Thread: THE ODDEST THINGS
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The picture of the Eagle and Child pub on the Tolkien Trail mentioned in another thread reminded me of something that happened when Husband and I visited England in 1977. It was our honeymoon and we wanted to visit another country but thought we should make the first foray abroad to a place where we knew the language. So we toured London and then rented a car and wandered around the south part of that beautiful country. I wish we could go back. I had the worst case of culture shock, though. We arrived by train at Victoria Station and got one of those black cabs and the driver had an accent like I'd only heard in movies. I thought, "this is real, he's not just acting!" And he was a nice fellow but I was sure I'd gotten off the plane and landed on Mars or Jupiter. I spent the whole two weeks wanting to hide under the nearest bed. But I was a new and naive little wife then.
The embarassing thing that happend was at a Pub near St Paul's, I think it was the Hoop and Grapes. Husband has a fondness for pub atmosphere (so do I) and we stopped there for lunch and got a couple pints. Sat the glasses on a small table; I turned to sit and my shoulder bag swung and knocked both glasses right over. The barman was great about it and mopped everything up for us but I wanted to dissappear. I guess this is more of a silly story than an odd one and now I have good memories of it.
I think culture shock only happens once because I've been to central Europe and the West Indies since and never felt that odd feeling again..
Did you have trouble understanding how to flush the loo? So many people seem to have trouble in an english bathroom and hop about for half an hour before coming and asking someone h ow the system works. It makes me smile.
And Vir as for asking me if I had dated Mr. Magoo, please don't insult that gentleman. He is a tower of intelligence and dignity compared to that oaf.
And no I didn't date him a second time. Wouldn't have done so the first time except my dear friend foisted him on me.
My brother Nelson used to do a silly odd thing. But it always cracked people up.
If the phone rang he would answer it and instead of saying "Hullo" he would say " hullo is so and so there? The other person would get mixed up and say no he had reached the wrong number and then hang up.' It was very annoying but I always had to stifle a smile.
Leelee, I don't remember having trouble using the loo in England. I don't have any remembrance of loos there at all but the public ones in Germany where there were matronly attendants in aprons to conduct you to your stall and dust off the seat for you - that I remember.
Nelson sounds like a character. I would smile at his phone answering technique too. When I was in college we'd answer the phone by saying it was the city morgue.
Grondy, I LOVE the Lily Tomlin thing. I laugh just thinking about that.
Sian, someone actually helps you to your stall? That is the BEST (falls over laughing). I love it.
And no matter what we did it just kept doing that. So finally, last night in sheer frustration, Clayton could not stand any more interruptions in our viewing Loreena McKennet performing in the castle in Grenada Spain(was started in the 1500's , finished 1920 and is beyond awesome);
so he went and tipped the player up on one side and it worked.
Later it froze again and he tipped it once more and it worked. We have no idea why.
Life can be so strange non?
I recently bought a Blu-Ray DVD-Player, not cheap I tell you, but really good quality, but how they make the quality better than DVD is beyond me, I put it down to a quicker scanner on the inside, and a bigger space on the disc itself so pack more pixels in... But when I bought it, there were all the other things that you needed to buy that didn't come in the box... As this is an 'odd things' thread, I find that it's odd to have to go and shop/order for other essentials when the company could just charge for those items in the bundle and put it inside the box, saves time and packaging that could be harmful to the environment...
My two cents for the day...
And the batteries thing Grondy , I learned my lesson over that. Now I buy for months ahead batteries of just every type I think we could possibly use. Several of each kind. And sure enough I find that at the end of the day we only just had enough with perhaps one package left to spare.
It saves a lot of upset that is for sure to stock up.
The only electronic thing I can say works perfectly always is my digital camera. It is wonderful.
