Sunday, 31 August 2008


Life frustrates me. Either that or it's the people in it. One or the other.

Friday, 29 August 2008


I received this list by email today:

You know you're from Scotland when...

1. 'Scattered showers with outbreaks of sunshine and a cold northerly wind' is good weather!

2. The only sausage you like is 'square'.

3. You have been forced to do Scottish country dancing every year at high school.

4. You know a wide vocabulary of random Scottish words -
an idiot is 'a numpty'.
'Aye'- yes.
'Aye Right'-not likely.
'Auldjin'- someone over 40.
'Dry yer eyes'- aww..diddums.
'Dry Boak'- sickened. etc

5. You have an irrational need to eat anything fried with your
supper from the chippy: haggis, pizza, white pudding, sausage, fish,
chicken (but not mars bars) etc...

6. You used to love destroying your teeth when you were young;
Buchanan's toffees, wham bars, tablet, Irn-Bru bars, Cola Cubes, etc

7. You have an enormous feeling of dread whenever the Scotland national football team play a 'diddy' team that we will lose to.

8.You happily engage in a conversation about the weather. 'Dreich day eh? Aye at least the wind has died down'

9.Even if you normally hate the Proclaimers, Runrig, Caledonia ,
Deacon Blue, Big Country etc. you still LOVE it when you're in a club
abroad and they play something Scottish. (you'll probably even ask the
DJ to play it…)

10. You take a perverse level of pride by the fact that Scotland has
the highest number of alcohol and smoking related deaths in Europe . At
least we know how to party, 'Yer a lang time deed'.

11. You used to get up really early on a Saturday/Sunday to watch
cartoons when you were a kid. You watched Glen Michael's Cartoon
Cavalcade on a Sunday afternoon with his sidekick oil lamp called
Paladin. You remember Glen giving Paladin a good hard stroke!.

12. You were given an Oor Wullie or Broons Annual at Christmas.

13. You have come in from the pub pi**ed with flatmates and watched an episode of Weirs Way engrossed by a little guy with a bobbly hat walking around Scotland .

14. You can tell where another Scot is from by their accent. E.g.
Glaswegian: 'Awright pal, gonnae gies a wee swatch oa yur Record, cheers, magic
Fifer: 'Aye, that wifie is getting it oan wi a laddie fae the butchers'
Dundonian: 'Twa bridies, a plen ane in an ingin ane an a'
Aberdonian: 'Fit ya bin up tae, fair few quines in the night eh?'
Invernesian: 'Ah-ee, Right Enufff! 'How's you keeeeeepeeeen?'.

15. You see police and hear someone shout 'Errrapolis'

16. You have participated in or witnessed people having a 'square go'.

17. You know that when someone asks you which school you went to, they
actually want to know if you're a protestant or a catholic.

18. You have eaten lots of random Scottish food like Bridies, Aberdeen
Rowies(butteries), Mince & Tatties, Haggis, Cullen Skink, Stovies,
Tunnock's Teacakes/Snowballs, Scott's Porridge Oats, Macaroon Bars,
Baxters Soup, Scotch Pies, Scotch Eggs, Oatcakes, Shortbread, Arbroath
Smokies etc.

19. A jakey has asked you for money: 'Got any spare change hen?'

20. You wait expectantly for your 1p change from the shopkeeper.

21.You know the right response to 'yoo dancin' is 'yoo askin', followed by 'am askin' and finally 'then am dancin!!'

22. You know that whenever you see sawdust it reminds you of pools of
vomit because that's what the 'jannies' used to chuck on it.

23. You lose all respect for a groom that doesn't wear a kilt to his wedding.

24. You don't do the groceries or shopping, you do the 'messages'.

25.You've been sitting quietly on the train/bus and then a drunk man
sits beside ye..telling ye a 'joke' ..and saying 'I'm no annoying ye am
a hen/pal?' You: 'Not at all...yer fine...'a think this is ma stop!!'

26.You know a Scottish male can have a telephone conversation using only the words 'Awright', 'Aye' and 'Naw'.

27. You have experienced the peer pressure to have an alcoholic drink
after you've ordered something non-alcoholic. 'Mon, have a drink,
whit's wrang, ye driving? Naw. Are you no well? Naw. Get yersel a
drink, (other folk-Wahey!)

28.You know ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty storey flat, seven
hundred hungry weans'll testify, to that. If it's butter, cheese or
jeely, if the breid is plain or pan, the odds against it reaching earth
are ninety-nine tae wan.

29. You know that going to a party at a friends house means bring your own drinks

30.Your holiday abroad is ruined if you hear there is a 'heatwave' in Scotland while you're away.

With the exception of 28 that has me scratching my head a bit, these are all really really normal things. Aren't they????

Thursday, 28 August 2008


There are things that just please me, because they are wonderful or soothing, or because they are useful. Some are entirely frivolous, but they all make me pleased, so on the home of complaining, they steal a place.

I love:

- the fact that the electric windows in my car have one touch up and down, and you can still put the window up/down for a few mins after the key has been removed from the ignition.

- watching my children laugh and play and love and learn

- that the hinge on my spice/sauce/stock cupboard stays up and so if I need to rearrange or peruse, I can do so easily

- laughing so my belly hurts and everything else seems funny too

- waking up at 5am, and going straight back to sleep

- hearing a song that immediately transports me to a good memory

- finding out that someone is as nice or as funny or as interesting as I thought they were

- reading a book I need to sneak time to read more of

- sharing a moment and knowing it was with the right person

- the sea, crashing or lapping or somewhere in between

Moments of neglect

My most prized material possession is my Pure Bug DAB radio. The picture at the top is not mine, although it did used to look exactly like that.

First of all, due to the fact that my desk has been in storage for 100 years, my bedside table has become my desk. The congestion led to my bedside light melting a big dent in the outside of the fascia. This morning my son, after being repeatedly told not play with the aerial, managed to snap half the aerial off.

It looks scabby. For something that is potentially a design icon, that is designed to look as well as sound good, and something that I do actually love, this is pretty much a travesty.

I am pleased to report that it is all superficial and the functionality is unaffected, but it's youthful good looks have gone forever.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

A little sigh

I realise that anyone reading this is probably mightily offended that I'm spending all the time blogging and not contacting people.

Blogging is impersonal and right now I can't think of anyone that would want to hear from me, based on my entirely inane line in conversation. The lack of comments enforces the opinion that this is quite probably the right approach and that this is for me and anyone interested in Nick Hoult. (sorry about that)

I still love all my friends, I'm just feeling blooo.

CNPS gods

Now, there is no doubt in my mind that the gods of CNPS exist. However, they have strict rules that you have to adhere to.

1) You must be actively looking, they will not appear if you put it out of mind and happen to see a number plate.
2) The purpose of your outing must not be just to look for a number plate.
3) No loss of enthusiasm is allowed.

Sadly, I seem to have upset them lately (possibly by excess breaking of rule 2) and I am now floundering on 27. I did finally see 26 yesterday, which was a relief in the face of endless failure.

