Archive for September, 2006

Irritated Nerves

No, I’m not suffering from PMT or any other hormonal problems at the moment.  In fact I feel quite relaxed and happy since I handed my notice in at work, especially since my workload has plummeted and I get loads of free time at work :D.  No-one wants me to start anything now as I won’t be around to see it through.  Such a shame.

I am in fact suffering from persistant parasthesia (pins and needles) in my left leg and left arm – probably a throwback to being pregnant and excessively swollen.  I started out with backache and sciatica in my left leg which cleared up partially when I started taking anti-inflammatory medication, but the pins and needles will not shift and I still get the odd pain shooting down my leg.  It’s my clutch leg, so not so good if it happens while I’m driving.

This means that every few days I have to go to hospital, lie on a ridiculously narrow trolley while a physio pulls me into positions that afficionados of yoga or even the kama sutra would be proud to achieve.  She then says, “Does it hurt when I do this?” while she presses down, really hard, on various parts of me.  She can tell when it hurts.  I scream.

I have exercises to do at home which include one where I sit up straight and stick my tits out push out my chest and lift my leg up slightly.  Needless to say I haven’t done this in the office yet.

The aim of all this torture is to free up the irritated nerve from whatever is irritating it, meaning the pins and needles and pain will stop.  Hopefully.

Then they will start on my shoulder.  Lovely.


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Paignton Zoo

I’ve never been a fan of zoos as such, I always have pictures in my head of caged animals going demented through lack of space, although I do realise that most modern zoos aren’t like that at all. We decided on a day out at Paignton Zoo though, Little’un is such an animal fanatic that it seemed a shame not to take her there.

Well to be honest it was a little disappointing, especially for the entrance money (two adults came to about £27, inclusive of a “voluntary” donation toward the new crocodile house). There were the obligatory shagging animals (tortoises in this case, not the most comfortable coupling I’m sure, but better than porcupines I suppose) and the essential monkey with an erection (although he wasn’t playing with it, which I know monkeys in zoos are supposed to do, but this one hadn’t read the script) but other than that there wasn’t very much to see.

The big cats’ enclosures are quite impressive and must be very comfortable for the tigers/lions/cheetahs. The upshot of this though is that it’s very difficult to see them. The zoo has set feeding times for the big cats, for which the public are invited to view and meet the keeper, but we decided against it as Little’un is still quite small and the crowds were quite big. So disappointing, I desperately wanted a picture of some tiger feet 😀 .

There is a very impressive collection of hornbilled birds, which are very pretty but not very interesting to a two-year-old and very difficult to photograph – my camera is cheap and crap and kept focussing on the wires of the cage rather than the birds.

I felt desperately sorry for the lone rhino, which was pacing up and down its enclosure in a truly demented fashion. Little’un was fascinated by it though and still mentions seeing the rhino now. I think the rhino needs a friend, maybe it has one and it was temporarily absent. I really hope so.

The highlight for me was definitely the elephants. There were two of them, and they seemed settled and happy, as far as I could tell. They were standing together when we arrived at the enclosure, which has public viewing access all around it. They were clearly having a chat:
“All right Fred, your turn to take the right hand side, I’ll amble over to the left as soon as I can be arsed.”
“Right you are then Reg. I’m on me way. And don’t forget to pick stuff up with your trunk. You know they love it.”
The smaller one of the two made his way to the opposite side of the enclosure and after a few minutes the larger one wandered towards us. Little’un was entranced. She waved her arm in front of her nose in an elephant stylee for a while. ‘Twas almost as entertaining as watching the elephants 😀 .


The giraffe enclosure was empty, apparently new giraffes are being brought in sometime this month. I wonder what happened to the old ones?

The tropical zone is very good, although the single crocodile was disappointingly small (I believe it was a caiman rather than a crocodile) and asleep. I only hope that all the “voluntary” donations will build something a little more impressive.

The monkey enclosure is excellent, there are plenty of different species and they seem to be breeding successfully – there are a few young including an impossibly cute baby. They had plenty to play with and swing from and seemed to like their home. The big apes also have a great enclosure (for them) but again it’s very difficult to see them as it is heavily forested. The ape house stank to high heaven, but I can imagine that it would be very difficult to keep spotlessly clean.

I was looking forward to showing Little’un the zebras. She has a plastic one at home and was most impressed with herself when she realised that it wasn’t actually a stripy horsie but an actual different animal. We can’t get her to pronounce the “r” in zebra though, so we wanted to see the “zebbas”. Again, they had a lovely enclosure with plenty of room to roam, but they were so far away that all you could see were vaguely stripy dots grazing near the top of the slope.

Another highlight was the lemurs, that live in a huge enclosure that the public can enter via “airlock” style double sets of doors at either end. We were lucky enough to get there at feeding time so that we could see them running around fairly close at hand.

