Friday, 29 June 2007

Suitable for Family Viewing

Online Dating
I see the latest irresistible blog craze is to check out how you are rated. As you can see I found out that anyone reading this blog may need parental guidance. I mentioned pain (x2) rape (x1). Perhaps next time I'll mention stabbings, guns, murder, sex, drugs. abuse of this and abuse of that and see if I can gain the higher distinction of being classified as unsuitable viewing.

Another advertising ploy - very clever. I'll dream up some similiar scheme when we want to sell our house.

Laser Summer's Day

What a depressingly gloomy week. All the wind and rain is shredding or drowning the garden. But in comparison to the floods in the north it's nothing. I'm sorry to say that Rilly Super is still away - [where has she gone? - just when I'm relying on her to cheer me up]; the wife in the north sounds down too. Wifey has had back trouble, the builders rubble and a kid with the collywobbles to contend with [not to mention her birthday].
Yesterday I took my feet to a podiatrist. She watched me walk up and down and diagnosed a right stiff ankle and a loose flabby left foot. My feet roll inwards as I walk. If I buy inserts at £220 I will be cured of pains in my legs, lower back and neck etc. I hope she is right. For my age I was told I 'have good feet'. It's just the way I use them that's not very good. My feet were lasered for a 3D image of my foot bed which was sent off to the USA where the inserts will be made. In a few weeks time with these orthotic inserts I'm hoping to take to the hills and trip lightly over rough ground like a startled impala. On the journey home I drove around a bend and found myself looking at a policeman crouched behind a lamp post with a radar speed gun in his mitt. I don't usually speed but am worried all the same. Just in the same wayI feel guilty or blush if a PC asks me my name I'm worried that I was doing 35 in a 30 mph zone. At the moment I have a blemish free licence. I don't want points and I don't want a fine - not after spending £220 on orthotics I don't. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I've been lasered twice in one afternoon.

Sunday, 24 June 2007


How strange - I've just found out I had, acquired, been nominated, caught or given a meme from Mopsa. I had to click the link to find out what it was.

1] What Was I doing 10 years ago? Planning a girls break away from work in sunny Sidmouth by the Sea over the August Bank holiday. This is where I was when I heard Diana, 'Princess of Peoples Hearts' had died. It made me think - 'Life is too short and unpredictable'... so I went back to work handed in my notice and went 'freelance' as a locum.

What was I doing One year Ago? Baking cakes for sale at a local Flower Show.

2] 5 snacks I enjoy:

  • a crisp slightly tart apple;
  • walnuts;
  • pecan maple danish
  • hard boiled egg
  • anything that can be held in one hand while the other holds a book

3] 5 songs to which I know all the lyrics:

  • Baa Baa Black Sheep..
  • Fly Me to the Moon
  • Stand By Your Man
  • Jailhouse Rock
  • che gelida manina

4] 5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:

5] 5 bad habits:

  • nit picking and insisting it's done 'my way'
  • worrying about what might happen
  • in depth research before spending money
  • always being on time
  • maintaining perfection

6] 5 things I like doing:

  • spending money;
  • anything I do well;
  • acquiring new skills;
  • making people laugh;
  • dancing

7] 5 things I would never wear again:

  • hot pants
  • high heels [with my weak ankles]
  • nightwear
  • false eyelashes
  • false teeth

8] 5 favourite toys:

  • mobile phone [this thumb is made for texting]
  • sat nav
  • my blogs
  • my MP3 player
  • my digi camera Fuji Finepix 550

Passing on this meme time bomb to: MerryDaze; Poetess; ; To Miss with Love, Poetryman ; Flowerpot and Merrily We Roll Along. It has been an experience - so thank you Mopsa and I hope the people I have passed the baton onto will enjoy it and have fun with it.

Time to Renew Your Passport?

