31 December 2006

Guilty Secret

I had a heart attack, this June (that's not the secret).

45, relatively fit (although I smoked), female (evidently), I was not what you could call a high risk.

The infarction was practically a secondary event, as the blockage was outside the heart on a main artery, at the point where spasm occurs; a (normal) stress reaction that pinches a wide artery nearly shut. When normal, however, it also undoes in the blink of an eye, in fact blinking is a fairly decent analogy. I apologise for this boring stuff.

Anyhow, the Consultant was thoroughly confused, because if you compare the blood vessels to roads, then if there's enough porridge in your system to block one of the biggest motorways, it makes sense that smaller blockages should also be showing up in the side roads and back alleys, where a little gloop could do a lot more damage. Not in my case. They couldn't see any other problems at all, not even during two full angiograms. They knocked me out for the second one, and I got my stent simply because the damn thing stayed clamped shut. It seems it was stressed and determined to stay that way.

So, there we are. Since this somewhat earth shattering, life changing period, I have put a lot of thought to how I would change, what I have put off too long, etc etc. Quite a bit of growing up. I have also gone through a period of mourning, of sorts, with attendant anger and frustration.

However, whilst my major concern has been what I might have done (and/or could still do) with my life, what I could change in my attitudes, my dealings with my children etc etc, as an aside I find I have become quite pushy and domineering, quite intolerant and abrupt.

Here's the guilty secret - I go around apologising, telling people I think it must be the tablets I am on, but, really? Really I suspect its simply that I no longer have the time or the be-bothered to afford the luxury of putting up with fools and weirdos.

If someone behaves like an arsehole, I'll probably tell them straight, where before I would tippytoe, apologise for them and find excuses. If they cross the line into actually being a total arsehole then now I have no problem with walking off and never looking back, where before I would pour angst and guilt and what-ifs over my conscience until I felt it was suitably wounded.

I stressed myself into a heart attack, that much it obvious. I have nothing against people who choose to be bloody minded or callous or ignorant, I simply choose, now, not to have them in my field of vision. I've done my time as far as dealing with arseholes goes.

Fair, then, wouldn't you say?

So my suggestion is this; fuck New Years Resolutions which are (and should be) a mere symptom, of (forgive the corn) New Year's Revelations.

If you find yourself staring out at the sky tonight and contemplating what the year was for; how you grew or what you learned, then I would love to hear your discovery.

Wishing you all a very happy 2007.

Keeping Up With The Joneses.

It seems that simply everyone is flashing their credentials these days.

That's my excuse, anyway.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Countess Cheryl the Scintillating of Bumpstead under Carpet
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

14 December 2006

UK Autism Exchange

Through the darkest months I have had help and reassurance from a wonderful woman, Kate, who has built me up and helped me stick to my guns, all by telephone and at some pretty strange hours.

The woman is a life-saver.

Now she and a likeminded friend, whom she met on a training course run by the National Autistic Society, have set up the Autism Exchange - a forum and depository for useful info and articles on parenting a child on the autistic spectrum.

Its brand new, but if it reflects her warm heart and intelligent mind its going to blossom and become a huge force for good.

So, if you are one of my friends with the spectrum in the family, then please get on over there, swell the numbers and say your piece.
And pass the word.


08 December 2006

Bear Buggrin' Off

Life is too short and I just can't be fucked with any of this. Can you?

Sometimes we need life simple. Sometimes we need people around us who understand - who know our core, who trust on our essential principles and who hear our words based on who we are.

Thats hard enough in the real world. It takes shedloads of time and effort and even then nobody gets it right all the time.

Still, sometimes we just dont have the strength, empathy or wit to guard what our words might sound (or worse, look) like, to watch out for the chance that people might misunderstand, particularly in this world of blogs where all of us wear virtual burkas.

The only thing to do then is to hide amongst family.

I see a lot of you have been doing this for over a month now - becoming stuck for words in the blog world. Me? I opened another blog just for spitting bile instead, although right now thats all exhausted in me and I dont have the energy to engage in exploration - in the delicate negotiations and 'getting to know you' process that establishes, from a myriad different opinions, what exactly is 'acceptable' bile. I hope others keep mouthing off in there, no holds barred. I especially hope that the issues are big ones, or ones that affect every woman if not everybody, and that it doesnt become entirely a mommy blog. They are necessary and valid, but this is a granny blog - time to set the world to rights, not just the kitchen.

Love you all, bucket loads, I just need to do the whole hibernating bear thing. The growling and the big teeth? Thats just the sleep of winter sweeping over me and closing down the higher brain functions. I'm still me, honestly, just groggy and confused and temporarily, lets face it, socially retarded. Best if I go through that in private, amongst family who know which grunt means what and who are actually in the same situation.

Merry Christmas, OK?


06 December 2006


That's a skin disease from using dirty hire cars, yes?

04 December 2006


Caspar awarded me a prize, over at Michele's!

I am a very happy bunny. Not a stuffed one.

Oh, well, possibly, but not THAT way.

Sod it, you'll have to go see what where, here.

I would link to Caspar's blog (I'd be there myself now) but his signatures lead only to an email.

For that he would remind me of Caspar the friendly ghost, but as a child I had a toy (speaking) one of those with a tiny body and a very large head, with the catchphrase "Boo! Oh I scared myself!". Not the sort of utterance that goes with the sort of sense of humour that allowed me to be very rude and win a competition.

That's one enigmatic caption compere.


29 November 2006

Oh Deer!

Moose may be the largest species of deer but they are also the ones with the most newsworthy taste for alcohol.

A couple of weeks ago a drunken moose was scaring children in the school next door to it's precious apple tree; the source of fermented fruit that Mr moose decided needed careful defending.

Another inebriated elk got confused out on a frozen river in Sweden and fell through the ice, drowning in spite of the best efforts of the emergency services; it says here.

In America, however, a hunter shot and killed a doe which had "a huge rack", apparently.

Me? I just can't help noticing that the pissed deer are in Sweden and the transexual one is in Michigan. Some days I like God's sense of humour. (And no, I don't think that laugh is on the poor deer.)

26 November 2006

Happy As Larry

Its hard to be a Grumpy Old Bitch when you're as happy as a pig in clover, but I am just tickled pink to be part of a new collective with several brainy, strong and intelligent women. Miss Cellania and Zilla have both already posted at our new site. Superstars.

So, do you fit the bill?
Got something to mouth off about?
Wanna join in?

We all have a flag to wave, once in a while, but sometimes its like realigning your knickers (or your knockers) - necessary but not suited to your own blog. You can join us and fumble your elastic amongst friends. Email me for info.

And I'm going to shut up now because I realise I've just equated the new blog to the mirrored wall in the ladies' loo. I am so proud.

Note: I changed the 'email me' bit to bold. This is because I need your email address to put in the form, without that blogger wont let me invite you. My email addy is in a link off my profile.

22 November 2006

Zilla's Idea.....

Here are the rules:




1. Yourself: overweight
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): knackered
3. Your hair: frazzled
4. Your mother: contrary
5. Your father: dead
6. Your favorite item: bed
7. Your dream last night: angst
8. Your favorite drink: decaff
9. Your dream car: ?
10. The room you are in: dining
11. Your ex: failure
12. Your fear: insignificance
13. What you want to be in 10 years? healthy
14. Who you hung out with last night? husband
15. What you're not? tidy
16. Muffins: blueberry
17. One of your wish list items: waistline
18. Time: deceives
19. The last thing you did: type
20. What you are wearing: jeans
21. Your favorite weather: spring
22. Your favorite book: ?
23. The last thing you ate: banana
24. Your life: boring
25. Your mood: flat
26. Your best friend: absent
27. What are you thinking about right now? this
28. Your car: none
29. What are you doing at the moment? answering
30. Your summer: hospitalized
31. Your relationship status: married
32. What is on your TV? paperwork
33. What is the weather like? wintry
34. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday

So,.... wanna play?

21 November 2006

Wikipedia Game

Your blogging nick isn't that well known, right? I mean its clever, individual and such and your posts are amazing and deserving of international renown, but that's somehow still in the pipeline, correct?


