Monday, February 19, 2007

I lost the plot...

...but now it is found.

This weekend, I finally got into the garden. I dug over the plot, fed the birds, and even worked up a sweat, which led to me having to take off my jumper! I don't know what came over me. But it looks great out there now, kind of like discovering an old friend and seeing them every morning when I look out the window. I can't wait to get sowing...

Friday, February 16, 2007

A thief gets a good telling off!

I suddenly found some fight inside me today. Rather peculiarly, as I wandered through my hallway, I caught a glimpse of some hands on the other side of the see-through catflap. I then saw a bundle of flyers and thought little of it (this being Londinium we get so many leaflets shoved through our door, they fill our recycling bins alone!). And then I thought I'd go and bother him as I hate leafleteers, and lo and behold, as I opened the door he pegged it, with the contents of a parcel in his hands. He'd only gone and stolen some post of ours that the postman so unkindly just left on the doorstep!

So there I was, in my slippers, running up the hill after him, calling him all manner of names. And in my Herefordshire country accent too! What a sight it must have been - I can imagine the Wurzels writing a song about it. And then he stopped and started to approach me. He was much bigger than me, but my flight or fight response said "tell him off!", so I did. At first he said he hadn't taken anything, then I told him I watched him do it and asked him exactly what he thought he was doing. Eventually, he rather sheepishly pulled out the robbings from his pocket. I work for a PC magazine in my dayjob, so to see that all he'd stolen was a USB memory key that was destined for my girlfriend was rather galling (there was me putting my life on the line for something we have a gazillion of!).

He didn't say sorry, he just shrugged and I returned to my house angry and insensed. When I walked in I found the flyer he'd delivered, so I rang the place and dobbed on him - I suddenly felt like a school prefect again. (I should mention here that I did call the local police, but they put me on hold for 10 minutes, and when they connected me somehow managed to cut me off! I couldn't be bothered waiting again). The pizza place knew who he was and they said they'd tell him off, which made me feel happy. There's nothing like telling someone off in absentia.

So the moral of the day is not to hire a person to deliver leaflets about your takeaway, if the very same person is going to run a little takeaway scheme of their own at the same time. It won't get you customers, I can assure you.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Go Greenpeace!

So February's doing well for proving climate change theories, and it's also doing well for scuppering the government's plans for new nuclear power stations.

I've been a Greenpeace member for ages now, but it's when they manage to achieve things like this, it makes me happy that I was hassled by a pain-in-the-arse paid-too-much charity pedestrian botherer with a clipboard. (Well, it makes me sort of happy...)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A vegetarian convert?

I read this today on the BBC website. It's an unusual thing to hear of a vegetarian starting to eat meat again now that they rear the animals themselves. I like sensible vegetarians.

Here comes the snow again

And for once the weather folk got it right! Even Milo's been excited by the sight of all the snow outside. He even ventured forth - with a slight nudge - and almost enjoyed the experience.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

London frost

The first London frost of the year. It's exciting to finally wake up to a truly cold morning. It'll be sad if our winters grow milder as the years progress - although I think the effects of climate change will eventually see us descend into a new ice age. (Glaciers gradually melt, adding fresh water to the salty sea water, affecting the North Atlantic Drift, therefore lowering the temperature of the nice winds that keep our country so unusually warm for its position.)

What would be worse, no winter or a world that resembles Narnia under the reign of the Ice Queen? One would mean our veg plots would go crazy, and the other would be incredibly pretty... hmmm

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I thought I'd write an update about my book, The Mousehunter... which was once called Mousebeard. (I use Mousebeard in the title to this post as I want to try and reclaim the term in Google search! I came up with it first, I swear!) It's not out for another year yet, but there's always stuff going on.

I've been hard at work on the illustrations, and also typing away at the sequel on my weekly days off. It's a strange feeling embarking on the second story. It feels very much like I'm writing my first book again, albeit with a lot more experience and a much greater understanding of the characters. They speak more fluently, and act as I want them too now. The ideas for this one are also well over a year old in the planning, so they're much less 'jumping out of nowhere and hitting the page' than they were in the first one.

I'm really enjoying working out the plot in detail, and adding twists and character growth and the like. It's peculiarly a bit like gardening and running a veg plot, in that you plant things, wait a while for the elements to kill them or let them grow, and then in a few months see what you have. Everything changes, lots of things die, and things that you thought would do badly often become the most successful parts of the whole process.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A green birthday

Instead of calling this blog 'Anything but Sprouts', I should probably have called it 'Mainly Courgettes'. Yesterday was my birthday, you see, and there among the presents was this wonderfully unusual book called 'What will i do with all those courgettes?'. It's a very good question - and name for a book – I hear you all saying. Maybe I could use them to make a picture? or even write an autobiography? Or simply just use one of the 150 recipes to make something to eat...

As you can see, there was actually a green theme to many of the presents I received. Ok, so it wasn't all gardening 'green', but when it's a book about the Muppets, who gives a Rowlf?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New links

As I sit and listen to our resident drilling woodpecker I've started the overhaul of the links and the site, and it's taking a while. If I paid any attention to my web and blog guru girlfriend, I'd have blogrolls, RSS feeds, and all sorts of whizzy technical stuff, but as much as I'd like to do all that, I don't have the know-how or time just yet. It's nice to be blogging again though.