Monday, 30 April 2012

On the Casablanca Choo-choo


On Saturday, Julie and myself repaired to the Central Eating cafe in Eastbourne, in order to hand out the majority of my copies of Good Omens. Unfortunately, the weather was against us, being rather wet and certainly blustery. As a result, not many people turned up, nor were they interested in stopping. Fortunately, I wasn't verbally abused, as was one of my WBN compatriots. Amazing - you try to give stuff away and get an earful for your troubles. Fortunately, the cafe is a somewhat bohemian place - I LOVE the people it can list among its regulars - and were at the very least politely interested when I had the temerity to approach them at their tables. In the end, I returned with only two of the books, and I'm sure I can find a home for them...
In the meantime, don't forget that the free draw ends this Sunday, so get those entries rolling in to

We now return you to our normal fare of baffling blogs, wherein we reveal the fact that Julie and myself partook of a certain boardgame of questions and of answers. And yes, alcohol was consumed, as proved when Julie tried reading a question....

"... oops - did I get it wrong?"

Friday, 27 April 2012

World Book Night 2012. Boy, do I have a video for you. Finally.

There have been a few trials and tantrums along the way, but we finally have managed to produce a video for you to watch.
Talking of watches, you'll see in the clip that we have yet another prize for one lucky person. In addition to the copy of Good Omens that all five people will be receiving, one especially lucky person will receive a copy of the excellent 'The Time-Traveler's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger AND... well... just you wait and see - all will be explained. And demonstrated.

World Book Night 2012. Boy, do I have Good Omens for you. from Spike Matthews on Vimeo.

Well, there you go! Our generosity knows no limits, does it? So, what are you waiting for? Christmas? Pah - it's going to come early for one lucky lad or lady. Just send an email to us at
Oh, and if you think that having a copy of Good Omens disqualifies you from entering, may I remind you of two things. Firstly, there are some extra features that your copy will not have; interviews and a snippet from a book the authors recommend. Then, too, the whole idea about World Book Night is to share your tastes, so you are actively encouraged to pass the book on for somebody else to discover and - hopefully - enjoy.

Don't forget, the closing date for entries is a week Sunday, which isn't really that long, is it?
Tata and good luck to everyone.!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Synonyms and antonyms; apparently the same thing.

For the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be plugging the free draw we're running in conjunction with World Book Night 2012 on Julie's Gems. If you fancy winning a special edition copy of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, then all you have to do is send us an email. That's it. Just an email saying you want the book, leaving only your name. I will only ask you for a postal address should you be lucky enough to win one of the books.
Don't forget there is also a second book (also special edition), just to sweeten the pot. One of the five copies of Good Omens will also be accompanied by a copy of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife.
And, as if that weren't good enough, then every book I'll be sending out will include a bookmark featuring the Gem below. That's right, Julie's Gems are finally beginning to hit the printer!

So what are you waiting for? Drop us a line, let us know how much you want the books (and the bookmarks, of course!) and we'll put your name into the draw.
Send all entries and questions to us at
Back to the Gem for today. I can't remember much about the origins for this one, but I can only guess that it must have come about thanks to one of my little fits of trying to be clever and using polysyllabic... er, big words...

Well, yes. I can't argue with that, I suppose...
If you want to review the free draw details, then feel free to read through the original post. There are some nice pics of the books too.

Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night 2012. Boy, do I have Good Omens for you.

Hello, and welcome to World Book Night 2012.
Last year, we had a free prize draw on this blog for people to win a copy of 'Stuart: A Life Backwards' by Alexander Masters. It wasn't the most popular book in the world, I admit. In fact, I didn't manage to ever complete it myself. Oddly enough, though, the only person I DO know that managed to finish it AND to enjoy it was a colleague's young son. Oh well, it takes all sorts, I suppose.
This year, I thought I'd go for something a little lighter in tone. Well, as light as Armageddon could actually be. Mind you, since this particular Armageddon was written by Terry Pratchett* & Neil Gaiman, it's obviously going to be more than leaning towards 'rib-tickling' Yes, this year, I will be giving out 24 copies of the novel, 'Good Omens'.
If you haven't read any Pratchett before, then this would be the ideal place to start, especially if you have been put off by the scale of his Discworld series.

