Monday, May 29, 2006

Similes and metaphors

I've come across these before and really enjoyed them. Rereading them now I find that they still make me laugh aloud.
Every year, English teachers from across the country (that is the US - Val) can submit their collections of actual similes and metaphors found in high school essays.These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E.Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Laburnum - a lesson in patience

We bought a Laburnum about 8 years ago and chose the L. watereri "Vossii" recommended in Dr. DG Hessayon's "Tree and Shrub Expert" as the best one to have. It was only about 8 feet tall when we planted it and it was generally very weedy. For years it did little and was a general disappointment, being the last tree in the garden to gain leaves, the first to drop them (in late August each year) and few of the racimes it is noted for. As it is planted in a very prominent position in the garden I am sure you can understand that this was a real disappointment. Two years ago I said bluntly that the tree would have to come out as it wasn't pulling its weight. The following Spring of 2005, after a very wet winter, it suddenly grew several feet and we had a really good display of racimes and the leaves dropped much later in the autumn too. This year the tree is a wonder with a huge number of racimes glowing with a wonderful yellow light. Obviously this is a tree that takes several years to establish itself so you need patience to grow it. But my goodness, it is worth it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Talking about dogs again, can you imagine doing this to any poor animal? I cannot imagine spending time knitting something like this!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What Breed of Dog Are You?

For a laugh I had a go at a test "What Breed of Dog Are You? ". Here are my results:-
Woof woof! You're a Scott!

No bones about it, you're an adventurous
Scottish Terrier. Fearless, feisty, and always up for a challenge, you like having things your way. Some people might even label you stubborn or headstrong. But we know you're just ambitious and motivated. (Being misinterpreted is such a trial, isn't it?) Besides, your can-do attitude serves you well when facing challenges at work or in your personal life. No job is too big, and absolutely no obstacle is going to stand in your way. You're always ready, willing, and able to rise to the challenge. A loyal, caring friend, you choose your pals very carefully, then stick by them through thick and thin. Woof!

I have to admit being a bit surprised. I thought I'd be a dog that's a bit more laid-back like, say, a labrador. What Breed of Dog are you?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Tuesday evening and the Husband is off to his music appreciation evening class leaving me on my own for a few hours. A welcome respite in many ways. I lived in a flat on my own before I married and enjoyed the solitude. It's nice even now to be able to spend some time on my own and just do what I want to do without pandering to the whims and wishes of another. Although I love listening to music at times it is nice at times just to sit and listen to the silence. Then I feel peaceful.

It's odd. For over 30 years I worked in the very center of one of the busiest and largest cities in the world and still enhoy visiting it. There one experiences noise and the presence of others 24 hours a day. Even there though one can enjoy the solitude and peace of just being my own person.

None of this is to say I am unhappy in my marriage, Just to say that it is nice at times to know that you are your own person and have the opportunity to do what you like when you like in peace and quiet.

Having said all that Nimrod the Mighty Hunter has just come in the cat flap and is bellowing for his dinner. I have his orders to follow.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The best day of your life is the one
on which you decide your life is your own.
No apologies or excuses.
No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.
The gift is yours -- it is an amazing journey --
and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.
This is the day your life really begins.

Source unknown

... and I'm back

OK, so after some time in the workshop I have my computer back. It now doesn't take 20 minutes to start up when I turn it on and it has stopped crashing regularly. And I now suspect that I am receiving all my e-mails - before I have a strong suspicion that some e-mails just didn't reach me. I think the problem is that when you use your own computer regularly that you get used to it being there and you think it is there for all time. But this isn't true for me now. I find myself thinking that the life of this machine is finite and at some time I will have to replace at least the big box with the processor and all the hard drive. The thing that is worrying me is that I have so much stored on my machine that I just don't want to lose. On iTunes I have well over 6 GB of music and audiobooks, most purchased and downloaded over the web. I'd have real difficulty replacing that lot.

While the computer was away I spent a lot of time working in the garden, tidying up and hoping for rain. The UK is in a state of drought and the authorities expect it to last all year as the last two winters we haven't had enough rain to replenish the reserviors. As a result some areas of Southern England still have a hosepipe ban in place from last year (i.e. no use of hosepipes in gardens) and parts of Surry and Kent now have a water order, which means that they are banned from using water for non-essential uses, like washing cars or filling swimming pools. Everyone is hoping that no-one ends up with water rationed to the extent that water to houses is cut off and water has to be collected from stand-pipes in the streets. Fortunately we haven't a hosepipe ban yet where we live but looking to the rest of the year I am being careful with water now and only using a watering can on my pots and containers. We've had showers the last few days, and anticipated for the weekend also, which while not enough to have any significant effect on reservoirs has at least helped the gardens. Ours looks like a jungle, everything has grown so much.

The Husband is currently playing a new box set of all the Haydn string quartets which is certainly a change from the passion he has developed for minimalist music. For the past two weeks he has played nothing but Philip Glass, Arvo Part, Reich and John Adams. I must admit that I like this type of music also but am glad for a change after hearing it constantly for two weeks straight.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Computer Problems

I'm having huge problems with my computer at the moment as it keeps crashing so I've not been online much. I'm taking it in to the computer workshop to try to sort out what the problem is. So apologies to my friends who I've not been in touch with lately. I hope to be back online soon.