a personal blog

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So I changed my mind

Okay, I decided to build a new blog for letter writing stuff after all. It’s The Rhydgaled Post. Yes, I’ve joined the blogging letter writers!

In other news, it’s hot. And I hate the heat with a vengeance. Can we have autumn now please?

Letters and all that kind of thing

I’ve been riding one of my hobby horses again, this time letter-writing, penpals, stationery and all that sort of thing. I’ve also been looking at a lot of blogs on the subject. I toyed with the idea of starting up a new blog on letters and penpalling, but thought nah, why make work for myself? I might as well just add posts on that to this blog and get that silly idea right out of my head. Letter blogs are great, but it is only one facet of my butterfly personality, so I don’t need to specialise. If you get my drift.

I’ve decided to do something daft (what again?) and write a letter every day for a year. I picked today to start, which is probably a silly idea as I also decided to try making a minizine every day in july as it’s international zine month. But obviously letter writing is going to be the topic of one day’s minizine, so I fuss two cats with one hand. (My daughter invented that saying because, as an ornithologist, she really does not like the bird in a hand phrase.) I’ll make a separate post about that later as daughter and I are about to go to have lunch at our favourite Indian restaurant, the Shilam. Though we call it the Shilpa, in honour of Shilpa Shetty. (She has a wikipedia entry, if you don’t know who she is.) So, I had better go and get booted and suited and head out for delicious noms!

Grrrr verisign. Just saying

So, verisign is putting the price of com/net/org domains by 7% again. I can’t understand why they need to put the price up every year. It’s not as if they have to buy a lot of stock that’s also gone up in price. So I’ve decided to let most of my com/net/org domains drop and replace them with instead. Those are cheaper and Nominet don’t hike up the price every five minutes when they feel like it.

In other news: Shelley has been laying eggs for around 16 days now! She lays the cutest little eggs that are half the size of Inara’s. However, she’s now gone broody and is proving to be a stubborn little madam about it too. Typical black rock! (Even though she’s only half a block rock.) I’m doing my best to stop her, but I’m not hard-hearted enough to force her to sleep outdoors again. I did it for one night and felt like a right cruel so-and-so. It didn’t help when she kept making miserable sounding little cheeps every time she saw me. Hens!

Vote for change?

I had a look at the website this evening. They reckon that if I vote for Plaid Cymru it will help a hung parliament to be acheived. But you know what? I’m not going to do it. Call me crazy, but I don’t give a gnat’s chuff for parliament. It’s full of lying liars and it won’t be any better for a hung, drawn or quartered government. I vote for my local MP, he’s the one who matters to me; it’s his actions which will directly impact on Ceredigion. I like our LibDem MP, he’s one of the good guys, which is pretty rare these days. So I’m voting for him. The hung parliament campaign can get stuffed; they’re not going to help when I’m worried about battery hens, or my husband needs someone to go bat for him with Arriva Trains Wales when they act like numpties once again.

I’l vote Plaid when the elections for the National Assembly rolls around because the best government for Wales is Welsh. But for the big one, it’s LibDem all the way for me.

Silly Shelley

I wish Shelley would learn to go into her little house at night by herself. She’s been with us, what; a month now? And I still have to go into her run from half past 8 to 9 at night and pick her up off the fence between her run and Inara’s and put her into her house. Which is a lot easier written down. She usually starts squawking that she’s been molested, that she’s going to be Murdered!! Last night, the silly bint managed to get her wings free from my hold and was clawing me so much that when I dropped her into her house, she banged herself against it.

I wish she’d realise that it’s as traumatic for me as it is for her, to have to do this every night. I hate that she is so frightened when I pick her up. She likes to run up to me and scratch around by my feet; she’ll even peck at my foot. But if I try to touch her she goes bananas. Whereas old Inara is happy to hunker down and let me stroke her. I’ve tried doing that in front of Shelley, to try to let her see that I really don’t mean any harm to silly little feathery girls.

There are times when I wish our neighbour hadn’t been so generous. His gift has caused us so much trouble. Not only in the expense of having to buy Shelley a new house, but that it makes it difficult for us now to reorganise the two runs as we had planned to do, when they’re rebuilt. I guess the moral is, think twice, think three times before you decide to give someone something out of the blue. It was a very kind thought and I am very grateful, but to be honest, I wish he hadn’t done it. Or had given us two bantams, or asked if we’d like to buy another to keep Shelley company.

A good deed can be a burden to the gifted. *sigh*

A rude awakening

Inara decided that morning began at half past 7 today. She was up on her high perch (the one P thought was too high for Madam’s dainty legs, hah!) and giving it beak enough to wake up the whole of Chancery. No one has complained yet, thank goodness! Maybe it’s just me, being a late to bed and late to rise kind of person. Noisy girl!

