Remember, these are just pages of odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else, information, general knowledge, light-hearted quips and quotes from all over the place that make up the ‘rich tapestry of life’ for reading in those odd moments when you have nothing else to do. So relax and chill out, smile and laugh and ponder. Life can be interesting, intriguing or an ichneumon. (Go on, I dare you not to look it up!!!)
Time to be Friendly?
We have lived for years on a communal garden and as I am not always sociable there are often people there I don’t recognise. Walking past a glamorous stranger in a big hat on my way to the compost heap one day, I made a friendly noise and was rather surprised to be sharply rebuked. “I really don’t have time in my life for more than so many friends,” said this vision dismissively, “and at the moment I have more than enough.” She thought I was scraping acquaintance, in the old-fashioned expression. If she hadn’t been so absurd, she would have been offensive. But I had to admit there was a truth in what she said. Real friendship takes time and time is always in short supply.
(Source: Minette Marrin - Sunday Times writer)
Things that annoy
- People who can eat what they like without putting on weight.
- People who say, ‘No problem’ when you thank them for a gift.
- Staplers that run out of staples when you have just one thing to staple.
- Titles, ten minutes into a feature film.
- Travel brochures with prices from...
- TV channels that run the news in the middle of feature films.
- Motorists who neglect to thank us when we’ve let them out of a side turning.
- TV ads for anti-wrinkle creams presented by young models.
- Footballers taking their shirts off after scoring goals. Why?
(Source: Don’t get me Started by Mitchell Symons, Bantam Press)
.... and one of my own:
- Those house sales programmes that take the couple around three houses and they decide not to move!
Not the Brightest of the Bunch
Have you every noticed the number of ways we describe others who we consider not very bright? Here’s a selection:
- not sharpest knife in the drawer
- sharp as a marble
- one sandwich short of a picnic
- the lights are on but there’s no one at home
- not playing with a full deck
- lost his marbles
- a few tiles short of a roof
We also have a lot of expressions to describe someone who is useless. Again, a short selection:
- about as much use as a chocolate teapot
- couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag
- no use to man or beast
- about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike
- dead from the neck up
Ten Things I wish I’d said to My Father
1. Please don’t eat bacon and eggs for breakfast every day.
2. Tell me what it was like for you as a kid. Seriously, I want to know.
3. I thought I’d have more patience with my kids than you did. I was wrong.
4. Even though the words of fatherly advice bounced right off me, I remember them now.
5. You had a bigger impact on me than you thought you did and than I thought you would.
6. I wish we’d had a few more laughs and a few less arguments.
7. I didn’t do any better balancing the job and the family than you did.
8. However it turned out, it wasn’t your fault.
9. It turned out all right.
10. Thanks, Dad. I love you.
(Source: ‘Simple Abundance’ by Sarah Ban Breathnach & friends)
Now that my mother lives on the premises she is able to observe the details of our life – a shocking thing to watch when one is 89. She is horrified by our expenditure. I have taken to lying about the cost of everything. I halve it. My mother is still outraged. There she is busy saving paper bags, Christmas cards and bits of string, then out I go and fritter money on a ready-made, steamed syrup pudding.
"How much was that?" she snaps, astounded by the price. "What did you do that for?" she roars. "I can make one." She stamps off to the kitchen and whips one up for tuppence.
We now buy no shop cakes or biscuits. We save egg boxes, jam jars, used stamps and old sheets. We darn clothes, re-use tea bags and save rainwater. The house is filling with ancient scraps and rags. And we are not allowed to waste a crumb of food."It's from living through the war," explains Rosemary. She has a touch of it herself, often running about the house turning the lights out after everyone.
"Blackout, blackout," shouts her son in a mocking way. Soon my mother will be issuing ration books to curb our profligate lifestyle. Microwave dinners, bought puddings and oven chips will be strictly limited.
My cousin in the North is under similar constraints. Her mother (my auntie) also moans on about cost. Like me, cousin lies and halves the cost of everything. Only last week she bought Auntie some smoked salmon for a treat. Auntie commands her to shop around, but what with a full-time job and everybody's shopping to do, she hasn't the time, so as usual she halved the price.
Naturally Auntie was thrilled with the price of the salmon. She thought it such a bargain that she gave it to the cleaning lady for a present. Cousin was furious. She now has to go shopping for more salmon and tell more lies. She and I are both enmeshed in a web of deceit.
(Source: Michele Hanson’s Guardian column, extracts from Living with Mother.)
If you want to be posh it’s....
...Earl Grey not Tetley
...mayonnaise not salad cream
...olive oil not lard
....tweed not lycra
...the Times not the Express
...Sainsbury’s not Lidl
...Radio 4 not Magic FM
...Kettle Chips not Walkers
...Ikea not DFS
...goujons not chicken nuggets
...Boots not Superdrug
...sofa not settee
...fountain pens not biros
...Peter Jones not Debenhams
...Pearl earrings not belly-button rings
...point-to-point not pole dancing
...rugby not football
The lottery takes 50% of your money, the football pools, a similar proportion and bookmakers take over 15%.....
The truth is that there is no foolproof way to make a million pounds. For everyone who wins a bet there has to be somebody who loses. The betting industry thrives because there is a sucker born every minute, and fortunately for them this doesn’t look as though it is about to change.(And how many of us are convinced we aren’t the sucker???)
The bookmakers Ladbrokes are prepared to consider almost anything as a potential area for a bet, though not surprisingly it is rare to find them offering odds above 5000 to 1. The odds of Halley’s Comet colliding with Earth on its next visit are quoted at on 2500 to 1 and the odds that the United Nations will confirm the existence of alien life forms were recently shortened from 200 to 1 to just 50 to 1. Ladbrokes won’t take bets on everything, however. One man wanted to wager that his wife was going to be abducted by aliens and that at the stroke of midnight at the start of the year 2000 she would return as a teapot. The bookmakers gracefully declined to offer any odds on this event.
(Source: Why Buses Come in Threes - the hidden mathematics of everyday life by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham)
(Think about the realities of that last potential wager. Ladbrokes are not mugs!)
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