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The Christmas Beach

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Eddie Mair | 05:16 UK time, Monday, 25 December 2006

Welcome to the Christmas Beach. For new visitors, here’s a quick guide provided recently for Molly by Simon Worrall.

Sometimes it is fairly quiet, but you can leave your footprints for others to find later on. Othertimes it is the home for a real party, with constant gossip, rumour, innuendo, Christmas chit-chat and so on.
There is no direct answer to your question about finding your way. The beach is a moveable feast, literally. It will be renewed by our Lord and master Mr. Edward de Mair each Monday morning - even at Christmas. This is because we have found in the past that when the number of posts exceeds about 600 the entire thing becomes unwieldy and unstable.

If this were a forum (and it sort of is because we post responses to each other, not just to Eddie, hence our term for ourselves 'Froggers', a combination of forum and blogger) then the beach would be the off-topic area. It's a tropical location, no matter the time of year it's always warm and pleasant there. Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular and the evenings are balmy. It has a number of different locations; the Nick Clarke waterfront bar; the smokers corner; Fido's Run for the dog-walkers; and others.

Froggers often leave bottles / glasses of their favourite tipple on the bar for others to sample, not to mention big / small eats. For example last Thursday I left a bottle of Talisker and some crudites there, which were well received in some quarters.

There is a herd of camels who frequent the sands, which froggers are very fond of. Lately a bunch of reindeer have showed up from who-knows-where. There are never three wise men. Don't even bother looking for a virgin.

There are sun-loungers, so you can take it easy and catch some rays. Quite often the late-night attendees will have a barbie.
It's a fun place, with only one real rule; Be nice to each other. To answer another point you raise; we are ALL chums here.
The real debate happens on the other threads. The beach is a place for banter, whimsy, relaxation and friendship, where jarring comments are not particularly welcome. There are certain very mild protocols, which you tend to pick up as you go along. So slip your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes, relax and enjoy a mince pie.

And by the way, if you are interested the froggers have also created their own site at http://www.pmblog.co.uk/ .


  1. At 07:08 AM on 25 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    H A P P Y C H R i S T M A S E v E R Y O N E!!

    To all Froggers, PM lot and especially to the moderator, have a really lovely day! GMx

  2. At 07:13 AM on 25 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    MadMary! Here is your Christmas Present!
    (Hope you've allowed plenty of time!)

    Step on board here for the journey of a lifetime. Settle down in the luxurious surroundings and pour yourself a glass before dinner.

    Before you know it, you will be in romantic Paris and then whisked to beautiful Prague in time for a sumptuous Christmas lunch.

    Then on to magical Venice to frolic in the snow and finally on to exotic Istanbul where your journey ends. We hope you have the most wonderful time of your life, but just remember, too much champagne can be bad for your health!

    Off to work now, may see you all later!

  3. At 07:21 AM on 25 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Mary - sorry your Chritsmas present doesn't appear to have worked - none of the links have come out! SORRY!!!

  4. At 08:41 AM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Ho! Ho! Ho!

    You've all been good boys and girls, well most of you anyway. So here are some gifts that Santa has put under the tree.

    If there isn't a gift with your label on blame my elf who had a slight problem with the technology and lost the original checklist. For those whose names do not appear, there are special gifts, in stockings. You'll know what those are.

    Everyone gets a stocking with a satsuma, 12 shiney pennies (old money or chocolate whichever you prefer), a selection box, a small toy of your choice, and a christmas cracker).

    admin annie - weekend at a luxurious Health Spa in the company of Sean Bean
    andycrlucan - "Golden" acrylic paints and sable brushes and Roberson's canvasses (only the best!) and a night out with admin annie so that you can dance like Fred and Ginger.
    Aperitif - a date with Johnny Depp - who knows where that will lead!
    Annasee - magic harp - it plays all the music whilst you read a nice book, knit, or browse the internet.
    Anne P - lifetime's supply of cashmere and other lovely yarns
    Aunt Dahlia - a weekend at jonnies hotel
    Belinda - a magic bottle of Glenfiddich, when you're down to the last drop it refills itself
    Big Sister - Cashmere jumpers for everday of the week, and a case of booze, including Sancerre, Rum, Drambuie and Top Notch Cabernet Sauvignon
    Charles Hatton - magic Speedos (don't ask me what the magic bit is for you'll have to try them)
    chLuke - magic golf clubs, you win every game!
    Chris, London - your golf ball (found it on the beach)
    Doctor Hackenbush - A Clash Concert reunited as far as is possible solely for his entertainment - and all the albums
    Ed I - Controlling shares in Guiness
    FFred - lifelong season ticket for London Irish & Harlequins
    Fifi - A vineyard and winery to make her a lifetime's supply of Shiraz
    Frances O - glorious rug made by LadySnorkPen AND some long butter soft gloves
    gossipmistress - a date with James Bond or George Clooney, or George Clooney playing James Bond.
    HelenSparkles - shell earings made with fine silver wire by LadySnorkPenMaiden
    Jason Good - lifetimes supply of rose and lemon Turkish Delight, a Mutley Key Ring and a Thesaurus, and a Wii - you get four pressies because they were quite modest requests and a Wii is an excellent choice. If you really get one we can share Mii's and play games online!
    LadySnorkPenMaiden -
    Mark Intime - a complete set of all Airfix kits relating to military equipment. (Can't do much damage with that, but probably worth a bomb now)
    Molly - tickets to panto of choice with favourite celebrities of choice
    Mrs Naughtie - your stockings returned by Leslie Williams (new suspender belt to accompany)
    Mrs Trellis - a new twinset with pearls
    Perky - new mobile phone and camera
    RobbieJohnDo - a magic bottle with endless tipple of your choice, and the highest quality, smallest digital radio in the world.
    Sara - magic cigarettes, no health risk, no nasty smells, with diamond studded holder for sheer elegance
    Simon Worrall - his own restaurant with the best chefs in the business to either cook or assist him in cooking as he wishes
    Stainless Steel Cat - a beautifully carved piece of wood by Steve, so that you can touch it for luck and your mother's health
    Stewart M - Electronic OS maps that work on my PDA
    Val P - frying pan that makes smiley faces on the food, and a crate of Fernando de Castilla PX sherry that'll make your face smile.
    whisht - a weekend in a luxury hotel with spa and massage facilities.
    Mr Knibbs - a basket on the beach, turkey flavoured pet treats, a festive litter box, and a toy mouse with silver bells on
    Lissa - a complete aromatherapy set for the bathroom, candles, oils, fluffy towels, fluffy dressing gown, and a bottle of bubbly or several bottles

    All pressies wrapped by Tumbleflump Berry-Cracker
    Delivered by Santa Claus

    Mary Christmas everyone.

  5. At 08:55 AM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    GM, you'll be at work now so won't see this till later, but how lovely of you to remember!

    Thank you even if the link didn't work.

    I'll just pack my bags then.

    Hope your day isn't too busy.

    Merry Christmas


  6. At 09:14 AM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I posted the Christmas Present list before the post that appears here, and it didn't show up! So I've posted the list on my blog just in case.

    I'm off out for a quite stroll through my wood. See you all later.

    Merry Christmas again!


  7. At 09:26 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Happy Christmas to you all, and I wish everyone a great day, whatever their faith, and the atheists and agnostics, too.

  8. At 09:46 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Lovely to see you all here!

    Thanks for the pressies .. so thoughtful.

    We are just about to make a start on the December ones, now that SO has emerged from slumber.

    Late night carol singing was a huge success but the smoke leaking through from the other bar has left him an octave sexier even than he already was.

    Who says smoking's all bad?! Not I!

    Daisy has had her morning playtime, batting a plastic toy back to me on the bed. And Blackie is queueing up for 'seconds' at the back door.

    Better start breakfast then: porridge for us, slime out of a tin for the moggies!

    See you later, and a very Happy Day to all of you.

    Fifi xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. At 09:57 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Merry Christmas to all of you, you've been wonderful.

    To Eddie, Lissa and all the PM team, a special thank you to all.

    I've been informed that I'm incinerating Christmas Dinner, I hope Red Watch are working.

    Once again Seasons Greetings to one and all, I'll see you later.


  10. At 10:07 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:


  11. At 10:18 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    madmary: Thanks! I have a long list of even more modest requests on my desk somewhere... :-)

    Thanks for this haven, PM team - somewhere to spend the odd moment in constructive silliness.

    Now can someone tell me why Barbie dolls are so impossible to unpackage. It wasn't bought for me, you understand...

  12. At 10:20 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Charles Hatton wrote:

    Frogging on Christmas Day for no reason other than it's very, Very, VERY naughty!

    madmary (4) What a lovely, kind and thoughtful person you are!

    P.S. I orginally read andycrlucan's present as " ... Golden acrylic pants ... ".

  13. At 10:34 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Lissa, PM Blog Elf wrote:

    Dear all

    Merry Christmas...thank you so much Madmary for the presents. Mr Knibbs has had a special turkey derived meat feast for breakfast which he's turned his nose up at.

    We're off for a walk along the river with a mission to find a shop open selling strepsils for my Mum. If you live in Kennington and know somewhere open please let me know.

    Hope the beach is a substitute for not being on air today.


  14. At 10:44 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Karl Handy wrote:

    Merry Christmas All!

  15. At 10:52 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    Happy Christmas all you wonderful froggers - and of course to the marvellous Sir Eric and Lady Lissa with an a and Richard who knows how to post pictures and everyone at PM.

    What a lovely warm beach this one is! Back in December it's mulled wine but here I've brought some chilled champagne so let's bask in the sun and enjoy.

    Thank you so much for my pressie, Madmary - the cigarettes are excellent (memo to self in December: stick on a patch quick!!) And thanks to Fifi for the lilypad and Big Sister and Gossipmistress and absolutely everyone who's here. I haven't listed all the names in case I miss one of you out and I couldn't bear to hurt anyone today. btw Fearless - your pressie is under the palm tree. It's another non twizzling duvet cover and I think I've turned into the mad aunt who gives you the same present every Christmas and birthday!

    Back to the cooking. See you all soon. btw are the moderators working even today? If so, happy christmas moderators.

  16. At 11:09 AM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I'm posting pictures of my Christmas lunch in the making on my blog today, so that you can all have some Christmas dinner on the beach today.

    Oh and some wine and Champagne of course.



  17. At 11:20 AM on 25 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Happy Christmas to all the Froggers.

    RE: Fearless, did you manage to listen to the Parma Ham or do you need it MP3'd ?

  18. At 11:58 AM on 25 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Happy Christmas everyone, I like my earrings mary, shall wear them now to go out for our walk.

    Thanks to everyone because we all make this so brilliant, & I hope you have a happy day, thanks Eddie for posting today & Lissa, you're on a hiding to nothing!

  19. At 12:06 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Lissa, it's a pity we can't send strepsils over the internet, I've got a few in the kitchen.

    We've just had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon although I had to have two goes at it, the first lot wouldn't set, too much milk!

    I've had a couple of glasses of bucks fizz and there's still some left for others if they would like to partake.


  20. At 12:48 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Hi Jonnie,

    I haven't listened to it yet, as the PC's being used to play music for the family. No need to MP3 it, hough, as I'll b be able to stream it later on, I hope :-) Anyway, I'm being called back to help out in the kitchen. Glad to see all the regulars, including Lissa and Eddie here.



  21. At 12:57 PM on 25 Dec 2006, eddie mair wrote:

    I've always fancied Christmas on the beach - this is wonderful.

  22. At 01:14 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Happy Christmas Eddie! I didn't post a present to you, as it would have been too difficult to wrap up all the froggers in one parcel and anyway they might have objected or spilt their drinks on each other!

    Mary x

  23. At 01:30 PM on 25 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Mary thank you VERY much I shall look forward to my date with gorgeous George (no not THAT one!). I shall return your faulty Orient Express present to the shop ASAP on wednesday and complain bitterly!

    Has anyone brought any christmas dinner to the beach by any chance? I am now stuck in work til at least 8pm with NO DINNER (Sob!)

  24. At 01:40 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Gossipmistress, check out my blog, there are drinks and a turkey, not cooked yet but it's getting there.


  25. At 03:16 PM on 25 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    HAPPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! including himself and Lissa with an A.

    Lissa all our cats turned up their nose at their favourite; (human) tuna in spring water this a.m. because they could smell the turkey cooking.

    Gossip mistress I have brought our left over dessert (cassata, as I am the only one who likes Christmas pudding, so we don't have it). please help yourself after you've gorged on Mary's turkey,and afterwards we have some Galapagos coffee from Bettys brewing.

    Mary thank you soooooo much for my present, it sounds just what a redblooded girl needs once in a while - you are so thoughtful and kind.

    Off now because son no 1 is calling form Manchester, will try and pop in again later.
    Gather the water will be good for surfing round about 5.

  26. At 03:20 PM on 25 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Jonnie you know that technical thing you asked FFred about; well if it means that on your audio page it gets the other symbol apart from the music bar, could you do it for me? cos that's the only way I ever get to hear these audio clips. (We do have Flash and Real Player, but it's possible I would need to do something technical as we are 'networked' at home which as far as I am concerned causes more bl***y problems than it's worth.

    No rush as you are probably very busy today...ta.

  27. At 03:56 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Gossipmistress, hard at work - we could only manage three quarters of the fajitas I'd prepared, and haven't even touched the starters.

    Seems a shame to waste it...

    So here's some smoked salmon, cream cheese and oatcakes. And the rest of the fajitas, all nicely sizzled and some caramelly burnt-bits to pick over on the skillet.

    Crackers are in a heap on the side. Help yourselves, everyone!


  28. At 04:26 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Paul H wrote:

    Hello and Happy You-Know-What to you all

    Don't get to the beach as often as I would like (there's a very tall anti-frog wall at work, if you get my drift) but I do get to watch all your antics from afar.

    I've left some mulled wine and stollen on the bar, if anyone would care to partake. Got to rush back to the beach hut now as I can hear the kids winding Grandma up a treat...

    Have fun

  29. At 04:49 PM on 25 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Happy Christmas annie,

    I'll do it in a sec --

    Just got back from Mum's and Uncle and Aunties!

