30 June 2005

Disagreeing with Prudie Again

Well now I do like Prudie's column. As I've said before, however, sometimes I like it because I like being sideswiped and, frankly, horrified by the advice she gives.

Heres the latest 'offending' entry:

Dear Prudie,
You've saved me from myself in the past ... hope you can help now! I did the big "no-no" with my boyfriend: snooped into his business with an ex-girlfriend, partially because he kept hinting to me about it, and partially because I'm a snoop. I confronted him about it in order to offer advice about how to handle the problem. We can all guess his reaction. I'm upset because I had good intentions, and I don't care about what happened; I care that his issues are properly taken care of so they don't come back to bite us in the future. Now what do I do? He won't accept an apology. I know I should move on, but I really love him. He is clearly cutting off his nose to spite his face. Why can't men just talk/argue things out? Why are their egos so big and at the same time so fragile? My father always said, "Get mad and get over it." Why don't today's men have such attitudes?

—Distraught and in love

Dear Dis,
Some of today's men do have the attitude you desire. Unfortunately, your boyfriend is not one of them. (Also too bad the victim of your nosing around wasn't your forgiving father, but onward.) You could make a last-ditch try and tell this man you've learned a painful lesson and you will never, ever, snoop into his business again. Prudie's hunch, however, is that the breach of trust did irreparable damage. Of course there's always the chance that his face will miss its nose and decide to patch things up.

—Prudie, hopefully

Excuse me? Maybe the paper edited out a bit explaining she was sixteen and celibate and they'd been dating for all of two weeks, because thats the only possible reason I can see for an answer like that.

Otherwise: This guy has entered a new relationship when theres still trouble from his old one, trouble enough that he has to drop hints and enough that it impacts on the new partnership. If this is an adult, sexual relationship then he is being secretive and insulting - his cloak and dagger business screams that he:
  • Doesn't trust his new partner
  • Doesn't rate her opinion
  • Doesn't have enough respect for her to give her his full attention, instead spending the time they are together fretting or hinting over somebody else
  • Doesn't feel he has any obligation to be open and honest in a relationship
How many ways could 'Distraught' have found out what was going on? Does it matter? What matters is that he brought emotional baggage into the mix, an ongoing problem. He let it get in the way of the relationship and still expected this to be none of his girlfriend's business.

What total bull.

The girl should be setting him straight about respect, equality and fair play, not apologising. Barring this being a teenage hand-holding session rather than a proper relationship, then I am appalled that anyone should tell this girl to apologise, or imply that her misplaced guilt was in any way valid. How in hell's name can she breach a trust, if trust is something he's never given her?

Fancy helping to set a relationship up on the ground rule that one partner can cause the other misery and confusion and hide behind the banner of 'personal privacy'. Grrrr. Would Prudie give the same advice if the writer had been a man, I wonder?

I suggest the guy needs a lesson in growing up - if she's good enough to have current exclusive rights to his weener, she's good enough to treat like a partner in the proper sense of the word.

You think? Or is it just my tablets?

Making The Most Of It

Got vertigo. Not the tinnitus anymore, thank heaven, phantom tube trains are so, so boring. Just the after-shock wobbles.

Got tablets for it.

Got no hope of a scintillating or even naff idea for a post, but I am having fun, now I am home, the kids are home and I can't fall over any morebecause I'm sitting down already.

All day its been like 'Woah! Turn the bloody fairground ride off!'

Now I can vegetate in a corner whilst my darling husband takes over with a heroism to rival Batman, well now it's all a good laugh.

It's like being on pre-meds on the trolley to surgery, that sort of spaced 'Wheee-heeee' sensation, except I'm not going anywhere. This is the way to (not) travel. Definitely.

It's like getting off the Wall of Death at the fairground, when your left foot wants to walk right and your right foot wants to walk left.

It's like that wonderful feeling as a kid when your dad let you play aeroplanes by swinging you round in a circle holding you by one hand and one foot, til you were fast enough to feel like you were flying.

Oh, OK, maybe that was just me then.

Still, I'mm alrrrrrrrrright, Jack. Not a drop of the jolly juice in the whole house, but I'm here in the corner having my own little party, courtesy of the lack of um, err, thingummy, blood (thats the stuff) to my ears. Or possibly my brain. So there you go.

Smile! You're not on Candid Camera, and that's good!

29 June 2005

The World's Shortest Personality Test

Do you know what? I really love quizzes that pander to the ego. Yup, that'll do me!

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

Of course the idea that there were only nine possible outcomes, making me the same as 1 in 9 of the population, in other words 'fairly normal'; well, thats not so flattering. So let's just gloss over that; deal?

Flippin' Kids

We don't have a car, we don't even have a dishwasher, but we are a five computer family.

Gary's laptop 'for work' is the latest addition, but generally there is either a new computer or a new upgrade coming into this house, every two to three years. Yes things die on their feet and get consigned to the scrap heap, but what survives gets passed down the family in bits or as a whole.

What that currently means is that Imogen, the youngest at 8, has finally decided she wants to do more than play with Word and Paint, but her dinosaur 486 can't cope. She fell in love with Dogz and Catz but can only play the game on her brother's machine.

Today, after school, she beat him to it, off to see whether her dogz had produced puppies yet, although he wanted her off his machine without a fight.

What did the little bleeper do? He looked her straight in the eye and swore blind that there were pets that needed looking after, in Command & Conquer, Yuri's Revenge, and she believed him and let him change the game.


A Sudden Ray Of Hope

Tired terraced houses blink
As sunlight threatens,
After the rain.
Cracking concrete pathways succumb to weeds
Through roiling, muddy wounds

And all is good.

The street takes on an aura
All of God,
Sanctified and silent.
Even the cars and people keep away.

Brickwork breathes,
Woodwork slumps
And nature smiles.

Noise and fumes now washed away,
Dank stone and earth sing out their hymns,
A multitude of hopes and scents and memories,
To heal the silent watcher.

I leave the damp and musty bench,
Grateful for the sense of joy.
Heart, mind and soul in chorus, sing
Of school chalk and swimming pools,
Dinner halls and hopscotch,
And what it is to be alive.

The High Street beckons, up ahead
Hustle and bustle and human toil,
But peace cannot leave me.
I have been to the roofless Church.


28 June 2005

Whateva Sista

So impressed by Jonathan's latest post 'A rose by any other name' that I might try and turn it into a meme - he has descriptions and photos of all the people he could find online who share his full name. Very funny!

What do you think? Mine all seem to be scientists and porn stars, so finding the piccies might take some research.

In the meantime I am taking Steve's lead, at Wittering Heights, by doing the following Birthday Quiz.

Of course I didn't use my real age, as not too many people will believe an old Welsh witch even when she's honest, and 463 AD was a boring year to be born, anyhow.

You entered: 1/31/1961

You were born on a Tuesday
under the astrological sign Aquarius.
Your Life path number is 4. Wrong, its 22. 22 and 11 don't get broken down any further.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2437330.5.
The golden number for 1961 is 5.
The epact number for 1961 is 13.
The year 1961 was not a leap year.

As of 6/28/2005 10:09:48 AM CDT
You are 44 years old.
You are 533 months old.
You are 2,317 weeks old.
You are 16,219 days old.
You are 389,266 hours old.
You are 23,355,969 minutes old.
You are 1,401,358,188 seconds old.

There are 217 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 45 candles on it. Err, no. I won't.

Those 45 candles produce 45 BTU's,
or 11,340 calories of heat (that's only 11.3400 food Calories!) .
You can boil 5.14 US ounces of water with that many candles.

Your birthstone is Garnet
The Mystical properties of Garnet

Garnet is used as a power stone
Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewlers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Emerald, Rose Quartz Aww I hate rose quartz. Bloody girly, insipid, milk and water, Little House On The Prairie, pull-my-strings-my-eyelids-bat bloody stone. Puke.

Your birth tree is
Cypress Tree

The Faithfulness - Strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give, happy content, optimistic, needs enough money and acknowledgment, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered, unruly, pedantic and careless. Yup, all true. Except for the happy content. My ham sandwich I had for lunch doesn't seem to be that happy about it.

There are 180 days till Christmas 2005!

The moon's phase on the day you were
born was full. Born on a full moon, eh? Is that why 13 is my lucky number? Thought not. Tuts, how boring - I don't even howl..... much.

