Sunday, 14 September 2008

The End

I've kept you waiting, and I apologise. I teased a little, and then life got in the way, as life is always wont to do.

Also, I had to take my time, to tell you how I felt, and how I am, and sometimes I thought about coming back here to do it, and then I couldn't, because I can't always find the words to sum up how I feel. You all know that I'd waited for him for such a long time, and I'd never given up on him, and I'm quite sure that most of you thought I was mad.


'Of course I wouldn't see anyone else! Why would I do that when I'm in a relationship?'

I think I need my ears syringing. I'm fairly sure that it sounded like he said we were in a relationship. What word sounds like relationship? Battleship? No, the first bit is wrong. Station pip? That's closer, but it doesn't actually make any sense. 'I'm in a station pip' No, that's nonsense. Did he say we were in a relationship?

'You just said we were in a relationship.'

OK. I could have tried to make that sound like less of an accusation.

'I did, yeah. Well, we are, aren't we? Why? What did you think?'

Well, it obviously wasn't that, was it? Do you think I'd be sitting here having this conversation if that's what I thought? Madman.

'Well I didn't think we were in a relationship. You said at the start that it wouldn't be like that. What's changed all of a sudden? And why didn't you tell me?'

Oh, it was all going so well, until that last bit. Maybe he won't notice.

'What do you mean I didn't tell you?'


'Do I have to tell you? Women are supposed to be good at these things! I thought that you'd know! I didn't think I'd have to tell you!'

Yeah, right, laugh it up, funny guy. But...

'OK, so if you've known this, then what on earth did you think I wanted to talk about?'

'God, I dunno. I thought you wanted us to live together or something. I'm not ready for that yet.'

Not ready for that yet! Not ready for that yet! I've only been in a relationship for about 20 seconds! Let's slow down here a minute, funny guy!

And so it went on.

And so it goes on.

That was over two months ago, and I couldn't be happier. We're just about to go on holiday (to Sorrento), and I'm about to start living some of those dreams I had.

It kind of makes a bit of a mockery of this blog, certainly at the moment. I know life's not always this kind, not always this settled, but I also know that at the moment, I've never felt less like having a tantrum. Although I can't rule out a mid-life crisis.

And let's be honest, no one wants to hear a blogger chirruping away about how happy they are. Do they?

So it might be time to start a new incarnation, somewhere else. But if I do, I'll be sure to tell you where.

As long as you don't mind all the 'raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens' malarkey....

Friday, 11 July 2008

Not Always What It Seems

Hello people, sorry I've been so long. I know I have memes, uus (eh?) and tags to catch up on, and I promise I will soon. But I think I owe you this at least first.

'OK, my reminder's just kicked in. You wanted to talk, didn't you?'

'I did, yes. But I wasn't going to say anything until you did.'
Oh good grief, he remembered. I've changed my mind.

'No, until tomorrow morning, then you would have said something just as I was walking off and it would have been too late then.'

'You might have a point'
Oh my God, I am transparent.

'So, go on then. Say what you want to say.'

'Erm....OK then...ummm.....I don't know where to start...erm....'
Please. If I am ever to be struck by lightning, please let it be now. Shall I fall off this stool as a distraction? Shoot me now.

' I suppose I want to talk about us, you know. I can't really see the difference between what we're doing, and what it would be like if we were going out with each other. I mean, it's like people say, we're a bit like a, you know, thingy. Er... couple.'
Oh people, where are you all now? Look at what you have been saying, and I have been listening. And where has it got me? Into this conversation that has only 2 end results - bad or worse. Or I could die. Make that 3.

'Yeah. I see what you mean. Does it matter though? What people think? Or what we call ourselves?

'Erm. Well, yes. I think it does.'
I am hopelessly backed into a corner. There is no way out of this situation now. I give us five minutes before the shouting starts. Or the crying.


'Well. Erm...'
That's a fine question. That's the very question I would have asked if the situation was reversed. But it isn't. You sure you want the answer? You're not going to like it, you know.

'Because I feel disrespected. That you don't think enough of me to refer to me as your girlfriend.'
Disrespected is a massive word. Just MASSIVE. There's no taking that one back. Could you not have prevaricated a bit you damn fool?

'That's a harsh word, Tine. And that's the last thing you should ever feel.'

'It's right though, isn't it?'
I have been possessed by the spirit of a woman braver than myself. I wish she would sod off.

'I mean, when you're talking to your mates, what do they think?'
This is a top card to play. I cannot lose with this card.

'Dunno. I suppose they think we're seeing each other. Don't talk about it really. It's blokes.'

'What about your mom then?'
That was a rubbish card. But this one is better. I would stake my life on the fact that his mom has said something about it. And other people's lives too. Absolute certainty.

'I don't know, she hasn't said anything.'

I am doomed, I need a minute to regroup. I need to phone a friend. I need someone to have this conversation for me. Where is everyone? Hello? People?

'OK then. Tell me this. Doing what we're doing now, would you see someone else?'
I have nothing left. Nothing at all. I'm seconds away from giving up on this conversation. I don't even know why I'm having it. I LIKE being with him, and if this is all it is, then where's the harm? I have just ruined something that was fun for no good reason at all. He's going to tell me now that he's seeing someone else. And I can't deal with that. Especially if it's Juliette Binoche. Although there's no reason why it would be, but that's the way that this conversation is going.

And then he turned towards me, from his new casual position at the door, cigarette smoke melting into nothingness, and said...

Sunday, 29 June 2008

You Couldn't Make It Up

It's ridiculous. Really it is. And it stretches credulity to its absolute breaking point.

Men and women eh?

Both credited with the gift of speech, but communication between the two almost an absolute non-starter. No sign of any common ground at all.

In fact, no sign of any ground.

"I thought we were going to..."

"Oh yeah. I forgot...."

"Shall we next time? We could...."

"Maybe. Or perhaps we should..."

"Definitely. Or...."

You see, I wish I had something to tell you here. But it looks as though my complete lack of conversational skills are going to keep you waiting a wee while longer.

Cryptic, isn't it?

Or do you all understand it better than I do?

Monday, 23 June 2008


More news expected.

Maybe next week.

I know you've waited patiently.

Just for a little while longer?

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Tuesday Tantrum

Good evening everyone, and welcome once again to The Tuesday Tantrum. Beg pardon? I'm sorry? Yes of course I know it's Wednesday, I'm not a buffoon. Do you want to make something of it? Do you want to come here and say that? Are you talking to me?

And anyway, its not my fault that I'm a day late doing the Tuesday post. It's Sir Alan Sugar's fault. If he was a bit more of a man, he'd have said 'No. Stuff off. I'm not moving to a Tuesday night for The Apprentice to be on television, and I don't care what sort of football match is on. It's not Tottenham, is it? Stupid television controller, you're fired!' That's what he'd have said, I reckon. Also, it's not my fault that I was really tired, because I haven't been sleeping very well, because when I'm at work I drink too much coffee, and in our coffee machine, you can have it extra, extra, extra, extra strong, and then that means that when I'm at work, I'm all whizz bang tiddly pom, and I don't seem to be able to come down at all because of the caffeine and I talk a lot and sometimes it means my sentences are really long, because I'm still a bit thingy.

