Sunday, October 22, 2006

What THEY gonna do when they come for you?

According to the BBC website today, the UK is becoming a country that is fearful of its teenagers.

The gist of the story follows:
Is Britain too fearful of its young?
Britain is in danger of becoming a nation fearful of its young, a report has claimed.
British adults are less likely than those in European countries to intervene to prevent teenagers committing anti-social behaviour, according to the Institute of Public Policy Research.
Nearly 1.7m people admitted they avoided going out after dark as a direct result of youths gathering. The report blamed changes in family, communities and the economy for the "increased risk in youth crime."

Now I have a solution, albeit radical, but hear me out. To go into it further, we have to have a bit of background.

The mists of time peel back to reveal a 5 year old girl sitting at the kitchen table chatting with her Mother. The walls are custard coloured and the girl is wearing an orange polo neck with a brown checked pinafore and plain brown tights. Raggedy Annie, her favourite doll is sitting on the chair beside her. The television in the corner is showing the news. The newsreader reads out something about prisons.

Young girl: "What is a prison Mummy?"

Mother: "A prison is a place you go to when you do VERY BAD THINGS, you are fed nothing else but hard bread and tepid water three times a day and have to do homework twice a day"

Young girl: "Well I am never going there, it sounds horrible!"

And 25 years later, funnily enough, I never has the hankering to do anything which would result in me exploring the truth of these statements. My Mother is an exceptionally clever woman.

So here is my idea, make prisons really horrible places. Not glamorous satellite TV watching hot lesbian sex pleasure breaks as portrayed on Bad Girls but really nasty places where you have to work your tush off (but no harder than the average Mother with a young child because that would be cruel!)

Here is how I see a typical day going:

6:30 - Bell goes for get up (in line with most of the land so no unnecessary cruelty there)
7.00 - Breakfast - Stewed fruit and grains OR Porridge OR Muesli and Coffee OR Tea. As much water as the prisoners would like (tap of course) and a mountain of brown bread and margarine, 1 slice for everyone in the house (to encourage latecomers not to be so late)
7.45 - Report for work with a choice of tasks for the mornings:
1) Washing the terry nappies of the nations babies
2) Putting together Ikea furniture
3) Reviewing the Channel5 schedule for women's magazines
4) Repairing clothes sent in by people who cannot afford new ones
5) *I'll fill these and proceeding ones in as they occur to me*
11.00 - Humanitarian Break
11.15 - Back to work
12.30 - Lunch - Fish, potatoes and veg. OR Veg. Lasagna and salad OR Minced beef in tomato sauce with rice and veg. with as much milk and tap water as the inmates want to drink. A piece of fruit to follow.
1.30 - Back to work on a different task from the morning ones
3.45 - Comfort break
4.00 - Back to work
5.30 - Finish work for the day
6.00 - Dinner - Veg. casserole OR Fish and potato pie OR lamp chops with potato and veg. Fruit salad to follow. As much milk and tap water as the inmates want to drink.
7.00 - Evening classes: Understanding Shakespeare OR how to assemble Ikea furniture OR advanced laundry classes OR manging personal finance OR basic reading and writing OR basis maths. Classes are optional.
For people who do not do classes, their options will be cleaning their cells or reading from the internal library which will not stock any books written before 1900. Of course books will be sourced in any language a prisoner reads best in as long as they are pre-1900.
No book written by a dictator, mad person, which was the subject of a court trial or is in any way controversial will be allowed. This is to protect the prisoners.
8.00 - Classes over and time for communal chatter, the general theme of which will revolve around how horrible porridge made with water is.
9.00 - Clean cells for an hour with tepid soapy water and a scrubbing brush. Rubber gloves will be handed out for good behaviour.
10.00 - Locked in cells and lights out.

You see (hypothetically) I would like a break from my family and a new expensive coat. So let me weight it up, if I steal the coat and don't get caught, I am one coat up. If I am caught, I get a warm dry cell, three nice meals a day under the human rights act, no working day, free trade classes which I could not afford on the outside and satellite TV. Mmmmmm.... what to do.....

But what if the option was porridge, unpleasant manual work and no TV. I reckon, I might just stay at home and perhaps get a job but I am odd like that.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ideas I wish I had come up with...

Lego

Brio train sets

The Garbage pail kids (not their wussy Cabbage patch counterparts)

.... and all basic good simple worthwhile popular ideas of that ilk.


Ideas I am so glad that I do NOT have the mind to come up with:

Putting microchips in wheelie bins

Thinking the Beatles were not worth signing

Test tube aliens

I kid you not, some marketing executive has decided that selling developing beings in a test tube is an excellent idea. Was this a cousin of the genius who marketed the ingredients for a bomb in a pre-pubescent chemistry kit? It is not the morality of the thing I object to, as always I bestraddle the fence with a slightly pained expression on my face but say the words out loud "test tube toys for children" and refrain from grimacing, I challenge you.

"There are 6 Test Tube Aliens to collect - 3 'good' & 3 'evil' . The 3 good aliens are called 'Kurion, Yagoni and Tatsuni'. Then you have the 3 evil aliens, and their names are 'Dodec, Takon and Shako'. Each comes as a chrysalis which hatches when submerged in water in the accompanying test tube. As you bring life to your unborn alien it will detect light and its electronic heart will start to beat. Add the special growing portion provided (a nutrient rich slime) and over a 14 day period the Alien will grow to around 8 times its birth size."

So 25 years after all the furore, objections and screaming about the immorality of test tube babies, we are giving their alien counterparts to children to play with.

So that's ok then.

40 years ago this week



40 years ago in a Welsh town called Aberfan a coal waste tip slid down a mountain engulfing the Pantglas Junior School and surrounding houses which stood in its path.

144 people were killed. 116 of these were children.

It happened just after pupils had arrived for classes at the school on the last day before half-term that year. If it had happened the next day, the school would have been empty of children.

The picture above is of the mass funeral that was held for the victims.

A tribunal found the National Coal Board was responsible for the disaster, but nobody was sacked or prosecuted.

When it was revealed the remaining tips were still in danger of slipping, the villagers asked the government to remove them. After a while, when the government finally agreed, they asked the village for £150,000 towards the work from the disaster fund which had accumulated donations of £1.75m.


Hold your own children a little closer to you today and thank whatever deity you believe in for the. If you can, give a thought for the people of Aberfan who lost their children and were let down by God, man, government and industry.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What a girl wants, what a girl needs...

What I want: World peace, for us all just to fucking get along, for the unicorn to become un- extinct, for my daughter to grow up not giving a shite about the way she looks (rather like me) whilst being absolutely gorgeous (rather unlike me) for my son to be so big and strong that he scares the bullies whilst never indulging in their sort of behaviour, for my husband to forgive me my imperfections (like wheat beer and and I NOT mixing) and a guarantee that my collection of priceless PG Wodehouse books to remain intact.

What I need: Love, a warm waterproof roof over my family's head, a regular pay-packet, the sort of job that allows me a home-life, the right to express myself, entertainment, a good laugh, a nice smelly cheese, a decent glass of wine, the company of my old friends, some time to myself occasionally, good coffee, decent pre-prepared low-calorie meals and intimacy.

See? It is not rocket science and among women in general, our wants and needs do not vary that much.

So Jack Straw, a British politician, a father of a convicted (soft) drug dealer, a brother to a man who has committed sexual assault and a husband to an inside trader has decided to tell Niqab-wearing women this week how he would like them to dress for an audience with him.

Hell, is this open week? Can I tell Mr. Straw how I would like him to dress for an audience with me?

He would like women dictated to by their culture and religion to listen to his white liberal tall skinny western ass tell them how to dress? Well that works for me!*

So if he can tell a woman who is covered facially by the Niqab (see pic) Can he (should he) tell me, in my jeans and top to come back and talk to him in my bikini and grass skirt? Seriously, can he?

(Pic as promised)

Because you see, I had really bloody odd conservative parents. They installed this flippin' odd belief in me that to march into a politician's office wearing short hemmed gear would be a bad idea. Do you reckon that the average woman that likes the familiarity and comfort of her traditional dress (what way, shape or form the hemlines may take) takes joy in being told to dress the way that makes a male politician comfortable????