That means you can play my new game (Oui je suis l'inventeur de génie) , thus:

* Go to Wikipedia.
* Do a search for your nickname, in the hopes that a 'special page' will turn up, listing the most likely results.
* Share the top ten with the rest of us.

Here are the (altogether fitting) results for a Wikipedia search for Mad Baggage:

YOUR TURN! Let me know who and where, so I can come and giggle at you, OK? :-)

19 November 2006

20 Stupid Questions

Tagged by Wulfie.

Tagging me is goooood as it absolves me from creativity or the need for an original thought. Tag on.

I tag: everybody who is kind enough to still visit, seeing as how you could have heard a pin drop in here, recently.

Something purple within 5 feet of you:
The packet for my statins

How long can you hold your breath underwater?
no idea

The weirdest thing you've ever heated in the microwave?
Chestnuts. Lie them on their backs. As the steam builds up inside one, it starts to escape from the pointy end making them whizz round in circles on the spot, faster and faster until they explode.

How much Japanese do you know?
Escarator and Erebator. Honestly.

Sparkly things?
What? Have I got any? Do I know any? Can you phrase your question into a sentence? All my sparkly things are in a box in the garage. They're called last year's Xmas decorations. My daughter loves sparkly things, but she's only ten and likes pink too.

Ever crash a car, been in accidents?
Once hit by a seagull on the windscreen, which slid slowly down and off the car. I didn’t know they had tongues and his expression was right out of a cartoon. Wulfie wrote that but I was in that car too. From my position it seemed to have a murderous looke on its face as it approached, like it thought it could win. A possessed seagull.

Do you look good in yellow?
The right yellow, yes. This must have been written by a bloke because all us girls know there are warm yellows and sallow yellows and cold yellows and bold yellows and pastel yellows and neon yellows and powdery yellows and good grief - could you be specific? Banana? Grapefruit? Winter sunset? WHAT?

Do you sing?

Ever sang in front of a crowd?
Yup. Dance school shows (I was Dorothy one year, c/w gingham frock & pigtails), Butlins talent comps in my teenage years (cringe, but big halls). I was four when I won the talent comp at the Southall carnival for performing 'How much is that doggy in the window' at the long disappeared bandstand, with people all on wooden foldaway chairs.

Do you dance?
Yup. Had to. Docs told mum I was going to end up with one leg longer than the other. She's always insisted she took Thalidomide ("Only 1!" she says) whilst carrying my brother, not me, but they were banned by then. I escaped being too lopsided and grew giant interlocking roots on my teeth instead which makes dentistry a pig. I mean - try getting a 3cm root drill into a back tooth without chipping another one with the back of the drill, or tearing the corner of the mouth. Some of them have 3 roots each, some have four. Oh God, you didn't want to know that. So, yes, from age 2 1/2: tap, ballet and modern dance until I was sixteen, by which time I had the bug and was also very much in demand for being able to stand up and tuck one knee behind my head at the same time. I have no idea why. Now I can't hear music without moving in time to the beat, which makes walking across large foyers acutely embarrassing. I go round the edges instead, trying not to look like I'm taking the piss out black teenage boys.

Is your hair long enough to chew on?

Least favourite colour?
Pantone green - that strong blue-green that was back with a fury during that latest 80s revival.

Favourite kind of pizza?
Spicy hot one if going cheap and local, or else by preference Pizza Express - they put loads of toppings on in front of you, you know theres not going to be a swamp of sugary tomato sauce underneath and they are also light on the cheese.

Ever had Dippin' Dots?
No but I had German Measles

Ever played an instrument?

Do you own your own car?
Nope, but now the dual fuel cars are becoming more popular I could be sorely tempted.

What kind of car is it?
Told you I don’t have a car, don’t you listen?

Do you want to get married?
That would be bigamy. Very bigamy, as one's enough. Snigger.

At what age do you want to have kids?
When they're cuddly and then not until they're all grown up, please.

How many kids?
Depends on who's paying and who's got to do the packed lunches.

13 November 2006


On account of this year's shenanigans I find I qualify for the flu jab 20 years ahead of time.

Went to get poked in the arm on Saturday.

The nurse was running from one side room to the next, marking her next prey by handing them the two small squares of translucent paper, printed on both sides in tiny font, that meant she had officially provided all the information needed to make a decision. I was still working out that I needed different light and/or a magnifying glass to stand a hope in hell of reading any of it, when she returned, positioned me with left arm bare and, as she removed the cap from the syringe, casually began to ask if I was allergic to chicken eggs or eggshells. By the time she finished with "You're not, are you?" the syringe was already embedded in my arm.

Today, two days on, it still itches like hives; is swollen, red and hard. In fact I am still running a temperature and keep wanting to sleep.

Not so much suffering the symptoms of the flu itself, then, as the symptoms of fighting the flu. My body appears to be trying to fry the dead bugs into oblivion; so whilst feeling like absolute shit, I am comforted that my reactions are excellent, also that I would have been knocked for six by a live version of this year's 'most likely' lurgies.

Oh Joy.

12 November 2006

Lest We Forget

To save your life, you asked this man to die.
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?
Epitaph for the Unknown Soldier, W H Auden

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Soldier's Dream

I dreamed kind Jesus fouled the big-gun gears;
And caused a permanent stoppage in all bolts;
And buckled with a smile Mausers and Colts;
And rusted every bayonet with His tears.

And there were no more bombs, of ours or Theirs,
Not even an old flint-lock, not even a pikel.
But God was vexed, and gave all power to Michael;
And when I woke he'd seen to our repairs.

Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918

Free Association #197

Sorry I left that rant up for so long. I needed to fume, so I did, but then I went off and did other things, leaving the impression, I suppose, that I was still on my soapbox.

I just couldnt think of a darn thing to write, and the same is still true, hence this failsafe entry where all I have to do is make connections.

Even that could be a stretch from this position of contented (and healing) blankness, but hey, it gets the grumble off the top of the page so we're all winning; slowly.

Courtesy of LunaNina

  1. Nick :: pilfer, lift, tax, filch, steal
  2. Focus :: "Look into my eyes; not around my eyes, in my eyes"Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  3. Police :: Sting was a Geography teacher. Somehow that strips him of all his glamour.
  4. Miles :: O'Brien. No, not the journalist, this one: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  5. Earn :: work for, deserve, purchase with labour in advance
  6. Twice :: double.
  7. Razor :: sharp wit, haha
  8. Personality :: flaws
  9. Dumped :: dropped, discarded
  10. Reliable :: Robin Reliant (Reliant Robbin) aka the Plastic Pig. Allegedly. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Bye-bye, now. Have a lovely weekend!

08 November 2006

So-Called Care For The Elderly

I know house clearance, enough to know that whats not fit for auction gets dumped, and the boys on the van, simply by proximity, get first dibs. Working electricals for a start are very hard to shift because they have to be sold with proof of safety. Old records, books, calendars, matchbox collections(!); all the sentimental stuff also tends to get sifted en route to the tip.

I just ran across the road and interrupted the house clearance team working there. I wanted to at least beg the photographs, having never managed to get away from a visit there without being shown at least a couple of photos with long stories behind them. George was so proud of his pictures.

The awful thing is that George Stripple's wife Ellen is still very much alive. She was his senior by five or six years , became very frail some time back and now lives in an old folks home. George was a grafter, up at the crack of dawn, he never seemed to sit still. He fully expected to outlive her by a decade and I think thats what we all imagined.

They had no children.

He lodged his will with a solicitor.

The first thing they did was lock the doors and refuse entry to the property, even to people who had been given a key.

OK I understand that reaction, perhaps, when the only owner has passed away, but even the solitary nephew who held Ellen Stripple as she wept at George's funeral was barred from running errands on her behalf if they involved entering her property.

See this is the thing. I get that the house would have to be sold if it was in George's name alone and there was a matter of probate. I get that it has to be sold to pay Ellen's care home fees assuming her savings and George's have both been depleted. I very certainly disagree with that, but I comprehend.

What I don't get is how every possession gets treated like an asset, how an old lady, slightly dotty and ocassionally forgetful but very much alive, gets treated worse than a debtor with the bailiffs in, just because she needs care and her husband has passed away. Is that what our Nation has become, predators to the weakest?