And also, it's not my fault, because I can't be held responsible for everything round here you know, it's not like someone died and put me in charge of the world and made everybody do what I say and all of a sudden no-one can do anything without checking with me first, and if things don't get done then all of a sudden everyone's looking at me and going 'Well I was waiting for her and look at her, she's meant to be doing a blog or something and she can't even do that when she's meant to, so I don't see why I should have had to do the washing.'

Anyway, if you haven't already guessed, this week's Tuesday Tantrum is about whining.

Dear GOD, the whining. I work in an office for heaven's sake. Not a kindergarten. Not a home for people with challenging and debilitating illnesses, or even mildly irritating ones. Some of the people are mildly irritating. Some of them are like Olympic Irritants.

In case you ever work for me, I'll give you a few ground rules:-

I am a very caring team leader. But if you are late every day, I will lose patience, and I will not be interested that your alarm clock has broken/your girlfriend has dumped you/your car has broken down/you have a bad stomach. Just get up a bit earlier and do us all a favour.

I am a very caring team leader (see the theme here?). But if you have not done the work I asked you to, and this happens consistently, I will not care that the systems are slow/the telephone is busy/you've lost your pen/it's too noisy/you thought someone else was doing it/the moon isn't in alignment with Venus. Just get your finger out and earn your damn money.

I am a very caring colleague (ah, a subtle difference), but I am not interested in sitting and watching you bumble your way round the computer, hoping to stumble upon the right thing, while I'm POINTING AT IT WITH MY BLOODY FINGER, while you say that no-one's ever shown you, and how did I know that, and is it your job, and did you ought to speak to someone about it, despite the fact that you've been there years longer than I have, and that's what you get paid for.

Anyway, I think I'm done now. I might have been a bit whiny myself. Sorry about that.

Anything on your mind?

Monday, 26 May 2008

Well, That's Done Then

Bank Holidays then.

People are always campaigning for more Bank Holidays. Or random days off work. Or days to commemorate some obscure saint, a person of interest or Leona Lewis getting to Number 1 in America. I can understand it, really I can.

I mean, what could be better than a day off work, chance to do all of those jobs you've been meaning to do?

Get your decorating done, get out in the garden, catch up your chores? Go away for the weekend, do something touristy, go for a picnic?

All you people out there who've done just those things, you are my heroes. Really you are.

But did I really need another excuse to sit on my fat arse all day?

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Tuesday Tantrum

Good evening one and all, may I welcome you into the haven of all that is to be despised, spat at and generally moaned about. For today is the day of the tantrum, the day to let your hair down, and the day to poke someone in the eye, if that will help (which sometimes it does, but only if you can run really fast, and if it doesn't hurt them very much). If I can just make one small comment before I start, this is a weekly malarkey, but that doesn't mean I only have a tantrum once a week, it's just that I like to, well, focus.

When I read the comments to my last tantrum I was literally stabbing my finger on my desk and going 'Yes! You're right! That gets me too!' and I had a whole thing planned for the way that people can't even seem to speak properly now, and have a language of their own, and don't even get me started on the spelling, and even a topic as dear to my heart as that has been superseded by today's tantrum.

Public transport.

Now first of all, because some of the readers here aren't from the UK, I'm going to need to do a bit of an explanation. First of all, I have to catch something called a bus. You'll note the use of the word 'catch'. That implies that it is something elusive, something you have to work hard to get, something not always within reach.

That is a bus.

It's quite a big vehicle, which seats quite a lot of people, you can stand up on them too, and sometimes they have an upstairs as well, but there are stairs, not an elevator, to the top bit. It generally smells a little bit like a public toilet and so do some of the people on it. It travels on roads.

The other one is called a train. It is made up of a number of carriages, the people tend to smell a bit better, and it does not have an upstairs. It does however have a First Class, which you do not go in unless you are travelling on business and someone is paying for your ticket, or you are frightfully posh, in which case you have probably got your chauffeur to drive you instead of having to mix with those ghastly people. Some of them also have something called a Quiet Zone, which means you cannot use a mobile phone, talk loudly, play music or generally disturb your fellow commuters. And if you sneeze at more than a moderate range of decibels, you are instantly shot. It travels on tracks.

I should mention that where I live, there is technically a third option, called a tram, or the Metro. This is a sort of cross between a bus and a train. It goes on tracks, but the tracks are on the road. It is slower than a train. It is slower than a bus. If you are a brisk walker, it is slower than you.

Today's tantrum was inspired by my little jaunt yesterday, which turned out to be not so little after all. I caught the bus (on time-ish, not too smelly, no spitting), and then went to catch the train. I arrived at the station 15 minutes early - when you are a commuter, you find that you will leave your home approximately 5 hours before you need to, which allows for delays. So I built in a buffer for the bus being late, it wasn't, got to the railway station in plenty of time. The train was late. 30 minutes late, so I had 45 minutes to kill at the station. Apparently the driver hadn't turned up in Manchester, where the train started. Oh well, that's all right then. It's not as if we were depending on him. Oh, we were?

So of course I arrived late for the meeting, had the meeting, no lunch (oh that is SO another blog post) and got on the train to come back. It was on time. In fact I even had to do a little woman commuter jog up the platform. This is instantly recognisable as being the jog that a woman in a suit and high heels does to catch a train, and ultimately means that it is slower than actually walking, but you pinwheel your arms a bit more. Marvellous. On the train, train pulls away, no smelly people, buy a sandwich that is approximately equal in price to the National Debt, and settle in. Train pulls in at the first station, stops to let people off, let people on, and then pulls away. Except it doesn't. The pulling away bit. Because someone, further up the line, has thrown themselves in front of the train in front of mine. This is disturbingly more frequent of an event than you would imagine. We are made to get off the train. The line is closed. Nothing to be done. No offers of alternative transport, the swell of commuters ever increasing until we are packed like sardines on the platform, with nowhere to sit.

For two and a half hours. TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

When the line re-opens, I find that my train, my lovely train, has disappeared off the face of the earth. No train to Wolverhampton. I could go to Glasgow. Or Manchester. I expect if I set my mind on it I could go to Venus. But not where I live.

And that's why this week that my tantrum is about public transport. Because it's late, it makes me stand in the cold, and it doesn't drop me off at my house.

It's like being married again.

However on a much brighter note - the lovely David at Authorblog has awarded me a Post of the Day for Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes. How lovely! So get yourselves over to see him, and see what other blogs he's mentioned too, they're fab.

If I were you though, I'd get a taxi.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes

At least my work is. I made a very flippant comment in a previous blog post about my new job, and expense account lunches. I'm not important enough to have a company credit card, a company car, a company mobile or a company Blackberry.

And I thank god for all of those small mercies.