Last Saturday, I went to my library to collect my box of books and went home, eager to open it up and see what they looked like.

Oooo - all that awesomeness in a box!
After that, I had to open them up and scribble a few details in - one of the cool things that World Book Night does is to allow you the opportunity to track where the books go - even if it means they end up on the other side of the world! Part of the idea is that you pass the book on once you have read it. On the other hand, if you like it that much that you want to keep it for yourself - and why not? - then nobody is going to think the worst of you if you allocate it a permanent place on your bookshelf. Also inside the front is a list of all of the books being given away this year - take a good look, it's going to be worth your while, I promise.

If you're interested, you can always pop along to the World Book Night site to find out a bit more.

Now the important bit.
I need to be giving away all 24 copies of this most excellent book, though it may grieve me so to be parted from them. I am doing this in three ways. Firstly, I have earmarked five copies for very close friends and family. Secondly, I will be sat in a cafe in Eastbourne next Saturday from 11am, waiting for fourteen lucky people to turn up and bribe m... >sigh< OK, ask me for a free copy of 'Good Omens'. If you're in the area, then why not drop by Central Eating (240, Terminus Road, Eastbourne BN21 3DE), have a drink and a bite to eat and maybe even get yourself something to read while you treat your tastebuds.

Why, yes, it IS popular.. why do you ask?
That leaves us with five copies of 'Good Omens' left over.
For you. Yes, that's right, for readers of Julie's Gems, because we love you that much. We will be sending a copy each to five lucky readers, wherever they may be in the world, be it Australia, China, Venezuela or the darkest depths of Essex.
What do you have to do to get yourself such a desirable tome? Not a lot, really. You don't have to pay us anything, there aren't any tricky questions and you certainly don't have to cough up cash for the postage. All you have to do is send us an email, telling us that you rather fancy owning a copy of this book. Here's the email address.
Still not sure if you want to go for it? How about if I tell you that there are some nice little bonus features that you won't find in the original novel. Firstly, there are a couple of interviews with the authors, where they chat about each other. Then, too, there is a snippet of a book by a man that is name-checked in Good Omens more than once.

Incredible, eh? I bet you're really champing at the bit now


It gets better!
Not only will five lucky people be receiving a copy of Good Omens, but one especially fortunate person will also be receiving a copy of one of the other books being given away. Thanks to my friend, Wolf, we also have a copy of Audrey Niffenegger's 'The Time Traveler's Wife' (sic) to add to the pile.

Just to recap, then, we have five copies of Good Omens to give away, one of which will also be accompanied by a copy of The Time Traveler's Wife, to be sent anywhere in the world, free of charge. All you have to do is send us an email at Alternatively, you could just comment below, but please bear in mind that we need to have an email address so we can contact the winners. Don't let that put you off making a comment though, we LOVE feedback!
One final word; the prize draw will close on Sunday, May 6th 2012. This means you have two weeks to drop us a line.

Good luck to everyone!


*Yes, I know it's Sir Terry Pratchett, but the man hadn't yet been knighted at the time of writing Good Omens.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Sun tan lotion, SPF 'caterpillar'

This one's going back a year or so now, but it's worth the wait. It's actually kind of fun to rummage around the box of paper under my desk, just to see what Gem may surface. In fact, it's even better than you'd think, because Julie's normal reaction upon hearing what I had written down is something along the lines of, "I never said that! You're making it up!"
Yeah, right. I wish. If I could make up this kind of stuff, I'd be making millions from script and/or book writing.

