Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The Beautiful Dales...

Stray, Roobee and I took a lunch time stroll up the hill out the back of our house and I took these nice pictures to share..

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

One time only TV script amnesty

This post is a call to end the terrible crimes being committed against TV audiences.

Up and down the country, people are being assaulted in their own homes - on their own sofas. It's time we asked those who carry the weapons of TV script cliches to hand them in - for their own safety as well as that of their viewers.

The list below is not exhaustive, and I ask you all to help us identify the most dangerous slogans being wielded on your television. However, this is a good starting point, and we call on TV researchers, writers, producers and executives to simply hand over material containing these weapons and walk away, no questions asked.

1) I'm giving it / he's giving it 110%.

because the universe is broken and 100% no longer represents the whole?

2) Strictly Come Ice Skating / Masterchef has changed my life.

Yes. Have you seen that film 'Sliding Doors'? No? Oh well ...

3) Winning this competition means everything to me.

Alright if I run off with your kids then, as you won't be needing them anymore?

4) Getting to the final would be like a dream come true.

Wow - you have cool dreams. Mine involve being at the wrong airport. Without my suitcase, and then I have to fly the plane. But I don't know how. And the controls are made out of vegetables ...

Your assistance in completing this list will help ensure the safety of future viewing generations - or, in the words of so many c-list celebrities: Words can't express how important this is to me.

Of course.

Monday, 28 January 2008


Today I have been mostly worrying about:

  • Filing my tax return
  • Paying my tax bill
  • Finding six years of bank statements that appear to have been sucked through the rip in the space-time vortex that appears each time you move house
  • Ruby chasing sheep
  • My pension, or indeed lack of it. (There was no particular reason to worry about that today, but it always pops up on my random list of worries when worrying is on my mind)
  • Filing my tax return
  • Paying my tax bill (did I say that bit already?)
  • Amy Winehouse (somebody has to, alright?)
  • Whether James Blunt can pull off that difficult second album (joke, you hear me)
  • What else has disappeared into the rip in the space-time vortex, and whether or not I will need it urgently
  • Paying my tax bill
Things I haven't been worrying about today:
  • The rogue US spy satellite crashing down on my head. But apparently I should have been.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Chasing Sheep pt I

Ruby, Stray’s very bouncy boxer, has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s official. A leading animal psychologist, who described her as one of the most obsessive dogs she has ever worked with, diagnosed Ruby recently. This very clever and experienced psychologist did not manage to cure Ruby of her obsession.

We could live with Roo’s particular peccadillo if it involved compulsively tidying away her bones or obsessively washing her paws after a muddy walk. We might even learn to live with her switching off all of the electrical appliances in the house before retiring to her basket. Unfortunately she is yet to learn any of these skills. Little Roo’s particular obsession is for sheep and so, having brought her to live in a village where sheep outnumber humans by at least ten to one, Ruby thinks that all her doggy Christmases have come at once. Ruby likes to chase the sheep. The local farmers do not want Ruby to chase the sheep. This presents us with a problem.

A dog with an irresolvable psychological problem is something of a bus driver’s holiday for me. Ruby’s OCD, however, pales into insignificance when faced with the identity disorder of Stray’s so-called Siamese cat, Ophelia.

‘Siamese cat’ is just one of Ophelia’s multiple identities. Ophelia is actually a wallaby (please note the above evidence.) It is a well-known fact that wallabies are mentally unstable, and Ophelia – or ‘wallaby-cat’ – is no exception. Wallaby-cat doesn’t just have an identity disorder, she has a fully blown Borderline Personality Disorder.

Wallaby-cat loves, loves, lurves you… really are her bestest friend in the whole world… has ever understood her like you do…..where have you been all her life? make her feel loved like never before. Until that fateful moment when you just fail to meet her needs by a whisker (forgive the pun) and she hates you with a passion that can only be expressed by biting very hard on exposed flesh. Wallaby-cat believes that the sole purpose of your existence is to minister to her every need. As bus-driver’s holidays go, this is much less pleasurable than chasing sheep.