This is going to take longer than anticipated. I'm quite looking forward to getting to 100 so I can look for "normal" number plates. I expect to do this by about Christmas, meaning I shall complete the whole challenge by 2013. Sigh.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Silly places

I was just reading a news article about a laptop that got bought with bank details on it. Yada yada. But the person who found it lived in Shoeburyness and it struck me as a particularly silly name for a town. So I got to thinking of other very silly names and came up with the following:

Tring (this is my favourite, I spotted this coming into London on a sleeper train and was tickled pink, saying "trring!!" a lot).
Potters Bar
Chester le Street
Leighton Buzzard
Totton and Eling
Much Wenlock
South Cave

and that's just England. I'll give you that Lochgilphead, Largs and Aberchirder probably sounds just as daft to a non Scot.

That's not to mention the town names that are totally harmless but that have been rendered funny by comedians. Those that immediately spring to mind are Cheadle, rhyming with Jeremy Beadle in the Shirehorse's parody of "You're Gorgeous" and "Weston. Super. Mayyyyyyy-er" as pronounced by Richie and Eddie in Bottom.

Anything's amusing if you want it to be.

Shallow joy

I was just sitting here bumbling about (bit tired, children are watching Maisie) and suddenly there was a ginormous crash, exactly like someone had posted a brick through the letterbox. Except a brick wouldn't fit through the letterbox, but that is irrelevant.

Anyway... it's the new Ikea catalogue! I am very pleased by this. I will shortly get frustrated by the fact that the selection of things they pick for the catalogue never includes what I actually want, but for now there's a whole new array of things I don't need. I can now play the New Ikea Catalogue games, which include:

1) Spot the new lower prices for things I own
2) Pretend I've got such rooms as a dining room and virtually furnish them
- or the next level...
3) Find a house I'd like to buy on Rightmove and virtually furnish the whole thing
4) Select my new style of kitchen and price up the whole thing, including an island that wouldn't fit
5) Ridicule everything garish
6) Giggle over all the possibly rude names

My house is almost entirely furnished from Ikea. In fact, I think our bed and the sofa are the only pieces of furniture not from Ikea. This is not actually due to a love of Ikea, but the fact that they make the only cheap furniture that isn't actually completely rubbish. And anyone that can't make up an Ikea flatpack is thicker than a Lack shelf.

Got to go now, I've got a catalogue to pore over...

Hot and Not

What a woman of very dubious taste thinks is good and ungood at this moment in time:


Swatches. I got one, and my very watch is in this week's Press as a "what's hot". So there. They seem to be trendy, I can assume I absorbed this before hankering after one.

Radio 2. I know it has its moments of immense badness and cheesy music propagation, but look at what it has:
Bob Dylan, Chris Evans, Dermot O Leary, Jeremy Vine, Jools Holland, Jonathan Ross, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie, Richard Hammond, Russell Brand, Alexei Sayle...
And comedy. Marvellous comedy. I caught the end of the Jason Byrne show last week, excellent. And Rob Brydon was doing Ken Bruce's show today. Marvellous stuff. He played "You Win Again" by the Bee Gees, which I love. Although bizarrely so did Forth 2 (or whatever the am version is) about five minutes later when I was looking for VRN and failing. Yes, that's the other good thing about Radio 2, you get it on any radio. The other stuff I listen to at home on my Bug is all digital only. Top moment of today: Rob Brydon played Smokey Robinson and then said "oh sorry, we meant to play Amy Winehouse". Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

The Seat Ibiza Ecomotive. It's exempt from tax! Sorry, what I meant to say there was "it's better for the environment". And it doesn't go THAT slowly. It does only have 3 doors though, all is not perfect. Apparently DVLA are going to give me one which is very nice of them.

Sleep. And those who want it at the right time. 3pm-7pm is never a good time to want to sleep and nor is 8am-11am. Sad really.

Maestro. No, not the car. The programme. I am really looking forward to the next episode which I may even watch "live".


Glasvegas. They make quite nice tunes, but what's with the accents? You're not supposed to hear accents when you sing. I heard them cover "All you have to do is dream" and it was all "when ah neeeed ye, ah close ma eyees" which made me embarrassed for them. And what were they thinking when they picked the name?

Most other chart acts. What is the purpose of a Kate Nash?

Fish. I simply can't stomach it these days. Not sure why.

The housing market. And the people that caused it. C***s. I'm stuck in a flat I can't sell and rates of everything going mad because the fat cats got too greedy and now we have to bail them out? Oh, thank you Mr Brown, glad you felt you couldn't do anything to stop the situation, like 3 years ago?

Eastenders. It's always crap.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Duh, part 856

"If you pick a paw paw OR a prickly pear"

Not the same thing, I am an idiot. Damned Disney. I have not eaten one. I will leave the error in to remind myself not to be a smartarse.

CNPS failure

Yesterday was the first day with no numberplate. Well, clearly as I was out and about, I saw several, but not one single 26. And I think I've done all my being out today so that's THREE DAYS of nothing.

Sigh. I was doing so well as well.

Anyone in the Kirkcaldy area that has a 26 reg, please let me know where you park.

edit: it was not three days, it was 2. I got 25 on Sat, then nothing on Sunday or Monday. Counting's hard you know.

Copykitten, or the VGT Omnivore 100

Copykitten: I'm not sophisticated enough to be a cat. Meeew.

Brought to you from blogs everywhere:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich (this should not be a filling)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream (yummy yummy yummy)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear (I would say paw paw, you'd say papaya)
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (smoked salmon, please)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

NB, don't know how to cross out, italics means NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!

Now, I may have an uneducated palate, or maybe I just need to travel the world a bit more, but these are the ones I hadn't heard of (marked above in purple). Google time:

3. Huevos rancheros - eggs with spicy peppers and what not, for breakfast.
10. Baba ghanoush - eggplant dip. That's aubergine I believe?
12. Pho - Vietnamese noodle soup.
16. Epoisses - a cheese from the Bourgoyne
19. Steamed pork buns - a doughy chinese style bun, filled with char sui and sweet beans.
21. Heirloom tomatoes - a heritage tomato apparently. Right then.
25. Brawn, or head cheese - Potted head, the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - a type of chilli pepper
30. Bagna cauda - an italian dip, not a legal document.
33. Salted lassi - yoghurt drink. With salt?????
43. Phaal - a mightily hot curry.
46. Fugu - it's puffafish.
52. Umeboshi - a japanese fruit
53. Abalone - sea snails.
56. Spaetzle - Germany's answer to pasta
59. Poutine - chips with cheese and gravy, a la francais
61. S’mores - marshmallows and chocolates between crackers. Right then.
63. Kaolin - anti diarrheoa medicine. Right then.
64. Currywurst - a curry flavoured German sausage. Sounds dirty to me.
65. Durian - A mighty weird looking fruit.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - Pig Intestines. Say no more.
74. Gjetost, or brunost - Norwegian cheese
76. Baijiu - a distilled liquor that sounds like strong vodka. Hmm.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - some type of apple pie.
81. Tom yum - Thai soup
83. Pocky - Japan's answer to Kit Kat
93. Rose harissa - chilli sauce with rose petals in. Ok.
95. Mole poblano - chilli sauce

I tried to find out what a VGT omnivore was, and found everyone else's blog on it. VGT stands for a lot of things, mostly anti animal factories people in Austria, but having re-read the instructions I was hit by the blinding realisation that it stands for... Very Good Taste, as in Duh.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Practical Parenting

Hmm, having just had a conversation with a first time mother-to-be about parenting (through which I was hugely know it all, I can't seem to help assuming the world authority position on birth and early parenting because, like, I've done it, you know), I've been thinking about the whole being-a-parent thing.

