So glad you've come...

Welcome to Tigressland, my own personal little corner of the Internet where I hang out expressing my views about the smaller things in life. No controversy here (I'm saving that for the book lol) just the everyday minutiae that add up to my rather unpredictable, but always fun, life! So pull up a cushion and come chill.....and follow! We bloggers love it when you follow ;-) ~Tigress

Thursday, 27 November 2014

It's all a bit crafty really....

It’s not that I have an addictive personality.....

Ok, I have an addictive personality

But it’s not like I mean to get absorbed in an activity for days on end. Time just sort of escapes me....scurries out the cat flap like a midnight ninja before I even have a chance to notice it was there.

But I have been using this escapee time productivity, I promise. I've been on a bit of a craft bent of late and anyone who has any sort of crafty inclinations will know where I'm heading with this.

First it was crochet....found some amazing wool, ‘boom’ a knee rug is born (perfect for a gift)
Thought about a shawl but then.....

Knitting: Hat, two scarves and halfway through a baby’s jersey (also perfect gifts)

But then I got a cross stitch idea

But I want to finish the jersey

But I got a really cool cross stitch idea!

And so the cross stitch phase begins. There is no controlling it I tell you, it’s like its own life form!

*Booming Godlike voice*: “You will craft or die!!”

“But the dishes need done....”

“Who cares! Thy needle shall not lay dormant!”

Like I’m gonna argue with the Craft God

Now as multi-talented as I may be, I can’t help but be aware of the fact that once upon a time many women used to dread this crap. “Come come, sit with your needle work, it’s not going to stitch itself now is it?” while they’re secretly sitting there yearning to go and poke some mofo with a sword or something much more exciting. But these days, after a day of physical and mental conquest, it’s more than therapeutic to sit down and quietly stab cloth and wool with sharp objects.

Saves on voodoo dolls.

And like the soup of a blog previous, I suspected there was quite the history to all this, though as it turns out, people have been making soup for a fair while longer than they have been cross stitching. The oldest cross stitch items are considered to be Celtic but the Egyptians were pretty keen on it too back in the day and many examples have been found buried in various tombs.

The oldest example found in the U.S of A is a sampler created by Loara Standish, daughter of Captain Myles Standish, and pioneer of the Leviathan stitch, circa 1653. (You can sleep tonight now you know that)

What I found a tad fascinating was that the two most common threads (DMC and Anchor) have been around since the 1800s! Well they must be doing something right.

Now the invention of the sewing machine in 1851, did put somewhat of a dent in the hand sewing habit but since the 1960’s it's been all go again. Even the young bods are getting into it and are bringing their modern tastes with them. In the UK, for example, one can now hang out at a “Stitch and Bitch” meeting, enjoying some stichery and a spot of hard core goss all at the same time.

Sounds pretty cool actually

What I was really curious about though (as one would expect with me) was how the gender divide was standing on this. While we are no doubt progressing in the content of the stitching....sugar skulls are now available alongside sunset scenes etc etc, are the guys busting out their needles and getting into a bit of stitch craft these days or is it still only the domain of the ovaried?

Well the stats aren't looking fabulous to be honest, but there are few guys entering the fold and one in particular is owning it nicely. So I'll leave you here with Jamie Chalmers, otherwise known as Mr X Stitch. Join him and his fellow crafters on his website or read a most excellent blog article about him on Urban Threads' StitchPunk site (both links below).

I, however, had better go...I feel an electricity in the air and my hands are starting to twitch

“Where is your needle?!”

All right, all right I’m going!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Pains in the arse...and other places...

Human beings do some pretty dumb shit at times.

And I'm not just talking about those who try to mimic their favourite YouTube stunt and consequently break their face off. It’s usually on a much simpler level than that.When it comes to our personal well-being, we’re just often not that bright.

While the diet and exercise industry makes a killing off our desires to ‘be healthy’ We don’t always pay attention to the other messages our body is sending. In fact “I'm fine” would have to be the biggest line of bullshit we feed the world (and ourselves half the time) and we really gotta knock that shit off. We often leave aches, pains, swellings, rashes, fatigue and digestive difficulties etc etc etc unattended until they really start to get stroppy...and thus make healing take twice as long.

And when we finally do go to a doctor we only do a half-arsed job of following what he or she says.

“I don’t like doctors” is a popular refrain here, the go to excuse when you really know you should go but just don’t wanna.

Ya know what, they’re probably not all that fond of you either...just putting it out there. They smile, they listen, they diagnose and they prescribe knowing full well you’re not going to take heed of the majority of health advice they, drink plenty of water etc.....hell, they'll be lucky if you even take the full course of tablets they prescribe at the times you’re supposed to.

 “I don’t like taking pills” Here we go again. My knee cap is falling off but stuffed if I'm taking any of those pills and anti inflammatory crap.

Hell no, why would you want to decrease the stress on your body that the pain and inflammation causes to make to make it heal faster. Just silly really.

