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Eddie Mair | 12:24 UK time, Thursday, 30 November 2006

and, the 200th posting on the Blog. Enjoy...


  1. At 12:33 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Any chance of getting the reindeer introduced to the camels?

  2. At 12:33 PM on 30 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Crack open the bottle BigSis

  3. At 12:42 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    Big kiss from Big Sis to Lord Mair x

  4. At 12:44 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    The waves are lovely here. Sky a deep deep blue.

    Drinks on the bar, everybody! I've mixed up a big jug of pina colada, there are margheritas in the chiller, Sancerre on tap, Buds (the real ones!) in the beer chiller, and now I'm off to rustle up some organic beefburgers (with veggie alternatives) and a big bowl of salad.


  5. At 12:47 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    RJD - They might cross pollinate..... But I guess that might help Santa cross the Sahara? :-)

  6. At 12:47 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Thought I'd bring the toys along.


    Grown ups like it too!

  7. At 12:54 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia

    Is some past post I set you a task that you either did not see or chose to ignore. I was reminded it of it when we were responding to the "photography expert" - remember?

    Your mission, should you coose to accept it, is in the best mission wallybollocks speak, to create a mission statement for PM (50-100 words). This beach will self-destruct next Monday.

  8. At 12:55 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Are we in the Southern hemisphere?

  9. At 12:56 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Loz wrote:

    any chance of seeing a pciture of lissa?

  10. At 01:08 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:


    Isn't that a little dangerous - I mean, what could result from that congress?

  11. At 01:13 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Simon Worrall wrote:

    RJD (1);
    that might be biologically and zoologically interesting!!

    For the benefit of those who appreciate an occasional Woodbine, the smokers shelter is just around the back of the Nick Clarke waterfront bar. Please clear up after yourselves. You wouldn't want Appy to tell you off, would you!

    Dog-walkers, just the other side of the rock-pools please. you'll find free disposable gloves and plastic bags next to the red bin.

    For those seeking refreshment you'll find a tray of Blue Hawaiians on the counter, along with a selection of crudites. (Or crude-ites, as an Aussie friend once memorably called them).

    For those whose pleasures are distilled closer to home (and I know you're out there!) there's a bottle of Talisker there too.

    I'll be on that lounger over there, reading Catch-22 (again). If anyone wants to join me, you're more than welcome.


  12. At 01:17 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Eddie, you're spoiling us:-)

    Seriously though (If I can be semi-serious whilst here on the Beach), I think it says a lot about you, Sequin, and the loyalty that you engender that your blog has become the place it is. Other blogs seem to degenerate into shouting matches or places where trolls come to have a go at the blogger and/or commenters for some percieved slight. I can't imagine that happening here. To paraphrase both Roberto and Silver-Fox:

    Great Blog :-)

  13. At 01:17 PM on 30 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    And as we are celebrating should we remind ourselves of another bit of classic Radio 4 :-)


  14. At 01:20 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Sara wrote:

    Oh, it's nice to be here. I think we should celebrate with this nice bottle of sparkly stuff (Sainsbury's own brand, so wins the prize!). I've put the other bottle (from Somerfield - not advertising - it was on the news this morning) in this handy portable fridge.

    Hope you will be along here soon, Lady Pen. I'm so sorry for pre-empting what you had said - and getting it wrong. I was just grumpy earlier about smoking being the latest bete noir - that and veils, of course!

    Will Eddie join us in the sunshine, do you think?

  15. At 01:23 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Simon (in a stern voice)

    The dogs go to Fido's Run in the next bay. No need for all those gloves, etc.

    Enjoy your fag!

  16. At 01:24 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Charles Hatton wrote:

    My Speedos are a bit tight! Perhaps I shouldn't wear them on my head ...

  17. At 01:26 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Sorry, Simon, for fag read book.

  18. At 01:35 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Humph wrote:

    Dr H (8)

    Actually, I think we may be in the tropics somewhere. That way, we won't need to worry about going too far in about 6 months time.


  19. At 01:38 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Jennifer wrote:

    Eddie, sitting at my desk my PM newsletter has just popped in giving me my lunchtime smile.

    But it got me thinking. Tell us about the rest of your day when you're not sending the newsletter or on air. What time do you get in? When do you have your first coffee break? Is there a PM water cooler?

  20. At 01:45 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh Jonnie, Thank you for that! It was such a classic, classic moment! While quite neutral about JR, she went up in my estimation that day - mainly because, having got so very upset, she didn't walk out. And she was right not to let the snipe pass ....

    Poor Libby! Caught in the line of fire!

    A classic moment. Well posted!

  21. At 01:53 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Thanks for all the refreshments. Can someone remind me which grown up book I'm supposed to be reading while I'm lying in my hammock please? I'm in a scary land (TMFT) & want to get off!

  22. At 01:58 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    Can someone let me know the date of Post 100?

    I'm trying (in between times) to work a bit more on the Blog History and, as Eddie has kindly pointed out that this is no. 200, I thought I'd better note which was no. 100. Any ideas, anyone?

  23. At 02:05 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

    is the link for all book club stuff.

    Enjoy your read!

  24. At 02:08 PM on 30 Nov 2006, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Yo, beach.

    I'm just popping in here briefly, as all the non-academics in the department (me included) are on tenterhooks waiting for our Letters (note the capital L) telling us about our job-matching/regrading results...

    I can sense the spirit of Fluff getting ready to read out the results;

    "And up one grade, from technician 2 to technician 3 is M...
    Moving from Academic related to IT, is D...
    And this week's big mover is SSC..."


    I'm off to check my mailbox again. Someone fix me a drink - a Non-Northern Reassurance will be fine - I'm going to need one soon whatever the outcome!

  25. At 02:08 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Simon (11)

    It is rare for me not to read a book I've started, but I found Catch-22 quite unreadable. Never got beyond the first few pages. How on earth can you want to re-read it?

    How lovely to know we need never worry again about the beach silting up or becoming unreachable. Thank you.

    If you're watching and Lord Mair won't tell us, how about revealing all about the PM water cooler, whether he's finicky about his coffee and generally what he gets up to.

    We're agog!

    (always thought that sounded faintly uncomfortable ....)

  26. At 02:09 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Charles Hatton wrote:

    Fab clip, Jonnie (13). Thanks for the chance to hear this again. I can't listen to this without hiding behind my hands ...

  27. At 02:23 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Chrissie the Trekkie wrote:


    Will it be as amusing and full of references as StarGate's 200th episode.....

    (You'd be hard pushed to be less amusing anyway.)

  28. At 02:30 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Sara wrote:

    Love this beach. Thank you Eddie.

    I think my last posting has been moderated because I brought along some lovely sparkly drinky stuff for us all but named the brand! The two bottles were own-brands from different supermarkets and each one beat the famous brands in a recent taste test, according to this morning's news.

    Also, I wanted to say sorry for leaping in too quickly to pre-empt what Lady Pen was going to say about smoking in an earlier thread today. Sorry, Lady Pen. I was just grumpy and feeling victimised for what I have so much enjoyed over the past forty years, even though I've now stopped.

    Anyway, congrats to you Eddie on your 200th brilliant post.

    I'm just going to enjoy the sunshine and sparkly stuff and enjoy another round of Big Sister's game (6) - it's great fun!

  29. At 02:35 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Big Sis

    I think we have better things to do than trail through the Blog to find that!

    18th October if you're interested

    50 Was 28th Sept - First thing PM Pointless thing postcard thingy

  30. At 02:39 PM on 30 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    For those of you still interested in Chris Jarvis exploits with his looming Panto he sent me a text to say he's just done a live Interview with Richard Cartridge on BBC Solent.

    I however missed it but I noted that it's on their 'listen again site' so will dub-off the relevent bit later and stick a link. He said it was a bad interview as the PR people had not briefed Richard properly.

    Chris told me that they were in the gallery at Cbeebies looking at Eddies Pictures on this blog yesterday but none of them managed to see the comments. I have now explained to him that he has to click the comments to see them.

    It's not rocket science is it ? He's promised to write a comment for you all and HelenSparkles

  31. At 02:41 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Simon (16) you shouldn't have speedos anywhere! :-) Thanks Big Sister (23) I'm looking forward to it.

    Fearless Fred (12) I couldn't have put it better myself, it is a unique blog. The lack of antagonism, and plentiful nice-ness, are rare in the blogsphere and a delight.

    We also really appreciate being nutured by the PM team.

  32. At 02:54 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Anyone else want to guess what the lead being debated in the PM office is? In the newsletter it sounds like someone is fed up with internal politics.

    BTW Eddie, I don't care where I hear the story, or how exclusive it is; I just listen to R4 when I can & hope you will share anything of importance with me at some point.

  33. At 03:03 PM on 30 Nov 2006, coco wrote:

    Congratulations! I'm enjoying.....

  34. At 03:08 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Ha ha Charles (16), I think they look graet on your head - but you really ought to get another pair if you want to maintain your modesty.

    Right, I'll have a Non-Northern Reassurance with you SSCat, if you don't mind, and hope it all went well. I'm just going to relax quietly on this lounger and read, as I'm a bit worried about the smokers having go at me for things I didn't say (Simon (11) - leave it - I don't care what goes on in the shelter, do I?...)

    Anyone want the second book in that trilogy I was reading a while back? - I'm onto the final exciting part now... :-)

  35. At 03:10 PM on 30 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re; HelenSparkles and a grown up book.

    Big Sis sent me a list which I lost but is now here:

    Please e-mail BigSis on the book club contact form at the bottom of this page:


  36. At 03:12 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Mark Intime wrote:

    Sara (14) I can appreciate you being grumpy if you were trying to smoke through a veil!
    Simon I must applaud your taste in malts. I've helped myself to the Talisker. Is there going to be a party tonight? I can rustle up something for the barbeque.

  37. At 03:20 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    RJD 7
    OK, you asked for it.
    What I want to say is 'PM pokes a distinctive and enquiring nose into the more neglected issues of the day'.
    To maximise listener focussed access to quality information in a cost effective yet passionate way that facilitates, supports and promotes the anticipated output required in an interface bettween an empowering environment and the acknowledgement of the requirement for robust delivery mechanisms that adhere to and observe the non-discriminatory policies of the whole organistation.
    Everybody asleep now?

  38. At 03:25 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    Are you talking about the second book of a triloogy of THAT FIRST BOOK that you had on Dayone?

  39. At 03:25 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    RJD: That was all v. helpful and I've added it in to the Blog Guide revision that I'm working on.

    I'm also adding in bookmarks/hyperlinks to help people navigate.

    Any of the techhie people who read this and think I'm wasting my time on that (no not on the Guide in general - I know its a timewaster, but what the heck! - I meant on the hyperlinks) please let me know. I'm hoping the facility may be transferrable onto Jonnie's site will be unproblematic ....

  40. At 03:27 PM on 30 Nov 2006, whisky joe wrote:

    A very happy St Andrew's Day to one and all.

    Och aye, the beach is lovely.

  41. At 03:35 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Sara wrote:

    Hi Appy (33) - sorry - I wasn't really having a go at you or anyone in particular so please don't be worried.

    I will be nice in future! The sunshine on this lovely beach helps a lot.

    Do you know, my earlier comment which I thought had been moderated suddenly appeared. And this latest one took an hour to arrive. It all gets a bit confusing.

    Hope SSC's Letter with a capital L has turned out well - have a glass of Sainsbury's best, SSC, and chill ....

  42. At 03:39 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    I'm hoping the facility may be transferrable onto Jonnie's site will be unproblematic ....

    [Lynne Truss, Lynne Truss, Lynne Truss, Lynne Truss ...]

    "I'm hoping the facilty's transfer onto Jonnie's site will be unproblematic."


  43. At 03:39 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Johnnie (30) "He's promised to write a comment for you all and HelenSparkles". I be entirely appreciative of the attention!

    I just looked up Chris on the BBC website, being at home seeking displacement activities as I am, & his photo is actually much better than the one with the reindeer. Perhaps it was just a bad angle or it was an especially handsome reindeer.

    I shall now be off in search of a child to impress should he keep his word :-).

  44. At 03:41 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Sorry BigSis (15). Very, VERY sorry. I'm perhaps confused as to whether this is a new beach, or a new location for the old beach. I recall us having this debate sometime previously, but can't recall what the outcome was? If it's a new beach then why can't the dogs have a free-run on the other side of the rockpools?

    HelenS (31); it's not I with bathing shorts *sur la tete*. It's Charles, with nothing to be modest about, allegedly.

    Anne P. (25); it's a wonderful book, full of the anarchy of war. It's also a pithy (no, pithy) satire on the world in general. I'm also a big fan of the Goons. I guess that that kind of humour just floats my boat.

    Right, I'm off to the afore-mentioned rockpools to see if I can catch crabs (Hee hee). Anyone for a seafood supper?


  45. At 03:42 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    I thought froggers might like this toy, too:


    If you play it, you'll meet some frogs!

