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October 27th, 2012

Oh Calamity!

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Busy time in the McDingo household.  Unlike much of the rest of the country, we've just had our half-term week, and spent a lovely few days in Pontardawe, down on the Gower. In this place to be precise. It was lovely to just relax, and keep normal hours for a change - as much as I love my job, the downside is that my optimum functioning time now seems to be from about midday to 2 a.m. which strangely enough doesn't fit in too well with school runs and the like.

The holiday did get off to a shaky start at The Hen and Chickens in Abergavenny. Yes, I'm naming and shaming the place, because despite this review in the Guardian of all places, it was a side street dive that deep-fried everything. I'm not usually averse to a grease-fest now and again, but the roast chicken and salad looked like it had been prepared in our local kebab shop.

I'd settled for an all-day breakfast, as you know what you're getting with those, and Ned chose the same. After what seemed like an age (which was only so bad as we had three hungry children), the food arrived, and fair play, the breakfasts were massive. Not good quality, but massive. It makes up for a lot in my book.

As I was still sorting the table and settling everyone in, Ned started cutting his sausage, and with the pressure of his knife managed to tip his entire meal into his lap. Rather than dealing with the pile of beans and egg that were busy burning his crotch, he just went in to panic mode and froze, leaving me to scrape a fresh breakfast out of his lap! Of course, it wasn't confined to him - it was all over the bench and floor, so I scooped it up with bean juice oozing through my fingers, and just dumped it on his plate. There was no salvaging it - the dog hairs that it had clearly picked up on the way down were to obvious to ignore. And so what happened?

Ned had my breakfast.

Yes, I'm grumbling about it now, but it was the only option - while I trundled back to the car to get him a change of clothes, he ate my breakfast. I think I deserve some sort of medal, frankly! Oh well, at least the rest of the holiday improved from there.

Briefly in work news, we had a week of the Afrovibes festival which was performance, dance and music, mainly from South Africa, which was really successful, and a lot of fun. Then on Saturday night we had Lenny Henry in. I've never been a fan, and that show didn't change my opinion, but despite the rumours that he could be a tricky customer, he proved to be quiet and serious and no trouble at all. I love it when it happens that way round. Next week we've got an amateur production of Annie in for the duration. I shall have to sit through the show at least four times, something I'm not desperately looking forward to, but I'd still rather be there than down a coal mine.

November 6th, 2011

In much happier news, I'm currently sat about 4 meters from childhood hero Adrian Edmonson and the Bad Shepherds. Stunning stuff.

May 24th, 2010

My brain is nothing if not pedestrian! We get a beautiful, summery weekend and what kind of song starts doing the rounds in my internal radio? A slice of wonderful pure dreamy, summery pop that even starts with the line "On a sunny summer's day...".

This is from the same album as my children's favourite song, Jiggery Pokery, so you just know it's going to be good!

April 28th, 2010

Hello everyone!

No, you've not been forgotten nor abandoned. Behind the scenes, thousands of kittens have been processing your poll answers, pondering, debating, and frankly achieving a level of introspection that I hadn't previously thought possible. All this kitten effort to bring you the following pieces of news...

Firstly, there is a community, oh yes, called picnic_uk. This is where all picnic related 'stuff' should take place as I'd rather keep it away from this journal, and also it helps to share the burden joy. Debate, suggest, comment etc. Just play nicely!

Secondly, all the poll results are up (with a minimal amount of commentary), over at picnic_uk.

Thirdly (and this is what's got the kittens in a real spin) there are three possible / probable picnics listed, two with actual dates and everything!

So those are my suggestions - please run with it, commit to it if you can, make at least the first couple of picnics happen, and make those kittens happy. You wouldn't want to upset my kittens now, would you? Would you?

April 20th, 2010

Fun!

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I am having a really, really good day with Nell today.

3 highlights:-

"knock knock who's there it's meeeeeeeeeeeee"

"big fish little fish cardboard box," complete with hand movements.

Singing along to Eloise in Finnish. Well, doesn't everybody?



************************

Watch this space - picnic news coming very soon....

March 22nd, 2010

OK chaps (and I mean that in an all encompassing manner), let's get some decisions made before the picnic drifts off into the realms of "well, it would've been nice, but......"

We can do this. Yes we can. Jesus, I sound like Bob The Builder.

So, here's a bit of a questionnaire type thing. Could I ask my f-list in the UK to link back to this poll, so that their friends can also have their tuppence-worth. If friends of friends want to pass it on, well, the more the merrier! Once I've got some idea of what people want, we can start to make proper plans. Huzzah!

So, without further ado....

Poll #1541717 Picnic - Woo!

Would you, in principle, come on a lovely LJ inspired picnic where you could get to meet those lovely people on your friends list?