    Lovely meal but Mum left the mince pies in the Aga (you can tell we are a Radio 4 family) which came out as charcoal

    I'll post the link later but it should be in Eddies Audio clips as an MP3 in 10 mins time,

    Happy Xmas to everyone xxxx

  30. At 04:54 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Perky wrote:

    MadMary - thanks for lovely presents. Will spend the rest of the day taking lopsided pictures of drunken, sleepy family. You are kind and I will send you a formal thank you letter soon.

    I know there might not be much call for food at the beach today, but I have brought down the last of my SO's special home-made mince pies and a bottle of sloe gin, which is about all I can manage for now. Am off to lie in the shade and read a new book. Yippee!

  31. At 05:24 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Dinner is served, especially for gossipmistress!

    See my blog


  32. At 05:25 PM on 25 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: admin annie.

    I just (by mistake) posted a similar link on the Christmas day post.

    Ahh so you need the loudspeaker icon which is windows media player. I haven't really been bothering with that one but will do if people like you need that format.

    It's posted in the audio section in both formats here


    If you click on the line of info about it -- It takes you back to the Christmas day post from Eddie.

    Hope that make sense Annie ?

    Happy Christmas, Jonnie xx

  33. At 05:28 PM on 25 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re madmary and the presents.

    Can you give me a clue where to look ?

    I'm still hunting for my sock

    * Sob *

  34. At 05:51 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Dinner is served, especially for gossipmistress!

    See my blog


  35. At 06:09 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    jonnie!!!! your sock went missing! I don't understand it, but it was a weekend for two at a luxury hotel of your choice where someone else makes the breakfasts.

    Sorry! Don't cry! Now I'm worried that other presents have gone missing!


  36. At 06:31 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Otter wrote:

    Happy Christmas to all Froggers, Eddie and the PM team. I hope you are having a great day.

  37. At 06:49 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Charles Hatton wrote:

    ... Just ... one ... more ... mince ... pie ... j.u.s.t . . . o...n...e . . . .

  38. At 06:52 PM on 25 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Thanks Otter :-)

    madmary :- Oh you are sooooo sweet, I'll check your blog in a bit

    PS: for anyone like admin annie I stuck two mp3's up earlier but it's okay now

  39. At 07:00 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    They've moderated me off three times. So SOD IT.

  40. At 07:02 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Dear madmary, thanks you SOOOOOO much for those wonderful presents, you lovely woman.

    It's been a good day. Visited my mother in the care home, spent afternoon with dear friend, lots of phone calls, going out soon to see other friends. then home and stuff face with goodies and I haven't even got to cook.

    See you later!

  41. At 07:21 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Flaming Christmas pudding is served (see my blog) and some cheese, biscuits and fruit.

    Sorry the picture is a bit out of focus, or is that just the wine?


  42. At 07:48 PM on 25 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    YIPPEE! The cavalry (well, the relief vet) has arived and I can GO HOME!

    Thank you Mary, Fifi, A Annie et al for all the lovely food - I am virtually stuffed full (hohoho). Mary that turkey looked very tasty indeed

    Whisht was it you pining for a womble yesterday? Water voles are a bit...well...similarish...maybe you should talk to Frances she's very keen on them!

  43. At 08:51 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    I have eaten toooooo muuuuuuuuch.

    Nice to escape here to the beach for a mo before going back to the fray. Christmas dinner started at 2.30 pm and has only just finished, as we kept having breaks to clear the table, walk the dog and do an excellent quiz my dear daughter and her man devised for us all.

    I bet Gossipmistress enjoyed that excellent meal Madmary photographed for us all on her blog and that she now has a chance to put her feet up after working all day!

    And I do hope Lissa's mum got her strepsils.

    See you all soon.

  44. At 09:08 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Glad you had a good day Sara.


  45. At 10:29 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Fiona wrote:

    Just a very quick post to say a very very Merry Christmas to you all - hope you all had a wonderful day. Lots of love to all x

  46. At 10:41 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Hum. As the frog removed first post in the pre-Xmas Beach posting, it make the other two perplexing...

    However, I again mark in the sand with this stick


    which I hope others will see on their return.

    Cooking today and tomorrow's meals for mother (the latter on remote control) , was an exercise in self-control and an isometric exercise (respectively).

  47. At 11:13 PM on 25 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Jokes from my crackers:-

    Why do Bears wear fur coats?

    They'd look silly in plastic macs! boom, boom

    What do you call a man witha bulldozer on his head?



  48. At 11:16 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Well, it seems as if (with the exception of Bill n Ben's super-moderator experience) we're having a pretty damn good Xmas here on the Beach!

    And you know what? Speaking as one who is dipping out of the whole 'must-be-with-family' schtick that Her Madge was banging on about (and someone must talk to that woman about her colours!!) ... isn't the telly trap* this year?

    * Fifi Rhyming Slang

    Other than Doctor Who and Dribbley there was a mildly interesting documentary about the less controversial conspiracy theories surrounding the Birthday Boy's immediate family.


    When the network goes digital, I'm going to trade in my telly and start going to even more folk clubs!

    I've brought some more home made gravadlax and gluten free (it says here, haven't tried them yet) crackers, plus some lovely hazelnuts in the shell.

    Anyone have a set of nutcrackers? I've forgotten where I put mine!

    Fifi xx

  49. At 11:55 PM on 25 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    jonnie, you are a star, thank you so much. I have now enjoyed Parma ham like the rest of you. I also played the R2 fireworks clip to my husband and we both had a good laugh at that as well.

    I'm trying to decide whether to go to bed or stay here on the beach a bit longer listening to Test Match Special. Geoffrey Boycott is doing his usual 'all cricket administrators are rubbish' routine, and even when I don't agree with him all the time it's fun to listen to him stirring stuff up. Also he held a door open for me once at my optician's which was very nice of him.

    I'm with you as regards the TV Fifi, and even Dr Who had some weak moments - does Catherine Tate have a stuck volume control? - and I had forgotten how irritating I used to find whole swathes of Dibley. Good moments, but a bit drawn out and lots of silliness. The puddle moment was good though.

    I would really like RA to be in something worth watching in the next 12 months.

    Looks like the beginning of the Test Match is delayed even further so the decision is made - I shall phone my friend in NSW and then go to bed. Good night all, see you again tomorrow .

  50. At 11:55 PM on 25 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    almost missed the actual day!

    A good one to all!

  51. At 02:22 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Time for bed.

    Said Fifi.

    Coz Zebedee was out on the kiss*.

    * FRS

    Fifi xx

  52. At 10:14 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    In a way familiar to smokers I awoke this morning desperate for saturated fats and alcohol. A look in the mirror showed that if my body is a temple, there has been an earthquake, a mud slide and some terrorist activity affecting the structure.

    I don't want to be too early but I could really use some New Year resolutions. Preferably ones that (a) sound good and (b) require little effort.

    I am considering giving up running to spend more time with my family. As I only ever run a bath this may not be too onerous...

  53. At 10:37 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Seems I have resurrected my Blog having been inspired by the Froggers. All the time I used to spend running I promise to spend blogging...

  54. At 11:05 AM on 26 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I just visited your blog Jason and left a footprint. You've got a very witty turn of phrase if I may say so!

    My New Years Resolution is to keep up my little morning walks where possible, so about 5 times a week would be good.

    Another one is to enter the XFactor. I shall only be able to do this if I have a complete makeover as they require a picture on the application form.


  55. At 11:15 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Funny you should say that Jason, but my Christmas present to myself is to finally get my blog up and running. Not quite yet, but soon!

    Mmary thank you for the wonderful frying pan, can you see us all smiling? The most wonderful thing about this Christmas is that we did have a day when we all smiled at each other, no squabbles at all. No Christmas Pudding either, sadly, as once again we were too full after the turkey, eight veg, crackers, quiz, Black Stump etc,etc, agreed to have it later, then never got round to it! So tonight it is then.

    Normail service will be resumed as soon as possible, see y'all soon.

  56. At 11:25 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    I don't go in for New Year Resolutions. So here are mine:

    1. Get Blackie the feral cat comfortable with coming indoors, without alienating the resident Daisy.

    2. More paying gigs than freebies for the band.

    I'm uncomfortable with even numbers but I can't think of any more just now. Oh yes I can!

    3. Get the website for the Bourne & South Lincolnshire M.E. support group up and running, for my mate Jan who runs the group.

    (I've set it up once already on the local council portal but they managed to lose every trace of it except the name, which I'm now unable to use!)

    Thanks for the vines, MadMary. I shall look up my Bunty's Book of Viticulture over the next few days and find out how you make a vineyard!

    Is it too early for chicken soup? If not, there's a tureen on the end of the bar and half a dozen bowls and spoons.

    Fifi xxx

  57. At 11:25 AM on 26 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I love Boxing Day, perhaps more than Christmas Day. It's slower, less structured and I love have cold turkey and salad with chips and pickled onions and cold red cabbage (I do go on about red cabbage don't I?). I also love cold christmas pudding (sorry Val).

    It's a grazing day.

    Anyway I've made up a plate of turkey sandwiches with chestnut stuffing and (yes!) cod red cabbage, there are mugs of lovely mocha coffee and some Quality Street for those whose sugar levels are dropping.


  58. At 11:27 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hi frogs,

    As controlling shareholder, all drinks are on me...you can have any colour you want, as long as it's black.

    Thanks Mary and best wishes again to all. Fifi, at least 'Babe' was worth watching and kept me out of the kitchen....

    Listening to Aubrey Manning doing Bodicea (I've met him too, btw ;-))

    Our front lawn beachfire was purrfect. Pictures here soon.


  59. At 11:27 AM on 26 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I meant to say that the sandwiches are on the Nick Clarke Memorial Bar! Help yourselves.

    Now I have to wait 5 minutes before pressing "submit"!


  60. At 11:27 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Valery P (55) : Two things to say to you.

    1) My SO gave me Beyond Words by John Humphrys for Christmas. Joy unbounded!

    2) I am a huge fan of the Black Stump (so much fruitier than the Black Pig) and have the teeshirt to prove it!

    I'm collecting soul mates on this Beach.

    Fifi :o)

  61. At 11:28 AM on 26 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    madmary: Don't encourage me or I'll end up trying to write something publishable and become rich and have to live the high life or something. That way madness lies.

    Seriously - thanks for making your mark in my muddy patch. No point writing unless it is read. I just hope my diary remains unread during my lifetime...

    I approve of the little morning walks - I take one each day from the bed to the bathroom and back, and most days from the house to the car. Although this level of activity will clearly need to reduce now I have passed 40. Having the bathroom downstairs, I may invest in a stairlift.

  62. At 12:16 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Morning all,

    A few leftovers that have been imaginately re-created into small snacks on the NC bar here.

    Fifi (60), I gave the sameself book to my brother; the last copy in the shop was one signed by the man himself a few days earlier.

    Back later. Seems there was another bloggage last night as well.

  63. At 12:38 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Jason - you have the same fitness regime as my SO. I just read him your "Body is a temple" bit - he didn't laugh. At all. I think it's hysterical.

    Hope you all had a good Xmas - certainly sounds like it. I had a quick catch up late last night of the blog, but after working & party & daughter deciding 5 30 am was good time to wake on Xmas Day ( for the first time ever) I didn't have energy to post.

    Have to go & get organised for next hotel now. Still in my dressing gown at lunchtime is scandalous.

    Did anyone else catch Nigella on Woman's Hour telling people how to make a turkey sandwich with the leftovers today? I really don't know how she manages to be so inspiring, what will she think of next? Turkey curry perhaps?

  64. At 01:06 PM on 26 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    OK then, Turkey sandwich. Two bits of bread some turkey and maybe some stuffing. Do you think I could get a spot on Women's Hour too!


  65. At 01:44 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    I dropped off a Nigella was making curry, did it work this time?!

  66. At 02:40 PM on 26 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    madmary, Thank you so much for the e-mail you sent.

    That is so very sweet of you. Mary has given away (to me) her present from gossipmistress, which is a trip on the Orient Express.

    I hope gossipmistress won't be too upset!

    I love your pictures, especially the flaming pudding. We didn't manage to achieve ignition yesterday but it was nonetheless alcoholic.

    Happy Boxing day to everyone.

  67. At 02:47 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    This will sound incredibly sexist, but what is the point of having Nigella on radio? How can you manage a seductive pout without a camera crew and soft focus?

    I watched her Christmas cookery show with some interest and even made her sprouts, cranberry sauce and parsnips. I did notice, though, that they kept throwing her completely out of focus whenever she was visible below the waist. I am thinking she has an issue with her hips or something.

    I categorise her with Angelina Jolie/Lara Croft - moderately pleasant on the eye but probably intolerable in person. I'm sure that's unfair, but her dad did ruin the Nation's finances in his liberalisation of the housing market and repeated tampering with tax relief.

    Give me Drew Barrymore any day. Well, not a Tuesday as I'm likely to be on call. And Fridays are awkward what with the youngest's trampoline class. Other than that...

    (And yes, I had to look her name up...)

  68. At 03:11 PM on 26 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    jonnie the trick is to put some brandy in a spoon, heat the spoon over a flame and when the brandy catches fire spill the flame on the pudding!


  69. At 03:13 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Happy Boxing Day to all.

    And many thanks for the Christmas presents Mary. Will get knitting with the cashmere later this week.

    Well, the non-local offspring have all left for the south. Yesterday mostly went well apart from bother -in-law causing lunch to be delayed by being late picking up cousin and father-in-law. This meant father-in-law forgot his walking stick (very tottery now without it)and I had to keep lunch hot for about an hour longer than planned. Children all managed to be mutually supportive and not quarrel with each other (have they actually grown up at last?). Steered my mother away from helping - she is also becoming tottery so watching her insisting on carrying best glasses or hot dishes is fraught. (I am of course a total Virgo control freak in case you hadn't realised by now).

    Shame they all have to be back at work and so left this morning, car piled high with presents and all the food I would have cooked had they been staying longer.

    Tomorrow I'll drive Mum back to the south west and then it will be back to the usual January grind - but enough of that for now.

    I've brought some marron glaces with me and a rather good port and some nice spicy biscuits. If you've not had too much already do help yourselves.

    I wonder if that nice young Jamie MacCallan is here, or did he go home for Christmas? Think I'll stroll along the beach and look for him.