Odd how picture taking started. Quite genius really. I saw an old old camera called a Brownie or something and it seemed so archaic. Yet the pictures I was allowed to see from it were quite outstanding and almost unreal to me.Wonderful
How I Took My First Picture Of The Backside Of A Major Landmark
As a child, I remember my family was planning to travel to Spain one summer for a missions conference and, after, a little vacation. It was my parents and my older brother and I. We carefully packed and I had my one child sized suitcase and my backpack and a set of little presents from grandma to open (in sequence, at timed intervals) during the long flight so my brother and I would not get bored, etc. (We were flying from Los Angeles). When we got to the airport, we checked all our suitcases and went to the x-ray machine and got in line, where dad put the travel wallet with all our documents (passports, etc), on the conveyor belt. After we had each put our purses/backpacks on, and went through, for some reason it took a long time for our stuff to come out the other side of the x-ray machine. When we finally picked up our stuff, my dad noticed that the travel wallet was strangely un-full. Our passports had disappeared. (How? Why? the unanswered questions of my young life). He made a complaint and set all the security personnel searching (we later guessed that one of them had taken it). No passports, nothing, nothing, nothing. We missed our flight. Finally one gal runs up, saying "is this your stuff?" -- she claimed to have found our passports in the trash can of the ladies restroom, which I'm sure she did... only we had just looked there and found nothing, since someone had said 'you know, as soon as the thief realizes you've got everyone looking for it, they'll probably get rid of it ASAP. So we looked in all the trash cans. Very strange. An agent told us we could still fly to spain (of course all our luggage had already gone!), but we would have to fly to new york first, sit around for a very long (something like 16 or 20 hour) layover, and then fly across the atlantic from there. So we did.
I thought it was highly exciting, because we got to New York and my parents thought about the looooong layover and said "hey, kids, you wanna' go see the statue of liberty?" So we went and took a ferry out to Staten Island and, from the railing of the boat, I took a rather lopsided picture of the backside of Lady Liberty. It's not that I couldn't have gotten off a shot of her face, but my childhood logic told me that since no one had pictures of her backside, a picture of the backside would be more valuable -- definitely more unique -- and, I distinctly remember taking it crooked on purpose, too, for that very same reason.... Ah, childhood logic is so.... logical! and so terribly uninformed!
Anyways it was a great adventure for me, to have my passport stolen before I was a decade old, and to get to ride a boat in new york because of it. I'm sure my parents were a lot more stressed out than I was!
Where they get some employees is beyond me.
Once in the Southern States, and we had been there many times to visit friends and Celtic relatives now settled t here with no problems, we stopped by a seemingly very popular place to buy great looking food and drink and we ate and drank and bought some for later and put it in our little fridge thing in our huge and state of the art trailer.(My father was an inventor besides his regular occupation of Railroad Conductor on both freight and passenger and just had to be the first to purchase anything new out there and try it out).
Within about an hour all of us became sick in varinging degrees, my father and I the least. One of our group fell into a coma and we had just come to a medium sized town. We , my father and I left the others and frantically looked up the street of the police station, we could not find a number for a hospital. We got t here and the fellow was relaxing eating some chicken and some sort of home made looking salad that made me feel worse by the second. We begged him to come and help us and he didn't see the seriousness of things, thought my father was exaggerating. My father started yelling from despair and the man threatened to put him in the lock up and on and on it went. I was terrified and finally my father said thankyou and we took off. By miracle really we came upon a beautiful white house with a shingle that said so and so phd and we rang the bell. He came with us and treated everyone, got my uncle to a nearby h ospital and the rest of us got treated according to severity.
Needless to say when my uncle recovered we left the area and were careful not to take roads that we had not travelled before or stop at towns we did not know from all the other times we came that way. And I was truly glad to be at our desitination at last.
That was a scarey trip really. And the odd thing was that when we got home no one could remember the name of the town, period or what it was n ear. It was like a bad bad dream.
Really fits the tale however.
The Caillou thing. Like I mentioned somewhere before, Hasia has had that stuffed bi lingual doll for nearly her entire four and a half years and never until about three months ago did it begin to talk, all on it's own and always in the night time.
I have held it, shaken it, tried to make him speak without pinching the little chips in his hands, feet and tummy and absolutely nothing happens.
And y et , three more times, usually about ten or later at night when I am dozing off beside Hasia, getting her off to sleep it suddenly talks, well shouts would be a better description.
