Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring is officially here!

The first cows, bleary-eyed and confused are taking their first tentative steps into the daylight. God knows what they’ll think when they find New Labour is still in power.

Wish you were here?

To all our ex pat chums around the globe.
Latest state of play in the home land.
Good old British Beer now £2:50 a pint =£20 per gallon.
Priorities still in order Petrol £5:20 per Imperial gallon.
Price for plastic bags at the supermarket threatened to be 5 pence per bag as of 1st May.

Textures and Rust

Sorry folks I seem to have been inordinately busy lately, doing what I’m not quite sure. After eighteen months of retirement, I seem to be losing the plot. However, I will try harder.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

This is the last?.....

Yesterday, 25th April, but by late afternoon it was gone.

... and a parrot in the morning.

Nice heron, Helga. Are you getting more frogs in?
In the theme of images avian, meet my fleeting friend from this morning. I had risen early to snap the mass balloon launch across the lake in front of Parl. House. But there was fog. Thick fog. A trip up Black Mountain saw me looking down on the fog covering all of Canberra, and looking up at a King Parrot chuckling at me. So in the absence of a balloon, he becomes my aeronautical pic of the day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

a thief in the night!...

...seems a somewhat hungry heron, intent on doing a spot of fishing, dropped by our house earlier...or so I'm reliably informed by our neighbour next door who took these photos!...He poached a frog, (the heron not the neighbour!), however the fish have all come out of hiding and passed 'tail count'! :)

They're everywhere, I tells you

Scattered amongst the Anzac Day marchers were Kiwis, Greeks, Poles, Americans, and a horse with its boots on backwards. Then, to the approval of the surrounding gene pool, along came the British.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A wonderful bird is the pelican

Its beak can hold more than its belly can.
It can hold in its beak
Enough food for a week.
Which meant stuff all when this sucker came along at 500 knots.

Free Tibet

This is about as bad as it got. Plus a few tackles in the crowd as the red and blue corners came too close to each other - but otherwise a pleasant Canberra day. There was a bit of effort involved in keeping the "flame attendants" in check, but given the politics of this year's event, it all went off relatively well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Olympic Torch Relay Security

A front-line RAAF balloon mounts a dawn patrol over Parliament House in Canberra after the Olympic Flame arrived today. Barricades surround the city centre along the torch relay route to force people to jump a small fence if they want to attract headlines in about 12 hours time. I'll probably get woken up by fireworks and didgeridoos at 6am and a few hours later I get to watch the runners pass near my office. I'll let you know if anyone gets arrested.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pope meets the Big B's

During the Popes visit to USA the following comment was rumoured to pass between the "B" Team.
The Pope said I have waited along while to talk to you two B- - - - - ds!!
Gordon being as chatty as possible said it is an honour to meet you. Bush nodde to Gordon and agreed.
Gordon followed up saying "I expect you met my pal Tony also?"
The Pope said . Hmm yes another of you B---dy B's!!
His first confession is the longest I have ever had to sit thru.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Benelux Tour?

I have seen on the old fashion communication board (TWA) a message suggesting Southern folk visit your Benelux area.( Posted 15th April.)
There is a possibilty this Deep South person will need to visit Benelux on a fund seeking trip (Work)
If it is acceptable to you in €uro habitats we could meet up for a Spa water ,roll mop met frites zonder mayo:
This trip will be after "victory" visit to North London -Wembley.
Then you could hear the whole 90 minutes kick by kick all over again, should you desire?
Where in the flat lands is a suitable venue for you?
My visit when confirmed possibly takes in Antwerpen,Den Haag,Vlissingen,Bergen op Zoom, any of these close. Last 2 weeks of May 2008.
Goed a reizen--AUB

What a pong!!!

Can see why you went away this weekend Paul - Muck spreading in The Netherlands is to blame for a Pong in the Southern part of UK - even the Queen got a whiff of it apparently. Did not reach Nottingham though thank goodness.

Friday, April 18, 2008

with the olympics in mind...

...thought I'd just break up all these words a tad with pictures of some serious sporting activities! :)

For those concerned at flying!

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet,'
which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics
correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then
pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said
that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance
complaints submitted by UPS ' pilots (marked with a P) and the
solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.
By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last..................

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

www.= Weekend Words Wisdom

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine... and those who don't.
As Ben Franklin said: "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria."
In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in faeces.

In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of pooh.
However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.
Remember: Water = Pooh, Wine = Health
Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of, s h ONE t . This valuable information: It is sent as a public service.

Bon Weekend to all you Cavaliers where ever you are in the big wide world.

Anyone into balloons?

A view from DownunderCanberra will look like this next week during the annual balloon fest. Only did it one time - as best man during a wedding in a basket. Drank volumes of bubbly before and after the ride, and landed in the middle of a bunch of kangaroos in a vinyard. If you like getting up at dark-thirty on a cold morning, this is the sport for you!

