Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Books and the failure to read them

I can't edit this list where it's been. I am not going to read most of them in the next fortnight, so to record for posterity, the books I didn't get round to this year:

Terry Pratchett - Hogfather
Alison Weir - The Lady Elizabeth
Simon Hoggart - The Hamster that Loved Puccini
Andrew Davidson - The Gargoyle
Richard Hammond - On the Edge
Nicci French - The Safe House
Mark Steel - Vive La Revolution
Mark Watson - A Lighthearted Look at Murder
Mark Watson - Crap at the Environment
Phillip Pullman - Northern Lights
Phillip Pullman - The Subtle Knife
Phillip Pullman - The Amber Spyglass
Simon Winchester - The Surgeon of Crowthorne
Simon Winchester - The Map that Changed the World
Jasper Fforde - Well of Lost Plots
Jasper Fforde - Something Rotten
Jasper Fforde - First Among Sequels
Lionel Schriver - We need to talk about Kevin
Andrew Collins - Where did it all go Right?
Andrew Collins - Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
Andrew Collins - That's me in the Corner
Derron Brown - Tricks of the Mind
Lynne Truss - Talk to the Hand
Mark Kurlansky - Cod
Robert Winston - Human Instinct
Robert Winston - The Human Mind
Lynn Sloman - Car Sick
David Banister - Unsustainable Transport
Jeremy Paxman - The English
Mark Haddon - A Spot of Bother
Donna Tartt - The Secret History
Ian Marchant - Parallel Lines
Steven Pinker - Words and Rules
Ian Stewart - Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities
Ben Goldacre - Bad Science
Robert Peston - Who Runs Britain
Val McDermid - The Distant Echo
Val McDermid - Beneath the Bleeding
Sebastian Faulks - Devil May Care
Sebastian Faulks - Engleby
John Humphrys - Devil's Advocate
John Humphrys - In God We Doubt

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

I am back

Oh dear. I now have the ability to blog again, and I have 8 months worth of inanity to blog.

For the record, the new ability to blog is brought to me by Blogpress, created by Google.

I can even add a photo. Look:

Wow. That was a bit easy. My love for Google is only surpassed by my love for Apple and yes, I do know, and yes, I would.

It remains to be seen if the crazy random new paragraphs appear or if the formatting is as it should be.

Apparently Twitter will automatically be updated with my blogs. How exciting! I may manage to tweet less: I never did get the hang of concise.

So. Here I am. The question now is:

Why did it take me 8 months, and the suggestion of somebody else, to look for a Blogger app?

Well. More to follow. I am quite beside myself with joy.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

NB That there signature may well be turned off very soon, but I am filled with love for BlogPress just now.

May be back...

Well, I done finded an app from Google that should let me blog from the phone, in absence of a functioning neck and subsequent ability to use the PC.

So far, so no posts.

Further investigations required but this may be the end of the blog hiatus.

Shush. Nobody makes you read it.

Later... !!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Games and what not

I just finished watching Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe and aside from being totally in lust with Mr B (reverse psychology - he says "I am
unattractive", I think "well, I'd do you", he wins. In a manner as it's all theoretical and we're never likely to meet but one assumes other girls think like me, maybe, well, possibly) I am reminded of my love for games.

That I never play any more because it hurts my neck.

That is not true.
I always play games. At the moment it is Flight Control on the iPhone. Ace. But I don't play Wii games much.

I have already blogged about my love for Mario and hatred for driving in circles, I'm
phoning it here so if you care (which you don't but might have done in a parallel universe) you will have to sift through the links on the right there to 'Mario'.

Of course you remember. Yes, I have been neglectful, it's the neck you know.

Onward. Gameswipe was superb by the way, if you oafishly forgot to watchmor record it, see it on iplayer.

I have completely forgotten the point. Um. GTA not confusing with real
life. Been said. Chuckie Egg best early game. Been said.

I bet I am the only person I know that has played JCB Digger on the BBC.

I have no point. In nearly 3 months - nothing. Back to pondering why good looks and a love for games are mutually exclusive. And why is it that the former are always the more attractive (within boundaries that do not include World of Warcraft or similar). It's a mystery.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


There's a pandemic (yes, pandemic, it absolutely qualifies) afflicting Blogger at present.
It affects the ability to form words into coherent sentences and transfer them into type.

A number of key blogs have been infected with this potentially lethal condition.

Suspected reasons for succumbing to this devastating state of being:

1) having something better to do.

This may be an urban myth, but there is increasing evidence that some bloggers have been doing Other Things.

2) Illness, pain or suffering.

While this is clearly not a valid excuse for neglecting one's duties as a blogger, it's one which seems to have a profound effect on one's ability to spraff on.

3) Lethargy and the dangerous 'Being Really Pissed off at the Internet and all who sail in her'. Those who suffer from this either feel the cretinous population of the 'net simply don't deserve time and words devoted to them, or they feel uninteresting and that the genius population of the 'net don't deserve being inflicted with drivel.

So what can you do? Adopt a blogger. Build them a secure and cosy nest to
blog from.
Or if it yourself that is suffering, then a daily dose of calendula will have the expected effect.

Annoyingly required disclaimer: this is not aimed at anything: no particular blog or any person is implicated. For the record, my own lack of bloggage is due to a mild case of reason 2.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Mickey Mouse Nuthouse

Naively I thought that the birthday party phenomenon was a couple of years away yet. Yet one month into nursery, an invitation appears to a birthday party.

It's started.

Sadly, the initial thought to go through my mind was "I hope this doesn't mean I have to do one".
First week of January: not a practical date for a party, for anyone.

Fancy dress, it said. Hurrah, thinks I, Darth Vader and Batman. Or, yes, perfect: Mario and Luigi. Super.
"would you like to be mario and luigi?"
"who would you like to be?"
"Mickey Mouse" (in stereo)

So. Look on Internet, £23 for a not-very-good costume.
Big sales pitch on Asda policeman outfit (£8), to no avail. Oversensitivity to pirates in this house, that would had been easy.

Red shorts. Perfect. Black tights. Sorted. Crocs? Grand for shoes.
Felt/foam accessories? Easy.
Black long sleeves T shirt for children?

Does Not Exist

Plan: buy black dye for existing T shirts.
Reality: shop that sells dye has every shade known to man, except black.
Find myself buying black fabric. Oh yes.

I don't sew. Nope. I have a sewing machine that was bought by my mother in an attempt to piqué my interest about ten years ago. Prior to last week I have sewn two hems with it. On curtains. Badly.

I used an existing t shirt as a pattern, cut it out of newspaper, cut out by fabric, and whizzed it up on the machine! With only the one complete dissection of the sewing machine. And they looked good!

The party was great, boys had a ball, their mother didn't die of fright and all was good. Other mothers are nice, I am possibly not a freak, my children seem normal. Happy happy.


Having reassembled the sewing machine, I am no longer scared of it. I made a humpty dumpty last night. I have a dress pattern. And fabric. I'm going to make a dress. Two in fact! Or, if the first turns out to be an unmitigated disaster, one dress and one pair of curtains.

I have proper dressmaking scissors. I went into the wee shop down the road and bought single bias tape. I know what to do with it.

And that puts the final nail in the coffin of the person I used to be.

The young person is dead, long live the mother.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Probably the worst playlist in the world... ever

Unplayable. Ever. Anywhere.

With the exception of Torn, which is a great song and will probably never recover from being put on that playlist, and a handful of guilty pleasures, that is torture. Oh my poor music. Poor genius having to match them. Poor server having to admit to them.

I'm not admitting to them:
The acquiring of all one week's top 40 albums was a unexpected windfall. Not getting rid of most of them was an epic fail.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

What I done readed

This list of books...

It's not going down. It is getting longer. It should be almost infinitely long because there are so many books I have to read.

Oh. And the ones I own. Hunners of them. Most of my books were in storage until last month, and that there list of books for me to read consists of the ones I had in my possession at the time of writing. So that includes one shelf of books I thought I would want to read in the time I naively thought it would take to sell the house-I-will-live-in-for-the-next-forty-years, plus the ones I have bought or borrowed since January 2008.

And then the others returned. Hunners of them. Which is about a third of the books I owned before the storage preparation;I threw out (or transferred to boxes at me ma's because I cannot bring myself throw out a book and haven't yet given very many to charity as planned) a large proportion of my precious books. But still, hunners left. And very impressive many of them are. I may be very badly read, but I own some damned impressive books. Admittedly a lot of the books I have read that aren't pure fluff are popular science, which aren't popular enough to make it onto Lists, but there's a lot of classics and really good books, ones that make the should-have-read category. Ones that people refer to. Ones that crop up in other fiction and conversation and general bookishness. I own good books. I just haven't read them. I was reading earlier about projected readership and how more than one person is expected to read any one copy of a publication. It does seem to be assumed that when a book is purchased that it is read by at least one person. Umm.

