Wednesday 25 May 2011


This morning NOAOson came by to pick up JP and take him to the Supermarket to do the weekly shop. We do it turn and turn about. I make a list and the game is to see how many things from that list he actually buys.
After a chat and cuppa they go. Just over an hour later they are back There are traces of mirth on their faces and it is obvious they have a story to tell.  NOAOson  tells it, trying hard to keep a straight face and almost succeeding.

NOAOson: As we are pulling in to the parking lot dad asked me if I had heard what Churchill said to Onassis? We got out and walked to the trolleys. I said no, what did he say?

JP: Well, Onassis told Churchill that his flies were open.

NOANOson: And?

JP: Wait, just a minute...I 'ave to post zees letters.

 NOAOson:We are now inside the store and in the way, so as he walked back to the post box I moved to the side and looked over to him. I couldn't believe it when he moved to a man [who did look a bit like me] grabbed his arm and said something, laughed, then looked up to the man's face and backed away. He looked around the store and saw me and came over looking rather sheepish.

NOAOson: Do you know that man?

JP: No, I thought it was you.

NOAOson: Well what did you say to him?

JP: I told him the punchline:  If ze bird is dead it won't fall out of ze nest!

I do wish they had found the man and asked him what he thought JP was talking about: Did he think it some kind of code for 'the fish really is fresh today?' 

Friday 20 May 2011


 D-scribes on her Blog here has written about her struggles with technology  and it stirred me to write about my latest tussle with that which is as simple as ABC to any child from age one.

At the beginning of this month I bought a new mobile, well, eighteen days ago to be exact; I know this because I had nineteen days to change it if it was all too complicated for me. So I'm keeping it because, well, tomorrow is the 19th day and I could very well walk all the way into town to the phone shop and the girl could say, 'Sorry Madam. Up to but not including the 19th.' and I'll scream and say 'Bitch!!!' to the sweet little thing who, when I took it back a week ago held the bloody thing and  her slender young fingers darted over the qwerty keyboard [which is precisely what sold it to me originally + the fact that it looks like a Blackberry even though it is a Pay as you go]

Me: Why can't I get caller id? I mean who can remember 11 digit phone numbers?
Her: [ Obviously dying to say that she could remember any number of them] So you go here to Options, then Settings then scroll down, click on and...there, simple!
Me: Do you think you could go over that again, slowly.

She repeated the actions again at a speed slightly less than that of light.

Her: [looking at the receipt] You still have a few more days, I think it will get easier, and [all this without ever looking directly at me, as if the sight of my old face might strike her dead] if you really must have a Qwerty, [smarmy cow] then I'm afraid  they are all this complicated.

Me: And there was no manual..just this flimsy piece of paper that I can only read with a magnifying glass and when I did manage to  read it it only tells me what it can do but not HOW TO DO IT!  My son had to go online for me and  eventually found the manual and printed out all forty seven pages but they still don't tell me how to DO IT!
I am aware that my voice is getting louder, that the staff are giving each other looks and sighing a lot.

At this precise moment a man, middle aged, nice face, seemed to have all his wits about him, chimed in:

Man: If  uncomplicated is what you want you should get one of these.' and out of his pocket he pulled a large lump of mobile...the ones with the huge keys and an on/off technicolour.   I wanted to ask if it had stereophonic sound as well; think he was old enough to know what that was...Good old MGM.

Me:[with a rictus smile that is wasted on the girl as she still has not glanced my way]  OK, you're probably right. I'll give it another day or two.

This phone can text, do something called direct messaging, connect me to facebook, twitter and  email. It has a camera for stills and video, and  can connect me to the whole wide world web thingey and probably bake a cake but it cannot let me know who is texting me. Nor am I able to assign a sound to alert me to texts [should anyone text me; the bloody thing has remained ominously silent].

Later the next day: Lord I'm good. Found the sound icon and, although it seemed to be written in a foreign language sussed out the settings. I cannot tell you, or anyone else who should ask, how I did it. Can't find the route again, but at least it makes a noise, well, it would if someone would text me.

Now I must find out how to set caller id: just in case someone remembers I'm their mum. Or I could join Twitter? Heck, what would I write about? Having trouble doing a simple post.

Saturday 7 May 2011


Azucena  con Tabachin has been written in large black felt tip pen on the cork board in the kitchen. It rang a bell.
'Why is that up there' I asked.
'It suddenly popped into my 'ead. Do you remember it?'

' Um! '


'Of course...Simone's house. Doesn't it sound exotic? Think of some more.'

'What about the apartment in Mexico City?'

'Pitagoras...' and together..."Tercero piso.'

'The flat in Majorca?' he asked.

'Calle Elcano. what about in Caan?'

'Rue des Jacobins. And in ze Alpes des Provence. How could you forgot Le Pres des poiriers.'

I  was now in the groove and shouted out...' Montreal?'

'13, Coolbreeze.' he came back with, quick as you like.

'Not so exotic...'

'In Pointe Claire.'

'That's better. Barcelona?'

'Diputacion Tresentos vente tres.'

'Brilliant...any more? Remember, we have to have lived there.'

'Pension Layatana, in Barcelona. Remember ze Patron?'

'His dirty apron and the cigarette he kept in his mouth that always had two inches of ash hovering? And we always had an orange for desert but they were so sour we kept them in our room and used them to juggle with and you did that trick where you threw one in the air and bounced it off your biceps. And the lights were off all day till 5pm but we didn't care because it was siesta time. And you had Spanish lessons from some old fellow who only made you repeat ' Le pluma' over and over until you fired him and relied on dear old Jaime to teach you. There is a story for every address, isn't there?' I pondered for a moment, then I said.
'Addresses like Morris Avenue, St. Georges Terrace, Castle Street and Canterbury Road don't have the same ring, do they?'

'Per'aps not, but zey also have a story. Zey are like chapter 'eadings.'

'Hmmmn! Methinks you are right my old codger. I'll make a note.