I recently renewed my passport - the old one expired 4 years ago. I live in hopes that I may get to use it in the near future. It may well be useful even if it's just to prove who I am when I go into my bank to cash a cheque for £100+ and ask for £5 notes! The passport application cost me £66 but I hear the cost has increased yet again. From what I hear it will soon be a case of more than just a photograph - but fingerprints as well. Did you know you can apply for a renewal passport at any time? not many people know that. And - more importantly that if there is less than 6 months to run on your current passport you may have difficulty getting back into the old home country?
I found the following comment on Peter Hitchens blog: -
My seven-year-old son has a five year passport that runs out in Jan 2008. We are going away at the beginning of August to France. I did not know that if you only have six months left on your passport you could be refused entry back into the country. When my wife rang the passport office to confirm this she was told this is correct, (they also informed her that we are very fussy about who we let into the country). However, the passport office could not tell her if my son would be OK to return to Britain and she would have to ring the French Embassy. (he is OK)So in conclusion
1.A 5-year passport is really a 4.5-year passport
2.You have to get permission from the French to be allowed back into your own country.
3.The real surprise, we are fussy who we let into the country.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Fiver, Fivers, Go and Get your Fivers

I heard that Mervyn King, boss of the Bank of England, said they have millions of crisp new £5 notes awaiting distribution. But that as the banks don't like them and refuse to put them in the cash dispensers there is no way of getting them to the public. But then I heard a patronising, obnoxious and abrupt woman on Radio 4 Today programme this morning. Her name was Angela Knight from the British Bankers Association. She seemed to think that she would be blamed for the state of the nation's teeth. I don't quite know where she gained this impression. But the poor deluded lady did go on to say that the banks customers did not want £5 notes from cash machines. That if they wanted £5 notes they could go into the bank and change notes for £5 ones.
Now I know that shopkeepers have been complaining about the lack of good clean £5 notes. Some of my local small businesses are under the impression that banks don't like to give them out and they have to hoard the few they have in their tills overnight. I am fed up passing over £10 or £20 for one loaf of bread or a newspaper. It seems to me - that if we want nice new crisp clean £5 notes we should all be going into the banks and asking for them. I don't know about you, but I have no intention whatsoever of queuing twice [1] at the cash machine and [2] inside the bank to change it for the notes I want. Angela Knight CBE [I assume this stands for Caneye Be Evenruder] said that the public do not want to walk around with £100 in £5 notes. Well this member of the public does. And I know a few more who would like to be able to do so.
My plan is to go into the bank and write out a cheque for £100 and ask for it in £5 notes every week. If we all did that once a week then our banks would have to request that the Bank of England supply them with some of those unused new £5 notes languishing in its vaults.
As you can see from my reaction I wasn't impressed by Angela Knight CBE.. But some people have been at some point. Maybe I heard her on a bad day - but no when I mentioned her to others they say she has been rude, abrasive, with a patronising tone on TV's Working Lunch as well. She must get up a lot of people's noses.
Update: I apologise for originally calling Mr King Melvyn - a typo error.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Rubber Necking

Oh - how blissful. I saw a massage therapist this morning. I was finding it more and more difficult to pull recalcitrant weeds and prune the apple trees. And I suffered whenever I had to apply a touch of elbow grease to polishing with my usual vim and vigour. The massage wasn't as painful as I was expecting. I was told I had over tight tense neck muscles that have shortened. So I have some neck exercises to do. It was really relaxing - I'm glad. I have been told off for carrying too much weight [not for being fat] but at any one time, when I'm shopping and gardening. I've been told that our muscles start to lose strength from the age of 40. So it's no wonder I've started to feel weak and wimpish lately. I'm inclined to carry on hauling, reaching, bending and pulling things around as I've always done and my body's beginning to protest. For half an hour of relaxation with just a few slight moments of bruising massage - all for £25 - I feel supple and wonderful. My neck feels as if it will turn around 360 degrees like an owl. I won't have to rely only on my wing mirrors to reverse. I'll be able to peek over my shoulder again. I will certainly return for another session. Now that I've bared my overweight body, I'll return. I may even attempt a session at hypnotherapy to see whether it will help get my weak-willpower up to full strength; to assist the dieting.