Yes
29(69.0%)
No
1(2.4%)
Possibly. I can't possibly commit on the first question.
12(28.6%)

Which of the following would you / could you attend

London / Home Counties / South East
14(35.9%)
Midlands / Wales(ish)
2(5.1%)
North England / Scotland
5(12.8%)
South West
0(0.0%)

If London / Home Counties / South East which of the following could you / would you attend

Central London
4(12.5%)
St. Albans
0(0.0%)
Cambridge
3(9.4%)
Brighton
1(3.1%)
Other
1(3.1%)

If other.... where?

If Midlands / Wales(ish) which of the following could you / would you attend

Birmingham
4(26.7%)
Worcester
0(0.0%)
Cardiff
1(6.7%)
Nottingham
1(6.7%)
Other
1(6.7%)

If other.... where?

If North England / Scotland which of the following could you / would you attend

Manchester
3(21.4%)
Liverpool
0(0.0%)
Kendal
0(0.0%)
Carlisle
0(0.0%)
Newcastle upon Tyne
1(7.1%)
Edinburgh
1(7.1%)
Other
0(0.0%)

If other...., where?

If South West, which of the following could you / would you attend

Bristol
6(50.0%)
Portsmouth
4(33.3%)
Exeter
1(8.3%)
Truro
0(0.0%)
Other
1(8.3%)

If other, where

When is a good time for you?

Any time
17(44.7%)
Term-time weekends
1(2.6%)
School holiday weekends
0(0.0%)
School holiday any time
2(5.3%)

How much notice would you need?

A couple of weeks
13(33.3%)
A month
17(43.6%)
A couple of months
7(17.9%)
I'm packed and waiting by the door, dammit.
2(5.1%)

Any and all other suggestions will be gratefully received



Thank you. Hope to see you soon on some nice, dry grass with an egg sandwich.

March 18th, 2010

Picnic! Brain Dump.

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Hello to friends old and new. I'm going to need to do one of those introductory posts soon for all the new additions to my friends list - though at the rate I'm working at the moment, please don't hold your breath... You'll turn blue, and it would all be most unpleasant.

I mentioned over at land_girl's journal that I'd had the idea of an LJ picnic swirling round my head for a couple of years, and this renewed interest in friend-swapping (which sounds far, far dirtier than it really is), has brought the idea to the fore again.

What follows are my unsorted, unfiltered thoughts about the whole thing. Comments, ideas and suggestions are not just welcomed, they are MANDATORY!

I'm clearly not alone in thinking that all my f-list friends should be friends with each other! It's the kind of community feeling that mockduck has been talking about. The people I've met here have been universally lovely, and a chance to meet up, chat, meet new people would be wonderful.

A lot of my f-list have children too, and I'd like my children to meet them. Plenty of new friendships to be had.

So.... it would need to be somewhere fairly central, just to allow for ease of access. This may end up meaning London or Birmingham, which I appreciate isn't very central for those of you in America, Australia, or even Scotland. Wherever it took place, it's going to be geographically exclusive, which is a shame. But in order to get the most people there, it'll need to be somewhere with good transport links. Otherwise I'd have it up at my in-laws farm....

I'm not sure how to keep it manageable in terms of size. If it's a public picnic, effectively an LJ event, that's going to have implications in terms of liability and insurance which I don't want to get into. But equally once we start letting people know, and they tell their friends, and they tell their friends, and they tell their friends, where does it stop?

Equally I'm pretty sure it can't be listed or flagged as an 'LJ event', as it's not an official event (not unless we turn it into LJCon, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.....), but LJ is the natural place to organise and promote the event.

Perhaps what's needed is a community for the picnic which would at least help give some indication of how many people may come....

And of course the British weather is an issue. Do we need an alternate venue in case of rain? For example, if we planned for a London park, but ended up picnicing in the lobby of the Science Museum, would that be a nightmare?

I don't mind doing the organisation or co-ordination, but I don't want to become 'the person responsible' as this should be a collective event.

When? There's a part of me that's thinking, well, I'm going to be in London during the Easter Holidays, so that's nice and easy for me, but I appreciate that's probably all too soon and difficult to arrange at such (reasonably) short notice.

I think that's where I'm up to at the moment. Please let me know what you think, even if you just want to say it's a foolish, unworkable idea, I'd like to know why you hold that foolish and wrongheaded opinion!

Also, I'm going to leave this as a public post, something I don't do too often these days, so if you wanted to send anyone over this way to comment or debate or raise issues, that would be most welcome too.

Right, I can't hang around here - I've got beds to change.

Yay! Picnic!

August 24th, 2009

To The Power of Two

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Nell at two days.



Nell at two years.



Happy birthday gorgeous.

June 17th, 2009

Yeah, I've been crap....

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Very crap actually, but with good reason. Proper update to follow.

This is just a drive-by post to say that I live about 300m from this. Thanks for the 200m exclusion zone guys.

I have a fantastic view of the smoke from Ned's bedroom window.
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