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After lunch with [personal profile] cynthia_black yesterday, I got back into work only for parts of my vision to start dropping out... the critical, dead-centre parts, naturally, and with such migraines, experience has taught me that all I can do is go for a forced reboot, and crawl into bed.

So I came home, walked Mali, and was in bed by 4pm. Although I got up a few times, and let Mali out into the yard for good measure, I didn't get up properly until 6.30 this morning, feeling mostly better, but still a bit woozy.

As a result, I've avoided the PC until this evening, hence the slightly odd update time for this post.

The migraine threw a few things out, actually - aside from missing an afternoon's work, I also had to postpone a vets' appointment for Mali (kennel cough vaccination - been and done this afternoon instead), and had to put off picking P up from the Farm, too :-/

I also had a plumber returning to look at a leak under the sink - the stopcock got replaced last week, and now, by the power of PFTE tape, I think I've finally reclaimed use of the undersink cupboard. Which is nice.

Anyway, because the plumber had fixed the time as 'Saturday morning', and I had a vets' appointment for Mali at 2.30pm (the only available slot I could shift to from Friday at such short notice), that meant I couldn't reliably pick P up any earlier than 5.

It snowed a little, the last couple of days - this is always bad news around the Dukeries, because the snow compacts, converts to slush, then freezes, and the roads become ice-rinks. The drive up to the Farm gets better once we're onto the main arterial routes through Hull, but once onto the winding roads past Beverley, conditions got just a little slippery once again, and I could feel the car squirming around as we pootled rather gingerly along.

Not pootling fast enough for the BMW (what else?) driver, who roared past on the return flit, though.

By the time we got back to Castle Fox, the Snow Proper started to fall - we don't get much of the stuff, so when it does fall (and, more importantly, settle), it's a Big Thing. More amusingly, Mali turns into a sort of inverse dalmatian when we're out walking in it - the flakes creating white spots on the predominantly black coat.
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Following on from last week's brush with evangelising Americans... they were back, yesterday. Last week's guy had the genuine Million Dollar Smile™, this guy's smile was just a couple of cents shy of that high water mark, but he still had his 'Jesus Christ our Saviour' name badge:

Evangelising American: Hey, how are you today?

[personal profile] slowfox: I'm an atheist. Thanks. Bye.

Evangelising American: Why ever would you be one of them?

[personal profile] slowfox: Why would I not? Thanks. Bye.

Evangelising American: But have you tried prayer?

[personal profile] slowfox: ...

What we have here is a failure to communicate: I don't believe in God. Ergo, it's extremely unlikely that I would feel moved to offer prayers to a concept that I don't subscribe to.

I get a similar thing for being teetotal:

[personal profile] slowfox: I don't drink alcohol.

Other Party: What? Ever

[personal profile] slowfox: Nope, never have done. Hope never to do so.

Other Party: *slowly, in deductive fashion* So you've never been drunk...? Ever?
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Unless you know who I am before you knock, do not expect a warm welcome at Castle Fox's front door on a Sunday afternoon.

I was ploughing my way through that Merlin book I mentioned when, lo!, there was a knock at the portcullis door.

Mali, naturally, went beserk, as is his wont, but I managed to keep him outside the airlock*, and answered the door to find two very smarmy looking types in matching suits and ties smiling million dollar smiles at me.

Thinking very much that I know already what this is about, I scan their respective chests to see, yes, name badges. I didn't read their names, because the name 'Jesus Christ' was written larger still, which was enough.

[personal profile] slowfox: don't waste your time, I'm an atheist. Thanks. Bye

Missionary: *very strong American accent* Gee! What made you make that decision? *smiles smug smile*

[personal profile] slowfox: I'm a rationalist *closes door*

Missionary (though the closed door): I wish I was a rationalist.

I swear, I can *hear* the vacant smile through the door.

[personal profile] slowfox (through door): You should try it sometime.

Then, remembering that I'm not supposed to be engaging these people in conversation, I head back through to the living room, vowing that next time I'm answering the door with the dog at my side.

* - Castle Fox isn't actually underwater, despite the weather's best attempts a couple of years back. Nonetheless, I do try to ensure that the front door isn't open if the door from the hall to the living room is, and vice versa, so as not to unleash the Hound of d00m on the Dukeries unrestrained
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Last week, a Saracen bike suddenly appeared, locked to the lamppost at the foot of Blenheim. I'm not really an expert on mountain bikes these days*, but it didn't look like a cheap machine.

It was still there the following day, which wasn't entirely unexpected, but from that point on, components have been going missing from it on what seems like a daily (or, more probably, nightly) basis.

The front wheel went first. Then the handlebars. It had disc brakes, and they've now vanished, along with the derailleurs, the handlebars, the saddle and the back wheel.

Now all that's left is the frame, sans forks, the chainset, cranks and pedals, pretty much. And, of course, the lock still affixing these rather token remains to the street furniture.

* readers accustomed to Ralph's tendency to do things by halves will be astounded to learn that at one time he was a massive mountain bike geek. I guess it's the exception that proves the rule...


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