N.B : this is not quite what I expected to find when I went to look for a link to Elbow Grease. It doesn't matter how old you - I find I'm learning something new every day. I'd better be careful when and how I use the expression 'elbow grease' from now on.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

NHS Care Records Wikedpedia Service

I hear the NHS is to bring in an electronic patient's note system which anyone will be able to access nationwide. In the event you are suddenly taken ill or in an accident miles from home your records will be accessible via the www NHS ' secure' link. Why this would be needed I'm not at all clear. For a start you would have to be conscious enough to give them your name, DOB and home address etc for them to be able to identify you from all the other 'John Smiths' on the system. So if you can supply that information then I'm sure you would be able to answer yes/no as to whether you are male/female, diabetic, HIV positive, any allergies, any prescribed medication and your blood group [which often the GPs notes don't have on record any way] and your religion etc. etc. Besides, if a vet can diagnose and treat a sick animal with no more information than 'he seems' unwell then why can't the NHS doctors do the same for us.
We as patients will be able to opt out of this 'secure' form of electronic note keeping. But we have to opt out - they will not ask us our permission first.
I have heard that many doctors, solicitors[?!] and IT people involved in setting up the system refuse to have their health records on the central electronic system. What do they know that we should also know? If the professional people involved in setting up the system don't want to use it - then do we want to? Although it is touted as 'safe and secure' - remember it was only a few weeks ago that 1000s of doctors personal private details were 'inadvertently' released on to the Internet for all to see.
Apparently patients will be able to 'correct' any mis-information. I have visions of anyone being able to log on and correct anyones incorrect diagnosis just like an NHS version of Wikipedia. I read today that the BMA intend to call for an urgent public inquiry into the controversial scheme.

Update: if you do wish to opt out of this controversial scheme then there is a web site dedicated to this project with a downloadable opt out form - do email this to friends who may like to know about this latest intrusion into our privacy etc.

Monday, 18 June 2007

What A Pain in the Neck

Well, I can see now why I've been crabby and taking my ill humour out on the politicians etc. I've had some headaches and a bit of a stiff neck. So I'm off on Wednesday to see a nice new lady for an intensive neck and shoulder massage. I expect it will be painful rather than pleasurable. But I hope it will do me good. I will hold that thought in my head as I'm chewing the couch with the agony as I'm being worked over - good and proper. I hope this will solve the problem. If not I'll have to get on to a chiropractor and that will be even less of a pleasure and twice the expense. So fingers crossed. No more keyboarding for a couple of days. I hope you all have a good week. See you soon.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Tony Blair Man of Steel

Have you noticed how practically everyone, from newspaper journalists to tv and radio; each and everyone one of us is counting down the days to our release from a much loathed and despised Prime Minister. Don't you just love the fact that we won't have to have him preaching and prissing on to us.
Does everyone or anyone admire his Bravery in the face of adversity? He's constantly telling us that the war against terrorism is important and 'we must not allow them to change the way we live'. Don't you just love that phrase? No - the way WE live hasn't changed. But have you noticed that Tony no longer walks to the the House - he is driven just a few hundred yards in a bullet and bomb proof car. He is even getting terrorist resistant car[s] for when he retires. He obviously doesn't trust his God that much. I doubt we'll be seeing him on the tube or bus in the future or at Lord's cricket ground. He's always full of fine words but it is very much a case of don't do as I do, but do as I say.
Margaret Thatcher was bombed in Brighton and John Major had a rocket fired on him in Downing Street but there was no sign of them changing the way 'we live'. I reckon they were much braver than Blair is with his quivering lower lip and manly 'butch' stance.
I just hope that Gordon Brown doesn't lose his main virtue of [apparent ] 'honesty'. With Gordon there is an impression of a belief in his belief [s]. Whether you agree or not with him it is to be admired. Rather like Margaret Thatcher, with her many unpopular decisions. There is much to be said for integrity. I hope Gordon will retain his. Time will tell . But we do need something to change for us, the electorate, to regain trust in the people who represent us in Parliament.
I'm not sure that Tony ever had any integrity. I've only ever seen Tony as a celeb with a big desire to be a great, much admired star on a huge stage. Margaret Thatcher the Iron Lady or Tony Blair Man of Base Metal - I know which I'd prefer. Lets hope Gordon Brown turns out to be made of sterling silver or better still, a diamond of the first water.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Loo Loo, Trip to the Loo, My Darling

What a relief - there is a public toilet nearby. As usual, when you need to visit a public loo there is invariably a line of women waiting, smiling politely you take your place in the line. Finally you're at the head of the queue, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied. Eventually a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't lock. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long and you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' is empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook if there was one, but there isn't so you carefully drape it around your neck, yank down your pants and assume 'the position'.