Husband dead, dear? No-one home watching your stuff and reassuring you you'll be coming home soon, if you get teary? Never mind ducky, we'll just box it. flog most and fly tip the rest. Say 'Ta-ta' to 60 or 70 years of married life building up a home. No, no you can't have the anniversary clock to remember him by, nor his old moth eaten bedroom slippers. Sod off.

Lets face it, there are some things that mere Bailiffs can't and won't take. For clearance guys, on the other hand, everything* you've got is fair game. And unless I'm behind on some news, you don't even have to be dead yet.

*The only things they count as personal items and save (I found out today) are items like cards and letters, and the precious photographs. Not the frames of course, not even tuppeny matchwood ones. I mean that would involve according you some sort of fucking dignity wouldn't it; and we can't have that.

Heres a game for you - guess what sort of temper I'm in.

01 November 2006

Aaargh! I Forgot NaNoWriMo!

I Need Your Help! Scroll to the end of this post.

NaNoWriMo is, for the uninitiated, an acronym of a misnomer.
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Short for National Novel Writing Month (although for a good few years it has most definitely been an International affair), the idea is that you start writing a Novel on November 1st, bypass little things like proofreading, or thinking in general, and do your damndest to rattle off 50,000 words (175 pages) by the 30th.

I played the year before last and my initially supportive Husband quickly tired of always being the one to answer the kids, etc, and generally demanded that I quit by mid November.

I tried last year but life and my own lethargy got in the way so that I never really got started.

I really wanted to give it a shot this year in honour of the few good folks who have, at one point or another over the last two years of blogging, repeatedly told me that I ought to write a book. Alright, they have all long since ceased to make such encouraging noises and I suspect half (or more) have likewise ceased to visit this blog at all, but what the hell.

This is how I need your help. I need a subject. I need a genre.

So, just like the poetry challenge, I need your ideas in the comments here; whether they are just bonkers, off-the-wall challenges (which you know I love anyway), or whether they relate to my past short stories, alter egos or even real life, I just need some ideas, some springboards, a place to start.


31 October 2006

Free Association #194

Courtesy of LunaNina

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Costume :: Party
  2. Beg :: Scrounge
  3. Hottie :: Wottie Bottie (WhataboutawaterbottleWibble? - Thats a fart in the bath)
  4. Celebrity :: Squares
  5. Saturday :: Night at the Movies
  6. Buckle :: up
  7. Doorbell :: Ding dong Avon calling
  8. Rude :: conceited, self involved, discourteous
  9. Absence :: yeah, um a state of not being there. Like me all the time, except I think its meant to be occasional, to count.
  10. Hyper :: hic durr blurble boing-boing, what's next?

OK. Well;... while I'm not looking I'm just going to creep off and get myself a couple of nice tablets to get us ready for a lovely long sit-down. Yes. Shhh........

25 October 2006

Not Really Here

My screen decided to die of old age, so for the last few days I have been unable to post and have only managed this by miraculously recalling my password and signing in on Husband's computer.

Third time lucky - if Blogger was an ATM I'd have lost my card.

Anyway Husband, God bless him, has recently had a little bit of spare cash, enough to make me feel increasingly uncomfortable with his unnatural efforts to treat me like a princess. It seems its burning a hole in his pocket and I have the honour of being top excuse.

He is trying so hard and I love him so much for it, but somehow I seem to be coming out of all this not as the pampered lady love but as the evil baddy.

For example:

First there was a desire to buy me some new clothes - very commendable - as was the decision to get them from a cheap chain store. I want things to feel good in, but stuff I can diet out of, or have cooking/painting/cleaning accidents in without it being the end of the world. Not exactly combat gear, but any mums will get my point.

The thing is we did this once, with me bringing home all the tops he had sworn looked gorgeous on me, only to find that the mirror there looked out on a different universe to the one in the shop; that the woman who looked like a knowing Venus draped in silks, in Asda, looked more like a King Edward spud in used tissues, when she tried the same items on indoors.

Sod Trinny and Susannah - I find that if you feel shapeless, then buying items with an inbuilt shape only serves to highlight how you and they go in and out in different directions from each other.

Its been a long time. Bloody years, in fact, so I'd forgotten. Anyhow I am gratefully wearing the wool and jersey and denim to death, but all the little cotton tops are hidden away as costly disasters, dusters-in-waiting at £15 a pop.

So we went back, for this second jaunt. Partly my fault - Husband being unaware that half his gifts were become guilty secrets. Anyhow this time I stuck to admiring jersey and autumnal pieces; baggy, saggy, comfy and loose. There were some lovely colours.

Then we got to the changing rooms, kids in tow;.... and went straight past to the cash till, Husband saying it was too packed to hang around and queue. He then lovingly bought me the pinkest, most pungent and expensive perfume at the till, to make up for hurrying me out.

Mercifully I got my wrist blasted with a tester while the assistant was bagging up, so by the time we got all the way home to confirm that I also needed plastic surgery, three tits or a navvy's biceps to begin to fill the clothes, we also knew enough to avoid undoing the cellophane on the pong-fume. I felt like such a cow.

He was actually very, very good about that and two weeks later, once he insisted I think of an anniversary gift, I asked for the lateral thigh stepper. They look like so much fun on the TV, and I figured if I am going to religiously do my 10,000 steps a day with the weather closing in, then doing them on a thigh stepper with some music on would be more enjoyable than marching up and down the living room across cats' tails and kids' feet.

It turned up. I'd found the wrong thing. It made lots of mention of being a lateral thigh trainer (wrong last word) and is apparently called a Twist And Shape Stepper. And it is total crap.

Maybe its just the one I got, like a faulty item, but even though I am miles within the weight limits, even though the piston is stiff and you have to put all your weight on one stupid foot pedal to begin a lazy trip down that takes forever; even though I can't imagine it loosening up to ever allow something like an aerobic workout, still, as you reach the end of the ride down on either peddle, it goes 'clunk'. And so do you. Ankle, knee, hip and even shoulder, all sense the bump as you reach the end of the 'step'. Jarring isnt the word.

So why is it still here? Well; guilt. Its only been two days, during which time I have tried hard to see if there was a knack involved.



When it arrived, it turned up prior to our anniversary, in nothing grander than a super-sturdy cardboard box. Husband signed for it and then proceeded to open it in front of me. Okay, we both knew what it was, but still. He opened the box, removed the item, perused the spare bits, passed me the DVD of exercises, stood on the machine, pronounced it sturdy and fit, and then left it there in the middle of the living room. It had gone from being my special present to our latest 'thing'; delivered, unwrapped, tested and deserted with as much ceremony (or lack thereof) as a replacement electric kettle.

I am ashamed to say it but I sulked. Not noticeably because that would involve vulnerability; no my pout was sneaky and defensive, just enough to appear to be abrupt and disapproving. I announced that this was the wrong make, not the item I had wanted, and would have to go back. I walked away and left it, leaving him looking thoroughly disarmed and apologetic.

All that did was make me look picky and feel like dirt. Pretty soon it lead to me confessing that I was, indeed 'only' being picky. Finally, in a fit of compensatory sweetness that would have made Pollyanna gag, I declared it perfect and a wonderful gift and volunteered that I would love it for ever and ever. Whilst giving him a great big hug.


Sweeeeee, clunk.
Swooooo, bump.

Dear God.

I'm going to have to be brave and own up. I cocked up, not him.

Why write all this?

Well, now; its probably best to do the rest as bullet points or we'll be here all week.
  • Husband has tomorrow off work. Its our anniversary. Our 15th. We can't go out or even crack a bottle indoors because I am on antibiotics after having two teeth out on Monday.
  • I was scheduled to have them out in January but they hurt so I begged a cancellation slot and got this one, so the timing is all my own fault.
  • If I may blow my own trumpet here, I am not allowed to blow my own nose (which is misery) as the dodgy roots were long enough to have punctured the sinus. Hence the half-head-throbbing, eyeball-exploding routine whenever it infected. Now I can't blow my hot, complaining nostril or I will reopen the hole where the roots were removed and end up needing awful but unspecified things done to sort it out. And dear God I wish they'd used real stitches instead of these dissolving thingies because; well because they keep dissolving, into nasty, thready, gloopy little reasons to spit. Yuck.
  • So anyway dearest Husband thought of taking the whole family to London, instead. He was ready to spend our anniversary following kids up and down stairs in the Science and Natural History museums. Except Son tripped over his own toe the day before yesterday and now its huge and blue and won't go in a shoe. Bye bye that idea, hello a million indoor games of Uno or the like; by the look of the rain. I am dreading the thought that the day will be filled with the unspoken idea that he'd be better off at work, the sort of potentially explosive truth that neither dare solidify with words and that therefore sits heavy, at the centre of everything, all bloody day; wrapped round with a blanket of unnatural silence and nervous yet helpful smiles.
  • Wulfie does have Friday off as well, except now a good friend at his work has had an incredibly sad occasion, so naturally he'll be off with others from the job, to show support at the funeral.
With me so far? If it could go wrong, its done just that; agreed?