I can understand that if you're new to a job, then these little things would be a sort of status symbol, some kind of proof that you deserve to be taken seriously. When you've been doing a similar sort of job for a while, like me, you know that you don't need these to be taken seriously. Actually, what you know is that no one takes you seriously anyway, most of the time you're spitting into the wind, even more of the time you couldn't care less, and even if you did want to be taken seriously, you know that shouting and/or random acts of violence are the only way to go.

However, in the pecking order of our office, the one where I sit slightly above cleaner, but with less popularity than the trolley lady, I do get invited out to lunch. Quite a bit. In fact, twice this week coming. It sounds great, doesn't it?


Er, actually, no. You see, it's all right going out to lunch, but it's all the other stuff that goes with it that bothers me. For a start, I have to try and look business like, which is no mean feat. This means I have to dust off a suit, make sure I've got decent shoes on, and make sure that I haven't got toothpaste on my face. I even (horror of horrors) have to put a bit of make-up on, to let people know that a/ I'm a woman and b/ I'm only half as ghastly as I could have been. I also then have to sit in a meeting, looking both thoughtful and attentive, nodding my head at relevant moments, putting my finger to my chin and going 'Hmm' and 'Mmm mmm' as and when I feel some sort of business response is required.

And don't even get me started on the meal business. That's a minefield all of it's own. A quick glance at the menu, then a longer glance at what I'm wearing. If my clothes are black, nothing with a cream sauce. If they're white, nothing with a tomato sauce. NEVER, EVER, spaghetti. Nothing that requires twirling round a fork. Nothing with bones in, that might inadvertently get stuck in my throat, and lead to a paroxysm of coughing which results in fish hitting my guest opposite in the eye at a rate somewhat approaching the speed of sound. Nothing that I think I'll like, only to remember when it's in my mouth that I don't, and then makes me gag. Nothing that will fetch a filling out. Nothing that I'll get on my face, and only notice on the train journey home. And most importantly of all, NOT THE MEAL THAT IS MOST EXPENSIVE.

This is quite an art. You have to look at the menu, look at your fellow guests, and then try to anticipate what everyone will have. No good opting for a sandwich, if everyone else is going to tuck into a steak. Even worse to order the highly expensive, but beautifully presented, sea bass if your fellow diners are just having a quick Caesar salad.

And the worst sin of all; don't have too much to drink.

Don't get me wrong; I like a drink as much as the next woman, particularly if the next woman is Amy Winehouse when she's having a break from the crack with something a bit lighter on the possible custodial sentencing. But drinking at lunchtimes is something I do not do well at all. One glass of wine has me bright red in the face, two sees me a little more giggly than usual, three might have me discussing sexual positions and four will see me sliding off my chair. But it's almost the done thing to have something to be sociable, so I'll have to try and get used to it.

Wish me luck, won't you?

And can you really get your leg right up there? Let me see if I can...

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Tuesday Tantrum

Welcome to a new weekly series on things that are making me a bit cross. It does come however with a little bit of a proviso. For a start, I can't always guarantee that it's going to be on a Tuesday. I can't say for definite that it will be weekly. What I can say, is that there is always something that is getting my goat. When I called it a weekly series, I was a bit worried that I might not be able to do it every week.

Now I've thought about it, I'm more concerned that it might be hourly.

Today's tantrum concerns an apparent lack of literacy in the working population. Or more specifically, some people being unable to FOLLOW A SIMPLE DAMN INSTRUCTION IN AN E-MAIL.

I hate to lift a veil of secrecy over my employment; really I'd like you all to believe that I swan around, making executive decisions, and shouting 'Buy! Sell! Buy!' into the phone, while I twang my Wall Street braces. However that is very far from the truth. Lean in close, so I only have to whisper. My job?

Not rocket science.

I run a team of people, all well educated, all used to working in an office, all with previous experience of very imilar types of work. No one fresh from school, all with tongues in their head, all capable of making rational decisions. Sounds marvellous doesn't it? Because I've got quite a big team, because both I and they spend a lot of time on the telephone, it's quite difficult to get everyone together so that they can all be told the same thing at the same time. Thus I resort to the team leader's fall back position; I send them an e-mail. That way, they can read it when they've got a minute, and if it's important they can keep it so they can refer back to it.

Again, not rocket science.

I'll give you a little example, and paraphrase it very slightly so I don't break some previously unheard of privacy law:-


I know you'll all have noticed the problems with accessing certain data this morning. Systems are working on it, but they've managed to put a temporary fix in place. Double click on the icon below, and you will then be able to gain access. However, this will not save overnight - keep this e-mail safe so that you can click on the icon every day until problem is permanently sorted.

Any queries, please give me a shout.

See? It doesn't seem so difficult, does it? And just in case, the e-mail was titled something like 'IT Issues - Important, Please Read'. Like I'd send an e-mail that you didn't have to read. If I wanted to talk and have nobody listen, I'd just get married again.

And did it work? Did it buggery. Some hours later, one of my team asked if anything had happened about the problem. I asked if they'd read the e-mail. Oh? Had I sent an e-mail? Someone else deleted it without reading it, someone deleted it after reading it, someone couldn't find it at all the next day, although they'd definitely seen it before, one person thought it didn't apply to them and another one hadn't clicked on the icon because they didn't understand the instruction.

As well as having the tuesday Tantrum, I'm thinking of having Firing Squad Friday; I'd do it earlier but I need time to go and buy the ammo...

So, does anyone want to join in? Anything on your mind today?

Let's have a little rant and get it out of our systems...

Monday, 12 May 2008

A Shadow of my Former Self

I wish.

One of the things I really wanted to do this year was lose weight. It's now four months from the time when I'll be going on holiday, and it will apparently be warm enough for me to not to have to wear a scarf. Indeed, there is the possibility that I will take my socks off. And even, maybe, be seen in some sort of swimming attire (which is nice, not just because I can't swim, but also because the fashion for knee length stripey costumes appears to have passed by). This means of course that I need to be at my best weight, looking gorgeous.

I wish.

The cause of my sad downfall on the weight loss front has been my new job. I could make up extravagant stories about the fact that I now have expense account lunches with clients, where we eat only the finest caviar, and quaff port. I could fictionalise my evenings and tell you that I work in such a high pressure environment that when I get home I have to order in a takeaway as it's already nearly midnight. I could delight you with tales of business breakfasts, executive brunches and early evening cocktails.

But none of it is true. My downfall is the staff canteen.

I get there early some mornings, early enough for me not always to either have had time for, or feel like, breakfast. But wait! All is not lost! The canteen is open for breakfast! With a selection of toasts, preserves, cereals and cooked breakfasts. I haven't always had time to make my sandwiches. But wait! The canteen is open for lunch! With a selection of hot meals, ready made and made to order sandwiches, crisps, puddings and chocolates.Sometimes in the afternoon, you've been working so hard that you need a little pick-me-up to get you through the rest of the day. It's a shame that the canteen closes after lunch, because do you know what would be really useful? I know! A lady coming round with a trolley! With reduced price sandwiches, chocolates, crisps, fruit (!), Angel Delight in pots, muffins, and my all time favourites, little pots of pick n mix sweets.

