Thursday, 16 April 2009

I kant spel. Or maybee I just kant tipe.

Wow. I just re-read that post from last Monday. Something I clearly ought to have done before clicking "publish" and wandering off to bed with a cup of tea and a book. So apologies, faithful readers. My children are infatuated with Red Dwarf, not Red Dward (although they would probably watch that too, given the chance) and SB acquired DVDs of said series, not videos. The fact that I unconsciously chose that archaic word, redolent of wooden-sided Betamax machines the size of chest freezers, betrays my age I think.

Writing "that" instead of "than" is just one of those typos to which super-fast touch typists like my good self (!) are prone. I used to have a super speedy, very efficient secretary who could not for the life of her type the word "accountant". She knew how to spell it but her fingers always betrayed her, rearranging the letters into a word which, were I to type it out now........well, let's just say the Google hits would probably be numerous and disturbing. Those of you who are any good at anagrams will be ahead of me.

On the topic of good typos (can you tell I am on my own this evening? Husband is in Prague on business and I am therefore totally free to meander aimlessly about on the internet. My brain is in shuffle mode). Where was I? Oh yes, I saw a good one the other day. A very pompous, righteously indignant letter written by a solicitor (and to our shame, the legal profession are very VERY good at pompous and self-righteous) pointing out that none of the problems we had highlighted were his fault and were ALL due to procedural errors arising elsewhere. Except he had accidentally missed out the first "i" in arising. Or maybe it wasn't an accident and I am not giving him credit for the subtlety of his scorn. Anyway it made me snort bits of oatcake at my computer screen. I am pretty easily amused.

What else? The lady we are going to stay with when we go to Nova Scotia in June very kindly e-mailed me to warn me that the traffic laws have been tightened a bit and you now need to drive with your headlights on even in daylight and you can't use a mobile phone while driving. Very thoughtful of her and I am pleased that I am now slightly less likely to be arrested en route from Halifax to Liverpool come the summer. My habit of gazing out of the window at the scenery instead of watching the road will doubtless remain.

Mummy Dearest suggested I should post a picture of my house and garden to demonstrate what a Scottish house and garden look like. I might consider doing this, if only to provide an interesting counterpoint to Isabelle's beautiful photos of her house and garden. Sort of yin and yang thing. To balance her beautiful knick knacks and kitties, you can see my collection of vintage cobwebs, Lego-textured carpet and slightly moth-eaten cat with the bald patch where she has been scratching again. And to compare with her GORGEOUS garden you can have a glimpse of the half-butchered buddleia that Just. Won't. Die., the fine crop of nettles beginning to show in the back garden and my pot of transplanted mint.

Truth be told, I am in fact quite proud of the mint. After I had painstakingly dug it out of the herb garden (and I am not naive enough to believe I have got it all - just all of it I could see) and potted it in my big terracotta pot, it looked deid. Floppy and limp, it draped itself over the pot, trailing on the ground like the consumptive heroine of a 19th century romance. I really thought I had killed it but lo! it has sprung back and is looking positively perky! My reputation as the Hannibal Lecter of the plant world may be in danger.

Last but not least I was sorry to hear of the death yesterday of Sir Clement Freud. My family are all great fans of "Just a Minute" on Radio 4 and he was the consummate player of the game (although Paul Merton is catching up fast). Both of the boys were also quite sad when they heard. Almost as sad as they were when Humphrey Littleton died (we also love "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue"). What was also quite a shame, I think, was that on the news they talked about Sir Clement's varied career as an MP, broadcaster, food critic etc. They never once mentioned those 1970s adverts for Minced Morsels dog food, which is what I really remember him for. As a child I used to firmly believe he was a sort of human/bloodhound hybrid and that he ate the Minced Morsels.

On that note, I had better stop or I will witter on here all night. I am going to get something to eat and then settle down in the peace and quiet with my book (one of Humphrey Littleton's, coincidentally!) Night all.


  1. I thought the headlights on while driving law had been in effect for years? Anyway, did your friend also email you directions to Ottawa while she was at it? Turn left at Halifax and keep going until you hit Montreal, then hang a sharp left and Ottawa is right there on the other side of the river. Call first, though, okay?

  2. A Canto Cu... I'll stop there!

    Did you and the boys manage to catch the Back to Earth series of Red Dwarf? If not let me know and I'll send it to you - we had to download it because we don't get Dave (actually we only get two channels)

  3. The more we type, the more typos we make. I gasped when I saw once that I said it's instead of its. Or something to that effect.

  4. I can just imagine the accountant typo. And it's making me giggle (or should it be 'its'? Nope, definitely 'it's').

    Re your comment. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Iain Banks' "The Crow Road". My copy is dog-eared from my aggressive lending out of it. (and re-reading). How can you not like a novel that opens with "It was the day my grandmother exploded."? I even waited for 5 months for the sole copy of the BBC miniseries in the Ottawa Public Library system to come in, and sat one night and had a marathon washed down with a couple of cans of Tennant's. I'm also quite fond of Espedair Street and Dead Air.

    Re: gourmet poutine, well rumour has it that you can get it at Georges with smoked chicken, gruyere and alfredo sauce. Très chic, n'est-ce pas?

    Walk-in closet still available for habitation.

  5. I'm so bad at typos. So easy done though.

  6. Oh yes, my house and garden are immaculate at all times. Ahem.

    I can't type my own surname with ease, which is annoying as I have to do so every time I want to print something at work (don't get me started on that stupid system). I keep typing the third letter before the second one. Next time I get married it will be to someone with a nice typable name. Potts or even my own horrid maiden name, which was Smith. See? Easy to type.

    (Your sons, by the way, will reproach you, when they're grown up, about those nettles. "Mum," they'll say,"you kept taking us to the park and playing with us instead of rooting out those nettles.")

  7. Words I can't type include "diveristy" and "reserach". No, I mean diversity and research. If you work for a university these come up a lot. Sadly, they're not all that amusing.

    While Isabelle is certainly good at gardening, she used to have a buddleia that wouldn't die, too. Given the number of anti-buddleia comments I have heard over the years, I would be put off buying a house with one!

    We don't have any persistent plantlife, but I do seem to find a great many bricks whenever I dig the garden. Logic says that eventually I will turn up all the bricks in the flowerbeds, but that day has not yet come.