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Ages since I posted here in this journal and in the meantime they have changed the input box and I can't do what I used to do as easily at all!

My paid account expired a few days ago and it seemed a bit pointless renewing it, but I just signed up for a free two week trial of a paid account, so I have two week's grace!

Not that I use it anyway.

So. The dog bite I got in March is healing but will definitely leave a crescent shaped red scar. It's not huge but it is there and it is still a bit tender and itchy at times.

I did not pursue a claim, though I probably should as even though the owners kept saying the dog was safe, it wasn't really (It had bitten the daughter of the house in the past, so claims it never bites were spurious). They keep it indoors but even so.

It was too exhausting to take it further.

And I did not even get paid by the local authority for either my jeans or the session, as they claimed I had done all the alotted hours already (even though I had been having emailed conversations about more sessions and a different venue.) I suspect they were just trying to get out of any possibility of litigation and I am a bit annoyed by the whole thing.

All I can do is try to forget about it now (scar notwithstanding).

Almost all my tutorials have ended for the summer so financially I am a bit on edge right now. I will certainly have to think hard about things in the next few months.

It's all left me a little dazed and hopeless - though possibly no more than ever.

Don't know if I have had any epiphanies or revelations so much as I don't really care about anything one way or the other any more. I have given up but keep on fighting anyway. There doesn't seem to be any thing else I can  do.

Just keeping on keeping on - as ever!

I am actually fairly cheerful and sanguine, so this isn't a desperation post so much as a "the way things stand" post.

Though people posting comments on my videos telling me I am wasting my time are not helping - I maybe post one video every 10 to 14 days right now and it takes an hour or two at most from start to finish (set up filming, editing and upload) so I am not wasting that much time. Also, when I find something that at least feels like it is semi-productive and helps to bolster what little self esteem remains the last thing I want is people taking that away as well!

So if you hate me piss off, and if you say you like me, please don't undermine my confidence and belittle me.

When the Dog Bites

So the dog bite I got yesterday on my leg bled a lot in the night so I had to go out early to the walk in clinic to get new dressing.

Look away if you are squeamish - includes a picture of the biteCollapse )

In the confusion I left most of the books I use to tutor at the dog owners' house, so I will have to get the boy I tutor to bring them to the next tutorial.


Experiments from the kitchen cupboard

I am trying to save money and at the same time keep healthy and well-groomed. I have also forsworn shampoo since it never does anything but irritate my scalp anyway - but that means my hair is a bit random lately.

Anyway, I decided to try and perk up my hair with a home colour rinse thingy made from ingredients I already had at home. It was a partial success.

What's in a Name?

I don’t understand why people have such a problem with name dropping. Essentially all of us are defined by the people around us - if someone else respects, likes or loves you it goes a long way to helping you assert your self-worth . It can’t all be about external validation, obviously, you have to in some ways not entirely define yourself according to how others see you - that said how others see you is a good shorthand when you are meeting new people. If you can reach out and say “hey look - I know this person you might have heard about and they don’t think I am crap, maybe you will like me too. Please like me, please!” then you get instant validation.

If the person you are trying to impress isn’t impressed then maybe they won’t get on that well with you anyway. If they are more interested in the person whose name you dropped than in you maybe that also isn’t a hugely good sign. If, though, they are suitably impressed that someone they like or respect might like or respect you then you have at least negotiated common ground. Yes, sometimes it might look a little desperate, but really aren’t we all desperate people trying to connect with each other?

Also, sometimes you have to mention names in order to make whatever you are saying make sense. If they are people the other person doesn’t know (eg your auntie Jean, or your best friend when you were 6) then the name is meaningless, but if the person is well known it is a lot easier to say their name in the proper context.

If your best friend when you were 6 was Prince Harry or your auntie Jean was actually Marilyn Monroe I think I would want to know that.


Just had a guy come to the door demanding money with menace. He reckoned he was the son of a man who came to pave the drive a decade ago and that the "vat had never been paid".