Is there life out there?

Sun must be shining! It certainly is here. Maybe there's been a world-wide power failure (Ameringlish: power outage) except in Norfolk, Virginia. Where is everyone?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Paddy met Mick in the street and Mick said,

"Paddy, will you draw your bedroom curtains before making love to your wife in the future?"

"Why?" Paddy asked.

"Because,” said Mick, “All the street was laughing when they saw you making love yesterday!" "Silly buggers!” Replied Paddy, “The laughs on them………… I wasn't home yesterday!!"

So, who wears the trousers...?

Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

The first man had married a woman from Illinois and had told her that she was going to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple of days, but on the third day he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away.

The second man had married a woman from Michigan. He had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking. The first day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man had married a beautiful girl from Brooklyn. He told her that her duties were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything, but by the third day some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, enough to fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher.

Reaction on seeing a Pom.

40 years in Australia next year and I still get stares from the locals.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Slow internet

I wonder if any of you experienced a case of the internet dragging weed on the 15th April. If you did, this is possibly because it is tax filing day here in USA and many, many people leave their filing until the last minute. It is possible to actually fill in and file a tax return on line - which, of course, takes time - and, since we're mostly served by flat fee internet service providers here, folk don't care how long they spend on line!

!5th of April deserves another mention. 'Twas this day 36 years ago that Jen and I married.

Not a lot of people - apparently including our progeny - know that!

OTD 50 years ago

It's 50 years to the month (or maybe even the day ) since I first travelled north to a certain seat of learning on the north German coast. I had to tell someone, and I knew you lot might be sympathetic ! From what Dmitri has said I gather it was his first term too. Seems like yesterday. By total coincidence, today I spoke to Bob Innes for the first time since 1965 ! The years just fell away.

Think most of us can relate to these comments

Think you might like to turn sound off though!!


Last one ...
Separating from an aircraft is relatively simple.

But you have to time it well.

seems even four wheels won't cut it, Paul! :)

Aircraft versus women.

I was recently shown this, which may explain my choice of career ...

An aircraft will kill you quick. . . a woman takes her time.
Aircraft like to do it inverted.
Aircraft can be turned on by a flick of a switch.
An aircraft does not get mad if you ‘touch and go.’
An aircraft does not object to a pre-flight inspection.
Aircraft come with manuals.
Aircraft have strict weight and balance limits.
You can fly an aircraft any time of the month.
Aircraft don’t have parents.
Aircraft don’t whine unless something is really wrong.
Aircraft don’t care about how many other aircraft you have flown.
When flying, you and your aircraft both arrive at the same time.
Aircraft don’t mind if you look at other aircraft.
Aircraft don’t mind if you buy aircraft magazines.
Aircraft require mandatory servicing.
It’s always OK to use tie-downs on your aircraft.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The art of seduction!

Three women, one engaged, one married and one a mistress, are chatting
about their relationships and decided to amaze their men. That night all three will wear black leather bras, stiletto heels and a mask over their eyes. After a few days they meet up for lunch.The engaged woman said, “The other night when my boyfriend came over he found me in a black leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask. He saw me and said, "You are the woman of my life. I love you." Then we made love all night.” The mistress said, “Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office and I was wearing the leather bodice, heels, a mask over my eyes and a raincoat. When I opened the raincoat he didn't say a word, but we had wild sex all night.” The married woman said, “I sent the kids to stay at my mother's house for the night. When my husband came home I was wearing the leather bodice, black stockings, stilettos and a mask over my eyes. As soon as he came in the door and saw me he said, "What's for dinner, Batman?"


I rear-ended the car in front of me. I admit that. It was my fault.
So, we both pull over to the side of the road, and slowly the driver of
the car I hit gets out of his car. . . and you know how you
just-get-sooo-stressed... and life... sometimes life seems like... suddenly

Well, the driver of the car I hit is a DWARF!

He gets out of his car and I get out of my car.

He is frowning and scowling and he storms over to me. Right up close
to me, he looks up in my face and says, "I AM NOT HAPPY!"

And I don't know what possessed me, officer, but I look down at him
and I said, "Well, if you're not Happy -- which one are you?"
. . . . and that's when the fight started...!

On the subject of bells..........