So, what's yours?

27 June 2005

Childhood Pranks?

Steve over at Wittering Heights has just written a very funny post about the kind of things he got up to as a kid. He sounds like he was a right little demon, but hilarious.

He asked what pranks other people got up to and for a while I drew a blank in my own past - I mean the 'jolliest jape' I played with phone boxes was ringing up directory enquiries and asking how far it was to Timbuktu. Incessantly.

For a moment I felt both smug and genuinely disappointed at my 'good' childhood, but slowly things are coming back to me. My upper arms are beginning to feel heavy with the remembrance. I may have been on a tight leash at home, even a late starter, but when I got going I was evil. Okay, some of it was stolen straight from the pages of my second-hand collection of School Friend Annual, but some, some just spewed forth from my own little head – far too easily.

  1. I filled a biscuit tin with water, propped it up to my middle brother’s bedroom ceiling, using the broom, and asked him to hold the broom for me ‘for a second’. I ran downstairs and left him up there for nearly an hour until his arms weakened and we heard the crash from downstairs. He was wet, tired, and disillusioned, but a complete gentleman. Me, I was too busy cracking up with laughter.

  2. My younger brother was acutely embarrassed at the sight of my boobs, when they began to grow. I would beat him downstairs in the morning, wait for him to come through the living room door and, sitting on the sofa in direct view, I would cross my arms across my bare chest, poke an index finger into each nipple (I had some modesty) and use them to jiggle my melons up and down whilst pulling a face like one of the All Blacks doing the Haka. He had to make a run for it to the kitchen every morning, with a face like a beetroot.

  3. At the age when youth group was like a big happy round of pass-the-boyfriend, I found out my latest had dumped me by turning up to a weekend church youth retreat to find him already there, staring me out, with his arm round my best friend. Everyone else was just gawping to see whether I was going to thump him. I pretended I wasn’t fussed at all, got her on side (she was feeling guilty), crept into the boys dorm and apple-pied his bed and sewed up the feet of his pyjamas while she kept him busy. Apparently he pushed a leg in, full thrust, and fell over backwards.

  4. At ballet in the old church hall we weren’t allowed any of the orange squash in the kitchen upstairs. It was the biggest catering size bottle I had ever seen, but it belonged to another group that used the hall and they had left strict instructions that we couldn’t touch, so I crept into the kitchen and topped it up with all of their vinegar. Three weeks in a row. Week four they had padlocks. The ballet teacher got into awful trouble with the landlords because it must have been us that did it, but she was so confident of our good nature that we were never properly questioned. 'No Miss, of course not Miss.' That was that.

  5. On holiday age 11, I found a joke shop in Bognor that agreed to do me mail order. I used to save up itching powder for church youth retreats (them again) and then if any of the boys were overdoing the aftershave (remember that age when boys buy the talc, deodorant, the works, all in one smell and use it ALL?) – I would creep in and empty a sachet of itching powder into their talc. It also went in the beds.

  6. When we had a sit down strike at school, it was me that brought in the luminous card and me that wrote the insulting poems about the Head and Deputy Head all over every sheet. They went up everywhere but I never got caught because I ‘wasn’t that sort’.
Steve’s pranks were nicer than mine, less personal, I think, and funnier, although it would be nice if someone could read his account too and come back and tell me how we compare. Or at least tell me something you did, hopefully as bad or worse.

Meanwhile I’m off to find a rock to crawl under until I’ve wrapped my head round this buried aspect of myself. A rather large penny has dropped.

26 June 2005

Only Merkin About

Exactly ten days ago I blogged about merkins, but was unable to find a picture for an example.

A dear (intellectual, flirtatious, MSN) friend and favourite lurker has found me one - not just any old one, but a torch version (for finding your mark in the dark, presumably,) complete with two detachable 'beards'.

Torch Merkin with Pink 'Beard'

And here it is! After all the speculation, I see it looks nothing like real hair, nor like My Little Pony, but more like a Gonk. Remember them? Anyhow heres some of the sales blurb courtesy of Playazon:
"The perfect marriage of form and function - our Merkin Flashlight helps leave something to the imagination as well as providing hands free illumination. This three-bulb, ultra-bright L.E.D. light provides three levels of constant light output and two blinking "lure" modes. The pivoting lamp head allows you to shine light exactly where you want."
So, how's that for flash? (Pun!) Lure mode? What, so it's like attracting fireflies? Seriously it comes with "an extended wear toupee tape that provides up to six weeks of continuous adhesion". I mean, really, if you had one of these, could you wear it for six minutes? Aren't you supposed to rip it off like some giant fluffy sticking plaster before the torch lights dig into someone's err, something?

On the same site, I came across this: The Mr Larry Love Doll. Honestly, the men get giant (roughly) anatomically correct women dolls with outsize boobs and optional voice tracks (see that earlier post) - we get something that looks like it ought to come with a bicycle puncture repair kit, or at least gaffer tape.

But ladies, before we start an outcry, Mr Larry swings both ways, or at least I think he does, unless the 'passages' are for feeding him cake?

So Am I A Chauvenist?

I was in the kitchen same time as my husband this morning, while we did a fry-up for Sunday breakfast.

Actually I was going to do it until I discovered just how much washing up there was, and called him in to at least get the kids plates sorted.

My reactions to his methods are pretty traditional now and I should be prepared for them (for that matter so should he) but I watched in extreme aggravation as he:
  • did the toast too early
  • left it sitting in the toaster until he was ready for it and it was stone cold and leathery
  • slapped margarine on top in a sort of topographical design in the middle - ridges and dips and none anywhere near the corners
These are minor things - I couldn't reheat the toast but I could at least get the spread to the edges and remove the surplus. I must have looked like a right nag, to him, ticking and tutting over a job he obviously thought was good enough.

What worried me was my internal reaction. The guy has seemingly never been taught that the only good slice of toast is hot when its buttered and still hot when its served. I imagine he simply never got such small but essential tokens of respect or love proffered to him as a kid - that he was brought up on the tepid offerings of 'thereabouts' and 'good enough'.

Who did I quietly blame for that? His bloody mother!

So there's a man in my kitchen who, after 12 years of marriage steadfastly refuses to even pretend to compromise on his cordon bleugh, and I'm there still privately blaming his mother.

Do we women shoot ourselves in the foot, or what?

Free Association 125

My instant answers to LunaNina's word association game for this week:
  1. Useless:: Idiot, broken, stupid, pointless, wasteful
  2. Radiant:: Smile
  3. W:: What? MacDonalds lifted up by a Wizard of Oz style tornado and landed upside down - yay hurray.
  4. Unpaid:: Act of love
  5. Geek: Male, obsessive, intellectual, shy, orderly, outcast, nice.
  6. Unfaithful:: dissappointing, painful, selfish, spoilt, despicable, scum
  7. Reboot:: crash and burn
  8. No!:: The word that runs round my head some days, all day.
  9. Squad:: Horrible American word we don't use here thank you very much. God squad
  10. Fetish:: childhood psychological pre-programming to hanker for a missing element of infant safety that manifests in a way current society thinks of as kinky or unusual.
I can hear you muttering about those answers but am belligerent today, so, what?

25 June 2005

Typical Saturday

My eight year old, ejected from her brother's bedroom, has just marched into the living room, crocodile tears in full flow.

He'd already stormed off to play computer in his room after being told off for fighting on the sofa; she'd followed but wasn't welcome.

Apparently, in the world according to the boy (10), it was all her fault, she's always getting him into trouble, and he is going to get a restraining order on her, so she can't come near him ever again.

The ideas kids can get from the Simpsons.............

Poetry Challenge - The Awful Upshot

Thanks to everyone who played along, either setting three word challenges or having a go at some of them. See the comments on yesterday's post for some really good answers.

It's looking a bit messy down there this time, so in thanks to everyone who gave me words to play with, I have decided not to pick a favourite answer but to post them all, with links to those who joined in and gave me such a fun day.

These could all do with tidying up, but that's the joy of trying to get three strange words into a rhyme in as short a time as possible.

Another game: Why not try and judge who all the players are, by their choice of three words, then visit them and see if you're right?

