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  1. Personally I love free stuff. I walk past allotments on a daily basis and sometimes see a table set up with an array of fruit or vegetables spread across it. A cheery note tells me to ‘help myself. ‘

    With a warm glow, I help myself. Keen not to waste the gift bestowed upon me, I cook up something tasty. Is it my imagination or does apple and blackberry crumble taste better when it’s free?

    Full of community spirit, I make enough crumble to feed the neighbours and we all go to bed full of delicious comfort food. (Well I do anyway; the neighbours may have thrown it in the bin for all I know.)

    Mr Planets is a free stuff fan. He has an uncanny knack for locating the Sampling tables at the supermarket in record quick time. After once witnessing him knock back a generous sample of whiskey, I was a little confused.
    ‘I thought you didn’t like whiskey’ say I.
    ‘I don’t but it’s free.’ He replies in a manner which suggests that he is stating the obvious.

    Personally I am always heartened by the generosity of others. When first setting up home together, Mr Planets and I were overwhelmed by the stuff which came to us from various sources. Nothing we were given would have looked good in a show home but we were very grateful for all of it.

    It tickled me a little to see a facebook post by a friend yesterday concerning her group, free stuff. She was respectfully requesting that people should be more realistic when posting about stuff they needed. Curiosity aroused, I had a look through the posts and couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. I will give some examples but with details changes to avoid naming and shaming but I read posts similar to
    ‘Wanted, telly, fairly modern, preferably with a freeview box. Must be able to deliver as I don’t drive.’
    ‘Wanted, rug. Need a round one in pale blue. Can you deliver it please?’
    In addition to this people had posted long lists of stuff they wanted specifying that it should be in good condition. The mind boggles. I had to have a little laugh at the audacity of folk.

    Mr Planets suggested posting,
    ‘Wanted, new car, would prefer a Jaguar, Must be in good condition with less than 5000 miles on the clock. Must be delivered as I don’t have a car, yet. Also I haven’t passed my test so if anyone wants to give me free lessons, please do.
    So tempting, In fact I had to sit on my hands to avoid doing the deed. I didn’t want to risk upsetting the site owner. Frankly I was impressed that she managed to keep her request so amicable.
  2. As you can see I have a soft spot for Sheldon. He is my avatar and the more I watch him the more convinced I am that The Big Bang Theory writer based him on my husband and soul mate.
    The programme is a recent discovery for me so it has only recently come to my attention about how alike Dr Cooper and Mr Planets are.

    Had the comedy been aired 13 years ago, I would have had my suspicions aroused when I first opened Mr Planet’s sock draw. Rows of impossibly neat socks, folded not balled, all nicely rotated. The reasoning behind the rotation, I am told, is to avoid wear and tear.

    When I saw the scene with Penny and Sheldon in the laundry room where Sheldon is folding his socks in an eerily similar fashion to Mr Planets, my attention is held. Penny balls hers and the look on Dr Coopers face is all too familiar. It is a look of undisguised contempt. Sheldon proceeds to use a strange device to perfectly fold his T shirts and I can’t help thinking that my birthday present dilemma is solved.

    One morning I take breakfast up to my other half. I pour some coffee and a bowl full of shreddies, only to be met by a distressed face and a protestation of ‘but its fruit and fibre day.’ Yes the cereal is also rotated and I inadvertently went out of sequence. I have a déjà-vu when Sheldon argues that it is oatmeal day when Penny cooks French toast for breakfast. Mr Planets, however, ate his shreddies grudgingly. He hates waste of any kind even more than having the wrong cereal on the wrong day. Sheldon binned his French toast with a whimsical ‘It does smell good. Too bad its Monday’

    The afternoon I found myself in the comic book store, looking for ‘Dark tower’ issues, confirmed all my worst fears. As if mocking me, I look up from the lines of comics to see a poster of Sheldon’s face. He is grinning with eyebrows raised and I can almost hear him saying ‘mwah hahaha.’ I turn and there he is again’ bazinga.’:eek:

    There is no denying it now. All too often I see echoes of Sheldon in my nearest and dearest. Good job I have a massive soft spot for the socially inept eccentric. As for Mr Planets, I wouldn’t have him any other way. Well if I’m being totally honest I wouldn’t mind him being slightly less annoying on occasion. :rolleyes:
  3. I walk to work most days for a variety of reasons. Primarily because I don’t drive, some things just aren’t meant to be. The world is a safer place without me behind the wheel of anything with an engine. That said, we have a family car. The price of petrol and the impact on the environment motivates us to use it only when the weather is doing it worse. Admittedly that has been more often of late.

