Saturday, 20 March 2010

Vampires beware

The Loth clan are trying an experiment this year in preparation for the annual Canadian Hoopla. Whilst we love Canada dearly, and the Maritimes in particular (that noise you can hear is XUP and the Ottowa Tourist Board collectively grinding their teeth) there is one aspect of our holidays that tends to be less than ideal.

The wildlife. Specifically the winged, bite-y, "Oh look! Scottish food!" wildlife. SB, Husband and I tend to get repeatedly nibbled upon by hordes of invisible and sometimes not-so-invisible-but-I-sort-of-wish-I-HADN'T-seen-that-actually insects. The bites would be bad enough but our tender Scottish systems are unprepared for the onslaught and go into complete allergic overdrive leaving us with angry, red itchy lumps the size of soup plates all over us. Combined with the pasty white Scottish skin, it's not an attractive look.

Oddly, FB doesn't tend to get bitten. The only explanation we can come up with for this is that he doesn't taste nice. He is the dairy allergic member of the family, which leads us to suspect that mosquitos must really like the taste of butter, cheese and chocolate ice cream.

Anyway, my mother used to also be the sort of person who only had to bare a tiny part of her skin for hordes of flesh-eating midgies to descend and chase her indoors. But no longer. She can now brazenly walk abroad in summer (or the closest Scottish approximation thereto) without being eaten alive.

And she puts this down to...........garlic. She started taking those odourless garlic capsules a few years ago and since then she swears she does not get bitten by mosquitos. It sounds a bit unlikely, I know but if mozzies are fond of the taste of milk, who is to say they don't recoil at the tang of garlic? They are bloodsuckers after all, and since we would look a bit odd trying to fend them off with teeny-tiny crosses, garlic it is. I'll let you know how we get on.

Friday, 19 March 2010

On being obstructed by random popstars

My to-do list was interfered with by Lulu yesterday. I was in Waterstones (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE MARRIED TO ME AND ARE ABOUT TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY: Don't read this until after Sunday). Ahem. I was in Waterstones looking for a particular book for Husband's birthday and as I walked up to the first floor, I wondered why there were quite so many people milling about on a Thursday afternoon. A sudden passion kindled in the bosom of the Scottish populace for Politics, Psychology and Military History? No. I soon discovered that the reason was Lulu doing a signing session for her new book "Secrets to Looking Good" (Hint: have no money worries and access to professional hairdressers, stylists and make-up artists 7 days a week).

Annoyingly, she was sitting right in front of the section I wanted. There was a Waterstones employee standing by the stairs, directing the crowds. I automatically went into mildly outraged Edinburgh wifie mode. "Does that (gesturing towards Lulu and adoring fans) mean I can't get to the Biography section?"

The boy smiled wanly. "Not today, I'm afraid". I turned on my heel, muttering to myself. But not before I had a wee peek to see if she really looked that young in real life (she does but in a sort of plastic not-quite-real sort of way) and to check which version of her accent she was using today (the Glasgow keelie version, for the home fanbase).

I went back today and got my book in peace.

Monday, 15 March 2010

That was the weekend that was

It warms the cockles of my heart, it really does, to see how righteously irate my dear readers become in the presence of a misplaced apostrophe. I like to think that in an ideal world we could all get together at a carefully selected restaurant (the kind that describes its vegetables as "dew-picked"), get pleasantly tipsy and annihilate the menu with a red biro. That would be pretty darn close to a perfect social event in my book.

Rest assured I will bring to your attention any further massacres of the English language which I happen to spot. (Isabelle has already seen the photo I carry around in my phone of the maintenance department sign in my office which asks "Do you know of anything in the office that need's fixed?" I think I may have shoved said phone in her face when we were in the audience waiting for a Fringe show to start, such was my outrage.)

Anyway, how are you all? Did you have a nice weekend? For those of us in the UK, Sunday was Mothering Sunday - I don't think you North American types celebrate this until later in the year. I was awakened by two small boys and one slightly larger, bearded one, bearing a large mug of tea and a plate of buttered toast. Proper toast, thank you very much, allowed to cool slightly and then thickly buttered. I also received a card which, according to the hand-crafted labels on the envelope had been all over the place, including "Baron Fronkensteen's Castle", "Punxsutawney" and "Lionel Twain's Manor House". There may be some clues there as to which films we have been watching with our children recently.

I would write more but my laptop just freaked out as I attempted to beat XUP at Word Twist and this is a sure sign that it is time for bed. Night all.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Words fail me. Almost.

Just had to pop in to vent some spleen. I was driving home with FB this afternoon when we drew up alongside a van owned by one of those companies that walks your dog for you when you are at work. I can't remember its name, but I do remember its strapline:

"We can be their for your pet's when you can't"

Painted! On the van! By a (presumably) professional signwriter!

I am proud to say that I pointed this out to FB and he snorted in disgust. "A superfluous apostrophe! Those really annoy you, Mum".

Too right, son of mine. (He spotted the other error too, but his Superfluous Apostrophe Alarm had gone off first.)

Oh, and did I mention that Every Word Had A Capital Letter Too? Grrrrrrrr..............

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Just in case you are worried that I am deliberately neglecting you, dear readers, I waft in to tell you that my Google reader currently has 442 unread entries. 442!!! I'll have to give up housework (that will save 2 minutes a day) and feeding my children to give myself enough time to work through those!

So sorry if I have not been round to yours to comment on your words of wisdom. I have been playing Petville on Facebook with my niece and nephew in Australia instead. Oh and removing dead and dying mice from my house. But that is another story.