Quincunx, singularity, ubiquitous (Set by Skarr)

Quincunx, we stood protecting him who, in his singularity
Could fire the hearts of all he met with purpose and such clarity
That, though the fog of darker times, ubiquitous to those without
May rail against our kingdom, or barrage and bluster round about
Yet still within his presence not one doubt may creep or find its way
But peace prevail and purpose be, as clear as any summer’s day

Hangover, treadmill, redemption (Set by Monica C)

Last night I gazed in to your eyes and saw redemption there
From the treadmill of my sorry woes to love without a care
But this morning is embarrassing, I hurt from my hangover
And your mother when she saw you should have called you Shep, or Rover.

Horrible, short-sighted, apricot
(Set by Annie)

I thought it was an apricot
How horrible that it was not
Short-sighted sillies such as me
Should wear their specs to go to tea

Crush, purse, slippery (Set by Angie)

Crush not my heart thou slippery snake
Why wouldst a man such love forsake?
Yet if you do not heed my verse
Buzz off, but fingers off my purse.

Sapphires, lavish, caprice
(Set by Ella.M.)

Capriciousness, a horrid vice, is seen by those with cash
As really quite desirable and proof of being flash.
Now Mrs moneybags was not the kind to have a brat
She much preferred her figure and considered that was that
But blackmailed by her husband, that the shopping sprees might cease,
She produced a mini Moneybags, and called the kid Caprice.

The nursery was lavish and no expense was spared,
And news of every purchase was effusively declared.
Caprice had every item that a child could never want
Like a teether set with sapphires and a marble christ’ning font
And later on the best of schools, yes everything was posh
And the line to wine and dine her owned a huge amount of dosh

But, I bless her heart, I really, do for nature must come out
And, Caprice by name and nature, fell in love with Lee the lout
A builder’s mate from Hartlepool – her parents cut them off
And now if you should see her, there’s no telling she’s a toff
But a mother in a council house (in Leeds, I think you’ll find)
At least, that is, until the day caprice will change her mind.

Occupational, dawn, scourge (Set by Star)

Whether occupational or simply recreational,
Hazards are the scourge of ever day
But lawyers would encourage us to go to court and make a fuss
Of everything, from dawn to dusk – no way!

Borneo, Cadillac, ketchup (Set by Kenju)

There is an ape in Borneo, that owns a Cadillac
He stole it from the Sultan of Brunei
By spoiling it with ketchup and then dragging it away,
But the rains will make it rusty, by and by.

Luscious, MSN, squiggle (Set by Doris)

If I should flirt with luscious men
They’d have to be poetic
And like to chat in MSN
And not be too pathetic
Nor overuse emoticons
Although it makes me giggle
That I’ve never used the roll of film
(Two brackets and a squiggle.)

Relinquish, morphic, sultanas
(Set by Ally)

I met a lonely scientist, a lovely thoughtful man
The Universal Quantum Field, his joy.
He revered the holy holons and his morphic units too
And I thought of him as quite a charming boy.

His soul was young with passion though his body fell to age
Still I’d listen to him postulate for hours,
I’d relinquish every minute to observe and so to learn
His fascination for the unseen powers

One day I felt emboldened and I happened to remark
That the auric field must also, then, be fact
He looked at me with horror, with his disappointment plain
And corrected me with very little tact.

I’d lost my student status, he no longer saw a mind
That was fit to hold the treasures of his head
He started then to wonder, with his other rusty parts
If I might be hanging out for sex, instead.

He gently and quite shyly then suggested that we could
Go up the stairs for more experiment
He assured me he had had the snip, was clean and very safe
And would do his best recalling where things went,

But whether he had seedless grapes was not the issue here
It simply wasn’t my idea of fun.
I ended our relationship and ran away in fear
Before his old sultanas saw the sun.

Angels, blogging, antidisestablishmentarianism (Set by Pol)

What fancy thrills and wonderment,
I’ve matched the rhythm
Of antidisestablishment-
You are no angel, me no bard
The bastard word was bleeping hard
Though rough, tis done, and you may scoff
But as for me, I’m blogging off.

P.S. Milt - mine too! Justice - Tennyson - thanks for sending me off on that learning curve.

24 June 2005

Poetry Challenge - Play Along

I had real fun playing poetry challenge last time.

Could we do it again please? As before, please leave me three disparate words in the comments box and I'll try to write a rhyme around them as quickly as possible. My favourite will get posted here.

Would you like to play? Just choose someone else's set of three words from the comments and post your rhyme/free verse in there too. It would be fun if you could say how long it took you to do.

Heres three to set the ball rolling: quizzical, cornfed, boots

Can't wait to be challenged, nor to see what others come up with!

23 June 2005

I Am Skivvy, See Me Roar!

If you come to this blog deliberately then you know me - no self control!

If I get a bee in my bonnet or an itch to scratch (anywhere), this is where I spout forth about it.

Okay so yesterday's post was an experiment in being newsy, that failed miserably. In fact it was a thought I had had for a while now and the first one that came to the fore as a sorry excuse for a post when I was on here just past midnight. The reasoning went that I could blog something and then I'd done my post for the day, could crawl off to bed, get up and concentrate on real stuff like climbing out from under the pile of rubbish that is my house.

Yup, its a bomb site. A war zone that the rest of the family ticks and tuts over whilst cheerfully adding to. Its their shit and I was going to let it rot until they got the point, but I have to live, breathe and think in this house, so am taking my own advice, times three, even though its going to have to be carrier bags, not boxes, and I'm going to have to wash any surfaces when I've rediscovered them under the detritus.

Big job. Yesterday I fell at the first hurdle. Now I have had twelve hours sleep I am a force to be reckoned with and back on track.

So. I could have just said 'Hi all, I have things to do and won't be around for a day or so' - but as I said, no discipline. So I might be.

If a post turns up or my blog goes funny colours, just sigh, roll your eyes, and know that I am having a break, aka procrastinating. Otherwise I have my land girl hat on - moving tractors and heifers and generally doing my Stromboli-with-boobs routine. You wouldn't want to see. Not unless you have Betjeman's fancy for that sort of a girl (no, bloody well go and google, I am NOT hunting you a link!)

If you did stand and gawp, I'd probably pick you up, rub you all over with bleach and disinfectant and you'd end up in a box in the garage.

And knowing Bulb and Milt, I probably shouldn't have said that.

Ta-ta for now!

22 June 2005

Potatoes Don't Count?

The documentary Super Size Me finally got shown in the UK a month or so ago. It touched on the meals available at school, but skimmed over the shocking implications when one student defended her food choices. Alongside chocolate and a fizzy drink, she had potato chips or fries as the main part of her meal (I forget which - possibly both) and defended the choice by saying they counted towards her daily intake of five fruits and vegetables.


A potato can provide you with lots of healthy minerals and surprisingly a lot of vitamin C, but only if it's baked in it's jacket and you eat the whole thing.

Potato products, even dishes where the potato was peeled before cooking, reduce the spud to not much more than a high dose of carbs. Big potatoes (the ones that make the best fries and chips) have a higher glycaemic index (more carbs per gramme) than small, new potatoes, but thats about it.

Until I saw that programme I had never heard of anyone who thought of the humble spud as anything more than carbs; a tasty filler like bread or pastry; stodge, really. We Brits eat them all the time and are the third largest consumers in Europe, beaten only by the Irish and the Portugese, but as far as eating 'five portions of fruit and veg a day, for your heart', we don't count the spud into our calculations.

Or do we? Do you?

21 June 2005

I Have To Blog This

Someone's just swept through my site via Google, looking for the lyrics to the very rude song Northern Birds (<--- link to the lyrics) by Amateur Transplants (<--- link to their site).

This is nothing unusual, it happens two or three times a day. What tickles me pink is that the ISP for my latest visitor was the Hungarian Ministry Of Culture And Education.

Now THAT's worth blogging. Or, at least it would be if the visitor was some or other Civil Servant on official business. More likely it was a bored school teacher, but hey, their fame has obviously spread.

Jon's Jail Journal

You know those American prisoners who have to live in tents, wear flip-flops, orange boiler suits and/or pink underpants?


Did you know they're only on remand awaiting trial and havent even been found innocent or guilty yet?

So nice to know a man can be falsely accused and possibly die in prison (without ever getting to court and being exhonerated) from one of a host of diseases or 'accidents', having been marched past his neighbours between camps, paraded in flip flop sandals and pink underwear.

