scribbles tagged ‘easily pleased’


Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Original Light SwitchesSwitch malfunction.

Light SwitchesFlicking these white plastic switches had no effect on the lights they’re supposed to control. Unscrewing the faceplate showed that a small piece of plastic that acted as a ‘catch’ for the switch was broken. I needed to replace the faceplate and switch mechanism.

All the light switches in the Wendy House are the same style. Another one feels like it will break soon, frequently failing to work. I wanted to replace all of them with  switches that have a firm action, are well made mechanically, are good looking, compliment the House style. I took my design brief to a local retail DIY store.

The switches were displayed to show their faceplate, they were packaged in a way that prevented me seeing the mechanical action, materials and quality. Darn.

I chose flat, reflective-nickel, switches. Black to compliment the old oak beams in my ceiling and wrought Iron door furniture. Black to make the switches easier to see against the light walls in the dark when I’m fumbling to turn them on. Unfortunately, the behind the scenes mechanism is deeper than the back-fittings of my old plastic switches. Replacing them was not just a process of swapping the plates and re-wiring. The masonry drill came out and the wall hole had to be made deeper. A bigger job than anticipated. Why aren’t switch box sizes a standard? Pah!

Now I’m loving my new sleek nickel switches, they have a very pleasing action with a good ‘thunk’ when they fall.

2 votes rating 5

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rediscovering my inner teens

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 | tags: ,  |
Paisley Pyjamas on sale in Jacksons - Reading Towns favourite family storeVery long sentence – take a deep breath:

Having fabulous pyjamas makes getting out of bed easier because I can just literally roll out of bed and walk downstairs without actually having to faff around looking for something to make me look vaguely decent incase someone catches a glmpse of me through a window or knocks on the door.

Long sentence:

Having fabulous pyjamas makes leaving the house more difficuult – because I should wash and put on clean clothes before leaving the house.

Medium length sentence:

4pm and still in my PJs, either I’m aging prematurely or rediscovering my inner teens.

 Short sentence:


rediscovering my inner teens
1 vote rating 3

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when your life’s in a mess

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Take the National Express

I used to enjoy the long distance bus rides when I was a student. A National treasure, so cheap and comfortable and everything the Divine Comedy says…. I must find an excuse to use them again.

Though cheerful, the setting of this video felt a bit spooky given my recent hospital visits:

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 | tags: ,  |

skin sandpaperConcerns have been expressed about my well-being during my annual vacation – the Barcelona bumptiousness tour. This note should reassure and exfoliate all concerned people by detailing  recently aquired safety equipment to use on that holidee spree:

Kids factor 50 sunscreen – because my skin’s so youthful

Norwegian moisturiser – because my skin has Scandinavian origins

Sandpaper – to strip the surface layer of skin



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drawers for drawers

Friday, July 1st, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Riding the London commuter train back to Reading I realised I’d left my house keys in the office, luckily my neighbour was home, able to let me in with her spare key. It’s been a week for scattiness. I spent about 3 hours looking for my E11, EHIC, ready for my summer vacation.

Searching was a serious process that involved:

  • looking in all the pockets of 5 handbags (USA purses)
  • The contents of 4 old purses (USA Wallets)
  • 16 drawers, some containing drawers – I might have hidden the card in my underwear. It’s possible.
  • 4 trays of important ‘stuff’ , once recent letters that have faded to the bottom of unotuched piles
  • lesser-used jacket pockets

chest for drawersMy chest of drawers is more organised now that I’ve carefully inspected, sorted, folded and replaced each item. The search threw up some surprises, the condoms with a 2008 use-by date. Thrown away. Pre-Euro continental coinage from the 1990s, re-packed for posterity. No E11 card

Once I’d run out of obvious places, I gave up. A solemn swathe of paranoia about my ability to file and find key documents, a history of losing my passport, drove me to check that the passport was where I thought it should be. It was.

Tucked inside my passport was my E11 card.

A sensible place.



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can’t say how

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

“It’s a little-known fact that the world’s best chicken sexers come almost exclusively
from Japan”

For some reason psychologists and philosophers investigate chicken sexing. Psychologists lured me into reading obscure articles on chicken sexing because, amongst other things, it is a skilled human activity that cannot be articulated. Just one mention in my undergraduate course, carefully juxtapositioned with a reference to how wine tasting is a similarly non-articulatable skill.

Chicken sexing? Chicken sexing! Maybe the idea stayed with me so long and in preference to wine tasting because of the word sex. Maybe its that the act of labelling a chicken with a predicted sex is called ‘sexing’. From one comment in a 1985 class on cognitive psychology, I developed an interest in reading about chicken sexing. So it was, so it is.