By these standards, my computer screen going wrong was small potatoes. Its half term and theres always this other machine if I can recall passwords and it was just an annoyance. Enter Wulfie the Hero (I would say Fairy Godfather, but theres nothing Fairy about it).

He swoops onto the internet.
He whizzes through the stock on Morgans
He flashes the card, pushes a few buttons, and turns tome and announces I shall have a replacement, next day delivery.
He smiles like a little boy at Christmas.

He's such a darling.
Its the next day, now.
Its here.

Isn't it amazing how the essential two little words 'wall mountable' can turn out not to mean that there are two holes in the back for wedging onto screws in the wall (like the last one); rather that once it has arrived you can, if you wish, shop for a separate VESA wall bracket at a further cost, from another unspecified supplier.

Its not wall mountable then, is it? The bracket is (or would be) wall mountable - the bloody screen is bracket mountable, which brings it away from the wall and further into your face and means you can no longer get away with the 12" deep shelf you've been using as a keyboard rest because that would involve sucking on the fucking monitor and squinting past your own nose to see half the screen per sodding eyeball. Matey.

Oh fuck.

And I have to wait until the man who lives and breathes to get it right comes home, so I can tell him he got it wrong. Again.

Bollocks, I feel like shit. Where's me pointy hat gone.

18 October 2006

Stargate Series Ten

Stargate has been around for years now and the characters have developed, and aged, along with the show. At the end of the last series Teal'c was looking relatively hunky in a battleweary way (link).

Now it seems he is meant to look younger and glossier. Some idiot (presumably) decided this can be achieved with the use of contouring highlighter and by overplucking his manly eyebrows into an incredibly thin black line.

Poor sod looks a bit of a ducky.

At least they only make him wear the lipgloss for photos.

17 October 2006

Poetry Challenge revamped,.

To all who played yesterday.

It took me an hour.

Its not that good. (Sorry, I guess that means more practice required:)

Jaffa Jeff, The Hero Of The West

Once there was a cowboy and the world declared him blessed
Said an angel watched him even while he pissed.
He could dodge a flying tomahawk, withstand the highest test
But couldn’t see for shit, if there was mist.

His lucid dissertations and his coruscating wit
Contri-buted to his comfort and his fame
Every strumpet was his crumpet, he was never short of tit
And where’ere he went, he often also came.

One chilly autumn morning when the dew fell large as pearls,
Like a wino, lurched our hero, out of town.
Then tipped over the ravine, to the dismay of all the girls
Just because a vicious morning mist came down.

Bring me the wine of Lebanon or failing that, a shot,
Throw flowers on his ashes and give thanks.
Dab your eyes with dainty tissues and bewail his sorry lot
And thank God his weapon only carried blanks.

Kim: flowers, cramps, wino
Steg: Pearls, ashes, mist
Atyllah: world, tissues, angel
Zilla: cowboy, crumpet, coruscating
Le Laquet: tomahawk, Lebanon, lucid

Thanks, guys :-)

16 October 2006

Poetry Challenge Again

Its been too long since I played the poetry challenge, and I have to wonder if anyone is still around who either recalls it or cares.

The deal is simple - you, in the comments, quote me three disparate words and then I get all the fun - trying to weave them into some sort of poem in as short a time as possible.

That's it.

I need this. So far I today I have already wept for Rilke*. The beauty of empathy; the silver lining on the cloud of heartbreak for someone else, is that, guilt free and without ugliness, we accidentally weep for and heal ourselves.

And I've done that; and now I need to play.


(*That poem.)

15 October 2006

Free Association 193

Courtesy of LunaNina

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Weeks :: can fly by or creep.
  2. Cough :: it up, it might be a gold watch". That was a fairly common saying when I was a child. It seems odd now to realise that, as a child, I always thought it was both reassuring and humorous. Strange.
  3. Jail :: House Rock. We have Prisons; Our Police Stations have cells - jails are an American thing. Guantanamo. Elvis. Both gross, for different reasons. (Personal opinion of course, I just happen to think 'The King' was overrated and I resent any form of tacky, sycophantic hero worship. He was also ugly in an oily sort of a way. Sorry folks.)
  4. Produced :: I know I ought to think of products and vegetable produce and good honest labour but it makes me think of media personalities - politicians, newsreaders, film stars - all individually 'produced' from how they wear their hair (if its really theirs) to how they stand, dress, smile, react. Plastic plastic. So sad and so male.
  5. ? :: Eh? You do what?
  6. Stapler :: Don't tempt me.
  7. Next :: Next!
  8. Perky :: breasts. Perky girls - clean but dumb; gosh golly gee. Daphne Blake goes to Connecticut.
  9. Oxygen :: Love is like... tra la la. The trouble is that asphyxiation and hyperventilation can have such indistinguishable symptoms.
  10. Musical :: Chairs. Thats that one where you skip along having fun until you land on your arse on the floor because the chair just isnt there any more, yes?

10 October 2006

Blast From The Past

Thanks (or, if you care, no thanks) to Nick the 'Welsh Born Icon' , I was reminded of THIS lament. (Please please you just have to click that link.)

Eeeh, fair plucks the heartstrings so it does, the signature tune of a quintessentially English childhood (if you happen to be that sort of age).


Oh, and by the way, I know what it is, but do you?


They phoned.

Female caller: Cen I spik to meessis Shair-ul merd baggage plis?

Me: Speaking

Female caller: Hullo. I am collink from ze HSBC. Bee-vore cen spik about yor accunt I neet you to gif me (blah blah blah) ent yor date off birt. Plis?

Me: No, thankyou, goodbye.

I know it looks like she had a German accent, but to be frank I don't know what it was. I know the HSBC have very frustratingly given a lot of work over to Indian call centres, but this woman sounded more like a squeaky, disinterested version of Avid Merrion.

So now if your bank wants to talk to you they do it via someone in another country;
  • Who has a painful accent which is hard to follow
  • And who has no idea what its like to live here and what the sums he/she refers to mean in real terms
  • And who probably doesnt even work for the company or give a shit about hitting the wrong button
  • Nor about UK standards of data protection
however, all that is depressingly usual, these days.

But when by all thats holy did the tossers give up on even the courtesy of asking if its a good time to talk?

09 October 2006

Wrong wrong scary wrong.

Human-rabbit hybrids planned

"The aim is to find a ready source of "human" embryonic stem cells without the ethical problems of tampering with human life. ...... The resulting embryos would be mostly human, but would also contain small numbers of animal genes."

I Was Supposed To Be Doing Something

  • Well now there's timelining the SEN statementing history
  • There's finding the paperwork - picking out the salient sheets for duplication - a pig of a job because its all in two or three big brown boxes and a couple of loose piles from recent use. Darn.
  • There's filling out the secondary appeal form
  • There's getting it copied and posted for Friday - Evil deadline - has to take priority
  • There's liaising nicely with the LEA and letting them know this is just about establishing interpretation of the rules and not about confrontation

  • Then there's trying to get Son's school transport tweaked so he can try an after school club
  • There's emailing the SENCO now to ask first about close home-school communication, what they think it is, who they think should be doing it and who they think should be initiating it (ie would it suit their systems for it to be responsive or pre-emptive)
  • There's working out from the answer how to phrase the small collection of growing concerns
  • Like pointing out that he is already alienating people and his class keep asking him why he talks so much, or why he talks to thin air; when having the breaktime INA he's statemented for would help him not just to avoid confrontation but to change his behaviours...
  • ...unless the support is in place so discretely that it (he/she) has seen all and never intervened, in which case who are they, what are they, what is their training and how can I speak to them. When you have a child with a skewed view of the world telling you how it is, you get to be a good tactician / chess player and you learn to anticipate all possible reasons for a move by the 'opponent', however blatant you suspect one to be, with the end result that you teach yourself to think like an Aspie never making any assumptions or at least considering a trillion possibilities. This means teachers end up needing to speak to YOU in watertight terms, as well as to your child. Hey ho.