I was in the bath but I heard the altercation from upstairs and smelled the pungent and unpleasant cigarette smoke.

I came down, got the jist quickly, told him he was a massive conman and shut the door in his face.

He rang the bell again. I opened it and he threw the end of his fag butt at me and walked away screaming he would be back and he wanted his money.

As far as I can gather he has no case. He wouldn't provide my flatmate/landlord with paperwork, demanded 20 per cent VAT when at the time of the drive laying it would have been 15 per cent.

Also this guy was middle aged and Irish and someone who claimed to be the son of the man who laid the drive came by just before Christmas trying to get us to pay for the drive to be cleaned. He was much younger than this man and not Irish.

Landlord says the job was not done properly in the first place - when we said this to the guy before Christmas he cliamed it was because there is no underlay because "it was never paid for". Well, if it isn't there then the job wasn't done properly and they should have pointed that out at the time, and charged any money they though was owed, and not waited a decade and several years after the death of the tradesman. That makes no sense at all.

And no, we are not going to give a group of people who can't be trusted to do the job properly in the first place more money to do it wrong again.

The man today reckoned he had also been involved in cutting down trees at the back. My landlords says taht was definitely a different group of workmen.

We are plagued with people knowcking on the door offering to cut down trees/mend the front of the house/repave the drive/deal with fly tipping here.

It is almost certain the fly tipping is there because of some of them - people keep dumping old trees out the back and blocking the path and access to the garage (it's not in use, but it's still an annoyance).

Every few days someone comes and claims to be someone who worked on something here before or they are working on a neighbours house/garden and just happen to have some spare paint/plaster/equipment that we would be mad to pass up.

The house still stinks of smoke and he didn't even cross the threshold. We have a hepa filter on full and it's making very little difference.

My landlord is upset and distressed and would likely still be arguing with the conman if I hadn't shut the door and told the man to go.

There is, of course, no paperwork. The original guy who did the work appears to have died some time ago, if any of these people are to be believed, and this man claimed the drive was done "2 or 3 years ago" - it is at least 7 or 8.

Moving in here was delayed originally because of holes in the ceiling caused by another set of unscrupulous tradesmen who gained access to the attic and then did damage they obviously intended to charge for mending.

It is possible these people are related to the latest guy too.

If he comes back we might phone the police - or Rogue Traders. Get on the TV with our story of dodgy builders!

Hysteria and Xenophobia

This story about immigration and benefits on the BBC makes me mad, because it is rabble rousing and does not give the full facts.

Anyone from Britain can claim benefits from other countries in the EEA including in Bulgaria and Romania so why single Big Issue sellers from these regions out? As I understand it selling The Big Issue does make you self employed, so what is the big issue?

As over 100,000 of those surveyed are from the EU, 54 per cent are British citizens, some are from the EEA and undoubtedly most of the remaining 2 per cent are very likely claiming because they are refugees and so entitled to claim, I would guess there is absolutely no story here.

It looks to me as though this whole story is based on racism, xenophobia and also another attack on a benefits system that is very much needed, and will be so for some time to come. I still don't believe it is being abused as much as all these stories would have us believe.

I don't know why the BBC has been so superficial in this report, but it certainly isn't the whole story. This is the sort of story and style of reporting I would expect in the Daily Mail.

Statistics are very easy to fudge and mould to your own ends and the quotes used to back up these claims come from very dubious sources. Migration Watch is a Right Wing lobby group. How is that a reliable source? It is a very partisan report.

Not good, BBC, I expect better.

Last Rose of Summer

There are still flowers in my garden. This time last year it had already snowed by now, but they were out in November even then. Don't think this rose is properly acclimatised.

Slightly Wrong!

I switched on auto transcript for my short film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YUgdn_zR9Y

This is what it gave me:

Bad TranscriptCollapse )

I think I had better work on an accurate version!


Recently posted recipe videos for parsnip crisps and honeycomb toffee. They are both delicious and quick.


johnny depp, jazz hands, pirates of the caribbean
Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

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February 2016


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