“If I went for more than four days without chick sexing work I started to have ‘withdrawal symptoms”


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cistern valve spigots

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

The Wendy House toilet has a high wall-mounted cistern. Fabulous water pressure flushes the toilet with a gravity induced whoooooosh.

Piping to toilet cisternBut the cistern has always filled slowly with a noisy trickle of water. The whole arrangement is reminiscent of Victorian school washrooms. While waiting 15 minutes for the cistern to fill is not a problem when I am alone, for guests  it introduces a timing problem at peak use times.

With an imminent Wendy House party, home improvements are on the menu. Replacing the limescale clogged cistern valve. Yay. No problem. Or so I thought. A quick trip to the DIY shop where the sales assistant didn’t even know what a valve that controls the waterflow into the tank above the toilet was. Sigh. I picked the valve that looked most like the one already installed and toddled off home. So far so good. I switched off the water supply to the house then climbed on a tall bar stool to reach the cistern, remove the lid and start trying to unscrew the current valve.

Things started going wrong. A bit of the old valve broke off in my hand. A close inspection of the instructions for the new valve revealed that despite diagrams I could now work out what this meant

fit ballvalve using backnut(s) provided and ensure that the spigot(s) are used to centralise the tail of the hose

The backnut, spigots, tail nor hose were labelled in any of the 4 diagrams. Quickly I resoted to visual matching, make the new one look like the old one currently looks (without the limescale or broken bit). Then I realised that I would probably have to take part of the wall away to access the pipes.

The doorbell rang

Hello I’m Rob White and I’m canvassing for the Green party in May’s election. Can I ask you if you know whether you are going to vote in the election


I can ask you, you know if you’re going to vote, or you are going to vote?

errr…, I am going to vote

Are you going to vote for the Green party?

Valve in hand, I look at the two young perky faced boys on my doorstep

Have either of you ever changed a cistern valve?

Oh no, that’s very complicated, I’d call a plumber, you’re a brave person

They start backing away slowly as if I’m holding a loaded weapon. I’ve replaced cistern valves before. Normally its a couple of minutes, an easy job. Their lack of willingness and skill is a tad disappointing. I reassure them about my vote and non-violent intentions then call Kevin.

Wonderful Kevin sorts out my cistern with Canadian calm

Cistern refill time has sucessfully been upgraded from a 15 minute trickle to a 30 second flow. Result! Almost grounds for a proposal.

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it’s behind you…

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 | tags: ,  |

Bath Theatre RoyalRichard Holland used my photograph of the Bath Theatre Royal to illustrate a ghost story. He’s a professional who has written 5 books, worked as an editor, met Michael Bentine and has a website for sharing ghost stories. How fabulous is that?! It’s really flattering to have someone else choose my picture for their website.

Evidently Bath Theatre Royal, where my family go for their annual dose of christmas pantomime, is ‘perhaps’ the most haunted theatre in Britain.

Ooooh, the ghost is behind you! No it isn’t……Oh yes it is….

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ways of describing the vernal equinox

Sunday, March 20th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Ostara, in the form of a hare is cohorting around the garden today, delighting the local adult children (Sampo and I) celebrating the shift from more than 12 hours of night to more than 12 hours of daylight.

With a clear view of the sky, in the Wendy House orangerie, the circular dining table has taken the role of an altar dressed in green cloth, laid with candles, flowers, seeds, pen and paper. Drinking large mugs of hot spiced apple juice from the caldron on the woodburner. Yummy. In a small celebration we’ve danced a clockwise circle round the table, written our hopes and desires on the paper, burnt the paper. Tomorrow I’ll put the ashes in the garden, plant the seeds where the growing daylight will nourish and draw them towards the sky

That’s the vernal equinox described in story form. The focus is on the people words that draw images and emotions, describing what people do and how they do it. This writing style is traditionally the domain  and humanities.

I find the scientific style of writing which often deliberately excludes explicit reference to people and beliefs fascinating in itself. Some ‘social sciences’ have included people by treating them as the objects to be studied, for example psychology that conducts research with human participants (not called people) and produces research papers written in the scientific tradition of the passive 3rd person. Wikipedia articles are examples of writing in the 3rd person passive, which I understand as core to the current scientific style. Wikipedia describes the vernal equinox in detail.

Here’s a few things I found out written in a more scientific style:

The word “vernal” is of Latin origin and refers to the season – spring. The word “equinox” is another word of Latin origin that means “equal night”. The vernal Equinox is a time when day and night are of nearly equal length, 12 hours, across the world. Today is the March equinox, which is the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere.