No egg today. She laid yesterday and the day before, so she’ll lay tomorrow and friday. Though I’ve learned not to take Little Madam’s schedule for granted. There’s still no sign of anything from Shelley, so I think she must be really very young. I know it’s daft, being British and all and being constitutionally unable to just go to Tony and ask him how old she is. P and I keep telling each other that we’ll go and see him and ask if we can buy another bantam from him. It was very generous of him to just give us Shelley, but she’s a little bit lonely all on her own. We’ve thought about buying another one from somewhere if we can just find out where. Given that the new house we had to buy for her was £90 and another bantam will probably be £12-15, that was an expensive free hen!

There were some fun and games going on with the nextdoor neighbours this morning. No, I don’t mean the nice chap who lives to the right of us, but the sheep and lambs in the field to the left of our house! I don’t know what started it, but around 5 or 6 sheep and their lambs started having a mad five minutes in the bit of the field between our garden and the derelict house. (Which has been empty for more than 40 years and is very slowly falling down.) The sheep were bouncing around and running up and down the slope, followed by the lambs. Two of the sheep were being very affectionate to each other, rubbing cheeks and trying to mount each other! The other sheep further over in the field were watching them with very disapproving expressions on their faces. I could tell they were scandalised and tutt-tutting over it. They’ll be gossiping about that one for days!

Meant to say

One of the reasons for my absence from this site: my lohmann-brown hens were brutally slaughtered by a badger. I don’t really want to talk about it, it was horrible and I never want to go through that again.


It’s what, the second week of the election campaign and I’m bored already. Actually, I was bored last week. Hate politics with a passion. Hate. It. Can’t stand the two major parties as they’re both a bunch of lying liars. It makes me laugh (or would if I wasn’t so bored with it) that they’ll be promising us the moon on a stick if we vote for them. And then they’ll turn their backs on us as soon as they get into government. Mind you, on election day itself I’ll be voting three times as I have L and P’s proxy votes. We all want to vote for the same party, so I won’t have to grit my teeth and put an “x” in a box next to anyone completely contemptible. (And no, I’m not saying which party. We’re still allowed to have secret voting.) We arrived at the same conclusion quite independently, which is nice.

I can remember when I was young and Mum took my sister and I to the voting station. She had been told, in all serious, by an older woman, that it was her duty to vote for the same party as her husband. Else she would “cancel” his vote and his was the most important. What the feck did women fight for, when silly people could actually believe rubbish like that? I’m glad to say my mother told her that she’d vote for who she wanted, whether her husband voted the same way or not. And he probably didn’t.

Anyway. Bored now. Show me kittens.

There and back again

I’ve been gone away for so long, I thought the computer would have forgotten my login details. But it hadn’t, bless it’s little diodes. If it has any.

I’ve had a gossiping day, having chatted with a nice lady who gave me a lift to the supermarket, the taxi driver on the way home, and our nextdoor neighbour. I can usually go all day without speaking to anyone who isn’t my daughter or husband, calling on the ‘phone. But it’s been a chatty day today. The Nice Lady (whose name is Florance) lives in the next village and if she sees me standing by the road waiting for the ‘bus, she stops and picks me up. The first time she did it, she told me that she often stops to pick up women waiting for ‘buses. No men, just women: which is understandable as she is in her late 60’s and has Parkinsons.  She’s had an amazing life, being the 7th child of her family, having lived on a farm most of her life and served in the RAF in Germany. But what she likes to talk about is her family and the cat.

I had to put Shelley to bed again. Silly little bantam still hasn’t worked out that she should go into her house at night and not perch on the fence. Thing is, she was used to roosting high up when she lived at Tony’s, so I guess it will take her a while to get used to the way we do thing. I still have a dilemma though. I’d like to get her a companion, but I don’t know if it would be etiquette to ask if I could buy another bantam from Tony, after he gave us Shelley as a gift. Or get one from elsewhere. Oh the problems of being polite!

Listening to : Iron & Wine “Woman King”: an album which is far too short.

Bad Books

If you look at my list of 52 books that I’ve read this year, you’ll see that I’ve included a book called “For Death Comes Softly” by Hilary Bonner. I thought about it a couple of times before I added it to the list. I hadn’t yet decided if I was going to include books I had read but hated. And yes, this is one of those.

P gave me it and it was second-hand, thank goodness. At least I didn’t waste £5.99 on it. It was the worst murder mystery I’ve read in a while; hackneyed, dull and confusing. For some odd reason, Ms Bonner decided to add two plots together. The main character is a DCI in a child abuse unit and has the distressing case of an abused boy with Down’s Syndrome to figure out. At the same time, she has fallen in love and has acted very unprofessionally with a murder suspect. One or either would have been enough, but mashing the two together has produced an unsatisfying book. One keeps wanting the DCI to get on with the child abuse case, for heavens sake and stop farting around with the bad romance novel hero.

There’s lots of dreadful writer’s mistakes, like over-using reporting instead of actually describing what is happening and what we are supposed to be seeing. Ms Bonner was originally a newspaper reporter and she is obviously far better at that than at writing novels. I read this trash in a couple of hours and was heartily glad to be done with it. I won’t be bothering her section of the shelves in Waterstones at all.

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