Fuck off all males dictating to women how to dress tonight. May you all stub your toes on something as big as your own stupidity!

As for Mr. Straw who would like women to wear less to allow better communication; the two fingered "you're crap" salute does not need a revelation of nose and mouth. An angry woman wanting something changed is an angry woman, you do not need to see her mouth and nose exposed to tell she is angry. Most women have the gift of getting the message accross.

If this society is really interested in what women want and what women need, they will start by fucking asking them, not presuming for them, after all, that is what democracies do, NOT dictators. We do live in a democracy, don't we?!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I could be a thousandaire!

As a lot of you (all 5) who tune in regularly know I work full time, (mostly to pay a nanny) clean the house, do the laundry, cook most of the meals and have a husband who occasionally cooks and frequently (by obligation and threats) washes up. That is our arrangement and it works (for the most part) very well. I like doing most of the house work as it means that things get done my way. I am not saying this is the right way or the best way but it is the way that I prefer. It also means I get time off for good(-ish) behaviour to go to the gym.

However, tonight I saw a respite, a way to live in a £500,000 house, be given £86,000 annually by the government, take exotic holidays, drive a big car, send the kids to private school AND stay at home. Our local free paper The Mercury delivered us a front page story about a local scrounger (their words) operating under those very circumsdances. I asked Rups (he who knows all) how it was possible to claim £86,000 a year. His reply was "have lots and lots of kids and claim for all of them"

Sod that, I'm staying working. It is far easier.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What price a life?

Who knows? I would say it is priceless times priceless but that is just me.

However the British government have just put a price on asking their troops to put their life in jeopardy. A £2,240 tax-free bonus.

This is not a post on the rights and wrongs of the war. This is a post about the men and women who make up the British services abroad.

Let's do the black and white of this:
Chap(ette) A: I am a member of the British forces in a desk jockey or a trainer role paid X (minus the usual tax, National Insurance and Health/Wealth contributions) by the British army to sit (march) somewhere in the UK doing my job. The biggest dangers to my well-being are a bee-sting, being charged by an angry bull (should I be daft enough to wander into a field containing such a beast)or contracting the common cold.
Chap(ette) B: I am somewhere miles away from home, be it Iraq, Afghanistan The Congo, The Lebanon, Northern Ireland or other such desirable tourist destinations There is proven and presidented danger to my life and limb. I am to be paid X (minus the usual tax, National Insurance and Health/Wealth contributions) plus £2,240 Oh whoppee-*bleeping*-doo.

People who are sent abroad on active duty are expected to pay tax on their earnings? Talk about being f***** right over for your dedication. The Irish army get more annual extra earnings for accompanying Securicor vans to and from the banks.

It is a good job that the services are a vocation for the majority of people who join them because no-one would do it for the money.

Troops, try not to spend all your new-found wealth on wine, (wo)men and song.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Where have all the vocations gone?

What is your occupation?
What do you do for a living?
What is your job?
Do you have a career?

Do you know what a vocation is?

When I was growing up, people talked about certain occupations as being more than jobs, they were vocations. That is to say that the people did them felt a calling to that job which went beyond wages, beyond glamour, beyond any other entrapment or lure of modern employment. It was simply something that they were compelled to do.

The roles in society filled by these people with the calling were the priesthood, being a doctor, being a surgeon, nursing, teaching and careers in that permanent pensionable respectable vein. I never felt like I had a vocation, I was much too scatty for that. My educational and employment history lurch from one pivot to another (as much as one can lurch from a pivot)

I left school at 16
I worked waitressing and bar-tending
I went back at 18 and completed 2 years of school in one year despite being dyslexic. I wanted to work really hard more than I wanted to go back to wearing a uniform in state school and I could only afford one year of private sixth form college so it was complete my studies on one year or not at all. I also worked in a bar part-time to pay rent.
I took a year off and worked full-time as a receptionist in a hairdressers and a waitress to replenish my savings
I didn't know what to do in college so I did a year long diploma in media studies. I had my first term dalliance with computers. I also worked as a 'copy operator' in a photocopying shop. That was some job.
I decided to do degree in classical studies. It was a three year degree and I really got into Homer and all his creations in sixth form college so I thought "why not"
I also did a part-time evening diploma in gender studies at the same time and worked part-time as a chamber maid, door(wo)man and barmaid.
After college, I was at a bit of a loss so I did a diploma in computer studies and worked on the helpdesk in a call-centre in the evenings...
The computer studies lead to my first job in 'puter with Compaq and now I am at the giddy heights I have reached today. (ahem....)

But you know something, I still don't know what I want to do. I still find myself thinking over this notion of a vocation and wondering if I have missed the cues for mine.

Then I read of teachers seducing their young pupils, doctors murdering their patients and helping themselves to their valuables and the unspeakable acts of abuse committed by some members of the clergy against those in their care.

I have to wonder did those people feel a call to their profession at one time? Is what they did the symptom of what happens when people take up a job without it being a vocation for them?

What does/did the notion of vocation actually mean and is it still a relevant concept nowadays?

I don't know. There are just times when I cannot shake the notion that I am supposed to do more. I just don't know what.

E.
(Who is having one of those horrible introspective nights - I shall try to shake this off and get back to being frivolous as soon as I can)

Monday, September 25, 2006

As the French would say, "Oui Oui"

There are some television ads which are mundane, there are some that make you want to turn the TV off, there are some so bad they make you want to chew your own eyes out just so you can stop looking at them but tonight I have seen one that I wanted to come straight back on again so I could make sure I had seen what I thought I heard.

Picture it if you will:
A plastic pregnancy test stick, low lighting, the stick suspended in space being turned slowly so it looks all arty and modern.
The voice over booms: The clearblue pregnancy test stick, the most advanced piece of technology you will ever pee on"


It took me about two minutes to re-gain my composure. Hell I really have to get myself one of those as I am one of those girls who can only pee on really technological objects. I am so fed up weeing on my iPod, it just doesn't feel that advanced anymore!

*snigger*

Between that and the roller-skating tampon wearing women of the 90s, it really just shows some advertising agencies really do not have a notion, do they, bless 'em.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Richard Hammond eating cornflakes....

.... chatting and walking off to the chap's room on his own.

He is now in the general ward of Leeds hospital.

Fair dues to whoever designed the bodysuit he was wearing when he crashed and also to the air-ambulance crew who lifted him to the head trauma unit where he was treated. If they had not got him there in 12 minuites, the alternative was a 40-minuite ambulance trip.

Also fair dues to the Top Gear viewers who donated £4000 within 24 hours to that same air-ambulance unit, £65,000 within 48 hours and £156,279.70 to date. What a decent set of fans the man inspires.

To everyone whittering on about health and safety, go an boil your heads .... in tepid oil of course. What is your problem? He was not driving a car along the motorway with his baby daughters unstrapped in the back seats, he was driving a jet powered car along a deserted airfield. He was responsible for his own actions. Let adults make up their own minds as long as they seem relatively sane enough to do so. Although some feats of human achievement probably would not have possible without some men and women skirting very close to the lunacy line. Anyone care to walk to the South Pole or climb Mt. Everest without polartec underwear?

To all the 'we told you it would happen sooner or later' finger wagglers; go out today and take a fucking risk. What's wrong? Are you afraid of denting your china-cup holding pinkie? Are you jealous that you won't inspire people to donate money in your name if something goes wrong? Risks make us feel alive and a life without frisson is not worth living. Is there a point in getting out of bed to face a day without possibilities?

Anyhow enough of all that soppy babbling and onto a much more importaint consideration: Where will they put the Vampire Jet on the cool wall?

Good read. An article by Jeremy Clarkson on the last few days. It is well worth reading and a lovely tribute to his friend. Warning though, it is printed in the Sun :)

It's enough to drive you to drink...