Normally, when I dredge something up from the depths of time, I find that I have absolutely no ideas what was going on to make it such a howler in the first place. It's precisely like the old family in-joke, the type that's never funny to anyone, because you had to be there at the time. Well, until I learned to jot down a little context, I felt like someone was trying to tell me the story while I'm sat there nodding and smiling politely...
Not this time. I can recall this one very clearly, although I have to admit that the length of the Gem itself does help to fill in some of the details. You see, before Julie managed to land the evening job at the hospital, she would often come and meet me from work and we'd then walk home together. It was really rather nice, especially during the warmer months. The route home is really rather straightforward, just a few main roads once you leave the industrial estate where I work. However, it's much better to nip up and along some of the side roads. It doesn't add much to the journey and it's far better than walking alongside the rush-hour traffic.
We were walking along and generally chatting away, when I suddenly noticed I had a small passenger on my arm.

Cute little fellow, isn't he? This caterpillar was only a couple of centimetres long and a few millimetres wide, but it must have had springs concealed somewhere about its person, because I couldn't recall brushing up against anything.
(please note; the following conversation takes place between Julie and myself, despite the fact my opening line is directed to the caterpillar. I say this only to forestall the inevitable smart comments. You may, however, feel quite free to come up with any other smart comments)

... yes dear.

That's it for this week, we hope you have a great weekend. Next week, we'll be kicking things off with a Gem topic that just will not go away...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Censored comic capers

Hello, and welcome to those of you who have joined us from Odori Park. A couple of weeks ago, as part of my ongoing plan to get everybody into webcomics (whoops, did I say that aloud?), We featured a strip from the aforementioned Odori Park. It was quite popular, according to the site's traffic reports. As was only right and proper, I sent the creator a message to mention that I'd plagiarised (I know, just kidding) his work, and offering him the final say-so on whether it could stay or not.
Well, blow me down.
It only turns out he was pleased as punch to have had this extra publicity and my praise-filled email. So pleased, in fact, that he returned the favour and gave us a hat-tip in the blog section of his webcomic. I was seriously chuffed about that, I can tell you.
Julie, on the other hand, didn't seem to take it quite so well...

This was my reaction.

No. I'm not Xzibit. This was just too perfect to not use.

Well, ok, It was actually more like "Bwahahahahaha!", but you get the idea. Poor Julie. Even before I'd started laughing, she realised just what she had said - to a man who can twist the English language like a pretzel.
"Perhaps I should have phrased that better."
It's possible, love, it's possible.

Monday, 16 April 2012

If you're Mental as Anything, you may like this

Julie and myself may have our difference, plenty of them, in fact. However, we get by despite them, and sometimes we even celebrate them. One area of our life together where we come together is our appreciation of music. Then again, it's also where we tend to have some of our greatest differences. Julie likes the danceable poppy stuff, like Steps or S Club 7, although currently, her favourite band is Bucks Fizz (most famous for winning the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest). In previous, more hormone-driven times, the bands du jour were The Osmonds and obscure boy band, Child.
In the meantime, I listen to... well, almost anything and everything. I checked my external hard drive earlier and discovered I had 182GB worth of music on there. Enough to keep my ears busy for over three and a half months.
Oy vey.
Inevitably, there is going to be some overlap with our respective tastes, but I'll guarantee it won't be the likes of Rodrigo Y Gabriella, N.W.A. or Kraftwerk. No, when it comes to mutual musical tastes, it will be things like Madness (which is good), The Sweet, Scissor Sisters and a whole host of near one-hit wonders from the 1970s and 1980s.
All of which brings us to a track that was played on the radio recently, 'Live it Up' by Australian band Mental as Anything.

It's a good track, one I first came across in a 'rock' compilation album.* And that's it. I've played that album loads of times since then, but I had never heard the track in any other context until the other day. I mentioned this to Julie, that hoarder of 7" singles (he proclaimed somewhat hypocritically). Out of that innocent remark sprang this little exchange.

