a personal blog

Tag: waffle

Blogging Madness!

In a mad attempt to force myself to blog more regularly; for if you build it, then they will visit; I signed up to two blogging marathons in april. (Marathons? Is that a good term for it?) One of them is an off-shoot of NaNoWriMo, Najowrimo. And the other is Blogging From A-Z. (Only as I’m British, it’s Blogging From A-Zed, not Zee.)

Why do I need to “force” myself to blog? It’s not as if my life depended on it. The thing is, I get that blogging and journalling is a good thing. But it doesn’t come naturally to me. It falls into the category of being not nice. It feels like showing myself up, as my mother would say. And who would want to read the ponderings of what I like to call my mind anyway? I find I tend to write journal entries in letters to penpals. Sometimes something someone will write will spark me off. Several pages later I’ll realise that I have written a journal entry. Meanwhile, weeks will have gone by before I dust off my actual journal or log into my blog.

So, here I am, journalling and blogging every day in april. Will I do it? Will my mind dribble out of my left ear with the strain of it all? Stay tuned, same bat-channel!


I’ve got folks visiting from swap-bot and I haven’t tidied the place up yet! If you’re here from swap-bot, welcome! And if you’re not, but you’re here anyway, welcome to you too!

I have taken leave of my senses obviously, as I’ve signed up to nanowrimo. I tried it a couple of times a long time ago, but didn’t get anywhere, so I missed the last two years. But with me now doing a creative writing course, I thought, oh what the heck! Nothing ventured and all that. I have a blog for it, of course, at HerWords. It’s a blogspot blog with my own domain. I have a fair few blogs in fact: around four at the last count. I can’t resist them!

I will try to write more tomorrow, but right now I must get on with things! So, nos da for now!

Show Of Hands

No, I’m not asking anyone to wave their hands around in the air. It’s the name of a band I’ve just “discovered”. I was in Andy’s Records in Aber today, looking for an album by The Imagined Village. (Yes, I’m old enough to still call them albums.) He didn’t have anything in, but said he’d order a copy of “Empire and Love” for me. And in one of the reasons why I love independent record shops; he asked if I’d heard of Show of Hands. He’d heard them just a couple of nights ago in Portmerion. I hadn’t, so he put on their cd for me to listen to. I loved it! So I bought their best of album, “The Best of Show of Hands”. It’s two cds in a nice sturdy cover, with a proper lyrics booklet. I’m currently listening to the second cd and absolutely loving it. If you like folk with a bit of a bite: none of that, finger in one ear, hey-nonny-no silliness; you’d love them too.

I got soaked today, wandering around in town in the pouring rain. I took the hood off my jacket a while ago and now I can’t find it. *facepalm* Good one! I was in Kraxis, buying a Portmerion jumbo tea cup and saucer, and the nice lady who runs the shop commented that the rain wasn’t as bad as yesterday. And it wasn’t, then, just stealth drizzle as I call it. As soon as I started to leave the shop, the angels decided to throw their washing water away. Or their bathwater, or something like that. I only walked a few yards up the road to the Old College and I had to walk hunched over because of the wind. It was coming straight off the sea, at the end of Pier Street.

And why was I going to Old College? Why, to sign up for a beginner’s drawing evening class, which beings next month. I’ve never done anything like that before; my days of art at school were not distinguished. But as I’ll be starting a creative writing course with the OU, I thought I’d try to use the other side of my brain as well. So, for eight weeks at the Arts Centre, I’ll be learning to draw! Who knows, if any of my efforts are not too hideous, I may even let you see them!

Well, all for now. Sorry for staying away for so long. I’m not a natural blogger; I don’t even like keeping a paper journal. But I’m back again. Nos da!

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!

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.

Hwyl Fawr 2009

I’m not going to do one of those “that was the year” things. Oh who am I trying to kid, of course I am!

Thankfully, none of the cats broke any of their legs this year and we didn’t loose any of them either. Our hen Zoe died early in the year. Inara learned to cope and to look on me as her flock. But we got 6 new hens anyway, in june. Sadly, one of those died just last week. But all in all, it wasn’t an expensive year for vet’s bills and such.

L was in New Zealand and came back at the end of may. We really missed her. She took a while to find her feet again once she was back, but she successfully applied to do an MSc at Manchester Metropolitan. I finished and passed my first Open University course towards my BA in English language and literature, and started the next course. I even seem to be doing well with the essays. P started working for the Home Office. It’s not fun there and he’s hoping he’ll be able to move on before too long. But hey you know, it’s a job. So, not really a bad year for the family.