  46. At 03:42 PM on 30 Nov 2006, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:


    I'm back. No sign of Letters.

    Think I'll just read my book. Apart from a complete set of Kathy Reichs books I've been lent, I'm 3/4 of the way through the first book in a massive science fiction epic. Umm, page 783 of ~1200. The other two books in the trilogy are equally thick. They should all keep me occupied for a while.

    As for the "mystery lead" story, could it be:

    "AM says sorry after rude gesture"
    (From the BBC News Wales' page.)

    for some reason I had a train of thought starting with PM and ending wondering if John Humphries had been ranting at the studio webcam. Sadly, it refers to a Welsh Assembly member, and the Today Programme hasn't been renamed.

  47. At 04:00 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Simon (11) Of all the whiskeys, in all the towns, in all the world, you talks about mine.


  48. At 04:05 PM on 30 Nov 2006, aqdmin annie wrote:

    hello, it's me I'm back from court eventually.


    but if some kind person would like to fill me up a tumbler with that Talisker and chuck 3 or 4 ice cubes into it I would be very grateful. I cna then take myself off to a hammock, lie in the sun and recover.

    However mary mary, if you are here, you are a nice person and a lawyer so you can tell me - are solicitors normally unaware of the existence of phone directories and/or directory enquiries and/or phone directories on line? or perhaps you have heard rumours of a strange cabal of Scottosh lawyers who have vowed to try and make their careers without using any technology that appeared after 1850.


    And no I am not an alias for gossip mistress nor she for me but I think that came up on another thread.

  49. At 04:08 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    I'm hoping the facility may be transferrable onto Jonnie's site will be unproblematic ....

    [Lynne Truss, Lynne Truss, Lynne Truss, Lynne Truss ...]

    "I'm hoping the facilty's transfer onto Jonnie's site will be unproblematic."


    And Happy St. Andrews Day to Eddie

  50. At 04:29 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Fiona wrote:

    Well a happy St Andrews Day from me as well! There's a few of us Scots around so should be up for a good shindig! Mind you am not much of a whisky drinker (largely due to a very messy night many years ago in Belfast, the mere mention of the word Bushmills can still virtually reduce me to tears!!). No I'll just relax here with a nice chilled glass of something white and sparkling if you don't mind............and some of those crude-ites! (very good Simon! reminds me of my rather unworldly mother who still thinks there is a country called Thigh-land! bless!)

    Thanks for the link Big Sis - if anyone has not seen the programme I urge you to watch Something Special, its compelling viewing!! honestly!

    And Jonnie - do you know if they have a cbeebies blog? would be great to see the daily ramblings of a bunch of under 6 year olds I think! Don't forget my request for Eddie to read the bedtime story pretty please!!!

    Speaking of reading material just checked out the beach link, very good, I'm very impressed. Don't get much quality reading time myself so I think I'll have something nice and easy - that reminds me of my childhood.....more Enid Blyton, the Mallory Towers series for me.

  51. At 04:31 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Would anyone like a nip of this 18yr old Macallan I found secreted among the stores?

    And, of course, a Happy St. Andrews day, one and all...


  52. At 04:48 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Peter Wharton wrote:

    Be aware I've found a dinghy, on the Beach, with a faded red star on it containing a sealed container with a legend in Russian saying 'Poison'. There is also a document called Last Testament of Al Capone!

  53. At 04:51 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Ooh FF, yes please!

    I've a plate of shortbread to nibble with it. Don't offer me haggis, though ....

    A toast to St. Eddie! Patron Saint of the Beach!

  54. At 04:54 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Boo Hoo

    Well I thought I as going to hear Libby and "The Thinking Man's Cr***et", and all I got was Lord Mair.

    Its all gone wrong again.

  55. At 04:55 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    I wouldn'd mind a nip and I think that admin annie is in the mood to try a few nips tonight.

  56. At 05:00 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Rosalind wrote:

    Down to my beach in the gloam this afternoon, stiff cold wind and masses of birds; flocks of lapwings, turnstones pottering around, oystercatchers, gulls of all shapes and sizes and 7 smallish geese with white rumps which I must look up. Possibly Brent? You can tell I am an amateur. Charlie (puppy) fascinated by the seaweed and runs along with it traling from his mouth.

    The birds on our new beach (3?) are gorgeous. We need a new beach bird guide. If it's near the tropics then the days will be longer.

  57. At 05:02 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Why isn't the webcam working? It's never working when I try to look at it. It's always a man in a navy shirt who doesn't look like Eddie, reading a card.

    Time for an email?

  58. At 05:07 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Begging your pardon Simon!

  59. At 05:13 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Right, guys, the webcam is now working.

    Eddie/Eric is looking radiant in a yellow and black rugby shirt. Could be Wasps.

    Hair looking a bit short today(!)

    Needs to smile more.

  60. At 05:18 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    Fido's Run follows us everywhere. The Beach is 'towed' from place to place. I thought we'd established that? Otherwise we'd have to keep reinventing it .... We can always add and subtract though .... It's sort of 'easier' that way, don't you think?

  61. At 05:20 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Big Sister (56) - looks like someone wearing a block of Neopolitan ice cream tonight. And why are there ballet bars on the rear wall? We should be told...

  62. At 05:25 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Stewart M wrote:

    Are we aiming to fill the beach by Monday. BBQ warming up nicely. Looking forward to those Reindeer steaks :-)

  63. At 05:26 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Big Sister re webcam
    i always get a static bald bloke in a hideous rugby shirt - mind you this is work computer so is configured to ruin eyesight to put one off frogging


  64. At 05:31 PM on 30 Nov 2006, marymary wrote:

    admin annie, so you were in court in Scotland? I shall refrain on St Andrews day from commenting about whether the appropriate technology exists in the far North which deprives lawyers of phones and phone directories and other such things. I am welded to my mobile phone and when in the office my internet connection.

    I hope it's all over for you though and that you haven't had too horrible a day.

    Lovely new beach btw, cheers Eddie! xx


  65. At 05:34 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Rosalind wrote:

    Oh dear Peter at 52, our beach is for escape. We don't need to reminded of the all too rude world do we?

    Perhaps we can put the unwanted stuff in a lock up well away from us all. Thinking about the poison WELL away.

  66. At 05:36 PM on 30 Nov 2006, admin annie wrote:

    yes, as many nips as possible please, or at least - stop when I start getting maudlin. How do I access the webcam?

  67. At 05:41 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Could bee wasps couldn't it Big Sister (59) he's looking svelter than the header on this blog would suggest, not that it is of any importance whatsoever, but maybe he needs a more flattering headshot.

  68. At 05:42 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Well perhaps if he wore his speedoes on his head it would help.

    What are speedoes?......

  69. At 05:42 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Peter (52) I always thought Al had something of a gospel about him.

    I can call you Betty.

  70. At 05:44 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Lissa, PM Blog Servant wrote:

    Glad you are enjoying the beach. I have to teach Eddie how to categorise as he goes along. In the meantime I'll signpost this beach.

    No great clamour for a complaints oil rig so I guess you're all pretty happy. (Just wait til the Tuesday photo thing causes chaos).

  71. At 05:54 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Still there. Now he's alone (there were two others when I peeked earlier). Still very Bee-like.

    Enjoy your evening, Eddie!

  72. At 05:57 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Ah, this is where you all are!

    Just got back from having car repaired .. apparently it WILL after all be worth getting the spare tyre fixed. The main carcase is not yet ready for retirement.


    Admin Annie, I can feel your emotional exhaustion all the way from the East Midlands!

    Here, let me pull up this lilo ... and a bottle of something red and antipodean ... and let's get quietly moroculous together.

    It's over now. You did what you were asked to do. Now ... let it go.

    Dig in to this bowl of kettle chips I found at the Nick Clarke waterfront bar ... look at that glorious long-ago sunset ... listen to the waves lapping gently over the pebbles ... zzzzz.... zzzzzzzzzz.........

  73. At 05:57 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    And a mention of the beach!

    Come and join us, Eddie!

    Yes, Helen, I agree. Perhaps we can tempt him into some alternative headgear. We could send him some reindeer antlers, perhaps?

  74. At 06:02 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Yes, Rosalind, the days are longer on the beach. Just as long as you'd like, really.

    We established some time back that we were pretty tropical without being topical. And certainly no humidity - Too uncomfortable!

    That's the wonder of the Beach. It's everything your heart desires.

  75. At 06:13 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Rosalind (56)

    I'm far from an expert on birds especially on this beach, but I do have a Pocket Guide with me.

    Thr rather elegant white bird with the the black head, not unlike our own Sandwich Tern, only with a much elongated beak is known locally as the British Gas Tern. I'm told it is because both it and the gas provider can stick their bills up their ass. But as I say I'm not an expert.

  76. At 06:21 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia (37)

    I did congratulate you earlier on your mission (insert here the word used in post 7), but I think the moderators must have eventually taken exception to the phrase.

    I wouldn't try it as a strapline suggestion though!

  77. At 06:25 PM on 30 Nov 2006, ian wrote:

    Following today's programme.... could any scientist formulate a plan to convert farmer's whinging to useful energy? I think it could solve the whole climate change problem

  78. At 06:25 PM on 30 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    RE: Chris Jarvis,

    Just for you (Froggers) and HelenSparkles I've copied the listen again feed of Chris Jarvis's interview with Richard Cartridge on BBC Solent.

    I think it was a good interview and he mentioned our Hotel -- Bless him!


    The Reindeers at Tv Centre yesterday.

    So for those of you who want to listen it's on this link:


  79. At 06:27 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia (37) - Very good. Would you like to write my mission statement? There's an extra special cocktail in it for you.

    RJD (38) That is indeed the triology to which I refer, and I might add that they get better and better... :-)

    Sara (41), I didn't think you were and I did reply on another thread to your concerns - but I can't remember which one now- sorry! And thanks.

    Simon (44) But wouldn't you like to put your Speedoes on your head - just for a try?... Go on, you know you want to ;-)

    SSCat (46) Fingers crossed for good news tomorrow then. Do you know that explaining the origin of your name to me would bring good karma? (I may have made that up, but humour me this time?)

    Admin Annie (48) Here's your tumbler-full. You aobviously need to relax as you've acquired a random "q" due to your stressful afternoon. Deep breath and enjoy!

  80. At 06:33 PM on 30 Nov 2006, admin annie wrote:

    well I have recovered sufficiently to give you the edited lowlights of my day.

    we turned up at 10 to be met on the doorstep of the sherriffs court by the Procurator Fiscal - not because she was looking out for us but amazingly enough because she was having a fag!! - and she greeted us with 'you're not the witnesses for x are you? didn't you get the message?'

    apparently a long running trial was still running; the one we were to feature in couldn't possibly start before 12, everyone had been told not to come til 12 including defence solicitor who was supposed to contact us.

    So we went away to kill 2 hours. Can I just say that our home is just far enough away that driving back and then coming in again in 2 hours isn't worthwhile.

    Came back at 12 by which time defence solicitor had arrived. Sorry about the mix up she said in an off hand manner. My husband, having been warned in No Uncertain Terms that he was NOT at this point to re-iterrate the 'that's no problem' he had been babbling out at 10 when I was spitting tacks, kept quiet. Which gave me the opportunity to ask her politely why she hadn't contacted us yesterday. Oh said she breezily I don't have your telephone number. I then pointed out that we are in the directory (and although I'm not giving out my surname believe me we are the only ones in the whole of Scotland let alone just the Highlands and Islands which the directory covers.) Well she said I didn't hear myself until half past four. I was about to point out that we don't go to bed until 11 so that had given her over six hours in which to find our number and let us know, but I couldn't be bothered.

    And I won't go on except to say we were sent away again until two, came back at two stayed until 3.20 at which point we were told that although the trial had started they wouldn't get to the defence witnesses, could we come back on January 8th?

    I smiled sweetly and said yes, thinking that the chances of Miss Flibberty Gibbett defence lawyer from Edinburgh actually getting across the Pentland Firth at the start of January were in region of pretty doubtful to not a snowflakes, and that if by some miracle she does, it will be very uncomfortable for her.

    ANyway now I've ranted, I think I might be up for a little something from the barbeque, and just to keep the party going - well it is St Andrews Day - I have brought a very well matured bottle of Highland Park and a slightly less well matured bottle of Scapa, the Scapa being purely for comparison purposes.

  81. At 06:45 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Charles Hatton wrote:

    How about a dance in the moonlight?

    This is my message to you-hoo-hoo

  82. At 06:56 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    RJD 76
    Yes, I'm astonished I've got away with it so far. It's not really rude, just descriptive.
    Aperitif 79
    Yes certainly, now I have the knack, and I'd love a cocktail. I've only ever had a gin sling before, and that was more the delivery than the content. Shall it have an umberella, and cherries, and can I boak behind the fag shed?
    Charles 80
    'Ah Henry, I was born to dance.'
    half my cocktail to whomsoever can identify that.