After all that, it would be rather remiss of me to avoid posting the video now, wouldn't it? Here you go.


* You know the kind of rock album I mean. Nothing heavier than a bit of Meatloaf and averaging out at Status Quo's cover of 'The Wanderer'. And featuring some Sad Cafe, for some weird reason.

Friday, 13 April 2012

This poisson is poisonous

If you're British and have had to stay in hospital for one reason or another, then you will have had the questionable pleasure of sampling the cuisine offered by the NHS (or, more precisely, the contracted caterer that offered their services so cheaply, you KNOW it's not going to be good news).
Then again, you may have been lucky enough to 'go private', thus qualifying you for breakfasts of smoked salmon and dinners involving at least four courses and a change of napkins.*

The last time Julie was in hospital as a patient, the staff had been told that, as a result of her previous weight-loss surgery, they shouldn't allow her any fatty foods. Unfortunately, they took this information and went just a tad too far with it. As a result, the food they unceremoniously plonked in front of her was about as exciting as a sheet of cardboard. Jacket potato with a hint of cheese was the best they managed. And I think that was only because they forgot to leave the cheese off and couldn't scrape it all off in time. The absolute worst was a piece of chicken breast so dry it very nearly qualified for the status of 'mummified'.
I kid you not.
When I went to visit my wife on this particular day, I received a frantic text from her to buy some fruit and a pack of choccy biscuits from the shop in the foyer. Somewhat bemused, I followed the instructions and went upstairs to find Julie attempting to prise some fibres of meat from the aforementioned chicken breast. As soon as she saw me, Julie dropped the breast (with a thump!) and reached for the grapes I'd bought. While she tucked into the grapes with semi-orgiastic sound effects, I picked up the chicken and experimentally tapped it on the tray. It didn't quite make a tapping sound,  but as I picked it up, I had to admit it was a solid bit of meat. It was just a pity that the cooking and transportation involved had drained it dry.

As Julie found out when she began working at the hospital herself, food for the patients isn't prepared onsite, but in Hastings, over twenty miles away. After that, it's brought over to us and then stored in the appropriate manner until it's time to dish it all up.
Yum, right?
Well, it seems that the food still has its fans - the rice pudding is apparently a big hit with one or two of the patients, although the semolina is almost universally reviled.
On the other hand, there's the fish pie, which doesn't look too nice at all. As we sat in our front room, talking about how her day had gone, Julie joked about dropping it on the floor and then scraping it up before serving it to people; the reasoning was that anything she did to it would have been an improvement. Julie laughed at the thought and stopped when she saw my cringing expression of faint disgust and shock.

Well, I'm sure that's a great comfort to us all, eh?

*You may have guessed that I have not had the good fortune to go private and that I'm making a wild stab in the dark regarding the menus on offer.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A foodie fail by the befuddled

Continuing the hospital theme for the week, it would be remiss of me to completely ignore the patients. I realise it may be a cheap shot, but you sometimes can't help but smile at some of the things people come out with when under the influence of medication, sedation or, sadly, age or dementia.
My maternal grandfather was a big man, and a healthy one to boot. That's actually a rather apt phrase, since he was actually a professional footballer ('soccer player, to those of you that think footballs aren't spherical), and had played for Leeds United and Norwich City, amongst other teams, during his long and successful career. Sadly, during the later years of his life, he developed Alzheimer's disease. After a long, slow decline, he died at a ripe old age, and the world is a less good place for that. However, his dementia did provide a few bittersweet moments, notably the occasion when he turned to his wife (also in her seventies at that point), and said,
How about we try for another kid, Flossie?
For ages after that, Gran loved to recount that story, laughing each time she brought it up. It still brings a sad smile to my face, too.

My Grandad, the soccer star.

