Ichabod is itchy

November 5, 2006

Mail yourself out of prison…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 6:04 pm

Did anyone else see this story in the Guardian this weekend? And did anyone laugh as much as I did I wonder?…

“When plucky Bosnian robber Muradif Hasanbegovic, 36, decided that prison life wasn’t for him, he didn’t pester the parole board with endless requests for clemency; he simply climbed into a parcel and mailed himself out of Karlau jail in Austria. “This sort of thing was not supposed to happen,” said the warden, Franz Hochstrasser. It is not known where Hasanbegovic, who remains at large, sent himself.”

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October 3, 2006

Different planets

Filed under: life,Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 6:19 pm

I read an article called ‘Different planets‘ in the Guardian’s G2 today… Apparently, Niger is the most dangerous place to have a baby in– 1 in 7 women die during childbirth. This compared to 1 in 28,900 in Sweden (the world’s ‘safest’ place to give birth).

I find this completely shocking. The idea of dying during childbirth has always seemed, to me, something that I might read about in one of the Victorian novels I’m so fond of. I had no idea that having a baby was still such a risky business for people today. And it seems all the more shocking because one tends to think of child-birth as a ‘natural’ phenomenon– one that has been going on for millenia…

The conditions that the women featured in the G2 article have to give birth in are truly shocking–lack of midwives (those they do have, hover by with the only piece of equipment available to them to help in a delivery– a razorblade), temperatures of 40C or more and, of course, zero pain-relief. On top of this, the culture is such that the husbands of these women offer little, or no, support– the women are left to wander to hospital by themselves, give birth alone (and in silence) and then find their way home (often over large distances) a couple of hours later, with or without a baby.

I don’t know if it’s because I am now in my 30s and painfully aware of my biological clock, but this article made me feel so sad– of course I know that living conditions in many developing countries (particularly those in Africa) is pretty grim but these women seem to have such a hard time. It reminds me that I am truly lucky to know that when the time comes for me, the risk will be minimal, the epidurals will be plenty and I will have a loving husband to hold my hand all the way.

September 4, 2006

Name that tree

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 6:58 pm

Part of the process of moving house, I’ve been told, is making your mark on the garden. So I dutifully spent all day yesterday pulling up weeds and preparing beds for planting of spring bulbs. Unfortunately I am no gardener and part of the problem is that I really have no idea what any plants are. I can identify one of the trees in our garden (a weeping willow– easy to spot). But we have another one– currently known as the yellow flower tree– which I am struggling to identify. Here are a couple of pics– any clues?

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September 2, 2006

I’m back!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 5:48 pm

Well, I daresay you’ve all forgotten me by now, it’s been so long– but I haven’t forgotten you. Can you believe it has taken us 5 weeks to get broadband up and running? First we had to disconnect the old house– a few days. Then we had to get a BT landline– a week. Then we had to get BT to take the new house off their broadband database, because we needed to go with someone else. They said it would take a week. But in fact it took 4. Four weeks of us phoning up every day to say ‘is it done yet’? And them saying ‘no, not yet’. How difficult can it be to press the ‘off’ button? Finally, we had to get the new broadband box delivered and activated- 1 week. And the last day and a half poor Lewis has been setting up all the different computers and laptops round the house to work wirelessly. I am delighted to say that my little Mac was the only one that caused no problems. Gotta love Mac.

And finally, here we are! New house is fab. So much space, we’re simply rattling around. And it is such a joy to be able to be doing something in one room whilst the kids are doing something in another! No longer do we have to get stressed out by rainy days where, in our old flat, we would have been all on top of each other and crawling the walls by the end of the day– here, we can run up and down the stairs and wander around only occasionally bumping into each other. It’s a real novelty.

We’re still unpacking. Well, we’ve got the books out which is all that you really need to make a place look lived in (that was a whole day of my pedantically laying them all out in alphabetical piles and organising them on the shelves, then taking them down and re-organising them — call me sad, but arranging my books is one of my favourite pasttimes!)