And who needs to take the whole lot of those antibiotics; feel better after two days but the doc’s given you a whole week of the damn things. Yeah you do that buddy.... you stop taking them, so the bugs that remain have a chance to get stronger and make you sick again....and if you’re real lucky, they'll now be immune to the original anti-biotic and you'll need a stronger one, or better yet, there won’t be a stronger one which means you've CREATED A SUPERBUG!

Pleased with yourself?

Don’t get me wrong, some doctors aren't the best, they blatantly ignore nutritional options (whole ‘nother blog right there) and from what we hear about Big Pharma paying off the ones in America, well there is definitely cause for concern. But on the small scale, we got to do out bit.

For example, if your vision’s a bit dodgy and you’re feeling rather faint...get your ass to a doc. You've probably just got a vitamin or mineral deficiency but they’re just the people to be able to tell you which one you’re lacking. Failing that you could indeed have brain cancer but smaller tumours are easier to remove than big ones so either way, early detection is probably a good thing

In short there are a few things to watch for that will give you a good indication of when it is medical professional time.

According to several websites, they are as follows
1) New symptoms that have come about either suddenly or gradually but worsening. Things such as headaches or stomach pain that is very occasional and relatively mild is probably nothing to be too concerned with. The same things that suddenly appear and quite severely or gradually worsen over time are sufficient to sent you to the local medic for a once over and maybe some tests.
2) Common cold and flu symptoms, particularly coughing, that last more than two to three weeks. Colds and flu can sometimes be quite intense, but should sod off again once they have done their biz. If this doesn't happen then it is time for medical input to perhaps check for bacterial infection, immune system deficiencies or other problems.

3) Vomiting and diarrhoea continuing for several days and/or accompanied by blood where it shouldn't be and signs of dehydration (such as very dry mouth and armpits, confusion, and decreased urination). Green or black vomit is doc worthy as well (I didn't even know you could vomit in those colours.).

4) Pain or discomfort that stops you living your life normally or performing certain regular activities. Yes you may just me an unfit sod, but you should be able to get fit if you so desire without pain stopping you. So go get it sorted.

5) Anything that affects your breathing or swallowing as well as chest pain. Kind of a no brainer don’t you think.

6)  Psychological difficulties that are not going away. It’s ok to feel sad and negative sometimes, it’s not ok to feel sad and negative for six months, get help. If you find your moods often shift dramatically, you are addicted to certain substances or behaviours with negative consequences or that you have marked anxieties and/or difficulties in social situations, this may also be an indicator of a larger condition or imbalance in hormones and/or brain chemistry. Telling someone is important, it does not mean you are a wimp, it means you are onto it enough to know that something isn't right or that you are no longer in control of the situation and you need the professionals on the job. Just do it. Trust me on this.

This is not an exhaustive list. Basically, if something doesn't feel right, just go, especially if you have previously had a major condition, such as cancer, or the patient is elderly or a child.

And follow up for God’s sake. If the medicine doesn't work or you develop new symptoms...back you go. Some things take a bit of trial and error to work out. Your doctor is not a diagnostics computer that converts symptoms into basic error messages. He or she is human and has to work it out the hard way.

The easy thing is to start the investigation on time...that’s something we can all get smarter at.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Some soup for the soul...

I have a million things I would like to write about this week but, well, this Tigress is feeling a bit tatty round the edges to be honest....just a tad under the weather. And tempting though it is to distribute my thorough disdain for certain affluent socialites following their ass being shoved in my face via social media all week....I shall resist.

For now.

So consequently much of my time today has been allocated toward napping and making soup. It seems that one can’t go past an all inclusive meaty broth to comfort thyself during times of duress....or whenever you’re just feeling generally pathetic, a phenomenon I have comprehensively covered right at the moment.

Thus I got to wondering, as I do, about just how long this practice had been going on for. As it turns out....people have been seeking solace in the soup pot for quite a while now

According to my chums at, soup came on the scene about 6000 BC....probably due to the development of waterproof containers in which to boil it. After that it kinda just kept on developing.

The word soup, so I'm told, comes from the French soupe ("soup", "broth"), which, in turn, comes through Vulgar Latin suppa ("bread soaked in broth") from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word "sop", a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.

Glad they came up with something to call it. Could you just imagine: “Oh hey, come over for some noms, I'm making my famous boiled water with carrots, onions, potatoes, pumpkins and half a cow in it, you'll love it”

Menus would be a nightmare.

Speaking of eateries, even ‘restaurants (literally translated: 'food that restores")’ were originally set up (in 1765 Paris) to only sell soup: “an antidote to physical exhaustion” Cured all your ills and half your neighbours as well apparently.

So even historically, soup was the shiz

Well all except for that “Black Soup” concoction that the Spartans ate, made from boiled pig’s legs, blood, salt and vinegar. From all accounts that shit was just nasty.