Back to the present day, and to an occasion when Julie is serving up evening meals to various patients. As I have said elsewhere, Julie tends to keep a written list of what food is available for a given day. This is especially useful, should she temporarily blank over what is on her trolley. I think we've all done something like that, right? Having said that, no matter how blank she goes, she'll always have a pretty good idea of what the trolley doesn't hold - and of what the meals she lists are made of.

Someone is obviously used to better fare than that offered up by the National Health Service...

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

In a daze of futures past

Julie's job at the hospital is to provide the patients with their evening meals and a spot of tea or coffee to wash it down. The thing is, the hospital is such a big place, they need to have some sort of system, otherwise they won't know if they're coming or going. To that end, they tend to have the same menu from one week to the next. However, Julie feels the need to write down what she will be offering on a particular day, so she doesn't get confused about whether it's chicken pasta bake day or corned beef hash day.
Or, as Julie put it...

... I'm going now. I've got a headache, for some reason.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Julie goes all geographillogical in the hospital.

"Hello and welcome to Eastbourne District General Hospital, how may I help you? Oh, you're visiting someone, you say? That's nice, although I'm not sure you will be able to take those flowers on to the ward, because of the need for sterility. I'm sure you can see our position. Oh, and please don't forget to make use of the hand sanitisers you'll see around - yes, the are a couple of wards closed at the moment because of contamination. Well, from what I was told, it's down to visitors bringing in the bugs with them. Some people... um... aren't as clean as they could be and then when they start touching things, the bugs stay on there and then other people who were clean when they came to the hospital come and put their clean hands on the door handles, rails, trolleys, wheelchairs - you know - and then they pick up those nasty bugs and start spreading them around without realising it.
Oh, I'm so sorry, what ward was it you were wanting to visit? Hailsham-4? Oh, that's nice and easy. If you go down that corridor, turn left go on for three junctions, turn right then left again, up the stairs, go right twice, all the way to the end of the corridor, take away the number you first thought of, jump up and down, wave your knickers in the air....."

"Oh dear, Bert, I think we're lost. I'm sure we've been along this corridor twice already. Oh look, there's someone; she looks competent enough with that uniform, let's go and ask her..."

As you may have guessed, poor old Bert and Flo, now even more confused, had had the misfortune to run into Julie, as she was pushing her food trolley along the corridor. In fairness to Julie, the hospital is large and the corridors do all look the same. Not only that, but my wife hadn't been working there for all that long when this took place; in fact, I reckon that was what Julie had meant to say all along, but a couple of words got left out.
Talking of words - how about that 'geographillogical' in the title? I'm quite proud of that one.
Tata for now!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Blame it on the NFCS

Times are hard. People are losing jobs, businesses are closing down and 99% of the people in the 1st world are feeling the pinch. I currently have a full-time job, crappy though it is, but Julie, after more than ten years of working for the same organisation, has had her hours cut substantially. We don't own, but rent our house, so to keep our ability to pay the bills, Julie has spent a long while searching for either a full-time job, or a second one at part time, just to keep us afloat.
Before Christmas, the hospital had offered her a job, depending on whether the CRB check showed up clear - it did. Eventually. In March.
So, yes, Julie now has two jobs, one of which means she is dealing with sick and confused people, and the other is at the hospital (ba-boom tish!). However, allow me to allay your fears. Julie is not going to be a nurse, although she can blanket bathe me any time :-p. No, Julie is instead one of those nice people who takes around your food and cups of tea. The fact that said food is often inedible is besides the point. It's cooked twenty miles away and ferried to Julie for her to dish out.
Despite my earlier crack at her colleagues in her first job, Julie obviously meet some folk at the hospital who are elderly or otherwise addled by medication. Despite an initial reluctance (read 'fear') in dealing with these unfortunate souls, Julie has since managed to prove herself quite able to communicate them, although there are still moments where Julie is flummoxed. Usually by the sudden (if unintentional) appearance of pensioner body parts...
This week, I intend to post Gems resulting from Julie's time at the hospital. From what I can recall, none involve patients, so there's no mockery that way.
For our first hospital Gem, we go all the way back to deep midwinter, when we were waiting on news of the background check. It was dragging out  somewhat, and somewhat disheartening. All the while, Julie continued to look for other jobs, just in case the hospital one fell through. The thing is, there's a bit of a running joke in this country on the speed of our National Health Service. However, since we're essentially getting our treatment, along with bed and board, should it be necessary, then I won't complain. Too much.
Julie, on the other hand, felt no such inhibition...