In this position your ageing, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You would love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold 'the position'. To take your mind off your trembling thighs for a moment you reach for the toilet paper dispenser and your worst nightmare it's empty, the toilet roll dispenser is empty. You hover looking around in the hope there's a new roll behind you no such luck. Your thighs start to shake more. Then you remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday the one that's still in your handbag, which is now burning your neck & shoulders with the weight. So you contort your arm into a very unnatural position and start to fumble around in the deep dark depths of your handbag for that small crumpled used tissue.

Someone pushes your door cubicle door and because the latch doesn't work the door hits your head, which is bent forward from you holding your bag around your neck while you are rummaging for that used tissue. Taken by surprise you start to lose your balance and topple backwards. 'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach to push the door shut and drop the precious, tiny, crumpled tissue you had only just managed to retrieve with your index finger into an 'unknown' puddle on the floor.

If that isn't enough you lose your balance altogether, or just give up and... sit down .. directly onto the TOILET SEAT. Ugh - yes - it's wet! You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your thighs and bottom have made contact with every imaginable germ & life form that lives on the uncovered seat.
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of cold water like a fire hose into the bowl which causes a spray of fine mist that completely covers your bum and runs downs your legs along with all the various life forms and down into your dishevelled pants which have now dropped to your ankles with your hems soaking up that puddle from the floor.

The flush seems to suck everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged down too. At this point you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe your self with a piece of gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You cannot figure out how to operate the tap, so run your hands underneath it grateful for the two drops of water there and around the basin itself. You go to the towel dispenser past the line of women still waiting. But of course there are no paper towels so you move onto the hand blower, which doesn't work either!
You're no longer able to smile politely to the women, but there's an unspoken understanding between you all. A kind soul at the very end of the line of women points out that you have a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. Where was that when you NEEDED IT?

As you leave your husband, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilets asks, 'What took you so long, why is your handbag hanging around your neck?'

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public loos. It also helps explain to the men why it really does take us women so long and it also answers that commonly asked question Why do women always go to the loos in pairs?
It's so your friend can hold the door, hang onto your bag and pass you tissue under the door!

I had adapted this from an email sent to me from an Aussie cousin. But on researching the links I found this blog - I assume this may well be the original form.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Pen Pals

As I am getting into this Blogging Life I'm beginning to meet some fellow bloggers who I'm beginning to think of as 'pen pals'. From their writings and stories I'm starting to get an image of some of them in my mind's eye. I would love to know just how close to the truth these are. In no particular order they are:
  1. 'Strife in the North' by Rilly Super

  2. 'Wife in the North' by Wife in the North

  3. Mutley the Dog days out

  4. Merryweather who writes about Merry Daze

  5. The Poetess

  6. 'Ramblings' by Mopsa

  7. Around My Kitchen Table

  8. Pig in the Kitchen

If you'd like to look at their blogs just click the links that are in the right hand column under the heading 'some impressive and amusing blogs'

Monday, 11 June 2007

Healthy Weigh of Life

I have been trying to obey the Govt's rules - sorry guidelines. And because of their rules I think I have discovered what is causing obesity. Well, I think I know what has made me fat. I've been trying to follow a healthy diet. I read all the latest nutritional advice and include bits of this and that in my diet. The Govt tell me to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. I should also include complex carbohydrate in my diet and some form of protein along with vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis.
First of all I start my day with 2 large glasses of water followed by a glass of Welch's Purple Grape Juice . Which is well known for the highest health giving antidoxidants after red wine. Then its on to grapefruit. After a shower I indulge in a large pot of tea - allowing the tea to brew for a good 5 minutes and drinking 2 huge cups with a little - very little skimmed milk. Then I have a banana for the potassium. A mid morning snack of some cherries. Later followed by lunch of 2 slices of wholemeal bread with a salad filling + 2 tomatoes. So that's my 5 + portions of fruit under my belt. But as it's strawberry season I can't resist an afternoon snack of a bowl of the delicious berries - with Devon cream!
So for dinner it's a question of getting in my 5 portions of vegetables - as many different colours as possible - not counting potatoes which also are full of potassium. Potatoes are of course carbohydrate. I have now fulfilled the Govt's ruling 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. But I also should eat some walnuts which are full of healthy oil to help the heart, a small piece of plain dark, good quality chocolate. Not forgetting a glass of red wine which also besides being considered good for the heart is believed to help prevent Alzheimer's [old timer's] disease. It's the alcohol. Purple Grape juice will not do as it has no alcohol content. Once I've fulfilled all my obligations as a good citizen I can then take a mug of Milo to bed - just to enjoy it. And hope it gives me a good nights sleep - and helps to 'prevent night starvation'.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Summer in an English Country Garden

