28 February 2005

The Gas Man Cometh

Having been told that a plumber would take time out from his day off to see to our defunct boiler as an emergency, having been told that it would be the end of the day, five or six o'clock, the guy turns up at three in the afternoon.

A hasty dig in the corners we hide loose cash in saved the day, and two equally hasty phone calls later, I had organised the collection of my children from school by taxi, an indulgent luxury that really annoys the school secretary, particularly when you are late telling her, as it can involve chasing round the playground for the little angels or being stared down by a loose-ended driver whilst the kids put two and two together and head in her direction.

So, I'm here, the plumber's here, and I've told him its the boiler. So he goes to the airing cupboard, throws all my towels on the floor and reaches to the back to check the water pump, which was only changed in November and is the only thing guaranteed to be working. His own company had to come back and bleed the radiators after the new pump was put in, because the sheer power of it shifted old limescale et al and gunged the system up. There is (please God, unless the pipes rot under the concrete floor) nothing else to go wrong except the boiler.

But I'm a woman so what do I know, and its his day off so he needs to feel as put out by this little escapade as is humanly possible, to qualify the double money, I guess, so I just stand back and let him get on with it.

Now I know enough to know that a boiler should not be touched by anyone other than a Corgi registered plumber, but theres nothing about this guy that even says 'plumber' apart from the fact that he brought his tools in in a black rubber bucket. In fact to look at him, the rest says 30-something slightly overweight ex-football hooligan with slight misogynistic tendencies and a nasty belief that a skinhead buzzcut still makes him look 'hard'. Lets just say I imagine his wife gets told she's a fat cow, a lot, only wears high class couture of the clashing, over tight variety and accessories such as white stilletos, false nails that could extract your brain through your nostril, brassy blonde highlights, low cut tops and enough gold to do a gypsy proud. Gypsies have real reasons for carrying their wealth in the form of gold jewellery, same as seamen's earrings (and thats another story), but on a person with a semi replete with garden gnomes and a 4x4 in Upper Chavston, it looks, well, tacky. they probably have a couple of daughters called Mercedes-Trachia and Chantelle - Lafrog.

He wasn't best pleased that the fridge freezer was beneath the boiler and in his way. He wasnt best pleased about anything actually, I think my blatant non-Sharon-dom had him disgusted as soon as he walked through the door.

I paused in the re-telling, there. No, I did. You can't see it when you are reading, but I feel ever so much more cheerful now. I was going to say that I think the sight of my yellow Doc Martens constricted his throat. It probably did. The pause was because that sent me off on a momentary but thoroughly enjoyable daydream about how else they might have managed the same feat.

Anyhow, he ticks, tuts, sucks his teeth and prods things, then, instead of going out to his car, he asks if I have anything for him to stand on. What would he have done if I had said no? Still the step ladder (which, rather embarrassingly, my husband was using as a clothes horse for suit jackets) was retrieved and proffered and was rewarded with a rousing response of "Grunt". I handed it to him in a closed position, and am bloody sure I saw him suck air through his teeth again, at having to open it for himself. Perhaps it wasnt clean enough for the poor, precious poppet. I am sure his mummy would have spun in her pub.

Just as I thought we were finally getting somewhere, he found himself (against his will, I could tell) forced to speak to me again.

"So, have you got the manual for this then?"

What? he doesnt know which bit is which? He needs the owners manual? The electric circuits were clearly mapped on the inside of the lid, there was nothing else to question but the plumbing, but no, he wanted the checklist of things to do if it went wrong.

"Sorry, no I dont think we ever had that, and if we did, my husband has all the manuals tucked away in, ooh, one of a hundred places" say I, mentally counting the number of carrier bags of 'tidied-up' important papers I have thrown at said husband in the past, never to see again, "and I doubt even he would be sure where at this short notice."

The answer I got was "Grunt", which I took to mean any number of things, but not 'well then I'm stuck because I havent got a clue what I'm doing'. I mean anyone whose grunt meant that would stop doing what they were doing, wouldn't they?

He kept tinkering and I eventually slithered away again, until he heard me moving around, and hollered "So, are you looking for that manual then?"

I gave up, I phoned my husband who, mercifully and of his own volition, stated that we had never had the owners manual, that the landlord's workers had taken it, possibly the 'real gas mechanic' that the landlord sends to check the boiler once a year.

The guy threw a hissy fit. Instead of admitting he simply wasnt that knowledgeable, or qualified, he started spouting about how it was the law for the resident to have the booklet, on the premises at all times. I dont think he said outrageous. I got the distinct impression that he did actually know one or two multisyllabic words, but only as part of a set-piece statement from his training. His union rep would have been soooo proud.

I am piggy in the middle at this point in time, passing diluted and sanitised versions of opinions over the phone between husband up to his eye balls at work, and plumber up a step ladder. Dearest other half repeated that we as tenants were not to touch the boiler, so the manual had gone to the landlord. I swear, by this time, the 'plumber's little skinhead bristles were standing on end, I even think I saw one or two, p'ching, p'twang, escaping his scalp, under pressure.

This guy must have really earned his HNC in passing the buck, the transition was seamless. Having talked to me like a piece of dirt, he turned his attention to the last guy to service the boiler, whose Corgi registration number and contact details were still on the top of the fridge. before I could stop him he was off my stepladder and on his mobile phone (oooh! Another lovely vision of literal meaning!) and complaining bitterly to the nice company that had sent him out, about how the other boiler man had contravened the law, swiped the manual etc etc, quoting all his contact details and demanding that he be contacted sternly.

Lets get one thing straight, I dont do fussing and hopping. I try, but its physically impossible, moreso when I'm in my 'ready to get the kids in the snow' Doc Martens. I am stood there, waving hands at him, jiggling about a bit, practically within the sphere of his body odour, constantly correcting him that this guy was in no way proven to be the one who took the manual, but he just wasnt having it. A herd of randy hippos all stampeding straight toward him couldnt have made this guy swerve from his intent to pass the buck and stitch a fellow engineer up as far as flaming possible. He never flinched.

By the time he left he was muttering things along the lines of "not even meant to be here" and "my bloody day off" and walking with the kind of petulance in his step that you see in the school bully when he doesnt get the largest ice cream and there are too many adults around for him to rectify that by force. Sulk, grumble, grumble, sulk. I hope his poor wife is camped out at the Bluewater shopping centre or had an extra martini at lunch (cos the olives are so exotic, innit), so she doesnt give a rats fart when he gets home and its her turn to be completely useless and in the wrong.

So I rang the nice girl at the company, explained that he had gone off half cocked (and theres another nice idea for later, ooh, lets see how, the hinge on the stepladder perhaps?) and am now waiting for her to call, while she waits for the landlord to call, and all in all I am facing at least another 24 hours with no heating and hot water in sub zero temperatures.

Still, its all fun, isn't it, and I'd sooner be cold than an overbearing prat, so I win over the plumber, anyhow.


Vicars Egg

I haven't the first clue where that phrase comes from, but I do know the vicar's boiled egg was 'good in parts' and in our odd family at least it has become a synonym for a day of mixed blessings.