  83. At 07:05 PM on 30 Nov 2006, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Aperitif (79):

    Thanks for the good wishes.

    On my nom du clavier:

    In 1967, Harry Harrison wrote a very funny book crossing the genres of crime and science fiction concerning a future criminal called James Bolivar diGriz a.k.a. The Stainless Steel Rat. Nearly 40 years later, that book and its follow-ups are among my favourite books, so in honour of that, I chose a variation of that alias.

    I hope that has brought you good karma. I hear chameleons are good for that as well. There's bound to be a few of them here on the beach.

  84. At 07:26 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    No idea, but found Born to Dance by Dirty Old Ann whilst googling, think she was once clean young Ann till things went awry.

  85. At 07:45 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    sounds like my sort of woman. reminds me my favourite chat up line used to be ' 'Allo sailor, Fancy a fairly nasty time?'

  86. At 07:57 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Appy (34 & 79)

    Ok then. But don't tell anyone that I have it and I don't want it until tomorrow when I will be able to pick up a new prescription of the blood pressure tablets.

  87. At 08:06 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia (85) Fantastic line, I wonder if it would work in the Midlands?!

  88. At 08:07 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    admin annie (80) I had fears you would have a non-productive day, but really am speechless that someone couldn't have called you; she just didn't care. All over now.

  89. At 08:58 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    SSC (83), I did wonder if you had came by your nom de Frog via that route. D Adams did it for me (not to mention that my Frog name would be "Marvin" if it were chosen by my "friends")

    Having just got back, and having heard Eddie mention the beach on the radio this evening (and thinking, what will the other 2.9998 million other people wonder he's on about), surprised not to see so much buzz (or hum, in consideration of the bumble/humble bees) about the mention.

    Anyway, relax on the beach or read a major rant on my blog...Thank god for the vin de pay de provence I put away earlier today...

  90. At 09:01 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    RJD, it's on the bar when you're ready.

    SSCat, at last! Thank you! If I were a cat I'd be dead by now I've been so curious!

    Aunt Dahlia, Your choice - perhaps a Singapore Sling (delivered gently)? I dunno what 'boaking' is but as long as you're not hurting anyone I'm sure it will be fine.

    Charles, I didn't have you down as a Bob Marley man. But good-oh - If you're asking, I'm dancing!

  91. At 09:16 PM on 30 Nov 2006, eddie mair wrote:

    Well of course I'm here...

  92. At 09:24 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    Now that you have elicited where SSCat's moniker comes from and you know how mine was derived, give us an idea how Aperitif came about.

  93. At 09:54 PM on 30 Nov 2006, andycrLucan wrote:

    Why am I listening to Bette Middler? And what is an "Eagull"?

    I've got a lot of catching up to do, obviously ... :)

  94. At 09:58 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Whaddaya mean RJD? You think this isn't my real name?

  95. At 10:00 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Simon, the Goons fan should know, see if he picks up the reference tomorrow.
    Have a good evening.

  96. At 10:16 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Admin Annie
    So sorry you had such a bad day.

    Simon W. (44) It's not that I don't like satire and I love the Goons - perhaps I ought to give Catch 22 another try.

    Completely forgot it was St Andrews Day - so what kind of a Scot does that make me? Well perhaps just ex-pat for too long. Haggis would have been nice though. Don't suppose you've got some behind the bar ? - with the neeps and tatties of course.

    Have to make do with the last of the Auchentoshan. Talisker's a bit dark for my taste.

    Eddie, so glad you could join us - here have some of the Auchentoshan won't you? Wonder just how baffling the reference to the beach was for non-bloggers. Enough to pull them in perhaps. Even my other half is starting to be intrigued.

    Ah well, 'time for bed', said Zebedee...

  97. At 10:34 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    I'd love to think it was!

  98. At 10:48 PM on 30 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: (93) andycLucan,

    Sorry -- Excuse for something for the Beach. It will be removed, and yes never noticed the Eagull, bless Bette. Love the new website Andy, very sleek.


    Re: Chris Jarvis -- Just had a text from Chris -- it reads:

    "Hi Jonnie, thank you for the plugs on Eddies blog. We had a really good look this PM. It's another World! I tried to join in but couldnn't respond to the lovely remarks but will when I get on my PC"


    Just realised I stuck up the mp3 file and not the streaming media so for those of you who'd still like to have a listen to the Richard Cartridge and Chris interview it's here:


    Re: Charles .. love the dance, I'll have more time to interact next week.

    And nice to see St Andrew out and about so late. :-)

  99. At 10:49 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    I wonder how many listeners blogged on to find out about a "free trip to the beach" only to find there was no holiday competition to enter?! Was there a spike in visitors Lissa? You do have a stat counter don't you... Glad the oil rig appears irrelevant; it could have been a blot on the landscape. Can I join the boaking? Aperitif (90) Do you think it might be like croaking with a 'b'?I'm not sure the frogs want too many bees around? Very silly now, even though sober, type* for bed!

    *genuine typo left in to display tiredness.

  100. At 10:51 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Oh, BTW, you know how our comments have to be manually approved, does that mean there is someone sitting there all night just in case any froggers check in?

  101. At 11:02 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    Of course there is. I earn good money doing this.

    Tell you what - you have until 23:30 and I'll let whatever you want through!

  102. At 11:09 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Valery P wrote:

    RDJ, can I ask a really odd question?

  103. At 11:12 PM on 30 Nov 2006, marymary wrote:

    Helen there probably is someone up all night moderating the blog. I used to know someone who was a moderator for a living. They do sit at their computers and ... well moderate.

    Or maybe its Eddie?


  104. At 11:13 PM on 30 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Helen (98),

    Yes they have the moderators/ moderator or so we are told.

    A few weeks ago nothing went through for around 12 hours so I guess someone missed their shift.

    I have seen very dubious posts appear for short durations in the past before being removed and a couple of times I've let my e-mail slip by putting it in the name box and have been impressed by how quickly my post was removed after explaining the problem on the 'complain' box.

    Not really a problem for me and you knowing my e-mail but once the spider crawlers get them it normally means more spam.

    Night Helen

  105. At 11:15 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Sorry HelenSparkles.

    I can let some things through but nothing like THAT!

  106. At 11:15 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Oh, oh, oh Big Sis that's made my day - the cbeebies game!! I've been so faffed this week that all I've been able to do is skim down the posts before I go to bed and hurtle in the odd comment or two, so have got out of the way of following links. Today has been so excruciating though that I thought I should slip in a diversion before bed (perhaps I should rephrase that? Nah). I think I may spend all morning tomorrow playing with the little animals, and sipping herbal tea. Re Blog History and Games, did you get the wee piece on the origins of the Blog Game ok?

    I guess it's hammock slinging time, waken me if i appear to be snoring.

  107. At 11:26 PM on 30 Nov 2006, steve wrote:

    HelenSparkles (98)

    I've just left a note for you in the wood.

    Actually I'm not sure that I don't prefer it there. I know it's a long trek for those who are not using molecular transference transport to get there, but it has the attraction of being informal and slightly subversive. Please don't take offence, as none is intended, Mr Mayor, but this "new beach every week" seems a little too conspicuous, rather formal and, simply by being sanctioned by the authorities, loses some of its charm.

    ps received everyone's emails but just don't have the time to do anything at present, sorry. .doc or .pdf are fine.

  108. At 11:40 PM on 30 Nov 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Valery P

    Of course you can but I'm sure it won't be stupid.

    I'm intrigued now and will probably sit here for an age waiting on the question.

  109. At 11:40 PM on 30 Nov 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    RJD (105) you are very funny! Thank you, really going to bed now but couldn't resist one last peek. Steve (107) I forgot where the woods are, but shall have a little trek in the morning and see if I can find your note, thank you.

  110. At 11:42 PM on 30 Nov 2006, Stewart M wrote:

    For those of us who watch Cbeebies Bedtime Hour. (6.00to 7.00 pm) When are the Cbeebies team going to catch eddie to do the bedtime story?
    They seem to collar all sorts of folk that must wander the BBC corridors so its about time Eddie took time out from PM and recorded a story for them.
    Not sure what story?
    How about Rumble in the Jungle?
    Or Newton?
    Or he could do cbeebies a series and do all the Far Away Tree stories.

  111. At 11:58 PM on 30 Nov 2006, steve wrote:

    p.s. Enid Blyton is the pits. Discuss.

  112. At 12:03 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Steve (107) I agree, the beach loses something with official sanction but locating it in one place has saved me from traipsing trying to find everyone.

    We shall suffer from being less anarchic, but I suspect froggers will come up with something (?!) & we shall be more inclusive in the meantime.

    Some people were worried about appearing to be an ‘in-crowd’, not me; I’ll be in any clique that’ll have me!

    Stewart M (108) oh I can just see Eddie as Moonface! & if that sounds mean, he was my favourite character.

    Someone tell me where the woods are, I need to find my note!

  113. At 12:03 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Steve 107, I said summat similar about feeling slightly uncomfortable about the formality of weekly beaches, last night. No-one noticed though :o( or perhaps just disagreed. I do ramble at this time of night.

    btw - RobbieJohnDo see 102?

  114. At 12:05 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Hiya Eddie, hiya gang!

    So glad Valery and others have enjoyed the CBeebies game. I've just skimmed through the latest postings but am now faffed out and off to bed.

    Does Cumbrian blood count as Scottish? If so, I raise my glass to St. Andrew and St. Eddie.

    Off to my hammock ....

  115. At 12:06 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    RJD, Please see Valery's 102 and give her permission! I'm dying to know what it is!

    Aperitif (lovely before dinner; feels bit naughty afterwards), x.

  116. At 12:19 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    RobbieJD, Well, I didn't say it would be stupid, just odd!

    Did you ever go on holiday to one of the Balearic's in the early 1970's?

    Is that odd enough? If the answer's yes, then I'll tell you why I asked, if it's no, then it doesn't matter.

  117. At 12:36 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Valery P
    Sorry, I used the word stupid where you used the word odd - apologies but it's late and I have the VAT auditors in tomorrow doing a three year compliance visit and I haven't a clue what to expect. Come to that, I haven't a clue what to expect from your question.

  118. At 12:38 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Appy (112)

    Stop that - I've had my dinner too.

  119. At 12:43 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Valery P

    I'm afraid the answer is No. But I can't tell you how much I wish the answer was Yes, because I would really really like to know why you asked the question - so much in fact that I almost lied about the answer. Go on, tell me!

  120. At 12:48 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Hi all, just checking out the new beach. It's lovely - so much warmer than Sheffield! And how nice to have reindeer. Can they stay after Xmas as well please?
    Steve - I agree about E Blyton.
    Valery - please ask the question, I shan't sleep for wondering about it! Have you had your cd yet? It was sent several days ago, but not sure how long mail takes to get to your part of the world. Also I didn't have time to go to the PO so stuck on a load of 2nd class stamps to make up the price, realising too late that I didn't actually know how much a 2nd class stamp is worth now! I hope it was ok. Apologies if not.
    Have been missing PM every day this week, & so late when I get home have only a skim read thru the blog. Looking forward to getting back to full service next week.

  121. At 12:52 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Appy isn't @ 112, tis me.

  122. At 12:53 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Sparkles (if I may be so bold)

    You can find the Wood by following the link under CATEGORIES (top right of this thread)

    Signposts to the Beach - Woody

    or alternatively click below:


  123. At 01:00 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RoobbieJohnDo wrote:


    She was when I posted but it keeps on changing!

  124. At 01:03 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Valerie, tell us all, pleeeese! I know I keep saying I'm going to bed, but I'm wrestling with a thoroughly tricksy paragraph, & keep popping back here for light relief when frustration bites.

  125. At 01:04 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    (115) How often do you eat dinner? Mostly just before posting here? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  126. At 01:06 AM on 01 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Spent ages trying to sort out the copy of Dayone that Anne P e-mailed me yonks ago.

    It's now at http://www.pmblog.co.uk
    on the History page, unfortunately it's lost a lot of the formatting because MS Outlook decided to block it when Anne sent it through.

    Let me know if it works or not.

    Anne has sent me the 2nd beach through but I'll wait to see how many mac users can get this one.

    G&T finished and off to bed.

    Night all

  127. At 01:12 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    I am invariably enamoured of boldness RJD & Sparkle is entirely acceptable! (As I hope is your abbreviation).

  128. At 01:13 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    The questions asked and answered. I really do wish this this blog was faster.

  129. At 01:23 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    Just had a look at what you have done with AnneP's stuff. Brilliant work - thank you.

  130. At 01:28 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    I wish this blog was faster too waah... Steve, I left my reply to your note under the conker tree (yes I do know what it is called really). The wood keeps going funny on me, but I imagine you are right at home there!

    Thank you for your musical reassurance, I must own that I am particularly brilliant on the triangle, maracas & tambourine. I used to play chopsticks fluently on the piano, but alas that skill has died through lack of use.