Oh poor, unopened books! You are not unloved, I just haven't got to you yet. It may have been ten years, but I will get to you some day. Probably. And just because I gave up after a chapter or eight, doesn't mean a thing. I am currently reading a Terry Pratchett which is marvellous and I can never manage more than a page at a time (although I am in a state of permanent sedation and discomfort at present, I am relatively excused) so there's little hope for the less-than-marvellous. I haven't read some of the marvellous, Mr Fforde and Ms McDermid have unread tomes on those shelves. Andrew Collins' books: I only managed about a third of the first one before I got utterly depressed at the cheerful normalness of it. I don't know why I stopped reading 'Bye Bye Balham' by Richard Herring, it was really good. I think I had a moment of "must have escapism, don't want REAL, god, real life sucks" and accidentally bought my first Terry Pratchett. Which is unfair on any book. Ditto Patricia Wood's 'Lottery' - very good, very thought provoking... oh that was it. Made me think about things that made me sad. Which is quite probably the point, I'm a wimp.

I am also getting repetitive as I have typed most of that before. Yawn. Sorry. Sedated and senile.

So, for the ones I have read, a summary:

Mort, by Terry Pratchett: one of the best books I have read, as already detailed.

Shakespeare, by Bill Bryson: this was wonderful. Bryson writes magnificently, he uses words brilliantly and the whole book was fascinating. Being Scottish, English history is kept somewhat of a mystery. And there was more to Elizabeth I than murdering our Queen. Who'd have thunk it? Compelling, fascinating, brilliant. I learned about 40 new words reading this, huzzah for being able to instantly define words.

- aside, I have Stanza, an ebook reader for my phone, and it does this (word lookup) by simply clicking on the word. Just like that! Amazing! What was I talking about...? books? Oh yes.

A Perfect Match by Jane Moore: This was a good book, well written, good story. But nothing remarkable, nothing to make it remarkable. (Remarks she). Story is of a couple who have a sickly child, whose only cure is by a designer baby chosen to match his DNA. First child: not the father's, so the mother has to have another child by the man she had a one night stand with - a top politician. As you do. So, much scope for moral dilemma, which is presumably why this was chosen for Tesco Book Club. But as I say, didn't leave a mark.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison: Oh dear. I am a bit ashamed of this. I read this book because of a comment that piqued my curiosity. And then I proceeded to read the entire rest of the series. Yes, I did. It's aimed at teenagers. My 11 year old niece is also reading them just now. They are undoubtedly amusing and a nice diversion for a couple of hours, but they're not aimed at me, I don't know what I'm doing reading them. It is the diary of a 14 year old spoilt brat of a girl who talks about the boys she fancies and not a lot else. As did I at 14 (I now restrict that to 75% of my conversation). I'm not 14 any more. Oh, so what? Fun diversion. I'm not ashamed. I'm proud to embrace my inner teenager.

The Truth About Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell: I like Lisa Jewell, I've read all of her books and I have enjoyed them all. I enjoyed this. The story of this is about a girl who gets hypnotised and starts to regain her lost memories, she had previously remembered nothing prior to being 9. And she had quite a traumatic life, it's pretty interesting and Melody herself is pretty likeable. Quite moving, but I am afraid to say I finished it and put it straight onto the "try to sell if possible" pile.

Queen of Babble gets Hitched by Meg Cabot: Another one to display my maturity and literary achievement. Meg Cabot wrote the Princess Diaries and various other children's books. She has written a number of frothy and enjoyable books for adults and this is the third in the series about a girl who talks herself into trouble. I've read the other two and so I had to read this. Another quick, easy read with an immensely likeable heroine (a lot like Sophie Kinsella's shopaholic; she gets into strife by being impetuous and a bit dopey on occasion, but comes good in the end by being generally a good sort. Nothing like life, but smile inducing). Enjoyed.

Brain currently unstretched at all, braincells are dying off from lack of use as I type...

Secrets by Freya North: This is pink, girlie and undemanding, and I DON'T CARE!!! I love Freya North. I do. I've read all of her books, in order, as they came out, and I've loved them all. Some more than others, but I like all of her heroines (Fen's my favourite) and I am completely in love with each the men that capture her heroines' hearts. Her novels are set amongst settings close to the author's heart, and as such, the reader loves it too by the end. Cat's love for the Tour de France gave me an insight and interest into a sport I'd never looked at before. Fen's world of art history, Chloe's Cornwall, and the Saltburn of this book all stand out and become real. Reviews for her books say that she has matured, and she has, but that's not to say the early ones are immature. They're just different. Frothier. This latest book is intriguing, it is about a young single mother who arrives to housesit for a fascinating bridge builder. Their stories are slowly revealed as the young mum finds a life for herself in a northern seaside town. It's a really, really good read. This is my least favourite heroine, she's a bit perfect, but she's still interesting and likeable and has had the decency to have made a few mistakes along the way. There is an interview and all manner of notes at the back by the author which is fabulous to read while experiencing the momentary loss of the characters of the book, an emptiness on realising there is no more story to come. All fiction should leave you feeling like that.

My brain has still not been stretched.

The Life and Soul of the Party: This is chick lit by a bloke. It's nothing major, it's well written and the author is very good at characterisation, but it's just a book. It's a year in the life of 6 friends. It's mostly sad, it doesn't end well, but it's a good enough read.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: This is fabulous. I was given this by a friend and I am very glad. It's the story of a girl growing up in Iran, about the revolution and the war, written entirely in cartoon format. Fascinating, thought provoking and clever... and I've lost it. I think I've subconsciously hidden it because I had to use my brain. Sigh.

All You Need is Love by Carole Matthews: I hated this. I have no idea why I finished it. It's diabolically bad. I've read Carole Matthews' books before and enjoyed them, I'm sure, but this is awful. The protaginist is prissy, goodly, annoying and unlikeable. Flawless, a perfect citizen, never done anything wrong, yada, yada. She has a son of ten, born when she was 17, (but that was an dodgy condom, naturally, she would never have intentionally taken such a risk) and she's a model mother. In a sink estate in Liverpool, which is reiterated every paragraph or so. She has a handsome, kind, funny, generally brilliant ex boyfriend who she has dumped for being unambitious, but because she's so damned perfect, he remains in love with her and is around being generally supportive and great all the time. She meets Mr Rich, Perfect and Jawdroppingly Handsome and, obviously, he falls madly in love with her. She is uneasy about it, because even though she's perfect, she struggles to fit in with his lifestyle, being from the afore-oft-mentioned sink estate. Meantime she gets the council to give her some massive grant to help tidy up the estate and her sheer perfection and general greatness mean that people from the council turn up to join in the work, because they thought they might like help, and the hoodies discover that they love gardening and they don't need to vandalise things any more. Just in case things weren't splendid enough for everyone, Superwoman (she does actually refer to herself as that)'s son steals the ex-boyfriend's paintings and gives them to the Tate Liverpool, who adore them, buy them, and secure a massive commission for the ex boyfriend. Superwoman meantime turns down Mr RPJ-H's marriage proposal because she doesn't want to leave her beloved estate. No, to be fair, she doesn't think it's right for her son. He's better on the estate where he's loved than with lots of money and a stepfather than doesn't relate well to a child he doesn't know. Or something.
There must be a humour to this, it must be something that I'm completely missing. There must be, it must just be my decaying brain, it must be an Ben Elton-esque parody on these type of book... or this is the one of the worst books ever written.

And now I am ignoring all the books I own and am reading Sourcery by Terry Pratchett. One page per sitting...

Monday, 25 May 2009


I may have mentioned previously that I got an iPhone and I'm rather fond of it.

The one bugbear I HAD with it was iTunes. It's a bit temperamental, it loses songs occasionally, which may be the fault of the server they live on, it may be a Windows thing. I know not. I shout at it relatively often. It takes forever and a day to get all the music nicely imported and matched up with album art and the gapless playback thing done (I never listen to albums in order: why can't I turn it off?). It has moments of being rather slow. I don't like to think about what they can know about me. It worries me. The final straw came when I realised the suicide of my computer meant I had completely lost some purchased music.

So I sent an email, expecting some corportate regurgitation of the rules regarding downloads and how it was my own stupid fault for not backing up.