So today I decided enough was enough, unless I want to achieve fame and fortune in a Channel Five Documentary called 'F*** Me, That Woman is Fat.' I had a very healthy bowl of cereal before I left for work. I took a salad with me for lunch, and some raspberries to snack on in the afternoon. I had a beef salad when I got home tonight, and followed it up with a yoghurt.


But I reckon that Creme Eggs don't last forever, so I had to finish those last two in the fridge. But eggs? That's like protein, right?

I wish.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Another Country

I'm back. And this time for good.

Or evil.

Do you remember when I was 40, and I had a massive long list of things I wanted to do? I told you about it here? Well, I've been busy. And it's only May right? So I'm not even half way though the year yet, am I?

I'm also not even close to halfway through the damn list either, which is one of those things about blogging where you come a cropper. I mean, if you make a New Years Resolution and don't tell anyone, then who's to know if it's all gone to cock by the 4th of January?

So far, I'm well on the way to number 14, 18's a done deal, 21's looking good, 29, lots of you did (but you should really get your screen resolution sorted) and Belle's taking care of 17 and 26, but they're still in the future.

Which brings me to number 2. I'd like to go to a country I've never been to before. I was thinking about lots of places when I wrote that. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, China. And a little bit nearer to home Croatia, Greece or Russia. I've just booked a holiday for a week in September, but it's not to a country I've never been to before. It's Italy.

And I'm going with him.

I would like to say the process was straightforward. I'd also like to say that I've just won the lottery, but that's not true either.

We'd skated round the subject for a little while but eventually agreed that we would like to go on holiday together. In a burst of enthusiasm that I normally reserve for cheese or cheese related products, I whizzed off to the travel agent to get a brochure to give me some ideas. We talked about when we could get away. Golf played a far greater part in the decision than one could imagine, frankly, but eventually, we decided on the middle of September. We both wanted to go somewhere warm, and somewhere where you can do things. You know, things. A bit more than a beach holiday, if you like.

I came up with a wealth of suggestions: Morocco, Egypt, Greece, Italy. We decided on Italy, so then the searching could begin in earnest. Or so you would think...

I went back to the travel agents and came up with enough Italy brochures to fill, well, fill a travel agents. He went to the travel agents and picked up a brochure. Singular. I perused them at length, came up with an idea of what sort of area I'd like to go to.

I think he watched the football.

My decision was carried unanimously, so I went back to the brochures to draw up a short list of hotels, based on price, location, amenities, the usual sort of thing.

I think he watched the football.

I took all of my brochures out with us one night, and we skimmed through them while we had a drink. The next morning I left them for him, with the corners helpfully turned down, so he could see which ones I liked. I'm not a control freak (quiet at the back); I told him that there were loads to choose from, and I'd welcome any other suggestions. The weekend was a Bank Holiday, so there was loads of time to look through them. He didn't. I do not think that men like to look through brochures, nor make decisions.

Maybe that is only certain men.

We met up at my house to finalise the booking. In a fit of frustration the night before I'd sent him a text message telling him to 'LOOK AT THE DAMN BROCHURES'. It perhaps wasn't very polite. But he had taken me seriously this time, and made a page of useful notes. They mainly centred around one hotel, which was his favourite. It is too expensive, well over the price range that we'd set for ourselves. I'd discussed this with him before. It was only cheaper in one brochure because that was a flight from Gatwick and it didn't include a transfer from the airport, and for all I know, you had to stand on one leg while you booked it, to get that price. It was also booked up entirely for the week we wanted to go.

I told him all of this, and we went to trawl the internet. I pulled up a website showing a hotel that I liked the look of, that we could afford, and that was free the week we needed.

'It's not really like that other one, is it?' he said.

No, it isn't. What about this one? It's a bit more expensive, but still within our budget.

'It's not really the same as that other one though, is it?' he said.

No. because it's in our price range, and we could stay in it for the right week.

I would like to say that this stopped after two hotels, but again with the winning the lottery thing.

Finally, finally, we decided on a hotel. No, it's nothing like that other one, but by this time I'd have slept on the beach. We started to go through the booking screens, decided to pay the supplement for the room with a view, rather than the room with its own polluted atmosphere from all the Vespas on the road outside. No need to book an in-flight meal is there, I said, skipping past it. He looks at me in some horror. I reiterate to him that the flight is at 10 past 6 in the morning. We will have been at the airport since 4. The only food I can imagine eating at that time is a kebab. And usually I have to have had a fair few lagers to work up an appetite for it. I try to look at it from his point of view.

You know, the wrong one.

'Well, I suppose when I go on holiday with C, she always makes me a bacon sandwich to eat at the airport' I remark wistfully.

He looks at me with renewed hope.

'Shall I ask her if she'll make us both one?' I say, thereby dashing all of his hopes of me as a domestic goddess.

The meal costs quite a lot of money. That's as cheap as we could get something at the airport, he says. Yes it is, if we have foie gras and lobster, but I don't think they do it in a kebab.He makes a final bid for the meal on the plane.

'But Aldo Zilli's making it!' he says, with a note of triumph that is clearly meant to be the casting vote. I do not think that a meal that is inspired by Aldo Zilli means that he's going to be at the front of the plane, whipping up some sort of gastronomic delight. I think we'll be lucky if it's a variety box of Rice Krispies, but I also think you have to choose your battles. A meal on the plane it is.

And finally, we're booked.

It might not be a country that I've never been to before, but a lot of it's starting to feel like uncharted territory...

Sunday, 20 April 2008

At last

As I have been booted unceremoniously out of semi-retirement by Swearing Mother, I am here. I've just been to her blog and she sounds as though she's in a foul mood, so I daren't disobey.

However, the simple fact is I'm not sure I should be here.

I'm a few weeks into a new job (which is going great), non-relationship tripping along very nicely (best not to ask) and my computer is dying on its arse.

So I keep wondering, why am I here. Not in a sort of existentialist what am I on this planet for, but because I seem to have run out of things to say.

I've lost my funny.

And my misery.

All gone.

Just me left.

So I'm going to disappear for a bit.

Take care everyone, you've been fab.


Sunday, 30 March 2008

Cold Truth

So, 2 weeks ago, it's my last day at work. I've been there almost 17 years, so it's really hard to leave everyone behind. That said, some of the people? Wish I'd left them years ago.

We all went out in the evening. Well, I'd been out at lunchtime too, so it promised to be a good night. And it was. Loads of people came out, some people I didn't expect to come out, which was fab, because the drinking thing, it's not for everyone. Specially, because when I do go out on a night like this, there's not really much of an opportunity for food, unless chips happen to fall in your mouth from a plague of raining chips as you walk from one pub to another. Which I've always sort of hoped for, but it's yet to happen.

One pub led to another. It always does. There were tears, not mine. There are always girls who cry for no reason. Why does that happen? Are we still in school? Good grief.