  • Then I have to ring the maxiofascial clinic because this tooth still wakes me at night, and plays up in the day and if I don't make noise, I will slip down the list of people hoping to take the space of a cancelled appointment.
  • Then I have to find daughter's leg appointment letter and transfer the info to my diary and calendar (calendar by preference but people keep taking it off the wall and forgetting to put it back) before the letter gets lost completely.
  • Then we have a new fridge and freezer coming at the end of the week, so having taken it easy at home (which others took as their cue to slob out completely and spread trash as the spirit moved), I would like to be pulling out the old ones and scrubbing behind them
  • Which involves a major spring clean in front of them until there's room to pull them out; no piles of appointment letters etc balancing precariously on their tops, etc etc.
  • The Guinea pigs (4 caveys, 2 cages) need scrubbing out - so do the rats. Rat shit stinks.

  • Then I need to make contact with this brilliant man, Richard Robinson, who is arranging next year's Brighton Science Festival; because I promised him a couple of contacts. I went to meet him with a view to doing his admin, but we established fairly immediately that he needs someone ready to do office hours plus (and I am, just not all the way over in Brighton) so instead we spent the hour brainstorming. That's one I want to do sooner and I feel beholden to him simply because he's nice and doing a great job with a fantastic concept and I really really wanted to be part of it.
  • Then there's directing you all to go see Maggie Clarke's photography and to mention that I am feeling decidedly trapped and suburban having met Ms Clarke on the bus going from Brighton to Eastbourne this Sunday. Never look at your own life in comparison if you should happen to meet someone who lives its antithesis. Or no, do, if it'll challenge you to tweak a few behaviours, but I'm heading off at a tangent. Talking about photography and the Moody Blues was fun (fancy having the time, freedom and money to wander all over Europe following a music tour - wow). Even better was the politics, talking to this University Lecturer who defended the weak by arguing that NY air WAS polluted by 9/11, when Government was telling people they had the all clear! Outrageous! How did she put it? Oh yes I think she said the whole place was like there'd been explosions in an incinerator, a crematorium, a plastics factory, an asbestos factory and a metal refinery; all at once. That much is obvious if you stop to think, yes? I imagine this honest outspokenness may be why she felt the sudden urge to stretch her legs from academia and take a tour behind the Moody Blues. Must be quite a balancing act to hold down a lecturing post at a prestigious Uni and publicly defend the weak, all at once. The opponents of the ordinary people seem to be the guys that play golf and bestow bursaries. I'm simply way too impressed, and only guessing.
  • Then I want to duplicate the links because damn, I wish I'd had time to broach the whole Brighton Science Festival thing as I think Maggie would have a ball running a fun lecture or an experiment, for that, if only she were going to happen to be in the UK next February.

But none of these little tasks is the one I am searching for. OK I just cheated and did two of them during this blatant example of masterful procrastination otherwise known as a blog post, but sod it. I have three hours left if the missing 'must-do' has to take office hours into account.

See, I remember Husband ticking and tutting over something I forgot to do on his behalf last Friday, and he said it would HAVE to be done on Monday; and it will and he's right. I think I need to phone him up.

No, before you accuse me of setting feminism back a century or so, this isn't willing servitude - its just that when he started on about his 'oh so important' task, I remember thinking he was bloody well going to have to wait because I had something far more urgent to see to first.

So really I'm only phoning him up to see if a reminder about his task will be enough to jog my memory about the genuinely important one.

Told you those tablets were making me stupid. Graaa.

08 October 2006

Free Association 192

Courtesy of LunaNina

  1. Opinion :: Everybody's got one
  2. Tardy :: bloody annoying, like time isnt pressed for everybody. Go on and steal time from others why dont you just because you can't get your arse in gear.
  3. Peer pressure :: conformity tectonics
  4. Grownup :: liable
  5. ! :: Need I say more?
  6. Beer :: Bishop's Finger
  7. Sit :: Wuff
  8. Shower :: Torrential rain that lasts less that ten minutes, apparently
  9. Consumate :: Fanfuckingtastic (as in consumate fool, perfect idiot etc)
  10. Wasting :: moments.

06 October 2006

Thith Ith Dire

Kim wrote a wonderful piece about David Sedaris.

Never having heard of him I googled, of course, and found an excerpt from one of his books. It was all about the perils of lisping, thorry, lithping, in thcool, erm school, and having to face the language therapist. He is hysterically funny and I want all his books now. Here's that excerpt.

Anyway all of this has got me on the lookout for lisps, thorry, lithpth. I can't help it, they muthy be preying on my mind becauthe I jutht keep notithing them, everywhere.

Bless her.
Reminds me of that episode of Only Fools and Horses when an otherwise decent singer who couldn't say his Rs performed Don Maclean's 'Kwying Over You' . He kwyed a lot.

Anyway, all together now:

Oh Baby Baby, How wath I thupothed to know
That thomething wathnt right here
Oh baby baby, I shouldnt have let you go
And now you're out of thight, yeah
Show me how you want it to be
Tell me baby cuth I need to know now, oh becauthe

My lonelineth ith killin me (and I)
I mutht confeth I thtill believe (thtill believe)
When Im not with you I lothe my mind
Give me a thign, hit me baby one more time!

05 October 2006

Just for Stegbeetle, who needs a laugh

So not for anyone else, right?

Under no circumstances are you to click

unless you are Stegbeetle.

Thanks to ShrinkMamma for the link.

N.B. If you MUST be rash and foolish and follow the link, I have to repeat S-M's warning - you do so at your own risk, and if you have any sense you'll avoid eating or drinking until you navigate away.

03 October 2006

Sounds Like A Case For Piggy Malone?

This news article (a short one) speaks for itself.

I'm just so relieved to hear that Interpol have caught wind of this. I'd like to say it all smells very fishy but I really don't know what he had for tea, so I can't.

P.S. Piggy Malone and Charlie Farley, a brief explanation.

02 October 2006

Officially Stupid For A Reason

I think I'm supposed to say I feel so much better, now.

Went to the GP this morning.

Its taken almost three weeks to get a non emergency appointment that fits around the kids going to school.

Bloods are back.

My cholesterol levels are great.
My oestrogen levels weren't checked - this GP being of the mind that HRT is unsuitable if you've upset your ticker.
My homocysteine levels aren't back from Guys in London yet, because, hey, they have to take the bloods at the local hospital just to begin processing inside two hours, but once they've done that, there is no local set-up for the rest of the test so you simply have to wait three weeks to a month. Who cares. If you DO have super high homocysteine then for the first 12 months you have to actively avoid the folic acid that would sort this out, in any case. This is because a sudden influx of B9 could solve the problem so enthusiastically that instead of no mend at all on your arterial tears, you get a super great big blobby mend right on the stent and, um, block the bloody artery all over again. Except this time that would involve killing yourself.
My thyroid levels are, disappointingly, 'within parameters'. An underactive thyroid can cause, amongst other things, tough, scraggly, wiry hair and wrinkles. Thyroid meds can sort them out. No jackpot rejuvenation for me, then.

Most annoyingly this all means that the total brain fog, the lethargy, the bloody annoying lack of oomph may be safely and completely ascribed to taking the beta blockers.

It just seems so unfair that other people can go for the same op and be back at work by now, whereas if I even had a job I doubt they'd tolerate the amount of sleep I seem to need and the way my thought processes keep giving in to their own little version of the blue screen of death.

You know those days when you make yourself a coffee, rediscover it stone cold, have to actively and methodically recall making it at all in the first place, and then realise you can't even imagine what you were thinking or doing since that point?

Yes? No?

Well, take the phrase "I must have made that coffee for a reason, but....." and exchange the words 'made that coffee' with 'got up this morning', or 'put the first sock on', or 'decided to put up with this'; you get the idea.