    BTW having watched the Vicar of Dibley I am now definitely in the queue for Richard Armitage! I'd completely forgotten watching him in North and South, but that is one seriously attractive man.

  70. At 03:31 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Jason (67) : Nigella is blessed with gorgeous bone structure and what used to be described rather breathlessly as 'curves'.

    These days however she's rather blossomed below the waistline, and I too noticed the fancy camera work.

    Did you see her in 'Who Do You Think You Are?' as she traced her family tree? She was by far the willowiest of her siblings ... but by no means the svelte domestic goddess of her first series.

    Know what? I love her for it!

    We had a lovely surprise today. Remember I told you we'd won a portable DvD player? Well, today Santa brought us a full sized one as well!

    We have nothing to play on it of course, and SO has just gone out in search of a scart lead, but what the heck.

    Popped back to the Blue Bell at lunchtime to retrieve my handbag. Nobody would have nicked it, for 2 reasons:

    1. It's a village and everyone there knew each other.
    2. It was stuffed full of tambourines and sleigh bells, which jangled like some sort of festive burglar alarm every time it moved.

    Alex (licensee, Italian and very dishy) treated me to a lovely glass of port and he and Cinzia thanked me all over again for the carols. It seems everyone had a brilliant time, and we ALL finally felt as if Christmas had arrived.


    Now I am going to settle down on that lilo with John Humphrys and some hazelnuts. Oh, and maybe a glass of my own port -- purely for comparison and educational purposes, you understand.

    Thanks, whoever is moderating today! You're doing a great job and we all appreciate it very much.

    Fifi xx

  71. At 03:37 PM on 26 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Fifi, a portable DVD player would be great. I've just spent yesterday evening and today watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I have stayed away from it till now, then I got it as a birthday present this month.

    It's brilliant. I do recommend that as a start to your DVD collection.


  72. At 04:50 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Gossy (42), another mention of my passion for water voles?

    OK, New Year's resolution, I'll tell all on 1.1.07. Then you'll see it was a very dull story. Ho. And hum.

    Mmary (57), I like 'cod red cabbage'. Is that a fish dish, or is it not real red cabbage? eg white cabbage and red foos dye?

    On the subject of Nigella and Xmas puddings, she recommends vodka rather than brandy, because it burns better. Wonder if it *tastes* as good?

    Something odd has happened to my clothes. The waists have shrunk overnight.

  73. At 06:41 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    I'm struggling here and have come to the beach to collect my thoughts.

    I have a Pure Tempus - which is wonderful - as my clock/radio. However, I want a radio with digital recording facilities and with the new fangled radio listings thingy (sorry for the technical language - I'm in IT).

    I have fallen in love with the Pure Evoke 3 which does all these things. I am just having trouble justifying the £170-odd price tag when I have a (more than) perfectly good radio already.

    The best I can come up with so far is that the Tempus could migrate to the kitchen so I can listen to PM whilst preparing the tea and awaiting the return of She Who Must Be Obeyed.

    But that £170 is half of a decent oven, and we could do with one of those sometime soon as the old one is really in need of replacement.

    Any advice?

  74. At 07:15 PM on 26 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Hi Jason, Personally I wouldn't invest that much on a DAB radio. I have the Evoke-2 a bush DAB in the bedroom and a little OONO which I take out for walks with Rupert and to the Gym, alas I'm a bit fussy about audio quality and even at 128 kb/s music isn't really good enough as the technology used is MP2 and not MP3.

    Many other countries have opted for a different format based on MP4.

    Still Jason if you have the money it will record the audio and does give you a choice of stations. If you want the quality Freeview is a much better option but of course not portable.

  75. At 07:16 PM on 26 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Jonnie - I'm very pleased for you to have the present - and it would make such a romantic honeymoon.....!

    Frances - you can't deny there's a similarity, although I'm not sure how good water voles are at clearing up rubbish?

  76. At 07:28 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Jonnie (74) Thanks for that - I have heard it said before.

    Sadly (completely the wrong word) I am not in a Freeview area until the Digital Switchover hits Granada in 2008 and luckily I only want to record voice things, but in a format easy to store on PC. I have yet to work out why...

  77. At 07:33 PM on 26 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Anne P, you can join the queue for RA as I would like the company but I SAW HIM FIRST, OK?

    Today is a catching the breath day before husband's birthday tomorrow followed by son no 1s on 29th. Horribly expensive time of year.

    Jason, you have certainly brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the blog and I am enjoying your comments no end, but can I just correct one of your previous postings ie No 67. You have several extraneous words in the sentence '...what is the point in having Nigella on radio?' Three to be precise - having, on and radio.

    Sorry she just annoys me. Would you include Liv Tyler on your list with Angelina Jolie? Having watched her interviewed several times I feel she must be the person for whom the phrase 'the lights are on but there's nobody home' was invented. Or an I just being a cat?

    Hands up anyone else who still calls Front Row Kaleidoscope?

  78. At 07:58 PM on 26 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    PS Frances am waiting with baited (gossip) breath for 1/1/07... I'm sure RJD will be too, wherever he is....

    ROBBIE! Look at post 72!

  79. At 08:23 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    AdminAnnie(77): I'm flattered. I like the sound of je ne sais quio, but I don't quite know what that is. Is it similar to ex-TV Ad star Beattie's "Galic Shrug"? Or is that a small piece of French knitwear??

    Sadly I am prone to overusing words. Earlier Nigella was descrbed as curvy - I'd use an old-fashioned word culled from watching too many wartime British films..."blousy". I think she has a twofold purpose in life. First, she is an aspirational mother figure for women of a certain age with Chelsea Tractors, Trust Funds and other forms of Capitalisation. Second, she is eye candy for their SOs. I imagine she is "well connected" with the gliteratti in the manner that will ensure my lack of fame despite my obvious talents, many friends and great driving ability.

    I don't know if you saw her on Jonathon Ross (JR himself faints at this point - I meant the show) but she didn't come across as the sort of person I could be comfortable with. I am sure she is lovely, though, and I do approve of her being a slightly fuller figured "sex symbol". Just not too much at a time, please.

    Famed as I am for names I initially thought Liv Tyler was the lead singer of Aerosmith. Now I am writing in crossword clue mode...

    Having google-image'd her I now recognise the face but have no idea where from. If the pictures are recent she is sadly far too young and skinny to have even appeared on my radar. Lockheed will no doubt use this for the next design of stealth aircraft once carbon fiber (sic) is banned for its additions to global warming.

  80. At 09:54 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    mary, that is of course exactly as I do my pudding; brandy in a ladle with flame pouring following. I think vodka would taste horrid, & the fun for me is to be found in attempting a challenging task!

    I don't seek to defend Nigella, never being a fan of her cookery shows because I found them too irritating. Heck, I find Jamie Oliver irritating, Gordon Ramsey is another, but I am looking forward to Marco Pierre White's debut...

    Anyway the point is, I happen to know Nigella is sociable but is uneasy when the focus is on her appearance, perhaps her appearance on JR was awkward because of that. She is a clever woman, who John Diamond did not marry just for her looks, & I don't even think she rates her own looks particularly, they are certainly not as important to her as the camerawork suggests. I suspect she has just signed up for promoting the show in various ways.

    Her chat show on the other hand; car crash TV...

  81. At 10:22 PM on 26 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Helen your dinner table looked lovely! And the decorations.

    I suggest everyone takes a peek at Helen's bed!


  82. At 10:42 PM on 26 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Frances O (72) & gossipmistress (78)

    I had plans for 01.01.07 but I've now cancelled them. Frances O, if this is “a very dull story” then you have about 6 days to spice it up. I would hate to think that you have build up this anticipation without justification!

    Give us a clue in the meantime!

    btw - madmary you are a star for keeping everything bubbling over Christmas.

  83. At 11:01 PM on 26 Dec 2006, whisht wrote:

    Hi all!
    Merry Xmas!!

    just back from big Sis' (no not that big sis'!) and exhausted enough for bed!

    MadMary - thankyou so much for my gift of a weekend away at a hotel with spa! However, I'm completely blown away by the "special gift in stockings" that I found at the end of my bed...



  84. At 11:19 PM on 26 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    RJD - welcome back! we have missed you, but glad you came back in time for Frances' - what shall we call it? coming clean? confession? story telling -

    damn - I am just doing this while listening to the cricket commentary and some unfeeling fool is going on about Sydney and how wondeful it is there just now, weather gorgeous etc etc WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! Don't tell me that - if I'm not there. I want it to be suffering from torrential rain, hurricanes, icebergs in the harbour, economic meltdown, damp in the Opera House, etc etc

    Liv Tyler was Arwen in the aformentioned Lord of the Rings, and if she looked skinny in the pic you saw Jason then it has been digitally messed about with, as she is defintiely curvy. There is a scene in one of the films where she is shown sideways and I always turn to my husband and say 'there - that's why she was given this part' and he always pretends not to know what I'm talking about. Sometimes I find this chivalrous and sometimes I find it annoying.Obviously he finds me inconsistent.

  85. At 11:44 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    I've escaped SOs evil eye while he entertains himself with his new cordless headphones. My heart, meanwhile, has been here on the Beach. And I missed Eddie. Sigh!

    Sister Mary: Thanks for the cashmere and the lovely booze. I drank all of the latter in one sitting, which kept me off the Blog all yesterday and hungover for most of today. Sigh! But I've worn the red and the purple cashmere jumpers and am lining up the green one for tomorrow. And still four more to go!

    But here it is too hot for the cashmere, so I'm slipping into my beautiful silk sarong in the hope that I may turn the head of some of the gorgeous men who are gracing us with their presence/presents.

    Jason G: Your Blog profile lies. It says you have no friends. You've got at least a dozen here on the Blog. Bad Blog

    Poor Lissa in December! How can we make your Christmas better for you, with a poorly Mum and a fussy cat? The former will improve with the right medicine, but the latter will forever be an enigma, if my own experiences with cats is anything to go by. Whatever we gave our beloved moggies in the past, they always wanted something different, and the dinners would dry and crust over in their plates. Except for freshly cooked fish. And freshly cooked only.

  86. At 11:52 PM on 26 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    admin annie (83)

    I think we should call it ”a voleuntary statement.“

    And please don't mention Liv Tyler at this time of the evening - it will only disturb me!

  87. At 11:59 PM on 26 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Whisht: What do you mean, not THAT Big Sis?

    BTW, did post in the last half hour, but no sign of it yet. Just in case you think I'm keeping my toes dry.

  88. At 12:20 AM on 27 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I think we've got the images for next year's Christmas Card.

    Check it out!

  89. At 12:46 AM on 27 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    nice one Ed!

    I am now off to bed, we have just taken a second - well I was typing second there and in the middle Harmison took a wicket so we've taken three. This can't last so I'm going to bed while the news is still good!!

    see you tomorrow.

  90. At 01:21 AM on 27 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Like it Ed, You've gone for the HelenSparkles colour scheme!

    Bill'n'ben, Thanks for the e-mail. I can't believe the moderators blocked you ALL Christmas day! That's outrageous! and we should ask Ed to investigate from the nice man who explained the bloggage to Eddie a couple of Months back why that should happen.

    I'll dig back and find out who he was.

    I'd love to hear a bit about how it all works as a lot of the comments we post are only relevant in context and rather meaningless if just read on their own.

    I'll send you an e-mail back tomorrow,

  91. At 01:23 AM on 27 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    OK, who had the best Christmas Cracker joke? I rather giggled at the following:
    "what do you call a man with a paper bag on his head?"
    "Russell" (rustle, gettit?)

    All round to mine then Fifi, SO treated us to a whole case of 2005 Stump for pre-Christmas pressy! Btw if you do want to grow mMary's Shiraz vine, Kippenbod's the one to help, they have a piece of the original Kippen Vine in their greenhouse! Christmas has been a bit of a write-off for her, due to catching the lurgy from SO, who caught his on the plane to Florence. They went for a mini-break which was wonderful, but obviously germ-laden! Such a shame. We hope they are both up and about to spend Hogmanay chez Pedant, and indulge in Black Stump!

    I was indulged with the usual eclectic selection of books this year, from Salmand Rushdie to Sara Paretsky via Rupert Everett. Now the latter can call down to the beach any time he likes - I don't mind just gazing longingly.......

  92. At 01:56 AM on 27 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Like it Ed, You've gone for the HelenSparkles colour scheme!

    Bill'n'ben, Thanks for the e-mail. I can't believe the moderators blocked you ALL Christmas day! That's outrageous! and we should ask Ed to investigate from the nice man who explained the bloggage to Eddie a couple of Months back why that should happen.

    I'll dig back and find out who he was.

    I'd love to hear a bit about how it all works as a lot of the comments we post are only relevant in context and rather meaningless if just read on their own.

    I'll send you an e-mail back tomorrow,

    I hope this makes it through, otherwise I've saved a copy and we will find out why not ?

  93. At 09:14 AM on 27 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Morning all,
    Just off to take Aged Parent back to Somerset, will catch up with you all tomorrow evening.

    Shortbread and somebody's jawbreaking home-made toffee on the bar.

    Big Sister, that silk sarong really suits you - love the colours.

  94. At 09:20 AM on 27 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Oh No! I missed RJD and whisht! Oh well. Morning all.

    Ed I those Cheery Christmas pictures really made me laugh.

    I'm rather looking forward to your New Years pictures!


  95. At 10:44 AM on 27 Dec 2006, Lissa, PM Blog Ed wrote:

    I have finally updated the Advent Calendar - only 2 days late. I still have 4 days left in my chocolate one at home.

    Mum got the strepsils - thankfully the local shop was open. She managed to get out of bed for dinner and a glass of fizz and Mr Knibbs managed to polish off his posh turkey cat food.

  96. At 11:27 AM on 27 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Husband's birthday today and a cracker of a card for him from my sister.

    It featured two strange creatures on the front, one at the back sitting in a chair and the other at the front with a present it has clearly just finished wrapping up.

    On the front it says 'One of us remembered your birthday!' and inside it says 'The other one just kinda lives in the house and doesn't know what's going on'.

    I thought this hysterically funny and he didn;t get it at all, which leads me to believe it is a card meant for women.

    Watched Grumpy Old Women on Christmas last night and there was just so much I could relate to. Mostly around the non-involvement of men with preparations.