We ended up in an 80s bar, which is always kind of an end of night thing with us. You know, at the beginning of the night, it's the worst place that you could think of ending up, and you wouldn't be seen dead in it. Halfway through the evening, you start to think about where's a good place that you can all stay late, and some people can have a dance. Come half eleven, it's all "Oh God! Wham! I love this one!" and you're away. We danced me and him, messing around, having a laugh. We may have shared a quick kiss, no big deal, hardly anyone left that had started out with us, and nothing more than a peck anyway.

Fast forward, if you will, two weeks later. One of my friends from the old office leaving to start a new life in Dublin. I went to say goodbye to her. Same old faces, but already I felt like I didn't belong, that I've moved on, I have a different road to take now. He was there and someone commented to him that now his girlfriend had turned up. We were a couple, weren't we? We had, apparently, been the talk of the office in those two weeks, not that he knew anything about it of course. Men don't really enter into that sort of gossip (well, if they do, they don't often admit to it), and anyway I guess that people knew that he'd give them short shrift if they asked him anything about us.

I watched him when he was asked the question. He laughed and said no, we weren't a couple.

And that's the cold truth.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

The Flip Side of Mothering

Or Why I Need a New Coat.

Is it just me? Or do you only realise when you're at the bus stop on the way to the childminder, that you haven't examined your offspring's face? I mean, don't get me wrong, you look at them all the time. But really examine? I mean, they know the routine, right? Make sure your face is clean before you leave the house. And clean your teeth. And at least wave something over your hair. So you don't need really to examine their faces, do you?

Of course you do.

Even for minor things, like sleepy eyes. (Although it is not unheard of for me to spot toothpaste, jam, chocolate or a combination of all 3 which dates back days). I have a real issue about those bits of sleep that get into the corner of your eyes. I prod at my own eyes with the fervour of an archaeologist and am amazed that this is one of the habits my son hasn't inherited. (Lord have mercy on him, he got my laugh. Which means that he will spend the rest of his life being recognised at a hundred yards every time someone says something even remotely amusing.)

So it's really only when I get to the bus stop that I have time to examine his eyes. And sadly he is past the age where he allows me to stick random digits in his eyes. (ah, those were the days). I am therefore left with the highly unsatisfactory resolution of pointing out that he has sleep in his eyes. When I first started doing this he would perform nicely, like a good boy. Lately, things have taken a sinister turn. He wiped the sleep out of his eyes, and then wiped his finger on my sleeve. I stared at him.

'What are you doing?'

'Wiping my finger.'

'What was on it?'

'Eyeball jelly.'

Eeeeeeewwwwwwww. I mean, just eeeeeewwwwwwww.

He has now stepped up the campaign of horror. Recently, I took the brave decision to point out the sleep in his eyes again. Then turned away to look for the bus, affecting nonchalance. The next thing I feel is his fingers.

Entwined lovingly in my hair.

I turn to stare at him.

'Have you just wiped sleep in my hair?'

He bursts out laughing at the look of disgust on my face, and chortles merrily.

'Of course I haven't, mummy.'

I breathe a sigh of relief, and turn back to look for the bus.

'I wiped it on your coat first.'

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Why I Love Being a Mother - #1 in an Infinite Series

Mother's Day.

A Special Day. For Mothers. Because We Are Special.

It's good, isn't it?

It's one of the things that I like about being a mother. As my son is not with me permanently, there is inevitably a scuffle just before Mother's Day (or Mothering Sunday, as my own mum will insist), whilst said son tries to smuggle in random assorted gifts through the front door, under his dad's supervision.

'Mum, will you go & stand in the kitchen?'

I do. Strategically positioned, so that I can see the antics reflected in the kitchen window. There is rustling, whispering, a bit more rustling, and then thundering footsteps up the stairs. Son returns.

'You know the place where the shower switch is? Where the suitcases are?'

I do indeed. It is the place that I'm going to rent to a vertically & financially challenged person when I fall on hard times.

'Don't go in there'.

I wouldn't dream of it.

I was lucky enough to be woken with breakfast in bed. By a nine year old. This had taken quite a lot of preparation, on both our parts. I thought long & hard about it yesterday. Did I trust him with the toaster? Did I buggery. Could I trust him to get up the stairs with cereal, and more importantly, milk? No, I could not. So what then would be easily managed?

Pain au chocolat would, and stuff the diet. I gave brief instructions last night about how to use the microwave.

'Open the door. Put them in. On a plate. Close the door. Turn the timer thingy to in between 1 and 2 mins. Don't stand in front of it. (Old superstitions die hard) When the timer dings, take them out. Bring to lovely mummy.'

Child's play, you'd think.

I was greeted with his little smiling face, clutching a plate.

'Did you hear that bang?'

No. I did not hear a bang. I felt an earthquake in the week, but I did not hear a bang when my son was unsupervised in the kitchen. Dear God, the house is in ruins. I will need to call the fire brigade. I wonder if the cat has exploded too.

'I think it was when they got so hot that the cellophane exploded.'

Did I remember to tell him to take them out of the cellophane? Apparently not. I'm slightly perturbed that there wasn't molten plastic on them. At least none that I could taste.

Ah well.

Mother's Day. What's not to love?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Road to Nowhere

I keep being gone too long, I know I do. And I sometimes miss having the time to come here as often as I used to. Lots of you with site meters will find that I still come to see you, even if I don't always have time to leave a comment, and I do still love hearing about what you're all up to. But these days, I just seem so busy, and there's always somewhere else I need to be.

Like Thursday evening for instance. Some work do, where one of our clients took quite a lot of us out for a meal and a drink. They've been doing this for about 5 years now, and always just after Christmas, so we were a bit later this year. These events are now the stuff of office legend. One year someone got so drunk that they fell asleep in their own garden on their way home, and lost one of their contact lenses. (Not me, don't wear lenses). One year we went to a club, and someone threw up, incredibly violently, in the toilets. (Not me, I rarely throw up now from drink). One year, someone drank 5 sambuccas straight down, after lighting them, and then thought they'd gone blind. (OK, that one was me). If you have the stamina for them, they regularly go on until about 5 the next morning.

I do not have the stamina for that.

This year, we left at about half 12 (just 1 sambucca, but quite a lot of vodka & a little bit of wine), and as we sat in the taxi I thought a little bit about the fact that it would be the last one that I went to, because of my new job. Lots of things will come to an end now. And as Manic Mother was astute enough to point out, the new job means that I won't be working with him any more. Are we still doing what we're doing out of habit, because we're there? Is it just because we see each other nearly every day? Will this just become a Christmas and birthday card sort of friendship?

No one knows, not even me, although I don't think it will.

When we got to his house, he gave me my birthday present, which had been ordered and had taken a long while to get here. It was this.