And here are a couple of the little things that I never knew meant so much to me, but from which I derive real pleasure every time I use them:

1) a bin (a full size 50L standing bin– no more tiny bin under the sink which gets full within 5 mins)

2) a cutlery draw (hmmmm- cutlery can get put away!)

3) a loo roll holder attached to the wall

4) a dishwasher (even the kids don’t mind doing the washing up now!)

5) a loo seat that stays up without blue tac (for the boys of the house)

6) an airing cupboard to put towels & linen in

7) a recyling box

8) a full size freezer

9) sash windows that stay up without use of a wedged screwdriver

10) no elephants upstairs.

Am totally loving the new house.

June 25, 2006

Memorable first lines…

Filed under: literature,Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 12:29 pm

Just finished reading Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini– a fantastic swashbuckling adventure– and wanted to share the opening line because it's one of the best I've come across:  He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony.

Love it.

June 11, 2006

Too hot

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 8:18 pm

Our flat is an oven in this weather. It's too hot. Too hot to sit outside, too hot to sit inside, too hot to move and, sadly, too hot to blog.

Sorry.

May 25, 2006

24: It’s been a long day

Filed under: literature,tv,Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 10:46 pm

WARNING: this post contains plot-spoilers

We watched the last double-bill of 24, series 5, last night– tense to the end and, as usual, lots of unresolved issues. So I've been left with the feeling that I simply have to watch the next installment– but we have to wait a whole year for it!

I am a complete 24-addict. Never mind that the plots are insane and sometimes downright silly (a nuclear bombing in Los Angeles, Kim getting kidnapped 3 times in 24 hours, nerve gas being released in a shopping mall to mention just a few). 24 has the perfect mix of tension and plot development that keeps me on the edge of my seat and aching for more.

In this series, like all the others, Jack has had his share of ups and downs– he's come back from the dead, lost his two best friends, almost lost his girlfriend, been disowned by his daughter, been on the run, watched most of CTU die, killed an ex-colleague and tortured a president. And then, just when you think he's in the clear– evil President Logan will be brought to justice, Audrey (and Senator Heller) have miraculously recovered from fatal injuries and Bill is back at CTU– he's carted off by the Chinese, tortured and left beat up and bleeding on the last boat to China!

What will become of him? How can I possibly wait until next year to find out? I hate cliff-hangers. Maybe I lack imagination, but I find it so frustrating when all the loose ends are left hanging.

Last year, Lewis gave me The Mystery of Edwin Drood for my birthday. I knew, of course, that it was unfinished, but I had it in my mind that it was only the final chapter or so that was missing and that, by then, everything would be so far down the line that the ending would be clear. As those of you who've read it will know, it's not just the last chapter that's missing– not even the last two or three. Nope. It's the last six! Out of a total of twelve! That's more than 'unfinished'. That's not even started in my opinion. You are left completely in the dark– what happened to Edwin? Did John Jasper slip him into the quicklime? Will Dick Datchery solve the puzzle? Will Neville marry Rosa? So many questions left unanswered–it does my head in!

Getting back to 24– I am consoled by the fact that leaving Jack facing such a totally bleak future means that at least they'll have to make another series. I'm counting the days- beep beep beepeepeepeepeepeeeeeeeeeep. 

Cryptic clue of the day

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 10:13 pm

I've been having problems with the formatting of these. Someone has told me the highlighting white text isn't working for getting the answers. And it seems so messy to publish a clue one day and the answer again the next. So here's my newest idea- I will post the clue of the day on ichabod and have created a separate page (cryptic creations) where you can pick up the answers. Hope this works.

"Party of last five nutters" (8)

Go to cryptic creations for the answer.

May 24, 2006

Cryptic clue of the day

Filed under: crosswords,Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 8:21 pm

"Go look in a search engine" (6)

Highlight this space GOOGLE for the answer.

May 23, 2006

Cryptic clue of the day

Filed under: crosswords,Uncategorized — by ichabodisitchy @ 9:30 pm

California, say?

Highlight this space STATE for the answer.

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