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worx disco

Sunday, March 6th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

Captain Howey Hotel PubThe entrance guarded by portly middle-aged men, avoiding the wind while they dragged on their cigarettes

hello love
a cheerful greeting as I wove between them in search of the hotel reception. The hotel reception was the bar. Two women sat on a sofa Half a dozen toddlers cahorted around and over them. Several men lacking in cranial hair perched on bar stools watching the largescreen 6 nations play. Not an enticing first impression. A blackboard by the bar announced tonight’s Worx disco. The Worx? Dungeness power station workers, these people were dependent of the power station for their livelihood

The Romney and Hythe steam train trundled under my bedroom window. Heaven! It toot-tooted as it trundled by. I went to stand by the track and the driver smiled and waved and tooted when he drove by. At that moment I wanted to be part of a well practiced cheerleading team waving pompoms, synchronised high-kicking and singing the praise of the train line.

Over breakfast the  landlady whispered her concerns. These guys drank so much the night before a full days work at a Nuclear plant. We watched one stumble through the dining area on his way out of the building for his first fag of the day.  He grunted at the Landlady’s cheery greeting. After he’d gone

See what I mean?


worx disco
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Sniffing sockets

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

The TV remote isn’t working….

No, Wait.    it’s the  TV that isn’t working…

Oh,   actually its the socket that isn’t working….

Hang on,   its the ring-ciruit that isn’t working.  

Ah,   the fuse flipped while I was out.   Probably some freak lightening storm over the Wendy House.   Wish I’d seen that!  

During the diagnostic process I discover that the Wendy House has at least two separate electric rings in the front room alone!    

BANG!   the fuse flips again.   No lightening storm in range.   Odd.    I flip the fuse  back on  

BANG the fuse flips again.    Darn, its clearly broken and not fixing itself.   I call dad who walks me through a cunning diagnostic process that includes sniffing sockets and plugs,   switching various things on and off.   Using dad’s excellent problem-sourcing strategy I find the wiring of one socket is causing the banging.  

With  a message left on an electricians answer machine I’m about to discover the joys of having my sockets seen to.   I’m rather looking forward to it,   aren’t you?

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mocha mits

Thursday, August 6th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Mocha with friendsOn a cold rainy August UK day my high school friends and I warmed our hands on hot Mocha’s outdoors in convent garden under the shelter of a large unmbrella.

A real frothy treat.

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dickies red hawk action trousers

Thursday, May 21st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |
This product naming style is having a suprisingly persuasive effect on me.  

I want some of  dickies red hawk action trousers,   don’t you?  

They’ve got zipped hand thigh and back pockets.  


They are only £12.95.  


They are sold by Screwfix.   Whereas Diamond Back USA sell toolbelts.   One day I’ll treat myself to my very own toolbelt,   and hang around my house with a powertool or two in it.

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branding #4: materials, colours & fonts

Thursday, August 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Jacksons pay attention to branding detail.  

The store is branded with a dark green background to its main name sign above the mannequinned window displays and  below the large lettering that eponymously announces ‘Jacksons corner’  .    The text on its custom plastic bags and the piece de resistance is the wonderful font used to announce Jacksons on the green marble entrance way.  

I swooned.  

 I am easily pleased

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Dressing gown

Sunday, July 20th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Since leaving  my parents’ home in the early 1980’s I’ve hankered after a classic wool dressing gown bordered with coloured-chord.  Over the years  I’ve compromised with fluffy-cotton dressing gowns, Kimonos  and stylish smoking jackets.   Finally,   the exceptional Jackson’s summer sale delivered the real thing.   Extra-large mens’ was the smallest size available.   The shop assistant said that they had ordered the  ‘Lloyd Attree and Smith’ (Gentlemans outfitters since 1857) dressing gowns based on regular requests from customers.    Unfortunately, when the dressing gowns  arrived the customers were not prepared to pay the full retail price.    

Jacksons will not be restocking these Lloyd Attree and Smith 100% wool dressing gowns.  

Much to the mature, mens department, shop assistant’s amusement I tried-on the XL dressing gown.   It did not trail on the floor though I will have to roll the sleeves up by about 6 inches to keep them out of my breakfast.  

I treated myself  to the warm stylish, oversized, high quality gown and a couple of white hankerchiefs in readiness for the impending onset of winter…   …it really is a wonderful experience in the early dawn, wrapped in wool beneath the dew-covered conservatory with a hot mug of tea.