Well, there's only one possible reaction to that.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Water fool!

The climate is changing, everyone knows this. If nothing else, the tabloids love to scream about it in blind panic. To them, and others who react this way, I bring you this newsflash (normal people - put your sunglasses on now)
The climate is always changing, and it always has. If you want a stable climate, seal yourself up in a bloody crypt. In fact, that's not a bad idea. Why not do it anyway and increase the global intelligence average by a good few points. Sheesh.
Sorry about that. The reason for this little rant is that, as you may know, it's been a rather dry few months in Britain. Unfortunately, the lack of rain or snow this winter has left our reservoirs more than a tad low, so the various water companies around the country are taking steps to make sure our supplies don't trickle to a complete halt. To this end, some companies are contemplating a hosepipe ban, and one or two have already put it into effect. All this means is that you can't use a hose to clean you car (or anything else), or to water the garden  - and yes, that does include attaching the damn thing to a lawn sprinkler.
"Ooooh - I didn't think that counted!"
For those of you who think that a hosepipe ban is equivalent to the fall of civilisation, may I introduce to you a handy couple of items.

Now, this is a bucket and a wat - OMG IS THAT A HEDGEHOG?? SQUEEEEE!!!!

We use watering cans at our house. One for watering the plants outside, one for killing the weeds and moss on the paths outside and a small one inside the house for the pot-plants.* Mind you, we're not going to be doing much in the back garden this year. After last year's attempts to try various things were repeatedly fouled up by the neighbourhood cats habit of.. well, fouling things up, a certain ennui has set in. All I'm intending to plant this year is a bed of potatoes, a couple of pea plants - oh, and some landmines, especially for the moggies.
All this, of course, simply leads up to this conversation between Julie and myself.

Oh dear. It turns out Julie thought the ban also included watering cans and any other means of hydrating your hydrangeas.


*Not THAT sort of 'pot' plants!
By the way, a hosepipe ban doesn't affect businesses or charities where large amounts of water are essential for their activities. Such as car washes. Because you simply cannot make do with a mucky Mazda, can you?  <sigh>

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Laurel & Hardy vs. Pinky & Perky.

So I work in a warehouse. You don't need to know what type or what we sell, it makes no odds either way. What you DO need to understand for the purposes of this post is that we often sell to larger customers we term 'Cash & Carry's. These customers sometimes require special handling. One in particular is very... well, particular. Nothing over a certain height, so many copies of paperwork to be provided, special pallet notices to be attached to either end of each pallet, using their reference number, not ours. They're a pain in the proverbial, customers, I tell you.

Fortunately, the customer in this little tale wasn't fussy in the slightest. As long as they get the goods in decent condition, they're as happy as Larry. This was just as well, as the order, as these things go, was just a tad on the large side. In addition, it so transpired that this order arrived when our picking and warehousing systems decided to go belly-up. As far as my team leader was concerned, this was a bonus, because it meant that she wouldn't have to use the hated headset to pick this (or any other) order. Normally, she and her cohort in these matters would get together to pick and check the order as they went. Since the headsets are supposed to be infallible <coughcough>, there would be no need to check the order a second time. Unfortunately, with the systems down, it would need checking, which was a bit of a bugger, because it took up six pallets and six table-top trolleys. That's a lot of checking, trust me.
Enter Iain. Iain is one of the few people in the warehouse I would care to associate with outside of work. He's level-headed, cynical, often confrontational, usually blunt, but also very frequently humorous in a Statler & Waldorf sort of way. He's also a complete wind-up merchant. Iain's also one of the older people in the warehouse, being well into his fifties, which is not normally a problem, since he's also one of the hardest working people in the warehouse.