So. This is my darling doctor for you. This is how he tells me.

He tells me that, for the first six months after a heart attack you are at constant risk of ending up dead. He explains that a bruised/damaged bit of heart can decide, at any point in that six months, that its not going to play any more, that its going to go do-lally wobbly and run its own little tap dance instead of playing along with the rest, causing a total standstill otherwise known as sudden death.

What lovely news, Doctor, considering its only been three months and a little bit since my 'event'.

Anyway, he then goes on to explain how the Atenolol (beta blockers) are prescribed to counter that.

His grand finale, piece de resistance, punchline?

"So, you see, if its a choice between being completely stupid or dropping dead, I think you're just going to have to put up with it, don't you?"

Right, gosh, yes thank you so much.

To his credit he did decide to take my blood pressure straight after.

So, where were we; oh yes.

Today I went to the doctor's. I was going to wander round town afterward and pick up a few bits and bobs, but instead came home almost on auto pilot - I even forked out for a taxi. And then I slept.

In the middle of the day I went and slept for two and a half hours, waking with just enough time to pour coffee down my throat and remember right from left before having to go get youngest daughter from school.

Right now? Well, I guess I have found yet another sense of total frustration that would previously have had me reaching for the tobacco. In short I am gagging for a cigarette, maybe three; all unofficially labelled: "stupid-f*king-doc,-how-the-f*k-did-he-even-pass-his-exams-the-f*ker".
Or similar.

And yes, I know it was probably the smokes that got me into this mess, irrespective that I was 'good' and only smoked super thin rollies with menthol filters instead of 'real' ciggies with all the extra heavy metals etc.

Still, just to really make my day I have managed to underline that I am still not a non-smoker nor even an ex-smoker, but back at square one being simply "a confirmed smoker who doesn't".

As to the idea that I could at any moment cease to exist, that I could shuffle off this mortal coil and that nailing by feet to the perch wouldn't help at all - well that's just going to sit there filling my horizon like a giant WTF-come-general obstruction for the next three months. I expect it to fox me on a very regular basis.

Roll on Christmas, then (or is it the New Year, I'll have to consult my calendar).

Bloody men.

30 September 2006

Your Space, My Pass

You Are 0% Addicted to Myspace

Your Myspace addiction factor is: Very Low

When it comes to Myspace, you don't know what the big deal is. Frankly, you think it's over hyped.

Oh and a big AMEN to that.

LIMITED TIME ONLY: 22 posts on this front page - because - guess which jerkoff managed to stop her site feed being published, what, 21 posts ago......... If you've only just returned - welcome back!

26 September 2006

The Onion Of Confusion

You know all about the Onion of Confusion, Allium Dumfukium, surely. It turns up in all sorts of dishes regularly on the menu (if you happen to be me), such as the humble Stew of Humiliation or the more spectacular, crowd-drawing (crowd demanding) Credibility Flambe.

Sometimes it is a meal in its own right, but is mostly proferred as Possibility Surprise; a delicacy set upon a bed of desperation, that involves slowly peeling and consuming your very personal and large onion of confusion one pungent, eye watering layer at a time, in the sure knowledge that the entire thing is steeped in a marinade of faint hope and therefore may just contain a possibility. Possibilities are like fortune cookies; mostly hollow, more usually containing trite philosophies than anything remotely complimentary to said marinade; highly unlikely to come close to soothing the passage of the vicious root, and generally, if approached too swiftly, leave you with nothing but the taste of cheap paper (and lost possibilities, of course), and another good reason for chronic indigestion.

This is what is known to the gods of perplexity and mortification as a double-triple whammy with a cherry on the top*. It is a riddle more demonic than the whole chicken and egg thing and therefore pleases them immensely, even though it is based entirely on a stupid pun. See one might feel like a dumfukium having consumed said delicacy. One might also feel like a dumfukium having conversely been consumed by it, 'it' being confusion, after all - in other words between you and the onion, it doesn't matter which consumes the other, you still get to feel really incredibly stupid.
*No, there isn't really one at all. It just pleases them if your mind ends up so fried that you actually ask why you never got your cherry.

After all that (or more precisely before it), one has to take into account that free will exists, that consumption of such a meal (or, as established, consumption by it**) is a matter of choice, so that one could be said to 'feel like a dumfukium' , just as one might 'feel like a bite to eat', before actually coming into any sort of contact with the damnable bulb.
**Highly unlikely, which makes it inevitable. I mean, that's confusion for you.

It has to be said that one must surely be either mortally stupid or terminally confused to contemplate such an action, ergo the onion wins, having you in its grasp before you even know of its existence. In other words, confusion is a temporally resistant state which afflicts us all from the first moment of awareness. This would be a comfort if not for those who spend their lives trying to hide their condition through massive consumption of the Cola of hot air, the caviar of groundless superiority***, or cow pie.
***Of course groundless; this is fish eggs, people. I accept caviar as a symbol of gentility if you accept pigs trotters for the same reason. Q: If the trotters were also groundless, would they have to come from flying pigs?

My day today was one huge allium experience; one delicacy after another (although I think I just avoided the flambe on a technicality due to a deficiency in spectator numbers), each gulp drier than the one before. I'd like to say that's another story but it isn't, it's exactly the same one. I'm just too confused to tell you about it; OK?

24 September 2006

See Me Play

I had fun!

I had fun HERE, thanks to a link I found via some lunatic alien egglayer. Honestly.

What would yours say?

Free Association #190

I Lurk at Le Laquet.

Thanks to Jo, there, I was reminded of Luna Nina's unconscious mutterings, which
I used to play every week, before this summer decided to sidetrack me.

Time to start again, I think. I am rusty. Blame the heart attack for making me that way, or if you resent me starting back up entirely, then blame Jo! Muahahahaha

Week 190

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Bell :: School dinners. Over boiled cabbage. Please Sir. Ribbit ribbit (UK middle-aged 'in' joke)
2. Abuse :: a privelige (as in abusing a privelige, not abuse is....). Take the piss, basically.
3. Relief :: After mentioning piss, what else would I think off?
4. List :: mania. OK so its spelt wrong.
5. Concern :: Age. Age concern - they do great work in the UK but the image the name gives off is of insipid 'always had it easy' drippy socialwork types, holding their chins whilst making cooing noises and looking..... concerned. The sort, if I was old and in a wheelchair, that I would purposely run their toes over. DOUR.
6. Absolute :: beginners. I never saw the movie. I think that might be what is termed a 'good thing', possibly even a 'lucky escape'?
7. Cling :: Film. Thats UK ceram wrap. I wish they had to declare the thickness or the elasticity on the outside of the box. Some seem like a bargain until you open them and realise you might as well have bought a soap bubble or a wet paper bag.
8. Dump :: after two references to widdle, its just unfortunate that I have to explain that in the UK 'dump' is the term for a really large, heavy, satisfying, waistline reducing poop.
9. Terminate :: Seems to mean the same as exterminate, these days. It ought to mean end, like where the train line terminates, but now it gets used to mean destroy. God bless scriptwriters.
10. Wine :: squashed grapes. Whaddya want, a romantic association? The damn stuff is just too commonplace these days. Oh there you go, my associated word is: commonplace.

22 September 2006

Wee Wee All The Way Home

Or piddle-I-fo.

Or Weeee, bang. Yup that's probably it.

Sorry, I am laughing myself silly at this article, even though I am a whole week late finding it.

See, what do you do (at least if you believe the movies), if you feel you will fail an essential urine test? Why, you scrounge a clean sample from someone else.

What do you do if said substance was handed over hours before you need to appear to produce? Obviously you find a way to warm it up to blood temperature.

However, asking the clerk at the roadside store to shove it in the hot food microwave is thoughtless and unhygeinic.

Hiding the liquid in a soft rubbery casing and microwaving the lot is plain stupid, and asking for a big mess.

When that 'casing' just happens to be a dildo/fake penis, then that's just begging for international mockery, (and it has to be said that hiring a defence attorney with a name like something out of the Rocky Horror Show smacks of looking for a book deal).

I have questions; I mean, are all fake do-wanglers toys, or are there also ornamental ones? Why would there be ornamental ones? (Don't answer.)

