Tag Archives: bad day

Why Slugs?

Last night at quasi-church we were asked what one question we’d ask of God given the chance, and the title of this post was mine.
I can just about cope with them eating my garden, which is a bit of a mess anyway. I can live with them being everywhere, and not being able to go outside barefoot at all.
I hate them getting in the house, but I’ve not seen one in the kitchen for a while.
I can even cope with the recently reported Welsh breed of carnivorous slug, because it wouldn’t have caused the problem I had last week. Rhys was away, so I put out a not for the milkman ordering half the amount of milk for the next couple of days. However when I got up the following morning, I found I had the usual amount of milk – a slug had eaten the note.
Not only that, but it wasn’t until I got the bottles into the kitchen that I noticed a slug on each one.

Back to Blighty

Actually we got back on Monday, but it’s been one of those weeks.

Currently waiting for a friend to turn up, he’s told several people he is coming to see me this afternoon, but not me. This is slightly annoying, as I was going to be out this afternoon, but now I have to stay in, because I don’t see him very often and it might be important. (sigh)

I’m not sure whether to alert you to this, but it’s a bit too strange to let it pass by – Maddy Prior is best known as the singer from Steeleye Span, if you’re wondering where you’ve heard of her, she’s also done an album of Wesley songs, and a few Christmas ones. Now she is weirding people out it seems.

We’re having a bathroom fitted at the moment, which is very exciting, but which also means, obviously, we don’t have a bath. Why is it that the point at which you have no bath you feel like having a long soak? Still, lovely bathroom coming up, much better than the peeling damp, grotty peach and cream coloured monstrosity that was.

I’m finding myself really looking forward to Christmas this year, Rhys should be able to get some time off, and we plan to kick back for a bit, maybe watch some of the films and other dvds we keep buying / renting / recording. Mostly though, it will be great to have pretty much all the major work on the house done, and just enjoy it for a bit. Until we decide that we want a door there, and a real fireplace here and here, and new carpets in those rooms, and a re-paint of this bit…

If I were a butterfly… I wouldn’t be inside on a day like this.

A long day spent preparing for a prayer meeting. Not only could I not find the acetates for ‘If I Were A Butterfly’ (which for some reason we decided to sing) we also didn’t have any acetates. The local stationers, although helpful enough to be there and sell acetates charged through the nose, and so when one cocked up I found myself scratching off the words ‘fuzzy wuzzy bear’ so that the 90p sheet would not go to waste.

Another shop opened today, very near the stationers, it is very odd to have a delicatessen in walkable distance from my house (and right underneath the flat of one regular reader of this blog, but she’s away on holiday). They sell very nice cheese anyway, please visit their site if you live near them, and encouraging them to stock fair trade produce would be good. Ta.

Anyway, must go, the prayer meeting and a bacon sandwich calls.

“The fridge is still working…

…That’s what I keep telling myself, the fridge is still working” – Nina, Truly Madly Deeply…

…Except our fridge isn’t working, or the freezer, or the washing machine, or… well anything in our kitchen / dining room that needs ekletricity. At least we have a gas oven and matches and a camping kettle.

It wouldn’t be quite so bad had I not told a friend that she could use our freezer as hers packed up over the weekend. Hopfully the nice electrician will sort it out by then.

Chip shop tonight then :)

Well that was a silly thing to do

No sooner do I mention the fact that we’re moving soon in this blog, I find out that actually, we’re not. The move has been put back another 3 weeks at least – time to sort out the rest of the filing cabinet then.

We had some nice men come and put a fence up in our garden anyway, so the house is up to scratch. We’re just going to be living round boxes for another month.

And having pretty much run all of our food down, we’re now having to go shopping to re-fill all of our cupboards only to run them down in another month.

Such is life.


Our shower rail has been giving us problems since we moved into this place, we have patched up, re-connected, and generally tended to it’s needs for 3 1/2 years, then, 1 month before we move, I hear a loud crack as I get into the shower…

no, I don't know why there's an empty bottle of shower gel there either

…at least the replacement costs less than a tenner.

I’m ill

Just thought I’d tell everyone. I have a cold – and a party for a church youth group to attend in less than 4 hours time. I’ve been up since 4:30am, because I couldn’t sleep, due to only being able to breathe when sitting/standing up and conscious. This is not good. I knew today would not be a good one when my (free off the back of a cereal packet) ‘Chilly and Friends’ advent calendar had a picture of a smiling dog in it.