  97. At 11:28 AM on 27 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    "Lovely Lissa Meter Maid"* (or PM Blog Editor, if you prefer...)

    Glad your Mum got what she needed, though it's a shame she wasn't on top form for her Christmas. I hope she's starting to feel better now.

    I heard yesterday via an aunt that my niece has got scabies. And guess where my mother has been staying this Christmas. And guess where my mother is staying for the New Year. So I'm getting the calamine lotion ready ahead of her visit...

    Thanks for updating the Advent Calendar. It's been a bit bizarre seeing my own offering up there as the latest one since - oh, since forever, it feels!

    Glad Mr. Knibbs finally condescended to eat his posh dinner, presumably before it crusted over. I'll bet he had a great time, just because you were all around all day. Lots of purring?

    We're off to Wales tomorrow some time and, as SO is working from home today, I probably won't get many opportunities now until next week to Blog. Maybe I'll go the sales today, just to have a break. Don't misunderstand, I love SO, but do like a bit of *space*. That's what comes of having lived alone for so long,.

    *Sorry, Lissa, but the silly season has really got to me now

  98. At 12:23 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    AA (77)

    My hands are up. I still think of Front Row as Kaleidoscope.

    And, by the way, there should eventually be a picture taken of Vyle Hernia on a beach on Christmas Eve. It was taken using a single-use camera (sorry, Ed I, not very green). This means it cannot be transmitted straight away; in the meantime my photographic career is on a roll.

    And 3 cheers for

    At 06:42 PM on 22 Dec 2006,

    Barrie singleton wrote: Phone line clarity? You care? You cannot be serious man! The BBC now routinely puts music behind everything, EVERYTHING! I can hear speech on a bad line but (with 69 year old ears) I cannot hear against added music. No chance - what with the licence deficit an' all - you will sack all the musack masters I suppose?

  99. At 12:50 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    AA: Can you scan and post the card via Jonnie? I'd love to see it .....

  100. At 01:07 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Hi ... bye ... just diving into the shower now.

    Yes, I know, it's past one o'clock.

    I'm on holiday!!!!

    See you all later.

    Fifi ;oD

  101. At 01:28 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Lissa, Blog Mistress extraordinaire:

    Can you post when we can expect to hear the dulcet tones of Lord Mair again?

    Thanks and best wishes to you and His Knibbs.

    'Slightly bigger than usual' Sis x

  102. At 03:45 PM on 27 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Big Sis - I will ask husband if he wil do it - I relaly ought to leanr how to use the scanner. Maybe that's a new years resolution for me.

  103. At 04:10 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    AA - Great! Be nice to hubby tonight so that we can all share your fun.

  104. At 04:41 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    I am frogging, wirelessly, from the kitchen!


    Fifi xxxxxxxx

  105. At 04:44 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Perhaps I should spell out that last posting to Annie?

    Be nice - i.e. don't be un-nice. Crack a pleasant joke or two. Offer to make him a bedtime drink of his choice

    so that we can all share - i.e. we'll be able to look at Jonnie's site to see what AA found so funny.

    your fun - no, no, I wasn't referring to any sheenanigans that AA and hubby may indulge in under the duvet!

    I hope the above removes any possible danger of innuendo from my earlier posting.

    Helpfully yours

    Big Sis

  106. At 04:59 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Lissa, PM Blog Technician wrote:

    Dear all

    I've spent the day (in between working on WATO and PM) uploading photos and have managed an extra 100. And guess who popped up? None other that Rupert the PM Commissioning Editor - I think it will come out on Gallery 27 as photo number 90. A somewhat vacant expression.



    PS Welcome back RJD. I mislaid your email complaint about the slow workings of the system but glad you've decided to give us another go.

    PPS Big sis - I will be thankful that at least Mum doesn't have scabies. And I think Eddie's back on Friday but meanwhile enjoy Nigel's dulcet tones.

  107. At 05:17 PM on 27 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    I'd like to claim that I'm never not nice to him but sadly I must be honest and say that I am occasionally sarcastic, electively deaf, irritated by and/or with him. But I like to think not more than is normal.

  108. At 06:04 PM on 27 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    One of Robin Hood's Merry men??!
    (The name, not the photo)

    Admin Annie - don't go to bed tonight! You have to listen to TMS all night because things seem to go horribly wrong when you stop listening!!

    Nigel W will you be visiting us on the beach? Plenty of goodies here, not just your shop-bought mince pies!!

  109. At 06:13 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    AA - Like most of us. I sympathise. But, if he's to work the technology, try biting your lip. Until he makes a hash of it, of course!

    Lissa - Thanks for your message. Mum has now (under pressure) got the info and reassurances she needed from the GP and will be with us for the New Year. And thanks for letting us know about Lord Mair. Hope Mr. Knibbs will be suitably grateful when you get home tonight!

  110. At 06:33 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Clever Lissa - two programmes on the go, and a hundred photos uploaded. That's what I call a good day's work.

    Not only should you be grateful that your mother doesn't have scabies, but also that she doesn't have worms or athlete's foot or the threat of impending nits. All of which have been inflicted on our family in the last year. The nits didn't eventuate (daughter had friend for a sleepover who later confessed to nits,grrrrr!!!! but thank heavens we didn't get them.)

    The athlete's foot seems to be minimal but ongoing, (contained to two toes on the one athlete, again thank heavens. I note he bought himself a dozen pairs of new socks for Xmas & binned the old ones. Interesting...)

    Worms are by far the worst, since you are required to clean everything- all bedding, carpeting, clothing, flooring. And they appeared when we were staying with very elderly relatives in NZ so I had a really fun time doing all the obligatory cleaning & disinfecting in their house, while on our "holiday". And everyone has to be treated, whether showing symptoms or not . So daughter & I reluctantly forced to take the pills too.

    However , the really bad boys to get are bed bugs. And would you believe, we visited friends who had them. Luckily we didn't stay (in fact we could hardly wait to leave after they'd given us the full horror story...!) Apparently, since you can't get DDT any more, bed bugs are on the rise & rise, aided by the habit of people to travel to bug- infested hostels in tropical countries. And boy are they impossible to get rid of when you have them. These friends had bought a house which was clearly infested. The previous owner ran a commercial cleaning company & had obviously imported the bed bugs from a hotel. They look like fleas, if you're interested. (They had some in a jar to show people - well entertainment is pretty limited in
    NZ) New matresses, steam cleaning of carpets, endless chemical sprays, smoke bombs etc. All to limited effect.

    Sorry. Don't know why all that came into my head. Not very seasonal at all really.

    Glad Mr Knibbs decided to eat his special turkey dinner eventually. Ours had 2 pouches in the morning, then I looked out the window & saw him on the neighbour's lawn polishing off the turkey scraps they'd put down for the foxes. No wonder he's so fat.

  111. At 08:03 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Lissa, PM Blog Doctor wrote:

    Dear Annasee

    Thank you for your family plague history. My Mum had just recovered from a fit of giggles listening to Eddie's busty regulation when you started her off again. She says she has never had nits, scabies, bed bugs or worms. But my husband always gets athletes' foot. I know when it's back because when he is in bed he rubs his feet together like a grasshopper.

    Perhaps this isn't suitable for the beach and we should ask Eddie to create a separate post called "The Clinic".

    Best wishes for a healthier New Year. Lx

  112. At 08:42 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Lissa, can the clinic have a rehab wing? Looking at the amount of sweet food, meats and alcohol in my kitchen I fear for my chances of seeing February.

  113. At 08:51 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Belinda wrote:

    Hello all!

    I hope that you all had a merry little christmas and that you made your yuletide gay.

    Thanks for the bottle of self-replenishing Glenfiddich, Mary (4). It is a present that I will cherish and drink forever.

    Our Christmas dinner was lamb and salmon (depending on who was eating it) and seemed to go down very well. Of course the entire day was ruined by an abusive drunk phone call from my estranged brother (is it morally acceptable to ask for christmas presents back from people if they are expensive and the recipient does not deserve them?) but the rest of the holiday went well and even better, I have the rest of the week off work for my liver to recover! Huzzah!

    We spent yesterday watching Blackadder III and doing shots of Lemoncello. By the end of the bottle, I began to find even Baldrick attractive.

  114. At 09:14 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:

    mmary--et al

    Glad you all had good holidays-feelas if I've been away from the beach for ages-it's lovely to be back!

    I was so pleased with the present mary-but could you choose the panto-the one I'd like is the one with jonnie''s friends in it at T Wells but it is so popular -would I get in? I have my celebrity escort planned but need your help first.....


  115. At 09:28 PM on 27 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Molly, I think jonnie is the one to sort out a special trip to that panto!


  116. At 09:49 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Belinda (1130 : It's so easy to be rude to people at Christmas ... with a greater effect than it deserves, just because it's Christmas. I'm so sorry you had to come in for that, at this time of year! But if you can, have a go at imagining he said - whatever it was he said - on August 4th or March 30th - and take on the attitude I did once at Hubbard's in Glasgow's Great Western Road.

    It's not what was said, it's the attitude I was lucky enough to have when it all happened.

    Imagine: tall, dark, slim, curly-haired

    Hubbard's is in the heart of a student-heavy part of Glasgow's west end. Very trendy, lots of students. Yet somehow, SO and I, and our friends Pat and Morton*, had become recognised as 'regulars' and tended to get served first, over the heads of the multitudes of stoooodents in front of us.

    * not their real names, but nearly!

    Imagine the scene: tall, dark, slim, curly-haired chap waltzes in the main door, a bit like Jack Sparrow (Aperitif!), effortlessly swiping a couple of empty pint glasses from a table on the way, then reaches over the front rank of bar customers (including me) to deposit them on the bar.

    Automatically, the barmaid locks eyes and days: "Yes?"

    Our pal Morton*, an ex-para, nudges me (it was my round!) and says: "Did ye see that? D'ye want me tae dae sumthin' abou' it'?"

    I put him off, smiling, and the gods of Marston's Pedigree were clearly smiling upon me. I added: "Hey, it's not his fault he's got no manners...."

    Next thing I know, tall dark (etc) guy is glaring down (he's taller than me, usually a good thing!) into my eyes and snarling, in a broad further-west-than-Scotland-accent,

    "Did yeee seeey I huv noi moh nurzzzzz?"

    Whereupon, from somewhere, I similingly found the following reply:

    "Of course not. I was talking to the good-looking bloke behind you!"

    By the time he and his mates worked out that I'd just insulted him, MY mates had formed a great big cordon around me and we were happily marching out of Hubbards in formation!

    I still don't know where that inspiration came from. But I'm very, very grateful for it!

    Fifi xxx

  117. At 09:59 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:


    I realise now what I need to do! sorry to trouble you!

    Hope you gave yourself a pressey too?


  118. At 10:20 PM on 27 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    preferably not August 4th Belinda as it's my birthday. August 3rd as far as I know is free.

    I know I know gossipmistress I should keep listening to TMS but we go to bed about 1 and eventually we just fall asleep listening to it. We were very tickled last night by G Boycott's constant aspersions on some Oz batsman called Simons, who GB thought shouldn't be playing for the national team. To be fair he was on 4 for hours and still on 4 when I fell asleep but I understand by the time I woke up this morning he had scored a century. Now was that me falling asleep or the curse of GB?

    Molly and Belinda - welcome back. We had a good time over Christmas but it's not the same without all the regulars.

  119. At 10:31 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Lissa - tell your Mum she hasn't lived! I bet she's never had any moles frozen off either. Or diathermied? ( sizzles & smells of bacon...) I could go on but won't. She's obviously led a very sheltered life.


  120. At 10:52 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Annasee/Lissa: Well, we've got our fingers crossed that the advice given to my Mum by her GP was right. Also that my Mum isn't being economical with the verite - something of which she is capable when she doesn't like the truth! Otherwise SO and I are heading for an itchy New Year.

    I think the bit that we really really don't like about the prospect of getting scabies is the treatment - being anointed from head to toe, every inch of skin, no matter where it occurs(!), into the nooks and crannies, with permethrin cream or similar, to be repeated a week later. This, along with the clothes washing, etc., etc., will be a nightmare if it comes our way. Especially with SO, who is extremely squeamish. Which means I'll get double aggro - once for myself, and once for him.

    So, guys, can I ask you please to keep your fingers very firmly crossed for us at this time? I don't have the heart to deny my aging Mum a good New Year, and that would be the alternative.

  121. At 11:03 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Hello Everyone! Just had a skim through and will have to reread later to catch up properly, but I just have to say THANK YOU MARY!!! (re 4) What a fabulous present -- ohmigod what am I going to wear????

  122. At 11:16 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Re reference to Grumpy Old Women. I am deeply in love with Arabella Weir. Sorry.

  123. At 12:15 AM on 28 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Why should Jason be sorry that he is deeply in love with Arabella Weir? Although I forget what she's famous for.
    Anyway I'm off to bed as the magic isn't working, we did get Simon's wicket but it's been downhill all the way from there.

    Wish for 2007 - bigger font for this comment box. Please Lissa? or Richard? or both?

  124. At 12:20 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Jason - you shouldn't worry if your kitchen is full of alcohol, fattening food, etc. That's GOOD! It means it's not in your stomach!

    Big Sis, yes, all fingers crossed. That really sounds pretty grim, if you have to have the treatment. And especially if you have to suffer on behalf of SO as well...

    Forgot to say, when my SO was deciding what to do about the worms, we went down to the local chemist, (in a big shopping mall) & he went inside to ask the pharmacist, while daughter & I hung about outside, not wishing to be associated with him (well, would you?). Unfortunately, jolly young shop assistant, having selected suitable product, accompanied him to doorway of shop & called out cheerily "Bye! Hope you sort out your PROBLEM!" in helpfully bell-like tones. He slunk out. We tried to look as though he didn't belong to us.

  125. At 12:35 AM on 28 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    My score today is about 50:50

    Having half the posts moderated is a bit depressing, especially as they were what I thought were the more humorous ones. I must be putting too much effort into this - or maybe not enough!

    I think I'll have to think it out again.

  126. At 12:50 AM on 28 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    A Annie - just pondering on the fact that Australia prepared for the Ashes by a tough macho commando-style team-building trip to the Outback and England prepared by pinning a dodgey dossier to the back of the toilet door. How very British......

