Monthly Archives: July 2007


Snarly is 12 years old tomorrow.  I shall be taking the day off and celebrating before she become a teenager and refuses to speak to me for the next 8 years.  Here are a few select pictures of her to point at and go awww.  Most of my pictures are still in printed photo form so I really must get on with scanning them.

Baby Snarly
Snarly asleep in a cupboard.  She was trying to escape the chatter of her little sister.

Small Snarly
Snarly in her summer dress.

School Snarly
Snarly on her first day at Big School

Damp Snarly
Snarly on a wander.

High Snarly
Snarly very high up.


Filed under Reasons to be cheerful

Poor Paris

I must admit to laughing out loud at this.

Does that make me a bad person?


Filed under Facebook Generation, Keen Scimitar +2, Reasons to be cheerful

An Open Letter to The Lady of the Big Bones

Dearest Lady of the Big Bones,

It was so good to see you this morning at the train station.  It has been some time and I had thought that you’d given up your protest.  Even though you carried no placards and displayed no notice I knew about your protest at the removal of the benches from the platform.  Why else would you place your ample derriere upon the cold and unlovely steps of the footbridge?  Why else would you deliberately place your sack (for how else could I describe your discrete luggage) on the gap next to you? And why else would you balance your over sized and over sweetened Coffee Kiosk ™ coffee on the remaining small gap? 

The protest was a success and I thank you heartily for it.  The complaining commuters harsh words to the guards and station staff had the desired effect.  Benches have now been placed on the platform for customers’ use.  It is poor planning on their part that made them order benches with segregated compartments unsuited to your fuller figure.  You could do as I do when I have a backpack that I don’t want to put down on the floor and simply perch on the end of a bench.  They are secured to the platform with concrete.

Obviously you are aware of the success of your protest and have moved on to set right another great wrong.  Sadly I am at a loss to determine what you are protesting against this time.  Your actions seem to indicate that you protest against the length of time that it takes for a carriage door to open.  I can see no other reason for you to stand squarely in front of the doors rather than to one side.  You must know that you strike an imposing figure for any commuter that seeks to exit from the carriage.  I saw one man today break down in tears as he very nearly fell against you.  He had to be calmed by station staff and I fear that he may never recover not even with the tender administrations of tea and comfort.

May I be so bold as to suggest writing to the train companies rather than bludgeoning commuters as a first effort in changing train policy.  If that fails then writing to your MP may be a worthwhile effort.  Rather than trying to force the train doors open with your pudgy fingers you could take a moment to allow your fellow travellers to exit the carriage.  I mean it isn’t as if the seats are contoured to fit you or the tables spacious enough for you so you are unlikely to move much beyond the door anyway.

Yours supportively

The Magnificent Frog.


Filed under Bad things happen, Cull

Martial Art

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Filed under Eerie, Keen Scimitar +2, Reasons to be cheerful


Happy POETS day everybody.


Filed under Eerie, Keen Scimitar +2, Reasons to be cheerful


I’ve been reading Friendly Atheist a bit recently and came across a set of common questions that get asked quite frequently when I’m bothering the God Squad.  I’d be interested in hearing your own answers to these questions or rebuttals if you are faithfully a faithful follower of a faith.

  • Why do you not believe in God?
  • Where do your morals come from?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Is atheism a religion?
  • If you don’t pray, what do you do during troubling times?
  • Should atheists be trying to convince others to stop believing in God?
  • Weren’t some of the worst atrocities in the 20th century committed by atheists?
  • How could billions of people be wrong when it comes to belief in God?
  • Why does the universe exist?
  • How did life originate?
  • Is all religion harmful?
  • What’s so bad about religious moderates?
  • Is there anything redeeming about religion?
  • What if you’re wrong about God (and He does exist)?
  • Shouldn’t all religious beliefs be respected?
  • Are atheists smarter than theists?
  • How do you deal with the historical Jesus if you don’t believe in his divinity?
  • Would the world be better off without any religion?
  • What happens when we die?

In related news, The Hildy says that I take the God issue far too seriously but as she packed me off to work this morning with the tender phrase “Bugger off, it’s the first day of my holiday” I’m not listening to her today.


Filed under Keen Scimitar +2, You decide


Every day at 12 o’clock Mrs Stressed in Finance reads the horoscopes out.

Not only do I find this interruption to my work irritating in the extreme but pandering to such superstitious nonsense really bugs me.  It really isn’t the case that Uranus is controlling me, no matter what you read on the walls of public toilets.

