28 August 2006

Life with little minds

There is yet another satellite channel available now, called UK TV Bright Ideas and as Husband was first up this morning we have as background noise an all day marathon of backdated episodes of the Antiques Roadshow, courtesy of said channel.

Occasionally in lieu of an advert they will slip in a 'bright idea' - a two minute mini programme on what you might like to do with a handful of fruit and a loaf tin.

Daughter, now ten, is on the sofa in a slumped state; a pre-breakfast morning fog. We have her disapproval. Its not our fault.

Its just that we both heard the lady on TV with the soft, Middle England voice, announce that we should "Beat the cream thoroughly until its stiff."

Well, what can I say? It must have been a very very bad bowl of cream. It should bend over. And say please.

So we both said so all at once and burst into fits of silly laughter like the seven year olds at the back of class.

Mercifully daughter didn't get it.

The TV moved swiftly on and just before the antiques programme came back on, the commentator suggested the viewers might take a feather duster to their trinkets.

I wasn't quick enough; I was too busy trying to hold in an explosion of new giggles. Husband, on the other hand, made a great deal about how good I was with a feather duster and could he get his trinkets out.

He has this way of making me double up - I think its the intelligence and wonderful intent that sparkles in his eyes while the rest of him does an impression of Les Dawson (for American friends thats the unintelligible one on the left).

He was heading towards me.
I was trapped.
I was flustered.
I had to beg him, between giggles and gulps of air, to stop it, or, or, or (think of a good 'or') or I'd wet myself.

It worked too well. He took that as a challenge and got worse, whereas Daughter, from her perch at the other end of the room, looked up, sighed, and announced in no uncertain terms that we are both disgusting and must pack it up at once.

Thank you daughter, I haven't cried laughing in a long time.

24 August 2006

Oooer Missus

Noo-nee-noo-nee (atmospherics)


You Are 80% Psychic

You are so very psychic.
But you already predicted that, didn't you?
You have "the gift" - and you use it daily to connect with others.
You're very tapped into the world around you...
Just make sure to use your powers for good!

But how psychic are YOU? Did I fib or am I freaky?


23 August 2006

Its a Whinge

Everybody is whingeing. Everybody is tired, stressed and paranoid (except when it happens that others really are out to get them). War or some sort of hissy fit is in the air and everyone is showing their true colours, whether that's self involvement or abuse of power, or just a desire to hide under a rock and chant (or whimper) until peace is restored.

Friendships are breaking down and the trick, I suppose, is to walk away with your head high. We have no control over the behaviour of others, we can only choose whether or not to go to war or to extract revenge.

This is only me grumbling. I needed somewhere to do it, and here it is.



Went to physio yesterday.

Its a day trip - two hours there and up to two hours in transit twice a week, plus the attendant faffing about at home before and after.

Lets just say I could really do with finding or founding a club/moaning corner for pre-menopausal women on blood thinners. Belt and braces just isn't doing it. On top of that it takes water retention to a whole new level (you haven't turned Violet, Violet), broken nights have become discomfort 'broken' by occasional sleep, oh and I found out that waving your arms about in time to the music can be a really, incredibly stupid thing to do if there isn't enough blood left to go round your system. Thank God that was in a gym, surrounded by nurses, and strapped to a heart monitor, although to be frank, if anyone suggested I 'throw my arms about' or be in any way enthusiastic about anything outside of the cardiac rehab twilight zone, they would receive the derision they deserve.

Hey, so I got that pre-med trippy sensation for free, so what; I managed to look like the weak, silly one in a gym full of comparative geriatrics (next youngest is about 20 years my senior), half of whom had heart surgery or a stroke. It also made the glands behind my ears hurt, a lot, and put me off throwing myself into anything else, which rather defeated the object of sacrificing another weekday to get there in the first place.

After an hour walking through circuit training, there came the lecture/education session. This time the video was all about cholesterol. Most of it I knew and rather disconcertingly I was already a reasonably healthy eater before this all went on, so have been frantically trying to scrabble for any idea of other things I could do to lower cholesterol, such as living off algae and sand.

Listening to these nurses, going vegan would be a good start, although to be fair most of the questions came from portly old men blinking like lost children at the thought of having to cut the fat off their meat, stop the missus doing roasties in lard every day of the week or go without Brie on the cheeseboard (the idea of 'no cheeseboard' was beyond their comprehension).

