31 March 2013

What a wonderfully Spring-like week we’ve had . . . not.

SnowEach morning this week it seems to have dawned bright and clear but, by the time I’m out of bed, showered and out the door for a stroll with the dog (and before you say anything, that is some times well before noon), the clouds have moved in from the east and we’re back to what is clearly becoming the “norm” for March – cold, overcast, breezy and grey. It’s been the coldest March since 1962 and the fourth coldest since records begin, so they say. And, according to the forecasters, the cold weather could continue for another month! Then again, these were the folks who forecast our “barbeque summer” a couple of years ago when it rained more or less constantly so perhaps we shouldn’t get too worried just yet. If they are predicting another month of winter, Spring must be just around the corner!

This morning marks the arrival of British Summer Time – I gather that those of you in the States have already made the time-shift. I won’t repeat my annual rant about how stupid this process is other than to say that we should go all in. If we really want to save daylight, we should move the clock forward three or four hours – that way, in this country at least, it would still be light at midnight and we would have saved hours and hours of daylight every day. The one I really feel sorry for in all this is our poor Molly who will have to wait an extra hour and won’t get her dinner this evening until 6.00 pm.

Another week has raced by but on this occasion, unusually, we have something to show for it – no thanks to me, of course. Penelope’s office and workspace have been transformed by the laying of a new carpet and now provide quite outstanding accommodation. As mentioned previously, Ms Playchute has painted, and painted, and painted and the result, now that the carpet is down, is a quite fabulous space.

The vacating of the office and workspace means that Penelope has had to relocate her office into one of the other bedrooms here at the Playchute Palace. Although she is no longer producing bespoke playchutes, she still has a number of ready-made, off the shelf playchutes for sale and, of course, she is also still selling playchute accessories including those foam balls so beloved of the cupcake decorating fraternity.

First of all she decided to move into the middle bedroom, the smallest of the excess of bedrooms we have. After about a week, however, it soon became clear that she needed more space so it was all change again. This time she moved her office into what we always refer to as Nick’s room (the one right at the top of the stairs) where she seems happily ensconced, for the time being. When she starts measuring up our bedroom I’ll start to worry.

Annabelle teaches Grandpa how to use the iPad
Annabelle teaches Grandpa how to use the iPad

We are looking forward to the arrival of Nick, Lucy and Annabelle for Sunday lunch. We had a brief visit with them on Friday afternoon when we popped over to collect a few spare bits and pieces for the newly refurbished workshop space. While we were there Annabelle decided that she wanted to watch a couple of her favourite programmes on the iPad. So, she “signed” that she wanted Postman Pat and then, a bit later, she signed that she wanted another programme called Tick Tock, I think. It was when she signed, “Grandpa is smelly” that I began to wonder whether this early form of communication is really all it’s cracked up to be.

For some reason I received a lot of clips this week as well as running across the usual mixture of “stuff”. Firstly, the following came from our friend Erik Benson – part of an “interesting lecture” on the differences between men’s brains and women’s brains given as part of a marriage seminar delivered by Pastor Mark Gungor. This is only an extract but there’s a lot more on You Tube (and other places) if you are inspired or feel in need of laughing your way to a better marriage.

Secondly, Dad sent me the following recording of a phone call between a telemarketer and a householder which has been doing the rounds over the past couple of years.

Wouldn’t you enjoy pulling something like this off? Our number is listed on a Do Not Call list which the industry is supposed to respect but we still get way too many cold calls. They hang up pretty quickly when I ask for their details so that I can report them, though.

And finally, several subscribers found last week’s video clip about the need for paper tolerably amusing. Since the premise of the clip was that one can’t wipe one’s bottom with an iPad, I thought you would be interested to know that Apple is already working on a solution to that problem as well. Introducing, the iToilet.

We’ve got one on order.

Love to you all,