Thursday, September 27, 2007

Trouble and Strife – Mr Man and his Wife

It’s started. The cold weather has rolled in and poor Mr Man won’t get any peace until spring.

He’ll lie in bed with only enough duvet to just about cover one leg, and then he’ll hear a little voice squeak from inside the cocoon lying next to him; “I’m cold! There’s a draft! I can feel a draft!

Either that or he’ll wake to find himself hanging off the edge of the bed.
“You’re pushing me out of bed!”
But there’s a draft! I’m trying to cuddle up to stop the drafts
“But I’m falling out! Move over”
But there’s a draft! I can feel a draft!

And heaven forbid if he turns over in the night.
Stop flapping the covers about! There’s a draft! I can feel a draft!

Imagine that every night for the next six months. It’s a wonder he’s never bought a sleeping bag for me – one with a draw string around the neck!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today’s Top Tip

When you’re feeling extremely stressed deep breathing exercises may or may not help. But I strongly recommend a box of Thornton’s chocolates (the Continental ones of course).

Oh yes. In a situation like this you need quality and quantity.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Love Today

A single from the album “Life in Cartoon Motion” by Mika. It reached number 6 in the UK charts in 2007.

You must be kidding – I hate today. I am so stressed I feel like my head is going to explode right off my shoulders.

Feeling absolutely exhausted after a sleepless night, I just scraped my unwashed hair back into a pony tail and threw on some sloppy joes to pop into town this afternoon. But deciding which sloppy joes was a nightmare! What sort of stupid weather are we having at the moment? How do you dress for this time of year? Looking out of the window it seemed like it was blowing a gale outside, so I decided to go into town wearing a jumper. Surely that would be cooler than wearing a jacket…?

So with unwashed hair, and feeling extremely hot, flustered, and sloppy, I go about my business in town. Why do I always bump into someone I know when I look and feel like an absolute minger?* How embarrassing is that?

I decided to go into the “Pound Shop”. Every town probably has one. You know the ones; every item in the shop is £1. “Yes that’s right! Every item is just £1!” says the over enthusiastic voice over the tannoy as you walk around the store. One shopper pointed to an item on a shelf, and grabbing the attention of a shop assistant asked:
“Excuse me, how much is that?”
Yes, people really are that stupid in this town.

I go into another shop and whilst searching for my diet Pepsi I notice a shop assistant looking very important with her clipboard and pen, obviously supervising stock control in the store.
“Excuse me” (we’re very polite in this country apparently) “do you have any diet Pepsi?” I ask.
“I’m sorry, we don’t at the moment” she replies.
“That’s ok. Thanks anyway” I say, and as I turn the corner into the next isle I come face to face with a shelf full of diet Pepsi…

I tend to get rather stressed when I’m shopping, and when I’m stressed I have personal space issues. I can’t even stand people walking past me or being in the same isle; it makes me want to scream at people “Just get away from me! You have the whole damn store to shop in; why do you have to stand in the same isle as me?” I swear I’m going to freak out in a store one day and end up getting myself arrested. Ok, when I’m feeling sane I realise that this is a little over the top, but when is it ever acceptable to stand so close to someone in a queue that you brush against them?

So it was just another ordinary day really. Lack of sleep; feeling exhausted; stupid people everywhere; people trying to walk through me; people standing too close to me; and bottles of pop rolling around on the floor.

Nothing much to love if you ask me.

*The Urban Dictionary also describes Minger this way:

“Although now more commonly used to define an extremely visually challanging appearance, the word minger originally came from scottish gaelic, meaning 'septic vagina'.

Now often used by chavs all over Britain to define anything remotely disgusting”
Spelling mistakes and lack of capitalization courtesy of Urban Dictionary.

Nice huh? So I’m either a septic vagina or I’m a Chav. At least I know how to use a spell checker.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Am I Really Here?

“I think, therefore I am” - So said French Philosopher René Descartes, although he said it in French, obviously.

Is this statement really true? Can we really say that because we think we must exist? What if we only exist in someone elses imagination? What if we only exist in our own imagination? What if I’m really just a brain in a pickling jar, covered in dust in a laboratory somewhere, and in my imagination I believe I am sitting at my laptop typing these questions?

