Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Z finds her fingers strangely interesting

I'm not sure which photo better displays the full horribleness of bricklayer's fingers, with flash or without. So here are both.



My dentist appointment was okay, and nothing needs to be done. Squiffany has been told to stop sucking her thumb, poor little thing, as it's pushing her front teeth forward. The dentist suggesting buying the stuff you use to deter children from biting nails, so Al went to the chemist for some Stop'n'Grow. "My mother bought me that when I was a child," I observed. "Terribly bitter, which I found intriguing, and I couldn't resist licking it off." But then I was always an odd child. I still like bitter flavours.

It's a pleasant, sunny evening. The forecast for tomorrow is still rain, however.

Although he hasn't said so in as many words, I suspect that the Sage misses Ro. He keeps asking me if I've had an email from him. I don't expect to - although apparently he phoned last night while I was out at a meeting. A bank statement arrived for him this morning, which gave the Sage an excuse to phone him at work to ask if he'd like it sent on. I have to keep looking in the paper to see if there's anything on television I might want to watch, when usually I rely on Ro telling me. There isn't. Funny, that the more channels there are, the less television I watch.

19 comments:

luckyzmom said...

The last is the toughest you know. I've heard it suggested that you start a new hobby at a time like this. You are already incredibly busy though. Perhaps you could knit him something!

luckyzmom said...

that you should start

Z said...

He's only in Norwich. He lived 300 miles away for 3 years at university. I'll be pleased to see him next, but it doesn't feel like some great rite of passage that he's moved out, even though I have told him I'm going to rent out his room asap.

Actually, my new hobby is my husband. We haven't lived alone together very much during our whole marriage - a total of less than 3 years out of 36.

Dave said...

You also have bricklaying as a hobby for the rest of this summer (and next if the rain keeps up) - by which time your fingers will have toughened up so much you won't be able to play the organ.

That's my excuse, anway.

Z said...

Absolutely - and I'm going to have a new flower bed to play with, and the old car to go for rides in, and not being able to play the organ would be a great bonus.

I've got your cricket teas to plan as well of course, which takes hours.

I made myself a scarf and a hat back in the winter - I think that's enough knitting to be going on with.

PI said...

Fortunately you are resourceful and have many interests so you won't have the empty nest syndrome and you have lots of family around. Lucky you;)

Dandelion said...

Oh, this is heart-breaking. I miss Ro, just by reading this.

On the subject of the hands, have you ever seen an actual builder's hands? Shovel-shaped, and square fingers. Just be careful, I would.

Aleesuhn_Muhree said...

Without flash. . . that looks terribly painful!

lom said...

I used to paint my sons nails with stop 'n' grow, he ate bottles of the stuff

Z said...

Usually, Ro appears for meals and then later at the end of the evening we sit reading, watching television or doing something on our respective computers. It's not that we don't talk to each other, but we don't do a lot together. I suspect deliberately, he hasn't returned to full family life since he left university. If I'd been going to suffer empty nest syndrome, it would have been then but I was looking after my mother and didn't have time.

My fingers don't hurt, but feel like sandpaper. They've gone shiny this morning.

Blue Witch said...

"a total of less than 3 years out of 36."

*faints*

The last reliable blogger bastion of the English language has let me down ;)

Z said...

*Splashes BW with cold water*

No, it was used deliberately. Had I said "fewer than 3 years", you could well have asked why I simply didn't say 1 or 2 years. But the time I refer to is between 2 and 3 years; hence more than 2 and less than 3.

I considered writing an explanation at the time I put the comment, but thought it would look a bit fussy.

Blue Witch said...

My comment on that excuse is, "Creative but incredible." ;)

Z said...

It's also correct. Fewer than 'a round number' is another round number. A year isn't just a number, it's a period of time. Similarly, if I said "I'll be ready in less than 10 minutes" it could be any time between now and 10 minutes away. One simply wouldn't say "I'll be with you in fewer than 10 minutes", because if so, why wouldn't you say the exact number of minutes?

On the other hand, if there were marbles in a jar, and you were estimating how many, you'd say 'fewer than 50' because the answer would be an exact number of marbles.

Dandelion said...

Yes, z is definitely right. It was clear to me when I read it that the "less" was referring to time and not to units of time. Which makes the usage perfectly correct, because time is a mass noun, just like butter and sugar.

Dandelion said...

Although actually, z, with the marbles, you could say "less than 50", if you were referring in the mathematical sense to the number, and not to the marbles. As in "<50".

Blue Witch said...

I think we'll agree to differ on this one. Anything that is quantifiable by counting should be fewer IMHO. Time can be counted down to the second.

Z said...

Yes, but I wasn't measuring in seconds. Even if your argument were correct by the rules of English, and we will agree to differ over that, "A total of fewer than 3 years", meaning an unspecified and uncountable period of time between 2 and 3 years, sounds absurd and no one would actually say it except possibly the rare ones who say "Amn't I" rather than "Aren't I" - which does, at least have the merit of being grammatically correct.

Dandelion said...

No, BW: Seconds can be counted, but time can only be measured. Similarly, units of butter (or sugar) can also be counted (lbs or kgs for eg), but the butter itself cannot.

Therefore a person could use either "less" or "fewer", depending on whether they were referring to time or units of time respectively.

You know I'm right, I know you do
:-)