It doesn't change your life unduly. It does away with:

lie ins
spontaneous activities
social life

But, other than the first of those, the things that change aren't much of a loss if you are over 25, and hey, you can go to bed early (ha ha ha).

What does change is your perspective. For one, the planet suddenly seems to matter a lot more, and the whole question of religion is entirely different when you have people to explain such things as Christmas to. I don't feel comfortable with saying "well, there's this story about a guy called Jesus, much like Aslan, or as you're not old enough to have read that yet, we'll go with Poppy Cat, and if he did exist he wasn't actually born in December at all and probably what we're celebrating is the ancient celebration for the sun..." but I'm not sure how I feel about saying "well, there's this thing called God and he had a son that was born on this day". Because I don't believe that. Or maybe I believe in Jesus but not that he was the son of God. I don't know. What do I tell them?

Ahem. Got carried away there. You think about things differently. Shoes for example, really really don't matter. In my case I've taken this a LEETLE too far and often appear in public looking like a bag lady. I need to remind myself that, yes, hairwashing is necessary often, and that I should probably brush it too.

But the biggest change is in your perspective of parenting. All those smug thoughts that you had, about what sort of parent you would be, disappear as soon as they learn a bit of wilfulness. Yet, you still look upon other parents with disdain, except you have the added smugness of "my children would NEVER do that", that was purely imagined before. You do learn that the greatest thing you can have as a parent (other than a full time nanny; by my side, not in my place) is not utmost respect for and from your offspring, it is the patience to wait till they've finished their paddy and for the signal that there is an opening for interruption and diversion. Despite what you thought before, there is NOTHING you can do to stop it prior to this, aside from picking the child up and running away as fast as possible. Or staying in all the time. There's obvious exceptions with parents that really should have been sterilised a long time before conceiving, but now when I see the situations that used to make me think "God, I would NEVER have children behaving like that", I either feel empathy, or fear that this exact scenario may happen to me too some day.

I have little monsters. The problem: there are two of them and one of me, and they are two and a half. They both want my attention. All the time. They are adorable, very clever, and a lot of the time in public they make me swell with pride. Like when they say "thank you very much" or count things correctly, or point out interesting things. But there are times when I am standing with one child (occasionally two, but usually the "brother having a tantrum" show is compelling) lying down next to me, kicking and screaming and me saying things along the lines of "if you get up now I will give you some Smarties". I know how that looks, and I know what I would have thought BC (before children). It's not the same as I'd think now.


Where are all the good films?

I watched "Once Upon a Time in the Midlands" last night, believing it to be a good film. Yawn. Nothing really happened in it. Rhys Ifans was very good with not-a-lot to work with, Robert Carlyle was perfectly good with a completely over the top character. Kathy Burke was as good as ever in the same role she always plays, ditto to Ricky Tomlinson. Nothing really happened in it, it just started, went along a bit, and finished.

Disappointing. Like most films.

Note to self

I also need to remember that certain people whose names crop up a lot lately are not my friends and don't know I exist. This is not a failing on anyone's part, but I need to remember.


Spabble spabble, negative things that aren't for blogs, need a job...

...a solution: get a job and relearn how to interact with adults, and make some money in the process.

Full time, or even part time day work is not an option, because childcare costs more than I could earn and we don't have the grandparental dumping option that most people take for granted. Besides, I think me being at home is the right thing to be doing, although a less bonkers version of me might be more use. So the part time evening/weekends job search is on again, sparked at least in part by lack of money. Jobs on offer (ie they are available to be applied for, no that they have been offered) at the moment are a Saturday librarian (applied for, don't expect to get, would like) or weekend receptionist at Arnold Clark, which would mean I had 0 days a week at home with my husband but would be tolerable and give a reasonable return of cash.

All I need to do is up my confidence a little to pass an interview. Oh...

Saturday, 23 August 2008

CNPS latest

I'm on 25 now!! I was up to 23 yesterday and I was resigned to not getting any today after being out for some time (the first day of none since I started). But joy! Popping into the garage just before I got home, there was a 24 sitting there just waiting for me to see it.

No gap days yet :-)

Friday, 22 August 2008


The New Scientist tells me that hackers can modify pacemakers to wear down the batteries or give the wearer electric shocks. And apparently other hackers sent flashing images last year to the Epilepsy Foundation website to try and trigger attacks.

Can people really be that cruel? That's beyond being a prankster.

In another entirely different and far less sinister type of cruelty, I find poor Jools Oliver being targeted as a victim in a loveless marriage again, contrary to the ongoing evidence of a sweet little family that deal admirably with inevitable difficulties. (Or maybe I'm naively believing in true love and it's all a sham). An interview she did with Red magazine contained the confession that she was considering taking fertility drugs to conceive again as "Jamie would do anything for a boy". This was an aside at the end of an interview, but is the quote that made the cover, and I've seen several reports that admit to taking the information from that Red interview, which take the "Jamie Oliver forces his wife to have IVF such is his desperation for a child" angle as if Jamie is a monster interested only in his needs. And Jools mentions nothing of IVF, only of taking fertility drugs, which she details in her book "Minus Nine to One" and is not something she kept hidden. I recall Davina McCall saying, in one of the Channel 4 snippets of celebrities answering a question, that she would like to "give her husband a son" - so what of it? Many men make no secret of the fact that they'd like a son if they have daughters. But the media are determined to prove that the Olivers can't possibly be as happy as they seem to be, there must be cracks somewhere...

(yes, I know, the pukka thing's annoying, but he is an amazing chef and he is a hero for school dinners, chickens and Sainsburys. She's a poppet).

Why do the public delight in reading of other's downfalls? Clearly they want to read about celebrities suffering or the stories of such wouldn't sell. The greedy consumption of gloom fuels the media's cruelty.


Being sheeplike and following the guidance of those I admire (Andrew Collins again in this case), I thought I'd catch up with the first two episodes of Maestro, something I was unaware of before. A reality show with celebrities learning how to conduct doesn't really sound like a lot of fun, but this is done very well with good celebrities. I like how this type of programme can bring out the best in a celebrity, unlike some other celebrity reality programmes which seem to exist merely to humiliate.

The celebrities on this are:

Peter Snow, who is immensely likeable (I have a huge Dad crush on him) and always good to watch, even when out of his depth.

Alex James, who is rather full of himself, but seems to have the ability here to show some humility and he still has fantastic hair, even if that is entirely irrelevant

Jane Asher, who still takes it very seriously and is a little too determined to be the best, comes across as more human than I have seen her before.