Each time I sit straight up in shock , heart pounding and then get up quietly and walk over to it and try to see what might have happened. Nothing.
This last time he simply said "Hullo I am Cauillou, bonjour....etc. It took half an hour for my h eart to defibrilate!'
So, any of you out there that are v chip saavy, can you help me solve this mystery?
It simply has little chips in different parts of it's body and you must press at that point to make it say anything.
But the best of all happened with it last month and since then Caillou has not said a thing.
I had been telling the family about this and well, it is not that they did not believe it, but no one else had ever heard it, even Hasia slept through it although my heart would pound and I would leap off the bed.
Well one bright sunny day Travis was in little Hasia's room helping her create a skyscraper with lego. She loves New York and always wants to make a skyscraper.
After that she was going through all her coloring books, taking them out and putting them on the floor so she could rearrange her shelves. She is always so very tidy.
She had just taken out one and gave it to Travis and he put it on the floor. Suddenly Caillou spoke and said a few sentences in french and english. Everyone was startled and when Travis looked at the book he had just put on the floor he freaked. It was her only Caillou coloring book.
I felt so happy that it was not just me. Be quiet Vir dear, I can hear those wheels of yours as you think of something fitting to say about my mind
That saying is wise Grondy.
Oh how I have missed you all. It has been torture. But slowly things are getting done. Right and just when summer is in full swing and probably every one else is gone away. sigh...life.
This might explain the happenings without resorting to spiritual explanations, which can be unsettling when children of any age are involved. Best we find a scientific explanation and not wait for a Stephan King-like explanation involving angelic or demonic beings.
Or maybe like in Men In Black, there's a tiny alien prince living in its head.
I am of the opinion that since one has to exert pressure upon the chips to make Caillou say any thing , well somehow I think that vibrations from outside are doing it. I live in a condo against a high ridge full of pine trees. There are only three condos against the ridge, the rest are around the corner and go in a line to and bottom down a long parkinglot sort of, very pretty and then to the street. I am wondering if when a car is idling or a large vehichle passes by it somehow vibrates the chip enough to make it speak.And it always says the complete sentence, never stops midway. Really it is the strangest thing.
I have never and never hope to see any of the Chuckie movies, I never watch horror, nor read horror, I simply have no interest in it. So I can not answer with any intelligence(again I can just hear Vir, the dear) concerning Chuckie. Is it true then that the gentleman that played Grima Wormtongue did the voice of Chuckie, somehow that would fit. shivers.
Surely very odd and wondrous things have happened from time to time to you two and the others. I should very much like to hear about them. I need to think on other interesting things. I have just finished three Agatha Christie books and one Victoria Holt because I was worn out reading historical books and such and wanted a change. Oh they were good, but they left me wanting, so something from the illustrious brain of Grondy or Vir would be most welcome.
I believe I have read all of Agatha Christie's books, as well as Nagio Marsh, Margery Allingham, and Dorthy Sayers (murder mysteries only) and wish England could come up with other mystery writers that could rank with these giant. P D James almost makes it, but not quite.
If you want a fun read, try Angie Sages's Septimus Heap series: Magyk, Flyte, Physyk, and Queste. They are thick kid books, with illustrations and a vary good story about the adventures of preteen seventh son of a seventh son and those of his family, friends, and enemies in and around a city w
here magic is acceptable..
Thank you for that Grondy, I am all anticipation and interest. I never heard of that kid's series and I am sure I will love them.
Somehow I feel the very same about P.D. James. I honestly have never made it through one of her books and I honestly cannot tell you why.My absolute favorite of all Agathat's is They Came to Baghdad. I reread it a great many times.
Here is a rather odd thing that happened to me when I was women's editor of a newspaper in Trail British Columbia. I lived on Rossland Avenue, which was our Little Italy. Many of the older homes had flat roofs that were made so one could go and sit on a nice chair and enjoy the cool of the day and watch the twilight fade and the rich black star studded night appear.