I was reminded of the granny in The Royle Family who, desperate to feed a vegetarian, refused to accept that anything with just lettuce in it counted as a proper sandwich and asked "Could she just have wafer thin ham?" Like if it was 'wafer thin' then it wouldn't really count as any ham at all....

I never meant to write a long post. My children have left the front room and gone to play and now I feel guilty again and know that I need to get off the computer.

The whole point of mentioning this medical palaver was for one fact.

Husband is like an unwilling dieter and is fixating, somewhat, on the things that have registered with him as 'forbidden'. When we were both seen together before I was let out of hospital, we were told little gems like how rarely we should eat pizza, how we should stick to plain biscuits like rich teas - general information that didn't really relate to our diet. We never used to have biscuits in the house, but now he just keeps on coming home with new varieties of plain looking biscuits. We're drowning in the damn things. The funny thing is that yes, they all look very plain and boring, but looking as appetizing as a lump of cardboard is no guarantee of a low fat content. He just cant wrap his head round the concept that less sugar generally equates to more fat and that therefore all varieties of crackers, with or without sun dried tomato flavour, are generally listed on the 'so you want to die' diet sheet under the heading 'yes now you're really asking for it'.

I have this theory that for men, standing in a supermarket aisle, in public, and being seen to turn a packet over and read the fat content is something so grossly humiliating that they can't even admit they are too embarrassed to do it, for fear of womenfolk falling on the floor with laughter. So they go (he comes) home after every independent shopping trip and performs an award winning impersonation of a total idiot who just didn't think, again...

So here I am waiting to find out if I am condemned to live on rabbit food and lentils like some antisocial walking fart machine, yet I am faced with a house full (courtesy of husband) of:
  • Glossy, glamorous, beckoning biscuits ("well they looked low fat")
  • Slabs of high strength cheese, tainting the fridge with a heavenly scent that screams 'toast me' ("Well I won't eat any at home, but I need it for my packed lunch". Yeah, right)
  • Crisps and chocolate biscuits ("For the kids")
Bastard. And he wonders why I tear into fruit and wholemeal toast and veggies, sort of non-stop.

Doh! There was a point to this, wasn't there.

Husband has always been the most boring man I have ever known. If you want a laugh, or to get onto theories or to have a heart to heart, he's great. If you want to get off the sofa and remember what the end of your own street looks like, he's too tired. He wouldn't choose to go out at all and hasn't attempted a fairground ride for the last fifteen years that I know of, so we are more than used to not drinking at all - perhaps a single bottle of red on one night over the weekend. Heaven forbid if I started to feel like a party - if he couldn't pull the 'too tired' card he could still choose between saying he'd got a headache and saying his acid was playing up. I haven't owned nor needed a 'going out' dress since he left the last company he worked for that ran a Christmas do, about twelve years ago.

Why am I still here? I love him. And the kids. Part of the mental crisis that has come out of this heart attack is realising that I was saving up things to do, biding my time until the children were old enough, and now I have to realise that I am probably no longer physically equipped to do any of them. I doubt anyone would let me go parachuting, let alone go on some of the bigger, newer fairground rides.

Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, as far back as I can see, and now as far forward, too.

And that still wasn't the point.

The point was that his panic buying extended beyond biscuits to red wine, as we were told we could have one or two units a night up to five nights a week.

Suddenly he's after a bottle of wine 3 or 4 nights a week and a can of lager on the other nights. Still pretty moderate, many might say, but 'many' doesn't include the cardiac nurses.

Nope, the whole point of this post is that yesterday I discovered that red wine is good for you if you have a single glass, and that's a pub size glass, not a home size one, and that any more drink than that will mean the alcohol undoes all the good of the flavinoids, or whatever.

A pub glass, 125 mil.
Not a drop more, or there's no point and no benefit.

I must admit even I am thinking 'fuck that, I just wont bother at all then'. I'm just not exactly looking forward to telling husband, I have a feeling he's going to flip out like I have told him to choose between me and a life.

And I don't suppose it'll help one bit to point out how he already put me through the same choice. Shame, that, really.

21 August 2006

Daily Three Cups With Freshment

Right, that explains everything.

Excepting Korea's answer to Britney....

19 August 2006

Oh No!

I can speak Korean!

Oh No!

(See, told you so!)

The following is strangely addictive, but not to worry, I did notice that the blogosphere was my virtual reality and emotional hermit's retreat; the salve on the scraped knees of my ego and even my alternative to chain smoking (which I no longer do).

The fact that it is/was also my panacea for the urge to experience other destructive behaviours such as matricide is probably what prompted this moment of weakness and the resultant two posts in a day, after I was doing so well; but lets not go there.