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favicon foisting & fiddly deflowering

Sunday, February 4th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

How the Wendy House got deflowered:

I took a small star provided within  famfamfam’s free  mini icon set, then used Microsoft’s Digital Image suite to

  • make the star’s white background transparent.   fiddly  
  • obliterate the flowers in  Ghyslain’s  awesome ’rounded blue’ blog template.   Bye-bye flowers…
  • liberally sprinkle the blog template image with stars

Then, while  playfully browsing the WordPress codex ‘plug-ins’,  I discovered    favatars, comvatars, and gravatars.  


The rest of the fun-filled friday night was spent  foisting a favatar on you.   A favatar is the little picture that shows up next to a website name in the browser’s faviourites list and before the http bit in the browsers address line.    To commit this dastardly crime  I used:

Cat-discombobulating-bouncing ensued when  the little star revealed itself  in my IE7.0 address bar and Tab.   Before Friday I knew  the experience of a  favicon but not what it was called or how to set-one up for my site.  

Sometimes I even suprise myself by how easily I am pleased


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Friday, October 20th, 2006 | tags:  |

The novelty of being an adult hasn’t yet worn off.  

Adulthood;   hoods with more than 18 years of life experience that start  a new career in hooding,   or adulting,   or both.  

Novel adulty things include finding new bus routes,   getting on buses and paying the conductor then getting off the bus at (approximately) the right place,  at least, in the right city.  I can also drive a car (this is debatable), fall asleep at the symphony, pay for a meal in a restaurant.   I’ve got a credit card,   just the one because outbursts of scattiness might interfere with my balance balancing if I have too many different lists of money-leaving-me.  

I go to work everyday and hang out in an office with a window.   Note to European readers,   the US law doesn’t require office workers to have direct sunlight  in their place of work.   Some people here work in what looks strikingly like  a big  broom cupboard.   It’s  as if they are naughty children that have been told to go and sit in the cupboard under the stairs.   Luckily  my biddies (parents) didn’t use this  technique on me.   At least these  office workers  never fall out of their window.  

People ask me things,   as-if I might know a good answer.   Even better than that,   I quite often do know a reasonably good  answer,   or I can find out how to find out a good or better  answer.    If I’m feeling particulalrly  sneaky I change the question on the questioners behalf.  

No dead mice sharing my home or that of nearby friends, I can’t vouch for my friends homes further afield.   My parent’s visit me and I get to take care of them,   the role reversal borders on poignant.  In them I  see my ways of being,  their gifts to me, more clearly now.

I didn’t get any of this when I was a child.

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Tuesday, August 1st, 2006 | tags: ,  |

The lift (US: elevator) arrived, doors opened, the lighted arrow pointed upward.   Like servers we wanted to go down.   We waited.   After about 30 second the doors closed then to our suprise promptly opened again.   As  the doors opened the lighted arrow shifted from pointing up to down.   I giggled as we walked into the lift.   The arrow and lift couldn’t change direction until the doors had opened and closed?   That is funny.

Here’s a sweetly apologetic printed note on a malfunctioning car-park lift in the UK,   with useful information hand-written afterwards:

Lifts not working....

W easily-amused.

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View from top of a double decker bus

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Bored Now
Originally uploaded by Pete Ashton.

sat above the driver of an 11c bus, with your feet on the sill, heaven! I’m easily pleased

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Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 | tags: ,  |
  • sounds pleasing…
  • smells fresh…
  • tastes delicious…
  • feels invigorating…   …internally and externally…
  • looks luminous…

Like this:

Samuel Adams beer at charlotte airport

This single girl is  easily pleased, temporarily,  with an Imperial pint.

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2nd marriage proposal quashed

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Before it got out of the bag.

Potential fiancee     the loss adjusters who were due to appraise the damage to my car are running an hour late so we’ll have to reschedule

Wendy   “Have you got time now?   Can we do this over the phone?”

Potential fiancee yes sure” (I do sooo love the sound of ‘YES’! He  puts me on speaker phone)

Wendy:   “…(unpublishable talk about my job)…”

Potential fiancee “..(Rabid typing and witty comments.   Keeps his loss adjuster waiting 15mins to wrap-up call with me)…” Later  that morning I send promised documents to potential fiancee who  replies telling me  what you already know,   that I  ROCK! and providing lots of little juicy promises to make my work life easier.

I could have married him on the spot.  

Company harrassment policy made me think twice about announcing the offer.   I’ll keep it on hold until I’ve worked out if he’s a player

Wendy Easily-pleased

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