Sunday, 31 July 2011

Gwen's Birthday

We have spent this weekend in Birmingham, which is about 70 miles south of our home. The occasion, the 90th birthday of Mrs RJRs maternal Grandmother    - Gwen Carrington.

Pictured here, looking just like she did all day, full of smiles, in fact laughing and smiling seemed her natural demeanour for the weekend.

The party was held in a function room at the Botanical Gardens which was made all the better by the beautiful weather. Being the only sibling remaining of 13, Gwen had lots of nieces and nephews, along with her own 3 children and grandchildren attend, which made for a busy atmosphere.

The next picture is 4 generations of Carrington girls, Great Grandmother Gwen, Grandma Carol, Mum Joanne and Grandchildren Rachel and Ruth.

We also had a picture taken of the 5 of us together which is unusual, 
as one is normally behind the camera.

Mrs RJR's older brother tried to get in on the act too...

The Gardens are a really pretty venue for a function or day out if you ever go to Birmingham. Its a very Victorian style setting, with lawns, hot houses, bird Avery's, Fish and lots of plants with Latin names.

 Finally add lots of camera's, sunny weather and teenagers and you are sure to get some posing, I leave you with a couple of shots...


Saturday, 30 July 2011

Planking for beginners

Planking or the lying down game is an activity consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location. The hands must touch the sides of the body and having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the internet is an integral part of the game. Players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to play. The term planking is described as the practice of lying down flat with arms to the side, to mimic a wooden plank. source

Of course my kids always have try such things, so here 
is their take on the game. As you will see Jake and Ruth 
got a little competitive and there was an element of 
"my plank is more daring than your plank" I wasn't around 
when this "activity took place but Ruth has let
 me use the pictures to write this post !

The opening picture (above) was Jake demonstrating the "basic" plank,
 closely followed by Ruth on the swing chair not in front of it. 

Next up Ruth on a Garden Bench then a table. Had I been present,
 I may well have pointed out the table is made of glass 
and this was perhaps more dangerous than she imagined.

Not to be outdone Jake went for the Table swing "Combo"

Then the standing plank, resulting in a nice brick pattern on the forehead !!!

"I can beat that" says Ruth... The unsupported leg plank...  

Height is the added extreme factor... 
So Jake goes for the wheelie bin tops...

"I will see your 2 wheelie bins and raise the game by adding a gap" 
shouts Ruth 

More height, A plank on the shed roof !!!

Closely followed by the shed / garage roof combo, 
which I think saw Ruth defeated...

Finally, a victory plank on the back fence !!!

You may notice that there was no planking by me. 
Well to be honest I see the two of them planking and just keep 
thinking of that old phrase...

"As thick as two short planks"

What are those Words Worth 2 ?

Wordsworth Link

Just a quick update on my sons venture, not because he needs the publicity but because I enjoy taking an interest !

He has had a busy week, with 10 of the words having now been taken, they have gone to good homes, each with a story. Feathered Nest took one and has been a flag flyer, showing the green badge on her blog, thank you !
The impressive thing is, he has found homes for most of the words by emailing local companies and targeting different sectors, he has demonstrated true tenacity.

On Thursday night the editor of a local web based news provider, Saddleworth News came to our home and interviewed Jacob, which has been run as a feature this weekend . This has a monthly readership of 22,000 so has already generated considerable interest.

The other big event was an introduction he made on UK Business Forums, It didn't start off well! His initial post was met with very negative comments, two pages worth !! It was very difficult as a parent not to sign up myself and fight his corner, but I held off and watch as he countered all the arguments then started to win some of them round. The thread on the Forum has now run to 6 pages and had 1,167 views. I don't think he has convinced everyone there that his idea is great, but some are arguing from the standpoint he will never become rich from this project, well that wasn't the plan ! He is a 15 year old taking his first business steps, I am sure this is only the first of many ventures ! The forum thread did however generate a big influx of views to his site and generated the sale of a word by one of the participants.

So if you have taken up a link I hope it is starting to generate you some extra views, I have had several visits here per day, that have come from What are those Words Worth so I do think as an advertising medium it is starting to have an affect. If you haven't taken a look yet, pop over and see What are those Words Worth Buying a word is not for everyone, but while you are there please click on his Facebook Like (top right on his site) I am sure he would appreciate it...

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Courtroom Humour


These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

WITNESS:    He said , 'Where am I, Cathy?'

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS:    My name is Susan!


ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?

WITNESS:     Yes.

ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

WITNESS:      I forget..

ATTORNEY:  You forget?
                       Can you give us an example of something you forgot?


ATTORNEY: Now doctor , isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep ,
                       he doesn't know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS:     Did you actually pass the bar exam?


ATTORNEY: The youngest son , the 20-year-old , how old is he?

WITNESS:      He's 20 , much like your IQ.


ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS:     Are you kidding me?


ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?

WITNESS:     Yes.

ATTORNEY: How many were boys?

WITNESS:     None.

ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS:     Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney.
                      Can I get a new attorney?


ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS:     By death..

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS:    Take a guess.


ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS:     He was about medium height and had a beard

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

WITNESS:     Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.


ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies
                      have you performed on dead people?

WITNESS:     All of them.. The live ones put up too much of a fight.


ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral , OK?
                      What school did you go to?

WITNESS:     Oral..


ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS:     The autopsy started around 8:30 PM

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS:     If not , he was by the time I finished.


ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy,
                      did you check for a pulse?