Just sit in a corner, rocking slightly, whilst repeatedly watching the attached video. With any luck it won't be long before the look on your face, like mine, is as enthusiastically vacant as the look on the faces of the; what are they; milk drips?


Happy Birthday Sweetpea!

Ten today.


My favourite quote; Daughter on the phone to a relative today:
"Oh yes, its my tenth birthday. I've reached double digits; the big one-O!"

10 August 2006

Major Terrorist Plot

...or, to quote one respectable, studio-bound UK news reporter - "Major terrorist plot, allegedly".*

I'm not awake yet. I refuse to castigate my own mind for the way it was working this morning, as it tried to make sense of the avalanche of information. Here are a few of the thoughts it considered:

  • Clear plastic bags; like when you sit school exams.
  • Blimey that was a close escape.
  • West London? They mean Southall.
  • At least maybe they mean airport employees; cleaners and people with back door keys.
  • Oh so it wasn't necessarily planned for today, then?
  • We've been through this before.
  • So why has the news been on the same subject for a solid hour?
  • Anyway I can kind of imagine the politics/rationalisation/fervent frustration behind a plan like that.
  • I wonder if its true.
  • I wonder how long its going to take Blair to use this as a way to hurry ID cards or get more powers for himself.
  • I wonder if this is all for show and he's banking on people agreeing to anything sooner than having to queue and give up their mobile phones.
  • I wonder if I should stay glued to theyworkforyou, or to the inside pages of the papers, to see what they'll try and slide into law /generally get way with while we're not looking........

*Even the BBC website is making full use of inverted commas, it seems.

08 August 2006

Lighting things up.

I was going to do a picture, of little lights starting, each a fiery droplet shot forth from the master flame, kind of like napalm or flaming mucor so that every new mini-fire is attached in some way to the origin.

Yet each appears separate from the next.

The thing is, if you concentrate not on the flame but on the light, if the light, ie lighting up a new area is actually the whole purpose, then it is a GOOD thing when the glow from two little sparks crosses over.

No spark can take glory for being the source of illumination, when all that matters is that there is more illumination. Kind of like a hundred fireflies in a jam jar - its pointless saying one fly is brighter or more special than the next, in fact the only thing to do is marvel at the quality of the light, express awe at nature herself; the total, not the individual, although each is essential and special as part of the whole.

Lets face it, if any one of those fireflies had actually begun life hoping for recognition for trying harder, for glowing brighter or more righteously, or simply for being fatter or born in a better part of the swamp than others in the jar - he or she would be screwed sadly disappointed. Yes?

I was going to paint that picture, but then I got involved in checking my facts.

See Jesus is a very handy fella (don't puke yet, let me make my point) - most religions recognise him as a prophet, most people with a philosophy but no 'religion' (ie nothing involving a deity) would still claim many of his sayings, pointing out that he must have been spiritualist, or in tune with the principles of NLP, or walking around using myofascial healing (or other such); on account of how, compared against all of these realities, his words still make (common) sense.

Truth is like that - you can get your knickers in a twist about where truth comes from and what it means about the unseen nature of the universe, but you just cant argue that its not true.

Anyway, theres this Jesus bloke and he's talking.

Christians forget that he never once addressed his words to them, as a faction, (they didnt exist yet). He didnt often address just Jews either, especially not when he faced a crowd. Syrians, Romans, all sorts were milling about. His country was under occupation, as were the ones in the surrounding area - communications were wide open and cultures mixed, and lets face it a floor show is a floor show. Some bloke the neighbours said could do magic is worth a look, irrespective of religion.

So you have to face the fact that when he addressed the multitude in Matthew 5, even waiting for the disciples to be seated, in a pointed 'you too' kind of a way, and said 'You are the light of the world', he meant people. Not Christians, not Jews, just people. Families with their packed lunch hoping to see a bit of a show. The local police there to make sure nothing kicked off. The bored yobby youths there hoping that something would kick off. The intellectuals, the religously pious, the ones that had a vested interest in playing spot the loony fake messiah (they got through a few of those and they always made a mess). Mostly the aforementioned families, and desperate people with no money for doctors (no jobs, no income, bit of a BO problem - you get the picture). But he said it to every single one. You are the light of the world.

We have the power to light up this earth, or to segregate our wisdom, our healing gift, our version of the truth - to encase it in a 'measuring basket' so it lights just so much 'select area' and no more.

