Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mad as trousers? I hope so.

I was fortunate to read on a friend's blog that our current Prince in Waiting had given a speech.
A particularly amazing speech, where as my friend said, he goes from speaking reasonably to being 'away with the fairies' and then back to reason again.
My friend, perfectly reasonably is concerned about this Prince becoming the monarch at some time and the prospect of having a king who is as 'mad as trousers'.
Personally, I love the idea.
Oh how our lives could be enriched if we had a king who was downright potty.
It has happened before..........I hope it happens again.
Oh the fun, the press, the antics.
Oh our current monarch is lovely but dull............don't you think it would be fun to have one who was totally off his trolley?
The speech is here.

I am anticipating a lot of fun .....but then I am just Thickie Sue, Thickie Banks, Thickie.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Boo boo

I have an owie.

I find it incredibly easy to get an owie these days.
A year or so ago I really hurt my back just by taking the washing out of the machine and putting it in the dryer.
It just went......'ping'.
I was in a bad way for weeks. It was absolute agony.
I finished up at the physiotherapist who made it worse than ever.
Didn't go back.

Anyway, this owie was waiting in ambush as I scooped out the kittens' litter box.
Not my most favourite occupation.
I intend to try to convince Lauren it is a fun thing to do while she is here.
I shall tell her to think of it as a "Lucky Dip".........with the promise of "A prize every time".
It might work.
Well, I had just finished scooping and retrieving all my prizes, I then had to pull the box of litter towards me so I could top up the litter tray..........I hope you are all still with me.........riveting isn't it?...........Then it happened.
You know that feeling when you crick your neck/shoulder and you get a burning sensation which really hurts but lasts for just a few minutes? Yes you do.
Well, it was a bit like that only it didn't go away.
It got worse.
I did this on Friday but having been brought up on the "Don't make a fuss" side of town, I tried to ignore it.
It wasn't going to be ignored and made that perfectly plain.
Sleeping has been difficult. I found that putting a pillow alongside me and resting my arm on it helped a little bit but on Saturday night I got virtually no sleep.
Last night I popped some pills at bedtime and got a little bit more sleep so I think I shall do that again tonight.
Of course all this happens when I have Donna and Lauren coming tomorrow.
Hopefully it will gradually get better, just as my back did when I refused the ministrations of the physio and her torture devices.
It makes me mad when these things happen so easily though.
I would love to spin a tale of how I hurt my arm/shoulder whilst abseiling down the North Side of Macey's. That would not only sound more heroic but at least I would have only myself to blame and could honestly say I wouldn't do it again.

Hmmmmmmmmm.......might give me more clout when trying to convince Lauren that scooping poopie is a fun thing to do on holiday.
Maybe I could get the neighbourhood kids involved.

"Step right up. Get your scooper here. Everyone's a winner".

It could work you know.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Well the weather man didn't lie.
It has been very hot all week.
I went to the mall on Thursday.
The walk to the bus stop was volcanic. So, very, very hot. What was I wearing? Jeans and a t.shirt.
Jeans. JEANS !!!!
As I stood melting at the bus stop I perused the passers by. I say passers by but what I really mean is 'the getters out of a car'.
I think I am the only 'passer by' as I am the only one in Milwaukee who ever walks anywhere.
Everyone was wearing shorts and flip flops.
Why am I never comfortable with myself wearing shorts? This is Wisconsin. The average person is built like the Queen Mary.
From the back their shorts look like puppies fighting in a sack.
I am 5ft 1in (I know but that 1in is very important to me)......I weigh around 8stone 10 lbs.
Hmmmmmmmmm......I wonder why Americans don't have 'stones'. It makes more sense to me.
If someone is said to weigh 20 stone, then I can get a good idea of the size of them.
Over here, if they say someone weighs 280 doesn't mean a thing. I can't get a visual image.
So, anyway, I weigh about 122 lbs......and while I am at it......why LBS ? How can that be short for pounds?
Ooops.....I veer from the point yet again.
As I said, why do I not feel comfortable wearing shorts? It must be poor body image.
Back to the bus stop.
Having waited longer than I would have liked for the aforementioned bus and wilting by the minute, I was not looking forward to the return journey by which time the temperature would have risen further.
I decided my only course of action was to do a trawl of the mall....oooh I like that ....trawl the search of a pair of reasonable (cheap) shorts.
Which is exactly what I did.
It occurred to me whilst I hunted through the racks that the size I take varies from a 4 to a 6.
Bearing in mind my friend, who is not really above average for a Wisconsinite, takes between a size 22 and a size 24................what the %$#@ am I worrying about?
I bought my shorts. Not terribly short ones, I will admit.
They are rather modest shorts, but shorts none the less.
I spent ages checking myself in the mirror........does my bum look big in these?
Anyway, I nipped into the Ladies before making my way to the bus stop, and changed into my new sexy ( ish......oh alright, bit frumpy ) shorts.
I got on the bus in them.
I then walked home from the bus stop in them.
Aren't I the trolloppe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot !!!!!!!!!