Top anglers drug tested at fishing competition

Yes, a fishing competition. I guess it must be tranquilizers that they have been taking in order to put up with the bum-numbing self-discipline that it takes in order to sit there hour after hour imaging the crap.. sorry carp they are going to catch in English rivers.

Perhaps the officials are afraid of sabotage and these are anti-doping measures? Hullo? Have you ever looked at the 'high on contentment' expression of anglers on their weekly escape from the rest of their lives? In order to win over these seventy other dwarfs all called Dopey, you need to soup yourself up on amphetamines (the kind that allow you to sit very still and talk in whispers) and not drug the other water-watchers.

What next, the staid members of the Women's Institute stripping naked in calendars for sale all over the country?

Muriel wondered if Stanley's new found energy bursts were from sunflower seeds after all?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Waiting to live ….

Why are you here, why are you reading this. Are you, like me and occasionally feeling like you are waiting to live.

Are you waiting to live seriously? "we'll get married once some complication is removed"
Are you waiting to live trivially? "I'll win the fairtrade raw coffee bean eating competition once I kick my psychologically imagined aversion to caffeine"
Are you waiting to live? "fill in the spaces here yourself"

We all do it. Do the words “I’ll do it, once this computer game, project, this week’s work, this developmental phrase or whatever is over” ring familiar to you?

Recently have you declared:
“Once my partner comes back from abroad, we will stop staying up late watching the crap on cable and go to bed early every night and have sex” or
“Once my period is over, I will stop being grumpy all the time”or“Once my Mother has gone back home, I will stop consoling myself with a pot of ice-cream every night and lose weight” or
”Once I settle in at work, I will embark on a series of training courses to give my brain an outing and some exercise”
or
“Once this (latest) holiday is over, we will start trying for kids”

If so dear reader, you too have been waiting to live. Eithear seriously or trivially, you decide.

Why do we put off curing bad habits until some seminal event in our lives is completed? The thing is, it is really hard to cure unless you realise it is a problem.

Procrastination only came into being as a word because motivation had not yet been invented.

What if I was killed tomorrow? What if a London no.386 bus knocked me over (not a 54 because they go to Woolwich and who the hell wants to be snuffed out by a Woolwich bus??!)If I was killed tomorrow, I would be well pissed off at the fact I had been waiting to do so much trivial stuff.

Of course, I (we) work very hard for the important things. We work at our marriage; we try to make each other happy. We try to make each other laugh. We work at raising happy children, we work at raising healthy children, we work at raising mannerly children. We work to bring up the children so they do not want for anything, we work to put a warm dry roof over the children’s (and our) heads. For all this work we are rewarded with a rich love life, a comfortable (very messy) home, lovable children, a great wine cellar (hic) and the ability to sleep like the dead at night.

That is not to say that everyone who works at this and does not attain it is unworthy, we are aware that luck (a lot of it) comes into our lives as well.

However there is another side to me that occasionally looks out at the horizon a tad restless and wanting something less rather than more. There is space (if not time) for triviality in my life. All I have to do is slot it into my weekly schedule between 38 hours working, six hours walking to work, 6 hours in the gym, 5 hours housework, 4 hours cooking, 7 hours playing with and reading to the children, 16 minutes making love (showing off, I know) 1 hours shopping, an hour in the coffee shop and the rest of the time conked out …. usually snoring …with my mouth open …and dribble pouring out ……(I’m pure class, me)

Of course there are important things I want to do like instil in the children a love of literature and a sense of independence. I want to progress in my job, being known as a techie female rather than a woman who works in IT. (Some days I am there, some I am not) Travel with my husband to far-flung exotic places where they do not serve rancid fish and mozzie body parts (one of our honeymoon highlights –don’t ask!)I want to take part in a competitive sporting team, drive my children to their sports training over the weekends and keep a smile on my husband’s face.

Catering to my frivolous side, here is a list of trivial completely unimportant things I have not done yet that I would really like to do (in no particular order)
* Climb all the way up to the cab of a skyline crane and look at the view below. I would really like to go in one of the cranes in Docklands I pass them everyday and I am bursting to ‘have a go’
* Lose another 21lbs (36lbs gone to date –yay me!)
* Walk on to a trading room floor to see if it is really as bad as I have been told it is
* Walk into church with my tall handsome son on my arm
* Write a book
* Re-read all the works of Shakespeare
* Run my own pub as a retirement project with wines sourced from our travels and copious amount of good simple foods. Have you ever had butter, onion and chive mashed potatoes with champagne? You don’t know what you are missing. I also recommend bread and butter pudding with a tawny port. Oooooh.
* Run the London marathon
* Walk into church glaring so hard at the tall handsome man my daughter has on her arm that I make his neck go red
* Do a bungee jump
* Have my hair cut as short as a boys
* Walk into B&Q and ask them for their wooden knobs without collapsing laughing
* Go on the window cleaning rigs on one of the Canary Wharf towers
* Learn Spanish just because it is there
* Re-read all the works of PG Wodehouse in sequence of events (rather than random and cronological order which I have already done)
* Get to the point where I can no longer relate to Dorothy Parker but I can write as well as she did. That is never going to happen as phrases like "brevity is the soul of lingerie" are never going to occour to me but I can dream.
* I would like to take up fencing again, I was deadly at it in college and I would love to take it up again. There is something very appealing about masked aggression posing as a discipline.

There are more but these are the main ones. Some to take me out of my comfortable walk to work existence and some to bring me even further back into my past and my comfort zone. I’ll make this pledge now, I know several people who work around London’s Docklands (Hi Peter) and read this blog, so if any of them offer me the opportunity to do anything I’ve said I want to do, then I will do it.

In the meantime, as soon as the kids are a bit older, I’m doing a bungee jump (promise)

Oh and as a consolatory note to those who fear otherwise, I am never going to behave myself!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Richard Hammond critical

Apologies to all readers who do not know who Richard Hammond is but I was quite shocked tonight to come in from the gym and learn he was critical in hospital after a car stunt for the BBC Top Gear car show went wrong. In the neurological unit to be exact.

TV presenter critical after crash

I love Top Gear. It is hard to decide if it is the cars, the mad stunts the presenters do, the 'experiments' like converting three normal land-lubber vehicles to ocean-going (well lake-going) disasters or the celebrity interviews like asking Christopher Eccleston what was wrong with him because he was 30 before he learned to drive.

Profile: Richard Hammond


Definitely the presenters are the biggest factor in making the show. Ok, a lot of people can put across madcap ideas and some can even bring them to fruition. Care to convert an Estate car to a typical old-fashioned English living room with a wood burning stove and bring it for a run on the motorway anyone? However, on Top Gear, it is the way the presenters come across as three schoolboys who could not believe they are effectively being paid to play with the most expensive toys in the world makes the show very appealing. Start a conversation about Top Gear in any room in the UK and I will guarantee you that most of the people in that room will say that presenting that show would be their ideal job.


Look at that face, almosts moves me to want to pay for the pints!

Hammond is my own favourite. James (May) is ok but you get the feeling that if you ventured into conversation with him and went beyond the subjects of cars, his job, beer and not very many other things, his eyes would start to glaze over. Jeremy (Clarkson) is ok too, funny obnoxious if you like that kind of humour but, oh my lord, does his voice grate. I seriously could not like to wake up to those sardonic tones on the pillow beside me every morning, I would end up hurting him.... An hour in my living room a week is fine, any more would not be. Now we come to RH, the pocket rocket, as I have heard *female friends* refer to him (ahem....) You get the feeling he would be a great man to go for a pint with and there are not many people who move me to say that about them. He is funny, warm, able to take a slagging, daft, a little bit brave, perserverant and he gets the giggles, which is a very endearing feature in a cute man.

My heart goes out to his wife and daughters tonight. Daft bugger. I hope he recovers fully soon.


The vampire jet, the one RH was driving is now in postcard sized pieces according to witnesses

This is the car Hammond was driving when he crashed. It is called the Vampire Jet. It weighs 2,200 lbs, is 30 feet long and uses 7-10 gallons of fuel per mile. It can go from 0 to 272 mph in 6 seconds and is powered by the Rolls Royce Orpheus jet engine which is theoretically capable of 370mph. The car holds the "Outright British Land Speed Record" which he was trying to beat when he crashed.