Katie Derham I was unaware of before, and I am feel inclined to dislike her based on the way she looks and speaks, but actually she's rather sweet and likeable.

Goldie, who is nothing like you'd expect and really incredibly down to earth and humble, is so likeable you simply can't help rooting for him.

David Soul is amusing and fun to watch, even if he is still rather aware of being a heart throb.

Bradley Walsh has never managed not to annoy me intensely, but he is rather sweet and little boy like here and I even find myself liking him, much to my surprise.

Sue Perkins - you can't not love both Mel and Sue, and Sue is her usual witty, clever and competent self here.

The music selected for the contestants to conduct is mainstream and pleasant (although I think they said it was to be opera next time so I may revise this) and Clive Anderson is mostly quite innocuous as presenter, with only the odd cringeable pun slipping in.

I agree with the first "evictee", that contestant was clearly the weakest, but I think personality won over ability with the second person to be eliminated. Having said that, I think the judges were possibly a bit harsh with the person that got saved. As the orchestra have the vote to save one of two people the judges deem weakest, you'd assume that they would have the best idea who is hardest to follow.

I think episode 1 is lost forever but episode 2 is still there on i-player to catch up on; otherwise it's on Tuesday nights on BBC2.

Thursday, 21 August 2008


Happinose, Happinose
The greatest balm that I possess
I thank the chemist, I've been blessed
With a full tube of Happinose.

To me this cold has mucked up my face
And I'm just about the reddest human in the whole human race
I've got bunged up, I couldn't smell a rose
But now I've got Happinose on my nose.

Happinose, Happinose
The greatest balm that I possess
I thank the chemist, I've been blessed
With a full tube of Happinose.

Happinose to me is an calming thing
Hence the need to make me sing
Or maybe almost make me breathe again
When I'm breathing I feel almost sane.

Happinose is a tube of balm
Fixing my face from the falling snot
I can see it in the cabinet
I'm so relieved to apply Happinose.

Happinose, Happinose
The greatest balm that I possess
I thank the chemist, I've been blessed
With a full tube of Happinose.

A wise chemist told me one time
That Happinose is nothing but a tube of balm
I hope when you get a cold of your own
That you don't call the doctor, call on Happinose.

Happinose, Happinose
The greatest balm that I possess
I thank the chemist, I've been blessed
With a full tube of Happinose.

Happinose, Happinose
The greatest balm that I possess
I thank the chemist, I've been blessed
With a full tube of Happinose.

(mostly credited to Bill Anderson)

Despite the wonders that are Sudafed/Happinose, I have a nose that rivals traffic lights, which makes people run away from me, and I feel kinda poorly. At least a cold goes away quickly...

Blogging busy bee

Andrew Collins has been blogging a lot since I last looked. Typical, when I check feverishly (ish), there's nothing for years and years (ok, a few days) on end, then when I don't get round to it, he goes and blogs a lot (6 in a week, I can hardly talk. But I don't have readers like him now, do I? No. Huh).

I would like to add for anyone that ever sees CBeebies and knows the song about pets that's on Something Special and Tikkabilla that goes "and my dog does something something, and my cat she something and something and she... meows a lot" well, that's the tune that Andrew Collins "blogs a lot" to. In my head, not in real life. Well maybe he does, I don't know. He maybe sits and sings to himself "and I type and I write and I think and I blog... a lot".

A point? I don't know, my nose is dripping faster than I can keep up with tissues and it's exhausting me. I'm just feeling serendipitous because I finished my proposal, which is stupid of me as there was no serendipity, it was the result of relatively hard work and putting the effort in for once.

I think the point was that I ache to be able to write like Andrew Collins, just to be able to rattle off a flow of intelligence and not random ramblings. Maybe he spends all day editing and perfecting his blogs. But I doubt it. I should probably abbreviate his name to Mr C or something to save my fingers, but it's a nice name, I quite like writing it. Andrew Collins. Andrew Collins. It looks weird now.

A wish: I hope Richard Herring got plenty people for his show tonight.

Wooo hoooo

Well, the proposal is written and ready to hand in on Friday. Go me, finished 34 hours before the deadline! Fingers crossed it's not complete garbage but I did really well in the exam so I only actually need to get 40%. I sincerely hope I can manage THAT.

I now have a streaming cold. Himself had it last week starting Thursday, the kids got it on Sunday, and I've been expecting it ever since. And ta da, nose of tap proportions, throat of sandpaper and general health of, well, me.

Ventured into (which is a stupid name for a shop) which was horrible and procured myself a cheap waterproof jacket, which looks disturbingly shell suit like and makes me look like a cross between Vikki Pollard and a mad old lady. It was however both cheap and waterproof, so I can't really complain.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

proposals and sleep

Argh. It's 1.50 in the morning and I'm sat here writing my proposal. I can't get anything done by day due to the terrible twosome and so it falls to nighttime. I am tired now and I can't find the articles I need. Proper academic articles are relatively easy to lay your hands on, media reports are harder to pinpoint and I NEED one with a sensationalist headline. A relevant one. Damn damn damn.

My regular stalkage leads me to comment:

The reason people aren't packing out the Fringe this year is because we are all skint and it costs £300 for a tub of dairylea. If little known performers also want to buy Dairylea, they'd have to charge more, making prices increase and everyone cry.

Moral: If you want to make it big, get on the telly. And stay on it.

It's a sad world.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Well, one of my 101 things is to try to have seen at least half of the top 100 films. I've been trying to get such a list for some time, but I can't seem to get a definitive list. I tried to see if Andrew Collins had ever done one and got a bit scared by the 1-19 I could find. So I'm going with IMDb's one, theoretically it should be representative. Except the average person is a moron and I don't agree with their taste. But as the purpose is to not be an idiot with any film references, the widely agrees top 100 should cover the basic knowledge. And I don't like more films than I do like, so it stands to reason I'd dislike a lot of them.

So, here's the list and a note of which ones I've seen (the bold ones I've seen):