How many of us want to shine fiercely and true, to make a difference in this world and be part of the solution?

How many shone once and got looked at funny, or ostracised, and now keep hope and imagination and sparkle as something to hide?

How many of us want to put in a few walls, for fear that our light might be tainted by the light from the candle next door? Or fear that onlookers might praise God for the 'wrong' light? Or fear that we have no business shining in the first place?

How many more desperately want to be magical, special, separate, so keep their light as a (well advertised) holy secret, or one where a potential viewer must pay an admission charge?

You are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (or at very least you are made in the image of God and you have the capacity to be those things, I can't see from here if you are shining or not). So, however, is the soul next door; the one with the weird religion, the one at work that smells, the one that was drunk on the bus stop this morning and the stupid one that you sometimes laugh at. So was the guy up the road that died in his flat and never got found for weeks.
And so am I.

And if all that makes you feel a little crowded, like your space is being invaded, well hey, I guess you feel comfy under a 'measuring basket (bushel) after all, even if you never knew it was there.

05 August 2006


Went to Brighton today, just to do some shopping, and completely kitted the 11 year old out in 3 pairs of nafnaf baggy surfer shorts and four slogan teeshirts, all for £16.

So he wasn't the one we went shopping for, so finding things on our intended list was perjury even though unplanned purchases for son just jumped up in front of us screaming bargain; so what?

The wonderful thing is that we also picked the 'wrong day' to go shopping and had ten times more fun than we had planned.

Specifically we managed to arrive in Brighton just as the buses were detouring in readiness for the Gay Pride parade. Boy was I sorry we left the camera at home! It was wonderful!

Stiltwalkers, drag queens, nurses with beards, people dressed as Pharoahs, Cleopatras and mummies, lorry after lorry dragging flatbed backs, tarted up to the nines to a Carry On theme. Wonderful, wonderful disco music pounding out from every new themed zone, people waving and smiling and just so pleased and proud to be getting smiles back!

Thanks to Jo I am a little more aware of the fears and sensitivities that have to be conquered before some dare be themselves, even just for a little while, to have simple clean fun in this way. My heart goes out to those with a permanent lump in their throat (through a side of themselves that means so very much to them being too long and too harshly suppressed).

It was especially lovely, then, to see the 'men' who dared to wear drag yet chose full makeup as a sort of camouflage, such as the person who dressed as Queen Elizabeth I; and to admire the sheepish transvestites who decorously and discretely turned up amongst the audience, tucked into a corner here and there, all showing the contrast between needing to be themselves and equally not needing or wanting mass attention.

I thought of you, Jo, so I have a proposition.

My home is up the coast - a long bus ride or an expensive taxi between me and the city, but I have one or two friends (of varying genders) in Brighton and was thinking maybe you, me and Doris could make a whole day of it this time next year, even if that means getting tarted up ready in the loos of a gay bar!

Second thoughts, we could always scrounge changing room (and a drop of courage?) from Lady Muck?

Double dare - If all three of you are up for this, I'll turn up in a nun's outfit with the arse cut out.

Or not.

Knowing Jo, of all four of us I would say she's far too ladylike for that sort of exhibitionism......

03 August 2006

Thought for the day


are camouflage.....

kind of a geek version of the hoodie?

02 August 2006

Don Quixote

Or at least Don Quixote as portrayed by Cervantes, as himself portrayed in the 1970s movie, Man of La Mancha; but what the hell.

We judge each other most harshly, it seems, when one of us takes a stand; when one sets out to defend all that is pure and good, yet others see this as a pointless, futile or even ridiculous exercise.

Perhaps we carry the schoolyard with us all our lives. Perhaps we will always be intent upon conformity and acceptance, and for that far too quick to point and laugh when someone else, innocently or deliberately, stands apart.

Then again, perhaps when life forces us to watch what we don't want to see; when someone else's bravery would be too completely embarrassing for us to contemplate (let alone emulate), perhaps we scurry for emotional cover by vehemently denying that we feel any sympathy at all. Not really laughers, then, but liars. Willing to sacrifice someone else so that we should not be seen as prey.

Is it better to be with or without dreams?
Who is more foolish, the fool, or the fool that mocks him?

I have no idea, or at least the ideas I get seem to change with the weather. Perhaps heroism and idiocy are flip sides of the same coin, with the label decided by history.

THIS goes out to 266k (complete with bad singing and very British accent, God Bless Peter O'Toole!)

"But maddest of all -- to see life as it is, and not as it should be."