Saturday, June 30, 2007

On the eve of the day some of us have been waiting for

An interesting article about what we can expect if we follow the Scottish example.

And with apologies to Marc (see promise made in comments but about to be broken) I couldn't resist publishing a link to this if only for this piece -

Dave Wild spends seven or eight hours a day in the pub. He's family, the ex-husband of landlady Linda. But that all stops when his beloved cigs are banned. "In 1974 I first came to this pub. I'm the ex-landlord and I'll stop coming [after the ban]," he says. "I smoke 100 to 120 cigs a day. The ban will kill us.

No comment necessary !

Friday, June 29, 2007


If you are just idly playing with the idea of starting a blog of your own - DON'T DO IT!

If you are in fact already knee deep in blogging there are some very reputable therapists around who may be able to help you kick this destructive habit.

Cos if you aren't very careful, three years down the line not only may you be under constant pressure to come up with something to write about because your public (all three of them) demands it, but you could also find yourself linked for life to a mad person who keeps going on about either a rubbish football team like they are important or something, or places in Edinburgh where a sodding fictional detective has supposedly been.

Unlucky Reidski dearest! And I for one am so glad you started a blog - otherwise I may never have got a shag again ;-)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It looked for a while

as if Reidksi and I would be stuck for ever in Edinburgh. On arrival at Waverley Train station for our train home the signs said 'Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.' Well I for one couldn't think of a better city to get stranded in. We loved Edinburgh.

So wrapped up were we in the fabulous city that we failed to register the fact that most of Yorkshire (which our train was supposed to pass through) was cut off by the terrible floods. In the end we got a train to Carlisle and went down the west coast instead of the east, and did get home that night, though with regrets that we weren't still in Edinburgh.

By Monday afternoon we were looking at houses in estate agents windows, and Reidski, who has many times been heard to say how much he hates Scotland, was wondering about his chances of getting a relocation package. We particularly liked the classy shops. Jenners had nothing on this.

I suppose we did get a slight clue that the weather down south hadn't been too rosy. About lunchtime on Monday we saw a bedraggled group of people who we at first took to be jakies, but then upon registering the rucksacks, the coach they had just climbed down out of, and the fact that they were covered head to foot in mud, we asked them how Glastonbury had been. "Worth it!" was the answer.

Loads more on this to follow, complete with a comprehensive guide to Pubs What We Did Visit. But to sign off for now, a photo of the middle of Scotland's capital city.

Wow or what?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

9 days and still counting

When I started the countdown clock there were 173 days to go and now there are only 9. But Reidski and I can't wait that long for a drink in a smoke free pub and are therefore off on Saturday to a civilised country for a few days.

And I pure cannae wait by the way. As I believe the natives say.

I just know I am going to get right on his nerves having 'Rebus came here' moments every five minutes- especially when I drag him in this pub so sorry in advance dearest!

John asks a good question

here. Check out his link to 'Sex in Christ'. So very funny. Whether intentionally or not I can't make up my mind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A sad but true fact

is that inevitably there comes a time in life when you find yourself moaning that 'things were so much better when I was a lass.' So here, to try and sound like 21st Century Woman is something that was so much worse when I was a lass.....

Going to the Dentist.

Now those four little words were absolutely guaranteed to strike terror into my younger self to such a degree that my mum stopped actually telling me about any dental appointment until the last possible minute. I suffered at the dentist as a child. I can still hear the hideous drill, remember how vile having fillings was, recall how awful having an x-ray was with chunks of plate stuck in my mouth that were too big for my cheeks, and how sick I was after having the gas to knock me out before they took four of my teeth from my overcrowded mouth. Even as a young adult the horror of having two wisdom teeth extracted at the dentist and the bottom tooth having to be drilled into little pieces to get the bloody thing out whilst the radio played 'Didn't we have a lovely day the day we went to Bangor?' will be with me till my dying day.

I forgot until this morning that we all have to go to the dentist today. I told the kids. My sub conscious memories prepared me for a hysterical reaction. "Yeah - fine." they say.

It occurs to me that the three of them have absolutely no idea that going to the dentist can equal pain. D and H have had 1 filling each and didn't feel a thing. J has had a worse time having to have 4 teeth out and a brace to straighten out his teeth, but he chose to go through all that and now has perfect teeth. He doesn't associate the dentist with pain either as any discomfort he experienced was at home when his teeth were shifting around.

So I don't have to worry at all about my kids going to the dentist. One day I am sure that I too will get over the residual fear.

