I'm having problems with photo-heavy blog posts at the moment, but that is my crap IPS's fault, not yours. I should pay the extra for optic fibre. Having said that, the someone has just called on the landline, and I seem to be still connected to broadband, which makes a nice change.
Yael has said that everything looks so perfect here in Blogland. Not on my site, it doesn't!
Cro's Wizzy is in full bloom, and - as far as I know - cakes are still being baked in Mise's household and her daughters are unhurriedly passing through their pink phases as if there was no such thing as a strike in the NHS. If you insist on having a multiple pile-up style car-crash today, make sure it isn't in the U.K.
Today would be even nicer if it were not so bloody cold. It's almost freezing here right now, and I am hoping that my lavish window-box is not going to be nipped by a hard frost.
A year ago - for the three consecutive years - we had a Spring so hot that the grass turned yellow before it was properly green, then there followed three cold, wet Summers during which the walls turned green. So I am hoping that this cold period will herald a perfect Summer for a change. I am also hoping that I never begin a sentence with the word 'so', if ever I am interviewed on radio or television. (Note the seamless way I managed to get in a little curmudgeonly rant there.)
Today sees the culmination of the Hillsborough Disaster inquest in which over 90 football supporters were crushed or asphyxiated after being herded into a fenced-off section of the stands by the police, to stop them from invading the pitch. The jurors on that case have been deliberating for two years - long enough to destroy their careers - but it had to be done.
If ever a blog post looks wistfully perfect, it is often when the past is revisited with bittersweet memories of youth, and Rachel's post about buying her first bra and suspenders (Suspenders?! At her age? Now OR then?!) at The British Home Stores (in LSD - pounds, shillings and pence), is such a post.
Being a boy, I did not have to go through the humiliating experience of choosing my first bra, with or without my mother's help. I didn't start sprouting tits until I hit late middle-age, and by that time nobody cared about my appearance.
I once - and ONCE only - chose some sexy underwear for my then girlfriend, but only because she asked me to. She refused to go to the department store with me, preferring the notion of the whole thing being my idea and imagining that I might get some sort of kick out of the experience. Her previous birthday present from me had been an electric food mixer, which didn't go down too well.
So I walked into the shop (here I go again, beginning a sentence with 'so') and made my way up to the lingerie department of the old-fashioned 'Jolly's' store here in Bath, feeling not a little nervous.
The first thing I learnt was that the less there is of ladies underwear, the more expensive it is. The smaller the garment, the higher the price. How does that work?
A beautiful young woman came out of the shadows (the other thing I learnt was that lighting in these departments is always low and flattering - like a bedroom) and asked me if I needed her assistance. I admitted that I did.
I tried to describe the sort of bra and knickers combo which I was looking for - for my GIRLFRIEND - without sounding like a complete pervert, but she was well used to this situation and tried to put me at my ease.
"What is her bra size?" she asked with a charming smile. I had no idea, and told her so. I had fallen at the first hurdle.
"Ok, no problem," she took one step toward me and pushed her ample bosom roughly in my direction, "Is she anything like my size?"
For the first time in my life, a beautiful young women who I did not know was verbally inviting me to stare at her tits. So I did (oh no, I've done it again).
I was very tempted to say that the only way I could compare the size of her breasts to my girlfriend's would be to close my eyes and physically fondle them for a minute or two, using both hands, but I didn't have the courage.
"Yes," I admitted, "They are pretty much identical."
So that was it (argh! yet again!). I left the shop about £150 lighter, and about 6 ounces heavier.