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Not the duke and duchess of *me*

Yet another rebrand. The Queen slapped sussexroyal.com out of their hands and now they’ve abandoned archewell.com and redirected it to sussex.com

No way sussex.com was free, I thought.

And I was right. According to WHOIS, the URL was registered in 1995. The Wayback Machine says it was active from 1995 until 2013. It was owned by a software company in the States called Sussex Systems, Inc.

It went dark for ten years and then up it pops on February 4 this year with these two muppets attached. I’m guessing after the demise of Sussex Systems, somebody squatted on the name all that time. I’d love to know what they had to pay for it.

It would be even better if the King took their titles away so they couldn’t use it any more. I’m sick of them messing up my Google searches.

February 13, 2024 — 8:57 pm
Comments: 4

No shit.

Our fancy, computer-controlled, hippie-approved septic system broke down over the weekend and took our electricity with it. Uncle B spent all Sunday morning isolating the source of the power outage.

We didn’t install this thing on purpose. It was a condition of the sale of the house because our waste discharges into a stream. Our neighbors are grandfathered in and don’t have a fancy system *grimace emoji*

It’s been a maintenance nightmare.

Outlet pump this time. We were told they usually last 5 years and ours lasted fifteen, so yay I guess. Somehow it doesn’t feel lucky.

If you’d like an explanation of how it works, you can watch this video on the Septic Tank TV channel. Or don’t. He does a lousy job explaining how waste water gets from the dirty side to the clean side. You will learn the charming old English term “poo water” however.

February 12, 2024 — 5:49 pm
Comments: 9

Not nice.

Someone had to cancel an appointment with me today because a person was hit and killed by a train and all traffic was halted. You couldn’t even drive over the crossing at the nearest station.

Probably a mess.

The article doesn’t say, but it was likely a suicide. Death by train is a surprisingly common method here. They don’t have the option of a revolver and decanter of brandy.

The picture is Ashford International Station where the train was headed. Because all traffic in our area is routed through Ashford. Which isn’t international any more. And is a dump.

We catch a disease every time we go to Ashford.

Edit to add: I’ve just read this on Quora “If you type ‘illuminati’ backwards, followed by ‘.com’ as a URL, you will be directed to the US government’s national security page.” I tried it and itanimulli.com does indeed take you to the NSA.

February 5, 2024 — 7:43 pm
Comments: 11

English girls scouts were hard core

Found in an archive of papers from an early troop of Girl Guides: semaphore flash cards. I mentioned this at a coffee morning and one of the old girls got up and gave me the whole alphabet.

But why? What possible use would a visual system of long-distance communication used by the Navy be to little girls?

I’ve Googled high and Googled low. I can confirm there was a lot of it about. All girls. The Girl Scouts got up to it in the States, too.

I found this quote from an old women’s encyclopedia: “A semaphore parade. Even the youngest children will enjoy a lesson on this subject, and will acquire a sense of discipline and a quickness of perception by its help” but the rest of the article goes on to describe teaching children to build a pretend field hospital and splint broken bones. Cheerful!

A lot of what is captioned as semaphore is just pictures of people waving flags around.

I guess it’s a simple as making kids memorize something. We had to memorize stuff. But why semaphore and why girls?

January 31, 2024 — 8:23 pm
Comments: 8


A week after the queen died, some chump got on Ebay and tried to auction off her stick. Well, not actually her stick, dude was a fraud. Winning bid, in the end, was £540 – though he quickly closed the auction when he got wind that the police were investigating.

How you know the police are looking into something online, I have no idea. How the police got involved, I haven’t a clue.

The story here, as far as I’m concerned, is the lengths the police and the Crown Prosecution Service went to convict him. That it went to trial at all is a bit of a surprise, but they bothered to round up “extensive computer evidence” – which couldn’t have been cheap. For a very petty crime that resulted in, basically, a year’s probation. It just seems an insane use of police and the courts.

Believe me, there are much worse things that get much less attention. I wonder if there are special police that do online searches for the royal family all day?

January 30, 2024 — 8:26 pm
Comments: 1

Musical numbers

In the previous thread, Surly Ermine asked me if I had any new favorite Christmas carols since moving to Merry Olde. There is a whole ‘nother stable of standard Christmas music here and it falls into three broad categories.

The stuff that gets the most radio play. What I think of as the crooner songs – the mid-century movie classics like White Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I hate those songs. Always have done.

I also hate the expression “mid century” to mean something common from my childhood that is now regarded as a genuine and sought-after rarity. The antiques programs are all over it. But I digress.