We don't do weather in moderation here in Wisconsin.
In the winter we have temperatures that fall to minus 40C and in the summer it can be bloody hot.
Right is too bloody hot.
We are not going to River Rhythms tonight due to the heat.
Our friendly, neighbourhood weatherman says it will be around 98F today, but because it comes with high humidity, the heat index will be around 111F or old money.
Plus, he said it would not cool off during the evening.
I have only been outside to the dustbin and it is unbelievable.
It was hot when we got married in Las Vegas........I think it was about 114F but it is so dry there that it didn't feel all that bad.
We seem to have got this weather until about Monday when it should cool down to the 80s.
I do hope our air conditioning copes. I know a lot of people are having problems. Ours was a bit iffy over the weekend but Philip changed the filter and it seems to be ok now.
Milwaukee is being very good though. They are keeping air conditioned buildings...libraries longer hours, for people who don't have air conditioning at home.
Also, the swimming pools have extended their hours too.
I don't like it this hot.

The picture above is of Six Flags Great America.....a theme park not far from us.
It used to be just rides but a couple of years back they added the water park.
Donna wants to go there while she is over. Hopefully we will although I bet it is expensive always was pricey.
I can't go on the big rides anymore because of my dodgy ear.
The last time I tried it made me feel very dizzy & sick.
Which was pants as I enjoy them.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It arrived.

My American passport has arrived!!
How exciting......well except for the picture of The Gorgon they put in it instead of the beautiful picture of me.
It is tra la posh.
I mean ......REALLY......tra la posh.
Every page carries a picture and information about American history.
I am really impressed.
I wasn't expecting anything like this.
My British passport expires next year I think.
I wonder if they new British ones are posh now.
The Brits have a ton of history they could call upon to brighten up the passport.

Do other countries do this I wonder?
I mean, you never really get to look at other countries' passports do you?
Does the Scottish one have bagpipes, kilts and wild haggises......(is it haggises or haggi?) running riot all over their pages?
Now the Irish could make brill ones...........The little people, banshees, shamrocks, shillelagh, pints of guinness and Delaney's fab is that?
What about the Welsh?
They could have passports that start playing music as soon as you open know, like some birthday cards do.
Think of the fun every time a Welsh person got to security and there was a blast of "There'll be a welcome in the hillside".
Perhaps you could choose which songs it played.
You could have Tom Jones singing "Green, green grass of home"........if you were sad enough.
Or, maybe even.......and I like this could have the music from Ivor The Engine.
I may have to take out a patent on this idea.
It could be worth lots of dosh.

As promised, thanks to Gary, a picture of the person you would least expect to see at a jazz/blues/swing concert in the park.
The sad thing, I think, is that he is quite a young man.
He had a young family.........and he looks about 98.
I am sure he was enjoying himself in his own sweet way, but it was rather hard to tell.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I don't understand Jazz.
We went to River Rhythms last night and it was pretty busy.
"Oh", quoth I, "Must be a good band tonight".
I had neglected to check who was on as I was just so happy to be going again. We haven't been for a couple of weeks due to the invasion of the Summer Festers.
I failed to take in that the crowd were mostly of a more mature persuasion.

The band were not exactly jazz........more of a mixture of rhythm & blues, jazz & a little bit of swing.
They could have done with a lot more of the swing.
The music was often depressing. One song being called........"It's Cheaper to Keep Her"......which referred to a husband tiring of his wife and kids and wanting to bugger off but being told it would cost him much more that way and he should stay and put up with it.
Apparently, an old grandad had passed on this little gem.
One wonders how the wife and kids felt about all this but their feelings were not adequately explored, meaning not worth mentioning at all apparently.
Also, as the guys playing in the band (all super musicians I am sure) looked like they were probably all grandads themselves, with a couple of great grandads thrown in,.........I wonder just what century the original grandad, who shared his wit and wisdom, was born in.
As I said, before I wandered completely off the point, I don't understand jazz.
The jazz songs go on for ever.
Rarely, there is one I recognise but, the jazz musicians seem to delight in stretching each song out to breaking point.
They seem to add endless twiddly bits and nonsense words (Gary thought they were speaking in tongues), which results in a song that lasts about 20 minutes and the audience having lost the will to live after the 15th verse.
They have false endings too.
The poor guy who does the announcements was waiting in the wings to come on and do his half time bit, when they had about 4 different false endings to a song. They would stop.........go quiet for what seemed like 30 minutes (seconds probably) and then just as he went to step on the stage.......they would start up again.
It was quite funny to watch......he was in and out like a fiddler's elbow.

They were into the name dropping big time too.
"Oh when I played with Scabby Knees Duncan and Scratch My Own Arse Harrison back in 1911"....................blah, blah, blah.