It was a particularly cold winter and many of my friends and I were rather worn out from it. It was singularly beautiful and all that, and above Trail is the little city of Rossland where many world class skiers are taught and such. Now I honestly don't remember if Warfield was part of Rossland or not, I am not particularly great with geography.It was not my home city or anything.
Well, it was now New Year's Eve and the English fellow I was seeing , Kit, had been invited to a very swank soire in Rossland and he was encouraged to bring me along. So off we went.
The house was so large and spectacular it reminded me more of a museum and I was not terribly impressed. I grew up high middle class, we had servants and all that and I always gave most of my things away because I could not stand others to not have and I did not care about things.IT never benefited me in spirit or any other way.
There were glittering lights everywhere, table after ornate table loaded with food and drink and every one dressed in opulance. Well except Kit and me for he did not tell me it was formal and we had come in jeans and fancy sweaters.
Thankfully there were about ten others dressed as we were and we all eventually went under one spectacularly large table and ate and talked. No one either heard us or noticed, I think there was live m usic in the ballroom.
At just about midnight one of the other fellows mentioned something he had done once in another city that was h igh on a mountain like Rossland. He said he and his mates had all taken garbage can lids and slid down the mountain side and had the time of their lives.
Within minutes we all had gleaming garbage can lids and because this guy knew the streets and knew what was safe and such he led the way. I was quite exhilerated and terrified and it seemed we soared and turned and slid for a hundred years. Down and down on the hardpacked snow. We never saw a car anywhere, only houses lit up with partiers.
At some point we crashed into a bank of snow from the snowplows and that was it.
We made sure the lids were replaced the next day and for the rest of the night we hung out at my place sipping hot chocolate and recovering from frost bite and for me outright fear. I was not as brave as the others.
So I think that is a rather odd thing to do, don't you.
On another note about garbage can lids, it was also the custom there to take the lids off the cans on Hallowe'en and put them somewhere, I cannot remember where I of course did not take part in this. There were very wierd traditions there. I think it must have been all the lead from Cominco on the hill affecting everyone's brain.
it was odd because it was her first time and there was three other cats of the same race
Back in my home town in eastern Washington, we used to snow sled on a two block long street hill that was closed to traffic for that purpose. I lived about a half mile from the hill, so I was glad I had a friend who lived at the bottom, where we could get warm and have a hot chocolate.
Later when I went to Uni at Washington State, we used to slide down the hill between the library and the field house in the dark of night when the campus police weren't around. We tried it with cardboard, but that soon got soggy, so we borrowed (requisitioned, purloined) food trays from the commons and they worked fine. Warning: Don't do this at home. Parents and the Law frown on purloining, it is considered the same as stealing.
Haha Grondy. I do love the word purloin, so mysterious and upper class. Not a word Fagin would have used, or did he?
That first ride sounds fabulous. I would love to have gone down that hill and had hot chocolate after.
I never did this but once, I was a poor skater, my ankles were so weak; when I would visit my cousins on their desolate farm in Huzzar, near Drumheller which is famous for all its dinosaur bones and red earth and the hoodoos, those fantastic and wierd rock formations- we would of course play outside a great deal even in the harsh winters.
One year my cousins decided to skate upon the small creek all the way from their farm to the next farm house, several miles away. It was bitterly cold and I must say very eerie skating on a creek with only the wind and flat country all around for miles. I was dead tired and could not feel my knees by the time we arrived and I doubt I ate a thing. I think I had a drink and fell asleep and someone carried me to one of the bedrooms and that was it.Thank God we were driven home the next day, too blizzardy. But my cousins thought it great fu n and wanted to do it again.
It felt very very odd to go to Calgary afterwards where I lived some of the time and sit on my front porch, lace up my skates and skate the one block over the frozen sidewalk to my school and the skating rink there. What had originally seemed so large to me was now microscopic in contrast.
It felt very very odd to go to Calgary afterwards
Funny you should mention that, today I read in the newspaper that a Flemish girl on holiday in Canada around Calgary almost got eaten by a black bear... she was jogging near sunset when she met the beast and by acting dead she managed to make the bear lose interest, but not without suffering a few bites in the lower back.