Really good news - I joined Fanstory.com before Christmas and entered all the competitions. Not with any hope of winning, but because I am not very creative and prefer to be given a starting point, something to set the squeaky little cogs moving. All the contests are along the lines of 'write a story/poem about this picture/starting with this line' and its like being back at school - there is a goal and no need to stare at an empty sheet of paper. Anyhoo, the nice thing is that my first ever stab at a short story has made it into the list of competition finalists. Its not going to win, but thats not the point, it got picked. I am (to coin another English phrase) well chuffed.

Really bad news - It snowed last night (so what else is new?) and the boiler upped and died, so no hot water, no heating and a family like warring ice-lollies first thing this morning - particularly my husband who has to get up first and took the opportunity to eff, blind and thoroughly enjoy being the poor, hard-done-by martyr. Not quite a burning martyr, mind, it was too cold, but unless he has cheered up by tonight I may well start collecting dry straw.

Quite good news - I finally got through to the boiler repair people, they are already booked to the hilt but will squeeze in a visit probably near the end of the day. No guarantee of a repair mind, but a visit, and it gives me all day to play hunt the carpet.

Rather revolting news - I am going to have to cut myself free from the addiction that is the net and go play housewife. More than that, I've had a rotten cold, straight after nursing the rest of the family through colds and things have piled up. There doesnt seem to be a single surface (floor included) that doesnt have a mish mash of essential and unneeded paperwork, combs, kids toys and general odds and sods that would take an hour per pile to properly sort, so I am going to have to spend this morning separating things into vague sorts, tying them up in carrier bags and throwing them towards their respective owners' wardrobes. This is not a good idea, in this house.

See-saws - She Weevil gave me some really decent questions to answer for a site that I don't know my own way round yet, and I am very grateful, but will have to tear myself away from the fun of setting about answering them. Ditto the promised critique to a friend on fan story (even though she's waiting for it, and that makes me feel mean). I also kept an appointment this morning to run off 500 flyers for local letterboxes and they too will have to remain in a pile until I can fold them and get out to post them, which rather puts my own income on the back burner.

And thats it. I have rambled about the paltry, small stuff that is my life today and I still can't work out whether to be totally peed off, or nauseatingly Pollyanna about it all. Thats even taking into account that this whole post has done no-one any good but me.

Sorry about that, particularly to you BadAunt, I know you can't stand 'boring day' blogs. But hey, thanks guys, its been cathartic.

27 February 2005

Bling Bling!

I guess the best way to mark something as yours is to individualise it. It makes it special, personal and more, far less likely to be stolen. Plenty already apply this principle to luggage and vehicles. It helps if the customizations are fashionable too.

Take a look at this: CrystalIcing - isnt that brilliant? Its a service (or DIY kit if you prefer) to have your mobile or i-pod done up in swarovski crystals, to your own design. Just choose your colours!

Makes me want a mobile phone just so I can bling it up!

On the up side, I guess, even if I left it on a bus, no-one is going to buy a hookey mobile with someone else's design on it, nor one thats been scratched to death to try and get the crystals off. What do I mean, up side, is there any other?

Perfect.

26 February 2005

Help!!!!!

Believe it or not I really really want silly questions!

I am doing a bit of volunteering, specifically I am trying to expand the FAQ on this site:

TheyWorkForYou.com

a brilliant new site for keeping tabs on UK politicians.

What I NEEEEEEEEEED you to do, no matter where you live (please pretty please with brass knobs on etc etc) is get in there, have a play, and come up with a genuine question, so I have got a few to answer.

Can't offer you anything for it (cos its voluntary, remember?) but will thank (and link to) every blogger who adds a decent Q.

Annoying Little Bloggers Part Two

Following on from the feedback I got yesterday here is the updated list, so far.

  1. People who write ‘then’ for ‘than’ and vice versa
  2. People who blog in English as a bad second language in order to 'instruct'. I dont have any problem with people looking to learn, and to get feedback, but an annoying number seem happy with their limited language skills and seem to have acquired them only to spread the word about how they have the answers to life the universe and everything.
  3. Americans who describe themselves as ‘somewhere mid west’ like the whole bloody blogging community is in the USA
  4. Americans who announce National Such-and-such day without actually mentioning its IN AMERICA, because lets face it, no other English speakers can read anyway
  5. Anybody who doesn’t know where the spellchecker is, in Word
  6. The argumentative ‘in your face and down your throat’ bible-bashing style blogs from the far right and far left of American politics
  7. ‘My baby is perfect’ blogs
  8. Craft blogs
  9. Anything that looks like a Stepford wife wrote it
  10. Anyone who tries to ram a nauseatingly hammy catchphrase down your throat. I have real sympathy for some of a certain blogger’s more recent posts about her children’s issues, but when the hammy catchphrase turns up three or four times every post, it triggers my gag reflex. (Hi Kim, so glad that one was........clear!)
  11. 98% of blogs with poetry on
  12. Any blog with a flag in the title frame – because too many are either political, blinkered, or both, (but excluding nice ones like ViVi's, where the flags are international and tiny and sensible)
  13. Exclusive blogs - gays only, anti gay etc (will that do, No-one? I think your other observations are covered by 6.)
  14. Waffly space filler blogs like 'my trip to the shops' (ok BadAunt?)
The scary thing is, this is a personal list that was relevant yesterday. Today I am feeling uncharacteristically magnanimous, possibly due to the fear that this may become some sort of manifesto in itself, a declaration of what constitutes PC / non-PC blogging, which would be horribly right wing and self defeating. Live and let live (and thanks, Jennifer, for a real solid chuckle!)

All that said, any more for the list?

25 February 2005

Annoying Little Bloggers....

The following twelve types of blogs/bloggers have inspired my bile. Can you think of any more?

  1. People who write ‘then’ for ‘than’ and vice versa
  2. People who blog in English as a bad second language
  3. Americans who describe themselves as ‘somewhere mid west’ like the whole bloody blogging community is in the USA
  4. Americans who announce National Such-and-such day without actually mentioning its IN AMERICA, because lets face it, no other English speakers can read anyway
  5. Anybody who doesn’t know where the spellchecker is, in Word
  6. The argumentative ‘in your face and down your throat’ bible-bashing style blogs from the far right and far left of American politics
  7. ‘My baby is perfect’ blogs
  8. Craft blogs
  9. Anything that looks like a Stepford wife wrote it
  10. Anyone who tries to ram a nauseatingly hammy catchphrase down your throat. I have real sympathy for some of a certain blogger’s more recent posts about her children’s issues, but when the hammy catchphrase turns up three or four times every post, it triggers my gag reflex.
  11. 98% of blogs with poetry on
  12. Any blog with a flag in the title frame – because too many are either political, blinkered, or both

24 February 2005

Really mad and really rambling

Its 'that' week of the month.

Too much info for you already? Well then BOG OFF, cos thats the mood I'm in.

No, I'm a hopeless stupid liar, thats just the mood I wish so very bloody hard that I was in, but somehow the bravado is missing it's underpinning. I feel like a bark with no dog, snarl grunph grrr, but never mind no teeth, I couldn't even give chase. And heaven help me if someone snarls back.