Back to the order. Our esteemed <coughcough> boss asked me and Iain to give the trolleys and pallets another checking, so we got hold of the paperwork picking list and trudged off excitedly. Keen? Oh yes, couldn't you tell? We got there and viewed the products with some trepidation, which was unsurprising as it managed to reached over halfway along the warehouse. The picking list wasn't much help either. The items came in such large quantities that there simply wasn't enough in the picking beds, which meant that more had to be forklifted down from various places around the warehouse. Unfortunately, all these separate locations were listed elsewhere on the picking list, so while there may have been 72 items on the trolley, I had only 51 from the one location, and the checking was held up as I searched through the paperwork for the second - or, in one case, third - location for the rest.
Add to this the fact that full boxes of some items were put on a separate pallet, while the sub-box quantities were set upon one of the trolleys. Not only that, but running order was only applicable on a particular trolley or pallet, but none of the six-and-six were in order themselves.

Confused yet? We were.

OK, so here's how it was we could find the total quantity of a certain item. Imagine that the customer has ordered 156 of this specific item. Since they come in boxes of sixty, that would mean there would be two full boxes on one of the pallets, and thirty-six loose in a box or boxes on one of the trolleys. Unless they were spread over two boxes, then there would be a chance they were also spread over two separate trolleys. Then, too, there is the possibility I would be scrabbling over various pages of the picking list to try and tally it correctly.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'M confused. In fact, both Iain and I were. It took us hours to check the bloody thing. In fits and starts, punctuated by occasional bits of sanity-preserving silliness and almost constant commentary and mutual piss-taking, we fumbled and stumbled our way through the order until, almost at the the very end, we fell into a truly epic fumble. Six or seven times we counted this one item, each time getting a different result. I tell you, it was really doing our heads in. Eventually, we managed to reach a consensus on the quantity, one that happily managed to match the paperwork - although by that stage, we would have happily foregone that, as long as we two agreed. As we prepared to move on to the next item, Iain sardonically observed this little Gem:

It was.


Bonus post: Seeing as how we were referencing Laurel and Hardy today, I thought I would share this little clip of Julie and Reynard the hedgehog dancing along to Stan & Ollie in 'Way Out West'. Apparently, it's not viewable in the USA and some other places, because it contains a bit of copyrighted material...
Oh, and it's a little on the quiet side.

Monday, 2 April 2012

All we need to do is make sure we keep talking

Some people have wondered what it's like to have a conversation with Julie. To have all the wild and wonderful comments zooming off at so many tangents it's usually nigh-on impossible to discern where the original line of though was going. To suddenly find yourself utterly incapable of speech. Of thought, even.
With that in mind, we are going to share with you a recent Facebook conversation we had. Before you read it, however, I want to say a couple of things.
1) In case you were wondering about the start of this exchange, my father's name IS Eric, and we're alluding to a former Monty Python member and a much loved variety hall and TV comedian, much famed for his antics with another fellow named Ernie Wise.
2) You asked for it. Just remember that.

I warned you.
By the way, the spaghetti/interchangeable comment above was referring to this particular part of Birmingham's road system, Spaghetti Junction.
Also, for people unfamiliar with Morecambe & Wise, allow me to point you in the direction of this classic clip from their show, parodying Gene Kelly...

Here's another Facebook Gem for you. As an added bonus. Wrap yer heads around this.

All this just goes to prove the words of Pink Floyd (as uttered by Stephen Hawking).
"For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals.
Then something happened that unleashed the power of our imagination.
We learned to talk."
After that, we were really screwed...

See you next time!