Making noise while walking in the woods usually causes bears, cougars, and the like to avoid humans. Of course your Grisly and Kodiak bears are another kettle of fish and you want to back off prior to their raising up on their hind feet or your in deep trouble.
By the way, Calgary has over a million people and just the city proper, not annexes and such covers a distance of 726 sq kilometers. Last year it was ranked as the cleanest city in the entire world.
This is odd.We have not had a cool day for nearly two weeks and the weather bureau warned that we are at red alert, the same as in 2003 when the next large city over from us was on fire in a complete circle. Then it was our turn. Cut off in all four directions and a wall of fire. Army helicopters all over dropping chemicals, people evacuating , those that could get out. It was a terrible fearful time and the acrid smoke lasted months.
And so we were all in despair. We had not used our air conditioner at all, I hate t hem and they make me feel ill despite the fact the filters are constantly being changed and the conditioner vacuumed and wiped down.
I gave in yesterday and put a new filter in and washed the air conditioner. We used it for the day and although it was cool it felt so artificial
And shock of all shocks, this morning there were actually clouds, the smell of rain in the air and it is much cooler. Oh please please please rain. We so need it. We are surrounded on all sides with pine and fir trees and such.
The above is neither religious or political: it is a prophetic weather forecast.
Just this very second the blinds began to move, a breeze started up and wonder of wonders I smell RAIN. oh joy.
The odd thing about this y ear is we had no spring, not a smidge. It was cold every day, you could see y our breath , the rain was bitterly icy. The wine grapes were in jeopardy, well except for those that make a special frozen grape wine but that is only one winery and it is a completely different process etc. And then just like that it was 33 degrees, then higher until about 38. People were staggered by it and even the animals acted strangely, especially the bees. Very very odd spring.
Remember the Caillou thing, well we have quite gotten used to him speaking in Francais or English whenever he pleases now without anyone within twenty feet of the chips deep inside his hands, feet and chest. Well Travis was upset about something and so he shaved off his hair. Now Hasia calls him uncle Caillou and somehow it suits him.(remember the doll and the cartoon character is bald, why noone knows as h e is four.)
And a friend of Travis's u ncle had to have heart surgery and the surgeon inserted a valve that was made from pigskin. He made it alright and feels quite well. Only now his nephew calls him
'OINCLE' and that ticks h im off.
I did see a rather odd thing last week when I took Hasia for a walk past the race track, oldest in our country, past the multiplex and down the back alley. It is so peaceful and the brook that runs by is loud and bubbly and joyful to watch. Gynormous willow trees, very old and full reach up into the sky and I am always reminded of Wind in the Willows. At one point I saw a huge crowd of tiny quail walking about eating, there are two families that parade through our yard each morning as well; and they were joined by some sort of black birds and there in the midst of them sat a marmot watching them all. It seemed such a motley crew hanging about together and they made me smile. And for some reason I cannot fathom, flocks and flocks of grey and cream colored pigeons fly and dive and hang about the supermarket lately. I have never seen more than a couple together, not ever.I just cannot understand it and anyone I ask cannot either.
We have red herons here that build wild and fanciful nests in these strange trees all along a subdivision. They are protected and it is fascinating to watch them go about their day.
Okay, that's all. I'm done.
And for some reason I cannot fathom, flocks and flocks of grey and cream colored pigeons fly and dive and hang about the supermarket lately.
My odd thing for the day is having to take my dog to the ER last night. I had been sewing on a small project for a friend and suddenly felt so tired I had to lay down. While I was napping, my dog stole my cloth and ate it needle and all. X-rays showed the needle in her stomach and they were able to remove it with an endoscope. Fortunately, surgery wasn't needed. The point of the needle had broken off but the doctors were sure it would pass through her digestive tract without any problem. We have a somewhat expensive dog now.
Those squirrels sound so enchanting. Really we rarely see squirrels of any type here.
Oh my dear girl, your POOR DOGGIE. How horrendous. I felt like flipping out as I read th at. What the poor thing must have went through.
Well we had an odd sort of thing happen three days ago, though it seems like three years ago.