Almost immediately, I receive an email from John at Customer Services. Very polite, very apologetic, offering me credits to rebuy the songs in question, plus an extra credit. Niggly problem I'd moaned about, fixed. And the following day - I still don't get on the PC much - a follow up email to see if all was ok. It is indeed ok. I have just been wished a nice evening from John after a number of "thank you", "no, thank YOU" emails. How very nice. How very unusual.

iTunes: I love you. Even if you only have an acoustic version of Live it Up.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Stuck on a ponder

What I would talk about if I had more time:

1) the definition of normal and why people assume that to label one thing "the norm" is labelling those that do not adhere to the norm "abnormal", and that by doing so it is belittling and cruel. I Justify Fullmay expand on this later.

I can't go into detail about this or I wouldn't have time to go back to:

2) Religion (Christianity, to be precise, for no reason other than that's the one I've been assigned to by birth, baptism and education) and what it's all about. I'm on a quest. Not to find faith, but to try to understand how people who are clearly not stupid can take something that is prescriptive and exact and say "so that clearly isn't so, nor is that, but I believe in the basis behind it all". I can't comprehend that, not because I wish to force my non-belief on the religious, nor assert my superior questioning skills, but because it doesn't make sense to me. How can people "just believe"? I'm also curious how people that believe they are following God's path can reconcile tragedy.

My quest, incidentally, makes no sense to anyone. Tne religious take offence, they assume I am mocking; the fundamental atheists reiterate that "it's all rubbish, there is nothing to find out, some (stupid) people "just believe"". And everyone in between wonders why I don't just accept that some people do and some people don't.

I admire Richard Dawkins greatly for his ability to state his point, The Selfish Gene is a wonderful book. However his assertions are cruel on the subject of religion, he shows a lack of compassion for those who have presumably thought a great deal about why they do what they do, and it aims to take away something that forms a structure for people's lives. Really, it doesn't matter if people want to believe in God, it doesn't actually harm them or anyone else (as long as they don't force it on people - as they shouldn't have their belief forced away from them).

I have changed my tune on this, I was firmly in the Dawkins camp at one stage until I realised how offensive it was, how insensitive I was being.

So, some reading matter:
Richard Dawkins - the atheist.
(Not joined by Christopher Hitchens because he does seem to take it too far. Dawkins does argue beautifully).
John Humphreys - the confused.
I have been promising to read both of these, quite possibly for this very purpose, and more than likely here.
The bible, if I can stomach it. It's on my phone. I'm on Genesis 4.3 after a month.
And a book I found in the library entitled "The Dawkins Delusion".

I'll see where I go after that. Nowhere fast probably. I'll ponder on.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Ashes to Ashes

I love Ashes to Ashes. I accept that it isn't as good or as clever as Life on Mars (which was tarnished by the ending anyway) but I love it. Being the age I was, I thought everything grown ups did was marvellous and Alex Drake is exactly how I wanted to grow up. I have a massive girlcrush on Alex Drake.

So. Obsessed.

Current theory on ending

Hospitalised person at start of series 2 is patently not Alex Drake, the nurses are talking about her not being found.
I reckon that it's Sam Tyler, his awakening, suicide and what not, as well as the whole Alex Drake story are part of his coma dream. He will awaken at the end of this series.

But, Alex Drake is real, he is hearing all the "we've got her" stuff from medics, the news footage is real, and when he awakens, she is there in the hospital, also awoken from a coma. Confused recognition on both parts in a Sliding Doors moment.

I fear we are meant to think it's Sam Tyler.

Or, it's an old Gene Hunt in the bed and the Tyler/Drake characters could be real from his "future".

Well, episode 3's on in a few minutes, which will undoubtedly blow this theory to smithereens. Ho la.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


Pet peeves of the month:

1) drama series that have the "flashback" episode. There's about ten minutes worth of back story, essentially it's a filler, a non episode, a waste of my watching time

2) smarties: what have they done? I liked the artificial colours and flavours. They taste weird. The purple ones taste purple!!! Which, as everyone knows is poisonous. Green is weird. Pink is weird. Blue is weird. Yellow is lemon, which does not go with chocolate. Orange is orange, fair enough, brown is chocolate.
Ingredients: safflower, radish (radish?????), black carrot (carrots go black when they are off. Silly people), hibiscus, red cabbage (may explain the ugh vile bleg taste of the purple) and lemon. Orange oil is listed seperately. Because it's normal and not freaky weaky.

3) drama series that copy things from classic films, badly.

4) being British. What a purple country to belong to. Climate's good and it's nice to be free and all that, but it's just rubbish. Even if I left, I still have to lug my Britishness with me.

5) having to put a stamp on preprinted envelopes to the Student Loan Company. You only write to them if either:
a) you want to borrow money from them
b) you want to defer payment back to them

Both situations mean you're skint. So why do you have to pay for your own stamp? Grr.

6) parenting advice. If it is wanted, it will be sought. It's rarely wanted. Social Services will pitch in if I get it too wrong, otherwise we'll just muddle on.

Friday, 1 May 2009

And in the world of nothing...

The neck don't work, this is brought to you by the wonder that is iPhone. So, I can only make mistakes in the first window worth or I can't edit it!

I received an email yesterday telling me that Psychologies magazine is moving from April Green into May Wellbeing. Gliding actually, not simply moving. This has been buzzing around my mind annoyingly, it doesn't immediately make sense.

Green is not a state of being
Wellbeing is not a colour.

But what if they were?

What sort of mood would green be? Would green be happy and healthy and successful? It's presumably the opposite of wellbeing, so was April particularly sickly? (yes, how did they know)
Things I associate with green:

Plants. Today, specifically, moss, but I'm guessing that's NOT what they meant.

Um. That's about it.

Maybe they mean a sort of khaki, vomity green? That makes more sense.

So. The other side of it. Wellbeing as a colour. I'm seeing yellow or pink. Sunshine yellow and candy pink, I hasten to add. And the word "wellbeing" conjures up an image of some white toothed Beautiful Person leaping for joy, grinning with sheer joyfulness and innate wellbeingness. You know. The sort that make you want to be a bit sick. If the new magazine's out yet, I've not seen it and I'm getting a bad feeling about the cover. Please no. Please. The only thing more offputting on a cover is Keira Knightley with "that" expression - the punchable one - smirking out at you. Ugh.

Nope. I don't know what they mean. I could read the link. I'll be buying the magazine, maybe all will become clear. Meantime I could just ponder mindlessly, bordering on scathingly. That's always fun.

Maybe wellbeing's always been a colour. No one tells me anything.

The other trembling excitment in my inbox, which held me in suspense for a whole day, was from Boots. They have brought out a better serum! Yes, really! Protect and Perfect Serum, the one that makes you look like Keeley Hawes, is now available in Intense! It works better than a placebo apparently.
Yes, I'm that excited too. I was hoping for a change in packaging, but this! A new variant! It's astounding.

In other news: Dabs are selling cheap stuff, the Motley Fool are giving endless "advice", mostly about which credit card they (probably) get money for recommending, and Firebox are selling weird things. It's edge of the chair stuff.

Disclaimer: I don't get out much.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Just a wave to the people reading this that never say hello.


I'm lonely you know. That's why I write this. Bit broked just now but never mind. Only me.

No. It's not very interesting. Move on.


Monday, 20 April 2009


Not that long ago I was bemoaning the fact that nothing ever happens.
I didn't realise that this was good.
I hurt.
Lots and lots and lots.
I have whiplash. Doesn't sound much, but it's rubbishy rubbish. I am completely crap. I now can't do:

Sitting up for long
Being on the computer (thank you iBaby)
Remembering stuff or understanding things
Driving (but I don't want to)
Turning my head
Using my arms to lift anything heavier than a phone

But I have many tasty painkillers so I sleep lots. And I've been exempt from doing most things. It's not all bad.
Whiplash! It sounds so nothingy.

My car is relatively unscathed and is merely awaiting a new bumper. I've had a Focus to not drive this week, it's rather nice.
The RAC are the greatest organisation in the world.
Everyone join the RAC. They are amazing in the event of an accident.

Although everyone's been pretty nice, especially the personal injury lawyers sniffing a case.

Not the police, who I blame entirely for the whole thing and who *apparently* don't like affronted missies being stroppily sarcastic at them.

That, I'm sorry to say is that. A pain in the neck is indeed a pain in the neck and so my mind is occupied.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Me + car = trouble.

Tonight I performed an emergency stop so as not to hit a police van that was going through a red light.
Car stopped dead, all good then...
And I've got another car rammed into me.
Happy day.

I did get to be incredibly sarcastic to a number of police officers. Which is quite fun even if they did make me feel geriatric for the second time in a day. And I got top marks (0) for my breath test. Obviously.

When my Volvo got broked, I fully expected it back. I was truly bereaved when it was pronounced dead.
Distraught, I bought a pretty coloured Vectra on the rebound.
It hates me. It knows I still love the Volvo. It's been trying to crash since I got it.