I love this painting. I know there is much snobbery in the art world about Jack Vettriano, but I simply do not care. Is it wrong to like a painting because you can see what it is? Is it wrong to like something traditional, because it is not made out of earwax and toenail clippings?
It's called 'Road to Nowhere'. He chose it because he loved the painting, the fact that the couple looked so damn cool, and that even if it's a road to nowhere, you kind of want to go where they're going.
He also chose it because it's the title of one of his favourite songs (by Talking Heads, if you're not sure).
The lyrics make me smile.
'Well we know where we're goin'
But we don't know where we've been
And we know what we're knowin'
But we can't say what we've seen
And we're not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out
We're on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Takin' that ride to nowhere
We'll take that ride
I'm feelin' okay this mornin'
And you know,
We're on the road to paradise
Here we go, here we go.'
I like the idea of being on that road, even if it is going nowhere.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Working for Peanuts

Goodness. I have split the blogger community asunder. And I'm glad.

I like the fact that you'll be honest with me. Not for me the namby pamby 'Oh, but it's lovely. You're lovely. Have you lost weight?' I'd rather you tell me what you think. And so you do. With bells on. And that way I know you're reading it too. But just to give you all a little break from the controversy, I've decided to stick with 2 less controversial topics that I've also promised to write about (Crystal, I promise I'll come back to holiday). Today, pay attention, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to discuss weight and work.

You may remember that I've promised to shed 10% of my weight within 6 months. This campaign, within our office is affectionately entitled, 'Axe The Flab'. I may well yet have to resort to an axe. Lola, you've given me excellent advice on how best to do this, and I can see that I was clearly along the wrong lines with chopping off a leg. As you very kindly point out this is 18.5%, and therefore that is too much. A head is 7%, and therefore not enough (although it would help in the long term, as I would no longer have a mouth to put food in, and I'm not sure you can put weight on by cramming cake straight into your neck stump.) Also there is the dead related problem. Although I will await for Lola's properly scientific advice, I'm pretty much convinced at the moment, that if the worst comes to the worst, I can do without 1 arm, 1 foot, and a generous shaving off each buttock.

All is not going well at the moment with the weight loss. I was off to a flying start, and lost 2.5 pounds the 1st week. I felt like I had too. I commented that I felt like a waif. I felt like a bag of crisps or 12 would set me back on the right track. But I stuck to it and lost another pound the week after. Then, my birthday week, I put a pound on (goodness, doesn't pizza & vodka weigh heavy when it's in skin?), and I think this week I've stayed the same, although I was technically wearing lighter clothes, so may in fact have put weight on again. Tricky damn business. But at least I'm going in the right direction, and at least, technically and theoretically, I know how to lose weight.

A colleague of mine who's doing the same thing put 2 pounds on the 1st week, then lost 1, then put another 2 on. She's lost the will to live now, and can't remember if she's lost or gained this week, as she now has no idea how much she weighed in the 1st place. She was listening in to a convesration I was having with a friend when I explained how I'd been really good, eating chicken, fish, vegetables, lots of fruit (this was early on & I wasn't counting lemon in my vodka as fruit). She asked if I'd changed what I normally ate. I said of course I had. She looked at me in astonishment.

'God,' she said. 'I don't think I could do that.'

She appears to be under the mistaken apprehension that by signing up for the campaign, she has effectively guaranteed that she will lose weight. And cannot understand that if in 1 week, you have fish & chips (twice), pizza & chips, a family size lemon sponge cake, and 2 Danish pastries (with vanilla custardy stuff) per day, then you will not automatically lose weight. Beats me how she lost any weight in that second week.

It is only my competitive streak that keeps me going, and soon I'm going to lose that. Well, not lose it, but just not have access to it. Bacuse you see (cue drumroll & fanfare), I have a new job. I've signed on with an agency, been for an interview, been offered the job and handed my notice in. All in the space of 2 weeks. It has taken my breath away, and I'm fairly sure that when the adrenalin wears off I will be in shock. But for now, I'm very content, and delighted with the fact that I gave a figure for the salary I was looking for, and left myself enough room to negotiate, because I was at the top end of their salary band. I'm even more delighted with the fact that they clearly realised I was a catch & no mistake, and offered me more than I asked for. I'm even more delighted than that, that this equates to a salary increase of approximately 17%. (so my mathematically minded friends tell me). And to that person who told me that the grass isn't always greener? No you're right, it isn't. But the grass is dead on this side & I'll thank you to keep your miserable face & opinion to yourself. So there.

I had a bit of trouble with writing my resignation letter. I've not written one for years. In the end, I wrote a very pleasant one, thanking them for the opportunities they'd given me.

But I'm still quite fond of my first draft.

'Dear (insert name),
I would like to tender my resignation from the company forthwith. This is because I hate my job, and (insert other name) is really mean, and I hate her too. Also, I think you have the potential to be mean, and in fact a mini-me clone of (other name). I would rather eat my own feet than continue working here.'

And I would too.

But I'm trying to lose weight.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

When is a Relationship not a Relationship?

First of all, I'd just like to say a massive thank you to readers new & old who left such lovely comments on my birthday post. I did feel quite brave coming out with a photo, and I promise it's never likely to be repeated! I had a great birthday, thanks all.

Secondly, as promised, there's some things I need to get back to, because I've not posted here as regularly as I would have liked. I've been busy with all sorts, but I'll try to get you up to speed.

Right. Where to start. Right. Erm. Well.


You'll remember that I walked away, right? And you'll remember also how that went, right? That despite my promises and oaths, I walked right back, about half a nano-second later? Right.

Well, after Christmas, we had a bit of a talk. Or at least I did. Because by now, I was so certain as to how things went, that despite his presence, I decided to hold both sides of the conversation. I am nothing if not helpful.

Me: I know what you're going to say. You're going to say that you never meant for any of this to happen. You don't regret it happening, but you don't want to hurt me. You would never do anything to hurt me, and that's why it can't happen again. But you're not sorry and you enjoyed it. But you don't want to hurt me. And you just don't see me in that way.

He at least had the grace to laugh.

But, in an extremely sly move, and most unexpectedly, he had changed the script (although he told me it was a damn good effort.) You see, I've been here before with him, and I said that unless we did something about it, then I didn't think I could rule it out that it might happen again.And he said that he didn't think he could, either.

Then he said he didn't want to rule it out.

Now readers, if you are paying attention, you will note that this is something unexpected (To me at least. But you are probably quicker on the uptake, and decidedly more realistic). You see, although he doesn't want to rule out the possibility of us spending the odd night together here and there, he doesn't want anything else. At least, not from me.

This is not where I expected my life to be. At some point, I was meant to have moonlight and roses, champagne and dancing. I think I maybe need to check my Amazon order again, because something has gone awry.

So I did the only sensible thing. I told him that I wasn't interested in half measures. That I deserved better than that. That I deserved someone who wanted all of me, as a person. And I told him to stop being so damn cheeky. Did he think I was some cheap bit of skirt?

Did I fuck.

I laughed, and told him OK, that we'd see how it goes. Then I giggled a lot, because frankly, this is so out of character from my usual self that it is like an alien invasion.

And it's going really well. I think I'm more surprised than anyone.