What really, really pisses me off about this is the paranoia. I have no idea whether it's built in to the situation, but such are the tales of women being nasty, murderous creatures during their period that I cant even make a stab at a witty retort without hurrying to some dark corner to fret over whether I came across as a bitch.

"Was that a cowish thing I just said?"

"Is X going to think I am completely unhinged now?"

"Have I just committed social suicide?"

See what I mean? One sideways remark = up to a good hour of insecurity, depending on how unexpected it was, followed by depression. For any men that haven't puked and moved on by now, this is how it goes:
  1. You spend a week every month with stomach cramps - think charcoal BBQ embers, inside, around the belly button area, and bad enough to feel like you have also been punched in both kidneys.
  2. Its tiring, and depressing, and inconvenient and not something you can 'share' (unless like me you have decided to commit blogicide).
  3. You have this slightly anaemic, breathless feeling like the hollow after-effect of a three day bender when you got back to work, but somehow, even a couple of days later, you just cant get your shit together.
And thats all there is to it really, but woe betide anyone who says anything crass or smarmy which, lets face it, is most likely to be a man. Out comes the inner Attilla. Suddenly you are not dealing with the woman you thought you knew, but with the spirit of the biggest, most aggressive XYY man you have ever sheepishly crossed the road to avoid. On the other hand, if you were feeling the heat all day every day, you'd be pretty short tempered by day two, no? I swear, if men had periods they'd all come to work clutching hot water bottles to their guts and spend most of the time giving each other back rubs and comparing aches.

Catch 22 is, while you're stepping back muttering "Where the fuck did THAT come from?", she is (I am) realising what just happened, going through the omg omg omg mantra and mentally rushing off to panic in a corner somewhere about what a dreadful thing she/I just said/did, too anaemic and tired and dizzy to work out whether the insult was one which would wear off in a day or two, or enough to have you spend every night for the next year warning all and sundry not to go near her/me because she's/I'm the ultimate psycho bitch from hell.

The WORST thing you can do is decide to bolster your own defences or reply just as caustically because by that time Attilla has turned into a lost and marginally frantic five year old, who is going to cry lots and hate you 'for ever and ever' if you be mean.

Be honest, you've been there.

I dont think we women become evil when we're 'on', I just think that our normal amounts of inbuilt evil get zapped by hormones and solidify, so instead of a steady gentle flow of acidic wit all day, some poor sod gets the lot, all at once, and then wham, we're clean out of viciousness and subsequently defenceless, just at the point when he's tooling up to protect himself.

On the other hand, I'm on, so am prepared to believe that this may just be the biggest pile of rubbish I have ever written and that I will look at it in three or four days and decide that's the end of my blogging career.

Girls, please comment, have you been there, or am I bleeping odd?
Guys, have you lived through this with your wife or girlfriend?
Hello? Anybody out there?

Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit..........................

23 February 2005

Darn!

Found this. Sulking now.



Double darn, they won't have it, but I LOVE the message haha.

I cant find a way to get the piccy, so all credit for the block goes to www.churchsigngenerator.com, a hysterically funny site full of some very strange roadside messages.

The one I wanted to filch (on page 5 of the real church signs) said that "Staying in bed all day shouting 'Oh God' does not constitute going to church"

What can I say? It would have been SO worth it.

Only in America

My mind is boggled.

Picture this.

You have an apartment and it needs work, so you get builders in. What do builders do? They make noise. They smash things, build things, play the radio loud enough to be heard over the concrete mixer and if they are doing a proper job and shifting a lot of old garden overgrowth and rubbish, they are going to upset a few little garden dwellers. Fine. It has to be done, and its temporary, they're not there forever.

Can you even conceive of being sued by the next door neighbours for getting builders in?

Some guy in America is suing his neighbour for "Often playing loud music and allowing workers to create noise, fumes and dripping water". Oh and for good measure he added that they "allowed an infestation of rats". Keep going, it gets worse.

How much total codswallop is that? The builders would be fixing the drips not making them and if the property had been very run down then if there were rats, the builders' movements would chase them away not beckon them in. They are nocturnal timid creatures that thrive in rubbish and brambles, in old sewers etc. All that building work will do is flush them out.

So now this person is being sued for getting rid of problems. How upside down and ridiculous is that? Here comes the rub....

The guy with the builders in (or possibly his landlord) just happens to be the son of a woman who married a famous man. This of course ups the ball game. Specifically his name is Stephan and he is the stepson of Sean Connery, no less. So now whats this chancer next door saying? Why he is saying, of course, that its all Sean Connery's fault and that therefore the inconvenience of builders and music and (allegedly) a rat preferring his property to the one being renovated is...................wait for it............................THREE MILLION DOLLARS.

In your dreams, mate.

22 February 2005

Wittgenstein's Tractatus

Let me get this straight:

First five basic propositions of Wittgenstein's Tractatus

1 The world is everything that is the case

2 What is the case, the fact, is the existence of atomic facts

3 The logical picture of the facts is the thought

4 The thought is the significant proposition

5 Propositions are truth-functions of elementary propositions. (An elementary proposition is a truth-function of itself)


So to recap, (taking "=" to mean is, is the same as, is equivalent to and any other way you could split a hair and assuming a fact to be true)

  1. The world = the case
  2. Atomic facts = the fact = the case (ok so, so far the world = atomic facts. Cool)
  3. The thought = the facts (where the thought is true)
  4. The thought = the significant proposition (note: proposition = statement)
  5. Truthful statements = facets of ultimate truth
Right.

From that, The significant proposition = The world/The case/Anything with atomic facts.

So.

In the beginning was The Word.

Right?

21 February 2005

UK Politics

OK I lied, but I didn't mean to lie, I meant not to post again today, but then I promised this guy I would.

If as a UK citizen you DO happen to ocassionally wonder what on earth your MP is saying, then there is a new site tailor made for you.

If you happen to be a good writer and want to add something to your CV, they are looking for voluntary help.

Two emails quoted below:

TheyWorkForYou.com Update No.1
Hi Cheryl,

You'll hopefully remember registering* with TheyWorkForYou.com, the volunteer-built website which makes it easy to keep tabs on your MP's Parliamentary activities.

Since launching in June, we've made hundreds of small improvements to the site. However, the cold winter nights have sparked an explosion of activity, and we've launched a slew of new features in response to requests such as:

- "Can you Email me when my MP next speaks, or when an issue I care about is raised?"

You all *so* wanted this. Near the top of every MP's page, and on every search results page, you'll see a link starting with 'Email me when...' Just click and go, or sign up by hand using http://theyworkforyou.com/alert/

- "Can I see when an issue was last raised in Parliament?"

Yes. At the top of every search results page you'll see a link that sorts the most recent result at the top. Ideal for keeping tabs on topical concerns such as "Identity Card".


- "Can I just search the stuff my MP has said?"

Yup. Go to an MP's page. See the red search box to the right of your MP's delicious photo? That's your baby. It'll search just that MP's contributions.