Anyway, aside from that, another blogger who has strong feelings about this HAS been judged and found guilty and gone off to 'proper prison' (he ran music events, there were drugs, he as owner got done, silly boy) - but he happens to be highly educated, intelligent and very very witty and funny. I guess when you live under certain conditions a sense of humour becomes top on the list of essential survival equipment.

If you can get past the shock at what he puts up with on a daily basis, the guy is FUNNY (and patient, and thoughtful and kind and optimistic.) The latest post is about encarcerated farting.

He writes letters home, and family put them into the blog, so if you want to comment DO - he'll get it, but the best favour you can do him is write him a real 'on paper' letter. How many letters a prisoner gets has a strong effect on how much respect he gets, too. Having post makes the natives friendlier.

Me? I'm spring cleaning. If you worked out my age according to the number of springs when I cleaned, gee, I'd be underage for anything you care to think of - but that just means it desperately needs doing.

Nothing going on here today folks, but I truly recommend Jon's Jail Journal.

Say Hi from me!

20 June 2005

All It Needs Is A Woolly Sock

Just completely LOST IT in the comments on a blog I found on BlogExplosion.

Yesterday my mate Doris had a grumble about bitchy Christians - well today I was one. Still, if Jesus can storm through a religious market up-ending the stalls, hey I have searched my soul (briefly) and decided this is RIGHTEOUS anger.

I was even pissed off enough to opt for a pseudonym too, so as to avoid a war. Not quite as scuzzy as your average evil anonymous commenter, but I feel the bottom of the barrel as we speak.

What did he do? He complained that women 'allow' their vaginas to go lax, thus spoiling it all for the men and forcing them to ask for, shall we say, alternative access.

DO WHAT???? Since when did he think that women preferred a mouthful of cold gloop or the alternative wet farts to a proper straight romp that wasn't akin to chucking a banana up Oxford Street? Yup, I am angry enough to succumb to the dreaded multiple question mark. Grrrr!

Boys - get one thing straight - we like seeing you high. We like seeing you go google eyed and explode. We take it as a great compliment and we're happy to help you get to that point. Believe me, if we can't feel you even slapping the sides in the normal course of relations, we DO exercise and tighten up - not for your enjoyment, for OURS. Don't expect us to mention it or moan about it - we're too civilised and if we're bonking you, well we love you for your soul not your shaft.

How dare that oily slimeball suggest that women are 'lazy' - and how dare he start from the assumption that its all about HIS fun, that we're not bothered if the only thing we can feel is 'breathed on'?

Pencil Test.
Can your girlfriend grasp your joystick with one hand and touch her index finger to her thumb, in an O round the other side? You're a bit on the modest side, dear. Time to become creative and considerate or get a girlfriend with smaller hands (it's all relative.)
Can you string it, erect, with fried onion rings? Become a best friend, a listener, a hero, and try to save up for plastic surgery.

19 June 2005

Free Association

My answers to Luna Nina's free association list for this week.

  1. Domesticated:: Cat
  2. Cask:: Ale
  3. Wayne:: Slob
  4. Insidious:: Creepy
  5. Cool!: Vicar
  6. Dishwasher:: posh
  7. Little house:: on the prairie
  8. Stepford:: Wives
  9. Hung:: Jugged
  10. Falling:: Down
Well, wasn't that ever so deep, not.

7, 8 and 10 are obvious answers. With 10 it seems I have no subliminal meanings attached to the word - hard to tell whether my psyche would have come up with something else for 7 and 8 if the TV show & movie didn't exist. 7 probably toilet, in honour of old fashioned outhouses.

Wayne Slob is in a UK TV comedy. I was a bit stuck for 5 but Lenny Henry came to mind, doing his Vicar act where he tries and fails to sound , as he would probably put it 'hip, trendy and wicked'.

9 I thought of hares in big kitchens, hanging from the rafters or rack. They were always hung werent they? Matured before being jugged? OK so there's one single example here where I went off on a tangent.

Oh, and dishwashers are posh. Because I haven't got one. Second choice of answer was skivvy.

So, nothing much there then. Guess I must be as shallow as I look, this week. Tough!

My Dad

My dad waited for me to visit.

I was the only one that had moved away, money was tight, the kids were younger. We all wanted to see him, but my brother offered to drive me up to London to the hospice and we couldn't all fit in the car, so in the end it was just me.

My mum and both my brothers had been there all along, I couldn't, but eventually I got there in time to be alone with him, to say how proud I was of him, and how much I loved him. He couldn't move - mum said he was too ill to hear anything, but I know he heard me.

I said I'd be back, left the room to find mum, and after she'd been in again it was time to go, so my last words to him were wrong. I know he forgives me. He died at 8 the same evening, on Fathers Day.

I forget the date - I used to forget his birthday too (I even get the year mixed up,) but I can't forget Father's Day, and it makes me smile, I mean, what a way to make an exit - that's my dad!

God Bless you Ivor George, I know you're around, thank you. Happy Father's Day.

18 June 2005

Out Feltzing Feltz

Been over reading Retrotype. Annie is a rare blogger to even be mentioning Big Brother - I know my husband was looking forward to watching it, but as I really couldn't see the point this year, he has gone off the idea of watching it on his own. Seems it's no fun without someone to shudder along with you, in his mind.

I applied to be on BB once - series 4 I think, and got down to the last 800. Then came a really in-depth catalogue of extra questions about what you would and would not be prepared to do - lots of psychological analysis stuff.

I got blase, or rather had a healthy dose of absolute terror at the prospect, and sent back my form with some fairly off-putting answers - e.g. I would not be prepared to wear a bikini (I think I added that I hadn't had one for twenty years and wasnt going to start now.) They must have taken one look and thought they'd found Old Mother Hubbard with full PMT.

Anyhow, after that fairly narrow escape, I got over the panic attack and regretted it, thought I'd like another go at getting in (remember this was back in the day when they let grown-ups play.)

My younger brother looked me up and down in shock and disgust and remarked that I'd have been in the house for five minutes and then out-Feltzed everybody. He was probably right, and I took it as a compliment even though it wasn't meant as one. Really I beat her to it and did my 'Feltzing' on the second application form - never mind getting as far as the doors.

For the record, I passed my eleven plus in the top 5% for the Ealing Borough and was destined to waste the next six years or so in a grammar school. My dear mother decided it had better be an all girls school to increase my chances of doing any work.

I only landed up at Ealing Girls (Now a secondary called Ellen Wilkinson, after a short red-headed communist who went on the Jarrow marches and apparently killed herself) because Godolphin & Latymer moved - mum thought it was too far to travel. Apparently (do correct me) thats where Vanessa Feltz went, and as we are exactly the same age, we would have been in a class together.

Its just one of those little 'what ifs' that turn up in life.


It's Saturday, a.k.a. shopping day, library day, school uniform laundry day, gardening day and two kids killing each other and moaning 'I'm bored' and 'It's not fair' day; all the way to 7pm and Doctor Who. It's the last episode of the series today, so I'm told, and I am already dreading next weekend if theres nothing to replace it and hypnotise the kids into silence.

To cap it all off, its sunny, and my darling husband has visions (hot from his own little cloud in la-la land) of us all going out together and 'doing' something.

So, I guess I am off to be mother, nurse, mediator, judge, jury, peacekeeper (yes probably US style, with a gun), pack horse and general tent-post.

One of my favourite sayings - If your tent only has one pole, look after the pole.

This pole would really like to collapse sometimes, just to teach them a lesson, but the little angels would crawl out from under the canvas and go do something else, whereas I would still be snapped.

Another saying - chin up, smile and drown with dignity.

Good 'ere, innit.

So, whats the weather like where you are?

17 June 2005

The Honesty Of Strangers

Is it just me (I mean, I'm prepared to believe that, honestly, I've had lots of practice at it being 'just me') or does everybody find it easier to be gushingly honest with praise etc if the recipient is a relative stranger?

Family - okay, family doesn't count and I don't mean worship or adoration (I have an acquaintance on a forum who is being all too familiar with her 'appreciation of me' and it's freaked me out enough to scare me off the site.) It just feels unsafe or improper to express wonderment and honest praise (praise of work, of skill, of a job beautifully done) to anyone you want to continue a conversation with. A bit 'off'.

Is that related to being a fan?

