Friday, 29 May 2009

Friday Funny

Giving Up Chocolate

I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, 'If I give you this money, will you buy chocolate with it instead of dinner?'

'No, I had to stop eating chocolate years ago', the homeless woman told me.

'Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?' I asked.

'No, I don't waste time shopping,' the homeless woman said. 'I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.'

'Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?' I asked.

'Are you NUTS!' replied the homeless woman. I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!'

'Well, I said, 'I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.'

The homeless woman was shocked. 'Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting.'

I said, 'That's okay. It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and chocolate.'

(with thanks to Lorraine)

Thursday, 28 May 2009

My favourite hymn

Do you remember back in March I posted about a true friend asking for inspirational lay-outs for a friend going through bereavement? A message came through from Michelle saying "the Eagle has landed!" so I think it's time to post my page.

Isn't it pretty? I'm very tempted to make a mini-album of all my favourite hymns, just for myself.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

I've got no weather

When I started this blog, I found this fantastic little Google Gadget called MyWeather. You probably saw it at the top of the blog posts, and thought "so Singapore's got thunderstorms again" or "crikey, it's hot there". Or maybe not. Anyway, I like having a little weather icon to show me that someone somewhere in the world thinks it's raining here when it's not. Yet. And MyWeather was perfect for the job.

Then instead of a cute little sun with a cloud and a lightning bolt through it, it started showing "data not found" errors, and so I investigated. It turns out that someone's got cross with this chap calling his fun, harmless little piece of wizardry "MyWeather", because someone else started using that name first. How very school playground. So he's got to change the name, and until he's finished the programming, I have no weather. Not Kewl. That happens to be the software writer's web-site, but it's also how I feel about the whole thing. Grr.

Meanwhile, Heffalump Child continues to bring the ceiling down with her size 2s, and Wooden Blocks carries on with his attempts to miss the carpet. He's doing pretty well so far. I'm not sure which is worse: the previous constant clatter or just an occasional heart-jumping crash. Neither are good for the concentration. And last night we had opera coming up through the floor, so I guess Dutch Twinkle is back from his trip home.

Today I'm going to finish my brother's birthday card. His birthday is tomorrow (oops) but I've been planning, worrying and darn near dreaming about this dratted card for weeks, wanting to get it right. Inspiration came to me in the shower yesterday morning, as it often does, and I spent half the day working on it. So I'm going to call tomorrow to wish him a Happy Birthday and apologise for the card being late, but hopefully he'll find it worth the wait. Ish.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Deep in my book

I'm terrible with books, really I am. When I pick one up I have a really hard time putting it down again to get the lunch/tea/groceries etc. It's surprising how quickly the apartment gets messy and the kitchen full of dirty dishes and used pots and pans. Yesterday evening, even though I had only got to about page 900, I had to drag myself into the kitchen and clear it up - then make tea - then clear that up - then make some muffins - then clear that up. Otherwise poor DH wouldn't have been fed.

The culprit is Rosamunde Pilcher's "Coming Home", all 1016 pages of it. It follows two Cornish families and their many friends through WWII, across the world and back home again, with lives and loves lost and found. Rosamunde Pilcher has such a gentle, matter-of-fact way of telling a huge, many-layered story that I just have to read on and on.

I should finish it today, then it will be business as usual. And DH will get salmon tonight, hopefully prepared with some imagination. I'm trying not to think of the last two Twilight books sitting on the shelf since my birthday, calling to me!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Friday Funny

I've just read that uncertainty has now hit the Japanese banking sector.

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded. Sumo Bank has gone belly up. Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived. Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and finally, analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.

(With thanks to Tony)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Heffalump Child confronted

I went shopping today. I went to the supermarket and for the umpteenth week running, they were out of rice pasta and wheat/vinegar-free whole-grain mustard. I asked a shelf-stacker about both items. She didn't know, it wasn't her responsibility, the head office did the ordering, they were never having it in. "Never?" I asked in surprise. "It never came in" she qualified. "Oh right, well thank you" and I continued with my list.

I walked out of the end of the aisle and caught the eye of a woman who stared at me with a half smile and the whisper of a head-shake. I smiled cheerfully back, thinking maybe she'd heard the exchange and was sympathising. She didn't return the smile and I suddenly wondered whether I'd been standing in her way while I was conducting my blood-from-stone questioning, or had unwittingly taken the last pack of chicken breasts or something.

Being me, I was slightly rattled, and carried on worrying about it all the way round the shop, but I couldn't come to any conclusion. As I walked home, the sharp corner of the plastic egg-box ripped a hole in the side of the plastic bag and sliced my leg, producing rather more blood than I would have expected. I had to let it run, having both hands and a shoulder full of bags.