I just know they're going to fix the Vectra. I'll get it back just a little shiter than before. I've found a new Volvo!
I'm not going to get it. Dammit.

I should have a courtesy car soon, I bet it's a Ka. Courtesy car is good. Do not complain. Admit it is unlikely a BMW is the same grade of car as a Ka. Hope for a Punto.

Sleep eludes me. Too wired.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


I do love smuggery.
And yes, I do know the correct word. I like that one better, ok?

"I am better than everyone else. I have no idea about why people do things but I shall judge anyway".

I was left the following comment on an old blog entry I made about my other "101 things" blog. It says:

67: find something better to do then make blogs about nothing.

Goodo. Can I just point out that the use of the word "then" in the middle of that makes that sentence a little nonsensical? Do something interesting, then write about nothing. Would it not make more sense to write about the something interesting? Ah. Maybe you meant "than", that would actually make sense. Not to worry about spelling though. It's not important, people KNOW what you mean and it's just old fashioned and bothersome to use the word that makes sense.

Back to the point however. This riles me. It is something that crops up relatively often from the smug and uncaring.

"Don't you have anything better to do?"

Mostly I don't.
Don't you think if I had something better to do, I'd be doing it?

I have noticed (and previously noted, I bore myself) that people who spend a lot of time on the internet fall into the following categories:

1) people who are primarily on their own a lot, for whatever reason. That is somewhat lonesome and it's a type of company. Not a very good one but it's a wee bit better than putting the television on for company. The people I have noticed tweeting most (and pleasantly, there are more prolific bores) are writers and quite probably have lots of better things to do at other times, but who maybe just want to make contact with people.

2) people who have insanely bad jobs and a combination of hatred for the job/organisation, boredom, and ability to access the internet.

3) liars. people who fall into one of the above categories but make like they have interesting lives. Most people aren't Stephen Fry and if they're doing something, they don't have time to post about it.

4) people that actually have a lot of others that want to know what they have to say, who make time to say it and who should be thanked for doing that rather than derided. (This also includes people who think this applies to them but who are a bit deluded).

The "101 things" blog is a tool thing and not remotely meant for entertainment. It's not listed on searches, it's just there for me and it's not hidden because there's a vague possibility I'll be embarrassed into getting on with it. This here blog: it's not meant to be anything other than blether, mind burps, a way to say things that have occurred to me. Hence the title; it could have been called "It's extremely interesting" or "It's content heavy" or "It's lots of things" or "It's basically waiting to be compiled into a paperback". It's not, it's called "It's nothing at all". It therefore contains many words about nothing in particular, occasionally accidentally happening upon something interesting, and is listed partly because nice people sometimes say hello, and partly because just once in a while I'm saying something I like to be out there.

I am incidentally saying a lot less than before, but that's a little to do with the fact that I can concisely comment in a twittery manner, and mostly because the stuff that's keeping me busy is far from interesting. Today for example, I made a "hoover" out of an easter egg box and a wrapping paper insert. Time consuming: yes. Interesting: no, not really.

So, Mr/Ms Anonymous: yes, I would like to have something better to do, it is sage advice and I shall be sure to start finding something better to do with my time. I only wish I'd thought of that myself.

For the record, I do not like anonymous comments, unless it is done in humour. Anonymity in order to have a go at someone that may or may not know you is cowardly.

Sunday, 12 April 2009


I do marvel at what matters to people. I have lost count of the number of comments along the lines of "we are so much happier since we stopped spending so much money".


That is what's wrong. It's all about money, possessions, showing off. It's not about enjoying life. It's not about making the world a better place. Does anyone ever need more bathrooms than there are inhabitants of the house? Do people really not take walks because it's a nice thing to do?

Why does it take a global financial pigs ear of a situation to make people think about their family, about not throwing money hand over fist on things that they don't need or particularly like (for if they really liked them, they'd stay)? To discover nature, to cook at home, to stop and enjoy what's just there.

So: less spending, more happiness.

That's why poor people are so happy all the time.

Patronising smug gits. Why don't magazines etc feature normal people?

Anyway. Aside from those who have lost their job, who I'm guessing have bigger issues to face than if they should holiday in Bali or Bangor this year, is everyone not a bit better off? Mortgage payments are less, most things are a bit cheaper - that means more money to spend. No?

Part 2 and some coherent tying tomorrow, sleep just tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to surrender.

Goodnight, before I snooze midsentence

Friday, 10 April 2009

Typing for fun

I have the whole of April to catch up on reading blogwise. That's a lot of blogs, of which I've read a small sample. I don't, obviously, read all blogs, because that wouldn't be possible, and actually I don't read very many, but I do read some and I haven't been and I feel slightly overwhelmed at catching up so I may just shut Blogger and run away.

Then again, I might not.

The joy of having a desk. Did I mention I have my desk and chair back? 15 months of using my laptop (3 different laptops actually, but that's an irrelevant point) on the bed is now over. I can regain feeling in my fingers. I am comfortable. I am In A Chair.

So I'm going to type until I just fall asleep. Bla bla bla.

Or not. I may wait till I'm nearly asleep and go to bed. Which I have to do from my desk. I don't sleep here. I might, but I fear that wouldn't help the sore back. But I could. I have a chair.

My phone has never known a desk before. It has a place to sit, my little charging station which sounds quite organised but consists of a fourblock taped to the side of the desk and a little freebie phone deckshair that the wires for charging (DS and iPhone) can sit on so they don't go AWOL. And I have a mental attack every time I put my phone on my desk because for no reason whatsoever the box is here and so I have to line the phone up exactly on the picture on the outside of the box. Seconds of amusement.

Come back! I have other things to talk about! Ages worth!

I am watching the Apprentice. I have never watched this before on account of despising that sort of thing (mostly) but I decided to. I like it. Get thoroughly obnoxious arrogant twats and make them look stupid. I love seeing Kate look stupid, she does it with such ease. I don't care about the others. They're all donkeys apart from Yasmina. She said "I am so much better than the rest of them" or something to that effect and yes, she is. She is quite correct. Lorraine does appear to have a brain attached, but she is spectacularly ugly and everyone knows ugly people don't win reality tv shows. The blokes are insipid and unremarkable in every way.

And that's all I'm going to say on the matter, perhaps, because everyone else says it so much better. Sadly, not Andrew Collins which is a very sad thing indeed, but such is life.

Twitter: my life now boils down to tweets of 140 characters. (Why is it not Twits and Twitting? If that's rude then why's the whole thing not called Tweeter?). People come across well in tweets, I warm to them. People should speak at all times in comments of 140 characters. I'm not entirely sure how you'd measure it but it would be great. Exams would be so much easier, and shorter. Interviews would be infinitely easier. It's the future. But anyway, it does seem to bring out the best of people, they possibly actually have to think more to abbreviate, but whatever the reason, it works. I adore Stephen Fry now, I never quite took to him previously but he just gets the tweet thing right and says the right words at the right time. I naturally have many ginormous virtual crushes but shhhhh. Them's a secret. I find out about the bits of the world I'm interested in through other people, I can be spectacularly lazy. And for the iPhone users of the world, Tweetie is a great application.

Stuff has happened. Stuff I wanted to rant about. But for now I'm feeling mellow and unranty and I think I shall takes myself off to that bedplace.


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Oh look, she posts.

I've been ill and busy and rubbish and tired. It seems that I gave up blogging pretty much for Lent, I've not read half the ones I normally read either. It wasn't deliberate. I may be rubbish again. No one cares really.

I have been returned my non essentials. All that which was in storage for the exciting house sale that we anticipated last January (oh the timing, we have a gift) and which we have abandoned all hope of has now been returned. I have my bookcases, my chests of drawers, my frivolous scarves, my books, my silly things. All back. All mine. I feel a bit of me returning. I have things that I forgot I owned, it's been jolly nice. I missed my books. I love my books.

When I was young I used to write a lot. Even when computers became the mainstay of communication, I liked to write things down. I still do, but I lose them. I didn't used to lose so much and so have found a couple of young-me things.

One is a book entitled "All About Me" which is intended for young children but which my friends purchased for my 21st birthday and which I dutifully completed.

You'd think I'd change more in 13 years. I am less sappy about the man, no longer have a dog, still despair about living in Kirkcaldy (although have lived away for a few years in between), still hate being skint and am still hoping to lose weight - except unlike then I actually have weight to lose. I thought I was vast! I was right in the middle of my ideal weight range. Hmm. Maybe when I'm 45 I'll look back at now and think "golly, and I wasn't even obese!" What a depressing thought. Being over 40 that is :-p

I don't mean it. I quite like old people.

Ok, I'll shut up now.