- "What about Westminster Hall, Written Ministerial Statements & House of Commons' Committees?"

We're two-thirds done. See http://theyworkforyou.com/whall/ and http://theyworkforyou.com/wms/ We're busy tacking Committee proceedings, but these be hard.

- "Is what you're doing legal?"

Yes. We are legit. Indeed, within a couple of months of launch we had Parliament's blessing, plenty of enthusiasm and a nice shiny licence to re-use Hansard. Given Parliament's history & traditions, such a swift & positive reaction is most admirable.

- FINALLY, TELL YOUR FRIENDS

TheyWorkForYou.com is the best place to get the unadulterated lowdown on what your MP has said and done in your name.

As the election approaches, we think the site could make a real difference to democratic transparency and engagement.

If you agree, please tell your friends. Blog about us. Write about us. Link to us. Use our RSS feeds in your sites. Tell your enemies. Hell, even tell your parents. You're the only marketing we can afford!

Best wishes,

- Tom, on behalf of the TheyWorkForYou.com volunteers

http://theyworkforyou.com/about/ - New volunteers welcome!
What a lovely bloke, eh? So I asked what kind of volunteers and he said:

Volunteering can involve as much or as little effort as you can muster.

What we're lacking most at the moment is someone to write stuff for the 'help' section http://theyworkforyou.com/help/ - it's very thin at the moment, and most of us are better at writing code than words.

Best wishes

-Tom, on behalf of the TheyWorkForYou.com volunteers
So anyhow I promised to blog about it, and here it is, blogged (plus a few extra live links, from me).




Nada today

Off out to my second training day for Telecom Plus.

I love these guys - no hard sell, no pushy-pushy, even the first training session was like a lighthearted business meeting - no brainwash musack, no stage, just a round table session in a nice, small, hotel conference room.

I feel like I'm being trained to be a consultant, not one of those ghastly in yer face 'awesome' salespeople.

Its going to be a long day, so this is just a blog to say that I wont have time to blog, until tomorrow!

Wish me luck........

20 February 2005


Erm, I found this. Its not mine, I just found it........... Posted by Hello

Political Compass

Surfing on Blog Explosion yesterday I came across moxiegrrrl's site (Hi moxie!) and her latest entry at the time, where she had taken the Political Compass test.

I love tests, but don't often post about them because most of them are so sad (or my results are so sad), anyhow, Tanaa! I am delighted to find that I am a left-wing libertarian, to about the same degree as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela (which suits me just fine) and not far off the Dalai Lama.

This explains a lot. I seriously doubt that, as far as UK politics go I would come up anywhere far from bog standard 'middle of the road', but against the kind of US enthusiasms that seem to be on every third or fourth post in the whole flaming blogosphere, yeah I guess I would turn up somewhere left of "hippy tree huggin' lentil muncher" or whatever the latest giggly buzz word is amongst the 'three-Big-Macs-for-breakfast-and-if-it-moves-shoot-it' brigade.

This would also explain why I suspect that the antichrist is a dispensationalist, sitting somewhere declaring world peace through shooting people and teaching the flock to love their neighbour provided he's not turbanned, black, gay, mexican, vegetarian or a member of greenpeace.

Apparently the Pope has his own suspicions (I'm not catholic) but I like this contender. Made my day, finding that.

If I wasnt perpetually stoney broke, I would have splashed for a Political Compass certificate, because of all the hysterically funny cartoons. The cartoonist, Ralph Izzard, lives just up the road from me in Brighton, which pleases me immensely.

From his self portrait (no link, you'll have to scroll down on the certificate page), the strong jaw and unruly hair, I have to wonder just how closely he is related to Eddie.

Doubtless, if he knew I was an incumbent of Seaford, Conservative bastion where the only prior citizen of note in the last 50 years was, allegedly and temporarily, a school age Fanny Craddock (aaargh), I think/hope my politics would make him choke on his cuppa / pint of Dark Star ale (heaven!) and then giggle. Seaford is one of those places where the women still wear glued down bobbed haircuts and curtain rings in their corduroy skirts to look 'feminine' in a gale force ten.

Real denizens call this place Sea-fawd. We newbie interlopers call it Sea-fudd, just to piss them off, and we're winning. And thats another story.

19 February 2005

A Salutary Tale

This isn't long, honest - think of it as about as long as the poetic version of a Rupert Bear story, or King John's Christmas by A.A.Milne. Not as good, but about as long, and TRUE (except that I may have got the Rotary and the Chamber mixed up and the last verse is sheer 'poetic' license)*

Anyway, stuck for a post today and this got very good ratings from the few people on FanStory that read to the end. Which you're not going to do anyhow, are you, because you're surfing through Blog Explosion and only here for thirty seconds, so tough titties, this is what you're going to get.

A Salutary Tale

One Christmas, not so long ago,
This little town put up a show.
The Council here was very new
With not so much to show or do.
Sum total of the festive sights
Were one large tree, one string of lights

New laws had come and they decreed
The government had guaranteed
That lights for public celebrations
Complied with highest regulations.
This was not a flippant thing,
But left the town with one sad string.

And more than this, as they were new
The Council hadn't got a clue
Quite how or where to store the thing
Once winter thawed and beckoned spring,
So other groups were then involved,
To see if they could get it solved.

The chairman of the Rotary,
A local businessman,
Came up with no solution but
He volunteered his van.

The leader of the Chamber
Of Commerce, in the end,
Provided them with storage
In the garage of a friend.

So, once the Council had the key
They gave it to the Rotary
And then the chairman, what a man,
Sent round a lad with one large van,
Who with the help of the Town Clerk,
Hoisted the lights into the dark
And, on that January day,
Set off to put the lights away.

Once summer came and summer went,
The town clerk uttered his intent
To check the lights and analyse
Their fitness for new winter skies.
So Clerk and Leader, Chairman too,
Set off to see what they could do.
It didn't need all three I guess,
But men are like that nonetheless.

The garages like chalets stood
In rows along two lanes,
A sunny little neighbourhood
Of locks and bolts and chains.

Driving down the eastward aisle,
As each man wore a jolly smile,
There was the garage, 23,
The lock submitted to the key,
But when the doors were open wide
The three saw nothing there, inside.

Six shoulders sagged to count the cost,
The Council's only asset, lost!
The Clerk let out a tiny groan,
The Chairman grabbed his mobile phone;
The driver though, as it transpired,
Had left in spring, could not be fired.

The Chamber leader thoughtfully
Considered where the lights could be
And wondered if the driver used
Had got his right and left confused.
And so the three set off again,
To look within the other lane.

The twenty third along that bit,
Symmetrically opposite,
Looked much the same but spoke of gloom
And seemed to carry hints of doom
To dignitaries, pondering
On breaking it and entering.

Three smartly suited men, in shock
Watched as the key went in the lock
And gasped in horror and relief
As cogs turned smoothly underneath
And each took on a deathly pall
To realise one key fits all!

But that was just the easy part.
Which of these heroes had the heart
To grasp the handle, turn it round
And look to see what could be found?
Which would conquer quaking fear?
Which would risk his whole career?