  131. At 01:35 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Valerie P, sorry, I didn't notice your comment about the official beach, we can always go off piste (oh no, that's snow) but I quite enjoyed the namecheck on PM.

    Big Sister, Cumbria is just about as Scottish as a place could be, which isn't actually Scotland that is!

  132. At 01:39 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Eddie, have a word with Chris Evans will you, I'm sure he doesn't have this slugginess on his blog, and I think he's a really nice bloke so you could go for a pint and talk about it. I worry about you being here in the morning, afternoon and evening, young man like you needs to get out more. Suddenly I sound like a Jewish mother... Enough already.

  133. At 06:00 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Rosalind wrote:

    Good morning.

    Do let us know if all is well SSCat. All that kind of thing is so frustrating. My old borough decided to amalgamate 2 schools, 2 very large comprehensive schools, and so we all had to reapply for the fewer jobs, and those who didn't get their old posts were left teaching, same salary those were the days) but rejected. The emotional and social fall out was catastrophic. You do wonder how the authorities thought people could carry on under such stress. I don't think they could care less in fact.

    Which brings me to my old gripe: if you are any sort of good teacher you need stability around you if you are going to innovate and excite in the classroom. And any changes should be updating in your subject, and lots of ideas from others who KNOW ABOUT TEACHING.

    Sorry about that, I so hate the way teachers get mucked about that I go into a rant at the first minimal opening.

    So all that apart, keep us informed SSCat.

  134. At 06:01 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Rosalind wrote:

    Love the strapline.

  135. At 06:05 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Rosalind wrote:

    Forgot to say. I don't mind the tidying up of the beaches at all. All the ideas came from the contributers, and I don't think of Lissa as 'authority' but one of us. And Eddie of course, but he is the leader plainly.

  136. At 06:58 AM on 01 Dec 2006, LadyPen (formerly Lady Penelope) wrote:

    Morning all . . . Earl Grey, anyone? There's builders' tea available as well for those who don't like it and I can rustle up coffee too. I know the squeeze-your-own-orange machine is a bit noisy, so poss best avoided by those who were up late, but the juice is delishuss. Hot croissants will be along in a minute and there's a selection of jams and marmalades to accompany them (but will you try and use a different knife for the butter, pls?); I expect Jonnie'll be along with the Full Englishes in a minute . . .

    It's awfully dark at this hour back in December, isn't it?

    I hope SSCat's news is good this morning and that admin annie's had a good night's sleep and is feeling better. Hugs to both.

    I've been looking at Steve's wood and AndyCrWhoeverHeFeelsLikeBeingToday's websites. Wow.

    I do like it here.


  137. At 07:45 AM on 01 Dec 2006, LadyPen (formerly Lady Penelope) wrote:

    PS I was listening to Philip Pullman on the radio the other day and he mentioned the Finn Family Moomintroll. Would anyone mind if I changed my name to SnorkMaiden? I'd love to hear Eric read THAT out on air . . . :-)

  138. At 07:57 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Wry T'Opinion wrote:

    Re: 115

    Just cherry-picking my favourites from the list below, I'd have to go for "munchies", "crostato" and "whet"..... (no offence!)

    2 results for: aperitif

    Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source

    Main Entry: appetizer
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: snack
    Synonyms: antipasto, aperitif, canapé, cocktail, dip, finger food, hors d'oeuvre, munchies*, relish, sample, spread, taste, tidbit
    Antonyms: dessert, meal
    Notes: aperitif is a drink to stimulate the appetite and appetizer is food that does this before a meal

    Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
    Copyright © 2006 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
    * = informal or slang

    Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source

    Main Entry: hors d'oeuvre
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: appetizer
    Synonyms: antepast, antipasto, aperitif, canapé, crostato, crudités, finger food, finger sandwich, foretaste, nibbles, sample, snack, starter, tidbit, whet
    Notes: antipasto and hors d'oeuvre are different terms - first Italian, second French - for the same thing, appetizers or starters

    Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
    Copyright © 2006 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

  139. At 08:18 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Morning, LadyPen. I may take you up on the coffee a bit later. I have to go beack to December shortly to present on a Six Sigma project to my bosses :-( Coffee will be needed to recover from that, I'm sure!

    Plus, Morning everyone. Nice to see the Camels in the sunrise this morning. Just the relaxing image I needed today...

  140. At 09:08 AM on 01 Dec 2006, silver-fox wrote:

    Great beach.

  141. At 09:29 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    LadyPen - Snorkmaiden,

    I'll have some of the builders' tea thanks, never was that keen on Earl Grey and I need something to kick me awake this morning. A croissant wouldn't come amiss either.

    You've done a wonderful job with the first beach. I'm sorry so much of the formatting got lost in the move.

    Please let me know if you want the beaches saved on a regular basis and I'll try to remember to do it before they become reabsorbed into the fabric of space time.

    Admin Annie, hope you slept well and the night on the beach has washed away the irritations of yesterday.

  142. At 09:45 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    Good to see you here. Thought you might have got lost or held in quarantine

  143. At 09:46 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Rosalind wrote:

    SSCat, let us know ASAP

    And lots of hugs to everyone on the first day of December.

  144. At 09:56 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Fiona wrote:

    Morning all......hope you are feeling well and not suffering from any St Andrew's Day excesses!!!

    Thank you Stewart M (110) - someone else to help me campaign for Eddie on the bedtime hour. I've mentioned it in two posts already, here's hoping!!!

    Was listening to Matt Lucas on Desert Island Discs on the way in this morning - what a lovely fellow, really enjoyed listening - so much so I sat in the car park for 10 mins to catch the end before coming into work!

  145. At 10:00 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:


    Fortunately, someone had a camera handy and took a shot of the camels this morning. What a lovely sunrise it was!


  146. At 10:52 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Belinda wrote:

    Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well.

  147. At 10:53 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    SSCat, I hope your news is good, though I'm guessing the fallout is going to be tough anyway from what Rosalinds says.

    Rosalind, I too rant about teachers, and I'm not one, but think they are treated apallingly. Shall leave it there on the beach.

  148. At 10:59 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    I had just got up from my desk to re-fill my cuppa from the pot, when Charles Hatton's link started playing.

    Ten minutes ago I was therefore boogying around my office, much to the the bewilderment of Daisy T Cat.

    * * *
    HelenSparkles (130): I have surplus triangles, maracas and tambourines if you would like to borrow/have some. I'll leave them in the shade of the kebab oven for you.

    Or email me via website and you can have them for real! (I'm in E Mids so not far.)

    * * *
    Loz (9): We keep asking to see Lissa but, excellent as she is in all other respects, she won't budge on this idea. Hey ho. ;o)

    * * *
    Annasee (120): I will be in your neck of the woods on Monday morning. Should I wave to right or left, to greet you?

    * * *
    AdminAnnie (80): You are incredibly forebearing! I think I'd have come over all Victor Meldrew... oh dear, that won't do at all... ACTED more like Victor Meldrew, in your shoes. (Did I get away with that??)

    * * *
    Oh dear, my teapot is empty. I'll make an extra-big pot next time and bring it over here. What would you rather: green, or redbush, or ordinary decaff?

    ;o) Fifi xx

  149. At 11:15 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    RobbieJohnDo - nah, I feel silly now. Well it was just something to do with your name, which appeared briefly one time. So I suppose it's better that we stick to noms des grenouilles, n'est-ce pas? That way I don't end up asking a complete stranger an odd question???

    I may explain later though........

    Welcome Snorkmaiden btw (if you haven't changed your mind?). I loved the moomintrolls, a really good pre-teen friend introduced me to them, and taught me Mah Jong, and how to ballroom dance. The latter was the least successful, since she insisted on being the girl and I had to be the boy, as we cha-chad and rumbad our way round the school cloakrooms. It's left me with a lifetime bad habit of trying to push men about (only when dancing of course!).

    Oh it is nice to be back here during the day, I feel part of stuff again. Elevenses anyone? Some shortbread left over from St Andrew's Day here (our "beloved" Scottish Parliament has, I believe, voted us a holiday - but we have to swop it for one we've already got. Huh.).

  150. At 11:19 AM on 01 Dec 2006, andycrLucan wrote:

    Thankyou LadySnorkPenMaiden [136], I liked the wood carvings as well - Steve works in one extra dimension than me, lucky chap!

    I'd have listened to Matt too, if I hadn't had to endure the exquisite pain of going to the dentist (and paying for it, to add to the kinkiness), seemed like a nice 'un, even though I can't stand Little Britain (apart from Tom Bakers links). That's what I like about getting old/Radio 4 - you get to hear other sides of life etc etc.

    Nice camels too.

  151. At 11:26 AM on 01 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    I am an ex teacher.

    Why does that sound like somebody standing up at an AA meeting?


  152. At 11:40 AM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Fifi (148) thanks for the percussion, I'm planning a practice session tonight already, but hoping it doesn't clash with the yoga class or the meditation session.

    Valerie P & Lady Pen, I love the moomin family. We could get some moomin mugs for the beach (http://www.pussyhomeboutique.co.uk/acatalog/home3.html) bar, to cheer us as we drink our morning coffee!

  153. At 11:43 AM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Valery P

    It's not a very common name (with the Mc in it) so if its not me, which I don't think it is and they are from these parts, there is a very good chance that there is family connection.

    You had me and few others on the edge of our computer chairs waiting on that question last night!

  154. At 12:05 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Annasee - I'm grieved that you should have to mention it first, in my head-in-my-armpit way this week, I thought I had communicated with you (posted or emailed) but if it hasn't got through then I'm really sorry. I have played and played it (as I said in the communique), not during my ironing, but whilst trying to get a handle on some new work. It is beautiful, thank you for a) making the music, and b)"processing my order" so swiftly!

  155. At 12:09 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Rosalind wrote:

    Obviously I too am an ex teacher. There are too many of us, that's why we are treated so badly I think. Common as muck and a trade union or two instead of a professional organisation which limits intake. Scarcity is all to the good. And my ex husband thought it was anything but a prestige job. The more people go on about how teachers should be appreciated the less we (sorry, they) are.

    Scotland does it much better. Or did when I knew anything about it.

    And I have nothing against trade unions. My one did a valiant job in ever more difficult circumstances.

    What has this to do with Christmas? Nothing at all!!

    I must go and create a poster for our coffee morning.

  156. At 12:18 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    RJD, I know, I'm sorry, I actually dreamt about it!

    So you don't know anyone called Finbar Nolan then? Bated breath....

  157. At 12:25 PM on 01 Dec 2006, LadySnorkPenMaiden wrote:

    Thank you, AndyCr - that's even funnier! Now all I've got to do is think of something so compelling Eric can't not read it out.

    Um . . .


    PS HelenSparkles - oo yes. Do it! There's money in the petty cash tin under the bar . . .

    PPS Shall we add the FFMoomintrolls to the As Any Fule Kno list?

  158. At 12:28 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    HelenChristmasSparkle - the mugs would be great, how many shall I order - enough for the whole beach plus a few extra for breakages, or perhaps others would prefer an alternative?

    Orders please, for the Mugs for Christmas Beach Run?

  159. At 12:51 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Andy CrLucan, paintings are beautiful, people are sooo talented.

  160. At 01:11 PM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Valery P

    Please unbate your breath.

    The only Finbar Nolan I have heard of is the guy who says he is the 7th son of a 7th son and does the healing/laying on of hands or other stuff. Not me or anyone I know personally.

    But now - you are so far down the line with this that I must hear more.

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

    Fiona (144)

    We want Eddie on Cbeebies!

    Eddie on Cbeebies!

    If we throw a three year olds tantrum we might just get our wish.

    But we don't necessarily want him singing
    The time has come to say goodnight!

  162. At 01:19 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Valerie P, I love my new name; makes me feel like I should be on the top of the tree. We will be having a tree won't we, perhaps we could drape some tinsel around that palm over there?

  163. At 01:22 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Regarding the experience of teachers and anyone else employed within large systems, the following observation always seems apt:

    "We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganised.
    I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralisation."
    Caius Petronius, AD 66


  164. At 01:27 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Valerie P, do pray tell what occured with Finbar Nolan, I almost feel I could write a whole Afternoon Play with a name like that!

    Rosalind, I know very young, talented and committed teachers who are exiting the profession only a few years after they entered it. We cannot destroy the souls of our teachers any longer if we actually want our children to thrive.

  165. At 01:52 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Goodness Valery and RJD - I must hear more too!

    Wry (138), "A drink to stimulate the appetite" - that's me, that's where it comes from. When people pronounce my name incorrectly I have been known to say "Think of me as an aperitif" and it has sort of stuck.

    And it is a bit naughty to stimulate ones appetite again after dinner, isn't it?

  166. At 01:58 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Isn't it hard to type, when your hands are shaking from the excitement of finding you have contributed the inaugural photo of the PM Advent Calendar!

    Also, it appears our band is being talked about on a PM message board. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio2/F2142825?thread=3714774 (That wasn't you, was it LadyPen?)