    I haven’t sold enough books yet to justify taking the bus. As much as I enjoy people watching, the bus fare would stack up over time.

    Another determining factor is the desire to fit some exercise into a busy lifestyle. It’s a good 25 minutes going at a pace which breaks a sweat. This daily workout means I can indulge in the odd calorific snack without feeling too much guilt.

    Last but by no means least, I enjoy it. Its valuable time to myself before the bustle of the day begins. Mostly I plug myself in to my I pod shuffle, choose a song depending on mood and get lost in thought.

    Surprisingly I still have my shuffle. It’s about the size of half a domino and I’m not renowned for being able to locate all my belongings with ease. The day I became a very proud owner of a Sony walkman, I could never imagine that music on the go could get so small.

    This morning I think (as I have done for the last month or so) time to get some new headphones. At first I thought they had gone completely. With the headphones in, I could hear the music about as loudly as if they had fallen out. When I tried switching ears however, all was well. Only the left earphone was broken. Unfortunately for me I’m deaf in my right ear so in order to have sound I have to put the right phone in the left ear. I don’t think the sound quality is affected but the fit is less than perfect and its falls out annoyingly often.

    I pass a pub on the way and I always wonder what evidence of the night before will be littering the street. Weekends are usually a safe bet. Often I will discover half eaten party food or if I’m unlucky, half digested.

    One time I saw a card on the ground promising ‘Friends for ever’. The card was torn in half. Apparently, forever’s not as long as it used to be. I can’t help wondering what the story is behind the destroyed greeting card. I imagine a scenario and think maybe an idea for a book could spring from this ripped up token of friendship.

    Approaching the pub this morning, ‘Dirty Epic’ by Underworld comes on to my I pod. I find I’m in the mood for Dirty Epic and turn up the volume. A sad song, in my mind it’s about somebody who’s addicted to Pornography and has lost the ability to connect in his real relationship. I could be completely wrong of course but that is what comes across to me.

    Before the melancholy ‘Sweet in winter, sweet in rain’ is sung, I spot a magazine page on the pavement. Feeling a bit embarrassed, I see it’s a top shelf issue. Another page is spotted a short way ahead and it seems there is a trail of ripped up pornography leading to who knows where. Can’t help wondering what the story is behind the destruction of the magazine. A desperate lover perhaps, who feels like they are competing with a fantasy world. An addict who wants to stop. ‘Dirty Epic’ set the scene well for a sad story relating to my morning discoveries.

    To top it off I see ‘Christ on crutches’ approaching. (Another line from the song) Well more like a school boy walking awkwardly with one big strapped up foot. His hair is a little long and he has a hint of facial hair. At a stretch he could be ‘Christ on crutches’.

    Not much chance of the light blinding my eyes like the song complains about. The weather is grey as usual.

    I am hoping ‘Mmm Skyscraper isn’t the next Underworld song in line on my walkman (whoops, yes I do still call it that on occasion). I don’t think I could cope with seeing Elvis or hearing God on the phone on my way to work
    Happily no signs of ‘The King’. Admittedly, God does call me occasionally, usually on my birthday. Just for the record, I know he isn’t God but it does amuse me to see God flashing up on my caller ID.

    So ends my epic trek to work on a grey Wednesday. To answer a question I am asked repeatedly, I had fun and that’s why I walk to work.

    As far as the rest of my day goes. I could definitely write a book about it. Thats all work stuff however and confidential;)