In public life each one was brother
But could they really trust each other?
The chairman, in a proper sweat
Looked to the others quite a bet
For separating from this caper
and blabbing to the local paper.

The Chamber leader held him down.
The Clerk, who wished that he could drown,
Was left to do the evil deed
And lunged at it with quite a speed,
But as he lifted up the door
It made a lurch toward the floor.

"Help!" Squealed the Clerk
"The damn things broke!
Come back guys,
This is not a joke!"

"Oh Bloody hell" The Leader cried
And soon was at his colleagues side.
The Chairman, free, just ran away,
They'd deal with him another day,
But having shouted rather loud
Already had they drawn a crowd.

So each put on their public face
And smiled, although they felt disgrace,
Laughed with the audience and then
Blamed the garage maintenance men
And with some help from others there,
Gave their best shot at door repair.

But validation was at hand
And they forgot to look so grand
When faced with, oh, the best of sights,
The box of Council Christmas lights
Nestled by the garage wall
As if they'd not been lost at all.

The Clerk, now feeling so much better
Hastily composed a letter
Explaining to the owner how
The lights had been reclaimed, and now
"I think I broke your garage door
Please let me pay, can I do more?"

Two weeks went by, and in that time
The Chairman, guilty of his crime
Laid low, let Clerk and Leader wait
To see how this would change their fate.
Perhaps not seen but surely felt,
Each lost two inches off his belt.

A knock upon the Town Clerk's door
announced a Council visitor.
Poor Clerk, his stomach loudly gurgled,
This was the guy that he had burgled.
Was he friend or was he foe?
The wait was up and now he'd know.

"Thanks for the letter, mate!" said man,
"I laughed as much as any can.
I really wish I could have seen,
I bet your face turned proper green!
I'm glad to know that my old key
Worked on number twenty three"

"I tell you what, I see your shock,
I'll let you pay for my new lock
And then we'll call it quits, okay?
Your letter really made my day.
Those lights had got me puzzled though.
I'm simply glad to see them go"

And so we reach our happy end.
The Clerk had made a solid friend.
Come Christmas time the garage owner
Found no chance to be a loner,
Treated like a dignitary
In place of the Chair of the Rotary.


* OK, so are a couple of other bits

18 February 2005

Since when? What?





Your Brain is 40.00% Female, 60.00% Male



You have a total boy brain

Logical and detailed, you tend to look at the facts

And while your emotions do sway you sometimes...

You never like to get feelings too involved




Oh Poop. I dont fancy women, honest, thats not where my fizz-buzz is, but I guess this explains why so many men find me scary...............?

Actually, bugger this, who said that logic was a male preserve? Bet this bloody quiz was written by a mysandrist little computer geek with Lara Croft fantasies in the first place.....

Alex Posted by Hello

My eldest

My 21 year old daughter Alex (Alexandra) saw my blog for the first time the other day and wants to know why she isn't mentioned. Thats the joy of families, I guess, always surreptitiously keeping count.

I will post a picture above this post.

Anyhow, to satisfy my child, now I have rattled my brain for something not too rude, a story about Alex:

Alex is and always has been clever. When I was a single mother and had, ooh lets see, next to nothing to my name, I had a tiny vial of perfume kept back for special ocassions, even though I didnt actually have any 'special ocassions', either. It was only Avon and only a tester bottle with maybe 2.5 ml inside.

It lived for a long time at the bottom of the button drawer on my grandmother's old treadle Singer sewing machine, which I had inherited.

Age seven, Alex came skipping in through the front door of our second floor flat, to show me what she had found outside; an identical little perfume tester. I searched fruitlessly for my own possession for the next couple of days and then gently but firmly questioned her, with lots of eye contact. She matched me stare for stare, never flinched and calmly swore blind that she had found her one 'outdoors on the grass'. It hurt to know that my junior school daughter was splashing the stuff about when I had kept an equally pathetic little bottle as if it was gold dust, for so long that I couldnt find it anymore.

It took another four years for the subject to come up in conversation and by then things had looked up and, among other things, I had a couple of real bottles of half-decent smelly to choose from.

Alex knew she could never lie to me, I knew she could never lie to me, but as it turns out, she had worked out a way around that. She finally admitted that, finding and wanting my perfume, she had dropped it out of our window, gone out to play, gone once round the block to the long grass and 'found' it.

Kids, eh?

17 February 2005

Tantrums of the Inner Child

Most of my ideas these days seem to come from reading other people's blogs. Am I really sad?

LJ's hysterically funny Single and Fabulous depicts the ups and downs of agency dating and this latest article bewails (not infrequent, that,) the standard of options, responses and male expectations.

I quote:
Speaking of mediocre, yesterday I received the following response to my Match ad:

"Seems like we have alot in common!! Don't have time to write just now, but please check out my profile, and hope to hear from you soon!"

That's what I like to call a "drive-by." This does not bode well for future communication. It says to me, "I can't think of an engaging first contact, so I'll just wing it."
Don't get me wrong, my own first impression was "woah, big head!" as I imagined a conceited guy winking and worse, making that little shooting action with his index finger, or clicking with his teeth. This was, after all, blatantly designed to turn the tables. It said "I might be interested, but lets pretend you found my ad, not the other way round, and you do the running."

However there could be a million other reasons for being so curt; maybe he's dyslexic and felt a short note was his best first impression (bright, observant and multi-taskers they are, I wouldn't call that a problem) , or maybe (and this is too close to home for comfort), just possibly he is hopeful but terrified, really wants to be noticed but has taken a few knocks and needs reassurance that she isnt already wetting herself with derisory laughter, before daring to be a little more open.

Lets be honest, the reason that is 'close to home' is the same for most of the blogging community. Blogs arent just diaries, they are not letters to the editor, they are personal opinions waiting and wanting to be noticed. All of us compare ourselves to bloggers who get more comments, higher visitor stats, or (creme de la creme) positive criticism from newspapers and printed journals. But how many of us, whilst occasionally dreaming the dream, are slamming out padded envelopes full of double spaced blog entries to publishers and critics? Cooee! Anyone? No, thought not.

A tiny, childish and childishy LOUD part of me is here in the blogging world waiting to be noticed, the five year old wannabe-princess that is kicking my subconscious with her sharp little school shoes and generally doing a Violet Elizabeth (or, if you prefer, Angelica; I mean spot the difference), that wants to be famous, worshipped, adored and most of all paid just for spewing forth my obviously indispensible and world-changing point of view. On the other hand, looking at the quality that surrounds me I would need a surgical reality-bypass to find the conceit to do more than hope. Wilma Wallflower, that's me.

I'm not obsessive, the skeletons in my closet have been compacted and shoeboxed and don't cause me pain or give me any urge to educate people and I am not a 'radical journalist' and by radical I mean someone who scans other people's paid work and then blogs about it with some fiery and passionate personal opinion thrown in. I don't wave flags, although I have been known to turn them round and stab people with the pole.

We are a strange breed. Maybe I am stranger than most but hey, who wants to be normal? Puke.

16 February 2005

Hearts, Flowers and Expectations

Trinity was kind enough to leave me a comment at blog explosion.