1 The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (overrated)
2 The Godfather (1972)
3 The Dark Knight (2008)
4 The Godfather: Part II (1974)
5 Buono, il brutto, il cattivo., Il (1966)
6 Pulp Fiction (1994) (never fancy it, enjoyable when I do watch it)
7 Schindler's List (1993) (brilliant)
8 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) (really good)
9 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (just for Darth Vader
10 12 Angry Men (1957)
11 Casablanca (1942)
12 Star Wars (1977) (I do like this)
13 Shichinin no samurai (1954)
14 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
15 Goodfellas (1990)
16 Rear Window (1954) (One of those films that was fine without a remake)
17 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (I have seen this, in about 1981, I remember nothing)
18 Cidade de Deus (2002)
19 C'era una volta il West (1968)
20 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) (GODDDD. I slept through some)
21 The Usual Suspects (1995) (Amazing film, I love this)
22 Psycho (1960) (Probably would have been better if I didn't know everything that happened before I watched it)
23 Fight Club (1999) (Really good, but I kind of wish I hadn't seen it because it's disturbing)
24 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) (I can't abide Peter Sellers, he spoils this)
25 The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (Good, except I can't stand Jodie Foster's voice)
26 WALL·E (2008)
27 North by Northwest (1959)
28 Memento (2000) (Brilliant)
29 Citizen Kane (1941) (May have been amazing at the time, now it's tedious)
30 Sunset Blvd. (1950)
31 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
32 The Matrix (1999) (Good, but I always fall asleep, I don't think I've seen it all in one sitting)
33 It's a Wonderful Life (1946) (Just really nice)
34 Se7en (1995) (I liked this at the time, I can't remember now)
35 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
36 Apocalypse Now (1979)
37 Taxi Driver (1976) (Don't remember anything about this other than the overused line)
38 American Beauty (1999) (More unnerving than good)
39 Léon (1994) (Astounding)
40 American History X (1998)
41 Vertigo (1958)
42 Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)
43 Paths of Glory (1957)
44 The Departed (2006)
45 M (1931)
46 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
47 A Clockwork Orange (1971) (Not as good as it's supposed to be)
48 Chinatown (1974)
49 The Third Man (1949)
50 Alien (1979)
51 Forrest Gump (1994) (I loved this at the time, there's been so many parodies it seems a bit sad now)
52 Leben der Anderen, Das (2006)
53 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
54 Double Indemnity (1944)
55 The Shining (1980) (Don't remember enough)
56 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) (Amazing)
57 The Pianist (2002)
58 Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
59 Saving Private Ryan (1998) (First 15 mins is fantastic, rest is tedious)
60 Laberinto del fauno, El (2006)
61 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) (Fantastically silly)
62 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
63 L.A. Confidential (1997) (I really liked this)
64 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
65 Aliens (1986)
66 Boot, Das (1981) (Amazing)
67 Reservoir Dogs (1992)
68 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) (This was the best film ever at the time, it's still really good)
69 Rashômon (1950)
70 The Maltese Falcon (1941)
71 Raging Bull (1980)
72 Untergang, Der (2004)
73 Metropolis (1927)
74 No Country for Old Men (2007)
75 Modern Times (1936)
76 City Lights (1931)
77 Rebecca (1940)
78 Singin' in the Rain (1952)
79 All About Eve (1950)
80 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
81 The Prestige (2006)
82 There Will Be Blood (2007)
83 Amadeus (1984)
84 Vita è bella, La (1997)
85 Sin City (2005)
86 Some Like It Hot (1959) (You can't not like this)
87 Hotel Rwanda (2004)
88 Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
89 The Great Escape (1963)
90 The Elephant Man (1980)
91 On the Waterfront (1954)
92 Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988)
93 Touch of Evil (1958)
94 Full Metal Jacket (1987) (First section with training is amazing, the second part is same-as, same-as)
95 The Apartment (1960)
96 Batman Begins (2005) (I really liked this but there's some unnecessary bits that make it too long)
97 The Sting (1973)
98 The Great Dictator (1940)
99 Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
100 Jaws (1975) (Maybe I'd have been scared at the time)

So, I've seen 35. I need to see 15 more, and I am PRETTY sure that they mostly need to come from the bottom end of this list. I'd like to say in my defence of what I've seen that this is mostly dictated by the films that came out when I was a teenager and had little else to do other than go to the pictures, and the films other people have wanted to see. I need to exert a little film assertion.


Skint as we are, we are trying to make the most of the fact that until the children are three, they get into most things for free. OK, so they don't enjoy most of them, but it (possibly) beats a day of dough and CBeebies (oh! for a garden...).

But it still costs several limbs for us. I came across this (courtesy of Motley Fool) which is the cost of the most popular UK attractions:

(excuse the formatting...grrr)

Attraction Standard adult entry fee
1 Stonehenge, Wiltshire £6.50
2 Giant's Causeway, County Antrim Free
3 Big Ben N/A*
4 Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh £12 (peak -- June-Sept)
5 Ben Nevis, Lochaber Free
6 The Needles, Isle of Wight Free
7 The Eden Project, Cornwall £15
8 London Eye £15.50
9 Blackpool Tower £16.95
10 Angel of the North, Gateshead Free

So basically, the only things that are free are things that are just there. Apart from Stonehenge because naturally that must have huge running costs to justify £6.50 from every visitor. £12 for Edinburgh Castle (peak season) ????? And why is that the 4th most popular attraction?

Go to Alton Towers, people! Spend your money wisely. You know you want to. And if you like stacks, go to Shetland; ok, they're not hexagonal, but they are magnificent.

Monday, 18 August 2008

101 things

I've started to compile a list of 101 things I am to complete in 1001 days. This is hard! I have got to 64: complete this list. I cannot think of 101 things I need/want to do. No. 65: kick self up backside. No. 66: Find imagination.

New blog to detail this (potentially failurific) attempt.

Ho hum.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

CNPS update

I now have 19. Standing in Tesco car park, loading my shopping into the boot, a 19 drives past. Hurrah! All I need to do now is to come up with some ruse to go to Asda to go past the garage that has a 20 in it. Or I could just say "I'm going to drive across town to look at a numberplate". He knows I'm bonkers.

CNPS clearly stands for COMPULSIVE Number Plate Spotting.

Saturday, 16 August 2008


There's a new milk moustache poster out. The boy in it is absolutely gorgeous and I thought I'd find out who he was so at least when I drive off the road I know who was responsible.

(this is almost as bad as Amir Khan...)

AAAAIIIIEEEE. He's Nick Hoult. You'd probably know him from being in About a Boy. As the kid. He's also in Skins apparently and is now the grand old age of 19.

I feel dirty.


Pondering, as I often do, the meaning of words, this evening I got to thinking about the origins of the word "hello". Specifically I was thinking how bizarre the word "hiya" is, one which I often use. Really, it's an entirely meaningless word. So I used good old Google and found various possible explanations. One was that the word was taken partly from the French and was originally "ho la!" meaning "stop! attention! here!". Others are that it is taken from Old English "whole be thou", which doesn't make a lot of sense to me or "hail thou" which is from the bible and would seem to make most sense of all given the popularity of the bible. The telephone popularised the word and theories for this vary from the (bizarre) reckoning that you had to holler down the phone, so you would start a conversation with "holler!" which developed into hello. (I find this unlikely as well, you don't start a conversation these days with "talk!" which would be the equivalent) to the suggestion that the combination of sounds in "hello" are not harsh, tend to be hard to shout and are clear, so they worked well as a greeting. I'm quite sure you can say "hello" aggressively however, or despondently, nervously, chirpily, cheekily etc. Hmm. Say them in your head, I'm sure you'll agree. "Hi" is pretty much just a diminutive of "hello" and "hiya" is quite possibly a diminutive of "how are you?".

So there you go. I answer the phone with "hello?" followed by "hi" when I identify the caller, which was made clear to me when parodied by my sons both picking up play phones and saying "hello, hi, mmm, ok, bye". I was aware of ending virtually all calls with "ok, bye" but I didn't realise I followed the same wording every time I started a call. Better than my mother who says "hello?" in a slightly nervous tone, followed by "oooh, hellllooooo" if it's one of her cronies.