Foolish reasoning?

Then why the hell do people keep trying to walk through me like I don’t exist?!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fashion Statement

Feeling the chill of mid September air on my bare arms, my eyes were drawn to a cosy looking cardigan in a shop window. I promptly stepped inside to check the rail for my size.

At the checkout the woman made friendly small talk.

“It’s a lovely cardigan isn’t it?”
“Yes, it’s perfect. It will go with virtually all the colours in my wardrobe” I replied “…turquoise, purple, brown…” I continued.
“And it will go with black” the shop assistant chipped in.

No kidding Einstein. Is there any colour that doesn’t go with black? Where do they find these people?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Road Rage

I actually quite like driving. It’s only other stupid road users that make the experience an unpleasant one, but give me an open road and some good music and I’m away. I quite like night driving for this very reason; most spongly bongle brains have gone home by then. I say most; there’s always some nelly who insists on driving at 25 mph through fear of accidentally going over 30 - even though the speed limit is actually 40 - or a Michael Schumacher wannabe almost pushing me along with his bumper.

But the most annoying road users have to be those stupid teenagers who ride around on those irritatingly noisy death traps they call “mini bikes”. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m sure they are fantastic fun to ride on, but these things must have their place, and the road is not one of them – especially at night.

In the day time they ride around on the path or on the green where there are younger children playing - how long before one of them get seriously hurt? At night they ride on the road with no helmet and no lights, where unsuspecting motorists (i.e. me) risk accidentally killing one of them (which probably wouldn’t be a bad idea actually).

This summer the police have been trying to clamp down on these nuisance bikers, issuing fines and crushing the bikes into casino dice. (Why not crush them with the rider still on top, thus preventing any future offences?)

Trying to be a useful citizen I called the police one day to report nuisance bikers in our road. The lady kept me on the phone for ages asking for a description of the rider:

“What’s the colour of the bike?”
I don’t know; I can’t see it! It’s tiny and there’s someone sitting on it!
“What’s the hair colour of the rider?”
Err... he's blonde.

(Much tapping on a keyboard, reminiscent of that scene in “Meet the Parents” at the airport)

“What’s he wearing?”
Umm... white t-shirt, black bottoms, white stripes down the sides. He’s there now! I can see him through my window!

(More tapping on the keyboard)

“How old is he?”
I don’t know! Do you want me to go and ask him for his date of birth or something?
“And he’s got blonde hair you say?”
Yes! He’s there! He’s out there right now!

(More tapping)

“Do you know his name?”
“Or where he lives?”
Blimey, do you want his eye colour as well? Why would I know anything about the yobs that live in my area? I thought that part was your job.*

I kept thinking: if you just send someone out they’ll be able to see what he looks like for themselves. Eventually our call came to an end:

“And he’s wearing a white t-shirt and black bottoms with white stripes down the sides?”
(Exasperated now) Yes!

(Yet more tapping)

“Ok, we’ll send someone out”
There’s no point love; he’s probably gone home for Christmas by now...

After I nearly ran one of them over the other night I called the police again. This time the gentleman I spoke to at the police call centre was much more efficient, helpful, and reassuring.

“Don’t you worry yourself; they know they’re in the wrong. It’s their own fault if they get hurt”

It was nice of him to say so, but it would still be traumatic to actually run someone over and have to wait for the results of an investigation. I know, because my brother has been through it himself.

The problem is no one wants to take on the responsibility of providing an area for these Kamikaze bikers to ride in. Surely if one of these delicate little petals was to seriously injure themselves, then their loving parents - who bought the contraption for them after careful thought and deliberation - would be in an uproar and would surely sue whoever was stupid enough to provide them with an area where they could ride without being a risk to the general public.

So I have to agree with the gentleman on the phone:

“Whoever invented those things should be shot”

*Not a true account of our conversation, mostly just what I was thinking.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been?

“I’ve been to London to look at the queen”
Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what did you there?
“I frightened a little mouse under the chair”

I travelled to London on Friday with my Curly Haired Friend. It’s something we had planned quite a while ago; not for sight seeing or shopping but to go to the M.A.D (Making a Difference) Art Installation at the Draywalk Gallery.

