Thursday, 29 March 2012

Til Death

I'm tired, but right now, good tired. I've had three field trips this week, that bit of my job is brilliant. But I can't believe it's nearly the end of March. It went so quickly, although as a money month, it seemed overly long.

French top banana Gerard Dépardieu is going to be playing Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a forthcoming docu-drama type film. He's doing this because he thinks DSK is a bit of a knob, well don't we all? GD however, thinks that his countryfolk in general are all a bunch of arrogant frogs.

Over in Deutschland, a bunny with no ears, Til, was going to make it big on showbiz. Sadly, its acting career was cut short at the press launch, when a camera op stepped on it and killed it.

And Deutschland may well have been less than happy with China. On FB this week, a picture of some product from China, had a display of several countries' flags on the packaging. Germany's flag had a swastika. Ouch.

Globally, 15% of drug users admit to having taken a mystery white powder without knowing what it was. Of those, a third said they had got said white powder from a stranger.

Outside, it continues to rain.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Moon, Venus, Jupiter

The weekend was two lengthening days of sun and beauty. Even the night sky was a sight to behold. A sliver of crescent moon, Jupiter and Venus to one side. The sun came with enough of a rise in temperature to allow the tomato seeds to germinate and the buds on the flowering cherry to threaten to open.
Today we have rain again, but the garden is glad of it. Next month's April showers will bring forth May flowers, although here, it could be May before March's flowers get their grin on.

 I have discovered the real and original use of a weblog. I had to fill in a form listing all the dates I was out of the country. It took some research, but the blog gave up its un-secrets.
It is a diary, so that's its purpose.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Still delightfully cold. Presumably it can't last. Also, my tomatoes are germinating very, very slowly. Mountains look divine though.

March's dark moon is the seed moon. Perhaps I should only just have planted.

I'm loving having 'The Week' again. I was reading about Germany's 'mini-jobs'. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and solved their unemployment problem, but has now created an underclass living on subsistence level incomes and benefits. In some ways, there is a similar situation here, caused by the strength of the unions. The law itself gives little protection and only basic rights, while people in so-called 'union jobs' get several times the same rate of pay as other workers, and benefits which are often misused. The system needs a shake-up, but then that's what Angela Merkel is finding in Germany. She is having to consider introducing a minimum wage, something Germany has held out against.
Another problem it is experiencing, as are many western countries, is the low birth rate. Measures are being put into place to encourage families to have more children, but no-one can forget that so did the Nazis.

Since I've had this netbook, it has seemed slow and lumbering. This past week, we have discovered that the old 'you get what you pay for' adage, sometimes overlaps with 'be careful what you wish for'. Early on, I upgraded my AVAST anti-virus, and bought a version which was going to give me super-duper security. And it did. By scanning everything all the time and THAT is why everything I did on the computer was so slow. Now I have the slimmed down version and the whole thing is less frustrating.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Mothers and Dogs

Sunday was Mothering Sunday, but it had not registered on my radar, so I was surprised to hear the doorbell ring at nine o'clock. Whisky rushed downstairs barking madly. By the time I reached the door, there was no-one there, and Whisky slipped past me, bolted down the steps and trapped a woman who was trying to deliver an Azalea in a basket. She was shaking and trembling, and kept repeating how sorry she was, but that she was scared.
I'm appalled at how amused I was.

Monday morning we awoke to a hard frost, but it was sunny. Within the hour, the sky was covered with dark grey clouds, followed by hail and then sleet. Strange, but true.

The snowdrops are from our trip to England, here, there is just one tiny squill in the garden, the rest of the bulbs are just peeking a bit of foliage out of the ground, waiting for some sign that it's safe to come out.

The ignition mechanism on our furnace has given up. Naturally this isn't a piece you can just buy from Home Depot. Fortunately, we have a portable oil heater that keeps the whole house as warm as we like it, when set to half. I still wonder at people whose first reaction to feeling cold isn't to put on a jumper, it's to turn the heat up.
It's attitudes that sink us, and attitudes that raise us up.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Knee, the Snow

The past week at the Schloss has been dominated by two things. Laurence's knee and the weather.

Whilst still in Birch Bay last Sunday, Laurence rang to say he'd been in hospital. He had been to the cinema on Saturday, early evening. He'd gone to the toilet and slipped. As he fell, his kneecap was displaced and he was in great pain. The security people called an ambulance and then he was taken to the hospital where they popped his kneecap back in and gave him painkillers. Then they turned him out into the night to find his own way back home - which, to his credit, he did.

He was told to stay off work for the week, but he won't get paid. That's the way it works around here. There's a two-tier system and a hell of a lot of people are left to spin in the wind if something like this happens.
I contacted the cinema and they contacted their liability insurance. We'll see what happens.
On Friday he went to the medical clinic and saw my doctor. She told him he needed to be off for another week and that he would need physio. Whilst the swelling on the knee looks as though it has gone down, she could feel it still. 

On Tuesday, it snowed. It snowed hard in that magical way that snow does. It stuck, and the parking lot of my work was transformed - in that magical way that snow transforms the world. By the end of the day it had gone, but the memory lingers. As magical memories do.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Circles in the Sand

Now where was I?
We came back, Kevin was ill, very ill, influenza ill. Unable to stand, feverish, aching, the whole shebang. And although he's now out of bed, he's still suffering.

While we were away, France dropped the title, 'Mademoiselle' because it is sexist and discriminates against women - fantastically done France!

Today, the New Statesman ran an article that stupidly asked the question, 'Is God Sexist?' and then didn't answer it, because the real question was, 'Is Religion Sexist?' because of course it is. A well-written article though.

Last night's full moon was astounding, it hung huge and gold in the sky. Couldn't get a good picture of it though. March's full moon - plough moon. You could have tilled a field by it.

Still pleasantly cold, it has been struggling to snow, at times cold and sunny. Frosty times.