There is a post script to this. When we were waiting at the dentist's reception a woman came through the door and her phone rang. Her ring tone was the theme to Psycho. Everyone cracked up laughing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blair Rock Project

Radio 5 have got a thing going this week to find the best record to illustrate the Blair years. They have narrowed it down to 10 all released during the past ten years and they are:

ANGELS - Robbie Williams
I PREDICT A RIOT - Kaiser Chiefs
FIX YOU - Coldplay
BABYLON - David Gray
TAKE ME OUT- Franz Ferdinand
CAN'T STAND ME NOW - The Libertines

I can see where most of them are coming from but the connection to 'I bet you look good on the dancefloor' escapes me as does 'You're Beautiful' but that is surely in the wrong competition and should be up for the Worst Record of the Blair years.

Anyway, our vote counts....which makes a nice change. Details can be found here.

But even 'You're Beautiful' would not stand a chance in the Worst Record of the Past Ten Years Competition. Nothing could possibly hold a candle to this piece of vomit inducing sentimental crap. Not in the last ten years, nor indeed EVER!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I lied

The number of matches I saw Reidski play yesterday in his tournament did not in the event depend upon how much rain fell, but upon how bad the traffic was on the M1 through Bedfordshire. The traffic through Bedfordshire was fucking awful and I saw precisely none of his six matches. But I was there to see him collect the wooden spoon on behalf of his team. I was so proud :-)

I was also there at the bar to hear a staff member ask another if a wallet had been handed in. It hadn't. It never occured to me that the missing wallet could have belonged to Reidski, but clearly my recent run of luck has started to rub off on him and he had indeed had his wallet pinched. He took that so much better than I took having my bag pinched that I feel ashamed of my own reaction to that particular set back.

The tournament was in Barking. Through lack of attention on the way back into London I took us on the wrong road. I'm not saying the road we took was rough but we did fear we had strayed into Warrior's territory. Jesus H Christ.

Having escaped with our lives from North Woolwich we needed a drink and stopped off in Whitechapel as illustrated.

It has changed a wee bit since that photo was taken. Here, just down the road from The Blind Beggar we witnessed turf wars. Various gangs all trying to flog illegal DVD's and trying to scare off the opposition gangs. Crime? Whitechapel? How unusual.

London never fails to dazzle me with its contrasts.

After a lovely evening in with curry and watching Jerry Maguire. (Altogether now -"Show me the money!") we had a walk in Primrose Hill with what appeared to be all of London's assembled middle classes. A couple with matching cycles and bike helmets over took us talking loudly with the guy braying "Yah! But what DO you imagine the peasants in the fields of Thailand think of that daaaahling?" Reidski - "That you're a total arse?"

And then me back north the slow way - this time it was Hertfordshire that was motorway hell.

And I am missing him already.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm on my own

It doesn't happen very often.

Both the boys are out at the cinema. A mate of theirs is driving them into town and back, but I am trying not to worry about that. My daughter is away on a sleepover. Had I known everyone was going to be out I would have gone down to see Reidski, but I have to wait till tomorrow to see him. He's playing in a 5 a side football tournament tomorrow - how many matches I see will be entirely dependent upon just how bad the rain is during the afternoon. Yes, I know - fair weather girl friend. Next weekend he is playing at a real football stadium - and I will be there in Edinburgh to witness that. Should be a great few days up there and we are hoping to have a pint or three with the Scottish Patient who is totally oblivious to the fact that Reidski and I owe our relationship to him. We met in the comments box on his blog. Now I ask you - can you get any more romantic than that?!

Anyway, back to the solitude that is my lot for this evening*.

It is bloody marvellous!

1) Have had the laptop all to myself without any 'Are you going to be much longer?' hassle.

2) Have not had to argue with my daughter over whether or not Big Brother is rubbish (she thinks it is) (no - she doesn't really.) .

3) Practise the belly dancing I learnt last night when I went out to a Moroccan restaurant without fear of ridicule.

4) Can play whatever music I want. Currently playing this

and trying to decide which track I love most, but the answer seems to be which ever one is playing at any given moment. 'Made of Stone' right now - sensational.

If only I wasn't actually feeling very guilty knowing that I am passing on the perfect opportunity to paint my recently damaged kitchen ceiling this evening wouldn't be at all bad.