We came home from a lovely dinner only to find emergency restoration trucks all over the place, well actually all over the pavement in front of our condo. I could not believe it. At any rate the window washers were here to wash the windows and siding and when they turned on the tap at the back of the condo above us they didn't notice the strange noise. It was only when the most scarely sound of lapping water and buckling metal came to their hears did they discover the pipe had burst and was filling our home and another and the storages with water. So right now we have five complete rooms gutted floors, ceilings, walls, all the insulation gone. It is like the aftermath of a tornado in our house. The odd thing is though it stopped being wet at the exact middle of our living room. Exactly , not one drip further. So one side has walls and a ceiling and looks lovely and the other side. creepy ugly. The crew that came were unbelievably great for a change. It was a new group and comprised of mostly women. In no time at all they had our wood floors up and out, the gyprock ripped off and gone outside and the ceilings. Everything done perfectly and unbelivably well. And the lady that did the most is in her fourties and is not even five feet tall. Amazing.
But we all feel so violated and depressed. You are stuck in a room or two all day when not at work and the smell of the drywall dust and well just the general lack of beauty. All my Lord of the Rings and such art work, gone. Ah well I shall just start over.It could have been worse, it could have been the whole place.
Give that pooch a hug from me. We only rescue animals, give them treatment, good food and when they gain weight we take th em to the spca in a country setting. I don't want pets anymore since we lost pretty boy, a cat we rescued and kept. He loved us so much even if we put something against the bedroom doors he would through himself at the doors all night until he either gained entry or we gave in. If we put him outside he made so much noise we had to go and get him. The previous people used to kick him hard and hit him so when they were moving my daughter, unknown to me stold him and hid him until the people were gone.
my daughter, unknown to me stold him and hid him until the people were gone.
The world needs more people like her!
One rather odd thing we had a little while ago. Since far above us upon a rocky ridge new houses are being built it is naturally very unsettling to the animals. I feel so badly for them.
Well in a very small space of time we had deer eating the grass in our front and side yard. Then I only just took Hasia indoors and along came a cougar and it was confused and in not a very amiable mood. It went after something I never found out what, and then it disappeared.
And then the next day or so the gardening team that come once a week and do all the yards and whatnot in the complex began shouting and running. And there in the corner of the courtyard was an enormous, totally enormous and very long rattle snake. I have no idea what happened with it or to it, for I had to go out.
With all t hat activity by earth movers and workers an entire nest of rattle snakes was disturbed and displaced. The trouble is that they insist on going back there as it was their home, so they keep on showing up on the patios and front and back lawns of the brand new homes. I have no idea what the conservation people are going to do with them. Something I hope. I am nervous of rattle snakes.
And how all those teeny tiny quail outsmart and out run the rattlers I don't know but they do. And they look rather hilarious when they run and fly up into one of the trees.There they all are, fat tiny quail making such a noise, like a watered down version of the peacock and strutting their stuff on the tree limbs.
Also, everything I ever learned having to do with snake-bites as an Explorer Scout, has probably been refuted by now. Just as what the old-timers used to say about a bottle of alcohol being their best snake-bite remedy, it isn't and never has been.
Our doggie is just fine now and thanks you for the hug I can't imagine life without animals; it would be easier to just put out birdseed but I do like to hug the dog when I feel bad. We have a lot of wild animals here too and just this week there was a report of a horse being attacked by a mountain lion in our area. I had though I'd heard something cat-like yowling one night, something that sounded similar to the screech owls but not quite the same. I'll be careful when outside at night now.
Thorin, I wanted to say also how much I enjoyed your recent journal entry. It brought to mind a New Year's Eve some years ago when we had a power outage in the middle of the night. I was awake since I have trouble sleeping sometimes and my son had just come home from his friends'. We put coats on and went out and walked around in the middle of the street. The moon was full so it was very bright but there were no electric lights, no cars going by and it was absolutely silent. It was very memorable and magical! My son is quite a cool person (or whatever you say about people you like these days) ( AND I say this even if I am his mom!) and it was even more special to share it with him. We talked about paganism and other beliefs and interesting stuff.