I also found a list of rules that I compiled for my husband before we were married. (Not as a pre-nuptial thing, this was before we knew we were getting married). They consist of the mostly sensible:

1. Shave regularly
2. Make cups of tea on demand
3. Remain on own side of bed while asleep
4. Don't hog the Nintendo/PC/bath
5. Always put the seat down on the toilet
6. Don't take Morag's seat when she goes to the kitchen (????)
7. Completely in charge of dogwalking
8. No dropping ash on carpet
9. Discourage growth of back hair
10. Be prepared to try other foods other than bacon/bread/cheese/chocolate
11. Don't eat chocolate that doesn't belong to you
12. Don't refer to food you don't like as "sick"
13. Always cut up your own cornbeef
14. Never admit in public that you play Galaxy
15. No watching football where you don't care about the result
16. No new speakers till old ones are broken
17. No old trainers when new ones are available.

Quite reasonable, I'd say and mostly still entirely applicable. No idea what I was on about in 6, 7 and 8 no longer apply in the absence of cigarettes and dog. No 9 is possibly unfair and I don't remember what the Galaxy of 14 is about.

Oh books. Lovely books, I have so many to read, I have many many more . I will finish Shakespeare tonight then I am deviating off the list for a bit to read my bookclub book - interesting as it is Alexander McCall Smith (La saves the world) and I have never read him on account of deciding I wouldn't like his books for no good reason - and to read Jade's autobiography for absolutely no good reason other than the fact that she was a mummy to two little boys. Shakespeare, McCall Smith and Jade. I feel confused already.

Happy Easter, which is what people seem to be doing this weekend, starting a day early. I don't even like chocolate that much.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Can't care, won't care

I'm all out of rant.
I'm so lost without it.

I don't care about anything any more. I mean, I do care a bit, I care a bit about a lot of things, but I don't feel evangelical about any of them. I want to. I want to have a subject to bang on about at the drop of a hat that isn't "aren't my children exceptionally talented and beautiful and polite and other things that are of no interest to anyone that isn't their parent?"

See, I care quite a lot about fish. I feel that people who bang on that "meat is murder" and then eat fish are a little hypocritical. Don't get me wrong, two of my most favouritist people in the entire world are pescetarian types, and anyone can eat what they like, but neither of these people are the "murder! murder!" types. I eat chicken occasionally despite being ostensibly vegetarian these days. I also eat jelly babies. I don't care what other people eat. Even fish. Unless it has a head or shell on, then it makes me a bit ill. That's just me, sorry, and it's fine -really! - if you do it when I'm not there. It just seems a bit wrong to say it's cruel to eat a chicken, but it's not cruel to eat a fish. But, I don't want to offend anyone and people are entitled to eat what they want (there aren't diminishing chicken stocks - not Knorr, don't be silly - but we'll not go there). If it's about taste, or preference, or dislike for farming methods, anything like that, fine, but do not tell anyone that it is murder to eat one animal and not another.

Incidentally, they make good pets, they are not just decorative and it does matter when they die.

And that's as passionate as I get about anything and I don't want to offend people so I need to retract most of it.

I care quite a lot about Boris. He is an idiot and I will happily explain why at any given chance. But I get a bit boring about that because it's all transport related. Mention the word "transport" and people glaze over. Also, being passionate about a hatred for a human being is not very nice. I find gleeful mirth at the fact that my clever, clever phone wants to correct "Boris" to "virus" and bore people occasionally.

Do you KNOW what he's wanting to do to traffic lights?

Oh. Ok.

I raise an eyebrow occasionally (rarely a sign of passion) at the reports on why *we* are so much happier in times of crunching credit because now *we* do things like walk in the park and have friends round to the house. Oh do *we*? *We* didn't do this before? What is the point in life if you don't enjoy the stuff that's just THERE? Were *we* that obsessed with things-that-cost-money?

Yada. People drink too much, too often. I don't. I don't see why almost all social occasions have to revolve around getting drunk. See fish comments for "best keep this to myself or I'll offend, well, everyone". Do you really need to be drunk to have a good time? Really? Oh, never mind, social skills aren't all that. Really? Moving on.

The environment. I care. I do what I can without unduly affecting my life. I'm a bit lazy. I think the people that can do anything aren't, and the people who know what they're talking about talk about the wrong things. And the wrong things are being done. It's hard to get passionate about something when you see what the other, more influential, people are doing and getting it wrong. Yes! I have changed all my lightbulbs! Yes, I don't use a tumble drier! Yes, I walk places! Oh, you're landfilling all my rubbish. That's grand. And where do I recycle these things? Hmm? Oh right. Paper only, or I can take bottles to the park. Great. Thanks for your help! Oh good, more biofuel, that's just what we need. Ach, I'll just turn the light on again.

Invasion of privacy: I'm too ignorant to care. Rights of the motorist? Selfish gits, get out and walk. Other things? Can't think of them so I clearly don't care that much.

And so we come to the end of everything I could care about, in a lot more than 140 characters.


Thursday, 26 March 2009


Meaningless tasks: The washing machine has been on 5 times. The clothes that were dirty this time yesterday are still dirty, the stuff that got washed was all clean then. Its one of those utterly pointless days that would have made no difference to anyone if it hadn't happened.

Look: no one's being sick. The night is mine to sleep in. So I'm blogging as I'm a bit thick.

More pointlessness: The Apprentice. I watched the first episode of this, I figured I had to see, and I can see the attraction. Watching a bunch of luvvies get their ego smashed could indeed be top entertainment. But sadly, they're all a bit crap. That's Britain's brightest business acumen? God help us.

Pointless past: house is off the market.

No. It's still there.
Useless tossbag.

But it will be off. The stuff that has been in storage since LAST JANUARY will be returned. Precious books mostly, because there's just not enough here.

Pointless thought: Oliver Milburn's a bit fit.

If this all seems familiar, maybe it is.

and now to sleep and to dream of doing things differently...

Friday, 20 March 2009

The point?

Gah. I've not blogged much lately.
There's not a lot to say.

Things to talk about:

The news.
We have:
Tributes to non celebrities that aren't dead yet
Shocking revelations that relatives of people that die are sad
(and a special one from the Scotsman...
Outrage that lawns are dug up while the ruined turf is replaced)

I am getting overexcited about music that was released 5 or more years ago.

Washing machines and toilets:
No, I'm not that interested either.


Exciting things that have happened here:
It was sunny. The woman in the papershop went to Benidorm.

Things on TV:
I've been watching Shameless, Mistresses, Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and I've just missed the new Dave Gorman thing. Doh.

Bitterness and why I am useless today:

So. Not a lot. I'll go and see if I have in fact missed Dave Gorman or if it's just about to start...

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Not read

Mosey mosey round and round the net.

I've come across a list of the top 200 books as voted for in the Big Read by the BBC.

Anyway, here it be:

1. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien*
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller*
12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë*
13. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks*
14. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens*
18. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières*
20. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy*
21. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
24. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
25. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien*
26. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch by George Eliot
28. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
29. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
31. The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion by Jane Austen
39. Dune by Frank Herbert
40. Emma by Jane Austen
41. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
42. Watership Down by Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm by George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
48. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
53. The Stand by Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy*
55. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
56. The BFG by Roald Dahl
57. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
60. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky*
61. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden*
63. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
65. Mort by Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
67. The Magus by John Fowles
68. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
69. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Perfume by Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda by Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History by Donna Tartt*
77. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins*
78. Ulysses by James Joyce
79. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
80. Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits by Roald Dahl
82. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith*
83. Holes by Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
85. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
89. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
90. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
92. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
93. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine by Anya Seton
96. Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
97. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach by Alex Garland
104. Dracula by Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
109. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game by Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
119. Shōgun by James Clavell
120. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose by Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray*
123. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
124. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
128. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt
130. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
132. Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
133. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
134. George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
137. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan
139. Girls in Tears by Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers by Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
144. It by Stephen King
145. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile by Stephen King*
147. Papillon by Henri Charrière
148. Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
149. Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
150. Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
152. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement by Ian McEwan
155. Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
158. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
159. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
162. River God by Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
165. The World According to Garp by John Irving
166. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late by Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches by Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
171. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
172. They Used to Play on Grass by Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
175. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
178. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
181. The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
183. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner by George Eliot
185. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
186. Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
189. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
190. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
192. Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
193. The Truth by Terry Pratchett
194. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
198. The Once and Future King by T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
200. Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews

Oh how ashamed am I!! This, I think, is even worse than films.

The ones in bold I have read, the starred ones I have started but not finished. I have mostly read children's books. Oh dear. Oh dear. Somebody, somewhere said that the average adult has only read six of these, so I'm possibly marginally better than the average adult. Oh help. I think I really need to take "reading" off my CV.