It's been such a beautiful sunny day - the peace of the garden - the bird song - the warmth of the sun. The Daily Telegraph and a pot of tea. If this is global warming then Bliss. We have just reached the time of year when the garden can be enjoyed with very little work other than watering new plantings and keeping the grass cut.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Are You Married? Mutley

As I am old enough to be your mother [if I'd really cottoned on to the swinging 60s, I could have been] I am wondering whether you are married. Being older [than you] I feel I can raise this personal issue in this very public arena. If you are working so hard in the tourist industry then I cannot see how you have any social/family life with what time you have left after work and blogging. I've just been reading your recent posts and have GOL .
You remind me very much of my daft nephew. If you read this blog and don't know who mutley is then scoot on over to check out this daft devil's latest offerings. I think he's pulling out all the stops - just in order to get the votes. I think he may expire with the effort. But at least he could be buried with a medal.


Yes - It's still me - don't leave... I've been meaning to make changes to this template since I started. I much preferred the more understated elegance of my 2nd blog - and decided I would get on and sort this one out. Work is still in progress but I feel happier to have got rid of the slightly heavier look.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Feng Shui

I've decided I really should get on and declutter. I also wondered whether the rules of Feng Shui would help the chi flow through our house better and make us healthy, happy , rich and slender. So when I passed the 'Save the Children' charity shop and saw a copy of 'The Complete Guide to Feng Shui' for only 90p. I was in that shop faster than you could say 'bargain'. It seemed to me to be 'a sign'.
So what have I learnt? Well - I had to dig out the compass we used to have for tramping over Dartmoor. I stood at the front door and found out we do not face an auspicious direction for My Man and I. In other words we bought the wrong house - wrong for us. Now that I know our magic numbers are 2 and 9 this house doesn't face the correct direction for either one of us. The house should belong to someone who has a 'magic number ' of 1 for a perfect partnership of house and person. I must remember this when I want to market the property. Never mind the HIPS - look for a buyer with a magic 1.
I've now found out that my money plant is in the wrong corner. I'm also facing the wrong way when I go to sleep. I've not looked at moving the front entrance door, or shifting the house on its axis until it faces West. My Man is likely to put his foot down, firmly, and reject this extensive form of house renovation. Maybe this is what the WITN /SITN have done as the building project [s] do seem to be rather lengthy.
After I had walked around the house and compared compass readings with the Bagua I realised I will have to buy carloads of mirrors and hanging crystals to re-direct the energies to ward off malign influences in compensation for the defects in ourselves or the house. With so many mirrors and dangling crystals , our home will most likely resemble a psychics boudoir; interior decorating could take on a whole new slant.

I also learnt about the chinese years and I have become hooked on the idea of being an animal with an elemental bias. It makes a change from star signs and just being 2 fish swimming in opposite directions for all eternity. It seems I am an Ox . With negative Earth element. What did I find on reading the Ox characteristics? Well besides being loyal, patient and loving [but not romantic] and dependable - we do not 'appear to be imaginative'. The negative Earth element says "they are obsessional and prone to nit-picking" - THERE just what was I saying only last week!

Window Dressing

The penny has finally dropped. When blogging you are only as good as your last post or your first page. Especially for those people who drop in unexpectedly. You may well have written something - once - that was quite profound, witty, clever, controversial or beautifully crafted [maybe a few postings ago]. But if your last postings have been mediocre then those chance passing strangers just wont stop long and will not be back again. So to build an audience of readers thirsting for more then each and every post needs to be spectacular or amusing in some way. Or your page set-up needs to entice them to explore further .... so if you are just setting up like Merry here, and are faffing around with enticing colour schemes - then play on - it is important.

I've just found another blog that I'll be adding to my reading list - and maybe adding it to my sidebar later. It's all very interesting meeting so many new people every day. At least this next winter will be less dreary than the last with so many interesting blogs to read. Thank you, to you all.

Bye Bye Blackbird?

Oh - I am so glad to be back and able to post posts again. I have a couple in draft form but not quite ready yet - and as I've been busy window cleaning and have friends again to supper tonight I don't have much time.