Heres the rub - maybe, when someone's work is truly inspiring, when their poetry hits the page like music, not just any old music but a weeping guitar solo, when the stuff that sings from their pen/keyboard belongs 'up there' with the all time greats, maybe then its easier to NOT be their friend or acquaintance, nor even able to leave them little messages whenever you feel like it.

Honest praise from a distance is somehow safe - however effusive praise from up close takes on connotations, or at very least stops conversation dead. It conjures up the image of a stalker.

Brian E Bengtson (I've said it before) should be the American Poet Laureate. Not in it's current format where it works like a one year teaching post, but in the British manner, where it is a title bestowed for much longer in recognition of skill, of already being 'the voice'.

If the job didn't exist, they should have created it just for him, because if you have ever, ever felt sidelined, terrified, burdened, sick, solitary, then his works are generally beautiful and healing, full of hope and balance and spirituality. They have a lust for life and an empathy that is so rare and farsighted.

Not being poetically educated I have never been able to remark wisely on stanzas or meter, so when Brian publishes on FanStory, I generally just gush. Simply trying to say "I understand where you are coming from" sends me off on one. Others get two or three lines of review out of me, poor Brian gets two or three paragraphs.

So, there I was this morning, backtracking visitors, and someone got here from a search on his name. I went to the page (of course I went to the page, I wanted to know how near the top of the results list I was!) and what do you know - he has gone and set up a blog since the last time I went fawning all over his skill in print.

I've linked it OF COURSE and will follow avidly, but............... I find that I view bloggers with much more familiarity - somewhere between acquaintances and close friends - in general around about the same as part of a team, - work colleagues, even.

So, Dear Brian,
Yes I still come over all Jewish Mother on you when I read your stuff, want to adopt you, tidy up after you, share bitching sessions about other men and drama queens and discuss the finer points of body jewellery. I haven't tried to yet, but if instead my reviews of your work become less frequent or less florid, it's nothing personal. It's just my anal British complex about propriety and not embarrassing the hell out of someone I actually sort of 'know'*. Avoiding overkill. Deal?

*Apart from this time, of course

16 June 2005

All Doris' Fault!

Post script added :-)

The comments on Doris' site today have been FUN. In fact we were just swapping ideas for pubic topiary and dye jobs, when I remembered about merkins.

For the unaware, a merkin is a pubic wig*. (I was going to say for the unititiated, but that includes me - no way!)

Anyhow I went off googling, remembering a very amusing site (it wasn't meant to be amusing) that sold hand made designer merkins in all shapes, sizes and lengths. If anyone has ever worn one I'd love to know - do you have to be completely shaved? Does the glue work better on stubble or skin? How much does it hurt to get them back off? Do you prefer acrylic (and is that like fluffy pencil cases or the knotty stuff on the head of a My Little Pony?) or do you prefer real hair (who's hair? How clean? How can you tell?)

As I said - Doris' fault. The one thing I can truly thank her for is that in my search for real examples, I came across a different site, one that has had me laughing and whooping like a lunatic alone at my keyboard. I tell ya, I CRIED laughing; never had an hour so well spent.

Its a sales site for a type of sex doll. Before I give you the links, I want to say: read the testimonials - all of them. Then read the design spec on the Version 2. There isn't a comedian on earth who could have made a sketch this funny, except maybe Billy Connelly.

To give you just a couple of tasters: in the testimonials there's the guy whose doll melted in the basement and the one complaining he can't chuck her around the room because she's too heavy. Another had to get his screwdriver out. In the specifications you can have your doll with fold-away teeth - they look real but conveniently bend out of the way; you can read how much you can stretch the available space before something bursts, heck you can even buy just the torso - a headless doll.

Or a doll-less head, but thats on another page alongside any other individual portion of a female torso that might hold more attraction for you than the rest. The page says (and I quote) "Torso sections are available for those interested in a specific part, or for those on a budget."

Laugh? I am still too gobsmacked to stop. Thanks, Doris!

* Apparently the name Merkin comes from a diminutive form of Matilda. I will never hear Waltzing Matilda in quite the same way again.

Post Script

Sorry, I just HAD to bring this up out of the comments.
I thought the manufacturer's site was hilarious, but this, whoa, this just opens up a whole new world of weird. Check out the friends page, especially the last shot of 'Darcy' (sixth one down) - are those the foldaway gnashers?

I quote Ella:

It gets better. People who spend the money on these or the competing realdoll (http://www.realdoll.com) then proceed to give them websites with their names and bios, photosets and even other dolly friends like a big game of pornographic barbies (www.charliejoanne.com the about me page is hysterical). When complimented on the photo sets by other enthusiasts, the owners will say something like " Oh, I've got to give credit to ~insert doll's name~ she's such a great model and always has new ideas for shoots!"

Too Many Nice People Here!

One day when I am rich (yeah, money's THAT tight!) first on my to-do list is buy the full blogrolling service, so I can have two lists and keep track of all the nice people who link to me, publicly on my blog.

I LOVE getting comments from new people, don't you? The only thing then is I feel guilty if the conversation sort of fizzles out. Maybe I could open a couple of new Bloglines folders called commenters and 'people who link to me' and just reciprocate for the lot.

Well, now, there's a thought for the day. I have over 100 posts to read back, if I am going to do it properly, so its a BIG thought.


15 June 2005


It's not fair.

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)

I love bunny-rabbit heaven, where I am now, but I occasionally come over all gushy at the sight of the London traffic report - items such as rain lashing down on a five mile tailback at Northolt or the Hanger Lane Gyratory, or Hammersmith.

I dare not get caught going gooey or breathing a sigh of fond remembrance - my husband reacts like a cornered school boy with a pocket full of conkers - "Well I'm not going back!"

Who the hell asked you to move back, Gary? But allow me to have feelings, please.

Anyhow, I just did a quiz I found - and am really excited and looking forward to him spotting this post - not.

Michael Jackson

I didn't think I would post on this at all, but it's annoyed me.

Before we get too far, I have no judgement on the court case at all, nor even motives, just questions - questions about the system more than the man.

When, in the American judiciary system, did being unaware become a reasonable defence? Okay, it could transmute a murder charge to manslaughter in the UK, but over here you DO get penalised for stupidity.

If you drive without a licence and kill someone, "I didn't mean it" is no excuse, nor is "Sir my client was simply having innocent fun." You are EXPECTED to know the rules, the social implications and the possible fall-out of your actions. The law is there to protect, it exists to save society from disaster.

Go read some of the sites for rape victims. Occasionally you will find one brave soul who actually raped someone once, explaining his horror and remorse but also how he had convinced himself that it was just casual sex where the girl was a bit, erm, distant. What's your gut reaction to that? Fry the bastard?

Paedophilia is different (and no I am not labelling anybody) - children are trusting, their faith can be bought by kind acts and they are infinitely open to suggestion because of that trust - the realisation, self recrimination and nightmares can come later, with the discernment born of age and experience. In fact the effects are worse because of the kick-self element, the horror and shame at their gullibility that can be absorbed as shared guilt - it's a total screw-up.

So maybe they 'only shared a bed'. Maybe the kids were happy at the time. Maybe the mum might come across as not the sort you'd have round for Sunday dinner. So what? Why does that belittle the potential damage to the children, the effect of cringeing realisation? And why does the social ignorance of the perpetrator, his 'not meaning it like that' count as an excuse?

My respect for Uri Geller has gone back up. Standing there, on UK TV the other morning, he stood by his friend, declared Michael's innocence and his own personal relief at the outcome. However, his final comment, his one piece of advice to his friend, was to "Grow up."

Uri, I am with you on that. Sadly, a sheltered upbringing, a bizarre and possibly cruel childhood where social awareness was not developed, is not and should not be an excuse. Even the child who curses and throws things in school is removed from the class - 'knowing no better' may factor in the choice of punishment and/or care, but not at the expense of his classmates. The greater good is taken into account. Recognise and remove the threat, condemn the acts and their effect, then deal with the individual.

In my world, Michael would have received court ordered counselling and re-education at least; therapy, help to develop an awareness of consequences outside of his Neverland. Perhaps his own parents would have been lambasted or even punished for bringing him up with such a damaged/damaging outlook, if it was proved that he was no less capable than his siblings.

My one wish now? That Michael Jackson would openly admit he would swap his entire fortune and career for a dose of normality and normal development back when it was needed most. No, I have two wishes. The second: that when he said that, I could actually believe him. My jury is still out.