Why would a woman take her male friend's urine and smuggle it in to a clinic in a mock trouser snake? Was she aiming to waggle it from her fly and pretend, or was this just her idea of fun? Why am I asking these questions?


21 September 2006

Anthem for the Ordinary!

Rachel North has hit the nail on the head with a ditty that I feel is set to become an underground anthem.

Oh my dear God - The Underground Anthem - that's a WAY better title than the one above, don't you think? It is properly named by the chorus, 'The Rules Of The Game Have Changed'; see here where Rachel is encouraging people to contribute verses or a tune or suggest more links.

So, if anyone musical out there feels inspired to the point that the tune is itching to jump from their fingertips (and believe me, I am certain the tune already exists, it simply hasn't been written yet), then play your part! Join in!

Here we go:

We won't talk of causes, we'll talk of effects.
We'll whip up a horror of radical sects.
(We don't want to talk about why they are vexed)
The Rules of the Game Have Changed.

We'll tell you we're listening, but we don't want to hear.
We'll trash civil liberties, ramp up the fear,
(And, if after the PM's job, go up a gear)
The Rules of the Game Have Changed

You can march in your millions, protest if you dare -
As long as you don't go near Parliament Square
(The cries of your anger might be heard by us there).
And the Rules of the Game Have Changed

If we think you're a bomber, Osama's recruit
There's no time for questions, Jean Charles, we'll just shoot,
And the ''misinformed'' officers won't get the boot.
The Rules of the Game Have Changed.

We don't condone torture - 'least, not on our lands
For ''unlawful combatants'' / ''terrorist bands''
Though some say rendition leaves blood on our hands,
But the Rules of the Game Have Changed.

Your sons and your daughters must be under your gaze
Lest their young minds be fuddled by martyrdom's haze.
(Extremism's causes? Debate's been erased.)
The Rules of the Game Have Changed.

We're watching and logging you all, can't you see?
It's for your own good, it will keep you all free.
The cameras, wiretaps, biometric ID...
The Rules of the Game Have Changed

You think this sounds scary? You're starting to cry?
Armageddon is coming! The End Times are nigh!
We're ready for Rapture, to heaven-ward fly...
The Rules of the Game Have Changed.

So bring on the horror, the fear and alarm.
We won't rest til infidels all buy the farm,
God willing. Bush said so
. 'Twil work like a charm!...
The Rules of the Game Have Changed.

And you think I'm joking? And well so you might.
You won't give up liberty without a fight?
Check our track record - we'll soon see who's right.
The Rules of the Game Have Changed.

20 September 2006

I can do puzzles, me.

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

18 September 2006

Yeeee Ha!!

If you seach for Cheryl, UK only (on Lycos UK), I just happen to be the very very top number one search result, which is pretty unbelievable, so here's the link to prove it (for as long as the situation lasts.)

I also happen to be the 10th top answer if you search my name on Yahoo UK.

I'm tickled pink, I am. Look, pink.

Blim Blim Innocence

One of Daughter's presents for her recent tenth birthday was a very decent Ministry Of Sound CD player.

Another was a compilation CD of chart hits.

I'd forgotten a huge chunk of childhood.

I'd forgotten that every girl gets to a stage in life where she enthusiastically locks herself away in the bedroom to spend hours playing her favourite track(s) over and over, section by section, until she has written down all the words.

Here are the rules:
  • If you don't entirely understand a bit (frequently the case) you just guess.
  • You are not bothered about best handwriting, proper punctuation or best spelling.
  • The whole point of the exercise is to end up with a scrawl that allows you to sing the track all the way through with some air of confidence; as if this guarantees entry into some secret elite.

I found Daughter's exercise book today. She left it out here in the living room and it flops open naturally at the words to her most favourite song.

I adore her innocence - all things are pure, still.

I adore her stabs at missing words, the guesses she has used to fill the gaps.

I find, against my conscious preference that I have spent half of this afternoon quietly muttering the song to myself, specifically including the errors in the chorus. I honestly don't know why, but they bring such a lump to my throat and make me so proud.

From paris to blim blim every Disco I go in, my heart is pumping for love....

Blame the tablets, ok?

I wasn't going to post this at all until Atyllah commented on my previous post, said a connected sort of thing and tied it up to a brilliant bit of deep thought over on Zilla's blog.


Today I received the following quote in a promotional email:

Thought for the Day: "Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. But it's the same world. How come?" Dr. Wayne Dyer

Does 'world' mean community, or are we meant to assume it means everything, right down to health and the weather?

Still its a great quote, brilliant even, but then none of us are perfect so its not that black and white.

What if you are feeling run down and sick, fed up and miserable, only because you live in a loving world invaded by hostile people? What if the hostile things in your world are attracted to someone else's sphere of influence, just one you happen to sit too close to until attrition takes its toll?

How do you tell? Just because hostility is contagious, it doesn't always mean you are the carrier.

You can only eat good food if good food is there - whether thats physical or spiritual - so this quote addresses only those in the state of plenty, those whose disaffection and sense of forboding comes from having access to everything they need, including free will and the goods and finances to be able to exercise it. I suspect it is targetted at those who want what they see, just because someone else has it. (If you think I'm wrong then imagine quoting Mr Dyer to a starving war orphan.)

The interconnection of all things comes into play so obviously and beautifully here - as if we are all little brain cells, and good things and bad things are viral. Its a giant war zone, a battle between good and evil, peace and torment, played out like the dance of oils in a Lava lamp.

Yes, you can do the best or the worst with your outlook within the constraints of what is available in your area, but your success or failure affects the people around you, and vice versa. How else can I put this? If you live in the Sahara, don't hold out for rain.

Dear Mr Dyer, some people are near death for lack of a good thing. Some are nearer death from too much of it. Just a thought.

I believe that sometimes illness is a good thing, sometimes, if we drew it to ourselves, (big bloody if) then we have a lesson to take from it, which means it is also a blessing.

Or, to quote my youngest son who does an even better impersonation of Yoda than I ever could,
"Hungry, am I. Buy sausages, you must."
Wow, like, inscrutable, man.

17 September 2006

Scary Meme

Thanks guys for the interestingly diverse reactions to my last, somewhat narcissistic post.

No I will not be using the photo here - yes its nice to look half my age, but I see it as line free, character free, false and vacant, plus I don't do hedonism. Well not on a permanent basis, God forbid. Maybe just on a rare post that will slide off the bottom of the page if I can just keep writing.

Steg: My first husband was so derogatory about my smile that I offered to put my teeth in a brace. His answer, in public, to the amusement of some of his less sulubrious acquaintances, was that I might as well put them in the back of a lorry instead. Since that time I have also developed the 'lucky' (yeah right) gap as seen on Jilly Cooper and Madge. I don't do smiles, especially not for the camera. Ever.

Atyllah - I love your writing style, I love your observations (including ones where the whole alien species motif doesn't even factor) and considering I let this blog go to pot over the last three months (minor matter of a teensy blocked artery - did you know? I hate to ask incase I am becoming an infarction bore) - ahem - considering that, I am really very pleased and flattered that you see it as having any style or direction at all. Bugger it, I am entirely happy that you ever even stopped by and commented. You are top of my list of new finds.


Zilla tagged me for a meme last week when I was mired in a different kind of self involvement altogether. At that point I had no answers to many of the questions.

Zilla, sorry I'm late. Here goes:

1… Things that scare me

* Everything. I keep feeling like I am outside the Headmaster's office in deep shit and theres so MUCH I should have done but didn't, that I don't even know which sin I'm gonna get fried for.
* Any sorts of aches and pains. I had a heart attack that gave me sore arms and sore gills, no pressure in the chest at all. Funny, I've had more odd twangs in the chest area since then than ever before, so its almost certainly hypochondria (says she, measuring her pulse).
* That I am not doing enough to change the world and have a life, that I am treading water in a back corner somewhere and squandering every talent and chance I might have had. That I missed my cue. That one is probably true.
* That my two youngest are nearly teenagers and that I have lost my babies and wasted my chances to enrich that, to develop good memories and to build them up as much as I could. Thats another one thats true, its just facing it that sucks.
* The likelihood that some well meaning but crass know-it-all will with a fetish for being Wanda the good witch of the West will comment here, try and throw sparkly platitudes at me, but end up contradicting what I just said. If I say I have dog-doodoo on my shoes, don't tell me its ice cream, because I'm the one thats wearing them. Do not pat me on the head (unless you didn't really need that arm anyway.... LOL)
* Me. I scare me (not that I can imagine anyone wishing to disagree with THAT statement)

2…People who make me laugh

* My kids
* you lot ( I do love blogsurfing)
* Nope, thats all at the moment......