23:14: Sky News have just reported that Hammond's condition has been downgraded from critical to stable.

See, prayers do work after all.

In the last few hours 1600 people have mentioned Hammond in their English-speaking blogs, I imagine very few had a bad word to say about him. That is a lot of good wishes going through t'internet.

He has to come back to Top Gear once he recovers (positive thinking people!) Can you imagine the slagging he is going to get? Jeremy will feign amazement that "the teeth" are still in one piece and James will insist on strapping him into a child's safety seat before he drives anything. I imagine the producers may also try to introduce a new motorised shopping trolley review section, guess who that segment will go to?


Imagine the fun he will have filling in the question on official forms that reads: "Have you had any accidents in the last 12 months, if so please describe in detail in the blank box below"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rack out for all to see ....

Here they are ....


in all their glory....


(I am a bit nervous so bear with me)


for all the world to see and judge ....


(be kind now, this was not easy to do)


are my quite gi-normous ....


womanly racks!!!!


(gulp!)




Front view




Side view


Full bodied eh?




Here is some of my designer kit ...



Look at the casing on that!!

Here is my desk (quite tidy for me) with its luxuriant view of the river flowing through E14 below.


C'mon, you didn't really think I was going to post photos of my body, did you? FFS, two of the people who read this blog are son's of my parent's friends!


Yes I am out of my funk and back to full form again. Dunno what got into me. Sometimes the stupidity of the world really does get to me. However tonight, if you are so silly as to listen to designers who want you to be ridiculously thin so you make their overpriced rags look good or to an insecure partner who wants to feed you up to put other people off you, then good luck to you, you need it. It is much easier being happy, take my word for it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dirty pictures warning

Following my mild wanderings down the path of body facism and those who conspire to make women hidiously fat or thin (see last post) , I have decided to reveal my rack in the name of a social experiment.

All five of my regular readers can take a look at my new frame and declare it wiry or a cellulite covered mass of wobbley love bits.

The photos go up tomorrow. Me and my kit and then my racks exposed for all to see.

So there!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hardcore bone



I am not in love with myself tonight so I am going to have a rant against everything I perceive as making me feel this way. Now would be a really good time to leave if you are not used to gobby females.

Look at those pictures, no, really look. Which one do you find the more attractive? If someone held a gun to you head, who would you take to bed with you?

You see I do not feel I have to choose. I do not feel it is a case of being one or the other.

How dare someone try to dictate to me what the perfect body size for me should be.

What a ridiculous world we live in. If you are not slim, you are fat and vice versa. Pffttt I really really do object to that nonsense.

Yes I, who am on a diet, am giving out about body fascism. No, neither of these portraits represents how I look right now. Neither represents how I think I look nor how I would wish to look. They both just look ill. I hope they both get the help they need before they die.

How awful, a world where some are starving due to circumstances beyond their control, some choose to starve themselves into sickness and some choose to eat themselves to death.

Make it better, hug a size 12 today. Hug a size 14 tomorrow and go to bed with a real woman the day after. Don't buy the clothes from the fashion houses which enforce the fascism of the size 0. Don't watch the programmes with the size 0 actresses. Have a cream cake, try running a mile and would someone give that bag of bones Misha Baron a sandwich for fuck's sake.

Balance is everything. Self-control helps. Most fashion designers are plump gay men and most 'feeders' (those who love and nurture obsese women) are small men with a severe lack of self-esteem.

If you have to, be a bitch and take control of your body.

There is hope though. Spain has started by banning skinny minnies from their fashion shows.
I hope other countries follow and this results in a dramatic decrease in the numbers of women screwed up by negative body image.

Skinniest models are banned from catwalk. By Fran Yeoman, Carolyn Asome and Graham Keeley, in Barcelona

REAL women will rejoice at the news: waif-like models are being pushed off the catwalk.

The organisers of Madrid Fashion Week have announced that they are banning skinny women to develop a more healthy image for the event this month. If any very skinny models do turn up, they will be classed as unhealthy and in need of medical help.

Madrid city council, which sponsors the fashion week, has ordered that every model on show must have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 18. Models who are 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall must weigh a minimum of 8st 11oz (56 kg).

Esther CaƱadas, Spain’s best-known model, does not qualify under the new rules as she is said to have a BMI of only 14. Almost a third of the women lined up appear to have been barred. The council promised that a nutritional expert would be on hand to check every model taking part in the shows, and that any woman found to have a BMI of below 16 would receive medical treatment.

Read more here
And in the UK, where the average size is 14 (the size of Marilyn Monroe) any chance they might follow this sensible lead?
The organisers of London Fashion Week, which begins on September 18, said that they would not be introducing a similar rule. According to the leading agency Models 1, the models with the biggest pulling power are likely to be those with the smallest waistlines. “We have changed a lot in that there have been many more requests for bigger models, but on the catwalk long dresses do look lovely on tall, thin girls,” the agency said. “Girls who model at 15 or 16 tend to be thin girls, whose mums are thin, it’s part of their genetics, and obviously they look great in clothes.”

Here is more bullshit from the British body facist brigade:

Sarah Doukas, Kate Moss’s agent, said that her agency, Storm, did not employ unhealthily thin women (but then she would!) “It’s useless to talk about body mass indexes. (erm, actually, no it is not) Who knows what that means apart from your doctor? (anyone with half a brain who eats enough to do the maths you tool!) It depends on different body types. Some people have different muscle density. I believe that girls should just eat healthily, exercise and just be normal. We just wouldn’t use someone who was really underweight or too thin.” (Would you let this woman manage the career of your daughter. Such willful ignorance is nothing short of criminal!)

For anyone intersted, here is the BMI breakdown, do you eat enough to have a brain functioning well enough to understand it?
UNDERWEIGHT, NORMAL OR OBESE?
The Body Mass Index (BMI) indicates whether or not you are overweight for your height
To calculate your BMI:
1. Measure your height in metres and multiply the figure by itself, giving your height squared
2. Measure your weight in kilograms
3. Divide the weight by the height squared

For a woman measuring 1.6m (5ft 3in) and weighing 65kg (10st), the calculation would then be: 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56. BMI would be 65 divided by 2.56 = 25.39

According to the World Health Organisation if your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 you are an ideal weight

BMIs can be inaccurate for people over the age of 60

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Show us your willy!

I am married..

One day I saw an ad in a newspaper by a chap looking for uncomplicated fun.

So I answered and indicated I was interested in that sort of fun as well.

Turns out there wasn’t a man, there would be no fun, there would be just very complicated explanations to be made to my husband when my reply, naked photo, personal details and mobile phone number were published on a public website.

The website turned into a public phenomenon when the details of 100's of other women besides myself and all their details appeared on the site as well. My Mother, my father-in-law, my sister-in-law, my son and my employer all saw my details on that site. None of them were happy about it.

Now here is the crux of the matter; If I had not replied none of the above would have happened. I do not allow that fact to get in the way of a good lawsuit, I am suing the person who posted the fake classified ad which I replied to. I maintain if he had not tempted me, I would not have given in to temptation. So my proposed immorality is going to lead to his poverty.

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Of course you realise the above scenario did not really happen for me. It happened to several other hundred men, the respondents to the ad posted by a horny woman on the "casual encounters" part of the personal ads section of Craigslist.

There was no horny woman, there was not even a warty woman, there was merely a prankster with an agenda. Jason Fortuny, an IT employee, posted the ad. He also took the replies and posted them online in the manner described above.

His posting, due to the accessible nature of the internet was seen by a hell of a lot of people. The condemnations began. Not of the men who had been willing to forget the spouses stashed away in the backburner of their minds, not of the men who had stupidly sent all their contact details and intimate photos to a complete stranger. The condemnations were of Fortune for using the net to expose these men’s immorality and stupidity.

Excuse me? How should have he have done it? Published a book?

All of a sudden, have parents forgotten to tell tales of the bogeymen and warn their offspring about strangers!!???