Curious to see who I had inspired to write, I checked out her blog. The latest entry is in despair of Valentine's day. No Trinity, I'm not a 'girly girl' either and have an occasional personal belief that everything over the age of fifteen that giggles, simpers, bats its eyelids (or, God forbid, chews its own hair or practices looking gormless in the mirror) should be lined up and shot. Let the real women through, for heaven's sake.

Nonetheless, for all the strength of emotion in the two, very starkly divided camps created by Valentines day, at least its not Christmas and doesnt have the suicide statistics to match.

Why is that?

November is the worst year of the month for college, school and business drop outs - the sludge of the incoming weather without the festivities seems to make too many people think WTF, and WTF is contagious. Does the whole weather thing make Christmas more dire than Valentines Day?

Given the way that the weather patterns are playing 'peekaboo' and 'surprise' these days, I think not. Nonetheless, after the drudgery of November and the first cold winds, when nobody can give a rat's fart for anything, I would have thought that the 'midwinter' knees-up, irrespective of religion, would be a much needed tonic. Maybe thats it. Maybe being left out of get-togethers and a bit of hope is somehow more tragic at that time of year than later on.

On the other hand, perhaps we are geared up to see Valentines day as a time of giving and Christmas as a time of receiving, when, against the better judgement of our rational minds, the subconscious compares what is on offer (complete with financial consequences and apparent assessment of human worth rather than fanciability) against the magical times of childhood.

Maybe we spend all our adult lives trying to recreate the sense of wonderment and joy and downright contentedness that childhood Christmases brought. Valentines day, after all, passed most of us by for the first seven years at least.

Thank God I've got children , I can pass the buck and make the whole expectations thing about them and not me - helping them to see December the way that I saw it; or is my desire to do that only perpetuating the chance of adult disappointment?

Answers on a postcard please, or in the comments box below, if the winter WTFs don't still have you by the throat.............

Hic, durr, blurble..... Posted by Hello

Half Term Holidays

It's been one of those weeks already, and it's only half way through. Need I say more?

15 February 2005

Dealin' In Herb

I shudder to turn this into a cosy family blog.

Nonetheless, after surfing on Blog Explosion I found this: Michael the Archangel (self styled).
Lets not go into politics, but at any rate I appreciate at least his latest post, about this, the little girl hauled up for suspected drug use after filling a polythene bag with mud in the school playground, which brings me back to my own family.

Time to introduce one of the two silver linings from my first marriage (you know, the 'educational' one) - Andrew, aka Andy to well, just about everybody.

Andy is 20, over confident and has holes in his pockets the size of Alaska. He also works as a crab fisherman off Grimsby and sometimes, as part of his training, on a smaller boat off Bristol, catching shrimp, or something. Built like Popeye now, he has calves and arms totally disproportionate to the rest of his otherwise gangly frame. He is also ADHD and whilst highly intelligent he has no fear, no cruise control (he's either full speed or stopped dead) and a cheerfully gynaecological vocabulary that would send obstetricians scurrying for the dictionary. He sings like an angel.

In school, aged 11, he was very nearly expelled. This is not unusual, pre-diagnosis it felt at the time that he was 'very nearly expelled' on a weekly basis. However in this instance he was caught at the back of the school yard, being, lets say, entrepreneureal.

He was selling stuff. To be precise he was selling a small sandwich bag containing dried sage, to an unwitting and gullible student who thought he was buying weed. The school had a complete meltdown and were dropping words like 'police' into the conversation, until I forced a couple of teachers to smell the bag, which by this time, although in their possession, was practically empty.

Andrew's defence, when it all died down and the issue at hand was at last the con that he was perpetrating?

He shrugged his shoulders, winked and said

"Well, I TOLD him it was herb.........."

14 February 2005

Terri Schiavo: Terri Schindler-Shiavo

How dumb am I - I have only just spotted this. And what the hell is wrong with American Law? Why, when one partner in a marriage needs a guardian, is the other marriage partner even allowed to be sole guardian? This denies the individual all of their rights related to divorce and separation without the say-so of the other. Guardianship in such cases should be shared.

If you want to upset yourself, go to Terrisfight.org and scroll down a bit, to the petition to remove her husband from his place as guardian. Or click here. Its stomach churning reading. I can only go by UK law, but I cannot believe a document such as this could be put together without absolute proof. Its disgusting reading and I am not sure that I am free to say in public what this makes me think of her husband.

reredrumebdluowdnarebburgyenomnwapsllehllabemilsdratsaB

Apparently. For starters.

I Wannabe Prudie

Lets get this straight. I am NOT an interfering busybody - leastways I can keep my trap firmly shut on any conundrum I don't know about. Chuck it into my sphere of awareness, however, with a question such as "What do you think I should do about...." and I am off like a shot.

I am now aware of this worrying tendency to 'instruct' people and this has crystallised because of blogging.
People waffle, ramble and throw rhetorical questions into the ether in their blogs, or even just imply that they might wish for a better way round a certain situation. At that point I have to fight myself because the desire to put 200 - 300 words into their comments and illuminate them is very very strong.

For example in a very funny blog I read recently a poor little boy's balloon model fishing rod lost a few bits and to an adult eye looked remarkably like a penis. OK a very diseased penis, given the colours, but still.

How did I comment? 'Nice blog - haha'? No, I gave her the lowdown (which she probably doesnt want) on how to surreptitiously put a very slow leak into party balloons so that they only last three or four days at home before apparently dying of old age. Kids cry when balloons burst, but somehow if they shrivel up, it is accepted as the normal order of things.

Anyway, at the end of my first marriage (and lets label that as educational and move on) I decided on my goal in life. I had no idea then that it was a life path, it was just a joke to get over the shocked and sympathetic stares that started heading my way when the truth about #1 came out, but it fitted and made too much sense. To that end, I am still growing up, which pleases me.

Life goal: I aim to be one of those grannies who can knit and watch the boxing on telly and cook the dinner all at the same time, who you could tell absolutely anything to, no matter how mortifying or seemingly hopeless, without her so much as raising an eyebrow. Granny discrete-and-indispensible-answer-to-everything, thats who I want to be.

Heck, beats granny 'tell-strangers-her-life-story-on-a-bus-stop', which is the viable alternative. I pray to be the sought and not the seeker.

Prudie is my favourite agony aunt at the moment. I dont read Slate at all, but have Dear Prudence delivered direct to my inbox. I love that her advice is primarily etiquette based - practical help out of practical situations, no hearts and flowers (well quite a lot of heart, but still no flowers!). This is not a column that inspires people to write in bewailing the loss of a fingernail and her slightly sarcastic twist on things is adorable, empowering even.

So heres the deal - If I surf into your blog and start telling you how to rearrange the furniture - forgive me! Its a quirk thats digging its claws into my psyche more and more as I get older. If all else fails, you could be very lovely and reciprocate by setting me a conundrum, real or imaginary, so I could fill my own blog with an answer.

Can't say it'll be the answer you want because I'm only practising - but anybody out there want to set the ball rolling, please?