I can't help it - I look at his rearranged face, and wonder whether there was a man in his own childhood who had a thing for Diana Ross. Heck, its just one of several possible reasons why a star would pay to look like someone else. Why ever he changed his looks, it was tied up with self image, with approval and validation - thats the only reason anyone does it.

For/against - know more than I do? Different opinion? Leave me a comment, I'd like to know.

14 June 2005

Exclamation Marks Are Girly

This is my conclusion - see previous post.

Multiple exclamation points have their place - in amongst hearts and flowers and smileys and emoticons and xxxx and x0x0x0x0 (to the uninitiated that's hugs and kisses) - in other words 'nice, girly gossip'.

OK when I say 'in amongst', I don't know many who could stand them all at once - but I hope you get my drift. I hesitate to classify (ergo validate) them as a genre.

When used on a fairly serious or businesslike forum, however, they look silly or sarcastic. The Gosh! Honestly! No really! effect that causes a warm giggle in chatty posts transmutes to a demand for attention, a suggestion of outrage or at least foot stomping and/or arm-flailing.

It also matters if they are used at the end of what is obviously a complaint or personal attack. That's exactly what happened before that idiot explained himself by saying that multiple '!'s meant humour.

What he said, in effect was "I turn my back on this thread and look, instead of serving my needs it's been hijacked by X's problem!!! And blah blah rhubarb as well!!!"

That sucks. That's too low to be called sarcasm - he was being an out-and-out drama queen.

So, to answer my own question: do you see the use of multiple exclamations as 1,2,3, or 4 - the answer is Yes!!!!!! All of them, depending.

Punctuation & Etiquette

I read a forum post recently, the final line of which was:

"P.S. !!! usually means a lighthearted comment!!!!"

I'm not so sure. When someone writes multiple exclamation marks at the end of every other sentence, do you think they are being:
  1. Ignorant
  2. Friendly
  3. Pompous
  4. A Drama Queen?
Would love to know....................

13 June 2005

Poetry Challenge result

My favourite challenge (thank you!) came from Ally who set me these three words: Discombobulate, artichoke and renege.

I have had a wonderful ten minutes penning this, so if it's awful, blame me for rushing!

Here goes.

The Perils of Knock Down Charlie

One day when I was very young and common sense was rare
I played at knock-down-Charlie and I did it for a dare
But then I took a challenge where the kudos was the prize
To trick old hairy Leo, yes, the guy with wobbly eyes

I hear you gasp and so you should, a scary man is he
But I prepared to enter in where one with sense would flee
Renege? I would, oh if I could but none may shirk a bet,
Least none with only half a brain, who isn’t adult yet.

So there I stood, a plank of wood outside Old Leo’s door
But he was in a veggie patch I hadn’t seen before,
I’d knocked and run, I thought I’d won, but halted in my track
When Leo grabbed an artichoke and poked me in the back

“A knife!” thought I, “I’m going to die!” My bones began to freeze.
He ordered me to turn around, I muttered “Jesus, please!”
“What are you going to do to me?” I asked in my surprise
“Why, I’ll discombobulate you!” Said the man with wobbly eyes

Confusion swept my tiny frame, and fear at certain death.
His laughter loosed his hefty grip and so, with all my breath
I ran away and didn’t stop until I reached the hill
But when I pass that way again……..

I hear him laughing still.


Feeling decidedly poetic today.

Sadly short of a topic. I would be very grateful for some inspiration!

Please leave a comment and include three words (pref verbs and adjectives) so I have a starting point!

Will try and do them all (always assuming I get more than one comment) and will post the one I like the most.

PLEASE? Thank you!

Private Comment

Dear Man
You know who you are. :-)
Thanks for reciprocating. Yes it is completely understandable. A person's spiritual beliefs are the ones which they demonstrate in their choice of politics, reactions, steps - never mind what they pay lip service to. Perhaps religion is the path of understanding what you already hold true and developing or changing that, or simply unscattering it.
I am not a buddhist but could liken God to a ('The') prayer bowl, and think I have heard him ring (or should I say experienced, lived through, travelled on?) Words get in the way of a truly holistic experience.
Why did that other poster think that Monotheism, pantheism and animism are exclusive to each other? Odd. Christianity, for example, teaches about God, plus powers and dominions. The Roman who understood heirarchy and told Jesus he could 'say the word' for a healing instead of going in person was commended.
P.S. Brilliant post - I love it when I am right about someone - lots to learn there. Another time?
Going away now before the Aquarius-Capricorn thing adds misunderstanding LOL!

12 June 2005

LunaNina's Free Association

I watch Radical Druid's blog.

I like him. His poetry is illuminating, too.

He and I could have an in-depth argument about life the universe and everything, and if I was in a really wicked mood I would suggest that the Celts and Druids are all Egyptian/Essene cross breeds because Cornwall was the Ends Of The Earth, and in Isaiah God said he had prepared the way for the word, at the ends of the earth. Course he had, we were half Egyptian, peopled by the god fearing magicians who did a runner last time there was a political coup. How d'you think we got the Ankh for crying out loud? Oh and explain the Ummin and Thummin and drawing short straws and the three wise men being Astrologer-astronomers if you don't like the word 'magic' used in conjunction with Judaic Christianity. Come to that, explain what the prophets were doing manifesting themselves up the hill from Gethsemane, all aglow in the middle of the night (and how they made it into the bible if all the disciples fell asleep.) Whats the ONLY difference between magic and a miracle? Authorship.

Oops, the soap box came out, didn't it. I love chucking real but strange possibilities into the mix, but do feel that American Druids are a little, erm, militant. They have to be - the bloody 'lets speed up Armageddon' dispensationalists have hijacked Christianity over there. False Prophets. America - 100 years from now, please God, your Christians will have a worse rap sheet than the Spanyards who spawned the Inquisition. Heck I mean I suspect you have that already, please God, it will come to light.

Well now - anyone still here is going to be confused. Thats Okay (sorry!) because here's the real point:

Every week Radical Druid does a list of word associations. I never got it. This week I DO get it because he referred to the place where he gets them from, LunaNina's site.

The idea of free association is that you or your psychiatrist look back over the words you chose, in response to trigger words, and this helps you (or your shrink) understand whats going on in your head. So, unless someone knows you really well, blogging your answers does nothing for anybody. If they DO know you well, however, I guess you risk inscrutible gazes and muttering of "Aaaah, that explains a lot......."

Anyhow. You don't want them, you probably won't relate to them, but here are mine. Trigger words by Nina, first-out-of-the-trap answers by me, sadly.

  1. Wally:: Gherkin
  2. Phantom:: Opera
  3. Slippery:: Untrustworthy
  4. Fungus:: The Bogeyman
  5. Slot: Penny
  6. Type:: cast
  7. Discharge:: Pus
  8. "We need to talk”:: Oh Shit
  9. On the spot:: Oh Shit
  10. Liquid:: Gloopy
Analyse that!


I've said before that I won't bring my work life into this blog - it's not fair and anyway, once an incident is in the annals of history, it's only really worth mentioning if person A or B was a complete jerk.

Don't get me wrong, there are some memories that are sorely tempting - I would love to rip certain people to shreds in public but I know from experience that revenge results in a few minutes of elation followed by an odd hollow sensation of pointlessness and foolishness that goes on for much longer. You know, that mental switch that flicks where everything that was so exciting immediately becomes as enthralling as yesterday's cold pizza. I have tasted revenge before now, and usually ended up hating myself more than my target, so these days I don't play.

Anyway, after that somewhat less than focused preamble, I am slightly panicked. I have just emailed a contact at the DTI because of this.

There, sitting in the junk mail of an old hotmail address I set up for a job I did about three or four years ago, was an 'away from desk' notification, sent only a few days ago, from the official work email address I had at the time I worked there. I wouldnt have known, except that I keep the old hotmail alive for the amount of evidence it contains (even though the DTI has copies of the lot.)

In short, the work email address that I took great pains to destroy all that time ago, is up and running again and still using my name.

Why did I cleanse and block that email before leaving? Because I left when a Director and a leading figure were making accusations that person X was impersonating them, writing emails from their personal work addresses, pretending to be them, approving all sorts of dodgy dealings in their names.