But for the most part, soup scoffing seems to have been a pleasant activity enjoyed by many and in modern times we now have whole cookbooks devoted to the subject. With contributions from nearly every country, it can become quite the culinary travelogue:  borscht from Russia, consommé from France, Bird’s nest soup from China...

And some lesser known ones...

For example, in Pakistan there is Chakna (or "chaakna"), a spicy stew made out of goat tripe and other animal digestive parts.


The Polish dig soup made from fresh or picked cucumbers.

While in Turkey no one would bat an eyelid at being served Analı Kızlı, which literally translates to 'with daughters and mothers' (the daughters being the chickpeas and the mothers being the little semolina balls).

Who knew soup could be quite so.....weird.

But as much fun as I'm having researching the predecessors and faraway kith and kin to my dinner, I had best go forth and consume it before I waste way to mere shadow of my former self.

Ok, that ain’t gonna happen but I am keen on testing the whole ‘antidote to physical exhaustion’ theory

All in the name of research, and you know how I love my research.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Australian Wildlife 101 (Or...A Helpful Guide to what might kill you in Australia)

Australia is no picnic. And if you’re smart, it’s a country in which you will never go for one either. The amount of things that can kill you in the great land Down Under is quite staggering. And it’s not just the snakes and spiders that'll do you in.

I recently had a wee probe around the Internet, doing a spot of research and happened upon the Australian Geographic page outlining Australia’s top 30 most dangerous animals.

It immediately occurred to me that the list of potentially lethal critters in this country must be fairly decent then for them to be able to isolate a top 30. I was simultaneously awed and terrified.

Let me share with you some of their revelations (if you are planning to visit Australia, you may want to skip this and await next week’s blog, just putting it out there)

Snakes: Although it is not a snake that tops the 30 most dangerous animals list, Australia is home to not only the world’s deadliest snake but also a plethora of its almost equally noxious serpentine relatives. Fortunately the most venomous slitherer: Oxyuranus microlepidotus or the Inland Taipan, is an elusive chappy and doesn't come out to play with humans very often, thus resulting in its total death count of zero. This is fantastic considering it contains enough toxin to kill several know, just in case it encounters a flock of rapid herpetologists or something.

What is not so fantastic is that of the 139 other breeds of land snake in this country, way too many of them also pack some kill juice and will not hesitate to share it with you if the whim takes them, or you piss them off; in fact 12 snakes feature in the top 30. I was heartened to discover however, that the snake considered the most dangerous overall was called the Eastern Brown snake....that is, it lives more ‘over East’....i.e.. not here.

I was not nearly so heartened to discover that number two on the dangerous snake list was called the Western Brown snake.....

I stopped researching snakes about then.

Spiders: Australia is also home to a rather nifty assortment of toxic spiders. Now to be fair, I really shouldn't wax dramatic on our little arachnid buddies as they haven’t killed anybody in Australia since 1981. And while a nibble from the Sydney Funnel Web spider (seventh on the dangerous creatures list) can make you feel rather unfortunate, and a nip from a Redback (24th) ain’t exactly a waltz in the park either, overall you have more chance of carking it from a bee sting in Australia than you ever will from a spider bite (a fact that actually promotes the humble honey bee to 2nd on the aforementioned top 30!).

So if a snake or spider isn’t the most dangerous animal in Australia, what is?

“Crocodile!” I hear you shout.

Nope that‘s number six...and while they have been verified at over six metres long (unverified up to eight metres.....just take a moment there), they are only responsible for the demise to one to two Aussies per year and snack on a very small selection of others.


Doesn't even feature on the list. Bull ants, giant centipedes and the Australian paralysis tick will do you more damage than those guys.

And if you’re guessing shark, you’d get a big fat ‘no dice’ on that one as well. Coming in at only number four, the Bull shark (stealing 13 places on its cousin the Great White in 17th) is one mean ass predator that can swim up rivers to eat you if it so desires, but it still can’t even penetrate the top three in the danger stakes.

That task is left to other occupants of the sea.

Taking out the Most Dangerous Creature in Australia title is...

Drumroll please...

.....the not so humble Box Jellyfish, and right up its tushy at number three (flanking the honeybee in its number two position) is the Irukandji (another jellyfish).


I kid you not.

This country is so badass it just uses sharks and snakes as backup. If it really wants to kill yo’ ass it'll chuck a highly toxic ball of goo at you. And the chances of you seeing it coming are slim to none as both the box and Irukandji jellyfish have near invisible tentacles that, and I quote: “can entangle you and have millions of harpoons that inject a lot of venom at once. The box jellyfish in particular...can kill in minutes.”

Well 10 points for efficiency.

You know how Dory said “Just keep swimming, just leep swimm....”... well don’t.

The only good thing about all this, (well from a personal perspective), is that most of the real bad boys are up north, jellyfish included. So unless you’re hanging out somewhere like Darwin, there is not too much to be concerned about.

Unless, of course, you’re moving to Darwin

Where a lot of the mining work is

Like what Kevman does...

Might see if there’s any vodka left from that whole printer episode. See you next week!