Anyway, I’m irritable today because I had to finish my TMA last night by 11 but didn’t have enough time to get those last 3 or 4 marks on the final question.  This has put me out of sorts as I have had plenty of time.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a lovely, calming day with plenty of good luck.  If the moon is shining on Uranus that may well be the case.


Filed under Bad things happen, Cull, MT262, You decide

Onion Bhaji

In an effort to avoid conflict of any kind today I am mostly talking about food. 


100g / 4oz Gram Flour
1/4 teasp Chilli Powder
1/2 teasp Turmeric
1/2 teasp Baking Powder
1/2 teasp Ground Cumin
1 Large Onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Green Chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
25g / 1oz finely chopped fresh Coriander*
Cold water to mix
Vegetable oil for deep frying


  • Sift the flour, chilli, turmeric, cumin, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped coriander, onions and chillis and mix well.  If, like me you don’t do sifting then just bung the whole lot in together and give is a good stir about with your fingers.
  • Preheat the deep fat fryer to 180ºC / 350ºF.  I tend to put about 3 inches of sunflower oil in a pan and get it really hot.
  • Gradually add enough water to the flour mixture to form a thick batter mixing very well so the onions are well coated.  Make sure you churn the flour up from the bottom or it’ll go lumpy.
  • Very carefully drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry.  By very carefully I mean dollop a lump of the mixture in with your fingers but try not to get burned.
  • When the onion bhaji is brown scoop it out and shake off the excess oil.
  • Drain well on kitchen paper and serve very hot.  You can keep them hot by putting them in the grill part of the oven but don’t be daft and put paper under there too or you’ll burn your house down.

Makes 10 -12

Incidentally I use exactly the same spices to flavour the rice I cook this with but I add a small amount of peas and one or two cloves.

*If you don’t have any fresh coriander then go out and buy a plant.  You can chop it down and it’ll regrow in a few weeks so you can make more.  It’s part of the miracle of nature.


Filed under Reasons to be cheerful, Recipe for disaster

Alligator Spartacus

I made the mistake of googling Alligator Spartacus.

Apparently their is a company called Spartacus who make Alligator style nipple clamps.

The very idea of nipple clamps makes me cringe in sympathetic pain.

I know now that it is a bad idea to search for random words on t’Internet.  I have learnt my lesson.


I challenge you to add a single random word to “Spartacus” and report back on your findings.  Yes you. *points*

Yes, I really am that bored.


Filed under Facebook Generation, Shitbiscuits, van de graaf

On line tracking

I’m not expecting a package (apart from the new Harry Potter book from Amazon next week) but my conveyancer for the sale of l’étang de grenouille and purchase of le château de grenouille has an online tracking system that looks like this:

Case Steps   Actual End Date
Case Accepted – Sale   26/06/2007
Notification Of Sale   04/07/2007
Deeds Requested Transactional   06/07/2007
Deeds Received Transactional   17/07/2007
Contract Prepared & Sent Transactional   17/07/2007
All Initial Enquiries Raised    
Enquiries Completed    
Contracts Signed And Ready For Exchange Transactional    
Contract Exchanged – Sale Transactional    
Completion – Sale Transactional    

Why are they taking so long?  I’m checking the site every half hour and there is no change.  Why is that?  What are they doing?  The solicitors are obviously lazy.  Why can’t they work faster?  Who thought to put this on line where I can check it as often as I like?  I hate them and want to pull their wings off.

Some kind hearted soul* casually informed me that the conveyancers can complete the sale and purchase of a house in only one day if they actually pull their fingers out of their arses and work on it.  Now I didn’t appreciate the imagery of this much as I expect the deeds to my property to reach me (OK the bank) in an unblemished state.  I also have to sign some of these forms and hope that they wash their hands before posting them.  Really, think about what you say to a literalist like me people!

The Hildy and I agree that we are never moving again.

Tempers are fraying in le ménage de grenouille.  We really need to move soon.

In other news I am currently being eaten by every crawling and flying bug in the country.  I’m considering smearing myself in marmite in order to repel the beasties as I heard that marmite is an effective deterent against mosquitoes but I fear that this would just make me irresistable as a snack for lovers of English Jam**.

* read agitator
** The French apparently call Marmite “la Confiture Anglaise” rather than the literal translation of “Marmite” which means a large earthenware pot….apparently.


Filed under le château de grenouille, You decide