Quasimodo died. The Bishop of Paris was beside himself. Nobody could ring the changes with such passion. The Bishop advertised in the Church Times of Paris and several people applied. None was acceptable. He was about to give up when a man with no arms arrived and asked to be considered.
Thinking 'theres no 'arm in that', the Bishop asked,"How will you ring the bells?"
"Come with me" Replied the man and led the way up to the belfry.
He ran across the belfry floor and struck the carillon with the side of his head. Running about, he struck each bell in the same manner. The tone was superb. People gathered in the street below, stunned at hearing such clarity. The man lined up again on the carillon, ran at it, missed completely and flew out of the belfry, falling to his death on the street below.
The Bishop rushed down the narrow staircase and out into the street. He bent over the unfortunate man and someone from the crowd asked, "Who was he?". The Bishop sighed and replied, "I've no idea...........but his face certainly rings a bell!"

The following day, there was a knock on the Bishop's door at Notre Dame. In came the brother of the man with no arms, begging to be considered in his stead. Up to the belfry they went and the brother sized up the carillon, raised a large hammer over his head to strike it and fell to the belfry floor, dead.
"Oh God!" Cried the Bishop. A cannon heard him and rushed to see what had happened.
"Did you know this man?" He asked.
"No" Replied the Bishop.........."But he is a dead ringer for his brother!"

Happy Birthday to our founder!

It has not escaped our notice that it's Liz Bird's birthday. On behalf of our entire blogging community we wish the founding member of our association many happy returns!

back to managers again..

A big mining company recently hired several cannibals. 'You are all part of our team now', said the HR manager during the welcoming briefing. 'You get all the usual benefits and you can go to the cafeteria for something to eat, but please don't eat any of the other employees'. The cannibals promised they would not.
Four weeks later their boss remarked, 'You're all working very hard, I'm satisfied with you. However, one of our Admin girls has disappeared. Do any of you know what happened to her?' The cannibals all shook their heads indicating 'No'.
After the boss had left, the leader of the cannibals said to the others, 'Which one of you idiots ate the Admin chick?'
A hand rose hesitantly, to which the leader of the cannibals continued, 'You fool!!!!! For four weeks we've been eating Managers and Supervisors and no one noticed anything, but noooooo, you had to go and eat someone important!!!!'

Sunday, April 13, 2008

40 years ago...

Its very quiet on this blog, maybe its moved to a different place without me knowing?!!!:) Just kidding. Today is a milestone for me, on April 13th 1968 I arrived in Canada to start a new life - and immediately wanted to go back to England! I was so homesick that I couldnt function properly, in fact on the next day - a Sunday - I couldnt even work out how to turn on the cookstove to boil the kettle for a cup of tea, because the controls were the opposite to the ones on the stove I had in England! To say I was stunned with misery is putting it mildly, it was to be many days before I was able start taking an interest in things. Of course it did get better, but very slowly, and it was to be some years before I felt at home here, well in Ontario actually. My then husband and I had said if we hadnt made a good life in 5 years we would go back, but when that time came around we couldnt afford to return and start again. So that realisation coincided with our first trip back (my Dad's Christmas gift to us) and we knew we had to make the best of it, so we did. As the years went by we did make a good life for ourselves, but life has many twists and turns doesnt it, and 10 years after moving down here to PEI it once again decided to change my existance entirely. So it was back to "making the best of a bad job", and getting on with life. Which once again, I did. Today life is good and even though homesickness never quite goes away, it is a shadow of its former self. Why am I posting this? Well I wanted to share with you something that people that I have met here could never understand, and some of you definitely will, as you have done the same thing that I did 40 years ago. To those who didnt, you too will understand the feelings that go with leaving friends and family if only for a short time when our parents were posted to another country. Anyway thanks for listening and understanding, my long distance friends.

Friday, April 11, 2008

There's many a slip twixt................

A fellow went into a chemist and asked for some deodourant.

"Will that be ball or aerosol?" Asked the assistant.

"Neither" Replied the man somewhat indignantly, "I'm going to use it under my arms!"

Bloody Furinners.

I guess we all learnt from an early age that when travelling abroad that you should never drink the water. Added to which, most foreigners have nasty unhygienic habits, such as the French with their ‘starting blocks’ toilets. I’m a great fan of the larger Greek Islands, but I find their predilection for savouring and storing used toilet paper gross to say the least. Consequently, when booking hotels Mrs. D is always constrained to ask whether they have proper ‘white mens’ toilets. Notwithstanding this, I thought I would share with Bloggers this humorous little ditty I found attached to the wall in a Cyprus toilet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Teresa Brewer [Music music music] rare version

Heres another one from those far off days. This clip from about 1951 or 52.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring is on the way....

Spring arrives late in the Moorlands but the early harbingers are beginning to appear……

…stuff is stirring in the hedge bottoms…….

…..and of course there are the lambs…

…sadly a sheep’s life is short, made worse by the fact that as mother says it will all be spent under New Labour….

….as she pithily observed it’s quite depressing really….

… young males experience the first rush of testosterone at quite an early stage…

….and there’s even a suggestion of blossom about.