The point here is not that the Internet was used to catch some people being stupid or immoral. The point here is not the funny /distasteful thing that was done in publishing the site (depending on your point of view) The point is that there would have been no site to publish had these men not been so keen to get their trouser snake out for some r’n’r.

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Never has the expression "caught with his trousers down" (and his todger out) been so apt.

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Having said that if I disappear all of a sudden, you can presume all my past indiscretions have come back to haunt me - boo!

Monday, September 11, 2006

It has all been said before and better ....

So I am not going to add to it. I hope the only effect that date had on you was to make you resolve to be a better person to those around you. I hope you have found the strenght to keep to that resolve. If your families, your friendships or your colleagues, were hurt on that date, my heart goes out to you.

E.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm just a sweet transsexual…

Reeeeelax dear readership, all four and a half of you of you. This is not Trisha nor Jerry, I have nothing to admit worthy of the daytime confessional and if I do, that is between my Priest and I. Hey, I’ve been at home during the day breastfeeding therefore needing to sit still so I know these people exist and what their "your mother's brother's boyfriend had sex with our underage cross-dressing truck under the porch and now it won't run on unleaded cos it is pregnant" shows are all about. Lowest common denominator entertainment, that is what but more of that later.

Tonight I am a professional widow. No that is not some sort of weird solo sex act, it just means hubbie has gone to work and I am here channel surfing or cursing freeview, whichever you prefer.

Bit of dilemma, what would you choose to watch?

One channel is showing ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ (the modern one) with Rene Russo (who I want to look like when I grow up) and Pierce Brosnan in a skirt with bigger love handles with than me (good for him!)

Another channel is showing Mel Brookes skit 'Silent Movie' which is the only film to make me laugh so hard I gurgled drink up through my nose. The man is a genius, true, but he should have left ‘The Producers’ the HELL alone or at least put Lee Evans in the new film version. However, I guess once you have directed Madeline Kahn, who is after Lucille Ball, the best American comedy actress ever, everything else is just, well, a remake. I have to admit if I ever met Mel Brookes, my first question would be; What was it like working with Ms. Kahn? Watching her on the screen is a very humbling thing in that she has the most perfect comic timing ever. This is something you cannot learn, you have to be born with.

Another channel is showing ‘Far from Heaven'. It is hard to decide with that film if the colours, the costumes, the acting, the photography or the leading lady (Julianne Moore) are the most beautiful things about it. At least I stand a sporting chance of looking like Rene Russo (if I diet and exercise like a mad thing and then have plastic surgery for years and years on top of that or rather on bottom of me) but Julianne Moore is just the most perfect looking woman. It would be depessing if it she were not so inspiring.

Another channel is showing ‘The Scorpion King’. As a former classical studies student (hey, I can finish the London Times AND Metro crossword, can you!? - BTW, this is not boasting, if I were boasting, I would mention attaining a first despite being dyslexic but I don't want to boast so I won't :) I love any interpretation of ancient times. After all it was the old studio films like Jason and the Argonauts and Ben Hur which got me interested in the subject, I was thrilled when the whole The Mummy epics started. It was 'Bring ‘em back alive' crossed with 'Jason' crossed with 'Indiana Jones' crossed with Oded Fehr, who is proof that God loves women and wants them to be happy.

So with all that classic comedy, brilliant modern cinema and epic classical tale to watch, what do I end up leaving on? Tim Curry in a dress and killer lipstick, that's what!

‘The Rocky Horror Show’. What can I say? I have a thing for men in dresses :) Although I have to say if I was a chap, the sight of tiny tits, as you have to refer to Susan Sarandon as she was then, singing “touch me” in that squeaky voice would be enough to turn me gay in a very male on male way.

In Dublin for years and years, 21 in total if you really want to know, the Stella cinema in Rathmines ran a Rocky Horror Show screening at midnight on Fridays. Audiences came knowing all the words and wearing all the costumes (and less!) If you are the woman who wore the topless red velvet basque week after week all through the winter of 2002, fair dues to you Missus!

So which film would you have chosen to watch anyway and am I the only one to see a startling resemblance between Tim Curry and Francis de la Tour of Rising Damp?










Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What a way to make a living ....

Today I am mostly listening to Franz Ferdinand at very loud volumes here in corporate towers. I tend to do this on days when I am writing documentation to stop me from going demented at the utter corpospeakedness of phrases like “The sequence of events has been clearly defined in the accompanying documentation”

Fourteen, yes FOURTEEN pages of shite just to say, “probably safe to let the production team install it in our live environment as long as you can find the one of them that can read in order to do it”

I am having a "professional" issue with someone from Production at the moment but I think I am hiding it rather well. Do you agree? It is one of those fundamental arguments that happen every day in corpo-land. I think they are a total tool (as in about as much use as a headless hammer) and they disagree. Hey-ho.

Coming back to the documentation, I wonder will anyone spot the part in the conclusion where I say “yes it blooming works, now take the damm thing as far away from me as you can physically get it before I throw it in the river below”

Sometimes I wonder if I am really cut out for life in corporate towers.

I love the work, I love playing with software, operating systems, networks and wires and servers. I occasionally get brave enough occasionally to play with the switches (albeit with one eye closed and the fingers of one hand crossed behind my back) I even get on well with pointy headed people. I just hate all the other rubbish that is a symptom of working in the IT industry in most major cities.

I liked working in IT in Ireland where things were more simple. This was a place where the sound of birds song could be heard in the open office windows all the time, the sun always shone and the smell of barley in the fields came wafting through on gentle breezes.

Well, ok, all that might be a bit of sepia induced nostalgia but communications always went something like this:
Boss: “Well?” (meaning does the darn thing work and any chance we can release it next Tuesday)
Me: “More chance of me passing a tractor through me arse” (meaning no, the sheer volume of bugs as well as the limited range of the actual functionality compared to the broad spectrum of the desired functionality means that it is not a suitable piece of software to set loose on the unsuspecting general public)
Boss: “Fuck” (meaning, ah this is not the reply I desired. I shall have to have a word with engineering to see if I can persuade them into a beer and pizza fuelled overtime frenzy in order to get the majority of the defects fixed)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Houseowner requires cheap tarts for quick passionate exchange ...

We saw a house ....

We demurred through batting eyelids saying a faint 'no' because we though the garden was too small to satisfy our needs.

We went on a second date.

We made a cheap nasty cheeky offer knowing the heart of the house owner had been bruised before because of the infidelity of others.

The owner liked the look of our gib (and our money)

Exchange in six weeks. We like short engagements in our houses.

YAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!

(vaguely and quite perceivably happy)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Who do I have to kill in order to get a house around here?

I left this a few weeks to write about in order to avoid words which would have me kicked off blogspot.

After a while, the words I feel like now using are: the f word, the excretions word, the empowered woman word (cos hey, we own it after all!), the damnation word, the testes word and the 'there just ain't a pejorative term bad enough to use here' word

We are in the process of buying a house. At least we were. Now we are looking again.

I've come to the conclusion houses are like men. You see one, you do a bit of an explore or two. You click (or at least mentally position your king size in its master bedroom) and you fall. You dream about the damm house. You (who NEVER buys magazines as a point of pride) invests £18 in a pile of interior design magazines. You move walls (again in your mind) and etch out a long term plan for "improvement". Hell there are humans you have invested less time and planning into.

So you make a tentative offer. Like a woman wearing a polo-neck and glasses on a first date (just in case he turns out to be an 'ugg' in looks or personality) you keep it as low-key as possible in order to test the water.

Funnily enough, your test gets a response. Your proposal for a second "date" is given a lukewarm responsee. The message is clear; "up the ante and interest will be increased". So you get out your best Betty Jackson wrap dress, your high-heeled strapped shoes and your 40 denier tights ..... oh sorry wrong story. Anyhow, back to the house, you up the offer 10K because that is what the worm-breathed estate agent told you they would accept and you sit back. The mental wall-knocking continues, you even go as far as a colour scheme for the master bedroom. Oh, and the bathroom is so getting a six foot metal bath.

