Archive for the ‘My Life Musings’ Category

Shopping Around the World July

July 30, 2014 43 comments

I thought I’d join in with Bacon and Fozzie’s Shopping around the World feature this time around. The idea is post the costs of various items so that we can see how much things cost around the world!

Here’s the list. My prices come to you from Cornwall, South-West England.

Toilet Paper
I always buy Andrex Puppies on a Roll. It’s a bit more expensive but I don’t care. It absolutely has to be Puppies on a Roll. Because it’s cute. Even when I was saving up to buy a house I splurged on Puppies on a Roll. Why? Because it’s cute.

One time I couldn’t get Puppies on a Roll and I was most dismayed.


That’s a picture of a 4 pack but I always buy a 9 pack (sometimes you even get 3 rolls free!).

A 9 pack costs me £4.49 (€5.67, US$7.60).

Regular package of ground beef
Small problem here – what’s a “regular package”? Come to that, what exactly is “ground beef”? Minced beef I guess? I’m going to post the price of the stuff I buy – store-brand lean minced steak beef, 500g. That costs £4.00 (€5.06, US$6.77).

Store bought pizza
I always buy thin-crust pepperoni pizza (store brand). This costs £2.25 (€2.84, US$3.81) for one, but I always buy 2 for £4.00 (€5.06, US$6.77). They’re not the highest quality pizza, but I add cheese and plenty of Tabasco sauce on the top. Yum 🙂




Is that extra cheese? Why yes, yes it is.

Package of hot dogs
I haven’t bought these for years, but I located several examples for all sorts of prices. They don’t come in packages in this country, generally. Proper sausages (i.e. the Great British Banger!) come in packages, but hot dog sausages come in tins, usually in brine.


This is probably the sort of thing I would buy, were I to buy them, and this tin of 8 hot dog sausages would set you back a very reasonable £1.29 (€1.63 , US$2.18).

Tell you what’s really nice – hot dog sausage, slice along the sausage but not all the way through, fill with Marmite so it melts and stuff it in bread. Mmm! Bit messy, mind.

Package of bacon
Mmm, bacon. I buy store-brand back bacon, 8 rashers, unsmoked (300g) costing £2.55 (€3.22, US$4.31).

Mmm, bacon.

The Field of Flowers Award

February 4, 2014 28 comments

Guess what? The wonderful Servant Z and Yelloz over at fourcatpaw have nominated me for a fantastic award – the Field of Flowers award – thank you! Take a look at this.


Isn’t that the most wonderful picture? I’m thinking summer picnics with my imaginary girlfriend, I’m thinking skipping barefoot through the grass, I’m thinking breathing in the heady aroma of beautiful flowers – suffice to say I’d quite like to be in that picture.

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A Belated Farewell to 2013

January 5, 2014 18 comments

We’re already well into 2014 and I still haven’t said a proper goodbye to 2013.

Goodbye 2013!

There we go.

As I left work on New Year’s Eve I saw a beautiful rainbow arcing over the buildings, a fitting end to the year. Quick as a flash, I whipped out my phone and snapped a photo.

Alas, my trusty phone camera let me down 😦 . It’s all a bit washed out.


A beautiful rainbow, ruined by my stupid phone camera.

But never fear! I own an expensive and sophisticated set of filters incorporated into cutting-edge image processing software. I have brought all of this to bear on the problem – I hope you’ll appreciate the result below!

Rainbow Altered

There, that’s better. Possibly the pot of gold wasn’t there originally.

Thanks to modern technology, you can now view the beautiful rainbow in all its awe-inspiring glory.

On the blogging front, I thought it might be fun to view my “all-time” visitor stats. You can see where I started to take it seriously, and then in the second half of last year I did some Daily Prompts and began writing Friday Fictioneers submissions, among other things. Things really took off, I started following lots of really cool blogs and I “met” a great bunch of people!

Now I have started participating in Kerrie Salsac’s brilliant new Chain Writing Game, so the only way is up (potentially)!

Stats All TimeHere’s to 2014, and a huge thank you to everybody who takes the time to read, comment on and like my posts 🙂 .


Unexpected but Welcome!

December 22, 2013 10 comments

This is a little round-up of award nominations I have recently received. I’m also using it as a shameless plug for a bunch of my posts, so let’s dive straight in!

First off, fun with the Blog of the Year Award 2013 (my original post on this along with all the rules, my nominations and all the rest is here). The lovely and talented gentlestitches awarded me a star! I’m pretty sure I got another one along the way as well (!) so that makes a total of 3 stars (if anyone apart from Mer and gentlestitches can remember giving me a star, let me know and I’ll grovel a lot and update this post)!

Blog of the Year Award 3 star

Three star blogger!

Then, can you believe this, doggy’s style awarded me the Black Hole award, and one of my stars fell in (boo)!

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Categories: My Life Musings Tags:

Saved by the Subconscious

December 17, 2013 20 comments

I, like most, have had my fair share of road problems. Little accidents, near misses, breaking down, driving over bits of wood in the carriageway and so on. Hell, last year I nearly drove over Bambi!

Yesterday’s incident, however, was quite weird. I mean, you see this sort of thing happening on the TV, but…

There I was, driving down the A30 dual carriageway at 75mph 70mph on my way home from work. Traffic was extremely light. Not far from my slip-road (very close to where I nearly squashed Bambi, funnily enough) I saw a van up ahead and decided to pull in behind it rather than shoot around it.