  127. At 01:09 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    You're excused Jason. A talented lady.

    Big Sis - we went through the scabies fandango just after Christmas last year. Prod. Anthro. returned to Uni after hols at home, then phoned complaining about worsening itching.....being male, took some weeks of persuading to go to doctor. Fortunately he hadn't left any behind at home - however, he did have a time and a half getting rid of it as he was sharing with a few others who refused to co-operate...

    Finally put paid to it during the long summer hols when he came home. I'm assured that the "beasts" don't survive off a host, so any bedlinen/clothes left untouched/isolated for at least a week won't need to be treated. The cream thing wasn't too bad, the bigger you are, the more tubes you need of course! Either we were lucky or persistent because we got rid eventually. Apparently the most persistent ones are those picked up in medically related places, nursing homes etc, they are a different strain.

    On that happy note, I think I shall repair to bed (with my athlete's feet!).

  128. At 08:20 AM on 28 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    If you are moderated do you get a message or does it just never appear? I posted last night and it hasn't appeared (yet).

    Just heard a bit of 'Today' on the way to work -some interesting topics (to me!) with Zac Goldsmith editing...

    Am heading south tomorrow for 'proper Christmas' with family on saturday so I need some Christmas cheer to get me back in the mood...any suggestions?!

  129. At 09:02 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:

    Eddie-you are a right tonic-hurry back m'lud!

    could someone explain exactly who,how and what moderators do? I'm stilll rather unclear..

    Oh well-back to my own on line course-much to do before next term.


  130. At 09:43 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    The moderators are the ones who allow a putative posting to become a full-blown one. They are the ones who cast an eye over your words and, with an eye to taste, decency and relevance, decide whether your words can be hosted on the Beeb's hallowed pages.

    You don't hear anything if your post is diverted off to another place - I imagine it would require a tortuous mechanism to achieve that.

    A posting of mine not to make it played on the word "thespian" with reference to a lifestyle choice. I think I am slowly beginning to spot the boundaries.

  131. At 10:36 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Guys, Just dropped by really quickly to wish you - rather early - a happy New Year. We're off later today, and things are now hotting up in the Big Sister House.

    I'll be with you all in spirit, but will be bereft of the necessary gear for a few days, so won't be able to post til next week.


    Big kiss from Big Sis X

  132. At 10:46 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    You will by now have noticed that all BBC moderators have to have a squint by my definition. What is it about writing that makes you re-use a word you have just used without noticing until you read it back after a short break?

    Lissa certainly doesn't sound like she has a squint so I apologise unreservedly to her.

    Whilst apologising I feel I may have to mention Dr Tanya Byron with reference to my earlier comment about Arabella Weir. The reason for the apology is that I am a happily married man with family. This level of philandering can only lead to trouble.

  133. At 11:32 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    So, RJD, do you think they have a separate moderator for NI? I know I've seen Jonnie make reference to specific NI bloggages - why would this be?

  134. At 11:44 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Belinda, as with all horrid people, people who are horrid to you are deeply unhappy & to be pitied rather than rile you; the present just gave him an 'in' but sure he would have found another route

  135. At 12:06 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Gossipmistress (138) : Not being of an English peruasion, I have utterly failed to 'get' cricket.

    However I understand there is a certain embarrassment emanating from goings-on Down Under, involving some men and a bat and ball.

    Allow me to share with you a few thoughts which may sustain you as the big family occasion approaches. They were sent to me by one of the froggers, who for reasons that will become clear had better remain anonymous!

    Fifi ;o)

    Q. What do "Ashes" stand for?
    A. Another Sad Horrific English Series.

    Q. What is the definition of an optimist?
    A. An English batsman applying sunscreen before going in to bat.

    Q. What does Ashley Giles put in his hands to make sure the next ball takes a wicket?
    A. A bat.

    Q. What is the English version of a hat-trick?
    A. Three runs in three balls.

    Q. What do you call an Englishman with 100 runs against his name?
    A. A bowler.

    Q. What is the most proficient form of footwork displayed by English batsmen?
    A. The walk back to the pavilion.

    Q. Who has the easiest job in the English squad?
    A. The guy who removes the red ball marks from the bats.

    Q. Who spends the most time on the crease in the English team?
    A. The person that irons their cricket whites.

  136. At 12:51 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Fifi - an oldie but a goodie. You can see it predates 1990 by use of the word "foreigner".

    Cricket - As explained to a foreigner

    You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

    When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

    I hope that makes things clearer?

  137. At 01:00 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Admin Annie (123) : Either things are being moderated in the wrong order, or something about my step-by-step instructions for adjusting the size of the text in the Comments box has offended the pixies!

    1. Click on VIEW at the top of the screen.

    2. On the drop-down menu, select TEXT SIZE.

    3. Select the next size larger than the one you currently have.

    Easy! And no need for help from Richard or Lissa. Hurrah!

    Fifi ...posting this at five past one.

  138. At 01:15 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Stewart M wrote:

    Hi all, We are slowly heading back to normality in December so thought I'd get back tothe beach.I can only do this 'cos I am at work today and its lunch time, Home made (by me) turkey stock soup/broth. The pan is simmering on the stove by the bar. The small ones got far too many presents and thankfully none yet are broken, I got my Ordanance survey electronic maps and have not got to play with them yet. I decided a new laptop would be a great thing to go with them.
    Frogg/blogging has definately been on the bcak burner this week. I actually went ice skating yestreday for the first time in 20 odd years. Kids loved it, holding onto self/SO or side. I managed not to fall over and Marie (SO) who is the one who can skate was the only one of us who fell and has a fantastic bruise on her knee.

    In Laws went home yesterday so I can relax now. Thoughts now turn to the new year celebrations. Is anyone having fireworks?

  139. At 01:19 PM on 28 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Okay Molly Lets try again.

    This is the third time I've tried this so I will try once more!

    Molly let me know what dates you were thinking of going to Tunbridge and although I'd doubt I could get you in free I'd certainly make sure you get a nice mention in the Panto and of, course you could go backstage and say hello to Chris.

    I only know Chris and the Company Manager (alas) at that one!

    I've now edited out Chris's surname so perhaps this one will make it through the moderators !!

  140. At 01:28 PM on 28 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: RJD

    Yes I've been loosing a lot of posts with no reason.

    Unfortunately it rather mekes me look as if I'm not picking up on certain points directed at me -- such as Molly's (which) I replied to last night before marymary had to send Molly a hint.

    As regards to NI moderators - I have no idea, though I'd doubt it. To do that they would have to isolate the ip address ranges from the NI ISP providers and I can't see the point of that.

  141. At 02:20 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Fifi (137) - not only did your posting get through but you are now time travelling since the post seems to have appeared before you sent it (or else your laptop clock is slow!).

  142. At 02:23 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Aunt Berengaria wrote:

    Cooeee! Whisht
    I'm back, AND I've found a womble costume - where are you?

  143. At 02:30 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    MadMary (71) : We once spent an entire Saturday watching all 3 Lord of the Rings films on a friend's DVD, whilst imbibing beer & wine and munching nibbly things.

    I look forward to borrowing them again, and playing them on the portable in bed ... or behind the sofa ... or in the garden ... or in a parked car facing Rutland Water ...

    Jason (136) : Thanks, that`s so much clearer now. ;o)

    How are you at explaining the Offside Rule?

    Steward M (138) : We will be along the road at our friends` house, making inappropriately noisy music on guitars and (in SO`s case particularly) trying to get so tipsy the dreadful music is less painful.

    At midnight last year all the various parties in the street came out to wish each other Happy New Year, kissed everyone they could find, then bundled back into the warm.

    One retired gentleman who used to run a TV repair business had rigged up a PA, and I'd supplied a CD with the Big Ben bongs, followed by a pipe band playing Auld Lang Syne. It was surreal ... and exactly the sort of madness one comes to expect in an English village.

    No fireworks planned though. Too scary for the pet animals.

    Now then. I'm afraid SO and I have just polished off the last of the chicken soup, so instead here's a nicely matured batch of salsa, tortillas, jalapenoes and soured cream which I rustled up yesterday.

    You'd better all have some, as the garlic content renders the breath rather toxic to non-indulgers!

    I've also brought some dentally-responsible treats for the dogs, and a big basket of organic carrots for the reindeer.

    What do camels eat?

    Fifi xx

  144. At 03:07 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Stewart M wrote:

    FiFi (143). When all three Lord of rings films came out with the extended edition DVD,s We spent three weekends watching them. Thank God for DVD'd as the youngest at that time was teething and we did not get through one film without having to stop for a crying child. This reminds me that I need to spend a few evenings re watching them with nibbles and beer and surround sound!! The Orcs get you from behind!!

    And Isn't wireless internet great! Come the summer you can sit in the garden and surf.

  145. At 03:29 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Stewart (144): I think the babe has been learning from Barry Norman and was not teething at all but rather passing a biting critique on such a lengthy triology.

    And as for your Orc problem, there is a well-known ointment that will cure it.

  146. At 03:31 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Fifi, I love Rutland Waters, in fact I once scarily capsized a catamaran there in a force 5 which was very exciting up until the point I slid underneath into an airpocket. Not being the sailor on the team of, righting it was a remarkable feat of the 2 of us not screaming at each other because he wasn't my SO & me walking along the edge of the boat which was quite high up in the air whilst not understanding at all why. I was just worried about falling off but I needn't have worried, the mast was firmly embedded in the mud, so it was all very stable if tricky to get the right way up again. We turned back after that, can't think why, but think my inexperience might have had something to do with it & I have never enjoyed a hot chocolate so much since!

    Anway, after all that wittering the point was; do you have a DVD player in your car then?!

  147. At 04:02 PM on 28 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Fifi, thank you sooooooo much that is much much better. I never knew it could be adjusted at individual lily pad end. I now wish I had bought your new comic which I saw on the shelves at Somerfield, but I thought the featured story on the front cover 'Fifi and the flowerpot girls' or some such, looked too exciting for this time of year.

    Also saw local MP in Somerfields who I recognised by the beard. What is it about some men, they start to pile on a little weight and think they can hide it by growing a beard?

    Am off now to stagger through last remaining pages of todays allocation of current book club book; I need to read 52 pages a day if I'm to finish it in time to send it on on relevant date - 2nd Jan. The ones I like I just dash through: if I don't like them I resort to the x pages a day formula. Unless they are by Jeffrey Archer (which it was once) when I just don't bother. I think that's allowable don't you?

    Tea and shortbread (homemade) on the counter of the NCMB.

  148. At 04:04 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Robbie (125) : I am engaged this afternoon in the incredibly tedious task of transferring the contents of my external hard drive to the internal hard drive ... see? you're yawning already! ... so any distraction while that's happening will be welcome.

    Therefore, I am happy to put my professional (ie editor's) experience at your disposal.

    Feel free to email me any future postings (or the earlier ones that never appeared if you kept copies) and I'll see if I can get them posted somehow - under your name, or a variant of your choosing, of course.

    Any use?

    Fifi ;o)

  149. At 04:21 PM on 28 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    At 2:23 pm Aunt Berengaria wrote:

    Cooeee! Whisht
    I'm back, AND I've found a womble costume - where are you?


    Best post of the day! Made me really laugh out loud!


  150. At 05:00 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    HelenSparkles (146) : What a tale! I think of Rutland Water as a rather pathehtic big puddle, but of course I'm comparing it with Scottish lochs which will tend to be more impressive. And even a little water can kill!

    To answer your question, I have apparently won a portable DVD player which is due to arrive any time in the next couple of weeks. I'm assuming it's capable of running for a while without an external power source, otherwise what's the point of it's being 'portable'?

    My ageing V*ctr* (other heaps of rusting junk are available) no longer even has a working tape player. Although its audio tape shredder works brilliantly!

    I've put on my Santa outfit and am just waiting for Whisht to don the Womble suit so we can have a jolly jig down on the wet sand.

    All we need now is Mrs Trellis and her electric guitar to provide the accompaniment, or -- who was it turned out to be unexpectedly talented on the ukulele?

    Fifi ;oD

  151. At 05:04 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:


    Hey,jonnie-I'm so sorry to 'give you grief' as they charmingly put it down here-and thank you for the reply.
    My ticketsare booked,so everything under control!


  152. At 05:36 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Molly - you must be sure to let us know how the panto went, and how big a fuss they make of you backstage!

    Fifi x

  153. At 07:21 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Oh. Am I here all on my own then?

    It should feel creepy but actually ... rather thrilling. I'm just going to rearrange the lilos and the tables in the bar, to see if anyone notices.

    Also, the latest gravadlax has just been de-skinned, de-marinaded, and popped back in the fridge with some camembert and cream cheese.

    Champagne as well.

    Dig in, anyone who's passing......!

    Fifi xx

  154. At 07:22 PM on 28 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Fifi, ValeryP and jonnie

    After a bit of thinking I reckon it may be due to using words that aren't recognised or understood. I wrote two pieces in spoof French yesterday on a thread where some were talking about the decline in Foreign Language study in schools. I assume that the words were deemed suspect and therefore binned.

    I would be amazed if there is any regionally filtering - I suspect all submissions from anywhere in the world go through the same moderating system.

    Thanks for the concern - we will soldier on.

    Fifi – did you pick up the Brandane answer on the next thread?

  155. At 08:23 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    Just back from driving down to the family party near Newbury. What a thrilling day it was!

    Meanwhile, glad to see you have all had a good couple of post Christmas days. On today's thread Eddie indicated there was a nice cheeseboard going round down here but I can't find it, so nipped back to the fridge at home and found this super runny brie and some parmesan (which I love in big nutty chunks) and a fine piece of Shropshire Blue. Enjoy, all.

    Why is Big Sister so excited about going to Wales for New Year? It's a Sunday, so won't all the pubs be shut? Not that Wales isn't lovely (I'm Welsh, so I would say that) but I don't really connect it with the Hogmanay spirit - or any spirit for that matter. But I do hope she has a good time.

    Yet another mulled wine and mince pies party tomorrow. Have got rid of most of my guests but mother is still here until Monday. God - that's next year! How will I survive?

    I don't believe I'm writing this, but actually I'm quite looking forward to going back to work on Tuesday. How about all of you? So far I hear groans and mutters of "poor pathetic creature".