13 February 2005

12 February 2005

Bottom Burps

I have just had the most hysterically funny response to my last post, thank you bubblehead.

However (someone correct me) only something like 1 in 10,000 humans produce methane in their wind - its an abherration. Of course several questions remain unanswered.

1. What is 1/10,000th of the world population and is it more or less than the number of cows on the planet?

2. How much methane is produced by a methane producing person in relation to the wind of a cow?

3. Should we forbid methane producing humans from having strictly vegetarian diets?

4. Am I /are you one of the chosen few whose flatulence is contributing to global warming?

Number four, at least, is easy to resolve. Take one lighter. Light said lighter. Stand up. Bend over. Fart.

If you blow a singed hole in the carpet - rush off and eat a cow.

Burgers and Global Warming

Husband G to Son L (I take no part in this):

L: When I grow up I want to save the world and stop them chopping down trees

G: Why?

L: Because we need trees to breathe and they keep chopping the rainforests down and global warming and they said so at school

G: Global warming is about greenhouse gases

L: Durr! Yes I know

G: Best thing you can do is attack the American Burger industry then

L: Eh?

G: Well the problem isnt the trees they chop down, its the cows they put in their place

L: What?

G: Chop down trees, make space for cows, eat cows in burgers.

L: I get it - so if we didnt eat so many burgers we wouldnt cut so many trees down?

G: Not just that. If we didnt eat so many burgers there wouldnt be thousands and thousands of extra cows on the planet, all farting methane.....

11 February 2005

Time to be honest

Please comment!

Blogging for me is often about having too much energy - busting to talk to someone and having to choose between the computer and the fridge, a la Shirley Valentine.

I am a workaholic and rampant socialiser but you cant do that all day everyday. Occasionally you have to do things like remember where you left the vacuum cleaner, or the colour of the corner sofa under the pile of ironing and at times like this when I find myself (regularly) saying "ello walls, hows your day been then?" in an appallingly fake Brummy accent, the computer sings its siren song from the corner until I am mesmerised and have to go check for email or any other unecessary but fun activity that could be called vital brainfood or procrastination, depending on your penchant for a shiny house.

This blog fits the bill - totally unecessary but great fun, for me at least.

The question is this, is it, effectively, me still talking to the kitchen walls / refridgerator? Is there anybody there?

Please please pretty please with nobs on and cherries on and sugar on the top, if you see this post, leave a comment? On this occasion I will accept

bog off frog face

and have even separated it out for easy cut and paste. Go on, give me something else to do, as in follow your name back to your blog, maybe say Hi and at least have a nosey at who else is out there surfing.

Thanks!

10 February 2005

Seriously Creepy

Was playing around with the new features on Blog Explosion and a bit wowed and creeped at the thought that this ramble of mine has made it into a couple of search engine listings.

Ok Ego going up.

Technorati has me listed, but only because other bloggers linked to my site! Hic Sob. Thanks to you, Paul, Silver, DDDD and 'Sindy', otherwise I wouldnt be on there at all.

Ego deflated like a cheap, erm, inflatable thing. I think it even squeaked slightly.

However, I came across a mystery and a brilliant read, because of this.

You just HAVE to read the SimplySindy blog - genius! Creeped me out to start with, except supposedly her last panicked post was made in September 2004, yet I only started my blog in November. Somehow I made it on to 'her' list of blog links post mortem. Phew, it has to be just a story, doesn't it?

Pretend I didnt say that and go and scare yourself silly. That or wait for the 'friend' who wrote the closing entry this month to add that it was a long and horrible passing from neglect and slow starvation.

No don't, that'd really give me nightmares..........

The Whole US Gay Marriage Thing

Some people choose to be married before God. Some choose to make promises to each other, irrespective of God. So far we're OK.

For some, marriage before God means the bonding of a man and a woman and as Paul didnt quite put it, its an institution to stop you shagging about. As it was put elsewhere its for men to practice being responsible, to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and presumably for the women to practice respect for their mate's decisions. Either side of the match could involve being patient and long suffering. Lets not go there, but its a lesson in negotiation and understanding.

Why are gay people being denied the right, not to marry according to one religious interpretation, but the secular one, to promise a faithful pair bond for life and to do so in front of witnesses? Why should a couple, together for life as a single unit find that the law gives them no rights over, for example, arranging the funeral if one was to pass?

Gay people are asking to be responsible. They are asking to be 'booked', seen by society as a pair bond.

To all you righteous, married, deep South anti-gay-marriage bloggers : How would you feel if you woke up one wet Tuesday; same life, same bed, same problems, different bits between your legs?

Still you, still as much in love with your partner as ever, as deep in understanding of each other, but short of a bit of tackle? Would you start shagging 'your own sex' (or your own sex as of yesterday) because society say you should? No! How could you? You would feel so sick at the thought.

This isnt about sex, who does it, how etc, its about love. If you woke up in the wrong body, there is no way in hell you could stop wanting the support, hugs and affection of your marriage partner, wanting to work with that person as a unit in society, two become one soul, never mind body. But it would technically be a gay marriage.

Have a heart.

09 February 2005

Techno Thicko Seeks Genius

Can any genius out there please please tell me how to change my blog front page so it doesnt show the entire post? I get so longwinded, I'd love a 'read more' option on snippets instead of the full diatribe in public view.
Cant give you anything but a link and heaps of praise for being so clever.

Blog Explosion Competition!

Blog Explosion have a brilliant competition on this month - I quote:

Tired of your current Blog design?

For the month of February Blog Explosion will be awarding 3 lucky members with a free blog re-design !!

Me me me me me!!! Make it be me!

My friend and sister chocoholic Shelly started blogging about the same time as me, but got hooked, zoomed off on a massive learning curve (that left me standing, dumfounded, feeling decidedly thick) and now has SEVEN brilliant blogs on the go, all with fantastic graphics (or if you're American - Awesome). Heres the link to the chocolate one, but go by her profile and have a nose at the lot - I mean wow.

Coooeee! Blog Explosion! You are such NICE people! And my blog layout is so serious and basic! And I am so techno-dumb! Me me me me me - please?

Check out the girls they've asked to do the redesigns: Web Divas; talk about swish.

I would go green with envy, but the typeface would dissappear...............

Rules Radar

Why is it that perfectly normal ordinary kids can learn to live (just about) within basic household rules such as don't tuck your toast down the gap in the sofa, dont hide smelly socks behind the curtain etc, yet when you have a week off sick or even just plain bleugh, when you wake up to the surroundings its like a sock and tissue bomb has gone off?

How do they know, the instant you fail to notice one misdemeanor, or correct one of your own, that they can treat the carpet like a bin bag without being murdered?

Or maybe - anti-housework as I am, just maybe I actually do some without noticing over the normal course of the day, but do I really pick up everything after everybody? Or just notice quickly enough to use the evil eye?

Whatever, coming round and taking my 'emergencies-only blinkers' off, there seems like more than a weeks worth of catch-up to do. Bugger, and yuk.

08 February 2005

Differences between Britain and America

We eat pancakes only once a year, as a luxury pig-out and as a precursor to 40 days of being good.