I think just one of these appears in my 2009 list, so that's not going to help. I've got Great Expectations and Crime and Punishment by email as well, I suppose. I've read some books that would surely have made the list in the 6 years since this was compiled. That Curious Incident dog one. I read that.

I am going to Read. A. Book (or 200).

Monday, 9 March 2009


So Obama un-banned stem cell research.
Which would seem a tad sensible.

View a) of stem cell research
Could provide cures to, or understanding of, a variety of otherwise untreatable diseases.

View b) of stem cell research
Could result in the cloning of evil dictators.

Now, it may just be me, but I find comfort in the fact that one of the most powerful governments in the world doesn't think like the sort of people that think b).

Of course, I could take the opinion, as of one of the journalists in our local press, that all the stuff about American politics is a bit tedious, being as how we're British and not American.

But then again, howthefuckdidshebecomeajournalist?

The words "clueless" and "idiot" are floating around my head.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Oh to have a brain again

Boy, am I rubbish at reading. I have the attention span of a two year old.

Notes on books before I give misleading impressions about books that are most worthy:

Bye Bye Balham by Richard Herring is good. I need escapism and it's all real. Obviously. I'm a tit.
Lottery by Patricia Wood is also good, and interesting. It's been paused because it makes me think too much about things I don't have the energy to think about just now. I'm a wimp.

My brain is weighed down with the things I HAVEN'T read. I am not well read. I used to be, until I was about, ooh, 15. Books now need added to films under "things that everyone else knows about and I just don't".

Sigh. I know a lot about traffic lights. You know, I am actually looking FORWARD to getting my next essays. Osadami.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Lent and the demise of a pointless blog

Hmm. I was writing another blog about my progress in Lent. And it was pointless.
So here's the introduction:

I am not a religious person but I am by birth (and baptism) a Christian. I celebrate Christmas and Easter. I ate pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. I thought I should think about what it's all about:

more chocolate

I'm fairly sure of the Easter story. But the Lent bit is something I don't really know about.

I have learned:

It represents the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by Satan. Christians use Lent as a time for prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self denial. Pancake Tuesday is a using up of all the fats and flour before the fasting begins. So called Shrove Tuesday because one is meant to shrive and achieve absolution before Lent begins.

It lasts more than 40 days because it doesn't include Sundays. Sundays during Lent are meant to be minor celebrations of Easter. As Wiki puts it "Jesus' victory over sin and death". Not entirely sure I go with the "victory" concept, but never mind. We celebrate something. That's assuming he was real and anything at all to do with God. If He exists. Whatever.

Unsure what Jesus did on Sundays. Possibly did 40 days straight, but we always needed Sundays off. Unsure also as to whether Sundays are properly exempt and you don't have to fulfil any of the other stuff, or if you just slightly act Easter-y.
Maybe have a Creme Egg on Sundays in Lent?

Right. So. I'm not religious. I said that. But neither are the other people around me who give up things for Lent. I never do. I usually give up something I don't do anyway. It was going to be solvent abuse this year... but I decided to have a think. It's being a parent, it makes you THINK. I never used to think, I merely opined. Now I do this thinking lark. Troublesome.

It's not about having-a-reason-to-diet. It's about grieving. And self atonement. And I'm a bit of the opinion that even though I don't believe in it all, if I'm going to eat chocolate on Easter Sunday, I should really pay attention to the other stuff. And so have answers to the perpetual "why?"

So, for Lent this year, I intended to record each day (except Sunday when I'd ponder other things) what I had done in the way of prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self denial.

However, I have found that I have little to record each day. So, a bit pointless and so bye bye to that.

What I learned:
Self denial: I'm not so good at self denial. Right now I need to go on a health kick so as not to feel cack all the time. So that's little to do with self atonement and a lot to do with survival.
Prayer: not going to happen.
Almsgiving: I give little to charity, I certainly don't do it every day.
Penitence: I would hope I usually make amends for what I have done wrong. I don't think I necessarily want to write it down. Maybe I should. I'm not going to.

Maybe it would be nice to record a daily moment of niceness. Hmm.

Friday, 6 March 2009

In which the author says very little of any importance

Gah. Feeling cack so haven't felt inclined to blog. Now I feel inclined to blog and haven't done anything to blog about. Been sidetracked by the Lent thing which was a dumb idea, it runs out in a couple of weeks and means I jot down daily inanities there. Ah well.

I have been reunited with some of my beloved books, including the two most precious to me. They were in trusted care, perfectly safe, but I was most pleased to see their little covers. Amongst my books were a couple that weren't previously mine, but that the giver wanted to pass on. One of these was one of the collections of round robin letters by Simon Hoggart. I have been completely sidetracked by this and so my quest to read more of my list has been temporary halted. I may cheat a little on that one in a day or two, just because I can. It's my list. Incidentally, Lottery is good, I'm just in a funny mood. I will finish that, it's not cast aside, I've just been distracted.

STV have axed Moving Wallpaper! I know it's not very good, I only watched the last series because I watched Echo Beach, which in turn I only watched because Jason Donovan was in it. But still. I like the cast and it's entertaining and I'd decided to watch it. But STV have dropped some ITV shows, that's one of them, and so tough titties basically. Watch it on, on Microsoft Silverlight (thanks!) or don't watch it. I think I shall be going for the latter option.

I taped that Red Riding thing, mostly because Andrew Collins recommended it. I am convinced it is called Little Red Riding Hood, but then again I am convinced The Tiger Who Came to Tea won the Man Booker Prize. Methinks I spend too much time round small children.

Light at the end of the tunnel: a week on Tuesday the children and I are off to nursery to get them enrolled. They have a place (oh boy do they have a place) but this is the official "what do we do". So I can find out about what to do about the fact that neither of my children like wearing trousers and that one of them has a phobia of public toilets.

Aside from revolting coughs and general malaise, that would be that in MDworld.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Mort, Terry Pratchett and Alzheimer's

I've finished a book on my list! It only took a month!

Mort, by Terry Pratchett.
I really enjoyed this, it's very well written, very enjoyable and has mostly cured my fear of Death, or the personification thereof. I took an inordinate time to read this, partly through losing it and getting diverted by Richard Herring's Bye Bye Balham (which I can't get into for no good reason, I like it, but don't go back for more. Go figure) and partly through not being able to read with one eye.

I loved getting engrossed in the story of this, that's my favourite sort of reading. And so, despite having decided to read Ben Goldacre's book, I'm going to read Lottery by Patricia Wood, just because I want a story.

I finished Mort last night, and shortly before I did I watched the second part of Terry Pratchett's documentary about his Alzheimer's. I found the first installment of this fascinating, and while still moving, not completely heart breaking because they did not feature his family. He had with him his PA, Rob, who was involved and could comment on the changes, but who was not as involved as a family member. The second installment was rather more depressing as it did feature family members, not Pratchett's own family but the family of other sufferers. He also looked at potential treatment and considered the ethics. This is the first programme about Alzheimer's I've been able to watch and it was very informative and interesting.

Reading and enjoying a book by someone who clearly has an untterly brilliantly creative mind, and then watching him accept that he is on a journey which will end with the destruction of that brilliant mind, is all a almost TOO poignant. I feel rather lucky that I have all of his books to read anew, and a bit inclined to kick myself for ignoring them to date, but it will be impossible not to mourn the impending premature deterioration of a genius as I read the product of that genius.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Lent's nothing at all

Due to my ongoing pottiness, I've decided to do Lent properly. Sort of. While not being religious but still sort of acknowledging that this is what I'm eating chocolate for.

Anyway, recording it on a seperate blog (probably an inner acknowledgement that I may want to delete this and/or it's going to be cack) which is here.

I don't understand religion, or the religious. I'm not poking fun at them even if I am facetious. I would like to understand.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

People are people

There's a debate going on at the moment:

"Do disabled people give children nightmares?"

You did read that correctly. Sparked by complaints about new CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell, who has one arm. Supposedly parents have complained about her, it's "disgusting" and "gives their kids nightmares".

I have two three year olds who are somewhat addicted to CBeebies. They haven't noticed or commented. They don't care. So where does the fear come from? Oh that'd be right, the parents. The parents who say, if asked, "yes, she's only got one arm but she can do everything Alex can". Or maybe they don't? Maybe THEY say "eeeew, that's gross". Maybe it's entirely down to them what the children think because CBeebies don't make it an issue. It's the parents that clearly have a problem with looking at someone that has a disabilities, and you'd expect grown ups, or pseudo grown ups anyway, to have a little more maturity and understanding.