But when I was talking to Belle about it, she doesn't seem to get the crux of the matter. God bless her, she's had a lot on her mind of late, so I can understand her confusion. You see, WE ARE NOT DATING. At all. We are not in a relationship. But she's not getting it.

You might be able to settle this for us.

This is how it goes. We talk to each other, and then we suggest a time that we might like to go out. We work together, so it's usually after work. So we make an arrangement in advance. He asks me if I'd like to stay over, and if I would, then I take an overnight bag, which is infinitely easier than before when things just 'happened', and I had to borrow shower gel, shampoo, toothbrushes etc, and wear the same clothes to work 2 days running. Not a good look, if I'm honest.


Then we go out for a drink in town, have a laugh, like always, chat about rubbish, like always. Have a meal, then go back to his home town (far posher than mine, in a very nice part of Birmingham). Have a couple of drinks there. If we haven't had a meal in town, we'll pick up a takeaway, then go back & watch ER. Then, well. You don't need all the details.

He was disappointed, I think, that I couldn't stay over the night before my birthday, so I'd wake up with him. But I had other plans. On Monday, I had some exciting news, so we went for a drink after work. Then I stayed over in an impromptu fashion. On Thursday, we'd planned to go out for my birthday, which we did & it was lovely. Had a meal, went to the cinema, went back to his house (with my overnight bag this time). Friday, we went out for a drink with loads of people from work.

I had approximately 12 vodkas too many, on top of the 6 or so that were OK, and was feeling a little bit the worse for wear. He didn't ask me if I wanted to stay at his house.

He told me that I had to.

Because he was worried about me getting home by myself. It's a long way, for goodness sake, I'm a woman on my own, and IT'S NOT SAFE, YOU ARE STAYING. (I might have taken a swear word or 20 out).

When I have had a little drink, I've been known to let the feisty side of me come out. This was one of those occasions. I was really stroppy with him. Did he not trust me to get home? Did he think I was some pathetic woman? He'd let me go home like this before, what's changed? Did he think that now, especially now, that I wasn't so damn careful of the boundaries that we'd set up, that I was looking for him to rescue me?

And do you know what he did then? He agreed. But he still said it wasn't safe. But that he was just being protective. Maybe a bit over-protective, he said. When we got to his house, I sat on the sofa & sulked. Then I cried. Then I went to bed, to stop the room spinning. I don't think we spoke until the morning.

Surely to god, none of the above is how couples go on with each other? Where is the moonlight & roses? Where is the champagne? No candles?

Belle told me that it sounds very much like a relationship to her.

But then I played my trump card.

We're not going out with each other. Because he hasn't asked me out.

So there.

Saturday, 2 February 2008


I'll come back to the other topics, I promise.

But today, it's my birthday.

1. I'd like to stay up all night and watch the sun rise.
2. I'd like to go to a country I've never been to before.
3. I'd like to learn a new language.
4. I'd like to go dancing.
5. I'd like to be sent flowers.
6. I'd like to walk barefoot in the sand.
7. I'd like to go and see a new band.
8. I'd like to go to the opera.
9. I'd like to ride a horse.
10. I'd like to learn to drive.
11. I'd like to have beautiful nails, with patterns.
12. I'd like to lie in a field and look at the stars.
13. I'd like to make snow angels.
14. I'd like to smile and laugh more.
15. I'd like to drink champagne.
16. I'd like to go for a long walk in the country.
17. I'd like to go to the National Gallery.
18. I'd like to get a new job.
19. I'd like to go and see a French film, with subtitles.
20. I'd like to have a massage.
21. I'd like to see my son stay as happy as he is now.
22. I'd like to sit outside and drink wine in the evening.
23. I'd like to exercise more.
24. I'd like to wear fancy dress.
25. I'd like to spend more time with my friends.
26. I'd like to go to the theatre in London.
27. I'd like to watch Shirley Valentine again.
28. I'd like to learn to ski.
29. I'd like someone to tell me I look beautiful.
30. I'd like to start voluntary work.
31. I'd like to make a difference to someone.
32. I'd like to go on a boat.
33. I'd like to lose weight.
34. I'd like someone to sing to me.
35. I'd like to be brave.
36. I'd like a wish to come true.
37. I'd like to see fireworks, and have a sparkler.
38. I'd like to wear silk.
39. I'd like to be in love, and be loved back.
40. I'd like to be me, but better.

Lots of love,


Monday, 28 January 2008

Out of Breath

I'm only here really quickly, life is most manic at the moment, so I'm literally grabbing a few spare minutes as I haven't been here for so long. Forgive me, but you're really going to have to run to keep up, and I promise I'll come back later in the week.

Yes, it appears to approach, and ever faster. I will be 40 this Saturday. I expected to dread it, but instead am approaching it with glee, and a renewed joie de whatsname.

It remains the bane of my life. Not just because it gets in the way of really important stuff, like Jeremy Kyle for instance, but because it's horrible, and I hate it. There are however plans...

Somewhat foolishly, I (& some others) have agreed to do a sponsored weight loss thingummy at work, called Axe the Flubber, or some such delight. I have to commit to losing 10% of my body weight within 6 months. This equates to about 20 stone. Am thinking of having a leg off.

Nothing planned, although have recently come back from a lovely weekend in Portugal. Ooh, get me!

Needs decorating in some rooms, knocking down in others, & bricking up the remainder. Am thinking a coat of paint might have to do it though. And a blindfold at the door.

Not enough time to see them, talk to them, catch up with them or generally be with them. Is pissing me off mightily.

Is taking a very pleasant turn, thanks very much for asking. Yes, I'm being careful, yes I'm being careful not to get hurt, yes, I'm enjoying myself. Mightily.

Not enough time, not enough time to come & read you all, but I will do soon, I promise, I really haven't forgotten you all. I miss you very much.

Now to help me prioritise & manage my time better, if you leave me a comment, then please let me know which of the above you'd like me to expand on.

Because believe me, there's more on every single one...

Monday, 14 January 2008

Subverting The Form

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess called Brunettilocks. When she was just a little girl, she had been Goldilocks, and as she grew up, she changed her name frequently, being Blondilocks, Highlightilocks, Blackilocks & Burgundilocks. An evil witch, so jealous of the princess, cast a wicked spell upon her, and turned her hair to the shiniest silver. Luckily, her fairy godmother came to her aid, and every few weeks restored her hair to its former glory.

Brunettilocks, the beautiful princess, lived in the land of Sometime-Never, and spent hours gazing wistfully through her window into the dark woods beyond, wishing for her Prince Charming. Prince Charming sadly never seemed to arrive, so Brunettilocks decided to take matters into her own hands, and venture into the deep, dark woods. One day, whilst she played happily with a little band of squirrels and rabbits, she spied a cottage she had never seen before. Bravely, she approached, and knocked on the door. There was no answer, so she pushed the creaking door open to peek inside.