Then when I was given admin access to the email server (when the girl doing it before suddenly quit) one of the first things this other person did was to come up with a bogus reason why he needed me to give him certain people's email passwords. I tipped them off, changed their passwords again to lock him back out, and removed myself from all association.

You have to understand that this guy had a good explanation for absolutely everything. Many times he had reneged on instructions because they had come from the other Director's email 'so how could he have possibly known?' He made the other guy out to be a bit of a clueless idiot, and himself as the only person that could be really relied upon to know what was going on.

As soon as he asked for their passwords it became clear that many, many more things he had sworn to were open to suspicion. I didn't know which way was up. Whoosh, I was out of there.

So, today I find out that my old email address is functioning again - ie they have a ghost version of me on their books, ready, I have to assume, to dish out all sorts of dodgy info without it falling back on the real writers. It was sheer fluke that a copy arrived in my hotmail - perhaps I never got rid of my pop-mail set-up that sent copies across. I am waiting to see what the DTI have to say, but that doesnt explain why I never saw the original email that generated the response.

I honestly believe the man involved can't help himself - he never learns anything except how not to get caught so quickly next time, and I would be very surprised if he wasn't a clinical psychopath; lacking any ability from the day he was born to see anybody's needs but his own. A psychopath counts as 'friends' only those who can further his cause and they are classically very charming and believable - a skill they work on to their own benefit. Relationships are short and volatile - heck HERE's a list of symptoms. Go and have a look - I bet you know at least one person like it.

Latest figures suggest its as prevalent as dyslexia, hitting one in ten of the population. The difference is that these types seek power, so they generally puddle together in jobs that allow them to play with other people's lives.

I really think that like dyslexics, socially adept psychopaths are overlooked by society and the system - that there are more soulless, self-serving animals in our society than we acknowledge. I really think that psychiatric screening is necessary - people with epilepsy are barred from driving cars - psychopaths should be equally barred from running companies or joining any profession also barred to people with a criminal conviction - like the Police or the Law.

I have a sneaky feeling that would reduce the population of those grand establishments by at least 12%.The problem is that they are just as likely to become nurses and psychiatrists.

Further research on Psychopathy, Malignant Narcissism, Sociopathy: HERE (great set of links, too)

11 June 2005

Escape routes and hidden cash

My mother told me that the way to save a marriage was to be certain you could leave if you wanted to - less resentment, no feeling of being trapped, less chance of upset spiralling out of control with feelings of impotence.

To that end (as I was in your average new marriage where every penny mattered) she urged me, strongly, to hide enough cash from my husband to make certain I could do a runner if I wanted to, an exit plan.

Agree or disagree? Please comment - I'd love to know!

The Words to Northern Birds

(Scroll down a bit for the very rude lyrics, which carry a warning about EXPLICIT CONTENT, ergo, so does this post. If you don't like naughty words, don't go there.)

A while ago I wrote about a couple of Doctors calling themselves Amateur Transplants who are raising money for Macmillan Cancer Relief with their comedy album Fitness To Practice.

For some unfathomable reason this blog is turning up on one of the search engines, for the lyrics to two of the songs, particularly Northern Birds - however the link leads to my front page and not the post itself. Odd, huh?

As I've had about ten different people looking (mostly from the North!), here are the words.

Don't forget to check out the Amateur Transplant site and buy the bloody CD - its only six quid and its for a good cause!

Northern Birds (to the tune of More Than Words)

If you go to Bolton
If you go to Manchester or Crewe
Newcastle or Scarborough
York or Scunthorpe, Bradford, Barnsley too
Or Grimsby, listen up to what we have to say:

Northern Birds are lazy ugly whores
who smell of burgers
So don't have too much to drink
Or you might fuck one
And end up getting AIDS

Theres nothing fun to be found up the M1
Northen birds are lower class, slags who take it up the arse
They're in the sack after one cider and black
But they're fucking awful rides and your dick won't touch the sides


Northern birds.....

If you really have to
Go up North, then follow our advice
Fight away the women
Or you'll find yourself with pubic lice
And herpes, you're much better staying in the South

Northern birds are desperate ugly hippos dressed in Burberry
With a peanut for a brain
And an accent
That makes you want to die

Now you've been warned
They're all physically deformed
Northern birds are all obese
And they're riddled with disease

Try to escape, Northern sex is worse than r*pe
Stay down South and mark my words
Stay well clear of Northern birds


Northern birds.....

Northern birds.....

Copyright: www.amateurtransplants.com

10 June 2005

What Item of Furniture Are You?

That's Doris' quiz, not mine, but please, hussle on over there and add your thoughts.

For a woman who only started her blog today, she is certainly racing ahead, but then dear Doris always was fast and forward, you know. Aunty Whiplash says they were both due to go to finishing school together, except Doris came, finished and went again before term really started. Hey Ho.

I tried to come up with an answer but can't get my mind away from the tag my darling husband gave me during the first flush of our enduring romance, may he be forever blessed.

I made it rhyme, once, so dug it back out for you. (Why am I sharing this? Must be having one of my funny turns again.........)

A Perfect Fit

My darling once, in stilted tones, confessed his love to me.
His blushing face and awkward stance proclaimed sincerity.
He said that he had searched the world for such a perfect fit
And spoke of how he marvelled and rejoiced, that I was it.

Said he: "It is as though I had been searching every street
Looking for a pair of shoes to fit my smelly feet.
All shiny, new and beautiful, but none of them would do.
They squeaked or split or blistered me, but finally there's you"

He may not be poetic but I wouldn't change a word
This was the most romantic thing that I had ever heard,
Yet, noticing that I was very touched and all a flutter,
He found himself emboldened and continued, then, to utter:

"Yes, after having tried them all, when I was quite forlorn,
There in a dusty cupboard were some slippers, old and worn,
But heaven to my blisters, were these comfy lumps of cloth.
You're my darling tatty slippers and I'll never take you off."

09 June 2005

From Aunty Whiplash - P.S. To Doris

Dear Doris

You wrote to me in the comment section of a recent post, Arguing With Dear Prudie.
I in turn responded here, explaining that you may be lacking the right gimmick for a career in porn movies.

I am now pleased to inform you of another option, although Mad Baggage herself is none too pleased at how this information came to light.

To explain briefly; this blog has a second stat counter now, one that lists keywords used in search engines and the URLs of referring pages.

Today someone made it to a previous post entitled Blogging the Dogging, a lighthearted scoff at dodgy car-park trawlers. This is not a problem, nor is the fact that the visitor was looking for company rather than derision and hung around for exactly zero seconds.

No, what infuriated dear M B (odd woman) is that the referring link was a page on a swingers site. Yes, MadBaggage has been listed amongst "other sites that cover the same subject" (quote) on a site called swinger-personals.co.uk .

Worse, the page she appears on, so unwillingly, is the search page for information on Granny Dogging. She is trying to dig a hole to hide in as I write, and I have had to lock the spade in the garage. I may shortly have to rush off to rescue the last of the soup spoons.

I do appreciate that your interest was very much to do with the potential earnings and that dogging is regarded by its supporters as pro bono work. However, if you fancied honing your skills with an audience or establishing a local fan base, then I thought you might like to know that apparently there ARE young men seeking just such an opportunity, enough to have their hobby given its own page.

If it was discovered that you intended this as a career move, then I do think you should probably consider Public Liability Insurance.

Which makes me wonder, if a dogger caught a disease in the pursuit of his hobby, in a council car park generally accepted to be a meeting point for such activities, could he/she sue the Local Authority?


Aunty Whiplash

UPDATE! Further to this post Doris has indeed set up her own fantasy weblog, 'Grans on Bran'. Well they do say that bran gets you going. Check out her first post! I wonder if she'll consider guest submissions?

The Downing Street Memo

LOVE this site.

If you hate or love Bush, if you have strong feelings for or against the war in Iraq YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS.

Forty days since the memo came to light via a respected and national British newspaper and it says theres been NOT A PEEP of denial out of either Government, so far.

It seems our UK Gov was complicit in working toward a plan created by Bush in 2002 to manipulate the American people into accepting a war. According to this they even timed the bloody start to help with the US elections.

There was a great graphic, but its a download and I don't have server space.

My question is this - why was the UK ready to even negotiate this?

Who is blackmailing who? Does Bush have the capacity to make life difficult for Blair or the UK, or did our leaders touch him up for some 'tokens of gratitude'? Why are we playing and how did they get away with it?