Second are a small group of carols that I know well, but are sung to a completely different tune here. Away in a Manger is one of those. We don’t go to the carol service any more since they moved it to Christmas Eve, but I always found it really difficult to read those words and sing a totally different tune.

Finally there are the carols that are completely unfamiliar to me. The one that stands out is the Tudor-era Coventry Carol, which sounds a sweet little song until you realize it’s a mother singing a lullaby to quiet her baby before it gets slaughtered in Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents. Christmassy!

December 13, 2023 — 7:31 pm
Comments: 5

Welp, I’ve done it

I’ve done it. I’ve taken an oath to the King. I’m sure at least a few of my ancestors are rolling their eyeballs in hell. Here’s what I had to say:

I, Stoaty Weasel, swear by Almighty God that, on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III, his Heirs and Successors, according to law.

I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.

I had the option to take the oath in Welsh. Are you ready? Back up:

Yr wyf i, Stoaty Weasel, yn tyngu i Dduw Hollalluog y byddaf i, ar ôl dod yn ddinesydd Prydeinig, yn ffyddlon ac yn wir deyrngar i’w Fawrhydi y Brenin Charles y Trydydd, ei Etifeddion a’i Olynwyr, yn unol â’r gyfraith.

Rhoddaf fy nheyrngarwch i’r Deyrnas Unedig a pharchaf ei hawliau a’i rhyddidau. Arddelaf ei gwerthoedd democrataidd. Glynaf yn ffyddlon wrth ei chyfreithiau a chyflawnaf fy nyletswyddau a’m rhwymedigaethau fel dinesydd Prydeinig.

How is this even a language?

So that’s it. My last bit of British legalese. I’ve already registered to vote and started my passport application.

The process was: biometrics, Fiancee Visa, Further Leave to Remain, Life in the UK Test, Indefinite Leave to Remain, Naturalisation application (with added biometrics!). My prospects as a cat burglar are doomed. I’m sure I’m missing a couple of hoops in there.

If you would like a look down memory lane, the keyword is weaselimportlicense. The very first post is How to get a Weasel Import License, Part the First – October 3, 2008. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

p.s. I love the way both the lion and the unicorn are sticking their tongues out. The lion is doing a full Gene Simmons.

Oh, and Norman Lear has copped it. Congratz to Army Brat and new Dead Pool Friday. These things are getting shorter and shorter.

December 6, 2023 — 7:37 pm
Comments: 15

Cursed. CURSED!

This painting was recently sold for £20 at a junk shop near me. Then it was brought back. Then it was sold again. Then brought back. Then sold for £25.

Having acquired a reputation as accursed, it sold on Ebay to an attraction in London for £1,600. Yes, it’s a Hallowe’en story – I missed it at the time.

The article describes all the ill luck that supposedly has followed it, including to people at its final home.

Personally, I think it’s simply unnerving because her left eye is about twice the size of her right eye. It’s otherwise reasonably well painted, which somehow makes it worse.

People will only accept so much facial asymmetry.

RFK jr’s face gives me the willies. It’s like his left eye is trying to slide off his face, just like this guy (name that film!).

November 21, 2023 — 8:06 pm
Comments: 4

Holy shit, it’s for real

When Uncle B sent me this, I thought it was a piss-take. That’s clearly Lympne Castle in Kent (pronounced “Lim”).

But no, it was up for sale in 2021 for £11 million. If’n you ask me, that’s not a bad price for a 18,862 square foot Medieval castle with 130 acres overlooking France, for cry-yi. It would take a bit of hoovering, though.

That’s the farthest extent of my travels up the coast (I’ve never been to Dover). We briefly considered it as a wedding venue until we learned it is very, very high on a cliff. Don’t do heights.

The new owners will be using it as – what else? – a wedding venue.

October 16, 2023 — 7:13 pm
Comments: 4

We smell.

Those little black triangles are places where the water supply is low to non-existent. We aren’t even that near one and our water is out. Has been, off and on, since last Friday.

My first idea for an illustration was cartoon stink lines. Nobody’s having a whole lot of hygiene. Thanks to our storage tank, I can at least wash my hair in rat water.

It feeds the toilet, too, so we’ve been able to flush as normal. Phew. It looks like times when we have a little water, it trickle-fills that tank.

What happened, you ask? Earthquake? Bombing campaign?

I can’t speak to all those other black triangles, but rumor has it in our area there was some planned maintenance project, during which some bit of engineering that hasn’t seen sunshine since Victoria went pop.

No idea when we’ll be clean again.

September 28, 2023 — 7:10 pm
Comments: 8