  156. At 09:37 PM on 28 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    no no Sara, I'm with you. In the days when I had paid employment outside the home I HATED it when the firm closed down completely between Christmas and New Year. I used to be climbing the walls by the time it came to going back. Of course, 3 days back in harness and you're desperate for the next holiday...Now we work from home so it doesn't matter so much, we work when we like more or less.
    Having said that I've had a couple of torpid days but must be returning to normal as the washing machine was on today and we went into town. Maybe tomorrow I'll be flashing the iron about. This will be displacement activity as I know the bathroom floor needs washing.
    As the Test is over I will at least be able to get an early night!

  157. At 10:29 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Brandane stuff? No, ROBBIE, I missed that. What's the next thread to the Beach?????

    Being a Brandane, I am now avid to see what you said!!1

    Glad to see the gravadlax is gone ... even if you didn't say anything, I know you loved it! ... and who left this lovely thick-sliced smoked salmon?

    Whoever you are, you are lurrrvely!!

    Fi xxx

  158. At 11:10 PM on 28 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Molly,

    So are you going to let me have a few details about which performance you will be attending then ? Fifi and I need the feedback and fun factor !!

    RJD :- That';s an interesting thought of yours regarding posts not getting through if they cannot understand foreign languages ? Perhaps they will all need to go on courses now.

    Robbie (RJD)

    BTW do you recall when Robbie blogged as himself (as a dog) and then Rupert (our dog) replied.

    Well, if you do -- I made up the story about one of our guests called Douglas Mounce spilling coffee over Rupert.

    Douglas arrived back from his break over Christmas and quizzed me over the fact that a friend had dug up the whole of the comments (and e-mailed it to him) from the blog simply by typing in BBC and DOUGLAS MOUNCE into Google.

    I did go a little red but think I got away with it! -- Just blamed it on the Rupert who has been sent to his box for using the Laptop!

  159. At 11:15 PM on 28 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Fifi -

    The next thread - Christmas Day.

  160. At 11:17 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    I think the mods must be having their Christmas Party, because nothing seems to be happening tonight at all, at all.....

  161. At 11:33 PM on 28 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: RJD:

    Our guest and Google, I've just tried it and it now doesn't pick it up ? Does if you put his name and PM Blog

    Now, I've just had an e-mail through pointing me to a tribute on Talk Sport to Mike Dickin who was tragically killed in a car accident a few days back.

    I've just listened to some of it from the Talk Sport website. I wouldn't normally post this sort of thing here (esp as it's a BBC site) but as he started his career at the Beeb it's still appropriate.

    It's full of funny anecdotes from the likes of Angela Rippon and Mikle Allen, especially about the spooky building I used to work in (just off Fleet St) built on a plague pit) the home of LBC Radio years ago in London. For anyone interested in Talk Radio in general and some of it's past it's certainly worth a listen. This is the link to the Talk Sport website where you can listen or download it.


  162. At 11:38 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Fifi, it is but a puddle compared to a loch, but we do enjoy a cycle around Rutland sometimes - I'm a bit safer on dry land; a bit. I had forgotten about the portable DVD prize winning & feel sure it will run on batteries!

  163. At 11:59 PM on 28 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Well I'm off to bed Helen, Val, RJD , Fifi etc,

    HOWEVER, I discovered some exciting audio hidden away by accident. It all involves a programme that used to be on telly called 'That's life' and an instrument and a telephone. I have to cart out a tape machine to copy it off but it should be worth it I hope. The label also says Brian Sewell wind up ? So may be interesting !

    I'll get to work on it and get it up in the morning,

    Night xx

  164. At 12:22 AM on 29 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Charles H! How are your magic speedoes? And did you manage that last mince pie or come to a sticky 'Mr Creosote' end?

    FFearless! Do tell us if you are indeed 'pretzel-shaped' after your spell on the camp bed. We need to know....

    Anyone free to wrap some christmas presents? I've got about 20 left to do - there's a glass of port in it for you. (and no I'm not in a parallel universe, but family christmas will happen this saturday)

    Jingle bells, jingle bells..........tralala

  165. At 09:29 AM on 29 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    As it is now christmas eve in GM world, I'm about to set off on a long journey. I've prepared the Ka-mel and will follow the bright lights which hover over that ancient path, the M6, to guide me through the wildnerness. I do hope there is room at the Inn when I arrive...and brussel sprouts for nephew William.

    Fine old Ruby port in the little alcove behind the NCMB, just above the remains of the cheeses (phew they're beginning to smell a bit..!) GMx

  166. At 10:26 AM on 29 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Jonnie - you're the genius - is there any way of preserving FFred's strapline - I think he'll miss his moment of glory as he's being familiar? ( Dear Mods, that it not a rudery, I mean he is being with his family)

  167. At 10:30 AM on 29 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:

    and Fifi-what 'fun factor'?!!! good grief-my teenagers would die to see their mums sitting with a turnip on her head in the Assembly Rooms or whatever it is you have in mind!!!
    Suffice to say we shall be there next week but due to the fragility of the adolescent psyche (and mine!) may possibly stay unrevealed -who knows!
    Anyway,we are looking forward to an evening of good, wholesome , family fun !!!!!!
    Will report back......

    Hope to get to the beach
    for some sanity later. Anything left to eat or drink?

  168. At 10:37 AM on 29 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Just skiving here on the beach for a while since back in December a huge pile of filing (not done for months) awaits, together with reconciling the accounts for the year.

    Meant to tell you that one of the best things about Christmas morning was that I came down at about 8am to start preparations in the kitchen to find it spotless - three Christmas elves had got up at 6am and spring cleaned it top to bottom - bless them.

    It's not that my house is actually filthy, but I hate housework and only do what seems really necessary to prevent outbreaks of plague and furniture disappearing under a foot of dust. SO makes it worse by covering every available surface with papers, not just the kitchen table but the piano, harpsichord, clavichord etc etc.

    Tried interrogating daughters and d-in-law to find out who the elves were without success until son got up. I then asked if the elves were male or female and he confessed to being morally far inferior to wife and sisters which gave the game away good and proper!

    Mind you it's funny how they are quite happy to come back and sort me out now, when they rarely did it while living at home :)

  169. At 10:37 AM on 29 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Have a lovely Christmas GM. You deserve it.


  170. At 10:39 AM on 29 Dec 2006, "The family" wrote:

    Please can you tell gm (165) that the turkey is de-frosting, the champagne's in the fridge, Kings' Carol Service lined up on the tape and not a brussel sprout in sight! Nephew stationed at garden gate, on look out for Kamel bearing gifts!

  171. At 01:32 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    RobbieJohnDo : you star!!!! You absolutely lovely, wonderful, clever old thing you.

    Come here!


    All these years I've been wondering what the derivation of Brandane was.

    Telling you, folks. This blog is the BEST!!!!

    Thanks Robbie. You definitely earned your five pounds that time......


  172. At 02:01 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Well following my confessions about sluttishness over housework, I now see I am condemned to ill-health as a result - unless of course my Calvinistic background and consequent inability to sit still doing nothing will save me.


    I suppose housework has to be good for something.

  173. At 02:03 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Talking about avoiding work in the house (I did mention my aversion recently on another thread), today is giving us such evil weather that I can no longer avoid getting stuck into the annual silver and brass cleaning (and I do mean annual!). There is something about new Year, that gets the spirit of my Mum prodding me into cleaning the Auld Year's dirt away.

    See y'all later, with pruney fingers no doubt. As long as I get it done in time for this evening's jaunt to the local restaurant for a curry, followed by a viewing of the DVD of Woodstock which SO got for Christmas! I feel a bit of a wiggly flashback coming over me.....

  174. At 02:57 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Tonight we are out again, this time to the monthly acoustic get-together at the Oak.

    Thankfully, as the evening's TV is definitely not worth staying in for! Other than the Royal Institution Lecture, obviously.

    Hmm. Perhaps I'd better look out some music for this evening!

    I've left a little pile of Somerset camembert and gorgonzola on the bar, with oatcakes, if anyone's feeling munchie.


  175. At 04:18 PM on 29 Dec 2006, whisht wrote:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!

    Aunt Berengaria - thankyou so much!! that made me laugh out loud!

    and fifi, I don't think it was me that was meant to dress up......

    would it be wrong to say here that actually my favourite animation of that era was Chorlton and the Wheelies...?

    I mean, that Womble suit is lovely but.... you don't have a royund dragon costume anywhere do you?


  176. At 04:36 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Don't need a costume for that one.

  177. At 04:38 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    Big hugs all round, especially to Anne P's elves, Fearless for his super strapline, Fifi in preparation for the get-together at The Oak and all of you for being here.

    I thought I would just pop down here for a nice drink or two because I've just been so awfully pious and pompous on the main thread.

    On the other hand, I meant it. People are lovely. You only have to come down to the beach to know that's true. You lot helped me to survive the last few days (MMary knows what I mean!)

    Strange there's so much talk of housework here at the beach ... I plan to leave mine until next year. And maybe longer.

    Here's an excellent Taylors port to go with the cheese and oatcakes which Fifi has kindly left. Join me in a glass. Or maybe two.

  178. At 04:57 PM on 29 Dec 2006, whisht wrote:

    aaaawwwwwwwwww........ Aunt Dahlia!

    now....... don't wanna hear any more of that talk.

    and i won't till much later if i come back online - see you!!

  179. At 04:59 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    I'm so excited ... Daisy T Cat is at long last a star of the BBC blog WOYW!

    She is on the 3rd 'here' of Eddie's latest thread ... but don't even think of posting a Comment there. Guess which notoriously unreliable function isn't working?

    To read the longest caption in the world (which I never imagined would appear in full) and the most pompous looking by-line (complete with most of my letters) feel free to take a jaunt here:-


    Daisy is at number 42, as befits the cat who has reacquired meaning in her life since coming to live with us!

    Fifi happyhappyhappy.......

  180. At 05:40 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Ooh, Taylors port, one of my two favourites!

    The other is Graham's.

    Both of which were pointed out to me by a (then) friend, called Graham Taylor.



  181. At 05:54 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Oh bliss is mine, I was read out, much better than I ever could!

  182. At 05:59 PM on 29 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    warning warning, if you do go and look at Fifi's cat - who has a nice back view btw, do not look at 25 on the same gallery. It is without doubt one of the nastiest sights I have seen in a long time, I feel quite ill.

    This is not tongue in cheek, it really is horrible. Have we any plain water?

  183. At 06:02 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    & I'd had a horrid day, was sitting here miserably, so PM made the sun shine on my beach!

  184. At 07:04 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Hi Folks!

    Well, it's my first chance top log on since the holidays, and what do I find? A strapline! *blushes with pride* Sorry I've been away so long, but access was restricted while I was away, and the last day and a half have been spent sorting out December stuff.

    I hope everyone had a lovely time over the last few days. I'm off to go through all the threads from this week to try and catch up. If I'm not back within a few hours, you may need to send out a search party!

    I've left a few bottles behind the bar. There's some Cab Sauv, a Merlot, an unoaked Chardonnay, and a few spirits. There's alos some liffey water, and ales. But remember the old saying: "Never mix the grain and the grape, unless you're making muesli".

  185. At 07:25 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Annie - yet again we are in agreement - I wish they had a 'complain about this pic' button, for I would have hit it, ugh ugh ugh - and I'm not queasy about preparing dead animals for the pot - but that is something else.

  186. At 07:58 PM on 29 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    thank you aunt D - I didn't want to think I was being unduly sensitive and I know they couldn't pick and choose which pics they used and which they didn't.

    welcome back ffred, and well done Helen S. None of my posts ever get read out, sniff sniff.

  187. At 08:32 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    admin annie, I am sure Eddie is saving you up for a day when you really need it!

  188. At 10:15 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    Hiya Fred - glad to see you back! and thanks for all the excellent supplies.

    I missed the prog today (shocking!) but delighted to hear the sun has shone on Helen. She sparkles! Sorry you had such a bad day, Helen. It's great down here though.

  189. At 10:50 PM on 29 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    quick someone pass me a large malt - something really fortifying. I have just sat through Mrs Henderson Presents on TV and the one good thing I can find to say about it is, thank goodness I didn't pay to go and see it at the cinema.

    Now what can I nibble with this large galss of - well well Highland Park. Suggestions welcome.

  190. At 11:21 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Dire Media wrote:

    Is it just me or is it a relief not to have Big Sister and her alter ego On The Ledge posting every five minutes?

  191. At 12:35 AM on 30 Dec 2006, Dire Media wrote:

    Mmmm....maybe a bit too controversial?

  192. At 12:41 AM on 30 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Dire media - I think it's just you.

    Good night all.

  193. At 08:41 AM on 30 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Morning all, I think I'm coming down with the dreaded lurgy! I'm not sure but for the past two days I've been a bit wooly headed, sufferring from overheating and last night a dry tickly cough emerged which continues this am along with lack of apetite and a few aches. Is there a doctor in the house? What about Dr H?

    Sorry to bring my woes to the beach. I recommend anybody stays well away and leaves appropriate rememdies somewhere under the Christmas tree which I will fetch then go back into quarantine.



  194. At 10:18 AM on 30 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    madmary (193) I seem to have managed to get it myself. Started with feeling dizzy on Wednesday evening, a wierd spell of tunnel vision on Thursday, and a Friday with terrible indigestion/chest pains/gastric discomfort. Now I just have a really sore throat and feel unpleasant (and don't mean like Scrooge).

    But, hey, I'm a man. And men suffer these things in silence with a great inner strenght. I will soldier on bravely and make it to the sofa on my own and will sustain a pained look and pitifull "ohhh" for the entire day without assistance of any kind.

    I managed a lie in through Saturday Live and was disappointed with Nigella's Inheritance Tracks. "No Charge" by Tammy Wynette? I had hoped for "Anarchy in the UK" by The Sex Pistols...

  195. At 10:53 AM on 30 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Jason - sure the "Indigestion/chest pains/ gastric discomfort aren't just your body's revenge for what you inflicted on it over Xmas? All that "I may not live to see February " stuff... Not wishing to sound smug (she says, smugly) but I had no chocolate, desserts, or alcohol over Xmas, & I feel fine. Except I'm beginning to wonder if you can catch scabies by auto-suggestion, since I keep getting odd little itchy spots on my hands,& last night behind my knee. Weird. We definitely need a Clinic section on this blog - quarantine for any one with something catching.