Other words that struck me from nowhere were "passport", which presumably comes from passing through ports, and seagull, which is blatantly obviously a gull that lives by the sea. These didn't cause much thought however, more of a "where does that come from... oh yeah".

CNPS - still need 19.

Rail news

The construction of the Pan House Railway was today interrupted shortly past the Lesser Bedroom, causing undue problems and the eventual abandonment of the Bedroom to Bedroom Transhallway Express.

After negotiations surrounding the deployment of resources to provide a small Hallway Circular, construction was moved to the Central Living Room. A large Living Room Circle service was commenced, with engines Thomas and James both leading packed trains. Lack of foresight led to the tragic collision forever to be remembered as the Television Pass disaster of 2008.

Following an investigation into the causes of Television Pass, planners decided to move toward a dual line system with one providing a service to the South Living Room area, and the other larger line serving the busy Central Line. Satisfied at the completion, the work experience constructor took a vacation on the Island of Sofar leaving the Chief Constructor and overseer to monitor progress. Disaster struck once more as immense forces derailed the South Living Room service, lifting the coaches clear of the track and leaving only the engine behind, described by the Chief Constructor as "the worst disaster since Television Pass". The operator of the South Living Room service at this time retired from railway operations and took up a position with Space Shuttle management. The operator of the Central Line continues his post but is having difficulty with reversing and at this moment all services in the area have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, with the possible replacement of the entire area with a road network.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Today's brain seepage

CNPS is going well, I'm on 19 now. Only 981 to go. It takes up a spectacularly large amount of my consciousness at the moment, I wonder how long this will last. At the moment I have fond memories of spotting most of the numbers, I can't see that I'll end up with 999 distinct memories. 17 was good, as it belongs to a neighbour and I knew that all I had to do was to return home and I'd see it. 18 I saw today and this evening, I am ashamed to say, I drove to a friend's house as her registration is a 19. However, she lives on a cul de sac and as I drove in, I realised that I would have to virtually drive up her driveway to see her car and that could potentially be really embarrassing. So, no 19 and I have a 20 lined up at a garage ready to be seen in its time. Grr. When I get to 51, I want it to be my car, so if I see a 50, I'll have to immediately stop and get out to look at mine before I see another one, being as how they're rather common. Or does it count that I can see the interior of the car?

Yes, ok, I am doing most of my spotting while driving. Stand by for some idiotic crash soon...

I am about to colour my hair. I have spent vast amounts of time and money trying to replicate my own colour because I am distinctly grey and I don't like it. I like it even less because my 41 year old brother has little or no grey, and my 68 year old mother has but a handful. I have been disguising mine since I was 23. After not dying it for a year or so whilst pregnant I had decided to leave it and just accept it, but I got fed up with everyone asking me if I'd had highlights. Yes, of course, white highlights are cool, are they not? The trouble with having dark brown hair is that is impossible to mimic. Just brown gives the impression of having coated your hair with brown shoe polish, yet anything with a non-flat colour is either virtually black, or reddish. I look anaemic with the black option, so I have no choice but to be kind of auburn. Cappuccino, I think it's called, by Garnier Nutrisse, is the closest I can find. Davina McCall uses it, so they lead me to believe, but they also tell me she uses the multi highlights, until you read the small print that says her hair is styled with natural extensions. Which I'm guessing is where the highlights are... I tried the highlights, I looked like a tiger. Not a good look.

The reason for the diaryesque nature at present is that I am reading Richard Herring's blog, dating back to the start in Nov 2002, which makes me think in a bloggy sort of manner. I am now in Jan 2003, not very far in, and it's really interesting. Like an autobiography but including the everyday thoughts that would never make it in a book. It's astonishing to read how someone as clever, funny and well liked as he can be so self doubting sometimes and it does also make the mind boggle when thinking of people that have such fame and attention when they are neither clever nor funny (or indeed talented). It does also hit home the vast differences between people that are in the public eye and people who aren't. Day to day, life may seem the same, but it's not. A blog is a classic example, I am writing this for me and for a handful of friends who may or may not read it, I can pretty much say anything and not worry much about who reads it. Someone who is famous doesn't have that luxury. And I don't think that really is a remotely good example of the differences at all, but it's an example and I'm sticking with it.

I have recently read autobiographies of Russell Brand, Jason Donovan and Richard Hammond (hmm, can you spot the criteria for my reading? *blush*) and the first two both strike home the fragility of fame and the fickleness of being adored. Different for each as Jason Donovan was a heart throb in the 80s, while Russell Brand was at the height of his adoration at the time of writing his book. Interestingly, Jason's book shows an entirely likeable side to him, whereas it's difficult to like Russell in his book. Richard Hammond on the other hand is entirely refreshing on the "I'm just me, I have a cool job" front and he does seem to be entirely unaffected by the fact that half the population of the world think he's gorgeous.

Final rambling thought: I must add David Mitchell to my list of great people. He's brilliant, I think I love him. Really.

Fickle, moi?

Another great

I forgot to mention that Justin Fletcher should be knighted and worshipped by all. Not only does he make disabilities and sign language acceptable and accessible by small children, but he entertains brilliantly also. For "Justin Fletcher Sings Nursery Rhymes" I shall love him forever.

From wiki:

3575 people signed a petition calling on the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown to give Justin an OBE.

The petition states: “Justin Fletcher is a communication genius. He both entertains and educates our children and does this with intelligence and panache without patronising. Programmes like Something Special can only help bridge the gap that sometimes sadly appears between able and not so able bodied people in our society and help banish the unkindness that disabled people sometimes face due to ignorance.”

The public were asked to vote on the Prime Minister's website, and the petition deadline passed on September 30 2007.

He was appointed an MBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to "children's broadcasting and the voluntary sector".

The Mighty Bill

Well, as expected, Bill Bailey was tremendous. The first half started off brilliantly, but when he went off for an interval, we were left feeling a little like he wasn't that comfortable. He bounded back on for the second half however, and he didn't disappoint in the slightest, he was funny and wacky and very very good. He performed at the end with a hindi choir that I completely failed to get the name of (£10 for a programme??? Not on your life! All hail nice comedians that give them for free in the name of charity). which was amazing, and he performed his love ballad which is still hilarious even though it was in Part Troll:

A very nice night. As has now become tradition (we've done it twice...), we stopped at L'Alba d'oro chip shop for chips on the way home. The best chip shop in the world, it has been my favourite my whole life. Like me, it was established in Edinburgh in 1975.

The bad stuff: a big venue like that makes it a bit like watching it on DVD, except less convenient. And why why why does the tallest person in the place always sit in front of me, and why does the dickhead that guffaws too loudly and claps every single solitary joke always sit right behind my ear??? I like the quiet intimate venues with the eclectic fans.

Thursday, 14 August 2008


Grrr. Not only am I missing Jasper Fforde at the Book Festival, but I'm feeling generally disgruntled all round.

I feel sick for about the 100th day in a row. I hurt. I am sick of being female and fertile.
Except I have no wish to cease to be either, I just wish it hurt less.

