Friday, October 23, 2009

Busy doing nothing

It's the end of a long long week, at the end of a long long half term, and I've got the house to myself until 3pm. There are plenty of things I could / should be doing: cleaning and tidying, washing and ironing, finishing one article and proofreading another. Running on a treadmill. Raking up leaves. So far I have done none of these. So far I have done the following:

  • Got up - sort of - and eaten breakfast
  • Read a magazine
  • Put some washing on a line
  • Gone back to bed
  • Read a book in bed
  • Got up again. Found some clothes this time. Cleaned my teeth. Cleaned the bathroom (only because I want a shower in less squalid surroundings).
  • Rang work with 'just a thought' about a patient I saw yesterday
  • Made coffee and a marmalade sandwich, Paddington Bear style
  • Sat here writing rubbish.
And, er, that's it...

Am now feeling sort of guilty. Or at least, anxious that this waste of time will ultimately catch up with me, and I'll be forced to pay some penalty. I probably wouldn't feel nearly so guilty if I had Done Nothing with a friend or family. It's the knowledge that others are hard at work whilst I fritter time away that's eating me up.

But not enough to make me want to actually do anything.

Now, where did I put that book....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Riding in cars with girls

Having written off our car (not me, the Man, in case you ask) we are awaiting the delivery of a very nice Skoda Octavia with lots of bells and whistles on it. We did our homework and knew what model, spec and age we were prepared to pay for, then asked Autosave to find us one. As we are without a vehicle we then couldn't be too choosy when they came back with an option that fulfills all our brief but isn't exactly the sort of colour we would have chosen. Annie (daughter no.2) is apoplectic, and may refuse to ever be seen in it. I may have to close my eyes when approaching it. I'm trying to be relentlessly cheerful, given all its other assets, but it's not easy...

My car is an orrible colour
My car is the colour of poo
It's got leather seats heated in winter
It's got climate control when it's hot
It's got wipers that know when it's raining
And then know when to stop when it's not - but -
My car is an orrible colour
My car is the colour of poo
It's got pockets the size of the planet
And a little light where I keep maps
It's got places to keep all my knick-knacks
And room to stretch out for a nap (not whilst driving) - but -
My car is an orrible colour
My car is the colour of poo
It's got 6 gears to change when I'm cruising
And 6 CDs lined up to play
There's sensors that beep when I'm parking
And scream when my parking's astray - but -
My car is an orrible colour
My car is the colour of poo
Its fuel consumption's impressive
And likewise its space in the boot
It locks with the press of a button
Its horn gives a fierce rooty-toot - BUT -
My car is an ORRIBLE colour
My car is the colour of poo
I've tried to deny
that it offends the eye
but the yellow-brown hue's
like something found on one's shoes
I've tried calling it 'gold'
(It's cappuccino, I'm told)
But the fact of the matter
is, despite all this data:
My car is an orrible colour
My car is the colour of poo!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Honest to God

Sang a new song on Sunday that the younger kids had written during the summer. Can't remember the words (except the line 'God you are healthy' - what's that about??) but do remember the verse valued chocolate as much as the resurrection, and implied that Jesus came at Christmas so we could have presents. I was very happy there had been no attempt to persuade the kids otherwise - the priorities were absolutely those of your average 8-year-old, and I'm sure the heavenly host joined in in the same spirit.

So how to follow this lead, as adults? Instead of singing songs that always reflect where we think we should be directing our thoughts, should we be more honest about where they're really drifting off to?

'Lord you have my heart
but only for an hour,
or else the dinner will burn to a crisp'.

'Here I am, Lord; it is I, Lord,
it's a miracle I made it here today.
I won't say, Lord, that I want to,
but I promise you that I'll still pray.'

Or perhaps we could articulate some of the everyday wonders that we discover as children of God. Stuff like: 'I sometimes get my knickers in a twist, but your love pulls me straight' (a bit 1950's chorus, that one); or maybe, 'thank you Lord, you saved me, from killing my husband, once more' (with verses that substitute husband for 'children', 'livestock' - pets doesn't scan - and 'neighbours'). A favourite for me could be 'Let me sleep Lord; let me lay down in your presence, and drift into your arms / O Lord let me sleep' - though perhaps not right before the sermon.

Songs could also reflect the anguish of living in a fallen world.

'O Lord we've gone and b*****ed it up
the world's in such a mess:
the air is poisoned, the seas are dead
the trees lie felled on the forest bed
and half the people are poorly fed
and so we all confess -

B*****ed it up, Lord, b*****ed it up
O Lord we've b*****ed it up.

Perhaps the lack of poetry expresses something of the heartfelt nature of that particular prayer!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Grapefruit

The Man and I were idly wondering how the names of military operations get chosen. They can't be randomly selected (I'll have a vowel please Carol...and a consonant....) and even choosing an adjective followed by a noun could throw up some fairly dreadful combinations (hard to fire up the forces with 'Operation Fragrant Plantpot' or 'Shrugging Shoulders'. Names need to be something that fierce military generals can tell the President without laughing ('What are we calling this operation, General?' 'It's Operation Timid Otter, Sir' - er, no.).

So to come up with such wonderful names as 'Urgent Fury' (US invasion of Grenada), 'Purple Warrior' (UK Falklands training exercise) and not forgetting Desert Storm, there have to be people (person?) with that job, with military credentials and codeword clearance (not sure what that means, but they say it a lot on The West Wing. Hah! Only my 2nd post back and already I'm mentioning The West Wing! Did I say how good it was?). Perhaps they do other things as well - uniform design? Cleaning the situation room?

There have been a few awful names over the years. Frequent Wind, anyone (Vietnam)? Operation Bramble Bush (Israeli attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein: no wonder it failed). Australia really weren't trying with 'Operation Morris Dance'. Seems a shame they don't choose names that spell things out, 'exactly what it says on the tin' style: perhaps Operation Gleeful Slaughter, Trained Scapegoats, or Unnecessary Carnage.

What I reckon is, the People That Choose have lists, one of adjectives and one of nouns, all approved by some committee. It is then a simple matter to select the next word from each list. Try it for yourself. Select one from the following:

Mountain, breaking, definite, steel, red, sleeping, restoring, exotic, screaming, desert, cautious.

The add a second word from the following list:

Dragon, cedar, wind, cobra, fire, eagle, cactus, tiger, storm, charge, hope.

(Nearly) works for all options!

Most of the good names are very macho and purposeful. Would we get a different kind of operation if we chose names like 'Little liedown' or 'Touchy feely'? Perhaps I'll suggest it to Obama, he seems like a nice bloke.

Especially for Steve...

So this is the equivalent of me popping out to the postbox calling 'back in a minute' over my shoulder and then not returning for several weeks.
No I didn't get lost, but I did have other things to do (in particular learning to be a nurse prescriber; with proper pharmacology exams and everything!) and then failed to get back into the habit of writing anything except essays.

So here I am - back in the blogosphere - and delighted that more than one person has requested my return, though Steve asked the most so he gets a name check.

Now, there must be something I can write about...