    Good luck with the Man Flu (apparently ever so much more serious & painful than Woman flu). Hope no one else needs the sofa for a few days...

  196. At 11:04 AM on 30 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Hugs to all of you suffering from the Lurgy - our dear friends have just had to cancel their trip here for Hogmanay because of it, and its after-effects. So don't try to soldier on ignoring it, do give in and cosset yourselves, one and all.

    Wasn't it Jonnie's Simon who started it all off?and Aunt Dahlia?? I've just been casting my eye over an article on de-toxing for health benefits - it may go no further than eye-casting though.....

  197. At 11:08 AM on 30 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Where is Doc H?

  198. At 01:30 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    The noughties thread is just too depressing for me today.

    However December isn't all bad Chez Fifi. Last night's music night at the Oak was the best-ever attendance, despite tempest hail and wind (and that was just the singers!).

    Took till 11.30pm just to give everyone a go (I gave up one of mine and nobody noticed, otherwise even later) and after being kissed Happy New Year 20 or 30 times it was gone midnight before we escaped the premises.

    SO is now making definite noises about making more effort to learn songs in future so he can perform in his own right .. he has a fine baritone voice but so far only joins in with others.

    There's some cold meat loaf here, look, which I thought I might fry briskly with these cumberland snorkers and an organic egg or two .. sinful brunch anyone?

    It's not what I'd really like right now but all that's left in the fridge till I get to the shops.


  199. At 02:37 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hi Fifi, and fellow froggers of course.

    What's uniquely nice about this beach is that we don't need to travel to get here (unless the post count rises too far) and that when we get here, who do we find? Not a bunch of foreigners, sucking up to us for our apparent disproportionate wealth, but our friends and neighbours, generous to a fault with virtual comestibles, imbibables and loads of hugs.

    Sorry to seem a bit of a noughties misery, but, like cleaning the toilets, somebody's gotta do it, even the newfangled flush ones.

    Hugggggs all round, and a couple of Lagavulins and a barrel of Virtual Black Liffey!

    Guid Ne'er t'ye a'!

  200. At 02:55 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Ah, Ed, you care so much for this lousy planet and the lousy people mugger ring* it up.

    I love it here too, my friend.


  201. At 03:15 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    And here's the * Fifi Rhyming Slang that was missing from my last post.



  202. At 04:18 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Definitely just you Dire Media, & not controversy, just a travesty. We quence flames on the beach, due to our infinite supplies of seawater, so I'd suggest trolling off somewhere else.

  203. At 04:36 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Annasee (195) I am wondering if it may be the opposite. My SO was ill over Christmas so ate and drank very little and I came out in sympathy. The turkey dinner aside I have been very gentle on the food front.

    The cheese and biscuits only got started on Wednesday night (after the dizzy spell) and I haven't even done the Christmas pudding or got beyond the first box of mince pies. I have got through half a Stollen over the past week, though. No one else likes it, which is strange as I buy one every year. As for alcohol - less than a normal week (other definitions of normality are available).

    And, much as I planned to lay dieing on the sofa, I ended up at M&S and T£$€o being a dutiful New Year New Man. And then came home and made my first ever home made soup - spicy parsnip. The instructions on the new blender said not to blend hot liquids. I can attest to the wisdom of these instructions having demonstrated how volcanoes work to my youngest...

    Out tonight to a local Indian restaurant that shares it's name with said daughter. It softens the blow a little as she gets teased for being called "A Passage to India". We just thought it original.

  204. At 05:17 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Here's another helpful hint on the domestic front, Jason. Courtesy of my SO who did it. Once.

    Do not, under any circumstances, put a jelly & some hot water in your best cut-glass dessert bowl, & microwave it. The glass bowl will shatter, and the resulting mess will take you days to eradicate.You will also be able to demonstrate to your children just how upset Mummy can get over an old glass bowl. That you were sure you'd seen her put in the microwave before...

    The hot soup volcano made me LOL, as I too have done the same thing. There isn't time to let the soup cool when you're in a hurry. It's also tempting to overfill the blender just because it saves you doing it twice. Not a time- saving tip in the end. I also think , unless its a glass base, hot liquids might cause it to age & crack. I did that once with a plastic food processor & had to get a new bowl. (We really don't like following instructions in our house, do we?!)

    Hope the night out at the Indian wasn't the last straw for your protesting digestion!

  205. At 05:33 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    I'm sure you really meant to call her Taj Mahal, as that's much more romantic.
    The dizziness with this bug is v. disconcerting - or even disinclining, a good curry should cure it though - not the one in Dorking is it? best curry I've ever eaten, and a mere six hour drive. O you spoilt Londoners.

    Yes you can, it's only half an hour.

  206. At 05:46 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Annasee (204) The mixer is glass so I even warmed it in tap water first to avoid thermal shock. I got a thermal surprise instead...

    Aunt Dahlia (205) Yes I am in North West London - a little suburb called Derbyshire ;-)

    We nearly named her Taj Mahal but thought it was a little too similar to her older half-brother Toots and the Maytals. Her sister, Peking Duck, is grumpy and refusing to come with us. Teenagers!

  207. At 05:56 PM on 30 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS to everyone! (And thank you Mary for your good wishes :-)

    I'm not completely mad...

    We are just about to tuck into yummy christmas dinner - we couldn't all be together to do it before:-( The advantage of having christmas today is that it can run seemlessly through into New Year, without those odd "should we be working or partying" days in between.

    If anyone finds Dr H should we ask him to open the clinic? All this talk of Scabies and viruses on the beach is a bit worrying.... Mrs Naughtie is also notable by her abscence - a reunion with Mr ("We don't speak of him") Naughtie perhaps??

  208. At 06:05 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    and may all your turkeys be stuffed.

    oh, and I think they're discussing the Naughties on another thread.....

  209. At 06:11 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Jason, I suspect the dog is called 'darting fog' and the cat - 'cooking fat'?

  210. At 06:16 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "this lousy planet and the lousy people ..."

    To a Louse:
    On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet, At Church

    Ha! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
    Your impudence protects you sairly;
    I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
    Owre gauze and lace;
    Tho', faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
    On sic a place.

    Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
    Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner,
    How daur ye set your fit upon her-
    Sae fine a lady?
    Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
    On some poor body.

    Swith! in some beggar's haffet squattle;
    There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
    Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle,
    In shoals and nations;
    Whaur horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
    Your thick plantations.

    Now haud you there, ye're out o' sight,
    Below the fatt'rels, snug and tight;
    Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
    Till ye've got on it-
    The verra tapmost, tow'rin height
    O' Miss' bonnet.

    My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
    As plump an' grey as ony groset:
    O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
    Or fell, red smeddum,
    I'd gie you sic a hearty dose o't,
    Wad dress your droddum.

    I wad na been surpris'd to spy
    You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
    Or aiblins some bit dubbie boy,
    On's wyliecoat;
    But Miss' fine Lunardi! fye!
    How daur ye do't?

    O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
    An' set your beauties a' abread!
    Ye little ken what cursed speed
    The blastie's makin:
    Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,
    Are notice takin.

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An' foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
    An' ev'n devotion!

    I could'nae haud mysel'!


  211. At 06:23 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Having returned bedraggled and dispirited (I didn't know we'd run out of gin) from the supermarket, my SO drily (sun not yet over yard arm) that this afternoon's Superman movie had been replaced.

    By Zulu!

    I'd love to know whose brilliant idea of scheduling that was, wouldn't you?

    Other African nations are available, as are other genders of superperson.

    Anyway, to business. I've finally opened that bottle of Taylor's port I'd been saving since Christmas, so do pull up a glass if you'd like some. Crackers and cheeseboard on the side.

    So much nicer here, in the troll free zone, than back out there in December!

    Fifi xx

  212. At 06:30 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia - LOL !!!!!!

    Fifi xx

  213. At 06:35 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Aunt Pollyanna wrote:

    Cheer up Fifi
    We've been re naming your pheasants on another thread, so that's something to look forward to-
    skippety hop

  214. At 06:38 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    Oh dear, Annasee - but we've all had similar disasters, I'm sure. Like the roast potatoes I did a few Christmasses ago and the first time I had tried to parboil the potatoes first on an electric cooker. By the time they got to the hot fat waiting for them in the oven, they were not only parboiled but also mashed. I screamed and yelled and cried and threw a blue fit, but we had enough potatoes left to make some roast ones and had the mash as well.

    And then there was the 25 lb turkey I squashed into the oven one Christmas (1978 I think it was) and then when it was supposed to be cooked and I opened the oven door, all the fat had overflowed the roasting tin and poured out of the oven like Niagara Falls.

    Dear friend Ed - I can't go back and add anything to the Noughties thread because I know you are right - we all have to give up so much more than just a little. But something is better than nothing? Do say you agree?

    Meanwhile, let's all indulge down here. Where is Dr H - I think MMary needs you!

    Back to December now and the endless meal-making. There doesn't seem to be anything much on TV so how shall I amuse mother? We've been playing Countdown on DVD this afternoon.

    Doesn't it seem a long time since DayOne?

  215. At 07:28 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia (209) we don't have a cat.

    But the dog is known as "moo" because his markings resemble a cow. He is a jack russell head on a staffordshire bull terrier body. Very short legs, his real name is Solo, because he is, well, so low. (Other methods of ruining your carpet and getting white hairs all over your soft furnishings are available.)

  216. At 07:40 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    DayOne ... my, those were the days!


  217. At 08:11 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Of course, I agree, but is it 'enough'?

    When the Tao is present in the universe,
    The horses haul manure.
    When the Tao is absent from the universe,
    War horses are bred outside the city.

    There is no greater sin than desire,
    No greater curse than discontent,
    No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.
    Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

    xx (hugs)

  218. At 08:17 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Ah yes, good old Day One. It was all so charmingly "young" back then :-)

  219. At 08:24 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:


    Could we have a DayOne 2007 (cos it will be)

    Can I have a Guinness.

    Fifi If you want to save the Taylor's, I've left a bottle of Blue Sapphire on Nick's bar.

    It's good to be back.

  220. At 08:29 PM on 30 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I should have known that if I had the lurgy Jason would have it more than me!

    Actually Jason your lurgy sounds a bit like mine in it's gestation. I feel ok as longas I sit on the sofa, but as soon as I move - I get dizzy and weak.

    Anyway, I'm feeling a bit revived now.

    I wish I could have joined in the naughties thread, it is really interesting but it hurts my head to try to put sensible thought together.

    Ah port! Maybe that's what I need. Thanks Fifi.


  221. At 08:48 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    I like a certain maker's Late Bottled Vintage port - unless we are having bad weather. Then it's just any port in a storm.

  222. At 08:53 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    No need to ask, Brian, help yourself, and I'll join you, just for the company, mind.

  223. At 08:56 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Ah, Bill n Ben, I'll happily switch to the gin! Especially if it means more of Taylor's Linctus for MadMary.

    I actually remember the first time I ever tasted Goombay* Sapphire. I was at a work colleague's house, just before we both were carted off to a works annual awards do at Ally Pally.

    What a disappointment that the liquid itself wasn't blue!

    And I didn't win any awards that year either. :o(

    * Fifi Nearly Rhyming Slang

    Did anyone else see Robin Hood tonight? (Other bonkers outlaw shows are available.) Preposterous plot, ridiculous dialogue, fabulous feelgood factor!


  224. At 09:08 PM on 30 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I have a whole bottle of the blue gin Fifi, allow me to pour you some.


  225. At 09:08 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    admin annie (189) I know we watched it last night, the saving grace for us being that it was actually a film we would watch together, but of the lowest common denominator. Who would have thought the dame would stoop to something quite so dreadful, tho' I don't blame her for paying the bills at all, what with Finty at home with the baby and all!

  226. At 09:19 PM on 30 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I must have very low tastes admin annie and HelenSparkles. I watched it and loved it. I thought Will Young (is that his name) was wonderful, especially when he sang "The Way You Looked Tonight". Oh the shame.


  227. At 09:34 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Mary (224) : Ooh, you have to love this beach. I have two of you vying to serve me blue gin ... bliss!

    Anyone fancy peeling me a grape or two while we're at it?

    I should warn you, I will be unavailable on the beach tomorrow night for musical entertainment, as I will be with friends making inappropriate music (don't ask!) till the wee hours or so.

    And on New Year's Day, I will be first sleeping off Hogmanay (see above) and then driving carefully to Oakham for a music-and-comfort-food party with a friend of mine and her other pals.

    So, make good use of me tonight! Would you like some wassailing songs, or a few more previously unreleased verses from the Hedgehog Song? (May take a while to apply the FRS Adapter, mind you..)

    Fifi ;o)

  228. At 09:42 PM on 30 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    oh yes Fifi I watched Robin Hood and really annoyed my son by saying things like 'what is she wearing, that is a 19th century veil' and when he protested I said 'well OK a 21st century copy of a 19th century veil' and then I squealed with horror and he did that thing they do with upcast eyes and said 'what is it now?' and I said - 'It's a gathered skirt for goodness sake'.

    Yes you are so right, it's all totally bonkers and I only watch it, as we all know, for the lovely Mr A who is incredibly sexy, although have you noticed he sounds exactly like Sean Bean? Not that thta's a downer in my book.

    Helen - does Finty still live at home then? What I want to know is why hasn't the CSA been knocking on her door and making her name the father of the sprog so that he can contribute to the bringing up of his child. One law for the poor unknowns and another for the rich and famous. However I don't want to sound nasty as everything I have ever read or heard about Dame J points to how nice she is and she is also a fantastic actress. You wouldn't think she'd need the money nowadays but does Mrs H pre date her Bond days?

    I'm skipping off now to do a serious post on a still active 29th Dec thread, leaving behind me large quantities of sugared almonds, turkish delight and C*dbury's chocolate tree decorations. which were all half price in our local supermarket this afternoon.

  229. At 10:22 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    AdminAnnie (228) : Well, once again I bow to a fellow frogger's superior technical knowledge. I was sure there was something wrong with that gorgeous veil Her Marryin' Ness was sporting ... and now I know why!

    That gold-shot fabric wedding dress struck me as a bit odd too.

