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Home Alone

It has been very quiet at Cookie Bite HQ this week since the spouse went away to London for a few days. It has been very tough making my own coffee in the morning, and even tougher re-acquainting myself with the cooker, since I am married to that rare species: a Domestic God who likes cooking. In his absence, my lone evening meals have been constructed not from a nutritional point of view, but on the basis of what combination of week-old leftovers will lead to the least washing up, when cooked in the least amount of time.

Monday night’s poached eggs on toast required a slight bit of pre-preparation in the form of testing the slightly past their sell-by date eggs in a bowl of water, and carefully trimming the two least mouldy slices of bread, but the extra effort was worthwhile.

Tuesday night was Burns Night and, unable to find a freak leftover haggis in the fridge, I toyed with having mashed potato and neeps on their own. After earnestly carving the selected potato to the size of a chickpea trying to find a non-green bit, I plumped for macaroni cheese instead. It was made with the 62g of broken macaroni left in the bottom of the bag, and a skilfully reconditioned heel of sweaty cheddar.

Last night found me tucking into a microwaved baked potato garnished with a delicious coleslaw made from a slightly limp carrot and the last scrapings of mayonnaise from the bottom of an empty jar, while I watched ‘Will My Crash Diet Kill Me’ on Channel 5.

Although I shall be delighted to be reunited with the spouse tonight, there has been one unexpected benefit to my sole occupancy of the house. The toilet seat is always down.

Back to Work

It was time to go back to work yesterday, and I wasn’t in the mood. Not even the exciting prospect of giving the hearing aid a nice new tube  to celebrate its first birthday could bring cheer to my miserable features.

After dragging myself into the bathroom, I lingered in the shower a little longer than usual in the hope that it might turn into a magical portal to a utopian world where everyone was on permanent holiday, and an envelope of money was dropped through the letterbox at the end of every month. When this failed to materialise, I emerged reluctantly from the soothing hot water and set about the complicated task of selecting an outfit to disguise my post-Christmas stomach bulge. Several bad tempered costume changes later, I remembered the sage advice in ‘Dressing Thin’ and settled for a Lycra-free t shirt and long cardigan, the perfect blend of camouflage and comfort.

An hour later, I was back in the bosom of The Institute of Artistic Endeavour, and very glad of my decision not to go for long sleeves. When I unlocked the office door, I was hit by a rush of escaping heat similar to that which burnt my eyebrows off in 1974 when I was playing with the gas oven at home while my mother was out. I pushed the office door open wide with my foot to let the heat out, pausing to remove my now out of date Miniature Holy Family Nativity Set from their perch in the pane of glass above the door handle. As I looked around, the sad sight of some very brown and very dead plants met my eyes and a faint whiff of cheese from the forgotten pre-Christmas leftover milk on the tea tray met my nostrils.

Sadly, the office thermometer was no use in establishing whether this was a record high temperature for the notoriously out of control heating system, because it had exploded at some point during the Christmas break, leaving a blood-like stain and some tiny shards of broken glass in my tea cup. Whether it exploded because of the extreme heat when the heating went back on, or the extreme cold while it was switched off will remain a tantalising mystery.

Frosty the Snowman

As the spouse and I head off on our annual road trip to Ayrshire with a dead turkey, a Christmas pudding and a snow shovel in the back of the car, the sun is shining and it’s a modest minus 7 degrees outside. I leave you with this fine example of a snowman found in the park.

Merry Christmas!


It’s Cold Outside

Sledging, Glasgow style. Don't know how they'll explain that to their landlord...

Brrrrrrrr, it’s freezing. It was so cold in the flat yesterday afternoon, that the spouse and I went to the Queen’s Park Glasshouse to thaw out. The deserted cactus greenhouse was deliciously hot and humid, and stuffed full of an interesting array of spiny green tropical curiosities. It was rather tempting to just stay there for the next couple of months with my feet on the hot pipes, but I was keen to get on and see my old friend, the scary albino Koi Carp, in the ornamental fishpond by the Poinsettia display.

As we headed for the pond, there were no usual children’s shouts of “Mummy, Mummy, what’s that thing in the water?” and I feared the worst. A glance at the surface of the pond from a distance revealed no trace of my favourite fish’s distinctive silhouette. A closer inspection sadly told me that he must have finally succumbed to whatever fatal fishy affliction had caused him to look like a bloated roast chicken floating half out of the water. I was disappointed not to see Mr Carp one last time, but happy that he had gone to a better place.

With circulation to our extremities now fully restored, the spouse and I headed back out into the chill, despite an unseen Mynah Bird with a Glasgow accent trying to strike up a one-sided conversation with us, from behind some tropical foliage.

Beat This

A gift for the person who has everything, including a wayward bunch of keys and a cookie bite hearing loss. Now that’s what I call a Christmas present, thanks Elise!

These Boots Weren’t Made For Walking

A normally extremely busy Victoria Road junction in the snow

Snow and freezing weather conditions have brought travel chaos to the central belt of Scotland this week. Before leaving the house this morning, I eagerly scoured my work email in the hope of finding a notice saying that the Institute of Artistic Endeavour was shut due to the lack of public transport and the 4 inches of bone shattering ice on all the ungritted pavements. Sadly I was to be disappointed.

Realising that I would have to walk for over an hour in -8ºC temperatures, I decided to wheel out the big guns of my footwear selection, the heavy duty mountain climbing boots that I haven’t worn since I bought them back in 1994. I enthusiastically blew the dust off the pristine leather and carefully emptied out 16 years’ worth of dead spiders, and a couple of live ones.

“Can’t believe I’ve never thought of wearing these before,” I said smugly to the spouse, as I imagined all the envious stares I would get from the people who had beaten me to the last of the wellies in the shops and were now slithering around on sheet ice with dry, but frozen, feet.

Within seconds of putting my long-lost boots on, however, I was reminded of exactly why I’d never worn them. The painful similarity to wearing a pair of badly carved wooden boots with soles made out of lead forced me to don my regular footwear instead, and slide dangerously, but comfortably, for two and a half miles in to work.

In the sunshine, everything looked very pretty indeed, and the frequent stops to hang on to railings, passing strangers, etc, allowed me to fully take in the snowy views of an unprecedentedly wintery Glasgow.

Spam Spam Wonderful Spam

When my colleague first set up this blog for me in the aftermath of the office Christmas drinks session last year, I was something of a WordPress ingenue. A few weeks later, when I remarked to him that I’d miraculously received a couple of comments, he gravely told me to watch out for spam. Being the nervous sort, I was then too terrified to hit the reply button in case a vanload of Viagra and natural vitamin supplements rolled up outside the office.

Fortunately, Akizmet does a very nice job of keeping me safe from harm, but I like to examine the spam every so often in the hope that someone offering me a million pounds has ended up in there by mistake. I also like to have a go at being a human spambot to see if I can outdo Akizmet.

The type of spam comment are obvious, as were the ones that said ‘i want it!’ and ‘give me now’ in relation to a post bearing a picture of an NHS hearing aid. A recent one, which ironically ran to half a page, advised me that whilst the commenter really enjoyed all the comments on my site, it would be better if the other commenters weren’t so lengthy in their replies. That clearly came from someone who has not visited these pages.

I really, really, wanted to believe the one that said ‘Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again, Thanks.’ but the link to an erectile dysfunction clinic burst my bubble somewhat. In a similar vein, the one that said ‘I find myself coming to your blog more and more often to the point where my visits are almost daily now!’ impressed me with its enthusiasm, but painted a slightly frightening picture of hearing loss blog addiction.


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