……. as well as the ubiquitous daffodils

Monday, April 07, 2008

I prefer not to do it in the dark

About a decade after leaving PRS I was learning new ways to enjoy life.

Sometimes I did it alone.

Sometimes I did it with others.

But I always enjoyed it best in broad daylight.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

For those who missed today's snow

It’s a dog’s life!

If you ever wondered what happened to you favourite musical dog, he’s been living happily in retirement since the demise of vinyl. Unfortunately, he declined to be interviewed.

Friday, April 04, 2008


...(Passing requires 4 correct answers)

1) How long did the Hundred Years' War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get cat gut?
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI's first name?
8) What colour is a purple finch?
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
10) What is the colour of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Remember, you need 4 correct answers to pass...and no cheating!
Check your answers below.

1) 116 years
2) Ecuador
3) Sheep and Horses
4) November
5) Squirrel fur
6) Dogs
7) Albert
8) Crimson
9) New Zealand
10) Orange (of course!)

What do you mean, you failed?... :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Welcome to UK

Funny if you take out the Maggie Thatcher bit things haven't really changed! What is waiting for you Paul at customs...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Of Austin Sevens

In an earlier post, Paul and Helga, the subject of Austin Sevens arose. I have two tales.

An eccentric friend of my folks was Freddie Connolly. A rubber planter, he and his family lived in a stockade outside Kaula Lumpur in the early/mid '50s. Terrorist activity meant that there was an armed guard 24/7. Freddie came acrosss a yellow and black Austin Ruby in the jungle, found it belonged to the chief of a nearby campong - who had retired it in favour of a new Austin Cambridge. Freddie hauled the thing to his stockade, cleaned it up and got it running (magneto ignition, not difficult if all the bits were there) and was thereafter often to be seen, resplendent in period boater and with his sten gun on the seat beside him, driving this splendid old car with its top down. It was very loud and he could be heard coming from quite a distance.

In the early 70s, a very pregnant Jen and I took a camping holiday in the Lake District. We spent most of it shrouded in mist, studying ordnance survey maps and trying to imagine what the surrounding scenery might have been like. One camp site we visited only for as long as it took Jen to a loo in the large old barn. A cow stuck its head over the adjoining wall and scared the doo doo out of her....and we found another campsite. Anyway, in our VW 1300, loaded with camping gear, we headed for Hardknott and Wrynose passes been there in years but at the time the road was wide enough for one car and with passing lay-bys every now and then. Our VW REALLY struggled with the 33% odd gradient and, at one point, I even resorted to reversing up. Between the two passes is a pub (I don't recall the name). We stopped for refreshment and, on this occasion, the sun was out and the scenery was magnificent. I was absolutely gobsmacked when several Austin Sevens appeared over the top of the pass, having apparently made the climb without resorting to reverse!

History of our pals across the pond

History Mystery of the US of A

Have a history teacher explain this--if they can?
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln 's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln .

Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln , was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln , was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Now hang on to your seat.
Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Ford.'
Kennedy was shot in a car called ' Lincoln ' made by 'Ford.'
Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.
Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.
And here's the kicker...

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe , Maryland
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.!!

Did a lot a people know that?

Countryside Matters

For the first of the Spring’s countryside reports I have selected Ardea cinerea as I know our Blogmaster has a special soft spot for them. Finding a Grey Heron these days takes patience, they tend to be like buses, you never see one for days and then suddenly they appear one after the other.

The River Dove seemed like a good place to start as it’s constantly stocked with trout to humour the idle rich. Sure enough after half an hour, I found one gazing into the river waiting for some unsuspecting trout to make the wrong move.

The question was could I get close enough to get a photograph that would satisfy and our fastidious bloggers and put all these other up and coming photographers firmly in their place?

Getting within a 100 ft. was easy enough but once that threshold was crossed my fishing heron became increasingly suspicious.

For the next 40 mins we played a charade redolent of the childhood game ‘What’s your name Mr Wolf?’ Every time she gazed into the swirling torrent I crept forward an inch. Each time she turned, I stood stock still, prominently displaying my ‘I never voted for New Labour’ badge hoping that would put her mind at rest.

Two or three times she looked ready to take flight. Meanwhile I whiled away my time listening to Van Morrison on my i-pod. One of Mrs. D’s favourite albums, with songs about her home like ‘Coney Island,’ ‘I’ll Tell My Ma,’ the song she used to skip to as a child and ‘Star of the County Down,’ which of course is what she is. The music spilling from the headphones seemed to placate the hereon too as she looked increasingly relaxed and at one point began to tap her foot.

Bit by bit I inched forward. Easing through a hedge disaster struck. I became well and truly stuck on barbed wire, proximal to parts that once used to house 75% of my capacity for thought.

Eventually, I broke free, moved closer, got the shots I wanted and then suddenly it was all over.