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Friday, 4 January 2008


Welcome to 2008, and especially welcome to an englishman in Hull, marcj and mandy, who's YNWA nickname, unless she can think of a better one, will henceforth be Anndra MacGhille Fhionntaiga, in memory of her historic connection with the Lindsay Clan of Aberdeenshire and Northern Scotland. For ease, we will just call Mandy 'Anndra' , the Gaelic form of her name. The other part of Anndra's new name is the Gaelic version of the name "Lindsay", and when you consider that the pronunciation is just as difficult as it looks, AND sounds like someone clearing their throat, it is not deacair to dtuigeann why the Gaelic tongues have been superceded by hybrids. Gaelic can be incredibly beautiful though.

I will not reveal the true identities of any of our new friends but say welcome, and note that both Anndra and englishman in Hull are co-incidentally putative parents. In modern parlance, Anndra is re-visiting parenting (child no 2) and an englishman in Hull is a newbie. Both new arrivals are fairly imminent (within the next month). By way of introduction to all three, other than the details already given the following applies:

marcj is already a parent, is also, at various times, a cat-victim and furniture maker, a professor in Ontario and has great taste in music.

Anndra, you know some of already, but she is also DR , has a distinguished family which includes Canada's leading atheist, and was along with Bunny FooFoo, Little Man and Toby, our family in LOndon, Ontario, as far as we were concerned. They did'nt get much choice.

englishman in Hull is also a lecturer, specializing in computers and other non-wood items. Mike's (that's his real name) history is incredibly interesting and if he gives me permission, I'd like to exaggerate it out of all proportion, at some point in the future. We met Mike and his partner across the hall in our apartment when we first moved here, and have become good friends. At some point in the future, the story of the eight week room (8 week) will also be told.

The reason that Anndra's name has to change, at least on this blog, is that we now have a cleaner and her name is Mandy, and confusion might arise as to why our friend Mandy was flying from Canada once a week to vacuum our hallway. So Anndra, it will have to be, and a rather attractive nickname, I think. Anndra knows Little Bunny Foo Foo quite well.

I also have a problem with the real Mandy (the cleaner), because calling her 'Mandy the Cleaner' does not do her justice. Instead, her name shall be Brilliant Mandy the Blessed, Saint of Everything and Saviour of the World. All has not been plain sailing with Brilliant Mandy the Blessed, Saint of Everything and Saviour of the World, however. Sadly, and inevitably, as is the way of the world these days, Brilliant Mandy the Blessed, Saint of Everything and Saviour of the World had been appearing to us (on a strictly cash basis) for only a short time when the thorny issue of money arose. Nel lead the negotiations, and I encouraged her to stand firm: I would back her all the way. It was a tough fight, but after a couple of weeks Brilliant Mandy the Blessed, Saint of Everything and Saviour of the World caved into the pressure and accepted a wage increase. We've managed to negotiate an hourly rate equivalent to the going rate for a skilled tradesman in Hull, and frankly if I could afford to pay more I would. Mandy is a true craftsman.

One final note for tonight is that we have a new bed. I know that it is considered bad taste to discuss one's boudoir secrets with friends, but I have no embarrassment in declaring to the world that our new bed was well and truly christened. Not only did we immediately fall sound asleep (after months of discomfort) but we both overslept the next day, such was the luxury of a comfortable mattress. The mattress is Memory foam, and if as the advertisement's claim, it is the product of NASA's space programme, then all I can say is that it was worth landing men on the Moon, and I will never again gleefully tell the story of how NASA spent millions developing a pen that could write upside down in zero gravity. The Russians, it appears took a pencil, but I bet they did'nt have Brilliant Mandy the Blessed, Saint of Everything and Saviour of the World, or a Memory Foam Mattress. 2008 has started well.

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