And now I am off to read with some reluctance. Not that I don't love the book I am reading it is just that when I have finished it I will have read all nine Henning Mankell books about the Swedish detective Karl Wallender and I don't know how I am going to cope without another one of then to get stuck into. (Reidski thinks he is pish, and yes, I admit the idea that a portly detective in deepest Scandinavia could have without even knowing it have saved Nelson Mandela from assassination was a little far fetched, but that didn't stop it being a real page turner of a story (White Lioness.))

* Until about 11.00pm when 5 teenage boys will descend upon the house, take over the lounge, and eventually crash out at about 4.00 in the morning.

Sitting here crying

because I just read this. Incredibly moving.

Found via Pixie.

A not so positive outcome

as this one was.

Once upon a time there was a little girl and when she was 3 years old she remembers her mummy had a baby boy, but her wicked daddy made her mummy give the baby away.

The little girl grew up but she never forgot the baby brother she never knew. She never got married and never had a family of her own. She was lonely. She vowed to find the brother who was taken away from her. For many many years she sought him here, she sought him there but to no avail. She did not even know his name and could find out nothing. Where could he have gone?

When she was 78 years old there was a change in the law. As an avid watcher of daytime television she learnt of this change in the law and she picked up the phone to a lady called Jane for the first of very many times. When she spoke to this lady called Jane, Jane was unable to get off the phone and had to abandon all hopes of getting anything else done for the rest of the day. The little girl now aged 78 had become a very determined and formidable old lady, who can also manipulate the lady called Jane by bursting into tears at any point when it looked as if Jane was about to get off the phone to her. Jane promised to do all she possibly could to see if the 'baby brother' could be found. She searched and searched for any information and found out his name. Eureka! It would have been a little bit easier if his surname had not been the most common one in Great Britain but Jane pressed on.

It took over twelve months, and what seemed like much longer than that in contact with the world's most difficult elderly lady but Jane found the lady's 'baby brother' aged 75 for her. She made an old lady very happy....for about 2 days which was as long as it took for the same very difficult old lady to announce to me of the brother she had looked for all of her adult life "I can not stand him!"

We are (nearly) the Champions

Reading have narrowly pipped Northampton Town to the Premiership championship.

Obviously I am totally gutted by this narrow defeat for my side. I blame the woman who sits in front of me in a very dodgy claret shell suit. No doubt the fashion police made a note of that.

Liverpool finished a woeful one point off relegation to the Conference League. I would offer them some fashion tips but looking at this picture I have decided they are beyond help.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I want to play!

Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard Just Jane yet!

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

From Reidski who got it from Andrew Brown

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


is a great word.

And I think the following tale illustrates it rather well.

My oldest friend - by which I mean the friend I have been friends with for the longest and not the oldest person amongst my friends - (since we were six in fact) is in the same line of work as me but where as I am pretty much rock bottom in the pecking order, she after 30 years working in our area is now practically at the very top. Whilst this does mean she earns shed loads of money I do not envy her and would not want her job no matter how much it paid. This is one example why.

I was out with her last Friday night and I had to tell her off for not being careful enough with her handbag. Since the incident previously related here I am particularly vigilant when it comes to handbags in bars. Anyway, seeing how extremely careless she was we asked her if she had had her bag stolen before and the answer was not surprisingly yes - many times. The last time was fairly recent. The powers that be had reached a particularly nasty decision that a residential home for the elderly was going to be closed. My friend who profoundly disagreed with this decision was nevertheless the poor sod who had to go and give this decision to the elderly people who would be forced to leave their home. She drove over there totally preoccupied with what on earth she could possibly say to soften the blow (answer - nothing). She arrived and went straight in not realising, as she was so focused on what she had to do, that she had left her handbag in full view of passers by on her front seat.

She spoke to the assembled residents. It was as awful as you may imagine and there was lots of anger and many tears. My friend meanwhile had to stand her ground and defend the indefensible.

Then the door opened and in came a staff member who in front of everyone said to my friend "I'm so sorry. Your car window has been smashed in and someone was seen running away with your handbag."

And everyone in that room over the age of 65 cheered.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My current breakfast cereal of choice

is Kellogg's Special K with peach and apricot. The dried pieces of fruit give a really tasty boost to what would otherwise be, quite frankly, a rather dull breakfast of 'Crunchy Rice and Wheat Flakes'. This morning though I have been most displeased. "Where?" I ask myself crossly as I rummage deep into the cereal packet "are the peach and apricot pieces?" It is NOT good enough. If I buy a packet of Special K with peach and apricot then the least Kellogg's could do is to ensure I have a reasonable proportion of peach and apricot pieces within that packet. I could not find a single piece of either fruit. "Mr Kellogg will be hearing from me" I inwardly declared. On second thoughts however, as I have just noticed that I had in fact bought a packet of Kellogg's Special K sans peach and apricot, maybe I will just eat up what I have got in front of me and maintain a dignified silence on this distressing incident.

