scribbles tagged ‘big nose’

oh, those French

Friday, March 21st, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

A last-minute trip arranged to Geneva, do I need Euros? No, Swiss Francs. Rumania and I couldn’t use my Euros, USA and I couldn’t use my Euro’s, now Switzerland and I can’t use my Euros. Grumble, grumble, currencies, exchange rates, coins and stuff. World, stop making my life complicated!

The hotel I stayed in, outside Geneva, was approved (recommended), by my employer. It was in France. Yay! I can use my Euro’s. I speak a little pigeon French, left over from a CSE French course in the mid 1970’s. To call my French ‘rusty’ is more than generous. I try, at the GVA airport information desk. The information person talks fluently and fast in French. My eyebrows raise and meet above my not insubstantial nose as I try to repeat my understanding of the tyrannical stream of words he’s just blown at me. It seems I’ve understood him about where to get a Taxi, how much it should cost and what I should have done to travel cheaply if I’d been shrewd like I should have been. I feel pathetic and inadequate. It shows, he smiles at me but doesn’t wander from his native French language.

The taxi driver spews French at me. I raise my eyebrows to join in the middle “Je ne parle Francais” He looks at me with pity and continues talking in French. The ride from GVA to the French town of Dionne-la-bain was smooth, comfortable, and silent. I suspect silent is not the natural way for this Taxi driver.

In the Hotel foyer a large, elegant, elderly British woman is talking in a very raised tone with a plummy accent. Wealthy lady. She’s hurling a range of dissatisfaction at the receptionist. I don’t really hear what she’s saying but I hear the very strong pain in her tone. After a while I can bear it no longer.

Are you alright? You seem to be having some troubles here

Her son comes up “let me deal with this” he hugs his mother who appears to ignore him but turns to me

You’re English?”
Yes, I don’t speak much French and this is my first trip to Switzerland, it’s quite overwhelming

My husband’s in Hospital, he’s dying…”

We’re near Switzerland, an English woman’s husband is in Hospital dying. I immediately think Euthanasia, and all the awfully difficult decisions and actions that lead to that pathway. No wonder she’s so upset, no wonder her adult son is with her. I wish the receptionist had the insight to treat her emotions and not the content of her words, she wasn’t really criticising him she was showing all the pain of having to fly her husband here to get a dignified death after what’s probably been a terribly painful illness. I wanted to hug her. I suspect she knew. With hindsight I wish I’d asked for her permission to give her a hug.

I thought of Dad and how lucky my family has been by not having to deal with a painful illness towards the end of his life.

oh, those French
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Looky Likey #6: Suzie Quatro

Monday, March 14th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

you’ve gone all susie quatro!

Being compared to a talented rock goddess who doesn’t conform to narrowly defined, socially constructed descriptions of femininity is an excellent gift! Especially since  my nose is not THAT cute

Susie Quatro sang If you can’t give me love

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be aware

Sunday, August 8th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Many is the time when a rogue glass door has given me a nose bleed.

Looks like the Pope will be visiting to sort-out this door’s naughtiness. Meanwhile the glass door’s nefaious intentions have been temporarily quashed by the addition of instructions, at nose height, to BE AWARE.

I am loving the message to ‘Be Aware’ on the entrance to a church.

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snow stopped school

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

In December 1981 most of the 1000 or so pupils turned up at my school during the snowy week,   only a few teachers managed to get to school.  

Dec1981 school closed due to snow


The story was very similar to the current snow-stopped-school.     Except that the current snow brings the country to a standstill crisis because parents are having to stay at home to look after their kids,   in 1981 the kids stayed at the closed school and thrashed the proverbial ski-pants of each other.

In 1981 the few, local,  teachers who turned-up organised mass snowball fights between academic years.   In this photo the 3rd year students on the right hand side are advancing on the 2nd year students who are bravely running away to the left.  


The third year won thier foray.   I was in the 6th form.   The 5th year thoroughly squished snow down our necks, up our not insubstantial noses  and in our pants,   jolly good fun it was too.   Hot scrumpy all round,   Hoorah!

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phishing with incoming automated phone calls

Monday, June 16th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |




Wendy:   HellooooOOHH,   Wendy speaking,   how can I help you?

Automated message (AM):   This is Lloyds Bank calling to leave a message for [name of last occupant of the Wendy house, nolootwh],   if you are [nolootwh] press any key

Wendy: (not being nolootwh I pressed no keys and waited in the silence pondering what to do next,     after what seemed like days I decided to press any key out of sheer noseyness)

AM:   please call (number I didn’t write down and can’t remember,    then silence,   I waited a few minutes then I hung up and searched the internet to discover why Lloyds were using such an odd method of contacting their customers.   They aren’t,    this was a phishing call)


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IE7, a cheeky little browser

Thursday, June 5th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

I am a little bit short-sighted,    

I can read my computer screen with normal font sizes despite their ridiculously small size.  

Then one day,  


IE7 decided to give me

buttons bigger than bars of soap

and black-out the page content.  

It’s a cheeky little browser.

That IE7

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Queen Anne’s Tea cup

Thursday, February 8th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

eighteenth in a  royal series of  Thursday posts about taking tiffin with  (black) tea  and milk in the NW USA.

Thursday Tiffin #18: Queen Anne’s TeaCup.

Excellent.  On a snow-ridden Sunday afternoon I drove to Queen Annes and enjoyed a fabulous cup of tea inbetween freezing fingers of air winding thier way around my legs, ears and not-insubstantial nose.  