Childhood Meme

BadAunt tagged me for this 'Five Things I Miss About Childhood' meme, with a twist.

I am going to TRY and think of five people to tag, but I feel like a kid asked to choose from a huge tub of sweets, so if you want to play - just play! I'll find you because I'll notice the link back to here. To quote Michelle - Share the Love!

Five Things I Miss About Childhood

1. The Grand Union Canal.
We lived across the road from a straight stretch, where the racers would practice. Just crossing our road was like a breath of fresh air, like touching base. The towpath was my thinking spot. Waving to the barge hands, kicking gravel, fishing for tiddlers, playing echo in the tunnel, climbing unkempt grassy banks, a long walk past nothing and nobody (except a few back doors) up to top locks - a set of seven locks on a steep drop.

2. Hugs
At least hugs where I was by far the smallest participant, huge, warm, wrap-around 'no reason' hugs with my mum, where the whole world was safe and everything was going to be ok - so much so that it was unquestioned. I love my mum - these days I stoop, slightly, to hug her, but every time, I remember disappearing into those arms.

3. Playing ESP with my dad
Sitting at the dinner table playing at guessing whole packs of playing cards, drawing each other's pictures

4. The Black and White Minstrel Show
Yes, I know! Now I know! When I was a kid, however, even living in Southall with the influx of Asian people, skin colour was just a fact of life like hair and racism was a concept I had never heard of. I never knew why the funny men wore painted faces, they just did and there were no connotations for me. The B&W Minstrels, Sing Something Simple on the radio while we all ate Sunday dinner, and the Sunday afternoon musical family movie. All music and dreams, even though it was pumping me full of what I now know to be some very bizarre misconceptions about ideal femininity and the female role. I guess I could have just called this section 'Sundays'. Or 'Happily Ever After'.

5. Learning
That sounds odd, but it's the flip side of a lack of responsibility. The real joy of childhood was that everything was about being told, seeing, watching, soaking stuff up like a sponge. I guess the tired phrase that covers it is 'having not a care in the world', but its not the lack of care but its consequences, that I miss. Grown ups learn to voice their own opinions, a relatively closed state, we also have responsibilities that frame most of our day and just plain watching, like a child, is relegated to classrooms and the first day on a new job. That's sad.

And that's my five, and, oh bugger, I forgot to list believing in Father Christmas - which reminds me of the time when my darling brother (to whom I shall of course be forever grateful) told my unquestioning son that the sure way to get a message to Santa was to wrap it up in toilet tissue, along with a small gift, and flush it down the toilet. Thanks, Russ.

OK - go see these guys! When you play, just knock the top link off the list (yes you have to include the live links), and add your own blog address at the bottom.

Feisty Repartee
Chaos Theory
Wired JAFA
Bad Aunt
Mad Baggage

I repeat - please just tag yourself, and join in! However, I am personally tagging: Michelle, SheWeevil (yay! last time I wanted to tag her, two people had beaten me to it), brand new blogger Steve at Wittering Heights, Annie at Retrotype, and Ally at Ducking For Apples.

I cant wait to see their lists!

If five people play at each level then top of the list finds themselves with something like 800 links to their site, amongst other bloggers. I can see this catching on if it works. Its also fun to go see who tagged who and check out the sites.

08 June 2005

Life's Like That

Had a really great post for today - found two people online to rave about. Spent ages reading their stuff, having got there through a long list of links.

Then, as happens, life got in the way. Its still getting in the way. Tough, isn't it.

Have fun.

07 June 2005

Dear Prudence - a mini bio

I 'host' the comments on this site and having a very good friend who is currently being harrassed for 'hosting comments' on the forum she runs, I have decided to clarify my understanding of who Dear Prudence is.

This is the person that Slate magazine cites on it's staff page, so far as I can ascertain from that and other information published on the web.

Like I said, a short bio:

Margo Howard, nee Lederer born in 1950 to Jules Lederer and his wife Esther Pauline, nee Friedman. The marriage broke down in 1975 after 36 years, due to Mr Lederer's ongoing infidelity.

Margo is also divorced and presently married to Dr Ronald Weintraub.

Esther Pauline Friedman and her twin sister Pauline Esther (born 1918) both grew up to be advice columnists - Esther (Eppie) took over as Ann Landers in 1955, whilst her sister Pauline (Popo) became known as Abigail Van Buren, 'Dear Abby'. You could say that Margo went in to the family business.

Margo will celebrate her 55th birthday some time this year but I was unable to find the exact date.

Happy Birthday, Prudie, whenever it is.

From Aunty Whiplash - Grannies on Bran

Note: for original Q, see comments HERE

Dear Doris

Thank you for your enquiry. I saw a documentary following a young British girl anxious to make her way in the seedier sort of American porn movie, and at the time of airing, uphill gardening on film was indeed worth $1,000 per dig, to the recipient.

However, I have no idea WHAT they paid the two girls who make a living arranged almost upside down to blow billiard balls from said farmland. I wish I had kept the picture - so bizarre - like a pair of smiling cheerleaders showing off their black holes - the stellar variety. (Do you remember when Miss Universe had to have a talent?) The whole set-up was so much like a twelve year old male thought it up in between reading Marvel comics, that it was almost sweet.

I know there are sites celebrating the more mature erm, hostess, however I do not feel that you or I would qualify without a gimmick. In the way that pro-blubber sites take only women who could lose a small housing estate in any given fold, so pro-age sites seem to utilise photos where one is tempted to look for the corner of the zimmer frame creeping into shot. Another forty years, perhaps. Something to look forward to.

Its all to do with fight or flight again, adrenaline rather than aggression, and the difference between porn and art. With porn there is always, always an element of power, either a dominatrix is involved, evil intent and all that, the 'you're getting it whether you want it or not' shot, or the woman somehow looks incapacitated, innocent or unable to defend herself. 'A place for a man to be a real man' - yeah right - but you get my drift. Power sold on glossy paper.

On the other hand - Grannies on Bran - that would certainly fill a niche market!

(I do have to wonder whether bran might be a solution for the billiard ball girls. Not 'in' solution, you understand; they'd never get home, poor dears.)


Aunty Whiplash.

Blog Therapy

I always meant to keep a diary - my father, in particular, was an avid diarist. Mum would roll her eyes lovingly and mutter something about not knowing what there was in their house, worth writing about. I tried, but with that attitude in the back of my mind, 'news' dried up and the book got lost, on a regular basis.

Still, without going too deeply into the possibility that public blogging appeals to my ego, or a hidden need to be applauded or somesuch, it seems that at last I have found the secret - diaries do NOT have to be about 'your day', any old rant will do because it diarises thought processes. I have those, occasionally,... honest.

So - as far as complexes and hidden subroutines go, ("here's one I prepared earlier" - Ha! Really wanted to say that. I would mention Hamble and Little Ted and 'through the round window', but, erm, no. Someone would pray for me, or something), Ahem, repeat, as far as 'issues' go, I have several recurring ones that I can only spot in hindsight. Now is such a time and but for this blog I probably still wouldn't have a clue what was about to hit me.

Yesterday's blog - I stand by it. The basic premise that one should earn respect or live without it is spot on. I am BLOODY right. I will probably remain so until it's my turn to be the failure or disappointment, by which time I am sure there will be one or two tenuous exceptions to the rule. The thing is, that seems to be the case right this instant.

I am becoming annoyed at myself. (Only in bold, because its the whole point, but heck, even I would miss it in this mess and I wrote the bloody thing.) I tend not to notice when that starts to happen, however I think this is because when my principles are ready to crystallise into a plan of action, they cut across the board, so I tangentialise. I am nothing if not fair, I do share readily. Think of me as a blunderbus. Light the fuse, pull the trigger, but then I get sidetracked by all the non-targets that get hit in between the weapon and its intended and ultimate mark.

In other words, a growing subconscious sensation that I ought to kick my own arse into gear tends to be shared around any other arses sticking out at the time (how magnanimous), and lets face it, that girl's fella is an A grade bumhole, so he copped it.

What does all this mean? Only that today I will not be happy until I get off this blog and the web, and go tell myself off and get into a temper until I have 'achieved'. Theres nothing like converting negative disquiet into adrenaline into positive action - a bit like spiritual speed training.

Off to have a sudden burst of productivity while it lasts. Wish me luck!