We had lunch in an undercover seated area near the monkey enclosure, where peacocks roamed free and nicked some of our (excellent) chips. Unsurprisingly, Little’un chased them round (see entry on Dawlish). The peacocks were quite charming, but will probably be dead of coronaries by the end of next year given all the crap they were eating. A passing seagull shat on the table next to us, which made quite an impression on a delighted Little’un. “Birdie poo on table! Hahahahahaha!”.

All in all we left feeling fairly disappointed. We managed to spend about 5 hours there though, so it can’t have been that bad ;). A lot of that time was spent walking around crap displays (crap for the public, although nice and homely for some of the displayees). Paignton Zoo seems to have a great record for breeding and conservation. Good for them say I. They have successfully bred many endangered species from ants to gorillas. Most of the animals have great homes that they are clearly very comfortable in. Fabulous work for a charity and supporter of wildlife, but a bit rubbish for the casual visitor.

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There is a plague upon this land

Not that I read The Sun you understand. I got the link from elsewhere. No, I really did.

I hate them, the spindly flying fuckers.  I know they don’t have big muscly legs and meaty jaws with rows and rows of pointy teeth specifically put there to eat me like spiders do, but they fly around and divebomb you while you are trying to watch telly or get to sleep.  When they die and you try and pick them up off the windowsill with a tissue, you end up with bits of legs everywhere.


Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the brief Indian summer we seem to be enjoying here in East Anglia, but the sooner the cold weather comes to finish the little bastards off the better.

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Happy Birthday to Sibling 3

The littlest sibling is 15 today 🙂

Happy birthday babe

mwah mwah

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Avast me hearties

Splice the mainbrace and swash yer buckle, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Go on, you know you want to 😀

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn’t eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you – but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones’ locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed – a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What’s Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

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For Sale…

…one Cheap Suit, as referred to my myself in a previous blog existence. Worn infrequently, mainly to job interviews over the past six months while the wearer has been searching from a way out from her current employment.

No longer required by the wearer who now has a New Job. That’s right, a New Job, with shorter hours (37.5 per week instead of 40), shorter journey to work (30 mile round trip instead of 45) and enough extra cash to afford a new car for the Yorkshireman who has managed to clap his old car out.

w00t 😀 😀 😀

The wearer has handed her notice in today, and will spend the next month mainly not giving a shit any more and surfing the net.

The Cheap Suit cost £25 from Matalan and has a size 18 jacket and size 20 trousers (yes, the wearer’s arse is proportionally bigger than the rest of her).

All genuine offers will be considered.

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If you have a child that think that the epitome of all that is good is a place that has trains, a beach, sea, pebbles, ducks and ice-cream then Dawlish is the place to go. It’s a very pretty seaside town right on the main train line between London and Plymouth and also has a park full of interestingly different ducks, geese and swans. We spent a very happy day there.

The train line runs right along the sea front to the north of the town centre, so you can walk along the sea front with the beach on one side and the train track on the other. The trains are fairly frequent and most of the train drivers are kind enough to wave at excited two year olds who jump up and down in delight and wave frantically every time one goes past :).


The beach in the centre of town is very pebbly with a bit of sand, but if you walk north just a couple of hundred yards, to just before the first major groyne, there is a lovely sandy bit that stretches down to the sea which was much kinder to Little’un’s feet. She really wasn’t keen on walking on pebbles.

It was just so funny when she fell in the sea 😀 (Not that I find other people’s misfortunes entertaining you understand. Well not much.) She was paddling and got knocked over by a wave, she got up, whimpered a bit, gave the sea a filthy look and just carried on with her day.

Lucy plays in the sand

We all found the beach fascinating – there were pretty pebbles, interesting shells and lots of seaweed, all far more interesting than the beaches nearer home which tend to be made up of sand and chip papers.

The Beach at Dawlish

The only downside to Dawlish beach is that you have to keep an eye on the tide. The sea comes right up to the sea wall in most places so if you’re not careful you’ll end up swimming home.

Once the tide started to bring the sea a bit too close for comfort, we got dried off and went for a wander round the town. There’s a smashing bakery facing onto the park (wish I could remember its name) where we bought food to munch on whilst we sat down and watched the ducks for a bit. When I say sit down and watch the ducks, I actually mean follow Little’un round while she chased aforementioned ducks, and try to stop her from falling into the pond in her enthusiasm to stroke one or tickle one with a feather.

Apparently Dawlish is famous for its Black Swans. I wasn’t aware of this as in my usual ignorant state I hadn’t heard of either Dawlish or Black Swans until not long before we got there; but we went there, I saw them and very nice they are too.

If you ever find yourself on the South Devon coast, you could do far worse than spend a day in Dawlish.

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