We might have lots of Jews and Irish here, but we don't know because we don't keep count. If you're here, you're here.

Bloody Adverts

Grrr. It seems that German and American companies have the worst adverts on UK TV. German because they must have sat there and thought 'Oh, it says that UK audiences respond to humour' and then had a terribly hard time remembering what humour was until they looked back at their pre-pubescence when some things seemed mildly amusing, and decided that was it. End result - adverts using grown humans, targeted at 12 year olds. Well, 12 yr olds who want to snack over the company computer on cold rice pudding - bleugh. Muller anything, I hate the adverts.
Werthers originals - they werent in the UK when our pensioners were kids, they are a German sweet. So what if that means the cherubic blonde haired blue eyed boy's grandad who sucked 'em when he was a lad was also in the SS or the Hitler youth at the time?
And Campino! OMG. These poor bloody actresses stuck in some shopping centre trying to make themselves sound brain dead and a solid lump of coloured and flavoured sugar sound orgasmic - Mmmmmm so crrreammmy! Eyelids a-fluttering, girls a-giggling. They did their best with a crud script and rubbish direction, but hey guys, if you were mid bonk and looked up to see your amour making faces like that - wouldnt you run off and join a monastery? Or at least invest in a strong paper bag. Always provided you survived the initial shock, of course.
American adverts get up my nose because the whole world knows that professional advertisers in the US are in complete denial - all their subjects are totally unrelated to real people and may as well live in the Trueman Show - 4 inches of pancake foundation cream and enough hairspray to make an individual hole in the ozone layer - and thats just the blokes.
The latest offering is that air freshener thing that sends up puffs of pong every so often.
OF COURSE the American and therefore English public are going to want to emulate squeaky clean, over made up, shiny, happy Janet & John families whose idea of exciting sharing is to lean precariously, ear to ear, over the bloody anti-pong thing, trying to see it puff. Not.
What really upsets me is that they never learn, The reason they never learn is because we do have citizens who are not so nauseated by this offensive dumbing down and the patronising crud-come-torture that they can actually buy the products without throwing up all over the checkout girl. For shame.

Grumble

Bought a book to read on the train yesterday - The Grumpy Old Men. LOVE em. Couldnt eat a whole one. Chuckling out loud at times, I realised one thing, I am a coward.
A coward at putting into print that which I hold to be true, for fear of offending someone else who, equally validly (if stupidly) holds other things true.
I started this blog to ramble madly and then tiptoed backwards into apologetics. Sad cow.
I think when I come back from my little trip this morning I shall begin with the age old supremely bleeping aggravating subject of TV adverts. Yeahhhhhhhhhhh............

05 February 2005

HEEELP

Anyone surfing past this who can view the source and tell me which colour code relates to the horrible illegible grey that the links in my posts seem to be will earn my serious gratitude.

I've found the right red (for every khaki there is a 'right red') but spent ages previewing in the template page and managed to change the colour of just about everything but the links mid-post (see Telecom Plus / The Utility Warehouse, two posts down)

Purleeeeease pretty please? Anyone?
Don't know what to say.
Not in the mood to be informative, opinionated, funny, chatty, anything.
Been listening to training tapes for the new business and the guy has likened just about every scenario to formula one driving. I'm OK with that, honestly, but I am beginning to recognise an element of burn-out in myself, all revved up all week with no place to go........well places to go for sure, but next week. Hiccups and hold-ups, I havent found a pace yet and its annoying the hell out of me.
I just don't seem to have managed to fit a life in amongst the anticipation.
One thing I know about myself - this guy warns against getting too eager, working too hard (how honest and unlike any MLM is that??), says to keep a happy pace to avoid 'crashing your car'.
So now I have this revelation about me - I dont crash, I have no intention of stopping, its just that my engine overheats. Flip, I can see the steam from here. Both scenarios can make an engine explode so I guess I am going to have to make a concerted effort to leave the vehicle and let it cool, or wander off in search of water, which in itself is flipping aggravating - I'm only in this state because my 'car' hasnt got far enough up the road already for my liking. Bugger bugger bugger bum.
I didnt know when I signed on that I was going to be 'high maintenance'. One thing is for sure, when I have a stream of downlines in this set up I will have an answer for everything: pre-formatted, smiley, enthusiastic and informative little notes ready to personalize. I may never have been a salesman like my upline, but boy have I been a trainer, wet nursed the most aggressive, incompetent, self employed go-getters imaginable and turned them into something akin to professionals without either of us drawing blood. Motivation should be my middle name.
Wow I found something to feel good about.
So, apart from the facts that:
  1. I broke a tooth last night and have a smile like something off Nightmare On Elm Street with perfect timing for the big day on Monday
  2. I put weight on recently and only have/had one pair of really smart trousers that fit comfortably and the cat has just scratched huge thread-loops into the front of one leg
  3. I have one pair of smart-ish flat shoes fit for a training day doing who knows what and they're suede and dirty.
  4. I ran out of my favourite hair conditioner, the local Superdrug stopped selling it and I look like you could stuff a horsehair sofa with the mop on my head
  5. The kids are cheerfully trying to wind each other up / kill each other as I sit and write (Imogen has just begun a war of attrition, repetitively whining a little song to get up Lewis' nose, and I can see his fists twitching from here)
Yup, apart from all that, that this will mean I turn up on Monday looking not like a sleek executive (hahahahaha) but more like a frazzled tatty and slightly mad woman, I have to say I have a few really good skills and no one on this earth is going to stop me picking up a few more.

So Ner. I feel better now.

02 February 2005

A quick catch up.

Got lots of lovely work for an equally nice lady. Of course its needed ASAP with no specific time limits set, so naturally school has had a teacher training day, one of my kids has been off sick last week and this and I am full of another streaming cold and am typing this with one eye closed, at arms length - wont say why arms length, use your imagination. Everything that could go wrong has done just that, I feel backlogged with work and guilty as heck and you know what? I still just cant stop smiling.

My Birthday, on Monday, was brilliant - the kids got me cashews and Belgian chocs and were so excited and pleased with themselves that I felt all loved and snuggly. Then The Beloved Other Half BOH took the day off work (therefore so did I, naturally) and we sloped around town, starting at the best coffee house ever and ending up in an out of the way pub for a huge plate of steak and chips before coming home in time to get the kids from school.

I joined Telecom Plus / The Utility Warehouse, not just as a customer (oooh yummy, LOADS less in bills) but as a distributor as well. I mean, why not? I HATE selling stuff to people but everyone has a phone and an electricity supply and most have gas, internet and a mobile as well, so this is like falling off a log, its just getting them what they already shell out for but CHEAP. Established, longstanding, quality, proper and cheap. Not a cowboy in sight and after some hard knocks and silly mistakes, believe me when I say I know how to spot one - these guys however are proper, respectable, on the level and I am happy as a pig in mud.

Happy happy happy happy happy - its like getting a magic wand so I can play fairy Godmother and whiz round making my friends better off without them having to do anything but sign a bit of paper. I am on a good deed buzz.

Just got to give up the caffeine now, or that and all this excitement will have me doing an impression of a road drill...........