Daily Prompt: Sweeping Motions

The Daily Prompt: Sweeping Motions asks “which is messier – your bedroom or your computer desktop?”  Well, my computer desktop and my bed are currently both pretty messy.

This is my desktop at work. In 2012. On a very hot day.  Since then folders and documents have bred, and bred again, to virtually cover that beautiful arid landscape (Haleakalā, Hawaii).  I’d love to show you what it looks like but I’d have to hide all those folders and documents lest you see something “sensitive”.


My bed is messy because the manservant has been away for a couple of weeks.  His side is currently cluttered with my laptop, my kindle, various catalogs, a couple of letters, a tee shirt & pair of socks (incase it gets cold through the night), the Strassburg sock I put on my silly foot and a pair of reading glasses.  I rather enjoy having the freedom to spread these things out rather than stacking them neatly on my bedside table.   The manservant is on his way home though, so stacked neatly they will be tomorrow.  My computer desktop though is likely to just get messier & messier……



In Transit


It’s a good thing there is no punishment for not posting the Daily Prompt post on the day the Daily prompt is released!  I realise the objective is to encourage people to post daily but life keeps getting in my way so I will be a little pick-and-choosey and running late when it comes to them.   This one is the  In Transit  prompt.

I’m the stressed-out zombie armed with a spreadsheet sitting as close as possible to the service desk, at my departure gate, so I can eavesdrop on what’s going on with my flight.  Why isn’t my plane already at the gate?  Will I make a connection?  Do I have time to go to the toilet (again) before we board?  What happens if….

The other day the manservant and I flew from Washington DC  to Denver.  Via Dallas.  Yes, there absolutely are direct flights.  And I wish we were on one.  Why weren’t we?  Well, we  *I*   fly on frequent flyer miles…..

So, we turned up at Washington-Dulles at a compromised time –  I would be at an airport 3 hours before a flight; the manservant is comfortable with the absolute minimum allowance.  As we wait in line to check-in we hear over & over “I’m sorry, you’re not going to make your connection…..”   so we were prepared when the agent said the same to us.  The plane doing a round trip DC-Dallas had apparently not left Dallas yet.  We absolutely had to be in Denver Friday morning so the agent found an early, very early, morning flight Dallas-Denver and we checked in to our delayed flight to Dallas.  Our bags were checked to Denver and we were given boarding passes for that Friday morning flight.   It was a little unnerving knowing that we were not going to be picking up bags in Dallas – I was pretty sure my bag was going to go missing – or just be waiting in DC for my return a few days later. I only travel with a change of tee-shirt & knickers in my backpack and didn’t have time to pull anything else out of my checked bag.

While we waited for our (very) delayed flight we had dinner – oh, United gave us vouchers for our dinner.  $12 each!    Not enough for a fancy feast but it covered half of what we had at some sit-down place.  And, while we were eating, I booked a Dallas airport hotel for the night  – which was really only going to be about a quarter of a night. At full price.

Upon arrival in Dallas we went to the taxi rank and asked to be taken to the Westin Dallas Fort Worth just down the road. Before we’d shut the doors the driver said “that will be $25” ….  I thought the manservant was going to have a stroke!  Apparently they have a minimum fare which I’d have gladly paid – hell, it was midnight and I wanted a bed so badly I’d have paid $50 to get there!  But the manservant was already out on the footpath looking for an alternative.  A young couple stepped forward and said “we’re going to the same hotel, would you like to share a cab?”   Absolutely!  As we rode in the taxi pleasantries were exchanged and it was discovered they’d been on the same delayed flight as us, they were going to Denver, they live close to my workplace, and the young man has a degree in Physics (and the manservant is an Astro-Physicist).

As we stepped up to the check-in counter, the young lady said “wouldn’t it be funny if we had rooms next to each other”  …. no, that would’ve been weird!


Sign of Stupidity


Now, who would hang their clothes off a fire sprinkler?   You know someone did, somewhere …….. :  hotel sprinkler~

This was at the intersection of wall & ceiling about 10 feet above the floor – hotel in Denver.

I haven’t liked the Daily Prompt of the last few days but came across the Daily Post: Photo Challenge:  Signs  which looks fun.  They announce a  new theme every Friday.  Hope they have enough weeks to come up with themes to cover the thousands of photos I’ve got!   🙂

What I see is what you get….

Today’s prompt is Ready, Set, Done  to write for 10 minutes about any subject and then post it with either no editing or very little.  I wouldn’t subject you to a post like that as my first drafts don’t make much sense –  they’re jottings, disconnected sentences, and punctuation?  what’s that!

But, the prompt reminded me of another life when I worked as the PA (personal assistant) to a woman who owned & ran a gym with over 2,000 members.  She would write her letters & memos in an exercise book and when she was ready to send something out she’d hand me the book and point out the, not necessarily sequential, pages to be typed; pages that looked like they were filled with chicken scratch.  I’m a touch typist and I can type fast; very fast.  But, given the length of time between her handing me that book and me giving her back a first draft you’d think I was still typing on the little portable typewriter I learnt to type on!   You know, the ones that came in a little carry case and where the “keyboard” was too small for your fingers and keys would come up in multiples and get stuck together! 