    Happy happy happy...

    * huge grin *

  167. At 02:22 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Steward M, I would be very content with Eddie on Jackanory, would that suit, or is it CBBC or nothing for you?

    I love your quote Ed, I would like to elaborate about when a certain person bought a certain big retail company, but it would be libellous, moderated & likely only too similar to the experience of others anyway.

    & BTW, when I say our children (164) I mean all children, I forgot to have any of my own, so they would not be ours per se. I think I should be cleverer and know how to say that the 'our' is collective or possessional, but I gave up on Lynn Truss.

  168. At 02:28 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    I think if I was call an oily prat I'd probably change my name too.
    SB8 or 237 (is there a prize?)

  169. At 02:36 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    & for days we don't feel like talking to anyone (that's me most mornings actually) there is this Mug http://www.thecoolhunter.net/lifestyle/THE-ANNA-WINTOUR-MUG/

    Can someone tell me how to do that link thing here? I can do it elsewhere, but can't work it out here at all. Ta.

  170. At 02:45 PM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    I've never known anyone to use italics in such a suggestive way as you do.

  171. At 02:53 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    RJD - same guy!! I met him way back when, and where, with a bunch of his friends. He claimed to be a Faith Healer, and one of his pals was called......

    Perhaps some distant relative then?

  172. At 03:03 PM on 01 Dec 2006, LadySnorkPenMaiden wrote:

    Lawks, Appy - are you Sherry B*air????????????


  173. At 03:05 PM on 01 Dec 2006, LadySnorkPenMaiden wrote:

    No Fifi - I wondered if it was YOU, acksherly :-)

  174. At 03:12 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Ooh, I like that Anna Wintour mug - I'll have one!

    Congratulations Fifi!

  175. At 03:14 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Fiona wrote:

    Hey Stewart (161), good idea! I can throw great tantrums when I have to.... As for signing oh I think that would be lovely, as they pack away the teddies for the night.....ooh I'm getting all goose bumpy just thinking about it!!

    And HelenSparkles (167) thought of the same this lunchtime driving back when I heard a trailer for it, following the likes of Ben Kingsley - very credible work. I wonder what his agent thinks? Only problem is I am not home in time for Jackanory.

  176. At 03:22 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Stewart M wrote:

    Helensparkles (167)

    My kids have not yet made the transition to CBBC from Cbeebies so the bedtime hour bedtime story would be better.

    For what I've seen of the New Jackanory Its all fancy CGI so perhaps easier for Eddie just to pop next door when Cbbebies Chris has no animals in the studio and read a story straight to camera.

    As for kids you can borrow my two any time. I'll bring them to the beach to fly the kites tomorrow. (whenI say the Kites its MY KITE)

  177. At 03:34 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Aunt D (168),

    Not even close.

    Is it Pick on Aperitif Day?

  178. At 04:04 PM on 01 Dec 2006, steve wrote:

    Sorry but I just posted this on another pad and realise it should have gone here. Doh! Anyway, thanks to all for your kind comments about my wood.

    AndyC**************, the problem with the extra dimension is that it gives you arthritis from the added weight. God, it's hard being an artist! How do your hands stand up to all that plucking Annasee? Ever thought of a bit of free improvisation amongst the carols that would add some interest! Oh that was yet another blog.

    I'm just confused now......

  179. At 04:07 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    No no no, I'm so sorry - its an old family joke ('What'll you have ?'
    'An oily prat please') that appeared unavoidable given your explanation.
    Is it Lucozade?, or Tizer then?
    Sanatogen or, given the thread -Santagen?

  180. At 04:12 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    HelenSparkles (167) : If I may be of albeit limited service, I am happy to email your story to anyone who would like to have it.

    Email it to me, via the website, if you like. And I'll invite those who'd like to read it to do the same so I have their email addresses. Then I'll send it to those people, unmoderated and un-pixie-lated.

    And I'll destroy the lot afterwards, thereby guaranteeing everybody's privacy.

    I for one would love to see it!!! xx

    Aperitif & Aunt Dahlia ... I must be missing something. Are you two falling out, or have I lost the plot again?


  181. At 04:39 PM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia (168)

    You've just caused me severe embarrassment. I thought that you were being a tad insulting with the oily prat reference earlier. I had to go to a meeting for an hour and was just driving back and stopped at traffic lights in town when the penny dropped.
    There are several people who now think there is a laughing maniac on the roads.

    Valery P

    You don’t know the temptation I had to come back with a “Oh you’re THAT Valery” but I’m much to nice to do that.
    Sorry can’t say there is any connection. Just in case you want to relive any old memories here’s a link for you.


    I should tell you that I am much more handsome than Finbarr.

  182. At 04:41 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Stewart, you see not having any little people around, I had no idea CBBC was different to Cbeebies. I do borrow other people's children from time to time, but have triplets in residence tomorrow, and not sure how you would actually retain possession of YOUR kite in the face of the strength of numbers. We might go to the woods instead and leave you in (relative) peace.

  183. At 04:50 PM on 01 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    I notice that Appy has not denied being the lovely Cherie, which worried me for about 20 seconds until I realised that Appy has consistently displayed a sense of humour which I suspect is a characteristic unknown to our First Lady of Liverpool.

    Many thanks for all your sympathy regarding my awful time yesterday; I'm off for the weekend later tonight Christmas shopping so that will cheer me up.

    Helen Sparkles - you weren't referring obliquesly to Mr P Green a bit further back were you?

    I see Basil is still keeping the smkoing debate going too.

  184. At 04:54 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Fifi currently 180
    not even slightly - but it's a thread thing
    Start at 165 middle par, 168,177, 179 - my craven attempt to assure Aperitif I was not picking on her.
    and here we are trying to establish which particular appetite stimulating drink it is......

  185. At 04:57 PM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    When they pronounce your name wrong is it usually by getting getting the final vowel incorrect?

  186. At 05:19 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    admin annie, how did you know?!

  187. At 05:27 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    RJD - well blow me down, so he's still about is he? He was a bit more handsome himself in those days to be sure, but not a patch on the friend I met........
    Ah, let's not go there! Aperitif, that was a week of Fridays.

  188. At 05:29 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    No we're not falling out - it was faux-huff (perhaps I should've been clearer!) as I did get Aunt Dahlia's joke right away. (And laughed in private - poor RJD!)

    Admin Annie,
    I am not the lovely Cherie - but would I admit it anyway? - but am rather envious of her as her husband is on my list (I tell you, he has the most delightful bottom...) Decide for yourselves whether I really mean this...

    It's more of a wrong-emphasis-all-over-the-place thing, which makes it sound like anotther name altogether. Did you have something in particular in mind?

    People really do call me 'Aperitif' - and variations of it - you know. It's more of a nickname than a pseudonym for the blog. I didn't realise (as it now seems) that most of you didn't believe that...

  189. At 05:37 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:


  190. At 05:54 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Admin Annie (183),

    Basil seems to have disappeared today actually. But I will check back over the weekend, just in case.

  191. At 05:56 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Campari, Cinzano, Lillet, Pernod, Angostura, Absinthe, Ouzo, Dubonnet, Kir, Sherry, Punt e Mes and Fernet-Branca.

    Which one are you, Appy?

  192. At 06:03 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Was I the only one crying as I listened to the item on Nick Clark's funeral, especially listening to his wife who has articulated her loss so articulately. So so sad for her, his children and wider family, and such a big loss. Sometimes one wonders how the human spirit bears such a thing.

  193. At 06:17 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    Pink Gina?

    Darn it - I have to get ready to go for Night Out now....keep trying, Auntie D - Apperry'll have to give in eventually. I got badgered into it last night!

    Btw, RDJ, I posted a further response to your 181(currently) earlier on, so I've either hit the tea-time bloggage, or I've been moderated? Thanks for the memories though, Finbarr's pal was a nice chap too.

  194. At 06:26 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    SparklyHelen (190) I wasn't in tears, but I did stay in the car, rather than rushing through the rain to get in the front door. It seems from the WATO newsletter that it was the sort of service that Nick would have wanted. I think Tessa Jowells' comments were quite apt. I had no idea that she was related to Nick through marriage...

  195. At 06:33 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Heaven forfend that Appy should be Fernet-Branca! Unlike that drink, our Appy is very palatable ....

  196. At 06:36 PM on 01 Dec 2006, admin annie wrote:

    Helen, possibly because Mr Green is the only man to have bought out a retail chain in the recent past.

    or possibly because husband had some sort of employment link with the chain.

    Appy I cannot believe Tony Bleaggh is on your list, especially the way he looks after however many years in power! but I could be wrong.

    Reverting to your debate with Basil I personally rather wish that being fat WAS the next for social pariah-hood on the list after smoking because that might prod me into doing something about my own weight at last.

  197. At 07:09 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    admin annie (196) true, it wasn't that subtle! I actually just after he arrived, but not before witnessing some distressing sights @ HQ...

  198. At 07:10 PM on 01 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    From what you say I'm probably wrong but I don't care. I have a name in my head and I think that you and the aperitif in question share so many qualities that I don't want to be proved wrong - please don't tell me.

    Valery P

    If Finbarr's pal shared my name he was bound to be a nice chap!

  199. At 07:22 PM on 01 Dec 2006, AndycrLucan wrote:

    LadySnorkPenMaiden : better than Monica then!

    It's "Chardonnay" isn't it Appy?

  200. At 07:37 PM on 01 Dec 2006, marymary wrote:

    HelenSparkles I can only think that you are my alter ego. I was in tears listening to the Nick Clarke funeral eulogies. Especially his dear wife. Sorry to go on about my own loss but all through the funeral of my dear dad all I could think about was how Lois (for that's my step mum's name) must be feeling the loss in a very different way. Barbara said it so beautifully.

    Oh! Now I need a drink! It's Friday and it's the beach so what's on offer tonight?


  201. At 07:46 PM on 01 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    It's time I used my usual nickname. I didn't use it when I first visited here as there is a "madmary" who regularly figures on Terry Wogan, so I played it safe. But now that I realise that she doesn't come here, I've decided to out myself!

    From now on I'm madmary which is my real nickname.


  202. At 07:55 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    marymary, we were separated at birth! Barbara did speak so amazingly, and without self-pity, I guess honesty just rings true.

    Fearless, do you still have TWAO newsletter? If you do, could you post the relevant bit? I never signed up for it.

  203. At 08:18 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Not a problem, o Sparkly one! This is the WATO newsletter:

    Shaun Ley writes...

    I thought you would want to know that Nick's funeral took place today. It began with a mark of irreverence of which he doubtless would heartily have approved.

    The coffin, carried into St Mary Abbot's Church, came complete with its own graffiti. On one side, in big colourful letters were the words "we love you daddy"; on the other "goodbye", rounded off by three big kisses.

    It was a tribute from his four year old twin sons, Joel and Benedict (known to the family as Bendy). Barbara Want, Nick's wife, explained that the coffin was really a box, containing all the things which the boys thought their father would need, including clothes, ketchup, and of course plenty of good wine. Later in the day, the box would be despatched to Heaven, where Daddy was waiting to receive it.

    Barbara read from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, his counsel about the importance of love. She spoke movingly of her own love for Nick, and the powerful sense of loss which has followed his death. She reminded us that, for all the wonderful tributes her husband had received, they only served to remind her of how much has left her life.

    One thing the hundreds who attended the service were encouraged to do was to place a memory of Nick – a photograph, or something written – into a box in the church. Nick has three grown-up children, Ali, Tom and Pete. The memories will be kept by the family, and Barbara hopes they'll help Joel and Bendy, in particular, to remember their father once they're older and are able to read and enjoy them.

    All the kind emails, letter and messages you sent to us will be passed on to Nick's family, so that they, too, can become part of that store of memories.

    The other readings were given by Tessa Jowell, a relative of Nick and Barbara's by marriage, and Mark Damazer, the Controller of Radio Four. He spoke of the powerful impact Nick had made on the audience over 17 years of broadcasting for the network.

    That was vividly demonstrated on the night Nick returned to Any Questions, following his break for treatment. He hopped on to the stage in Tring in Hertfordshire to applause from the audience. That applause quickly turned to ovation and then to foot stamping. Nick's hopping became more and more energetic as he attempted to quieten the audience, at one point engaged in gravity-defying gesticulation with his crutches.

    Nick hated the idea of celebrity, but perhaps that was one of the moments when he realised how much he meant to those who listened to him every day.

    This morning's service was as much a celebration as a commemoration of his life. We didn't applaud, we didn't ovate; but inside, I think we were all stamping our feet, too.

  204. At 08:40 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Thanks Fearless, lovely detail about the coffin, lovely funeral, all well thought out as well, but such sadness...

    Tessa Jowell spoke on TWAO the day the news of Nick's death was broken, and she said she never refused an invitation from him to be on the programme, even though he would go no easier on her because she'd just had her Sunday lunch with him the day before!