She explored the little cottage, exclaiming joyfully at the treasures she found within. She ventured upstairs, and overcome by the excitement of her adventure, lay on the bed to sleep. She was rudely awakened by a loud shout. Sitting up in bed with a start, she was shocked to discover a great big bear, who told her his name was First Bear. She decided quickly that she loved him very much, and married him the next day. They lived happily for a short while, but then one day, First Bear came home from work looking very cross.

"Whose bed have you been sleeping in?" he growled, and Brunettilocks (who at this point was known as Copperilocks) sadly decided it was time to leave First Bear, and resume her search for Prince Charming. Some days later, she happened upon another cottage, very similar to the first. And here was another bear, almost the same as the first one! She was very worried that she would never find Prince Charming, and was tiring of the happy little games with the rabbits and the squirrels. So when Second Bear asked if she would marry him, she happily said that she would. They soon had a beautiful little baby bear, who Brunettilocks called Best Bear in All The Land, and she loved him very much.

Sadly, the day soon arrived when she had to leave Second Bear too, but Best Bear in All The Land lived some of the time with Brunettilocks, and some of the time with Second Bear, and he was a very happy bear indeed. Brunettilocks still dreamed of her Prince Charming, and would still gaze into the distant woods of Sometime-Never, wondering if he would ever appear. She decided that she would have one last search for him, and ventured into the woods again. She came upon a third little cottage, but this one was very different to the first. She peeked round the door, and spied a lovely steaming bowl of porridge on the table and sat down to taste it. Mmmm, it was delicious! But just as she put the second spoonful to her mouth, the door swung open, and there stood another bear, very different to the first two.

"Who is eating my porridge?" he asked, but not unkindly.

"It's just me, Brunettilocks", she replied. "It tastes delicious - does it have a special name?" she asked.

"Yes it does" he answered. "This is special friendship porridge"

And Brunettilocks and Third Bear sat down together to share the special friendship porridge. Soon she visited every day, and always enjoyed a bowl of special friendship porridge, but one day she asked if she could have something more.

"I'm sorry" said Third Bear. "But special friendship porridge is all I have".

"That's OK" she replied, and continued to visit every day. Some time later she asked again for more, but sadly the answer was still the same. Never mind, she thought, because the special friendship porridge is delicious, and I like it very much. She still visited Third Bear every day, and decided to ask one final time if there was anything else she could have. This time, Third Bear thought carefully and said:-

"I don't have quite what you want, Brunettilocks, because I think you would like to have some cake and eat it. But instead I can sometimes give you sugar and spice, and if you can be happy with that, then everything will be OK"

Brunettilocks thought very carefully. It had been very important to her to find Prince Charming, and truly she did want to have that delicious cake and eat it. But sugar and spice sounded very nice to have, so she told Third Bear that sugar and spice would be very nice indeed. She decided that she would visit him as often as she could, sometimes to have some special friendship porridge, and sometimes, if there was any, she would have some sugar and spice.

And if one day Prince Charming happened to come by, he would surely find her.

The End.

And the moral of this story, dear readers? That not every fairy story has a happy ending.

But sometimes, just sometimes, if you clap your hands and believe in fairies, it's not entirely a sad ending either.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it's the start of an adventure.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Come On People! Help Me!

Look everybody, this is really serious. We have (and I really do mean we, this is no time for you to be shirking your responsibilities) only 4 weeks to go, and we have to get moving.


I'm sorry for the shouting, only I'm getting a bit stressed. I've moved quite a lot, but I've never done this sort of move before. It's really serious, a really big commitment.


Oh, erm, I didn't.

Look at the URL for this blog. Go on, you know you want to. It is latethirtiescrisis. In just 4 weeks, there will be nothing late 30s about it. It will be 40. Well, I will, if not the blog. And not only does that mean my URL becomes not only crap but a lie, but it also means that I am too old for a tantrum (still), but not too young for a midlife crisis. Which I plan to have at the earliest opportunity.


So I need to move my blog to another URL. And I need to change the title of my blog. And I might need to change my name too. And my toothbrush. But I can manage that last one by myself.




Thursday, 3 January 2008

Having a Degree Does Not Make You Clever

Books, I can do them. Films, not a problem. Music, art, go on, I'll give them a whirl. Maths, not so much. In fact, I am a retard when it comes to maths. I have an O'Level in it, if that counts (ha! I made a maths joke!) for anything, but it seemed to be all about tangents and algebra and pi, and I don't use them at all now. Well, I go off on tangents. And I eat pies. But that's about it.

So anything vaguely maths related, and I go a bit glazed. And parts of me die. That's not me being dramatic, you know, I can hear them clunking out of action. Like Belle's washing machine. I'm not so bad in shops. But you know those conversations you have that start "OK, well I've given you 75 pence, but you already owed me 18 pence, but I bought the ticket for.."? By the time it gets to 75 pence, I have lost the will to live, and it has taken my reason with it.

So imagine how this conversation filled me with delight. For your benefit, I'll even give directors advice, so you can experience the full horror.

Me: Well, that's because you're a lot older than me. You're in a different decade.
Him: Only for 5 more weeks, and then we're in the same decade.
Me: God, I am old. Soon I will be the same age as you.
Him: You'll never be the same age, will you? Not exactly.
Me: Well, in the same year. For some of the year I'm the same age.
Him: True. And the gap between us is getting smaller.
Me: Eh?
Him: Gap's getting smaller. When I was 2, how old were you?
Me: Erm, 18 months old?
Him: So what was the gap as a percentage?
Me: Eh? (Panic sets in)
Him: What was the percentage?
Me: Ooh, er, crikey. Well, if I was 18 months old, and the gap was 6 months, and you were 2, well, it would have been, erm, ooh, god, erm, 25%? (This is a very random guess. I was close to saying pi, or something squared.)
Him: Well, if I'm 40 now, and you'll soon be 40, the gap is still 6 months, but what's the percentage now?
Me: Erm....4? (My brain has died)
Him: 4? How did you get 4?
Me: I guessed. Is it right? No, wait a minute....7! (This is said with some triumph)
Him: 7? 7? How in god's name did you get 7?
Me: Well, it didn't sound as though 4 was the right answer. So I tried 7. (I have decided honesty is the best policy. He will tell me the answer now, and not make me work at this)
Him: Now look. What fraction of 40 years is 6 months?
Me: Erm...(Oh dear god, it didn't work. And now we are doing fractions. Still, they are not so bad) Erm, is it an eightieth?
Him: Right, so if it's an eightieth, what is it as a percentage?
Me: Erm...(I have never done this in maths. Why would you need to convert a fraction into a percentage? If you wanted half of a cake, you wouldn't say "Oh please could I have 50% of that cake?" You would probably say "Oh please can I have all of that cake, and stuff your fractions and percentages". That's what you would say if you felt like I feel, right this minute.) Is it 7? (This is a last ditch gamble)
Him: (clearly exasperated beyond measure at my idiocy) Of course it's not 7...

There then followed an extremely complicated explanation, not only of why the answer was not 7, but of what the answer was. If I could remember it, remember how to work it out, or remember where the half of that cake was, I would tell you.

I tell you what, I should have got out of bed then...