When I first saw Cerrie, I did wonder about her suitability, because it's a very hands on job, because I thought she wouldn't be able to do all the arty things. But I have been proved entirely wrong, she copes magnificently and it makes no difference to her presenting skills. I was however impressed at CBeebies' ongoing effort to have disabilities incorporated into programmes without making a deal. Justin Fletcher (patron saint of children's television) and his programme Something Special are magnificent for treating children with varying severities of disability with no care whatsoever to their condition, which is wonderful, it takes away the fear and "difference" and makes disabilities just one of those things in everyday life. It means that children aren't going to be taken aback when they see disabilities in their own life, it promotes understanding and is highly commendable. The fact that Cerrie's disability did not exclude her from the job of children's presenter is a Good Thing. How can it be otherwise? She can do it, brilliantly.

Here she is, with co-presenter Alex (from BBC Press Office):

She's lovely. What sort of parent can put the ideas into their children's head, and for preschoolers, the parents do have to put the ideas there, that she's anything else? Responsible parenting is the problem here, not responsible programming.

EDIT: one of my three year olds came over just now and exclaimed "Alex and Cerrie!" and insisted I made that picture full screen. No fear there.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

In my head today

My eye's still broken. It was all nice and healing and working and stuff, then it just went crap again. It's worrying me a little, it's not the same (bright red, watering and unopenable) it's gone sore and dry and a bit rubbish, ie I can't see very well. So I feel the need to rant. I've forgotten everything else I thought of, so I'll go with Jade...
Justify Full
I have issue with Big Brother et al and the way they put borderline maniacs on TV to laugh at them being manic. That's not on. I watched a couple of series of BB and Jade Goody's was one I watched; she is largely the reason I stopped. She was put on that show to be laughed at, because she is stupid. That's not nice or clever or particularly entertaining. Graham Norton made a joke of keeping her in, which bizarrely made him into her "fan", and she emerged a cult figure. Eh? She didn't have anything to make her that, other than a seemingly continual need to mock her. But on she went, megastatus, and then the Celebrity Big Brother debacle. I didn't actually watch that, could hardly miss it, but if you put someone lacking in certain attributes on TV to laugh at them, can you really be surprised if they behave badly? Is it her fault? Did she need to be public enemy no. 1? What was she doing with all the stuff that happened next?

And now she's dying they seem determined to milk every last drop of ridicule. Maybe she does just want the best for her kids, maybe her boyfriend is romantic enough to give his girlfriend a wedding before she dies. Maybe the media created something here and they could be gracious enough to let it go. You can't blame her, she is what she is and she has been given this status. What is happening now is tragic: a young girl, who has two small children, is dying. That is nothing other than sad, whoever she is, and it is not a media circus. Oh, sorry, it IS a media circus.

I don't understand the love and admiration for people that don't do anything. Beautiful people, talented people, shrewd business people, philanthropic people, inspirational people - there's something to be admired there, but the Jades and Chanelles and Kerrys are just there, not doing anything and being a national joke. And it destroys them. Who benefits there? Comedians maybe. Max Clifford, certainly.

Love and admiration for celebrities generally: I am less than enamoured with Twitter due to the idiots that frequent it. But some people are lovely and their tweets make me smile, so I remain addicted.

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Been a crud week so far.
Eye injury flared up on Sunday. Until today I was wearing a patch and falling over a lot.
Not fun.
The amount of stuff I have to catch up on is scaring me.
I've forgotten how to speak to people again. Extremes aren't very nice.
I've forgotten everything I know, I think, my brain is a vacuous space.
And so, my need to chatter is serviced by 140 characters and blogging is an insurmountable task.

Funk. Hyper. Funk. Drama queen moment. Back to funk.

Friday, 13 February 2009

To obey

I have been asked to comment on this story about Salma Hayek, telling us why she chose to fly to Sierra Leone to breastfeed another woman's baby.

This is undoubtedly an act of amazing kindness and humanity, to show that it is a natural and wonderful thing for mothers to do.

The article states that infant mortality is high in Sierra Leone, that it is recommended that mothers breastfeed for two years in order to combat malnutrition, but that there is a stigma attached to breastfeeding, so few women do this.

I started writing along the lines of my usual rant about how formula isn't actually the devil's work and how it doesn't harm your child. I believe that the western world has gone too far towards "breast is best", that those who have to use formula are left unadvised and made to feel like they have failed. That's unfair and wrong and "breast is best" does get shoved down your throat to the extent that parents feel it would be wrong to ever allow formula to pass their precious infant's lips under any circumstances. Health professionals are not allowed to offer any advice that promotes formula feeding and the whole attitude and bombardment with posters and information does implant the "formula is evil" belief. As an asthmatic, with allergies to pretty much anything I could be allergic to, that was breastfed as an infant, with a formula fed brother who has no such things, as well as being the much despised mother who gave up and didn't do the best for her babies (why they'd want my antibodies at all is another question). I feel inclined to rant. I have two very healthy three year olds and have no regrets about formula feeding them - I had no choice but would have preferred not to have been criticised.

But that is not the issue here. I live in a country where I have good hygiene, access to a kettle, a steriliser and a fridge, and a supermarket supply of good quality formula.

For most mothers, breast is best. Those who cannot breast feed, and those who have to supplement with formula should get better support, but it does remain that breastfeeding is natural and good. The WHO recommends that all infants should be fed breastmilk until at least the age of six months, ideally until the age of two, based on those countries in the world (that's the W bit, there's so much more of the world that isn't us) that have substandard conditions and so would be unlikely to have quality formula or satisfactory infant nutrition. The people in these countries need to know that it is good and natural to breastfeed, that breastmilk can help to combat malnutrition in infants, that it is a wonderfully healthy thing to do for mother and child.

An infant cries when it wants fed. It screams its little lungs out. It wants fed now. Like right now. Immediately. No, not when you get to a convenient location. Now. It screams louder. And so you have to feed them where you are (within reason). It is quite wonderful that our society now is such that a mother can sit and discreetly breastfeed a baby - and they are discreet, you'd have to go and peer behind the baby to see - without causing offence.

There are those who are offended, they should be shot.
There are those mothers who make a scene and are not discreet, who make sure the whole world knows what they're doing, and who it would be nice to shoot. Grudgingly, their sort should be thanked for the fact that it's now acceptable, but can someone please tell them it's time to stop making a scene?

Other countries do not have that luxury, it is still a stigma. And for that reason alone, what Salma Hayek did is quite remarkable. To demonstrate that it is a good thing to do, to show that it need not be something women are uncomfortable doing.

I didn't think I was going to say that.
I meant to say that you could have flown a lot of Aptimel to Sierra Leone for one Salma Hayek.
I think formula has a number of benefits, I think formula needs to be de-demonised.I don't think wet nurses are the future, I don't think a mother that cannot produce milk should get another woman's milk. I don't think that's the answer, I think good quality formula should be made available if the mother cannot produce her own milk.
For that reason I was going to say Salma Hayek did the wrong thing.
But that isn't the point, she wasn't providing milk, she was making a statement and what a wonderful statement that is:

"Look at me, I am doing something wonderful, and it is so wonderful I will travel across the world to do it for another woman's child."

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

What is wrong with people?

When I think about the people I share this country with, I feel two emotions: shame at being British and a massive desire to leave Britain permanently.

I believe Holland is nice.

Yesterday, I was listening to a conversation between two people I respect and admire. They were discussing the Carol Thatcher/golliwog thing, laughing and reminiscing about things that we, as Brits, used to do that were appallingly racist. The comments were along the lines of "things were different then" and an underlying sentiment that is was excusable because "we didn't know any better".

No it wasn't.

Did we really need people to come along and tell us that it is wrong to call people names and that the colour of your skin doesn't make you a lesser person? Did people not feel that within themselves? Were the Crusades fine, because it was a) long ago and b) Christian? What about the acquiring of the British Empire, and the way it was run? Slavery? Was that ok... because we didn't know any different, times were different then? Nonsense. It was just not popular to actually have a shred of humanity. Some people did and had the gumption to speak out and thank god they did or we'd still be living in a nasty racist society...

Hang on. This is 21st Century Britain. We'd be appalled at using terms to describe people by colour. Nasty nasty words are stamped out. Huzzah! Thank goodness everyone was so pleased by the Eastern Europeans arriving! Imagine if we'd been prejudiced against them. Even though they weren't from the "nice" new countries, you know, the ones that used to be British.

I read responses to an article from the Daily Mail some months ago. There was the initial article, then there was the reader responses (as you'd expect) and then comments on the forum I was reading it on, responding to the whole lot.