WITNESS:     No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?

WITNESS:     No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?

WITNESS:     No..

ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible
                       that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

WITNESS:     No.

ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS:     Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS:    Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law

As you may be able to tell, my Dad has been forwarding emails to me again !! So he should take the credit for these finds !

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sage and onion stuffing

And now for something completely different, as Messrs Python would say..... How to make sage and onion stuffing, the RJR (easy) way.

5 slices of bread cut into cubes

Fresh sage from my garden, pull the leaf of either side of the stem. 
On the left you can see the torn leaf, the stem is a bit chewy.

Chop,chop chop, the sage

Fry 1 onion

When its translucent, its ready for the bread 

Add plenty of Olive Oil, don't worry Italians eat lots of it and live
long and prosperous lives, until The Godfather gets upset ! 

Once the bread has started to cook add some water, this
helps bond it together, throw in the sage and cook for 
about 5mins more on low.

Tip into serving dish

Put chicken and stuffing on a nice bread roll.

Present to eldest teenager who is watching Peter Pan 
(Original Disney cartoon)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

What are those Words Worth ?

Wordsworth LinkToday's Spotlight is on a new business venture my son has set up. A budding entrepreneur he is always looking for the next "Big Idea" Sometimes I humour him, sometimes I stop him and sometimes his Sisters point out he has "missed the boat", its already been done.

Last week he told me about his latest idea and I was quite taken. The inspiration for his venture came from a University student in the South of England who set up a website called the Million Dollar Homepage The guy's basic idea being, he divided a webpage into 1 million dots or pixels and sold them for advertising in blocks of 10x10. Amazingly he sold them all, at his target price of $1 each, hence making One Million Dollars !!!!!
Now Jake is not quite so ambitious and as he pointed out, if you look at the Million Dollar Homepage it pretty hard to find any one advert, as there are so many. The answer Jake came up with was a pretty clever play on words

A webpage that simply display's Wordsworth's classic poem "Daffodils" each word being available to buy as a link to your webpage or Facebook page. Giving 155 selling opportunities.
Now the impressive part, he set too and created a website for himself entirely written in HTML and CSS code,  no templates for this boy.
The result a clean uncluttered but clever and slick site that does just what it set out to do, not a bad result for a 15 year old! As Victor Kiam used to say on the shaver adverts " I was so impressed, I bought the company" well not quite, but I was impressed enough to stump up the money to pay for a domain name and web hosting, in return for two words of my own. We also had a Dragons Den moment, when I pushed the deal to include a return on my initial investment once 50% of the words had sold, I tried for more but failed !

As I write this, the site has only been on line for 3 days, I own the only two links but another has been sold to a local "Hiking Shop"and will be added this morning, this as a result of his blossoming email campaign. Jake has also secured a interview with a local journalist who is visiting our home next Thursday evening to put a feature in his online journal Saddleworth News, which has 22,000 readers each month !!! So paid links will be getting plenty of hits ...

If you have a spare 5minutes pop over to his site and have a read, the What's it all about page will tell you more in Jakes own words

"What are Those Words Worth"

Finally I am sure Jake would be really great full if you could click this Facebook Like button, the more publicity he gets the better...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Tour de France - Ouch

We are having several problems in the UK with allegations of Media interfering with daily life. The French media however have a much less covert method of changing the outcome of events. It looks like they just take out the race leader if they don't like who it is !!!

Of the two riders it would seem the one that was thrown into the barbed wire fence came off worse, he needed quite a few stitches and a new pair of shorts. (photo from daily cycle) Both riders did continue

Definitely a time to say "owwww that's going to leave a mark ! "

To avoid incurring the wrath of the French Press I should of course point out that the car was swerving to avoid the tree. The driver had been told not to be in that position though to allow support cars access.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Iv'e been travelling into Manchester 2 or three evenings each week for the last month, Hospital visiting. Central Manchester is a very urban place and the grounds of the Hospital are no different. In fact there are 3 massive hospitals all connected and on the same site. 

During evening visiting times there is a main road that has no parking restrictions which is useful. When I got out of the car on Friday I noticed something out of place, unexpected but beautiful, behind the works fencing... If you look closely at the centre of the above picture, you will see a flower. 

I took the pictures tonight, unfortunately since Friday the rain has taken its toll on the petals. There is the first lesson I should have learnt, capture the moment when you first see it !
But the thought remains, life will triumph when it wants to, nature and creation will outdo the most impressive of man's constructions. Or as Alexander Pope expressed...

Hope Springs Eternal

Sometimes we need these little reminders. 
Sometimes we could do with BIG reminders.
Sometimes we take pictures of life's flowers, knowing if we don't capture and share,
they will pass without note

Sometimes we just have to take things on faith.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Things to Ponder

Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 a piece on those little bottles of Evian water?
Try spelling Evian backwards : NAIVE

If people from Poland are called Poles,
why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages?
Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist
but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist? 

Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that 
electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged,
models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more
as they get older; then it dawned on me ...
They're cramming for their final exam.

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? 
What are we supposed to do, write to them?
Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps 
so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

If it's true that we are here to help others,
then what exactly are the others here for?

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?

At income tax time, did you ever notice:
When you put the two words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells ...

Thanks to my Dad for emailing me these thoughts to ponder,
all I had to do was find some images and compile the post.

If you found something amusing here, please feel free to share
and in return your picture will appear next to mine !

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