    And let's not even start talking about the dialogue! and makeup! and... and....

    More gin, anyone (hic) ?

    Fifi ;oD

  230. At 11:21 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    Ed (217) - No. It isn't.


  231. At 11:27 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    No gin for me, Fifi. I'm staying sober tonight, to make up for the more than usual amount of falling down juice that'll be imbibed tomorrow.

    btw, Has everyone else just received the newsletters from thursday and Friday?

  232. At 11:38 PM on 30 Dec 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Well, I've just watched the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Confused, may be it's because I haven't got a brain the size of a planet.

    I need another pint.

    Fifi, you could always do a few Kipmeister songs. Tee Hee.

  233. At 12:09 AM on 31 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Jason - I'm still thinking about soup... The way to get round the volcano tendency is to blend all the lumpy stuff first, with a minimum of the hot liquid, just enough to make it mix together. That is less explosive in tendency. Then if you're really pushed for time just pour the mixer contents back into the excess liquid you left in the saucepan. That's what I usually do, seems to work ok.

    Change of subject. SO got himself a new mobile phone when we were in Oman recently. (It has Arabic lettering, but that seems to be an inconvenience he can live with.Apparently it was cheap) In love with the new technology,he recorded a personalised ringtone on it - our daughter doing her best cat meow imitation, which I have to admit is frighteningly realistic (even our cat pricks up his ears). Wouldn't you like to have been in Manchester's Art Gallery today when I phoned SO to get him to meet me? Apparently it took some time to find the phone during which the meows increased in volume, & other people gave them some very funny looks...

  234. At 12:19 AM on 31 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    I've just received Thursday & Friday's newsletters tonight. A teeny bit late, but I missed the programmes anyway, had to work. Still, nice to know Eric & Nigel were thinking of us. I note Eric forgot to include his CBE MBE & QSM. For services to Law, no doubt.

  235. At 01:28 AM on 31 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Yup Fearless, very confusing, not least because I received and read them in reverse order too......

    There's going to be a huge shock to my bodyclock when I have to give up going to bed at 2a.m. and getting up at 10 - it just feels so much more natural than getting up at 5.45 in the middle of the night!

  236. At 01:43 AM on 31 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Will Young was good actually mary, so not low & I have anyway paid good money at the cinema to see worse because I will watch almost anything really.

    Finty, I believe, admin annie, does live with mum together with her son Sam. She is a single parent but all is hush on Sam's dad, Judi never talks about it.

    Mrs Henderson Presents (2005) came after The World Is Not Enough (1999), Everything or Nothing (2003) & Die Another Day (2002), James Bond 007: although Judi Dench credits Mrs. Brown (1997) as giving her a whole new career which might have included M.

    I am wondering about seeing her as The Merry Widow in Stratford.

  237. At 02:01 AM on 31 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Hi Helen, Val, et all

    The wind (I think) blew the line down.

    No Landline or ADSL for 40 odd hours and finally a very shaky wifi connection from the Hotel down the road! - literally involving coathangers and curtains!

    Because we are (stupidly) with Bulldog communications they can't even transfer incoming calls to a mobile!

    They think the fault / line will be repaired on Tuesday, so as this keeps on dropping out, I'll wish you all a very Happy New year in case it's impossible to get a connection again,

    Jonnie xx

  238. At 09:45 AM on 31 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    adminannie (228)
    I didn't watch the offending R.Hood having given it up after the first couple of episodes. It seems as if each generation re-invents him in its own image and sadly I found this invention too humourless and lacking in wit, never mind historical accuracy.

    However, I'm intrigued by your reference to gathered skirts. Just when did gathering come in? It seems as if smocking was invented in the 13th/14th century so gathering must have been around then. Presumably only pleating was used before?

    Anyone know of a really good history of costume which shows the construction of garments as well as contemporary images?

  239. At 10:24 AM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    I'd just like to make a complaint about the packaging for Lemsip Max Strenght Flu capsules (other remedies are available).

    They have made the papery foily thingy thicker and, it seems, the capsules themselves weaker so, when you try to push the capsule through the foil, you hear the familiar "click" of the capsule pushing through foil. Except it isn't the sound of the capsule pushing through the foil. It's the sound of the capsule exploding inside the foil.

    When I finally break through the wrapping I am faced with some bits of coloured plasticky stuff surroneded in white powder. Being too poor to throw it away I have to consume the most vile tasting thing ever. And I have eaten snails.

    I do wonder if it is deliberate - not the eating of the snails, that certainly was deliberate - I mean the breaking tablets. I wonder how many more they sell through all the ones that get broken and thrown away.

    Is it too early for a whisky? Even for medicinal purposes??

  240. At 10:54 AM on 31 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Write to them with sticky packaging & you might get a free packet Jason!

  241. At 01:22 PM on 31 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    gathering was around fairly early actually if we're talking about sleeves, so I suppose what I meant was not gathered skirts but gathered round the waist. Marian had a sort of Victorian bustle at the back of her gold lame gown - she looked an absolute mess, also the wedding was going to take place INSIDE the church which is totally inaccurate , but hey! we are talking here about a program which had phrases like 'I'm on to it' and featured turquoise clad female saracen hit squads a few weeks ago so obviously we're not talking commitment to accuracy here.

    But you have got me thinking about when waist gathered skirts started - the first one that sticks in my mind would be the Gloriana portrait of Elizabeth 1 (of England) so some time in the
    16th century - if you think of some of the earlier eg Holbein pictures I can't call to mind any gathered waists. They certainly weren't a feature of medieval femal costume which was basically constructed of belted and tied rectangles with the occasional venture into those long drippy seleves which look so romantic but would have been totally impractical.

    Anyone else out there know? It's one of those things that is going to bug me off and on - probably until I buy myself a good costume history book.

    Anyway that's enough thinking for now. I'm going to lie down in a hammock and soak up the sun witha glass of somethign slightly fizzy and fruity and reflect on what the year brought - mainly good things in my case.

    And back in December I'm going to go and see what is holding up lunch.

  242. At 02:20 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Anne P (238), AdminAnnie and others...

    If anyone would like to know in more detail what's wrong with all the costumes in Robin Hood, my fellow Jam Tart is probably the best authority going.

    She does all the research, uses found patterns wherever possible, and makes her own.

    Let me know via the flipside if you'd like me to introduce you!

    Fifi xx

  243. At 04:45 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Retail therapy was what I needed, apparently. I am now the proud owner of a very stripey, very selfish "tea for one" teapot, cup, saucer and matching tea spoon. Sadly they didn't sell stripey tea for it but i'm sure T£$€o will. (Other boiling hot liquids that don't erupt from blenders are available.)

  244. At 05:05 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    I was manfully ignoring the frock threads until I happened across Admin Annie (241): turquoise-clad female saracen hit squads?

    I may have to buy the DVD.

  245. At 05:10 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Just in case I forget to say this nearer the time (we are going out at 7) ...

    May I wish all my fellow froggers everywhere, from Orkney to Florida and beyond, a jolly time this Hogmanay night, and a year full of good things in 2007.

    Let's all raise a glass to each other at midnight GMT, those who aren't working or sleeping!

    And I'll see you on the beach as soon as I can!

    Fifi XXXXX

  246. At 05:11 PM on 31 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    A stripey teaspoon Jason? Can we have pictures posted on your blog?


  247. At 05:40 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    madmary (246): it's on there. Scroll down to "Albums" and its the picture in "Sundries"...

  248. At 06:11 PM on 31 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Jason I've just looked at your teaset, and I must say I extremely jealous! Now when you are on call you can comfort yourself with tea made in your lovely teaset.

    I want one!


  249. At 06:28 PM on 31 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Jason I just got totally distracted by your blog and was particularly interested in your experience of learning maths. I too was demoted from top set to second set, at my own request, although I daresay the top set teacher was fairly relieved to see the back of me. The crunch came when I spent 35 minutes of my life listening to her explaining to the class why the formula used for solving quadratic equations worked and I realised at the end that not only had I not understood a word that she was saying but that a lot of other people in the class had follwed what she was saying without any problem.
    So I went down a set and didn't have to fail my maths o level a year early and then suffer extra maths in the fifth form. I took it at the right time and by virtue of grasping Venn diagrams and probability, and having a basic understanding of geometry did OK.

    Turqoise clad saracen hit squads of the female variety, well now if you like that sort of thing you really should by the DVD. Will none of the children want it for their birthdays?

  250. At 06:32 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Sale item from Whittards at the Trafford Centre (other regional temples to the God Mammon are available) - £14 from £20, with the spoon a snip (not a word I use lightly following the incident with the local anaesthetic) at £1 instead of £3. Other patterns are available.

    I shan't use it when on call as I associate being on call with stress - why on earth I ever volunteered for the job I'll never know!

    No, it will be for when I get in from work and have between 1 and 3 hours before youngest needs collecting from school. The new ritual will be get in, make a brew, sit down and chill for 30 minutes, then get on with life. Maybe that way the writing will happen.

  251. At 07:20 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Fifi - thanks for the offer re costume will email you on the flipside as suggested.

  252. At 07:32 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:


    A guid New Year tae ane an aw,
    An mony may ye see!
    An durin aw the years tae come,
    O happy may ye be!
    An may ye nee'er hae cause tae murn
    Tae sigh or shed a tear!
    Tae ane an aw, baith great an sma,
    A hertie, Guid New Year!

    I shall raise a glass to you all at the appointed hour, and hope the new year brings you all that you wish for yourselves.

  253. At 07:32 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    I'm taking Fif's lead and posting my heartfelt wishes to each and everyone of you new friends, found and as yet still lurking unfounds too!


    See y'all in 2007!

    P.S. didn't Eddie's today's blog bring a lump to your collective throats?

  254. At 07:40 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    admin annie (249): Sounds almost exactly the opposite of my maths experience, strangely. I couldn't cope with the top set (a) because they were just too darn fast and (b) because nothing got explained. They were shown, given some examples, set a homework, on to the next thing. It was only when differentiation and integration were actually explained in a way that I really understood that I could then do the problems. Without the explanation it was just a jumble of figures and letters.

    But then I never did pretend to understand solving quadratics. I could expand out brackets but not put them back again. Unless that was how it started, which always struck me (and the examiners) as cheating.

    An upside to being in the second set was that I got to do 4th year Sports Day and won the 100 meters race as all the fast boys (ooh err) were in the top set.

    I managed to scrape an E in A-level Pure Maths with Stats (a forced choice by interfering parents) by scribbling formulea in pencil all over my coursework, which we were allowed to take into the exam, then rubbing it all out before the end...

    The DVD won't work, I fear. Not raunchy enough for Son, not dark enough for elder daughter, not Disney or Barbie enough for younger daughter, not plausible enough for SO. But a man can dream...

  255. At 08:02 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    And can I just wish whoever has the soul destroying job of moderating this for us on a New Year's Eve night a happy New Year. Thanks to you and all the team for making this place happen - we do appreciate it.

  256. At 08:11 PM on 31 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Aunt D (208) thank you! And yes, well stuffed. Christmas well and truly done now:-)

    'Boxing day' football - competitive Auntie regained possession from nephew ("But Auntie ******, I never knew you had ball skills!) - and teenage trying out of curling tongs and hairdrier is slowly metamorphosing into New Year's Eve...

    Cracker joke:

    How do you get two whales in a car?

    Via the Severn Bridge! ....... Boom boom!

    In anticipation - Happy New Year to all the Froggers, thank you for being such a fun, witty, intelligent, well-read, friendly & compassionate bunch and looking forward to much much more in 2007! GMXX

  257. At 08:39 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    gossipmistress (256): I'm confused. We use the M56... ;-)

    Right, I am officially disconnecting from t'Internet for the year. I shan't come back until next year as I am going to enjoy the time imbetween in the exclusive company of SO enjoying our anniversary. That is if she'll speak to me now she's read my blog...

    Have a great New Year everyone and see you on the other side.

  258. At 09:02 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Happy New Year to all Froggers, and the PM team.

    I've mostly only lurked here recently, there's been an awful lot to do in the last few days...hopefully things will improve in the new year...

  259. At 10:39 PM on 31 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    yes, it's a Happy New Year from them and er - it's a Happy New Year from me too. I'm being boring and going to bed, I have problems with New Year celebrations and experience has taught me that the best thing to do is go to bed early and sleep away the moment.

    Thanks for all the fun and friendship in 2006 and I look forward to much much more of it in 2007.

  260. At 11:17 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Sara wrote:

    Sorry to have missed you, Admin Annie - stay here, it's great. And a very happy New Year to you.

    We're just off to ring the bells and consume large quantities of bubbly in the back of church! A lovely tradition.

    What will this beach be called tomorrow? Will we have a new beach? Wherever we meet, I hope it's good for you all.

  261. At 11:33 PM on 31 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    I'm going to be like admin annie. I'm on call and I've got to go to work in the morning.

    My champagne is on ice till tomorrow evening!

    Love you all, Happy New Year!


  262. At 12:00 AM on 01 Jan 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Assuming this takes more than 3 minutes to moderate, Happy New Year Everyone!!!!


  263. At 12:16 AM on 01 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Fireworks, corks popping, a huge clock tower striking 12... it must be


    on the beach, too!

  264. At 12:45 AM on 01 Jan 2007, Arvicola terrestris wrote:

    Frances O - You were going to tell us today - weren't you?

  265. At 02:51 AM on 01 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Just back from drinking, quizzing, singing, fireworks (unexpected), a tank bowling down the High Street (even more unexpected), a few waifs and strays invited to join the party after midnight, more singing and drinking .. and now it's not even 3am and we're already home!

    These English just don't know how to do Hogmanay justice; sigh.

    My sympathy to those of you with issues to do with new year. My former prison penfriends have taught me to be a bit less flippant about the occasion, so I do know it can be an ordeal, till the moment is safely past and we can think about the future rather than the past again (or the present rather than the future!).

    Big hugs to all who are still on the beach at nearly 3am, and to those who'll pick this up tomorrow ... er .. later today.


    Fifi xxxxx

  266. At 01:34 PM on 01 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    The TV schedulers are at it again: the bloodthirsty lot will now be traumatised by the unexpected re-swapping of movies on ITV.

    Instead of Zulu, they'll be treated to Superman!

    Tee hee.

    Fee Fee xx

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