When I asked Badger if she thought that Frank, her ginger tom, had any neurotic disorders she thought very long and hard before answering ‘he’s a boy’. Whilst it’s true that Frank’s boyness is his defining characteristic – he manages a delicate balance of testosterone fuelled hunting trips for local vermin with lounging passively in Badger’s arms – as far as I am aware ‘masculinity’ has yet to be classified as a psychiatric disorder. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

Stray is currently writing a book that meanders through anthropology, psychology and evolutionary biology before stumbling headlong into the arena of global warming. She is trying to persuade her co-author that Chasing Sheep is a catchy and appropriate title.

Let’s face it, don’t we all just try very hard not to chase the sheep?

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

nano-poetry festival


We welcome you all to the chasing-sheep nano-poetry festival ... which will now run for an unspecified period depending on levels of interest.

A definition: nano-poetry
is a genre for poems composed of fewer characters than the term 'nano-poetry'.  (i.e. 10 characters or less, including punctuation).

Whether a work is nano is easily assessed by counting the constituent characters.  Whether a work is poetry is somewhat more subjective!

So far we have the following 4 works of economic brilliance:

On the onomatopoeic howling of wolves, by Ms Signs:


On behalf of the prodigal son before his return home, Dr But Why? offers:


On the disappointment of lost consonants, I comment:


And on the neverendingness of the search for meaning, Badger contributes:


We invite you to contribute as many nano-poems as you can muster. No work too small :) Personally I intend leaving my computer on over night to see what the cats can compose by morning ... 

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The shortest poem ...




I would like to confirm ...

... that our own little Badger has had her BCG, and presents no threat to cattle.  Therefore she will not be under threat from any plans to cull badgers in order to control TB in cows.  Fortunately the RSPCA think badger-culling is a horrible waste of time too.

She does, however, bear this expression quite frequently, and often when she has recently mis-heard Ms Melancholy.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Who said what?

Ms M and I have difficulty understanding each other... and that is not because I speak Badgerish nor she Therapistist.

Ms M though, does, (possibly) needs her ears syringing, as I seem to recall the last time she went to have this done she did in fact pass out.. it could on the other hand be said I need my own ears clearing as I have the amazing ability to "suck my ears in" which no one else I am yet to encounter understands. It comes from when I "tic" so loudly that my own body seemingly protects itself by briefly closing my inner ears. If anyone else has this ability I would love to know I am not alone. I can also do it on command, like at a particularly loud concert.

So generally our conversations go something along the lines of...

Ms M .... "Gosh, its windy out!"
Badger .... "No its not its Thursday"
Ms M .... "yes, I am thirsty too, cup of tea?"

And what is even more surprising after a conversation such as this one is that often when Ms offers to make Tea, a full blown dinner arrives! who would have thought! All I was expecting was a brew. Darn southerner that I am. Tea is a drink... surely?

Only today did I catch Ms M whipping out the iron and a pair of trousers, upon asking what on earth she was doing I was told "Ironing up the trousers to web them" i assumed she meant she was going to sell them on ebay. She wasnt she was "taking them up with wonder web".... of course.

Pastures new

So, what do you get when you cross a melancholic psychotherapist, a pocket sized super-nerd, a badger-come-sound-effects-unit, an adolescent philosopher, two cats and a bouncy boxer dog?

We're not sure either, but we thought we'd blog it anyway.

Daily Straying just didn't feel right anymore, now that I've put down some roots and feel so utterly at home. Ms Melancholy has clearly just about confessed as much as a psychotherapist decently could and whilst Badger's just as badgery as ever, she's decided to Badger This as well as That ... and so a new place for our ramblings and shenanigans together in our slightly unusual family has been born.

Thanks for stopping by ... you're welcome any time.