3…Things I hate the most

* The word 'sumptuous'. Yuck, yuck, yuckety yuck - you are allowed to think I am nuts. Its just so sickening and slathering and slimy; especially when used in relation to food. Reminds me of Robert Morley as the poodle-packing Mr Merridew in Theatre Of Blood. It sets my gag reflex off and makes the back of my throat all cold and extra wet and - uhoh, yuck. I guess I was too young when I first saw the movie. 19, I think....
* Teensy tiny little fonts used on large blocks of text.
* Manipulators
* Liars and being lied to
* People who try to pat you on the head
* People who keep looking for a pat on the head.
* People who like to be too personal. I mean, I don't want to know about your sex life any more than you want to know about the huge dump I took last night. Go on, play with a Mars Bar, enjoy yourself with my blessing, just dont expect a round of applause. I'm not your mummy. I don't want to know all about it when you come home from school, and I'm not going to stick the pictures on my kitchen wall. This sounds a lot like the previous point, now I think about it.

4…Things I don’t understand

* Everything in section 3

5…Things I’m doing right now

* Wishing I hadnt sat on one leg for so long because my foot has gone numb
* Fielding questions from the kids
* Feeling really hungry

6…Things I want to do before I die

* Scream and rail at the unfairness and futility of it all, from a mountain top, in designer rags, with a dramatic, lightning-filled sky and panoramic views and a whole camera crew to capture the event, OK?
* Work out what in my life is worth keeping/working at if anything.
* Get over this fury. I think thats the part of convalescence that people gloss over and never tell you about.

7… Things I can do

* Write a letter that will make its recipient feel extremely hurt, angry and defensive
* Choose to refrain from sending said letter
* Find humor in most anything
* Argue most people into exhaustion
* Forgive
* Take it apart and put it back together again, correctly
* Apologize, sincerely
* Be very scary

8… Ways to describe my personality

* I don't have a fucking clue, I mean where do you think I am, over there being a fly on the wall? You tell me.
* I guess that would mean I could safely guess at 'difficult'.
* points 3 to 8 open to suggestion.

9… Things I can’t do

* Kiss my own butt. Shame, that.
* Touch my head with my toes. Anymore. I'm going to correct that one.
* Get really angry or really happy or even really motivated - I think its these sodding beta blockers they've got me on. Its kind of made my whole life like reading a crappy magazine in a waiting room - 'something to do'.

10…Things I think you should listen to

* Anything you like except me.

11…Things you should never listen to

* Pessimists - that would be me, then
* MLM gurus
* People who want you to invoke angels, do magic, or even just to 'visualise stuff' like money or mr X falling in love with you. Change yourself for sure, but don't command angels, nature or other people to change for you - thats manipulation and setting yourself up as God and it can destroy you. Slowly. From the inside.

12…Things I’d like to learn

* How to precis
* How to smile and not give a shit
* How to enjoy my housework

13…Favorite foods

* No idea. I didn't have a high fat diet to start with so have been scared off pretty much anything that doesnt look like an ice cube, a lettuce leaf or millet. Except that all seeds are high fat, so easy on the millet. Can I do this bit when I've reprogrammed?

14…Beverages I drink regularly

* Decaff Coffee
* Water

15…Shows I watched as a kid (linked to mp3s)

* Follyfoot (The Lightning Tree)
* Andy Pandy (no mp3 available, so all together now; "Time to go home....." hic snivel)
* The Herbs (lyrics for Parsley The Lion)
* Banana Splits
* The White Horses
* The Singing Ringing Tree
* Catweazle
* Ivor The Engine
* Crackerjack!
* Jackanory
* Blue Peter
* Rent-A-Ghost

I Tag: Anyone who is still speaking to me after that - let me know in the comments!

16 September 2006

Slap; Without The Tickle.

After a good reciprocal grumble with a dear blogging friend (by email, as it goes) I felt sufficiently cheered to try and put on a happy face.

Literally. With paint and polyfilla etc.

In my brazen youth I favoured four inches of slap (warpaint, makeup) around the eyes; no foundation cream because it always made my alabaster skin look pasty and my freckles look black. It was a bold look, and whilst I hate to rely on what works (in the way that some men have steadfastly worn sideburns since 1969), hell, it does work, and whats more, its coming back into fashion for this autumn.

How sad is that.

Shut up, because I don't care, OK?

So I was thinking I would update the profile muppet shot here, because hey, camouflage by colour has to be better than the hair tent method, right?


Extreme overexposure on the other hand, that covers just about every sin you've got going; like so:

Its official. I am going to become one of those Baby Jane style old weirdos who keeps dirty mirrors or none at all, just to live in fantasy land.

P.S. Someone I am irked by had a fit of play nice and volunteered to help by taking the shot. I did not trust the outcome. Can you tell? Like I said, no tickle. None whatsoever.

13 September 2006

Oh NOW I'm Having Fun

Norman John Baker, may his tribe increase; is my local MP. The link is to his own website, but if you prefer, here's his Wikipedia page.

I watch his questions to Parliament by subscription through 'TheyWorkForYou' and have learned that he cuts to the chase; that there is always a whole lot more behind a question than the few words it is made of.

As an example, TheyWorkForYou quotes this:

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total value was of contracts entered into by his Department with Science Applications International Corporation in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement.

Wonderful. Off I go then, to Google this company and discover that Science Applications International, aka SAIC is a massive, American intelligence corporation which, as soon as you visit its site, makes a big selling point of 'keeping America safe' and 'defeating global terrorism' in flash animated graphics over pretty shots of ports and people, in the first five seconds. Right, so, thats clear, then.

This doesn't mean they're bad. Not even with all that CorpWatch has to say about them.

The question is (and its a question dear Mr Baker has beaten me to by miles); what in Hell's name has Blair's Labour Government in dear old Blighty (or at least the Department concerned with internal affairs and law and order) been paying these people to provide?
Or services?
And for what?
And at what cost?

Norman Baker got half an answer - the breakdown, into years, of approximately £8 million in expenditure. It seems the biggest wodge of dosh by far went out of the coffers in 2002, way before we as a nation overtly stepped up the security measures. As there was no 'statement' to go with the figures; nothing to say what was purchased, I am left to imagine. The primary software for the damnable ID cards perhaps? Or the DNA profiling system the police now use?

This little quote from CorpWatch set me wondering:

Today two of SAIC's most valuable products are: TeraText and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) data-mining programs that are used by intelligence agencies to sift the immense volumes of data they now collect by monitoring phone calls, faxes, e-mails, and other types of electronic communications.

So there you have it. I remember a 'wind up' that went round about fifteen years ago, suggesting that if you had ever signed anything political then MI5 had a copy, but that if you also had a high IQ, you were completely screwed. It seems there are potential subversives, and then there are potential intelligent subversives; the latter being allegedly far more dangerous.

Right. I was so scared I nearly let my Mensa magazine subscription expire. I nearly stopped going on jolly days out with geeks flying kites and jolly nights out with geeks slurping real ale or repetitively and enthusiastically waving the ankle encased in the one green sock (you'd have to understand to understand; sorry). Nearly, anyway.

There was a concurrent whisper (for 'whisper' read geeky Mensan idea of a joke) that if you wanted to really screw with the Government then all you had to do was say the word 'Plutonium' at the end of a phone call, to have your phone tapped and your 'movements shadowed'. Yes, OK, we did ponder whether that meant someone dressed like Secret Squirrel was going to come over with a 5B pencil and add depth to poo.

All this was back in the days of Thatcher.

Then it seemed silly.

Now I am not so sure.

So I am asking you to help me experiment, by using as many different phones as possible over the next week and saying one (or all - whatever butters your bloomers) of the following words/phrases in each and every phonecall. Just in case:-

Blair is a ninny, na-na-ner-na-na
Bush is a retard, wobble wobble boing.

Are we on? :-)