I am rather anxious that I've upset blackbirds nesting. I was shearing back a Clematis Montana when I came upon a blackbird's nest. Stopped work on it immediately and threw some loose fronds of clematis back over the area. But I am now on tenterhooks as to whether the birds will return. We don't have a shortage in this area as blackbirds and robins seem to predominate this year but I will be so sorry they have abandoned the nest.

Friday, 1 June 2007

A Lullaby for the Sleepless

I had this in my drafts folder for a few days and not sure whether to post it or not but as I see that Merry Daze says in her blog she has had trouble sleeping this week and it is full moon tomorrow I thought I would dig it up and publish it.

The Shipping Forecast sonorously read out on BBC Radio 4 after 'Sailing By' can sound like pure poetry. 'Tyne Dogger Bank' - oh such a litany - it sets the mind careering around the UK with slightly sleepy imagination let on the loose.

"And now the Shipping Forecast issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 1130 on Monday 28 May 2007.There are warnings of gales in Fisher Humber Wight Portland Plymouth and Biscay." Oh dear - Marion and Martin are due to sail on the Oriana tomorrow bound for the Canary Isles - do hope they are good sailors - it could well be rough at sea.

The general synopsis [whatever that means - it sound interesting though] at 0700:Low north france 994 moving steadily eastwards with little change.[The French never do like change - 'moving eastwards' is that some comment on their politics?] New low expected Dogger 999 [Police, Fire, Ambulance or Coastguard?] by 0700 tomorrow. New low expected Fitzroy 1010 by same time.[A bout of Depression? for Fitz - forecast with predicted time of onset?]

The area forecasts for the next 24 hours:Viking North Utsire South Utsire [oh. poetry - bliss] :North or northeast 5 to 7. [I can just picture the weather vane on the swing] Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough. rain or showers. Moderate or good.Forties Cromarty Forth:North or northeast 5 to 7, decreasing 4 later in Cromarty and Forth. moderate or rough. Rain or showers. Moderate or good.Tyne Dogger:Northerly becoming cyclonic 5 to 7. Rough or very rough. Rain. moderate or good.Fisher:Northeasterly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8, perhaps severe gale 9 later. Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough. Rain or showers. moderate or good.German Bight:Northeasterly becoming cyclonic then northwesterly 4 or 5, occasionally 6 in north. Moderate or rough. Rain or showers. moderate or good.Humber:Northerly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 at first. Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough. Rain. Moderate or good.Thames:Cyclonic 4 or 5 becoming northwest 5 to 7. Moderate or rough. Rain. moderate or good, occasionally poor.Dover Wight Portland:Northwesterly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 at first in Wight and Portland, backing westerly 4 or 5 later. Moderate or rough. Occasional rain. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.[doesn't sound too good, may not want to go out to town tomorrow]Plymouth Biscay:Northwesterly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 at first, backing southerly 4 or 5, occasionally 6. Moderate or rough. Showers then rain. Mainly good.Fitzroy:Southwesterly becoming cyclonic for a time in north 4 or 5, occasionally 6. Moderate or rough. Showers then rain. Moderate or good.Sole:Mainly northwest backing southeast 5 or 6, decreasing 4 for a time. moderate or rough. Showers then rain. Moderate or good.Lundy Fastnet:Northwesterly backing southerly 4 or 5, occasionally 6 at first. moderate or rough. Showers. Good.Irish Sea:Northwesterly 4 or 5, occasionally 6 at first. Mainly moderate. showers. Good.Shannon:Variable becoming easterly 4 or 5, increasing 5 to 7. Mainly moderate. showers then rain. Moderate or good.Rockall Malin Hebrides Bailey:Northeasterly 4 or 5, occasionally 6. Moderate, occasionally rough. showers. Good.Fair Isle [sweaters, I wonder whether I should take up knitting?] Faeroes Southeast Iceland [Magnus Magnusson & Mastermind]:Mainly northerly 5 to 7, but variable 3 or 4 at first in southeast Iceland. Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough in Fair Isle and Faeroes. Showers then rain. Good. I hate to say it but it's not the same if it's not read out by a deep male voice. By the end of it IF I'm not asleep it must be the time of the full moon.

I also like the Radio 4 signing off tune - a quick burst of 'Sailing By' is very soothing and just gets me in the mood for the shipping forecast lullaby.