And the Fatherless owners turn around and reject your offer even though the puppy-buggering estate agent told you would accept it. The message back is that they would accept 10K on top of your latest offer.

So the paranoia begins (all 4 mins of it)
Did they really give the estate agent the initial acceptable figure?
If so, what the hell happened in the meantime?
Is this a figure the estate agent made up because he thought he could talk the house owners into it?
*Something else*

Ah let them go to blazes.

So like a tentative elderly female scorned divorcee with the power of "f-em" and fury behind them, we are back on the dating (house-hunting) scene again.

We saw somewhere today. We clicked. We are going on a second date. Thursday 10.30am. Wish us luck. Only more more thing to add ... a king sized bed would fit easily into the master bedroom. I think we have started having plans for that room already ....

We are such tarts!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Definition of a good parent ....

A friend of ours and her husband decided to join in with the rest of the raving lunatics in the non-too exclusive club of parenthood. Things went well once the difficulties of the birth had been attended to. For the curious, this was a quick onslaught of the second stage, this meant an unattended birth holding onto the en-suite sink taps screaming ones head off in-between cursing the mid-wife who was stuck in traffic.

This was all survived and there was the usual feeding, puking, smiling, pooing, gurgling, crying and giggling.

However one day Mummy DARED (dared I tell you!) to leave baby alone with Daddy. Furthermore she ordered Father and offspring out of the house so she could attend to the small things like finding and applying her hairbrush to the "designer knot" look which had taken hold of her hair.

Father left the house, fearful at first and then thinking "hey this is easy". Confidence grew, Father smiled, buggy-bound baby smiled back and returned to the task of inserting his big toe in his mouth. God was in heaven and the angels were smiling until .... SOMETHING TRUELY GASTLY HAPPENED (dum, dum, doooooom)

A huge, malignant, deeply green and HIGHLY NOTICABLE snail shaped bogey crept down the under-nose portion of 'beloveds' face. Daddy had no hanky about him. What to do? Women with buggies of their own were already pointing from 20ft away!! So he gritted his teeth and pulled it out between thumb and forefinger. Snail turned into snake but Daddy held on for dear life. The end had to be in sight and soon it was. Daddy flicked his dubious trophy away and now, feeling brave and accomplished actually checked the other nostril for more nasties ... "Hah", he thought "I can cope without Mummy AND hankies, I am iron John, superman, supernanny and THE DADDY all rolled into one. Hear ME roar!!"

Not only did he accomplish a victory over a sticky snot when the odds were stacked against him but he also told people about it, lots of them. The man who had never changed a nappy changed them all. Anyone (within the constraints of biology or the whims of the adoption system) can become parents -it is the little things that make us GOOD parents.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One six(th) of a pack

I am almost afraid to say this out but after an exercise regime which has consisted of:

June:
Week 1 - 3 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym
Week 2 - 3.5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym
Week 3 - 4 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym
Week 3 - 4 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym

July
Week 1 - 5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily
Week 2 - 5.5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily
Week 3 - 6 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily
Week 4 - 6.5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily

August
Week 1 - 6.5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily + walked all the way to work - (1hour) twice
Week 2 - 4.5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily + walked all the way to work - (1hour) three times. Two extra hours on my home exercise machine.
Week 3 - 6.5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily + walked all the way to work - (1hour) four times
Week 4 - 6.5 x hours in the gym + 20 mins walk to Greenwich twice a day + 10 mins walk and back to the gym + 10 mins on my home exercise machine daily + walked all the way to work - (1hour) four times

September
"God knows what"

I have one sixth of a six pack.

During my ritual (sadistic) examination of my body for evidence that the salads, berries, fruits, nuts, seeds, vegtables and (near) total extermination of junk foods from my diet, I noticed a bar of muscle on the top of my stomach. I thought it was a trick of the light, but no, it is actually there. Pity about everything else that is also "there" and in other assorted places but hey, slowly but surely it is going and I am getting pretty fit in the process. I have also lost 12lbs. So my my reckoning, another six months and I should have a 3 pack and be almost two stone lighter if I can keep the current pace up.

The question is, can I?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I did not marry you to yell at your kids

When we marry we have all these starry eyed ideas about how we are going to present ourselves to the other person after the wedding.

We might have let them hold our hair as we puked after too much alcohol, we may have had them apply cream to intimate rashes, we may have spilled something very staining on their expensive rug but after the wedding "all that was going to change"

We are always going to wear matching underwear (some of it even less than six months old!) we are going to wash (regularly) with sweet smelling scents and generally be sexier, more energetic, perfect, organised, hard-working, inspirational, clever and generally more brilliant so spouse-person will look at us and think "good choice"

Mmmmmmm....... How can I put this?

Oh yes, HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

After two years and a bit researching this theory, I can report back from the frontlines that this is a great theory but it bears about as much relation to the truth as the statement that the Grand Canyon is a bit of a pothole.

The underwear is still M&S "whatever happens to be clean on the day" and worn until it falls apart. Showers I have done without I am not afraid to admit.

So let's go through the above one by one:

Sexier? You should see the state of my stomach. On the other hand perhaps not. It sort of resembles a burst flesh coloures balloon overhanging a flesh colored cliff. Not pretty.

Energetic? I have slept on the sofa some nights because I am too tired to walk upstairs.

Perfect? Perfectly bleeding awful more like it (see moody incidents ad naseum as recorded in this blog)

Organised? I haven't seen my housekeys in a week. I have also given up finding the things other people have lost. I am not the British Rail lost property office or perhaps I am as they never have what you lost either.

Hard-working? Please! I would spend all day in my PJs watching old films with Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant if I could get away with it but I can't so I don't.

Inspirational? I nearly inspired two grown engineers to cry last week. Does this count?

Clever? I wish.

Generally more brilliant? Erm.... no

Instead of all of the positives above, I am the same as I ever was except I now yell at kids on a regular basis. Therefore people that is the only change to you after you do the marriage and kids thing - you yell at the kids, frequently. I wonder who childless people yell at? Probably each other but as parents you cannot show any such indulgent weakness. Small people smell cracks in the armor and drive large tanks through them.

In conclusion, thinking that marriage will change you is akin to all those walking wrinkle collections on the more extreme Channel5 documentaries who think that a plastic surgeon pulling their fanny up about their ears will make them look youthful again.

So why do it? Is it because you want to spend more time with a person? Forever and ever. No it is not. We all know how frail a human life is, how easily it is ended and if you don't believe me, get off the fucking internet now and read a newspaper. If we thought that a marriage was going to last until the end of our days, we would be grossly indifferent to the other person . After all what is to stop us taking them for granted as they will be there forever anyway?

We marry because we want to spend more time with a person. We also want to intergrate ourselves so far into their personal, family and private life that our lives together look like a plate of tangled spaghetti thus making it harder for them to get rid of us.

The thing to ask before a marriage is not "do I want to be with this person forever". It is "what do I want from our lives together?" When you know your answer, let me know and I can compare it to mine.

My answer is that I want someone to love who really loves me and I am the luckiest woman in the world because that is what I have.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mummy is a muppet

According to several people who should really know better than to generalise on such a spectacular scale, there is a thin line between insanity and genius.

Oh yeah?

I am either raising smartarses or genius'. I reckon that is where the real divide lies.

I am a Mother. I am too tired from the gym, emotionally involved with the latest developmental stage, fed up with being so permanently tired or intellectually committed to work to even dreeeeeeeeem of making things up or say them for the sake of sounding clever. You can trust me, if I say it, it must be true. I do not have the energy for imagination.

Conversation with blue eyed, blonde haired epitome of innocence 18 month old daughter went as follows:
(Me) "ooh Lucy - goosey - where's your feet? Mummy is going to tickle your feet. Lovely-ovly feeties"

(Lucy) "Toes"!

I have now officially being corrected by someone one twentieth of my age. It can only be all downhill from here.

On the other hand, I have earned a *mild* amount of kudos by introducing the small people to The Muppets. Season one box set £24.99 impulse buy at a supermarket checkout.