I checked the post drop to find that the postman had tried to deliver just a few minutes earlier, and now I was going to have to battle with the wretched post office telephone system to get the parcel redelivered, knowing that I was going to fail and have to spend 40 minutes queuing in the Post Office the following day. All in all, my view of the brightness of the day had somehow dimmed.

As I walked in through the door, laden with groceries, dropping mail and still dribbling blood, Heffalump Child suddenly tipped a box of house bricks onto the floor directly above my head. I jumped, and how I didn't drop the wretched eggs I have no idea. Well actually I do, it was because I had them on the bag half-way up my arm and I would have had to drop everything else first. But that was it. Once the groceries had been disposed of into various chilling compartments, and my leg made to look less frightening to small children, I grabbed the keys and went upstairs before I had the chance to calm down.

Heffalump Child's mother is young, Australian, very sweet and very pregnant. Heffalump Child is a little girl of about 4. She'll be the one running around. Her smaller brother (henceforth to be known as Wooden Blocks, because those were what he was swiping with great energy off his little table and onto the marble floor) must be around 2. Number 3 will be making an appearance fairly shortly if looks are anything to go by. I have a number of nicknames dreamed up for it, but let's just say that I hope it doesn't fit any of them.

I explained very apologetically why I had come up, and HC's and WB's mother was equally apologetic, saying that she hadn't thought about how it must sound below. I asked whether WB could play on a carpet maybe, and she said yes, and indicated a big thick carpet about 3 feet from where he was sitting. HC then demanded mamma's attention and with mutually understanding, and of course, apologetic smiles, we parted.

Since then all has been quiet. I called the post office and miraculously managed to speak to a real person, after being told first that nobody was available to take my call, then that the number I had typed in was invalid, and then that I had exceeded the maximum number of attempts. I was about to hang up in resignation when a bright voice came on the line and asked how she could help me. I explained, apologetically, and arranged the redelivery. I also explained, apologetically, the disagreements that her phone system and I had been having. She said I'd been redirected to the central number. I suggested that maybe the central number should be printed on the delivery slip instead of the branch number which was never answered. She didn't realise that it wasn't. She hadn't known that branch system didn't work. She would get onto it. She was like a breath of fresh air.

So. Why is it these days, that in order to succeed in one's intentions, one first has to be frustrated so many times? I can see that this just happens sometimes in life. But what I can't understand is why anyone would deliberately programme an automated system to work the same way.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Funky Monkey

Well here it is: my first card made using the Silhouette. It was also the Scrap Whispers Challenge #27, to use the word "funky" on a card or lay-out - an ideal opportunity to try out my new toy!

The background paper was made using some downloaded brushes for Adobe Photoshop Elements, and printed out. The monkey was adapted from an image on the net. I've since learned quicker and easier ways of doing all this.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Double Jeopardy

Georgina's Challenge #28 on Scrap Whispers was to create a lay-out with opposites. A lot of people used their children as subjects; boy/girl, laughing/having a tantrum, opposing interests. Having already created a page about my niece and nephew called Sugar and Spice/Slugs and Snails, I turned to nature.

When we were living on the East Coast of Singapore on the Kallang River up on the condo's 15th floor, I took many many dramatic photos of weather, storms, views. These two of the sun rise and the moon rise just begged to be show-cased.

The owls, song-birds and the little bat were cut using the Silhouette.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Friday Funny


A list of actual announcements that London Tube train drivers have made to their passengers...

1) 'Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologize for the delay to your service. I know you're all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you'll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction.'

2) 'Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I'll let you know any further information as soon as I'm given any.'

3) 'Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. The bad news is that there is a points failure somewhere between Stratford and East Ham, which means we probably won't reach our destination.'

4) 'Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for the foreseeable future, so let's take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now.... 'Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall.....'.'

5) 'We are now travelling through Baker Street... As you can see, Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don't think about things like that'.

6) 'Beggars are operating on this train. Please do NOT encourage these professional beggars. If you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity. Failing that, give it to me.'

7) During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver announced in a West Indian drawl: 'Step right this way for the sauna, ladies and gentleman... unfortunately, towels are not provided.'

8) 'Let the passengers off the train FIRST!' (Pause) 'Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care - I'm going home....'

9) 'Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with 'Please hold the doors open.' The two are distinct and separate instructions.'

10) 'Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors.'

11) 'We can't move off because some idiot has their hand stuck in the door.'

12) 'To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage - what part of 'stand clear of the doors' don't you understand?'

13) 'Please move all baggage away from the doors.' (Pause..) 'Please move ALL belongings away from the doors.' (Pause...) 'This is a personal message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the rear of the train: Put the pie down, Four-eyes, and move your bloody golf clubs away from the door before I come down there and shove them up your arse sideways!'