The children are tired and fractious and both parents are too tired and fractious to do anything about this. Taking them to a run-about-and-tire-yourself-out-while-we-sit-and-do-nothing place is out when they're too tired, it becomes a trial. We are shortly going to go and do some mystery shopping in the joy that is Glenrothes. Happy times.

Tonight we go to see Bill Bailey, he will cure my inertia and give me something to think about.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

People there should be clones of

I'm feeling talkative. Or, look, I'm procrastinating again.

Anyway, I've been mentally compiling a list of people that I think are great, for various reasons, and I feel I want to write them down before that particular train of thought gets endless delays before cancellation. Obviously, each of these persons is unique, so cloning would be futile, but in a perfect world these people would all be my friends and we'd hang out together. Clones might be more willing...

Ian Rankin. He's incredibly nice, incredibly interesting, incredibly witty and really really grounded. And he supports Raith Rovers.

Jasper Fforde. A fellow sufferer of my birthday, this man is a genius and I LOOOOVE his books.

Marcus Brigstocke. The most attractive man on earth.

Richard Herring. Because he is Richard Herring.

Andrew Collins. This man is the only person who should ever be allowed to review films.

Jason Byrne, Bill Bailey, Russell Howard, Ross Noble, Jeremy Hardy and the above three. These people make me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Danny Wallace. You can't not love him.

Bernard Butler. Because he plays guitar like no other.

A little sexist, perhaps? I don't like women much. Men do most things better. Leave it at that.

CNPS 10, 11, 12 and 13 today!!


Gah. Gah. Why is drinking so necessary?

Me, I hardly drink. I do on occasion get so spectacularly drunk that I make an amazing impression and so each and every person that I know has a relatively recent image of me in a state of total inebriation and humiliation. I am awful, quite dreadful, when I am drunk, and it is at least in part due to this that, as I say, I hardly drink. The last drink I had, I forget for a start, I think it was at the beginning of June. No reason, I just haven't had a drink since then. I've not felt the urge to. I do get accused of being drunk any time I'm in a lively mood or being particularly cheerful, which is either a nod to my natural exuberance, or an indication of my normal levels of grouchiness.

There's the whole transport issue as well. Living in a place such as Kirkcaldy, nights out often take place in a far distant place and so travel homewards is an issue. Driving to the place in question easily solves this for yourself and up to 4 other people. Drinking and driving is not an option, obviously, so it's fine to be the driver in this situation, although people often sympathise with you, you poor sod not able to get off your tits, here, have a Coke on me. But if you choose to not drink just because you want to save money or simply don't feel like a drink, then is that not possibly a sensible thing to do? I hate the assumption that I must be ill or pregnant if I choose not to drink at a social occasion. I don't *need* alcohol, as the self designated driver I have had many enjoyable nights completely sober, and I most definitely do not need to justify my decision. I don't have to explain why I'm not smoking, why do I have to have a reason to be sober?

Drink is responsible for all manner of incidents that simply would not have happened to sober people. Wine is lovely, but it's a lot of trouble. Don't make me feel like a freak because I'm not doing something I'm not very good at.


A natural concern

I was just reading a review of some drama thing that Neil Pearson was in and yet again I was pleased to read that he's still with us.

The reason for this?

A few years ago I saw a drama called "The Mystery of Men" which starred among others, Neil Pearson and Nick Berry. A bet was taken about which of a group of men would die first; Neil Pearson's character lost the bet, having had a heart attack in front of a combine harvester and being harvested, so to speak. This traumatised me, having a fear of being combine harvested that stems from an episode of Worzel Gummidge in which he became caught in a combine harvester while napping.

No, I don't have any rational fears. Just illogical children's story based ones. Fears are compounded by a film about unrequited love where the young boy gets chopped by his distinctly combine harvester-y machine, and a scene from Cars where Chick Hicks gets chowed by... a combine harvester. Clearly a regular occurrence, combine harvesters are clearly lethal and should be banned.

(Or people/scarecrows should take more care when in fields that are being harvested. One or the other).

Anyway, this one silly drama scene has stuck with me, confusing the blurry lines between fact and fiction. As such I breathe a sigh of relief each time I see that Neil Pearson is alive and well and hasn't succumbed to the combine harvested fate of his character. Sadly, he wasn't very good in the drama thing in question, but he is still of this mortal coil. As one of a more rational rationale would expect.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Admittedly I'm easily pleased, but when someone who doesn't owe you or feel duty bound or anything else like that just takes a moment to say something, it's jolly nice.

All people aren't dickheads after all.

It's that bloggery time of year

Looking back over my blogistory (that's an amalgamation of blog + history but looks a bit like bloggy-story, so I like it doubly), I seem to have an attraction to this time of year. This is based on a sample of two years so possibly isn't all that accurate, but if I remember correctly, the previous year's August saw a foray into myspace and blogging there.

Possible reasons for this:

1) Edinburgh Festival Fringe is on. Something to do, something to awaken my brain and something to talk about. And the running commentary that runs in my head for a while when I've been listening to comedians.
2) Holiday season. Getting largely ignored creates the need to talk at something.
3) It's crush time. I'm not sure why. See 1) maybe.
4) No reason. There are not always patterns to everything.

I wish I was better at blogging or indeed at ever keeping a diary. It's lovely to look back and see what I thought and the only diary I kept somewhat successfully was for 1992 when I was a Very Naughty Girl and probably don't want to recall just how sordid some of my weekends were. No, I tell a lie, I have a fascinating account of sleep/milk/nappy patterns for the first couple of months of the boys' life, which I should publish as a warning to anyone that ever thinks babies are a nice idea, except for the fact that it is singularly the most tedious thing I have ever written.

Thoughts for today: 2.5 is a very difficult age and my sweet little Robbie is being a NIGHTMARE.
CNPS: now looking for 10.

Monday, 11 August 2008


Well, in true me-style, I bumbled around Richard Herring's site and found this.
(sorry, you have to read it, I don't have the verbal ability to reproduce it tonight - it's all about Consecutive Number Plate Spotting, or CNPS).

Today, as part of our staycation we went off to Blair Drummond Safari Park as a fun day out for all the family. More on that later...

Being on the motorway and all gave me an excellent opportunity to commence number plate spotting (I've always been a bit of a number plate nerd - I used to know where they all came from) and started looking for my 1. Not so easy. Many things became apparent, not least that there are very very few old style numberplates remaining. As I look at my antiquated heap of rattles and its 51 reg, I can understand why. Other things that became apparent however were:

  • There are vast numbers of private reg. How come so many people have money to waste?
  • There are some really cool older cars
  • There are some really crap older cars that are on the road presumably by some deal the driver has with the road.
  • Driving while checking the reg of every other car isn't all that safe. I demonstrated this by leaving the motorway by mistake in a contraflow.
Anyway, there was a sad lack of any registrations to be seen with the number 1 on the plate. As such, when I spotted the registration "LIONS 1" on a jeep in the safari park, I had a small fit of joy, did a celebratory dance and shouted "I'm having it! It so counts!" in full earshot of the birds of prey talk we had just vacated on account of the children misbehaving. Very dignified.

