Friday, August 05, 2011

New blog

Over here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An explanation, of sorts

Two and a half years ago The Man was diagnosed with cancer. When I asked him if I could blog about it, he asked me not to.

I have honoured that request, and will continue to do so. I will not write about his illness. When I write about him, I will write about the happy, strong times, which is what he wanted me to remember.

He died last September.


A few years ago he and I were sitting here in our room, both working at our computers, and we were silent for a very long time, concentrating on our different tasks. In a pause, while I was thinking about whatever it was I was doing, I found myself staring at him and feeling ridiculously comfortable and happy. I spoke without thinking.

"I love being with you," I told him. "It's just like being alone."

As soon as I said it I wished I had thought before speaking. It sounded wrong, and could have been taken the wrong way. But I needn't have worried. He smiled. He understood exactly what I meant.

But we were both wrong. Being alone is not the same. i am regaining my equilibrium now, but it is taking time.


This is the hardest blog post I have ever written.


I will stop writing on this blog now, although I will keep it open, at least for now. (How else can I remember my life if I don't have written records? I have a rubbish memory!) But at some point – soon – I will start another one for this new stage in my life. I will let you know when I do, and I intend it to be soon. He made me promise to keep writing. It was the only thing he he wanted me to promise, in the end. He thought it was important. I know it made him happy. He liked to read it.


In the meantime, do buy Quakebook. Even if you are not interested in reading it, think of it as a small donation that means a lot, for all the people who lost the people and places they loved in the earthquake and tsunami, and who are still struggling to deal with their loss. They lost a lot more than I did. They lost loved ones and homes and jobs and neighborhoods and towns. They are still suffering terribly. They are not in the media so much now, but that doesn't mean they are not still there, still suffering. They do not want to be victims. They want to have ordinary lives. It will take them a long time, but you can help them to get there.

We had time to say goodbye. They did not. I cannot imagine the pain of that.


That's all for now. I'm not sure if it's a threat or a promise, but I will be back soon!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


A very good thing. Out soon.


Update: - A Twitter-sourced charity book about how the Japanese Earthquake at 2:46 on March 11 2011 affected us all. Raising money for the Japan Red Cross.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I love the way this story just grows and grows:

August 5th
33 possible centenarians 'missing'

August 15th
Missing centenarians climb to 281: survey

September 11
234,000 centenarians listed in registries missing

Give them another couple of months and there'll be nobody left!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What IS it?

I bought one of these today. There are no prizes for guessing what it is, but there should be.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Me! Me! Me!

Wish I'd had something better than a phone camera with me...

Misleading sign

What this sign SHOULD say:

"Flushing will be carried out when you sit down. It will be carried out again when you are having a deeply thoughtful moment, possibly two or three times. It will NOT, however, be carried out as you leave, unless you are having a particularly lucky day, You may as well have that smoke."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mysterious chuckle

Monday, May 31, 2010

Jumping the gnu

Well, my attempt to jump-start the blog again didn't work – all it achieved was that I felt guilty every time I got home from work and didn't have the energy to write anything. However, I have been keeping notes about possible blog entries, and here are the notes:

1. Spear ... spear ...
2. Fewmale
3. Of age
4. Integrity
5. Neighbor foot
6. Never foot
7. Jumping the gnu

I'll take these in order.

1. A class was looking at a picture of the Colosseum in the textbook, and I explained to them that it was a stadium built 2000 years ago. They thought about this for a while, and were wondering who would have used it. One of the students suddenly shouted,

"Spear – spear – !"

We all stared at him.

"Spear?" I said, thinking of Christians and lions and gladiators. I supposed some of them used spears, but wasn't sure.

"Brittney Spears!" he yelled. "No, wait ... "

There was an uproar of derision from the other students.

"SHAKEspeare!" he shouted, and after that the only derision left was mine, carefully concealed

"I don't think Shakespeare was around then," I told him.

2. I was giving a dictation in which the word female appeared. The students puzzled over this until one of them decided that it was spelt fewmale, and informed the others. Everybody else nodded wisely and wrote it down.

3. This one came from listening to podcasts on my way to and from work. Why do people say that someone is '20 years of age' instead of saying that they are '20 years old,' or just 'twenty'? I don't know why, but it always sounds clumsy to me. Or perhaps pretentious, although I'm pretty sure it's not intended that way.

4. Why can we only HAVE integrity? Why is there no adjective for this particular noun? Honesty becomes honest. Honour becomes honourable. Why can't we say, She is integrit, or integrable, or something like that?

5 and 6. These are variations of neighborhood my students came up with in another dictation. Is there a bank in your neighbor foot?

I wonder what they thought it meant?

7. I wrote to one of my bosses to ask about whether it would be all right for me to do something (never mind what, it's not important or interesting), and then before hearing back I actually did it, after which I got a reply telling me not to just yet. In my reply to THAT email, I apologized for jumping the gnu.

Some typos are better than others. That was definitely one of the good ones, and I'm keeping it.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Title dilemma

"Froggy Bottom"? Or "Frogs 'n' Roses"?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Rose progress

Jasmine, too...