“We’re cultured we are” my Curly Haired Friend said to me the day we made the plans. Yeah, like bacteria in a Petri dish.

Having become accustomed, as I have, to meeting stupid people wherever I go, most of the day had a surreal quality about it. I’ve never met so many damn happy and polite people in my life. Complete strangers smiled and wished me farewell as I left the train. And what is it with all these free news papers being handed out at every street corner? As I looked around at the homeless-free clean streets I must admit I wondered if we had got off the train on another planet.

“Are we in London?” I asked my Curly Haired Cultured Friend.

My previous memories of London were busy, dirty streets; full of freaky people pushing and shoving; and homeless people tugging on my heart strings at every corner. This time the experience was more pleasant than a trip into the hostile town centre of the Country Bumpkin town I live in.

But it didn’t last; it never lasts. We were refused permission to board the 4.30 train with our off-peak tickets after missing the last off-peak train due to the tubes being stopped…

On the tube it was announced that two other lines had been closed due to “radio failure”, so we had to wait for others to climb aboard. Finally we were moving, but it wasn’t long before this tube stopped as well, with the driver announcing:
“I’m not sure, but I think there’s another tube ahead…”
I looked at my Curly Haired Friend and laughed:
“What sort of announcement is that?”
Then he continued:
“Well, I wanted to stay in Liverpool Street, but the Fat Controller* wanted me to move on…” he began. Blimey, I thought he was going to give us his life story. There was no head on collision and finally we were moving again, but it’s these events that led to us missing our train back to Bumpkin town.

The Female Fat Controller at St Pancras was very unsympathetic.
“Well, you’ll just have to buy another ticket”
“But it’s not our fault” my Curly Haired Angry Friend protested.
“And I haven’t got any money” I added.
“Well you’ll have to go to a cash point and get some then”
I was stunned at this response. For some of us, a cash point isn’t an endless supply of money. Luckily for both of us, the hormone problems I had a few months ago which made me experience intense rage had settled down. I just looked at her in disbelief. Finally she suggested we go to the ticket office to see what they could do for us there.

The man at the ticket office was friendly and sympathetic, but sadly unhelpful. He suggested we go to Kings Cross and ask for help there.

My Curly Haired Friend kindly offered to deal with the problem at Kings Cross, whilst I rested for a few minutes, and the man at the ticket office there suggested that we go to Thames Link, as that was the head office or something, and ask for help there.

The man at Thames Link wasn’t only unsympathetic; he was arrogant and irritating.
“The tubes are nothing to do with us, we have no responsibility for them at all; you’ll either have to buy another ticket, or wait until after 7pm”
He didn’t tell us anything we hadn’t heard already, but it was the way he said it.
“I hope you die” I told him before I walked away (as you do), although it lacked the venom he deserved. Why do so many people who work with the public lack basic people skills?

Eventually we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would have to wait until after 7pm to travel home again. We found ourselves a friendly little café (which had flies on the food) to sit in, and had a drink.

I didn’t see the Queen, or any mice for that matter, but despite the Female Fat Controller, and the Thames Link ticket office man, we had a really nice day.

*He didn’t actually call him the Fat Controller.

Thursday, September 06, 2007



Am I caught in a time warp? I thought we’d worked that one out 25 years ago, along with the knowledge that humans are responsible for climate change, but apparently this is “news”.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Trouble and Strife – Mr Man and his Wife

It’s our wedding anniversary next month. I can’t wait; it’s always an exciting opportunity to learn something new about Mr Man. It’s a standing joke in our house that I always find out something I never knew about him on our anniversary. I remember we had been married for a whole year before I found out he liked onions, and two years before I knew he liked mushrooms.

A couple of years ago we were out in the car together and I was singing along with the stereo. I got the words wrong and tutted: “They’ve changed the words again”. Now this is something I have been saying for as long as I can remember – long before Mr Man and I married. He turned around and said to me: “It really irritates me when you say that”.
What? I’ve been irritating you for the past 8 years and you’ve only just decided to tell me?”

Well, I laughed and laughed, and when I told my friend we both fell about laughing for ages. It still makes me laugh now.
“Alright, settle down” says Mr Man.