14) 'May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint, it's only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage.'

(With thanks to Tony)

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Fellow crafters, prepare to be jealous!

For my birthday this year, DH clubbed together with all the relatives to give me a QuicKutz Silhouette digital craft cutter. I've been wanting one ever since joining ScrapJazz and reading all about the Cricut that is so popular in the US, and seeing all the beautiful lettering and shapes it can cut.

The Cricut isn't available in Singapore, but the Silhouette is, and for me it's better. The Cricut needs cartridges which have been pre-programmed with shapes, and are expensive (and addictive - right?!) to buy. The Silhouette can cut any font already installed on the computer, and any .jpg file which has a defined outline. Which means I can also draw my own shapes for it - wow!

I'm loving playing with it and with the software, and I've made my first card with it. I'll show you once the birthday boy has received it.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

My Scrap Whispers prize

still hasn't arrived.... and neither has my birthday card from my Mum, posted the third week of April. Flipping postal system. Grr.

ETA: DH came in at 6:45pm with my package! It's arrived! And it's lovely. I'm going to have some fun with this. Thanks Georgina, and thanks for the adorable card that came with it! X

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Return from the jungle

We're back from a lovely family holiday. DH's parents came to stay and we took them for a week away in Kuching, Eastern Malaysia. We had a fantastic time, but I'll let the photos tell the story.

The view from our hotel room:

From a boat trip amongst the mangroves, a wild Proboscis monkey. This one is the alpha male of his troop.

Do pay the ferryman!

Sunset in the mangroves.I tried to photograph the fireflies but they didn't come out. They were like Christmas trees twinkling.

At the Semenggoh Nature Reserve. This is Delima, a semi-wild Orang-Utan and her 3-month-old baby.

This is Delima's 3-year-old daughter Selina.

The crowning glory of our trip. This is the largest flower on earth, the Rafflesia. It's carnivorous, and only blooms for a week every 9 months. This one is 61cm across (over 2 feet) and it obligingly bloomed on the morning of my birthday, which is also MIL's birthday. We had a double celebration.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Friday Funny


Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, 'We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr. Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house.'
(The Daily Telegraph)

Police reveal that a woman arrested for shoplifting had a whole salami in her underwear. When asked why, she said it was because she was missing her Italian boyfriend.
(The Manchester Evening News)

Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like.
(The Guardian)

A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast guard spokesman commented, 'This sort of thing is all too common'.
(The Times)

At the height of the gale, the harbour-master radioed a coast guard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff.
(Aberdeen Evening Express)

Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945. She recalled,
'He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out 'Heil Hitler.''
(Bournemouth Evening Echo)

(With thanks to Tony)

Monday, 4 May 2009

May birthday card

Mary, one of my ScrapJazz friends, has a birthday the day after mine so I sent her this card. I had great fun making it using the DCWV Citrus paper stack which I treated myself to. The scalloped frame around the Happy Birthday hangs freely from the ribbon which I thought was a fun touch. I hope she doesn't mind the cheeky quote!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

MIL's birthday present

I had the greatest fun making this card set for a present for MIL. Each card is pretty as it is, and I've given her half a dozen stamped, double-sided, assorted greetings to stick on the centre panels if she wants to.

I got the idea from ThatsNancyWithAJones blog site.
It's from her September 2008 entry, and she's posted the clearest instructions with photos, so even I could follow them! I've made a few of these now and I just love them for gifts.
See my Favourites List -------------------------------------------------------------->

Saturday, 2 May 2009

MIL's birthday card

I can post this now that the birthday is over.

I made this birthday card for MIL a while ago. It's a tea-bag fold card which is much, much easier than it looks.

If you're interested in how to do it, visit Richard's tea bag folding site for full instructions and free downloads of beautiful tiles, as well as links to other free download sites. The only stipulation is that they're for personal use only, not commercial. The photo isn't very good, but I used my beloved Diamond Stickles to add sparkle to the corners and the wheel. The stamped greeting is silver. Isn't it effective?

Friday, 1 May 2009

Friday Funny

You get it from the kids

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mum, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

On the first day of school, a 5-year-old handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mummy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'

5) POLICE # 1
While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop?' 'Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. 'My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'

6) POLICE # 2
It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked.
'It sure is,' I replied.
Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly house-bound people, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, 'Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit.' 'And why not, darling?'
'You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning'

While walking along the pavement in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that a proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and some cotton wool, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased.
The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Father, and unto the Son, and into the hole he goes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages.
'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out.
'What have you got there, dear?'
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'

(With thanks to Tony)