  205. At 08:50 PM on 01 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia (37) quite brilliant outside the box phrasing from a blue skyer! I know you're not really, it's just I heard it as a verb for the first time today, & have been looking for a way to use it.

  206. At 09:31 PM on 01 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Well, who would've thought that Ann Widdecombe would be so good hosting Have I Got News For You?!? Not me, I admit. I may disagree with her politics, but I thought she was excellent in the chair tonight. Maybe they should hire her full time.... A BIG plus (at least for me) was having Lucy Porter on the show. She's just too cute for words!

  207. At 01:06 AM on 02 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Fearless, thanks for posting that newsletter. It had me in tears again. I happened to catch most of PM tonight & the funeral item was so moving. All so unbearably sad for the family. There was an article in a newspaper today (not sure which one, the registrar was reading it before the marriage I was playing for) written by Nick's wife talking about him, & what a wonderful husband & father he had been. It just seems unbearably cruel that they have lost him so soon.

  208. At 01:20 AM on 02 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Fearless thank you for the above re Nick Clarke's funeral. Much appreciated.

    I've only just managed (on wednesday) to hear the WATO and PM tributes from last week via 'Listen Again', both of which were very moving. I loved Eddie's description of all Nick Clarke's foibles and funny habits. I presume there was some more on PM tonight? Will have to try and catch up.

    Big Sis - re comments on another thread - has Eddie ever posted the Parma ham incident as an audio link? Have I missed it? I've asked for it several times but I didn't think it had appeared.

    I'm just raising a glass to Nick - anyone join me?

  209. At 01:30 AM on 02 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    RJD, it's such a small world though isn't it?

  210. At 01:32 AM on 02 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Should have checked into the Beach first.

    Just read through all the comments, unlike marymary I've just come back from a meal and a drink but just to say how I feel for Barbara and the family.

    All very emotional, that and just heard that one of our regular guests has just died. Seems like a Hospital cock up!

    There by the grace of God !

  211. At 01:52 AM on 02 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Don't wish to change the beach from thoughts of Nick, but have just received the voucher for the Threshers offer from a friend at the Beeb (not Chris)

    If anyone wants it (and it seems good) I'll post it

    Too late now but let me know in the morning.

  212. At 02:04 AM on 02 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Re: marymary, (madmary)

    When I said 'Unlike you' I was referring to the fact that I'd had the drink!

    In case (after re-reading my last post) it came out wrong :-)


  213. At 08:22 AM on 02 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Good morning everyone. Lovely down here this morning. I'm off to Yorkshire soon but I've left some fresh coffee and homemade shortbread on the bar.

    Steve (107) I've just been looking at your wonderful wood sculptures. How about doing us a sand sculpture for the beach? Maybe a snowman or a reindeer or a model of Lord Mair in his Speedos for Appy? See you tomorrow! GMX

  214. At 08:52 AM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Morning GM (213). Coffee sounds good, great smell.

    I'm just pondering what to do with my day. I might start a Christmas shopping list and then do some shopping. What does everyone want for Christmas, apart from world peace that is?


  215. At 09:38 AM on 02 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Morning All,

    So miserable in December I've left a treat for you all on the bar to cheer us up.

    Two funerals yesterday, Nick Clarke and a friend of my youngest son, dead at 24 very suddenly from an aggressive lung cancer. Son devastated and very shaken by it.

    I had intended to join you all on the beach last night, but having also enjoyed Ann Widdicombe on Have I Got News for You, and returned to the laptop I found an email telling me some yarn I had ordered was out of stock.

    By way of compensation the supplier offered double the quantity of any yarns of my choice.

    Well - we are talking cashmere, silk, cashmere and silk, cashmerino and the most wonderful colours you can imagine.

    You can keep your addictive substances, I can get high on just the thought of tactile textiles. I've just done two scarves in a silver cashmere and silk that slid through the knitting machine like butter, softer than a newborn babe. This morning more of the same arrived in lilac, lime green and black.

    Anyway it took me hours to decide just what else to have and I just felt too exhausted for conversation, so apologies for being anti-social. Now off to finish a Shetland sweater in a bright autumn russet with flecks of red, green, blue - not so soft but very warm.

  216. At 10:14 AM on 02 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    What ho
    Roberto - Who da man! - being read out on Saturday Live! I expect you're fast asleep but I hope you can access the listen again feature. It came about three quarters of the way through. Great blogster.
    FF agree Ann W was surprisingly good, don't know why it is surprising for I don't think our legislative house is one of quiet debate - more a perpetual bear garden.
    I'd like a weekend at jonnies hotel, my photograph by simon, a piece of steve's work, a woolly by AnneP - cobalt blue cashmere- and lotsa Auchentoshan

  217. At 10:24 AM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    I love yarn too. I'd love to own a woolshop. I wouldn't sell much as I'd spend the day just touching all the products. They'd get too grubby!


  218. At 10:31 AM on 02 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Morning all, fun and sadness on threads I missed last night while watching a play about Islam... I feel no more informed and quite exhausted by attempts to keep up so shall today be mostly drinking coffee and reading the paper.

    For Christmas I would like:
    Ann P (215) to knit us all scarves in all that smooth stuff.
    Steve to think my house is just the place to have a permenant exhibit (to which I would, of course, let all froggers in to see for free)
    One of andycrLucan's lovely paintings over my fireplace.
    Fifi to have a gig in my garden (all froggers free again)
    Annasee to play her harp at my wedding (must remember to marry SO - he would like it so much)
    Oh & maybe some of those gorgeous young men LadySnorkPenMaiden & her daugher had to fight off last night!

    Greedy moi?

  219. At 10:39 AM on 02 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Aunt Dahlia (216) you weren't there when I posted ! BUT now don't feel nearly so greedy.

  220. At 10:49 AM on 02 Dec 2006, LadySnorkPenMaiden wrote:

    Anne P (215) - I was skim-reading yours and gulped when I saw (as I thought) 'slid through the knitting machine like a newborn babe' . . .

    Ho ho ho.

    I know what you mean about textures & colours, so you're not alone. I've just finished (hand) knitting a 6'x4' rug using up to 8 strands of yarn together, all mixed up together in stripes the colours of sunsets & using some of the cheap and cheerful eyelashes and funfurs you can get now as well as ordinary 'flat' acrylics. It came out so touchy-feely that the people who've seen it just want to take their clothes off and roll on it!! It's currently on sale in an art gallery not far from me in the hope that some rich second-homer will snap it up (but not before I've had a photo taken of it). I miss it. So do the cats.

    I daren't even start getting involved with cashmere & merino and glorious stuff like that. My habit's expensive enough already and I rarely spend more that £1 a ball. Do you get yours from C*line*te? Am soooooooooo jealous.

    Current project is a stoley/shawly thingy a foot or so wide and about six long in blues, turquoises and greys shot through with the occasional soft orange and bright pink. And beads. Yum.

    Do you think you could do Charles Hatton a tasteful set of lime, lilac and black Speedoes? The ones he has now are a bit stretched on account of his having worn them on his head yesterday. Or maybe a new rugbee top for the Lord Mair?


  221. At 10:51 AM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Helen, will all that fit under your Christmas Tree?

    Funny I was thinking I'd like one of those scarves maybe gift wrapping one of those nice young men?

    What I don't want for Christmas is another pressie from my cat. It's a sweet thought Barney, but I like my mice live and living in their natural habitat!


  222. At 10:57 AM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Just a little note. Helen and AuntD, I've just got to extend my credit card limits, those presents may take me sometime to get! *must get bigger shopping bag too*


  223. At 11:13 AM on 02 Dec 2006, LadySnorkPenMaiden wrote:

    MadMary (217) - yes! We shd have one on the beach. Just up there in the shade where the sand's not quite so powdery, do you think?

    HelenSparkles (218) - what a wonderful set of ideas. I could make your wedding jewellery out of seashells wrapped in fine silver wire, if you like . . .

    Apropos last night's gorgeous young men: when I was my daughter's age (14), where were the lovely Alexes, Anguses, Jameses, Christians and Bens who seem to have taken up semi-permanent residence in our house? Some are friends of hers, others of her 16-yr-old brother. Not only are they all desperately handsome, they're funny and clever too. And the James turns out to be a glorious (acoustic) guitarist - I had to give him a hug when I heard what he was playing in the other room. Perhaps we could get him together with Annasee?

    And my son unexpectedly showed his sensitive side last night too, when he had to go out for a walk with one of his other friends who arrived all in bits about something . . . He's normally in one or other shade of morbid cynicism (tho he still likes to snuggle up next to me on the sofa, specially when I'm knitting something soft he can stroke). Bless.

    Lovely people. I am sooo lucky to have them wanting to be around.

    And you all, too, of course.


  224. At 11:31 AM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    OK! Of to the shops. Must remember the huge tree for the beach and some decorations for it.

    Yes LadySnork ... I don't remember beautiful young men when I was a girl. It's not fair!


  225. At 11:44 AM on 02 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    All I want for Christmas is

    *the tenacity to stick with something when I can't get it to work the first time
    *the wisdom to remember that our children are only lent to us and they can teach us as much as we can teach them
    *the capacity for words to come out of my mouth as easily as they do through my fingers.

    Not a lot then?

    Saturday chores in December are calling, ok if I leave my doppelganger here while I'm away? She'll have a redbush tea if anyone's brewing up, ta.

  226. At 12:33 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Valery P wrote:

    btw - re handsome young men of one's youth - my brother is 3 years older so I was always keen to be at home when he had friends round. Dear Reader, I married one!

  227. At 02:27 PM on 02 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Can we have a Christmas beach party?

  228. At 02:42 PM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    I think we are definitely going to have a Christmas party on the beach, several actually!

    Tree has been brought, but I ran out of money so can others contribute some nice baubles and stuff!

    Who wants to be the fairy at the top of the tree?


  229. At 03:03 PM on 02 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    ME ME ME! No really, does someone else want to be a Sparkly fairy? No good, me me me then, oh I really should wait to see if anyone else thinks HelenSparkles is a good name for the fairy on the top of the tree...

    I have baubles from Amsterdam (could be song title) I could bring along to the beach ... very impressed with anyone shopping for Christmas ... I can't start yet... but good article in The Guardian today about having a slow Christmas, no less fun, but a lot less tack, not that anyone here is tacky of course.

    Valerie P, you are bravely honest. I wish for a lot of things I know I'm not, but most of all I wish I could stop burying my head in the sand and getting on with writing my paper instead of spending so much time reading all the fabulous comments on this blog. But I'd miss you all if I went away.

  230. At 03:58 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Dear beachfrogs, am in the dumps. Can you recommend some beach cheer-ups?

    It's been a week now since my mother, visiting Oxford, broke her leg and went into hospital. They staff all seem pleasant, but it's miserable for her being far from friends and home, and as No 1 Daughter and the one who lives nearest to her own place, I've taken on the role of social secretary and have been quite busy phoning, emailing, passing on messages, going round, switching on lights, checking mail, throwing stuff out etc. Rather to the detriment of my own looking-after-self routine, my contacts with friends and - oh, no - my frogging.

    It's no big deal, really, but just tiring. And I do worry. It's only fair - she worried about me for a long enough time; it's probably my turn.

  231. At 04:15 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Ladysnork (220), I am a lapsed hand-knitter and in need of a rug. so *how* do you knit a rug that won't unravel if it gets snagged, someone drops a fag in it, a high heel gets tangled and pulled out, a large heel 'boots' into it etc etc? Lets alone food dropped on it.

    Have to say this is worst-case scenario, but I have had two lovely rugs (Moroccan, Turkish) totalled by various accidents perpetrated by my guests (pah! And all adults. Well, all over 30). Being too cautious by far, probably, about them myself.

  232. At 05:17 PM on 02 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Anybody like cats?

    I know you do Aperitif and a few other have mentioned them.

    But could you like one of these hairless ones. Pictured in Greece this year. You should be able to access it by clicking on this word

    If that doesn't work click on this link

  233. At 05:46 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    LadySnorkPenMaiden, I get my cashmere from a lovely man called Richard Lawn on eBay
    here. If the froggerators don't like the reference I'll find some other way to let you know. He buys mill remnants and rewinds to anything from cobweb to Aran plus.

  234. At 05:46 PM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Frances O, cheer yourself up with a fantasy Christmas present list! All pressies will be gift wrapped and found under the large Christmas Tree installed on the beach!


  235. At 06:49 PM on 02 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Anne P
    You seem to be having the same problem as me with linking a web address to a word. I followed to the letter the instuctions in the PM Blog guide but it didn't work. I'm going to keep at it though.

    You couldn't like that cat I pointed to in 232 could you? Could you also visit the other place?

    Are you going to organise a Secret Santa?

  236. At 06:59 PM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Well first I think people have to write their letters to Santa (that's me in a white beard). Then people can choose what pressies they want to get for others. Money no object. It can't be secret because were on the blog, but it's the nearest I can come up with. Unless you have a better idea.