She would go through my first attempt and mark up the “errors” in exactly the same illegible scribble!  I’d be back at the golfball 3 or 4 times before it was acceptable.  One day she handed me the exercise book and pointed out the pages she wanted transformed into a beautiful business letter.  I set to work ……and typed exactly what I was seeing.   I typed it directly on letterhead and, as I handed it to her, I proudly announced that I’d finally conquered her handwriting so the letter wouldn’t need any revision.  In my mind I can still see her expression as she looked at the  gooblydedook on the page – I think she wondered if I’d suffered some cerebral episode!  ..  Then we both laughed and she tried really hard after that to straighten up her scribble.


To Organise or Organize

Another Daily Prompt:  Verbal Confirmation

I’m an eldest child and I’m an organizer.  My siblings would call me bossy; *very* bossy.

Everything requires a plan.  I’m the one with colour coded spreadsheets.  Printed out.  In a folder.  With tabs.

Today I have to know where I’m sleeping tomorrow night.  And the night after.

I am not the one to take on a spur of the moment hit-the-road jaunty adventure.  It would not be jaunty; it would be terrifying.

Extensively planning just about every facet of one’s life can be exhausting so why don’t I let someone else take a turn?  Because I’d get stressed out worrying that they might not be organized enough! Their spreadsheets wouldn’t be how I’d do them ……


Fact or Fiction

I don’t like the prompt of today, today, so I’m answering yesterday’s …Fact or Fiction.  Besides, if I had one vial of truth serum, or any number of vials, I wouldn’t announce beforehand who I was going to use it on.


So what’s my thing, fiction or non-fiction?   I like both, but my leaning is definitely towards fiction as I love to weave myself into the storyline.  At the beginning of  2010, I joined a reading challenge to finish 50 books in 52 weeks and finished up reading 62.  It helped that I was spending 110 minutes a day in trains.  I dutifully recorded on my blog what I read and what I thought of it.  So, flushed with that success I aimed to finish 75 in 2011.  Looking through my archives I don’t see where I ever recorded my final result.  I recorded a total of 37 at the end of July so let’s just assume that, because I was sort of on-track then,  I absolutely did finish 75 and probably more!  Or,  perhaps I need that truth serum to test my own memory and that assumption!


Non-fiction does not always equal fact and fiction can contain a lot of fact (or very little); some people read purely for escapism and some to learn, but whatever you read I hope you continue finding joy in turning pages ….. or swiping, tapping or pushing “play”.

img_6704a-e1292177009198     I took this photo in a library in Charles Town, West Virginia


Not so shut…..

A few months away from the laptop has given me writer-idea’s block so I’ve decided to utilize The Daily Prompt question.

Mouths Wide Shut:  Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?

I think I’ve tried everything anyone has offered or put in front of me even if I’ve prefaced it with a “I don’t think I’m going to like this”….

I am an omnivore but as a mature adult I find I enjoy seafood and vegetables & salads way more than I do meat;  red or white. Given how I eat these days a lot of people would assume that I’m almost vegetarian.  It wasn’t always like that though……

I think witchetty grubs are the strangest I’ve tried (not very filling) and snake (tasted like eel); as a kid I ate liver, kidneys & brains of whatever animal was butchered that week (that sounds so feral but my family farmed).  I don’t like crocodile but have had some good kangaroo steaks.  Oh, and I grew up eating kangaroo-tail soup which I, even at an early age, realised was only made tolerable by the addition of red wine!  Camel was okay and the strip of bison I’ve had tasted just like beef to me.  I loved black pudding (blood sausage) especially if accompanied by fried eggs, bacon and a bit of bubble and squeak.  I would’ve tried Rocky Mountain oysters on a recent trip to Wyoming but no-one ordered them…

There’s only been one thing I just could not swallow and which I had to spit out  – much to my embarrassment.  The manservant & I were in China while he worked at the Purple Mountain Observatory (Nanjing) under the auspices of the Chinese National Science Foundation. Our host & his wife took us out to dinner and ordered some typical local cuisine.  I could smell the stinky tofu as it started its journey from the kitchen not realising it would soon be at our table.   As the dish of fermented tofu was placed directly in-front of me our host indicated I should go first and  I really did know right then and there that I was not going to like it!!    Still, I stuck the chopsticks in with determination but as the laden sticks got closer and closer to my mouth I started to gag on the smell.  As it would’ve looked really weird holding my nose with my thumb & forefinger I tried holding my breath but as I placed the mass on my tongue I just knew I was not going to be able to swallow.  With an awful gagging noise I spat it out on my plate!  I was quite mortified but also relieved that I’d avoided vomiting either all over the table or our hosts.  Humongous gulps of coca cola followed in an attempt to get rid of the aftertaste but hours later I could still smell it at the back of my nose!