The story: a number of Eastern Europeans (I'm not being deliberately generic, I can't remember where they came from) had come to Britain looking for work, believing that this was the best thing for them. These were people who genuinely wanted to work, who wanted to make a better lives for themselves. Yet when they arrived here, there was none of the promised work or life for them and as a result they had ended up living on a roundabout.

The overall response to this?

"Ugh, it really does make the roundabout look nasty". "I'm so glad that's not in MY town". "Who do these people think they are, coming to our country and spoiling our roundabouts?"


The story there is "look how our country let these people down". Not "ugh, nasty dirty foreigners".

Yet it was OK to say these things? No one felt embarrassed?

Back to Carol Thatcher. Freedom of speech? Excuse me?
How about "I'm sorry I caused offence, I didn't mean it offensively"?
No. that's too hard. "We" can't apologise. "We" have the right to be offensive if "we" didn't mean it offensively. "We" don't need to explain. "We" don't need to retract our comments if other people are offended, clearly that's their ignorance or political beliefs clouding their judgement.

The Sachs debacle: with the vastly overhyped nonsense, at least Russell Brand used the little exercised thing called "an apology". He could still be arguing the "it was a joke, we didn't meaan any offence, I feel my freedom of speech has been compromised by the whole furore" and taken the usual stance. But he didn't, he gave a dignified, and seemingly sincere, resignation speech and, I feel, did the right thing. I believe Wossy also apologised, I must be fair, but I am a little sickened by the return of the prodigal son effort that's been going on since his return.

It never hurts to say "sorry, I didn't mean it". That doesn't necessarily excuse what you said, but it helps.


We're living in a nanny state now, it seems.
Evidence for this?

The government recommended that we should dance for exercise, presumably based on the slightly mystifying obsession with Strictly Come Dancing et al.


The government advisers, having been asked to study the effects, recommended that children should not be given any alcohol at all even at home until they are 15 because their bodies can't deal with it.

Recommendations. Not "this is how you must live your life" or "we are telling you how to bring up your children".

For God's sake!!!!!

And there's the MMR thing. Does anyone still believe that? Oh yes, they do. Thank you, hype. Thank you for directly causing the death of children to a disease that had all but been wiped out. I think I mentioned that before...

I'm done now. Please note the sarcasm and don't shoot me for being literal. Thanks.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Everyone should read this

This sums up the MMR debacle rather well. And this is from the man himself.

Please click on those, they're ever so important to read.

It is unbelievable that measles is on the increase and that parents STILL have doubt; as previously stated I had a fleeting, well, what if... There is no link with autism, there never has been and measles is dangerous. What more do you need to know?

This is a hero: bookmark Ben Goldacre's webhome.

Freak out!

I've been doing rather a lot of that lately: freaking out. For no particular good reason, just overreacting and getting irate. So getting constantly wound up by a pair of naughty three year olds renders me shrieky. The last couple of days it's hurt to shriek. In the chest area.

Immediate hypochondriac diagnosis: heart attack.

This is unlikely give that a) I'm 34 and b) it is unaccompanied by any other symptoms of the heart attack. No, my left arm is not sore, it's got pins and needles because I'm leaning on it.

Logical thought: in people that have a heart attack, there must be increased blood flow etc that causes a heart attack in times of stress and getting very shrieky. Presumably this always happens and only ends in a heart attack in those susceptible. So it's normal. Just overstressed.

Illogical thought: waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I'm definitely going to die! I know people who've just dropped dead of a heart attack that were younger than me and not 100% definitely on drugs. My boys need a mother! I have nightmares about dying anyway!

I think I might go and chat to the nice nurse about methods of destressing. And nursery starts in 10 weeks. (I had the date wrong before, blimmin' Easter's late this year, isn't it?)

Deep breaths. Have an aspirin. Just in case. Eat nothing but bulgar wheat. Just in case.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Why it's preferable to be a hermit

The world's gone mad.
That's incorrect.
The world is mad.

Either that or I'm mad.


Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Rising grumpitude

I appear to have lost the art of talking to people without shouting at them.



Sigh. It's just because they're rubbish. It's not because I'm grumpy. No. It's not.


No. Don't get upset. I know it wasn't you. I didn't mean to shout. Oh. Don't cry. I feel bad. I'm just in a bad mood you know.


Ok, ok, I'm going now.

Monday, 2 February 2009

25 random meme things

This is from facebook and most of it is stuff I go on about here anyway.
But I'm in a crabbit mood and so can't be bothered doing more than pasting. The tagging thing (25 people? 25?) doesn't apply obviously. It's facebook. Mindless. Easy. Me me me me me me me me. Feel free to do it. You won't though.

25 random facts about me:

1. I know that all of the 25 people I tagged won't like this. I'd like to know facts about all of them though.

2. My children are actually the cleverest in the world.

3. I really enjoy learning about traffic related things. Traffic policy is interesting and virtually everything I learn I become passionate about. Even traffic lights.

4. I cannot stand Boris Johnson. He's a bumbling oaf.

5. I think Marcus Brigstocke is the most attractive man on the planet.

6. I'm a mostly rubbish friend and any time I speak to one of them I am ashamed by how rubbish I've been. I don't mean it, I love all my friends but I don't think they know it.

7. I am incapable of budgeting.

8. My brain does still work and so far I'm coping with an MSc on woefully little work.

9. I am very worried that no 8 does not apply any more.

10. I am at my most alert at midnight.

11. I would like to live in Manchester.

12. I'd quite like a little girl but seriously don't think I could go through it all again.

13. My hair is excessively grey, or it was till I coloured it last night.

14. I don't have any concrete goals in my life. I'm not sure what I'm aiming for. I never have. I have rough ideas but I don't actually know what to wish for other than immediate "pass exams" etc.

15. My house has been on the market for one year this week. Never mind.

16. I am completely addicted to the internet and social networking.

17. My children are very polite and are a credit to me (mostly) when we're out. They drive me nuts but they're ever so nice and they're a lot of fun to be around. I feel lucky to be around them all the time. I don't feel lucky all the time. I should.

18. I think we should all cycle everywhere where it's possible.

19. I don't have a bike.

20. I can be cured a hangover by Irn Bru and iceberg lettuce.

21. I should never ever drink red wine.

22. Seemingly by coincidence, I got into Twitter the same week everyone else did. I joined a year ago.

23. I like to talk a lot. I love being on my own as well though, with the kids around all day, it's valuable time. Usually it's going to Asda, but hey, it's alone time.

24. I am going out in ten minutes and the kids aren't ready. Will be late. Am always late.
was true at 4.49

25. Yahtzee is my favourite waste of time just now.


To be entirely boring: Twitter and iPhone. Tune out now.

Twitter is amusing me lots. For some reason everyone I asked to join, did. Maybe because I didn't ask everyone-I-know and asked the ones that possibly might be interested in my updates. Just the one missing, who will be returning to normal life tomorrow and will hopefully comply.

Richard Herring joined hours after I suggested he did on his guestbook. This may be complete coincidence, but if it is true, then how marvellous is the internet? To be able to say "hey you, this is great, try it" to someone who has no idea who you are, someone who you'd like to read about, and they do. Not because it's you*, obviously, but because it's a cool thing.

*delusional daydreaming aside

There's all manner of other stalkerworthy people on there and I am reminded of how amusing Chris Addison (the second most attractive man on the planet), Dave Gorman and Stephen Fry (the patron saint of Twitter) actually are. And then I added people I don't actually normally think about, like Phillip Schofield (who's very interesting and I had nothing against him, just didn't think about him) and Jonathan Ross (who I may delete, he's a bit annoying, which is always is, slight error of judgement). Ben Goldacre (new hero) has interesting little snippets.

It's a bit strange, like blogging lite. But it's sort of the opposite of stalking, those who wish to be stalked provide the information so the stalkers can legitimately read it. Which is a little weird really. But hey. Look at me getting all giddy over some celebrity tweeting. They're not ACTUALLY talking to me, I'm just reading it.

Of course there's the lovely thing of updates from friends. Always nice. And more important than the above starry eyed awe would indicate.

Come play. Click the link over there and join the mindlessness. There is no point, that's the point.

Daily iPhone love: I got Tweetie for it. I did. I'm so sad. I paid £1.79 for it, but oh it is nice. And while I was throwing money at Apple, I downloaded Yahtzee Adventures. I love Yahtzee. I actually wore out the section of the screen on my Palm where the "roll again" button was (this is why you want a screen that functions like the iPhone or G1, not like the B****b***y or any other W****** mobile device). It's ace. I could play Yahtzee forever and this has a bizarro adventure mode. Best game ever (that doesn't feature Mario).

Gratuitous picture of Chris Addison:

NB Still reading Bye Bye Balham by Richard Herring. It's great. Buy it from here . While you're at it, buy this from Amazon, it's fabulous.