Initially, while walking across the car park, I jubilantly counted an 02, 03 and 04 before deciding that this was cheating and to concentrate on old style registrations only. Halfway home we passed an H1 XXX so I decided that this was for real, just in case LIONS 1 didn't count, so would have discounted the others anyway. At the same time, 1 ROT pulled up behind us, and as we pulled into home, I realised that our neighbour has A1 XXX. Stuck on 2 now, but having re-read the rules, I have decided that I am not an extreme player after all and I will now be counting new style numberplates, saying as how they only count for a maximum of 18 numbers (and that's if I'm still here after next Sept). It is also not advised to do when driving, which would be common sense for anyone with a brain, not so for I.

I am now itching for an excuse to go out and look round car parks and the likes for the next numbers. If I can count new ones I could be up to 9 by tomorrow. Goodness!

(Seriously, I am quite thrilled by this new hobby, I shall ignore the fact that RH wrote the thing referring to numberplates up to 52 (we're about to get 58) and think of it as "new").

Yeah, the safari park. Better than the zoo, but still distinctly underwhelming. I guess this is why under 3s get in free places, they get nothing out of them. Nice animals, close up to a baby owl being the highlight all round, damned expensive.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Questions to answer... bliss

I just pinched this off a blog called The Urban Woo, which is a blog I'd like to have written instead of this one. Sorry, I just like answering questions.

1. My uncle once: looked after me when I was big enough to look after myself

2. Never in my life: been to a music festival

3. When I was five: I was very cute

4. High school was: the best

5. I will never forget: the kindnesses of few

6. Once I met: Craig Charles. He fancied me, you know

7. There’s this girl I know: she's looking really old

8. Once, at a bar: oh lord, more than once

9. By noon, I’m usually: ready for my bed

10. Last night: I went to bed absurdly early

11. If only I had: some willpower

12. Next time I go to church: will probably be for a wedding or christening

13. What worries me most: losing one of my 3 boys

14. When I turn my head left I see: a wall

15. When I turn my head right I see: yikes! a mirrored wardrobe. I need to brush my hair

16. You know I’m lying when: I'm being authoritative

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: not looking back to the 80s

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: Titania. Allow me my delusions, thank you

19. By this time next year: this flat must surely have been sold

20. A better name for me would be: Lucy or Victoria or Emma or something feminine

21. I have a hard time understanding: quantum physics. I don't like things that aren't there as soon as I know they're there

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: be carrying on as now

23. You know I like you if: I talk to you without necessity

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: the person that did the award worthy thing for me and let me take the credit

25. Take my advice, never: do as I do

26. My ideal breakfast is: a Sausage and Egg McMuffin meal (with orange juice). I have my foibles

27. A song I love but do not have is: This Night by Billy Joel

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: visit the Rock Garden in the Botanics. I'm going to suggest that now

29. Why won’t people: use a little common sense

30. If you spend a night at my house: you'd be very well fed

31. I’d stop my wedding for: very little

32. The world could do without: celebrity magazines

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: the belly of a slug

34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: Jason Donovan. I know

35. Paper clips are more useful than: the ties that come with little plastic bags

36. If I do anything well it’s: a bit of a shock

37. I can’t help but: wonder what else there is

38. I usually cry: when it's least appropriate

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: none of it's your fault, you're marvellous

40. And by the way: I would, repeatedly

A-Z of today

A is for apple juice, starting off the day
B is for baking, making fairy cakes
C is for Coke, a serendipidous bottle found in the car
D is for dreary, the weather's grey again
E is for ear, my left one's rather sore
F is for fish, we saw them at the pet shop
G is for great gran, that's who Oliver's gone to see
H is for Herring, better at blogging than me
I is for icing, I just put some on the cakes
J is for J Sainsbury, visited earlier today
K is being silent, like in knife and knutsford
L is for lazy, like Sundays ought to be
M is for mother, being as what I am
N is for nausea, still present and unidentified
O is for oops, I've surely forgotten something
P is for proposal, to be worked upon tonight
Q is for quickly, the speed this last week passed at
R is for radio, paused and not by me
S is for Sunday, because that's the day it is
T is for tidying, what's always needing done
U is for untidying, what's always getting done
V is for vivacious, because it's a lovely word
X is for x-asperating, because it's a very that-some letter
Y is for yellow, the colour of these walls
Z is for zenith because I used that word this morning and there aren't many z's

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Environmentally sheeplike

Well, because I have this tendency to believe pretty much anything a good comedian says, and to hold them in high regard for at least 45 minutes after seeing them, I automatically buy anything that is offered after the gig.

(Not including Richard Herring because I am STUPID and didn't go to the bar where he said he'd be and have the chance to SPEAK to him and buy his DVDs).

Mark Watson made a damned good impression, still lasting, and when he said "I am selling my books outside" off I trotted to buy his books. At this time, had they been books about his experiences watching paint dry, I probably would have bought them. He was utterly lovely and nice about my blatant queuejumping also, which was a bonus, although he doesn't seem like the type of bloke to say "no, evil queuejumper, get to the back and wait like the wench you are". Luckily, they seem quite good. I'm now reading the first one, "Crap at the Environment" which is so far very good. And funny, which is damned impressive for a book about environmental stuff.

A confession: my stance on Environmental issues was changed by Marcus Brigstocke last year; he was entirely convincing that maybe it wasn't all twaddle. And his lovely face is at the back of my mind when I do my lowly bits of goodliness, because well... "Yes, hello Marcus, lovely to meet you, I recycle most of my paper you know. Aren't I worthy of your friendship?"

And so, enjoying Mr Watson's views so far (and of course aware of any future fledgling friendships between us in Unlikely World), I visited (no www. - very confusing) and discovered that I'm better than average and only slightly worse than I should be aiming for.

Luckily they had some advice for me to be better:

1) buy a new, better car.
Ummm. Yes. And pay for it how?
2) dry my washing outside.
I live in a flat. I don't use a tumble drier so would drying my washing in the car park actually benefit the environment?
3) unplug my digital radio when I'm not using it.
It's an alarm clock. Do I have to set another alarm to plug this one in prior to it waking me?

One day I hope to be mature enough not to base my actions/beliefs on the sayings of others, but in the meantime, intelligent and amusing* gentlemen can lead my way forward.

* ok, and attractive.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Nuff's nuff.

I fecking hate people.
All of them.
Every single one.

Go away, I'm talking to myself.

actually written on 7/10, but I'm hiding it in the past. Just so I remember.

Comedy and life

It's that marvellous time of year again whereby comedians come to Edinburgh and make me laugh. I think that maybe this isn't their sole purpose, but that's beside the point.

This year we were to see: Jason Byrne, Mark Watson, Richard Herring and Bill Bailey. Jason Byrne we missed, because I am an idiot and got the venue wrong. Mark Watson is adorable, I want him as a pet. He is also extremely funny, clever and an excellent comedian. Bill Bailey is next week, I can't wait.

Richard Herring was simply marvellous, anyone who can should go and see him. Totally different and very, very funny, one of my favourite gigs so far of the last 6 years, thus rendering him hero #1.

That was not my most eloquent of reviews. Ah well, noone reads this anyway :-)