a kind of magic

Big brand new rented car parked in narrow road. Add Spanish drivers, who are not always wonderful. Mix and stir, and you get a scrape across 2 door panels and the tucked-in wing mirror.

Enter the magic - buffed out completely with toothpaste

In my chequered past I was once a letting agent so have known for years that white toothpaste is the handiest and most effective way of filling nail-holes left in walls (sets harder than concrete) but now I have another reason to carry toothpaste in my DIY arsenal

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Best news website ever?

Every day a schoolday - and today in class I found out about NewsForKids.com - news snippets delivered in nice simple language, as far as I can see no obvious bias, and it covers everywhere! Nice clear headlines are informative, with links to the stories - fun stuff for kids, but also genuine news, a mixed bag such as

Didja know there's a planet needing a name? Scientists who discovered a minor planet in 2007 are looking for help in giving the planet, currently known as 2007 OR10, a permanent name.

Recent elections in Israel and Finland were both very close, but had different results. In Israel it looks like the current government will carry on, but for Finland's Social Democrats, it was the first win in many years.

The world's largest plane took off on Saturday for its first flight ever. The Stratolaunch, which was created to send rockets into space, completed its 2.5 hour test flight and landed again safely.

On Wednesday, two days before its April 12 Brexit deadline, the United Kingdom got a six month extension to decide on its plan for leaving the European Union.

The county government near Seattle, Washington is struggling with an unusual problem: bald eagles are taking trash from a garbage dump and dropping it in the yards of people who live nearby.

On May 1, Japan's king, Emperor Akihito, will step down. His era - his time as emperor - will end, and the era of the next emperor, his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will begin.

Today, museums around the world are holding "Slow Art Day" in order to encourage their visitors to take their time and appreciate art more deeply.

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When world leaders, past, present, or wannabe, take on a challenge

The challenge is to turn the colour yellow to red.

Wonder if anyone will recognize any of my attempts at caricature (I shall be adding one per comment) and as I am a bit dof I would of course welcome better caricatures.

This is equal-opportunity offensiveness, so you can leave the hate at home.

Naturally the poking starts close to home. My political awareness is very limited (like my skill at satire) so it won't be many comments unless others join in.
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Beauty - or, those who cannot do, teach.

So this morning I tried a little, a very little, shea butter on my hair. It no longer looks like an exploded haystack but is a sleek and shining curtain.

However you can see the comb marks


You'd think by now I would have cracked the secrets of effortless glamour. Those with photos make it look so easy.
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When Solitaire's the only game in town

More and more people in their 30s and 40s are choosing to be alone, to have a social network but no partner and no lasting ties. Most people on their own would rather have someone to go out with than to come home to. In fact the number of single-person households across the world has sky-rocketed by 80% in the last 30 years. The biggest age-group within that statistic is 35 to 64.

And at 64? Probably time to find a soulmate so you’re sorted for the last stretch.

One small problem, long-term singles are awfully picky. You might consider giving up your single status for someone who looks amazing, is excellent company but gives you space when you want it, will hop into bed and perform with gusto when but only if you are in the mood, and eventually look after your every need, including financial, as you move through the foothills of approaching age into the unknown. Anyone less, nah.

roll eyes

You could lower that bar, of course. There are a million websites offering to introduce seasoned singles to other seasoned singles. Find your very own lightly creased companion for the years ahead while you both have enough vigour and energy to get used to being together. Some do come with children, even grandchildren. No?

How about a young looker from another country who would rather be in your country and will in return be nice to you and look after you? You do need quite big bucks for that one. No?

So, looking ahead, what happens when there aren’t children so there won’t be grandchildren to make you feel young, when work isn’t the be-all and end-all that it was, and retirement looms, or has already landed. When the partner for life, if there ever was one, is no longer there. When being alone is no longer a choice but has suddenly become reality . . . uh oh


Turns out, nah, not quite so much as you might think. The first few comments are bits that would have made this too long a blog. (Too late, too late!)
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Why hug?

That's fairly recent, the whole hugging thing, when I was younger (and mammoths roamed the earth, I know, I know) you offered your hand and the stranger or acquaintance shook it and jolly good show what what. Now I'm introduced to a stranger or meet an acquaintance and somewhat to my alarm they close in for kisses (praises be I am in Spain, 2 kisses, and not France, 3 or more) or a hug. What? I barely know you! Even men meeting men do the half-hug / backslap thing here, and it was becoming increasingly common in Scotland before I left. Is it international now? I need a teddybear to handle my social hugs for me.