It was only going at 50mph so obviously I was pretty annoyed (I started to wish I’d just overtaken), but impatient as I was, I kept a decent distance behind. This turned out to be a good thing.

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Happy Messages

December 15, 2013 18 comments

Last week was a strange week. The week before last I realised I had a load of holiday backed up, and very little time in which to take it! So I booked Monday to Thursday off last week. Usually I have weeks to work myself up to a holiday, but this came upon me rather suddenly.

On Monday, I was ill! This was most disagreeable. This is the first time I’ve had anything worse than a cold since early 2003 (when I had pneumonia), so it came as a bit of a surprise. I’d forgotten how rubbish it feels to be unwell. Even the pneumonia was no big deal – no pain, no discomfort, just a bit breathless. A couple of days in hospital and that was that.

This time I actually threw up! The first time in over eleven years. Yuck 😦 . I can’t even remember when I was ill before that – either all the vodka masked the symptoms or it sent all the bugs and viruses running for the hills.

Nasty Vodka

Run, little diseases, run!

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Numero Uno!

November 27, 2013 15 comments

It’s Wednesday and it’s time for Friday Fictioneers! Except it’s not because I’m having problems thinking of a story.

Therefore, in a change to our regular Wednesday posting, let’s all put our hands together and applaud me, for I have been awarded the following:

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

Woohoo wahey wahooie! I’m numero uno! Top dog! Head honcho! Prime, um, rib!

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Categories: My Life Musings Tags: ,

Office Irritations Part 2 – Monitors with Attitude

November 24, 2013 8 comments

My computer monitor has attitude.

Not the one on the right. The one on the left. The “primary” display. It feels the need to berate me, before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee.

This is the sight which greets me each morning.

Monitor With Attitude

Why are you being so nasty to me, Mr Monitor?

Why is it telling me this so early in the morning? I haven’t saved any trees. It makes me feel bad. What’s with the guilt trip?

Apparently “super energy saving”, whatever that is, is inactive. Who among you has ever fiddled with the settings on a monitor (apart from “auto-adjust” that is)? Monitor controls and menus are so fiddly I find it’s best to leave them alone, in case everything suddenly goes all blue and you can’t work out how to fix it. Trying to find the energy saving setting seems like a recipe for disaster.

The mere act of using a computer rather than writing everything down means I’m “saving trees”, does it not?  I recycle every week – I’m a good little recycler. Why are you saying such things to me, Mr Monitor?

It tells me this after it has been physically switched off all night. How is that not saving trees? Apart from the fact that, as far as I know, the power station is powered by coal, or possibly uranium. It’s not wood-fired.

Energy-saving monitors aside, don’t forget to recycle!


Save the trees!

The year is 2093
Tommy’s never seen a tree
He knows they’re tall and brown and green
But not a sight he’s ever seen.

People say it’s such a pity
All the world’s become a city
Trees and grass and bubbling brooks
Can only now be found in books.

No horses, cows or dogs or cats
All the food is grown in vats
People crammed in tiny spaces
Life’s a drudge, no happy faces.

The older ones think “Such a shame”
Wondering just who’s to blame
No more trilling sparrow’s song

Nature’s time has long since gone.

(Poem reposted from

Office Irritations Part 1 – Interruptions

November 10, 2013 21 comments

Picture the scene. You’re working away, you’ve just had a great idea and you’re struggling to bring it to fruition. You’re so close, when suddenly…

…there’s someone hanging off your shoulder pestering you for something which only you can provide.

You’ve lost your train of thought! Your mojo’s gone! You were so close to discovering the deepest secrets of the universe, or at least to making Excel do that split-screen thing, and you’ve lost it all because “the printer’s making a funny noise” or “my monitor’s gone all funny”.

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Eye Aye

October 29, 2013 32 comments

On Saturday I finally went for my eye test. I’ve got the system worked out now.

They send a reminder at around two years. It’s important to ignore this one. After a couple more weeks they send another reminder with a voucher attached for a £5 eye test. Hooray! I save £17.50!

Well, technically I save my work £17.50 because they pay (I spend all day staring at a pair of computer monitors – yes, I get two monitors because I’m just that good :-)).

But I save money all the same – it’s the principal of the thing.

I got a bit of a shock. Not my prescription – my eyes have remained “stable”. Apparently very short-sighted people (i.e. me) are at increased risk of detached retinas.

What? What!

Why has nobody mentioned this before?

The optician took pictures of my eyes and looked at them using a microscope gizmo with a massively bright supernova-like light in it. When I could see again she told me that she could see stretch marks around the edges of my retinas.

Stretch marks! On my eyeballs! Whaaaat! If there’s one place there shouldn’t be stretch marks, it’s in my eyeballs.

This is apparently quite normal in very short-sighted people. I’m afraid to nod my head now in case my retinas suddenly fall off.

She advised me to avoid extreme sports. I asked her if I looked like the sort of person who did extreme sports? Or, indeed, any sports? Does covering a pizza with half a bottle of Tabasco sauce and then scoffing the whole thing down count as an extreme sport, I wonder? Could the heat from the Tabasco cause my retinas to fly out of my head?

I’ll have to remember to be careful of my eyes the next time I go base-jumping, parachuting or bungee jumping.

Eyeballs Gone