  237. At 07:15 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Rob, Anne, & Helen,

    I've tried three times to post instructions, but, for some indeterminate reason, the posts don't appear.

    Once more:

    The word to become a link should be bracketed between normal hyperlink "tags", thus:

    <a href="link address (url)">word</a>

    It will then appear simply as an underlined word (or phrase) in your posting.

    Failing this, I shall post this exact post at links.txt

    Virtually instantly on my website

    Vaya con Gaia

  238. At 07:30 PM on 02 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    France O, it falls upon us, and it is probably our turn, but no less tiring for that.

    I would recommend paying someone to clean your house, so you can use that time to do something else, lots of companies do a one off spring clean. Now not because I think you are slattern but I suspect your tasks are piling up around you while you take care of others? Get them in while you are visiting mother and use the time another time, after all, lying in the bath/reading isn't terribly relaxing if someone is running a hoover around next door!

    Your mental health (& I speak broadly, but as one who values it as much as physical health) is as important to your mum as you. After all you shall be no good to her if it falters, so just doing nice things for yourself is very very important.

    Actually I think nice things are very important anyway and am very inspired by the various yarns above, but hopelessly unable to cobble any such thing together myself. I could never settle on a colour anyway; I just love the way they all look together in the stores, want to buy them all to gaze at, & decisions are hopeless.

  239. At 07:34 PM on 02 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    madmary (228) I had 2nd more gracious thought; Lissa should be on the top of our tree, t'is such an honour after all, & she's working so hard, working at home, and all that, with the cat.

    I should be an elf scurrying around trying to keep froggers & our Eddie plentifully supplied with mulled wine & mince pies!

    Ooo, do you think he (Eddie) might let us sing carols down a webcam link up video conference type senario? Mmm, had a very busy day, bit barmy now, may have to drink something stronger than tea soon. See you at the beach bar later.

  240. At 07:40 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Ed (237) and others,

    My apologies that the link code didn't work. The odd thing is that I tested it out before I created the instructions document that Jonnie has on PM Blog Extra and it worked fine. And I can't see anything different from what is there and what Ed has just posted. Have I missed something?

    I just thought my recent attempt had been moderated since it referred to an eBay shop site.

    LadyPen (220) I meant to say your rug sounds fabulous. I do enjoy all kinds of knitting and sewing but I don't consider myself to have real design flair. I'll put the cashmere link on the instant chat in PM Blog extra for you.

  241. At 08:05 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Anne P,

    All that seems to have happened is that yours showed up as an actual link on the html page of instructions. Otherwise I think it's OK.

    I just took advantage of the use of a textfile, which doesn't go straight to html... I also had to do a bit of jiggery-pokery to get the < and > signs to show up in the post, as they get either converted to html or just thrown away. you have to use ampersand (&) and lt; (less than) gt; (greater than) and the semicolons are necessary as well as the quotation marks.

    I also got a bit of software to programme my function keys to give a salutation with one stroke, thus:
    Vaya con Gaia

  242. At 08:27 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    MadMary - we'll play a gig in anyone's garden, if we can afford the travel to get there!

    This summer we played at the opening of a pub patio.

    I suspect we would play at the opening of a fridge door, as long as the wee light comes on.....

    See you all later at the Wheatsheaf, Langham (nr Oakham). Only singing one song, but it's not that far to go and there's nothing on the telly except repeats.

    Cheers! (I'll have a nice soothing Merlot upon my return to the beach bar, if someone would like to get this bottle airing. . . . . )

  243. At 09:12 PM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    I tried posting a comment here but it got moderated for no apparent reason.

    Fifi, your singing as a Christmas Pressie would be great. I don't have a garden though!


  244. At 10:36 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Quiet night on the beach so far.

    Marymary if you don't have a garden how can we annoy you by asking 'how does it grow?'

    As for moderations, they are indeed often quite contrary and passing all human understanding.

    Wind just starting to get up here. Wonder if they have it right this time - they do seem to issue severe weather warnings at the drop of a hat these days ( a post Michael Fish and the 1987 'What hurricane?' effect I think). Ed, RobbieJD and admin annie, I guess you are likely to feel the worst of it. Come to think of it Valery P. also in Scotland ?

    Forecasts like so much else over dominated by the south. I had a cousin living in Thurso for many years and she said they had at least five hurricanes a year and never one reported on the news.

    Ah well, just rambling now. Time for a nightcap.

    Sleep well one and all.

  245. At 10:37 PM on 02 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Book Club next suggestion, I know we haven't read the first one yet, but just read an article about Willa Cather and it made me want to read My Antonia again.

    madmary, I have a garden, perhaps Fifi could play for us all there? Or we could have a garden instead of a beach for a week! Thereby subverting the idea of an official beach for those who mind the sanction!

  246. At 10:47 PM on 02 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Anne P. you could still annoy me with that question. I'm in the process of changing my name anyway so that I am now officially madmary.


  247. At 11:04 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Lunch guests just gone. Can anyone explain why i can stand at a wardrobe stuffed so full I cannot shut the doors and still not find anything to wear? In the full knowledge we are bound to end up playing daft games. Anyone done the Gulag Archipeligo?(as a charade!) Feeling rather tired and emotional.
    Frances O, been there, you'll get your life back and it will be all the sweeter. Must go now. Smudger howling at sheep.

  248. At 11:07 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:

    thank you for providing Shaun Ley's account of Nick Clarke.s service- I missed TWAO on that day.

    I am just on my way to the beach-am I too late for the jollities? If so,see you at sunrise-my tent is near the tree-coffee and croissants at eight?

    why is everyone changing their names?

  249. At 11:18 PM on 02 Dec 2006, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Molly -Never too late for jollity on the beach. I, personally am consuming vast vats of caffeine to keep me going through the Test Match. Go Collingwood Go Collingwood.Oh, He's gone. Sorry. Getting carried away. Too much hubris.
    I'm thinking of changing my name to Pink Gina. Much more appropriate.
    Barmy Army Barmy Army!
    I fully expect this will be moderated. (have a heart guys - we're not actually losing)

  250. At 11:54 PM on 02 Dec 2006, valery p wrote:

    I just thought I'd try hmmm - or was it

    Should have written it down, here we go

  251. At 11:57 PM on 02 Dec 2006, valery p wrote:


    Just ignore me, I can't remember what order I did them in on the last post. Gosh, must be bedtime.

  252. At 12:01 AM on 03 Dec 2006, valery p wrote:

    Frances O, recognising that it's your turn is the first step, but it doesn't make it much easier does it? I found it really scary when I started to feel more like the grown-up! It does get easier though - don't try to be superwoman, and don't put yourself last. I'd vouch for what Sparkly Helen says, if you neglect your own "stuff" then you won't be doing your Mum any favours in the long run.
    Calming 'erbal bedtime drink, anyone?

  253. At 12:11 AM on 03 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hi froggers,
    Windy ain't it?

    I've found another barrel with a bit of guinness left, more than enough to share. And I've got a wee bit to smoke behind the shed if Madmary's about or LadyPen or anyone else.

    Vaya con Gaia

    Lagavulin for afters

  254. At 12:18 AM on 03 Dec 2006, valery p wrote:

    O - well those didn't work did they? Why has it just missed out my italicated words altogether. There was me doing my practice as promised too :o(

  255. At 12:49 AM on 03 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:



    (don't preview! or if you do, use the "back" button before submitting)

    and, for links, follow the link.

    Houb Salaam

  256. At 12:52 AM on 03 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Hello Beachcombers,

    Had a very busy say so just got down her. Just left a comment on madmary's blog -- very smart Blog isn't it.

    just got back from a meal with Chris J who starts rehearsing for Panto in Tunbridge Wells tomorrow. He told me how lovely the Reindeer were but the studio was covered in Reindeer Poo, not very nice! Oh and he's asked me to thank you all for your lovely comments and said that he found HelenSparkles comment that the Reindeer looked more attractive very funny!

    Fifi we atched your video on Youtube as my friend James who occasionally posts was convinced you were a man. He knows otherwise now and don't ask me why he thought you were male ???

    Everyone has cleared out of trhe Hotel for the Weekend which is lovely. Anne Charleston is still here but is still recovering from a poorly ankle so has had an early night.

    Tomorrow Bobby Crush and Brian Cant arrive who are in the Poole Panto so they should be fun.

    Ed I thanks for the HTML copy of the beach, I've bookmarked the link and will have it up there soon with BigSis's palques

    Chris gave me a copy of the BBC In House mnagazine which has a page dedicated to Nick Clarke, I'll try and scan it in the morning as it's worth a read.

    Well a littlle nightcap and to bed I think

  257. At 01:12 AM on 03 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Gosh It's windy here!

    Ed. I've just opened a bottle of John Powers. Very very smooth - please have a glass.

  258. At 06:54 AM on 03 Dec 2006, LadySnorkPenMaiden wrote:

    ValP (226) – yes. My daughter cleverly managed a similar sort of arrangement :-)

    It seems to make it possible for her to have a much healthier relationship with boys than I ever managed. I was always drooling over someone when I was her age, whereas she thinks most of them are sad d*ckheads. Apart from her brother’s friends who are, de facto, not.

    Tho she did experience her First Real Kiss last week, with the lovely Alex. Or at least the first one she’s told me about. And TLA is one of her friends, not one of his. Her reaction was touching and rather sweet.

    Other Alexes are available. This one, however, isn’t really as he’s currently going out with Zoe. Cue angst, but not much.

    HelenSparkles (229) – I must look up the Graun’s article about Slow. There’s a book called ‘In praise of Slow’ too, which is really interesting, and a market town in Norfolk called Aylsham that’s apparently Doing It. So slow am I already that I haven’t actually got round to going there (even tho it’s only about 30 miles away) to see how the concept manifests itself . . .

    FrancesO (230) – I sympathise. My mother managed to break her hip 200 miles away from me, and my life went on hold for months while I spent it crawling from East Anglia to Derbyshire. I think HelenSparkles’s idea about getting somebody in to blitz your own house while you’re not there is a seriously good one. Then at least when you have time for yourself you can do what you want rather than what you have to.

    And re your totalled rugs and how not to get them in such a state, I suspect you call them a work of art and hang them on the walls. Which sort of defeats the object of them being rugs in the first place as you can’t then walk on them unless you have heavy-duty velcr* (other hook & loop systems are available) on your feet . . .

    AnneP (240) – thanks for the cashmere link. I’ll check it out when I’m feeling strong. I don’t actually design my things in advance – they just tend to happen as I go along (much like my paintings and the other things I make) – as trying to follow patterns drives me nuts. Freestyle knitting’s much more me - I think I must be an anarchist at heart.

    It’s still dark in December here in the far east, and blowing a hooley too. Much calmer (and lighter) here.

    Hugs to FrancesO. You can borrow the beach cat if you like. To stroke. It is a PROPER cat, with fur. What exactly is the point of a cat without??


    PS Molly (248) and the burst of name-changing. It's because other names are available, of course :-)

  259. At 09:10 AM on 03 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:

    gosh LadyPen-yyou do writte a lot-and no mistakes, I see!
    Must try harder. Do people really care about.....
    suppose so.
    must fly aand get ready for the new week's new beach.
    ps loved reading about the panto-what a laff!

  260. At 09:45 AM on 03 Dec 2006, Molly wrote:

    just realised that the panto is down the road mustgo!!so excited -will i get tickets........ must,must,must!

    ITS BEHIND YOU! whoops.......(Just practising)

    You've made me late now-missed the bus....

  261. At 10:17 AM on 03 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Morning all! Apparently it was windy last night! I didn't hear a thing. Lots of potential firewood lying around so I've made a nice little campfire and am brewing up some strong coffee (particularly for Ed I who seemed to have knocked back quite a bit last night).

    Thanks for the comments on my blog folks. It's not necessary to join to post but you get called anonymous! So it would be better if you joined. There can be some difficulty with passwords being remembered but if you tell it you've forgotten you get the chance via an email to imput the same one again! Strange but there you go.

    All this rambling doesn't mean anyone should visit my blog at all. I just started it again inspired by this place.

    RJD did have an idea for a "Secret Santa". I'll post his suggestion.

    Getting back to the PM Blog and secret Santa etc. I think that I may well suggest we adopt a different version of the concept on the PM blog. Anybody willing to participate gives in their name. Somebody (perhaps youself) then nominates who has to buy an imaginary present for whom ?). The present-buyer has to pick a present and explain why they think it is suitable for the recipient. What do you think?

    I'm not sure if I could keep up with all the names, and I rather think that people who post here would like to be included. As it doesn't really cost anything we could just say what we would like and what we would think is a good pressie for others. I will try to pick out some nice pressies for everyone from the ideas.

    Maybe Eddie could have a Christmas wish list blog entry?


  262. At 11:08 AM on 03 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Wow, a bit of carnage in the neighbours garden this morning but we seem to have escaped.

