed to get to see in 2012.  It's fantastic and I really enjoyed the evening even if half the time we didn't have a clue what was going on and indeed who was leading.  The only time I knew for certain was when Laura Trott (UK's cycling heroine from 2012 ) was on the track - mainly because she was practically lapping everyone else by the time they reached the first corner....

Some of the race highlights
Keirin racing - each rider follows a rotund man on a tiny motor bike around the track allowing the cyclist to slip stream and cycle faster then they would normally....

Laura Trott gets an honour guard of
chubby men on tiny motorbikes....
Elimination race - teams circle the track until a bell sounds at which point the last team past the finish line gets eliminated.

The Longest race - Competitors have to keep their bike motionless for between 2 and 4 minutes - during that time they are not allowed to cross the starting line or touch the track with any part of their body until the referee starts the race at which point they sprint for a single lap.

Ready set stand still....
Eclipse Hoax?
I've yet to meet anyone who actually witnessed the UK partial eclipse first hand - While Bishops Stortford was admittedly covered in heavy cloud, as the appointed moment approached, came and went, the light didn't dim even a little bit.  The only way I could take part was by shutting my eyes but quite frankly I can do that anytime of the day or night...

C.A.C.T.U.S round-up   
Attendees (17th Feb) The 7th film for 2015 – Focus
a good fun romp - a bit predictable but not bad for a Will Smith film...


C.A.C.T.U.S running totals
Niel (9)
Marb (6)
Penny (6)
Natalie (4)
Al (5)
Mrs B (2)
Mark (2)
Lisa (2)

Photo Finish
We end this addition with some more shots from the Velodrome and McG

Cycling a very hands on sport...
Leaders of the pack...
At times it was just a blur 
The racing was certainly close
Sermon from the box
"I may have the ageing body of a house cat
but I have the heart of a lion..."
Hear me roar...
The happiest summer for McG was 1997,
which he spent spread eagled on top of an Avery
in Chesham. Not sure the occupants or indeed
the owner were that impressed. I believe they had
a party when we moved on...

Saturday, 7 March 2015

If a deal sounds too good to be true…. bite their hand off

Deal of the week

I finally got fed up with the rubbish mobile signal we get at home and paid £100 for a "sure signal" box… It worked brilliantly..... for 24 hours and then it stopped. I took it back for a replacement but the shop had none in stock, so I got my money back. I checked the internet for reviews and happened to read that if you called customer services and threatened to leave they would give you a discount on the box. 

 I called and was told that if I upgraded my phone contract they would give me a sure signal box for free. It didn’t sound like it was going to be much of a deal if I ended up paying more per month. So I reluctantly asked what the upgrade was…. For £14 less (yes less) a month, I could have an extra 2GB of 4G data and the same calls and text package, free 12 month subscription to Sky Mobile  and a free £100 sure signal box….

I bit their hand off …..


Now I just have to hope the replacement box lasts longer than 24 hours…
50 shades round up (fingers crossed the final word on the subject)
Great news - the director and writer are at war and the male lead, Jamie Dornan’s wife has banned him from the sequel so it looks increasingly unlikely that there will be a second helping.

This is bad news for the woman who got so excited while watching 50 Shades at her local cinema  that she ended up in hand cuffs – surely not the best move by the police – The one action guaranteed to give the poor woman multiple orgasms and demanding to be whipped because she had been “A bad little girl….” 

C.A.C.T.U.S round-up   

Attendees (10th Feb) The 7th film for 2015 – Wedding Ringers
Surprisingly good, which was a bit unexpected – probably relief that I was not watching 50 shades.


C.A.C.T.U.S attendees (17th Feb) The 8th film for 2015 – The second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Brilliant it made me want to go back to India (we had just returned from India when we saw the original film) – The only problem was that I was laughing so much I missed some of the dialogue. Cinema needs to get with the times and include a rewind, pause and in some cases a delete function....definitely a delete function.   


C.A.C.T.U.S running totals

Niel (8)
Marb (6)
Penny (5)
Natalie (4)
Al (4)
Mrs B (2)
Mark (2)
Lisa (2)

Photo Finish
A taster for the next blog - some pictures from our trip to the Velopark in Stratford

Jack Bobridge - Australi

Revolution series - Round 5 

Laura Trott - who just wins everything....