Don't get me wrong, I love real hugging. I would change my profile to say 'I could hug you so hard all your broken bits will join up forever' except that I get enough odd mail as it is already. uh oh but here's the other odd thing - the hug, it seems, is only for acquaintances now. When you know each other better, see each other often - no more hugging. Now that's just wrong. Them's the people I WANT to hug and cuddle and pat and scrunch just because I am so very pleased to see them, or when we are parting to tide me over to the next time I see them.

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April Fool!

April Fools day has become extraordinary for one unexpected reason - it is now the only day of the year that people query news items on the internet before accepting them as true


So, a supermarket chain announced a new app that will let you taste-test products by licking your phone

Another app, the phone-home which lets you not only talk to your plants, but they can let you know if they need more water / light / air

Dipping hot chillis in chocolate and offering them to your kiddies as chocolate-covered strawberries

The usual numpties phoning the emergency services to report an emergency oh ha ha roll eyes

Seems to have been a quiet one this year, anyone hear of a good one?

I am wallpapering stairs (no, I really am) so shall be popping in and out. That is if I can unstick myself from my keyboard this time.
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How many dogs does it take to change a lightbulb?

Border Collie – just one, and then I’ll replace any wiring that isn’t up to code
German Shepherd – I’ll change it as soon as I’ve escorted everyone from the dark and checked to make sure no-one is still inside, or has taken advantage of the situation
Labrador – oh, me me me! Pleeeeeeze let me! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Oh pleeeeeze please please please please!
Australian Shepherd – first let me put all the light bulbs in a circle
Jack Russell – sure, I’ll pop it in while I’m bouncing off the walls and furniture
Pointer – I see it, there it is, right there
Greyhound – it isn’t moving, who cares?
Rottweiler – make me
Dachshund – you know I can’t reach that stupid lamp!
Golden Retriever – the sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve our whole lives in front of us, and you’re inside worrying about a stupid burned-out bulb?
Poodle – I’ll just blow in the Border Collie’s ear and he’ll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry

The cat – dogs do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. snooty How long before I can expect light, dinner, and a massage?

(Not my own, but it made me laugh and I found one or two personalities oddly familiar)
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Some guy called Obama

I looked wistfully back at March 2016 and guess what, there were 3 - only THREE wow - political blogs on this international singles website. One about Japan, the other 2 by a nutter were demanding changes in the US. That blogger's profile is shown as deleted, but the anger and wild wording is remarkably similar to a 'new' blogger currently showering us with violent opinions and multiple exclamation marks. roll eyes

We've heard more (often foam-flecked) about this guy Obama since the other guy took over than in all the years of his administration. confused why do the new lot feel so irrationally threatened? Actually, don't tell me.I'll go read a blog if I ever get interested enough to care. Certainly plenty to choose from. Three years ago, 3 political blogs on TWO screens. Just on our first screen on an

there are 16 political blogs about the USA. Overkill.

More to the point, though, spotted a few names back then who are MIA, does anyone have good news about Dedovix, Catfoot, Vikingson, Jarred, Abby, GoldenGloss, Ccincy, Unlaoised, Pedal, Ed1941? I know Chrome is getting married, wine Mapmaker I wish would come back occasionally even if he is violently allergic to US politics, and oh we miss you Pat8lanips. If it is just the political thing keeping you lot away, we can raise a petition or something.

(There were others who I do know have reappeared under new profiles since 2016 eg Dreamcatcher hug)
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Perfect gifts – edited from week-to-go to Got one! last comments

There was a joke suggestion on FB re the perfect Christmas gift for writers so naturally I re-posted it on the spot but it got me thinking. Perfect gifts cost the giver nothing but time and a bit of thought, and delight the receiver.

What else qualifies as a perfect gift? A bunch of wild flowers is the only other one I can think of. Nice but a bit – boring. There have to be other things in this crass commercial world which have no cash price yet are priceless. When we were kids, hell, easy – parents finding time to play a game of our choosing with us was the best gift of all.

Tough to work out what someone else would like. Perhaps there’s something real and achievable you’d really prefer to a pair of socks or another woolly or silky scarf for your collection. If you could share, that’ll give us all ideas

And yeah the grownup version of ‘finding time to play with us’ would go down well but not all of us have someone to oblige sigh

rolling on the floor laughing

Off to school, where a good rating from a student means a bonus for me, so I’m sorted with my wish for today . . .
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I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and

25 years ago, thereabouts, my friend and her husband – I’ll call them Mary and John - and their 2 kids (14 and 12) were watching TV in their house in a wealthy smallholding area near Johannesburg when the door burst open and 6 men rushed in, 1 waving a gun, the others armed with knives. They ordered the family to lie down on the floor and the gunman stood on John, the gun pointed at his head, while the other 5 men stripped the house of everything of obvious value and packed it into the family car.