    Re: My post last night. I was on the laptop which has sticky keys (honest) !

    and Molly if you go to see the Panto in Tunbridge Wells you must go back stage and see Chris (just mention Eddies blog)

  263. At 11:14 AM on 03 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Haven't had much time for the beach this last week - and glancing through the above entries, seems a lot has gone on!

    When the beach gets towed to the next morning tomorrow, would some kind soul put in an early posting to signpost all the frolics that are now in force? That way we can all join in.

    Also, another plea, I note Sparkly Fairy Helen has nominated a book for the future. Could folk kindly nominate via the Book Club page or I'll get into a fearful muddle (Note, Fred, not Fearless - I fancy you're very orderly!).

    Ta froggers!

    Big Sis
    (currently recovering from a very hectic day with stepfamily)

  264. At 12:07 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    Morning all, woops seems it's afternoon already.

    Wildish night in Derbyshire in December, recycling boxes (empty fortunately) scattered around. Worst damage was to neighbour's very large trampoline - upended destroying the safety netting supports.

    So calm here on the beach I think I'll go for a swim.

  265. At 12:08 PM on 03 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    I'm putting together a Christmas present list culled from things folk have said, but I'm short of ideas for many of you, so please post your wishes.

    Val P. Your wish list is a bit difficult to wrap so could you come up with something else that I can wrap. I've got stacks of lovely tasteful wrapping paper so not to worry about size. It can be something that could be included in a card though!


  266. At 02:19 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Afternoon all!

    Sorry for not being around as much the last few weeks. Too much November/December stuff to deal with workwise. Thankfully the big presentation is now over (until the new year) so I'll have a little more time to relax here on the beach with you all :-)

    My wishes for Christmas pressie? Hmmm... Take your pick of the following: A succesful season for London Irish & Harlequins; People finally realising how good a singer Maria McKee is; or, failing those, I'd like Lucy Porter! (see my post 206...)

  267. At 03:48 PM on 03 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Wild times all around here, didn't hear a think, but guttering, trellis and fenceposts are all taking a nap on the lawn instead of standing to attention. SO no a happy bunny due to it being his birthday and spending it in well known homestore and now digging. All attempts to introduce jolity have been rejected, and now I'm cheesed off. We may need a special forces Relate team to intervene!

    Saw chap get knocked off bike today and remembered how dangerous cycling can be, never mind how green. It always makes me sad when things happen near Christmas. Must go now before I depress you all, being an Eyore (how is it spelt?) today, but shall sparkle later!

    Sorry about putting the book suggestion in the wrong place, shall aim not to confuse any more than normal.

  268. At 04:39 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Afternoon all,

    RJD, sorry to miss out on the dram, but I'd already had enough and retired to sleep through the storm.

    Awoke to low voltage, but enough for radio, which eventually went off as the admirable leccy boys went about their work regardless of the weather. I met them and expressed my admiration as they were just going down to switch us back on. Neighbour's power will take a bit more time - half a dozen trees have taken out 150 yards or more (three poles' worth) of high voltage line.... All his sheep, etc. are ok and the fields, though windy/muddy, are still beautiful and the quad bike doesn't mind the mud...

    I've already got a use in mind for most of the windblow oaks. They look like crucks to me already.

    Regarding slow as beautiful, Wendell Berry is my mentor, and the best summary statement on our predicament is worth a read. Also a small collection of quotes.

    Still windy, already pretty dark here, but worst is past. See y'all tomorrow or maybe later

    Vaya con Gaia

  269. At 05:21 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    MadMary - we have recorded a very amateurish CD, purely so our fiddler can learn our stuff and make up some twiddly solos.

    If you'd like a copy, email me your contact details and I'll pop one in the post.

    Then you can play it in your non-garden any time you like!

    There was a theatre group near here doing theatre in people's homes ... you booked them then invited all your friends round. Maybe the Lying Scotsman should be seeking grant funding to do something similar!

    Jonnie -- haven't been mistaken for a bloke since my teenage years, driving tractors on the family business. Your friend James has made an old bird very happy.... ;o)

    I am out all tomorrow, so nothing further from Fifi till Tuesday. See ya!

  270. At 06:17 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Bill'n'Ben wrote:

    Hello all,

    Another busy night, and a mighty hangover.

    Haven't had a chance to read everything yet.

    Just a quick thought to MadMary. I just try to leave a comment on your Blog, but I don't think it worked, so I'll repeat here. OK on the name change, but please don't do the natural progression to ScaryMary, it has weird memories of Walton on the Naze.

    I don't know what the Guinness situation was, so I've brought another barrel. That will keep Ed happy.

    I think it's time to get r*t a*sed again.


  271. At 06:24 PM on 03 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    That's very kind of you Fifi! Email sent (I think).


  272. At 07:34 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Oooooh, just landed and haven't read all the posts past the idsea of beach presents. Thanks, sanemary. Well, it sounds v sane.

    (btw, I and most of people I knew used 'v' for 'very' long before B Jones, and I don't think I need to give it up cos of her)

    Well. some indestructible rug wool would gladden the heart and floor. Oooh, can just imagine... yes, a good start. A pic from andycrashbangwallop, too. No further ambitions yet; and anyway, this beach becomes ether tomorrow. Father C, are you logged on?

  273. At 07:55 PM on 03 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    "v" was used I think the the Down with Skool books, but I stand corrected if I'm wrong (others on this blog no better!

    Your pressie is sorted Frances, I'm still waiting for others to post their wish list.

    New problem arises, where to hide them.


  274. At 08:04 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Hi Everyone,

    It's been a busy weekend so I'm just going to relax quietly. Anyone want some of this Glayva? (Late SO's favourite and always a feature of December here).

  275. At 08:06 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:


    (270) Bill'n'Ben'n'Brian???? Any more and you'll need an acronym!

    Valery (187), I am already as envious of your Fridays as the day is long. What are you trying to do to me??? ;-)

    RJD (235) Thank you and I have responded. You're so lovely. I think I love you nearly as much as I love Lissa's cat (and more than the hairless one!)

  276. At 08:14 PM on 03 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    I've never tried it but yes please!

    Did anyone hear the traffic forecast read on BH this morning? It was the funniest thing that I have heard in ages. I just missed the start of it. Do we know who wrote it?

  277. At 08:37 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    For those who missed the wonderful Charlotte Green and the traffic forecast here it is - republished by popular request on the BH web page but without a writer's credit - shame on them!


  278. At 08:41 PM on 03 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    I heard it too RJD. And read out by the astonishing Charlotte Green.


  279. At 09:29 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    There you go RJD. Whisky and honey (or sweet whisky for soft girlies like me, but perfect in front of a roaring fire with a cosy blanket.. sigh).

    I'm afraid I woke up just before nine, put on the radio, then promptly went back to sleep and so missed all of BH this morning :-(

    As Lissa might say, one could always 'listen again'.

  280. At 09:31 PM on 03 Dec 2006, valery p wrote:

    Ah well Aperry, holiday romance you know.......

  281. At 09:57 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Thanks Brian,

    The last was down to dregs. I also loved the traffic forecast.

    One last pint before retiring indoors....
    See y'all later.


  282. At 10:25 PM on 03 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    B'n'B I've been called Scarey Mary a few times but it's not my nickname. Walton-on-the-Naze eh? I spent some time there many moons ago when my nan lived in Clacton. I wonder why it's connected with ... Oh never mind.

    If you can't sign into the blog try again please. I'm fiddling about with membership stuff at the moment. Rather like the lovely Eddie, I'm not very expert.


  283. At 10:29 PM on 03 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:

    Anne P
    Thank you, thank you.
    Its not the same without Sea Green reading it but I'm going to spend a bit of time re-reading it.

    This is good!

  284. At 11:00 PM on 03 Dec 2006, LadySnorkPenMaiden wrote:

    Oh AnneP that's the funniest thing I've heard (seen?) for ages. Stop all the clocks and rejoice.

    At my children's (state) school this weekend there seems to have been a campervan reunion. I turned up on Friday to collect daughter from Christmas-concert rehearsal ('Muuuuuu-um. I can't walk home. It'll be DARK!!') to find marshalls marshalling mini-Winnebagos into interesting formations.

    We sat and watched for a while. Then asked ourselves 'Why?'.

    We haven't yet come up with a convincing answer.

    She and Alex kissed again tonight, apparently. (So THAT was what all the giggling was about.)

    We talked about it and what it might mean.

    I do love her. She's so funny and gorgeous.


    PS Is it time for Sailing By yet?

  285. At 11:25 PM on 03 Dec 2006, RobbieJohnDo wrote:


    Please, please finish the book. You write something.... and I am waiting for more. You have an ease of writing that I am really envious of. Write the darn thing and then think about it...but write it!

  286. At 11:39 PM on 03 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    mary not so scary I don't think (273) could presents can go in the treasure chest? It's under the palm tree furtherest from the beach bar.

    LadySnorkPenMaiden (284) Kissed Alex again? Missed something, had thought daughter was spurning all advances!

    RJD (285) you are so fab when you write yourself you know, that I think perhaps you and the snorkmaiden should be working on a combined effort. A chapter in turn perhaps, worked on by email, but no flirting behind our backs mind! That way, when you get to go on chat shows, we can all come too, or at least be liggers at the lauch party!

  287. At 01:20 AM on 04 Dec 2006, Annasee wrote:

    Where to hide the presents? Behind a nom-de-plume of course. There are lots of them about, & who knows what else they're already hiding????

  288. At 01:28 AM on 04 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Hi Beachcombers .. late again.

    Chris Jarvis posted this on the Reindeer thread but I promised him I'd repost it to encourage feedback.

    A pair of teeth left a very funny remark already :-)


    At 12:36 PM on 03 Dec 2006, Chris Jarvis wrote: Hello everyone...
    Thanks for the kind comments!
    Mr Mopple will be back on CBeebies soon. I'm back on later as me with the reindeer and, on Christmas Day, as a variety of panto characters including an ugly sister. My real panto is in Tunbridge Wells - if you come, shout "PM" or "Eddie!" ...just so I know.
    I work on CBeebies but have you seen the new Jackanory on BBC1 or the older kids' BBC channel CBBC? It's amazing & will inspire our nation's PSP-playing kids to read again.
    What does the informed R4 audience think about the state of storytelling in the UK?
    Chris J


    He will be without Internet access for a Month so I've promised him I'll keep a note of all the comments as he would like to share them with the bosses.

    Leave remarks at the contact section of


    or on the beach and I'll copy and paste,


    PS: Ed I -- I'll drop you a mail soon.


  289. At 01:40 AM on 04 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:


    Haven't been able to compile things as it's all very busy here at the mo -- but -- to get in the Christmas spirit I need some more funnies for Fifi's bits at


    Just send them through and I'll stick them up hopefully by close of play, or as soon as poss. Audio, video, whatever, I'll moderate as to your complaints.

    I'll be brave and trust that Norton catches the spam so the e-mail them through to:


  290. At 08:37 AM on 04 Dec 2006, madmary (formerly marymary) wrote:

    Morning all! I've just come to retrieve the hidden pressies from this beach ready to hide them on the new one later today, for now they'll have to come with me to work. I wonder if I can fit ...


  291. At 08:46 AM on 04 Dec 2006, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Gossipmistress (208) Parma Ham IS part of my collection. I will post it - along with an explanation, soon!

  292. At 09:14 AM on 04 Dec 2006, Belinda wrote:

    The thing I liked most about the traffic forecast is that it mentioned my (current) home-town in the opening sentence! Not that we ever get tail-backs...

  293. At 10:36 AM on 04 Dec 2006, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Annasee, that was quite brilliant.

  294. At 04:57 PM on 04 Dec 2006, Fifi wrote:

    Hey, I'm back! Just in time for PM.

    Mary, your CD will be in the post tomorrow. And yes, your email arrived ... albeit via my Spamfilleter again! :o(

    I'm worried that tomorrow night's PM photo thingy is going to consist of lots of the same few things:

    a) tail-lights as seen through car windscreens
    b) computer screens showing the Beach
    c) saucepans being stirred

    Mine would be (b) ... but that's so predictable!!!!!

    Jonnie : I'm thrilled I have my own page on your PMblog webs-atell-ite! :o) This has inspired me to catch up with the funnies that have come in over the weekend.

  295. At 11:56 PM on 04 Dec 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    Eddie (291) - if it's really you and not an imposter teasing me - exciting news, thank you!

    Anne P (277) haha that's so funny, shall have to 'Listen again' to hear Charlotte reading it now! Thanks for posting it

  296. At 12:42 PM on 05 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Gossipmistress: I think it was Eddie. It certainly wasn't me.

    (BTW, I now have it on the best (think Blogmistress) authority that the tekkies will fix it so that only Eddie can post under his own name. But it may take a few days.)

  297. At 10:10 PM on 05 Dec 2006, Helen Sparles wrote:

    Ah Fifi, alas you are so right, my laptop was my picture, but I shall forward you the email so you can see what else was on my desk!

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