It has to be said however there are consequences to thibehaviorur however:
In the office: This has become our "shall we start the day" tune:
Mahnamahna video
Warning: HIGHLY ADDICTIVE TOON ALERT!!!!

The kids: are crying because I loaned the disk this is on to someone to copy. My son wants to be animal when he grows up. The problem is, so does my daughter. Point of pride is that when daughter was restless at the table I sang "Mahnamahna" and she went "do do do do do". This is obviously out time, tempo and synch but at least it is a small indication that that the £40-odd quid for caterpillar music was well spent.

Kids now have a drum, symbols, piano, keyboard, wooden keyboard, mouth organ and maracas to shake, blow, beat and generally throw at each other. If there is any music in them, we'll find it. If not, well there is always eBay. (For the kids not the toys!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More rambling .....

Continued from the last post:

The next relationship was a brief and somewhat unenjoyable return to D. Fitzsimons. The same as before it was a big romantic start and a swift fizzle out. Shouldn’t have bothered but it was a nice rush while that part lasted.

Then I went back to school and took a vow of abstinence (from alcohol) and chaps for a year. I managed to honour both of them and did pretty damm good in my exams as a result.

The next few years were all brief relationships with men whose names I cannot remember. There was a barman with blonde curly hair and another barman with really broad shoulders but that is all that comes to mind.

Then I met T. I am glad I did. We were together for 5 years. In the beginning I loved him passionately but always had the feeling he was tolerating me in the same way as someone is amused by a kitten playing with string. I was desperately immature when I met him and he taught me a lot. However by the time he fell in love with me, I had started to move on from him and wanted the relationship to be over. This resulted in a parting which caused a lot of hurt to him. I am truly sorry about that.

While on one of our ritual break-ups (which happened just before term-time and T. returning to college in England) there was B.o’R. My beautiful B. Possibly the most handsome man I have ever gone out with and the last beautiful boy.

We worked together behind the bar in a Cork hotel and basically jumped oneanother one night after a function upstairs which we worked together. There had always been a bit of flirty-flirty between us and this was the first time we worked together closely and it was electric.

I was sweaty, decorated with splashes of beer, fuzzy haired and the usual mess that a Saturday night behind a bar produced. He made me feel like …. well something quite amazing really.
We were together for a few months. There were no real dates just meeting up before work and going home to my house in Sundays Well afterwards

I remember lots of lovely things about that time. Kissing on the shaky bridge at six in the morning when it was covered in ice and the air freezing cold around us. We were still tipsy on the two quick pints of Guinness had after work and I remember where you put your hands to keep them warm! I remember all the old mans pubs we both loved to go to having a mutual dislike of the new flash glass and chrome bars. I remember you trying to teach me Chess. I remember lying in bed watching the trees outside blowing in the wind while we were in that lovely wooden floored bedroom I had at the time. I remember feeling you pulling the covers over my shoulders as I fell asleep. I remember waking up and looking at you lying asleep on the pillow next to me and thinking you were the loveliest thing I had ever seen. You were so gentle and so beautiful. After that I promised myself that I would never be with a man who could not be as tender as you. You know something, B? I kept that promise to myself.

Thank you for giving me permission to publish this.

The next relationship bit was removed at the request of the person I wrote it about. There was more to be gained in writing it than publishing it so I am happy to do as he asks.

Well that has been a therapeutic exercise.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It is all going too good...

Kids healthy and happy:

Well little Princess did let a roar tonight but show her the trees and the stars and she goes from yelling her heart out quiet and happy
No.1 son just about dry at night (1 accident in two weeks of going commando, well he wears camouflage pants)

Hubbie perhaps changing professional circumstances in a way which will make him more happy so way-hey-hay (more of the old then? :)

Job (yes I took it) going very well. Recent comment by boss:
"Your great gift is that you are painfully clever. However as fast as your brain is, your mouth is almost as fast and you think as you talk without realising not everyone can keep up with you ... and you type almost as fast as you talk"
I think this is good.

Nanny is working out great (the sainted Lisa)

Money from old house turning into more money in the bank

Found a great new house to buy

Found a very honest, talented (and gorgeous) interiors designer with very talented team to do up said house (he's also gay - more bonus)

Doing four one and a half hour sessions in the gym a week
Walking to work twice a week (1 hour)
Walking to Greenwich and balk 10 times a week (15 mins)
Doing the home cardio machine in the evenings twice a week (20 mins)
Doing the home cardio machine in the mornings five times a week (10 mins)

Fit as a "something very fit"

...... oh hell, when this all goes wrong, it is going to hurt.

I wonder if I will sabotage it (I have a history of doing this) or if circumstances will conspire against me.

In the Tales of the City Series by Armistead Maupin, there is a character called Mona who has one rule of life:
You cannot have the great job, great guy and great place to live all at once.

In a way before I even saw this rule articulated, I subscribed to it. Then I realised I was always doing something to sabotage things to make it true so I stopped. Then circumstances sabotaged things, just for the variety I suppose.

The first grown up bf was A. K. (may he trip and swamp his head in a cold vat of old MacDonalds chip-fat) Not that I am still angry with him, I would just like something as deeply unpleasant as the experience of going with him to happen to him. When things ended (not on an amicable note) I took my anger out on the pipes and wires of his South Circular Road house (there was not one I left in one piece)

Note to all chaps: If you are going to fall out with a girl who will not give in to you being a bully and use this as an excuse to do the dirt on her, then for goodness' sake make sure that you change the locks on your house (especially if she has the keys) Otherwise, whatever happens is your fault.
Note to all girls: I do recommend cutting things as therapy to the offended heart.

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The next was "G". Great kisser. Great job. Not a great place I was living in.
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Next chap was P. Lamb. Lamb by name and lamb by nature. Such a lovely bloke, one of those you regret breaking up with, why the hell did I? (I only ask this because I cannot remember) Living in very great place. Had a good-ish job. (Self-sabotage here)
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The next was the sod D. F. Had 2 great jobs at that point, a great place to live but he was a git. Had the most fabulous thighs as well (Me, not him) as I just got into cycling and my 18 year old self could go for miles (and did) Pfffffhhhh. I "stole" him off the girlfriend he was with at time. Karma sent him back to her. First time I considered karma, found myself a believer. Vowed not to do the stealing-another-girl's-chap thing again. Remember this promise, we will come back to it later. Guilt enduced self-sabotage here.
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The next chap is one of my epics K.Kelly. The most charming man I have ever met. Despite his utter being-a-bollox-ism I still think of him with enormous affection. I started dating K. when we worked together, he made remarks that made me tingle so I acted like Maria Callais having an ice bath but I was burning inside. We got together (at last someone with the same energy level as me) and I found out about the woman he was living with when she rang the pub where we worked and I picked up the phone to her. Her name was/is Caroline. I told him he was a *unrepeatable* and dumped him. My strong woman got a knock that night.

Years (about 3) I bumped into K. again. Manager of a temple bar pub and as charming as ever. (I was supposed to meet someone else who was running late and anyhow it did not matter as I had a BF in Cork < <> >) We chatted. He told me that himself and Caroline were still friends and he babysat her son when she and her husband went out. We giggled. I got the "I'm late" call. We had a drink together. I got the "I'm not going to make it" call. We went for food. I got a speel; it was the best I have ever had about how amazing I was, how he had never forgotten my eyes or my breasts or my voice (!?) and all that guffle. I told him I had a boyfriend and I hoped that this caused him him frustration. He laughed and said he would want to be around me if I was a vow-of-silence-nun.

So we went out a lot as friends. I never wanted to be intimate with him, I genuinely liked his company. I told him this at least twice a night on our nights out. (When I say 'our' I mean as a part of the HUGE social group we had) He always laughed and told me to let him know the minute I changed my mind. I have never had a man walk me home so often for so little (no) reward. He always tried gently to kiss me. I always said no. He always walked away singing "we're getting married in the morning"

Then about eight months after the start of our socialising together I met him by chance at the multiplex cinema at the top of O'Connell St. He had this amazing looking woman with him. She was truly one of the most striking people I have ever seen. You know those women who are so good-looking they are mesmerising? That is what she looked like.