Mary’s clearest memories of the whole thing were terror – firstly that John, who had a brown belt in Karate, would try to fight back and be shot, secondly that she and, far worse, her 12 year old daughter, would be raped.

No. The men left. Stories like this have become commonplace in Africa, and this one was a lot better than many.

The family sold the house in 3 days, put the dog down, found a home for the cat, and spent two weeks at every flea market in the area selling everything they had left, to raise enough money for holiday visas and flights to her sister in Boston, in the US, for 10 days.

Before the 10 days were up they – vanished. I learned much later than John initially got a live-in job running a fairly seedy trailer camp. A brilliant artist with a BA in graphic design, he got occasional jobs painting murals on walls and fences for extra money. That created its own problems and they moved and moved again, from state to state, starting over every time the authorities started looking in their direction. Mary, also an art graduate, couldn’t look for work in her own field, because they were illegal immigrants, fugitives. She earned some cash cleaning houses whenever she could.

Their kids, despite the constant moves, did brilliantly at school and went on to university. Their son, unsurprisingly also artistic, was doing well at Pixar until a few years ago when he set up his own studio and now employs 8 people. Their daughter is a brilliant photographer, a qualified teacher and happily married to an American. She’s the reason I caught up with the family – I spotted her on Facebook a few years back and we became Facebook friends. Soon after she had proud photos of her parents finally able to swear their Oath of Allegiance. They are, at last, after 20 years on the run, legal. Now, when you look on Google, you can see multiple photos of John’s art. He’ll never be famous but he gets good commissions from supermarkets and his work is commercially popular.

So if I don’t automatically assume all illegal immigrants and fugitives are the enemies of society, it is not because I am a raging liberal, a bleeding hearter, but because I know the story behind one family. It makes me think that perhaps, just perhaps, not every time but perhaps, other families have stories and not just the desire to latch onto the hind tit of their country of choice and suck it dry.
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Avoiding the troll blog

but for those who took my comments personally, Art, Bekard - to be 60 or 70 or 80 does not make one automatically senile and I apologise, it never occurred to me that would be taken that way. My father was still practicing medicine at 80 and getting referrals from other specialists in his field because he was like a living reference library, he'd seen it ALL. Some people can be senile at 60 and some remain sharp to 90 plus. I said senile and decrepit with respect to one individual, not intending the implication it was because of his age. I don't think he has changed in essentials in years and years. Given the chance 20 years ago he was just as likely to call national emergencies about non-emergencies before shambling away for a weekend's relaxing golf, for example. JMO.

tip hat

But also JMO, I would say that a job like leading a country calls for a younger person. There's a fair amount of pressure involved, no? I joke about wanting to rule the world but it would be a pretty scary place if I did because an awful lot of people would get their heads lopped off, who has the patience for their shit at this age?

Mic, wrong, the candidate I like is way way down in the listings - Pete Buttigieg. He hasn't a hope of getting in unfortunately, one giant strike against him apart from his age: "The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, launched his presidential bid in late January. Buttigieg — pronounced BOOT-edge-edge — has an implausible resume: He’s a Rhodes Scholar who was elected mayor of this industrial Midwest city while still in his twenties. He’s led an economic revival over seven years in office, during which time he also served a seven-month tour with the Navy in Afghanistan. Buttigieg is openly gay and live-streamed his wedding on YouTube."

But you should hear him talk. Especially by comparison to the old farts of both parties. No shouting, no ranting, no platitudes. He's informed, sensible, intelligent AND clued-up. Not many interviews because he obviously hasn't a hope but he really comes across well on the two I watched. Sadly, being gay, he would naturally instantly be accused of wanting to introduce forced homosexuality in schools roll eyes

No comments, that was all I wanted to say but I didn't care to return to that blog. barf

Update: I expected this blog to be read a couple of times, no comments, and to drop out of sight while still topical. So, since vague pointy-finger blogs are annoying, the troll in question has a name not unlike GoldenShower (gold, diamonds, whatever) was Caucasian, now a Pacific Islander, was living in New York, now on an island, was Christian then switched to Islamic (so far - he hasn't been with us long, who knows how many times he can reinvent himself, watch that space) and the blog was 'creepy Joe Biden'. I objected to it, got called on a couple of my comments, and responded here. tip hat

Oh and GoldenShower said he didn't want Biden near his daughter, so he may well be adding ex-wives and children to his profile at some point but at the time of the blog didn't, um, have a daughter.

Trit trot.
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