High time I brought you another historical 'fact' I think.


Kellogg's Corn Flakes were invented by a Dr. Kellogg in hopes that they would reduce masturbation. See here for further enlightenment.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Never a dull moment - though if you only read the start of this you may disagree....

OK - stay with me on this tale. A certain amount of scene setting is required.

Yesterday our village school was closed for a teaching training day so my mum came over to look after my niece whilst my sister was at work. For the benefit of anyone who has inexplicably not been playing very close attention to this site, my sister lives just up the road from me. Furthermore, my sons are having exams at the moment which means they are not always at school, and yesterday they were at home 'revising', by which of course I mean surfing the internet and emptying the contents of my fridge.

Now my sister does not have a washing line line for reasons only understood by her, but something to do with washing on a line making the place look untidy. Anyway, there were some wet towels in the house and mum had been considering taking them up to mine to put on my line and get dry, but she kept putting it off as a friend of my niece's was expected to come round to play. It got to about 2.00. The little friend had not yet turned up so mum decided she would take the washing up to mine. This is all very interesting isn't it? You wanted to read a story about how my mum put some wet towels on my washing line. But wait - it gets EVEN more exciting because whilst she was in my back garden she heard the phone ring. Yes I know - how thrilling - my mum heard my phone rang - what ever is going to happen next I hear you ask (that is to say, in the depth of my fevered imagination I hear you). OK - let me tell you what happened next. What happened next was she waited to see if anyone in the house answered it ..."Ring, ring, ring, ring"...but needless to say no one did because obviously my sons were far too busy 'revising' (chatting to mates on MSN)so she came in the back door to get it. After all - it might have been important.

Only she never did answer the phone.

Instead, my heroic and 72 year old mother found herself fire fighting as a basket of clothes - somewhat foolishly left on the ceramic cooker top - was ablaze. As she came in the door she was faced with the vision of flames rising to the ceiling. By means of much screaming and throwing of water around she managed with the belated assistance of more junior family members to extinguish the fire.

Well - the clothes are obviously ruined - and my kitchen floor isn't too good either as burning clothes got dropped on to it. The kitchen walls and ceiling are black as opposed to a usual bright yellow.

To be positive however, I still have a house, and no one was hurt.

It could so easily have been so very very much worse if my mum had not come in by sheer chance at the exact moment she did.

Whoever it was that rang our house at that time - I owe them.

And what with various thefts and car accidents all previously recorded in these parts
I am about to make my FIFTH insurance claim in 12 months - I will be blacklisted by insurance companies at this rate.

So that is my week so far - how are yours?

Sunday, June 03, 2007


The sun is hot already and the sky is a deep blue and I don't have to go to work. Positively My Most Favourite Kind of Day unless...........

I am faced with the prospect of taking the kids to see their 'other' family, AKA my in-laws.

Here is my advice to anyone ever considering getting married. When meeting the prospective in-laws ask your self "Are these people devout/deluded Roman Catholics?"

If the answer is "Yes" run a country mile, and NEVER go back.

I swear that the uptight lack of real warmth and inability to communicate with anyone who does not share their faith can all be explained by their religious beliefs.

Example - one of their daughters got pregnant before she was married...her dad refused to see his first grandchild who was the result of said pregnancy for over 18 months.

Another example - another sister has been married for 20 years. No one in the family knows what she and her husband do for a living because 'she doesn't like talking about it,' so therefore no one asks (although god knows I have tried to find out in my time).

Another example - a brother and his wife put each spoon away in the bowl of the spoon below it in the drawer to form a perfect pile of spoons. Naturally they do not have spoons that don't match. (OK, so this may not be down to religion but it is bloody madness isn't it?!?)

Most recent example - another sister (yes, true Catholics) has had major mental breakdown. But she doesn't want to see a doctor and so no one has insisted she see one - even though she is the mother of four kids who need a fully functioning mum. I have been warned off mentioning it at all following my rather strong expression of concern.

I have run out of excuses not to take the kids over to see them. Painting the bannister's has already been used (I kid you not, although it wasn't one of mine).So here goes.

*Grits teeth and starts to practice false smiles.*