Wendy:    I’d like a big pot of darjeeling
Server-1: (hesitate)
Wendy:  4 to 6 normal cups?
Server-1: (hesitate) 36 oz?
Server-2: Would this pot be the right size (holding up an ideal size pot)
Wendy: Yes please!
Server-2:  there’s only the one seat available,  we’ll bring it over to you
Wendy: that’s wonderful, could I have a jug of milk too?
Server-2: what type?
Wendy: 2%?
Server-2: Fine, we’ll bring it over to you

The teapot arrived with timer to enable me to judge the brew effectively,  tea-cosey to ensure the tea didn’t get cold, dish to place the removed  strainer of tea-leaves  in,  spoon to stir in my dash of milk.  Excellent attention to detail,  fabulous smooth sympathetic service.    I was impressed.

Unlike the Queen Mary tea rooms the clientelle were varied age and gender.    Hoorah! On this Sunday they looked like students with paper note-books open (no wireless, no laptops).   While mixed gender the men did fit into my stereotype of  effeminate. One sat in my line of sight constantly  played with his gold necklet,   discussed the quality of his manicure with his colleagues and regularly re-adjusted his hair and clothing.   Overheard conversations  from beside me also fitted my stereotype of Americanisms;   I heard phrases like “so,  I  said…. …it was really cool…   …mMMMMmm-Kay…   …I totally agree with you…     ….I have to get me some of that…  ”  

The venue is small maybe seats 12 at most if they are all slim and breath in.    The counter at the back of the shop.  It’s a popular shop,  people are constantly coming and going,   buying loose leaf tea and accessories.  On this snow-ridden January day the shop door opened every 2 or 3 minutes.  Everytime a customer opened the door the fast freezing finger of January snow twisted around my thighs, yanked my ears and tweaked my not insubstantial nose.  It is impossible to relax and fully enjoy your tea when the freezing fingers are regularly poking around, breaking the serene atmosphere that should surround the taking of tea.

recommended for people who are already in the area to drop in and see if there’s a table free for a quick cuppa

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graveyard punctuation

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

Innocently wandering through a Dungeness, not Dungeness, graveyard.   As one is wont to do.

Minding my own business.  Reading the odd,   very odd, gravestone.   When,


As if from nowhere,   a cryptic cat launched itself at my torso.    It cunningly used pin-prick  claws to latch onto my skinny left thigh.   While chewing my zipper and partially succeeding in mesmerizing me with talking eyes the  killer kitty eye’d my nose as a potential source of protien:

Scared, me?   Oh yes.

Lot’s of ‘nice kitty’s were administered to secure my thigh’s freedom.

Finally I discovered that offering my fingers as a sacrifice helped lure the kitty’s claws from my leg as it performed the twistiest of jumps in a digit devouring  frenzy.   My fingers and legs bare punctuation scars…

I’ve not heard an American use the phrase ‘graveyard’ nor seen sign’s with the phrase.   Roads are called ‘cemetary road’ and sign’s indicate cemetaries.    Modern cemetaries  are often labelled  ‘memorial garden’.   The mutliple, relevant,  related meanings  that come with using the word  ‘grave‘ appeal to me:

  1. dig; excavate.
  2. carve or shape with a chisel: sculpture; carve or cut (as letters or figures) into a hard surface: engrave.
  3. to impress or fix (as a thought) deeply.
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it’s in the jeans

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

twentieth  post in  a  biologically determined  Wednesday series  of “why wendy’s single“.    

Reason # 20:  it’s in the jeans

no unattached elder brothers in the excellent gene pool of my  fabulously tasteful witty  young friends,   at least none that my not insubstantial nose  has whiffed….      

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loose tea

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006 | tags: ,  |

seventh in a  wanton-tea orgy of  Thursday posts about taking tiffin with (black) tea  in the NW USA.

Thursday Tiffin #7:  loose tea

The Perennial tea shop in the Pike Place market is  a decidedly bounce-inducing  pleasant suprise.   Especially pleasant for someone who likes to wave her not insubstantial nose over the leaves while inhaling before prising open her wallet.   Me. The leaves can be seen, smelt and ordered by weight.   This is infinitely  more sensuous than the Republic of Tea boxes laden with fancy words and bright colours selling a lifestyle dream rather  than an aromatic experience.  

Loose tea just sounds so wonderfully naughty,   how can you resist?

No prizes for guessing where I opened my wallet…

Tea stall in Pike place market (flick-r photoshare)  

Remember that you can find quality good teas in big city specialist shops within the NW USA.   All is not lost!

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spanking good support

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

wendy:  I did this then that then this to the computer and it just farted at   pinch your not insubstantial  nose between your thumb and forefinger then try then this and that..

Loop the conversation  theme above for over an hour through 8 loops and  different computer produced offences, then

 computer error message:     “go away,   I’m full of cow-pats  and will explode to sprinkle them all over you and your not insubstantial  nose”

support:   I can’t  solve  this over the phone. I’ll send someone round to spank your computer tomorrow

Hah!    I normally have to spank my own computers around here.   Though whipping them with power-cables only fixes my mood.

Another support fellow  glanced at the quagmire of equipment surrounding me ‘do you work  in hardware production?’  prompting a complete break-down in Wendy-composure.      I fell over;    lay laughing in a matted  muddle of cables ‘yes,   I think I do‘ this handsome lad helped me off the floor and began to  teach me a thing or two.   Gosh!   My profuse gratitude almost exclaimed a  proposal.    

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Swollen nose

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005 | tags:  |

G:   “Nice glasses Wendy,   are they new?”

W: “No,   they’re about 2 years old’

G: “Have, you had a haircut?   Somethings changed”

W: “No haricut,   but I did walk into a glass wall yesterday and whacked my nose,   so its a bit swollen”

G: <laughter> ‘Yeah,   that probably explains why my attention was drawn to your glasses’

No black eyes.   Swollen nose.. ..which is pretty big to start with.. ..that’s how come it hit the glass first…


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