Anyhow I saw them together and went to say 'hello'. His mesmerising companion was as lovely as she looked and said "oh you're a friend of K.'s? You MUST come to our party on Saturday, we're celebrating a year of living together"

........ The bollox had not changed a bit.

Yes I still think of him with affection. He babysits for his ex-girlfriend, tells his other ex-girlfriend she is the most fascinating thing going and looks after his Father who suffers from alcoholism and associated mental difficulties. The fact he has a 'small' problem with fidelity does not really take away from him as a whole. He is a hard act to follow and I could never judge him. I am just glad that I was never in love with him. That probably helps.

I never saw him after that day. For the sake of his girlfriend, I blocked his calls and moved to another flat, the address of which he was never told.
I do think of him very fondly though and the memory of him always make me smile.
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Next a super job, fabulous place I was living in. J. Lovely bloke. First foreigner I ever went out with as he was a fully qualified resident of FANTASY LAND. Sigh. Foreign leigon me arse.
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I had an amazingly bueatiful man in D., the artist (let me pause while I think of him) but a horrid place to live in but as I spent most of my time in his house, in his .. company, that didn't matter. Not a great job at that point.

Then I got a great place and D. changed. Frustrated at a lack of commissions, he went to work as a community artist painting murals in schools etc. My job changed to a great job. D. was very frustrated at this point. Low point when he phoned me to bring him beer and sandwiches as he was painting a team spirit mural on a gym wall and was wee'ed off. It was 2am and when I got there he wanted me to stay lying on the cold tiled floor while he worked. I refused, he puffed himself up wanting a row. I was too tired so I walked out. When he broke up with me over the answerphone, his last sentence was something like "call me to let me know you got this so I KNOW you KNOW it is OVER". I never did call him back.

That experience taught me that beautiful men are more trouble than they are worth. Did I learn from it? That is a question I shall consider in my next nail-biting installment of my 3 rules analysis.

Tune in next time for more demented ramblings......

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bad morning

It is 6.25

I've been awake for an hour

Am tempted to have a hangover but not quite there yet.

Mum told me on the phone last night that a boy / man I grew up with was killed a few days ago.

When I say killed I mean in the "he had pocession of a load of drugs, the gardi (Irish police) were chasing him in their squad car, he swallowed the drugs, he died" type of being killed.

Don't worry, this is not a self-pitying 'poor me, my mate has died' post.

Some may think the druggie scumbag got his come-uppance. Except I think of a red-headed freckled country box who was mad about animals. I've seen him stop a stampeding racehorse with a few words (long before Robert Redford made it into a huge budget film) I've seen him cry over a pidgeon with a broken wing, I've seen him cuddle kittens. I can't see him as a druggie.
What the hell happened?

There is nothing in the papers about his death. I guess they are still doing the post-mortem or somesuch.

This may be his first online refrence so I should make it a good one.
Mark Phipps, you fucking TOOL!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Podge and Rodge

For all you Podge and Rodge fans or those in need of an education, some choice quotes:

You're as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit....

He thinks manual labour is a Spanish musician....

As funny as a burning orphanage...

He's so camp, he shites tent pegs....

She had a face on her that would drive rats from a barn ...

Sweatin' like a pedophile in a Barney suit ....

I'd crawl a million miles across broken glass to kiss the exhaust of the van that took her dirty knickers to the laundry. .... (a personal favorite)

mickey the size of a double-value can of Right Guard....

Jaysus, she could breastfeed a creche ....

Mother Teresa wouldn't kiss her cheek ....

A sniper wouldn't take her out ....

Jaysus, ya wouldn't ride her into battle ....

If I'd a bag of bruised willies I wouldn't give her one ....

She has a face on her like a bulldog that's just licked piss off a nettle .....

She wouldn't get a kick in a stampede ....

If I'd a garden full of Mickeys I wouldn't let her look over the wall ....

She grabs that pole like Brian Kennedy in a mickey factory ...

Monday, May 01, 2006

My kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiids

Not fair.

Just as I decide to be mature and do the work / home balance thing and actually go back to paid employment (sneekily deciding on a criteria that will never be met)

Job will have to be in Docklands
Wages will have to be v. high
Will have to be non-senior role with regular hours
Will have to provide chaildcare vouchers

Damm me if I do not have an interview for such a job on Wednesday.

Add to this Little Master is ill with a sore throat and fever and Little Miss is more charming than ever if that was possible. So I have guilt and oppertunity. It's so flippin' Catholic feeling guilty when you have not committed the "crime" yet.

We can't stay here in rental house for much longer without 2nd income (damm 1st house still not sold and cause of epic and much bad language)

I can't go back to work unless I have wages to justify hiring a nanny

Have interview for fairly well-paid job

Don't know if my heart is really into going back to work

Plans to make regular income off eBay proving a little irregular




Head wreaked

On the bright side, the wonderful Helen and Ollie are now back in residence in Blackheath. We all (mostly) have our health, Little Miss is on the point of walking, we do have a warm dry roof over our heads (actually we have one more than we need) and I do have a cunning plan about how to get ourselves out of present jam but more on that later as it may all come to nothing and my fabulous brain still works despite application of two bottles of wine to it so far this week.

I remember when one large glass of wine had me drunk for the evening - thank goodness the age related hangovers have not kicked in yet but I suppose four hours in the gym have something to do with that. I can't stop fitness training - ever! I'll probably get four months of hangovers if I do. Aaaaaaargh......

Have to go now as Little Miss (1) is beating up her brother (nearly 4) She has also filled her nappy from the smell of things. Great, more shit.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A squash and a squeeze and a kiss and a cuddle .....

..... and a pat and a stroke and a poke and a snuggle.

Yes I know it is brutal English grammar but it doesn't matter because I am Irish so that is okay then.

The above is what my son asks me for every night. That is the sum of my beautiful sons demands on my time and affection.

When their Father is away Little Master is the one who misses out the most. Normally he is left to finish his breakfast alone while I wake, change and dress Lucy. I know he does not like it. He used to complain and ask me to "stay Mummy". Now he just nods when I gulp down the last of my coffee and toast and tell him I am off to get Lucy up. I don't know which is worse leaving him when he is imploring me to stay or his quiet acceptance of me abandoning him.

At night Little Miss sometimes get tired early so I leave Little Master to watch the end of Ceebeebies while I wash, dress, feed and put Lucy to bed. He is so good he even put (most of) his toys away after the goodnight music without me prompting him. Then he trotted upstairs and got himself undressed for his bath just as I put Little Miss into bed.

He is three years and seven months old. He also recognises, as of yesterday, all 26 letters of the alphabet. I could quite frankly burst with pride. I also not got a single notion how someone like me has turned out such a super, energetic, well-mannered well-behaved intelligent son (who eats like a horse, responds to logic and adores his sister)

I blame the Father myself and frequently (hourly) thank God for him.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Note to all readers

Since my dear hubbie is under the impression that the calender that I installed in the kitchen to list all appointments and days away on is merely decorative

..... and since I installed it in order to avoid clashing appointments

..... please, please could someone, anyone, (I don't care who as long as he listens to them cos he sure as Aida doesn't listen to me) tell him to MARK HIS EFFING APPOINTMENTS ON THE GOSHDARNITCALENDER COS I AM NOT A MINDREADER!

and breathe

and snort

and glare

*Bloomin' Men*

Don't get me wrong. In the systems we have implemented things work like clockwork. In the space between paragraph 3 and 4, we have heard our son do one of his award winning coughs, been upstairs, given him tixylix (cough medicine), turned on the steam machine and given him a blast on the inhaler as well as several kisses and a squash.

This is a system which has been long practiced since initial implimentation. There have been variations but in the end this is the one which works and we spring on to it on autopilot almost. (Albeit an emotive autopilot)

So my question is this .... If you prove to a man how well female iniciated (jointly implimented) systems work, then how come they regard all new systems (the calender being a case in point) with such indiffrence?

Answers on a comment please ....