BUT, never let it be said that I don't try to look on the bright side.....I often fail, but I do try.
There were some bloody good dancers.
It would have been far better if the band had played some more of the swing stuff, because when they did, the dancers got up.
I love watching people who can dance do their thing.
I think the dance they were doing is called The Jitterbug.....I could be wrong.......probably am.
Anyway, it was very lively and wore me out just to watch.
I wish I could do it. I would go to lessons if I had someone to go with but to be honest I doubt I would have enough puff now.
Watching the dancing saved the evening for me..........oh that and a really good odd person that Gary took a picture of for me.
I am waiting for him to send it and then I will put it on here.
It takes all sorts and Milwaukee, like Folkestone, has it share of all sorts.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bits & Bobs

Everywhere you look there are kittens.
They get in everything.
Here is Rascal (who else), who some how managed to get up into my shelves.
A couple of dragons bit the dust but were uninjured.
I knew it would happen at some time and it did - I caught little Benny snuggled into Bubba's belly, both his feet outstretched, making the squeezy movements with his toes and I could hear him trying to suckle.
Dear old Bubba just sat there and let him. If Benny had tried that on one of the girls they would have had a fit.

Merv has had a good morning.
There was a loud noise outside and when I looked I saw that my neighbours across the street had the tree men outside.
We had just had a major storm so I don't know if a tree was damaged but they had started removing the branches as they prepared to take down the tree.
And there, standing watch, making sure they were doing it properly was our very own Sidewalk Supervisor - Merv.
Bless him.

Two weeks now until Donna and Lauren arrive. Once more it has come around very quickly and I am looking forward to seeing them.
If the kittens are still here then I shall put Lauren in charge of them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

First Fourth.

This year was our first 4th July celebration since we became pucker yanks.
Hard to believe really.
We had a quiet'ish weekend...........apart from discovering that we have probably both got ringworm .
We weeded the garden. Tidied the garage. Cut the grass. Got ringworm ointment.
Same as everyone else I suppose.

So, Monday it was off to the park in the evening for the fireworks.
The ones over the lake are really the best but getting parked down there and having to be there hours before hand, sort of takes some of the fun out of it.
We find our local park put on a very good display and we don't have any of the hassle.
Arming ourselves with our foldy up chairs we set off, pausing only to buy an ice cream, we found our perfect spot.
As it got dark the fireflies came out and put on their own display for us.
These were the first ones we had seen this summer.
I love fireflies.
The first time I saw them I got so excited because I hadn't realised they are real.
I thought they were creatures made up for cartoons etc.
I did feel daft.

They are like little fairies whose bottoms keep flashing........................"Ooooh Matron!"
Then the fireworks proper started.
Then the idiots with fireworks started too.
I think the Brits have been brought up to show due respect to fireworks. From childhood there are ads on TV in the run up to Guy Fawkes Night, showing the need for safety where fireworks are concerned.
I don't think anyone ever told Americans that fireworks can be dangerous.
Just a little way in front of us a middle aged couple ( not young idiots) had brought some fireworks with them.
Now, fireworks are actually illegal in Wisconsin. The shops still sell them and people still set them off but they are illegal.
Anyway, this couple decide to let their fireworks the middle of the park, where people are all sitting with their families. Not only set them off but throw them.
I couldn't believe it. These things were hitting the ground with a bang and then shooting a fireball out which went in whichever direction the firework had landed.
Like rockets going sideways.
Then the idiots next to me had roman candle sort of things that they were encouraging their ...mmm ...maybe 4 year old to hold.
"Point it away from your body"......said his mother.
How caring.

On the way out we passed a house with a great crowd outside, lighting fireworks on the pavement.
The people were standing almost on top of the things. One toddler was standing next to a firework as it started shooting stars & flames .............amazing.
I couldn't get away quick enough before someone was seriously hurt.
But, maybe I was just brought up to be fearful of fireworks.....they were all probably fine.
I hope they were.

We got home and had a celebratory drink. Philip has a glass of his posh whisky and I had a tipple of brandy.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Here is Tootsie showing off her extra toes.
It looks like she has mittens on.
We would like this one to stay. Philip, particularly would like her to stay.

They seem to have bonded. She was giving him a damn good wash in this picture.

If it isn't then I need to be able to put some cream or something on it. Poor little Benny.
We are thinking the kits are part of some sinister collective.
Like the Borg.
Whenever one learns to do something new, like scale a barricade that had previously contained them for instance............they immediately all know how to do it.
It is spooky.

This week has been hot.........thank goodness for air conditioning, otherwise I would never be able to sleep.
I did my stint at the cat rescue centre on Tuesday and saw a kitty find a new home. That is always good to see.
I hope our kittens find good homes.

We didn't do River Rhythms because Summerfest has started and that will be on until next weekend.
Parking downtown will be a nightmare, plus the bands this week and next are not to our taste.
Reggae ...if that is how you spell it............just not our cup of tea.

Donna and Lauren should arrive here on July 26th. That seems to have come around really quickly. They are here for a month. Usually it is just Lauren who comes but it will be fun having them both this time.
Donna has made quite a few friends here now so with me as a resident baby sitter, she is able to go out and about. Something she isn't able to do much at home.
Oh and she won't have to shovel snow this trip.