Health-wise, I seem to be handling the diabetes and high cholesterol very well: the doctor is certainly pleased with me. But I’ve now got high blood pressure as well. I’m on medication though and that seems to be working. Thank the Goddess I live in Wales and get all my medication for free. Bless the National Assembly!

And that’s it for the year really. It wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t something that I’d cringe to look back on. I wonder what 2010 will be like. It’s the title of a novel by Arthur C Clarke for one thing. Why aren’t we living on the moon, wearing anti-gravity boots and flying around with jet packs?

Mardy Monday

Well, what else could I call it? I love mondays, as a rule. But today is proving to be the exception. I spent a bit of a restless night. I remember I was dreaming something or other than involved David Tennent. Can’t remember what it was sadly. I kept waking up every couple of hours with coughing, which was not fun. My ribs hurt now.

As I didn’t get up until 10 o’ clock again, it feels like it was a very short day. It’s a bank holiday so there was no post. P and L went for a walk up the hill. I wish I could have gone with them, it’s been a while since I walked up that way, and I love getting to the top and seeing the sea. They didn’t get all the way up though as Morgan spotted them, from where he was playing in the Conrah field. So he joined them. Our cats really love it here, so much more than where we used to live in Merthyr Tydfil.

Last week was rather melancholy, talking of Merthyr. For some reason, I couldn’t get our late and still dear cat Bruce out of my ind. He was killed on the road, just two weeks after we moved here to Aberystwyth. I had a fit of tears halfway through last week, thinking of him. And then our hen, Ellie, died for no reason at all that we could see. It was a particularly cold night and the theory is that she didn’t go back into the henhouse that night when the others did. Annie is always first in as she doesn’t care for mealworms and she likes to make sure that she always gets the top left hand corner in the house. There’s usually one or two that are late to climb up the little ladder into their house, and Ellie is one of them. We think that she loitered for so long outside that she was overcome by the cold, as it got down to -7°C, and she fell asleep outside. Or she was the first out of the house too early in the morning and died that way.

So, all in all, it was a bit of a sad week. I managed to pick an argument with P on our wedding anniversary, which was also not fun. I don’t know what happened: part of it was that I was feeling a little crowded as I’m used to being on my own most of the time. But it wasn’t all that. I don’t know what it was about, but got the week off to a less than delightful start.

And so, here I am on the last week of the year feeling like something the cat chewed up and spat out. I suppose that, as the saying goes, things can only get better. Hmmm. I think I’ll not count my chickens.

Almost the end of the year…

…and I’ve decided that I will have a blog after all. I had half-heartedly decided to quit blogging when I let my previous blog domain,, lapse and I cancelled the hosting. But after thinking about it, well, what the heck! No one reads my waffles anyway, so it’s not going to bother anyone.

I’m sticking with this domain,, as I rather love .nu domains. It’s hosted by 2wdhost and the domain was bought from Namecheap. Who I am not happy with, as I didn’t manage to win one single domain in the Christmas competition. I got five last year, and three in the Easter version, but none this time. Most of the questions seems to revolve around some obscure Christmas movie that was only shown in the US. But oh hey, what the heck. I’ve got enough domains anyway. 😉

Talking of Christmas, we had an odd sort of day. P thought it would be a good idea to let the Golden Girls, as he calls them (our lohmann-brown hens, of which we have 5) have an hour outside of their run, in the garden. Which was a very good idea and they enjoyed themselves. Until they got to the bottom garden and came beak-to-beak with Inara, our black rock hen. (She’s allowed free access of the garden, as she’s 5 years old and the last of our old flock.) Everything would have fine, if Miss Inara had not decided to treat them as she did her late sisters. One of the Golden Girls picked up a bug, so Inara causally sauntered over and tried to take said bug from said hen’s beak. It was probably Florrie, as she’s the smallest. Florrie was not best pleased. Well you wouldn’t be, would you. She squarked at Inara and that was the signal for lots of clucking, flourishnig of wings and a general melee.

We rounded up the Girls, which was a fun half hour. Have you ever chased five hens round a garden? Then we tucked them into their run, and Inara into hers, with their Christmas present: boxes of live mealworms. They love the dried variety, but when our local PetsAtHome started selling live insects for reptiles, we bought some for our hens. They were very happy!

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