All of this being the case, I put off Christmas shopping for another day, and stayed home, only to see the most strange edition of Neighbours for quite some time. A celebration of a Serbian Othodox Saints Day , or Krsna Slava. At least Jack and Izzy weren’t featured, or Chandler’s Dad Nina’s mum.

video nasty

Our video decided to break yesterday, taking with it the tape of Neighbours episode 4292 which was about as tear-jerking as soaps get. I’d wanted to keep the episode on tape to watch again at my leisure, at least I got to see it ‘in real time’ I suppose.

I know, it’s only a soap. Rhys has gone out to buy a new video though.

At least it wasn’t Drew and Libby’s wedding.

(any anti-Neighbours comments will be deleted)

late, but lots of links.

Today has not been a good day. Firstly, I tried to type up this wiblog this morning, and after about 2 hours of research and typing, I pressed one wrong button, and erased the lot (don’t ask). So I then went over to see Soo for dinner, and locked myself out. Rhys helpfully came back with the key, but it has really not been very useful as far as days go. I have also just counted the number of cherry stones by my side and it appears I am going to marry a sailor, which might be fine, had I not married a computer programmer.

Well the upshot of all this is that I have learned a lesson, and am typing this into Word, so I can save it at intervals, and not delete it all again…save… there, no excuse now.

May 14th: Matty Groves.

Right, what was I saying about this this morning? OK, well, it’s a traditional ballad, which seems to be found on both sides of the Atlantic in some version or another. In fact there are so may variations, it would be possible (though probably a little tiresome) to spend the whole of May looking at this one song, there’s also enough verses in some versions to keep us going on a verse a day well into June. So it is hard to find a definitive version. Here we turn to one of the bibles of folk music, the work of ballad collector extraordinaire, Francis Child, where it is entitled “Mattie Groves (variant of Little Musgrove and Lady Barnard)”, or for folk purists, “Child #81”. (Incidentally any folk purists with a spare £848.77 to spend might want to check out this copy of Child’s complete 5 volume set of “The English and Scottish Popular Ballads”.

Really it is just a popular song about a scandalous occurrence (probably fictitious) that has survived through the centuries because it is fun to sing (especially with a few verses getting the chop), and great to listen to, overflowing with theatrical spirit, it is a song that must be performed rather than played. The story goes that the wife of a lord uses her position to entrap ‘little Matty Groves’ into spending the night with her while her husband is away. Unfortunately the exchange of words is heard by the lord’s servant, who runs to tell his master of his wife’s deceit. So it is that the lord rushes home to find Matty asleep in his wife’s bed. (Up until this point, I have always been reminded of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife (except with a much better tune than Mr Lloyd Webber could ever dream of, no matter what colour coat he wore).) At this sight Matty is challenged to a sword fight, which to cut a long story (and at least 4 verses) short he loses. Being the olden days this means he is now dead. So the lord asks his wife to choose between him and the corpse. Rather irrationally she chooses the lifeless body over the angry guy with the sword in his hand. She doesn’t last long after that. The lord then calls for a single grave to be dug for the sorry pair (no expense spared there then), and the last line must be quoted because a paraphrase would lose a lot: “but won’t you bury my lady at the top, for she was of noble kin”. There we are then.

I have mentioned the many different versions of this song, and a good way of illustrating this is the number of names given to the ‘lord with the sword’:

Child #81 lists alternatives of Barnaby, Barnetts, Bengwill, Barlibas, Barnet and Burnett in England, also Thomas, Danial and Banner in the Appalachians. Other alternatives include; Airlin; Donald; Arnold; Arlen; Darnell and Barnard. The most likely explanation for the lord’s name changing so much, and Matty’s staying pretty much the same is that the name of the nearest local lord with a name or character that suited the song was added in every location it was sung. The rumour mill still works this way today, adding a well known name to the latest bit of scandal, irrespective of any actual involvement – it’s the story that wins out in the end.

I mentioned before that the closest we can get to the definitive version is to look in Child’s collected ballads, this was a little misleading, as I believe a definitive version cannot exist on paper, it must be sung, and in the case of Matty Groves in particular, performed. For that, you need these guys. Fairport Convention have been singing this song since almost their beginning, and it’s not worn thin yet. The tune they use for it is a combination of an English one also used in Martin Carthy’s version of The Famous Flower of Serving Men and an American tune called Shady Grove (which Jerry Garcia used to sing – you can play a clip on that site too.). The two tunes work together wonderfully, and with constant adaptation, like adding some of Sid Kipper’s words of wisdom on interior decorating, the song remains fresh.

Incidentally, given the date I was going to write about another trad/Fairport song, but it was too rude: you have been warned.