Thursday, October 23, 2008

But this coming weekend

I will be mainly marvelling at the Pyramids.

And assorted Egyptian antiquities.

And from Monday I will be travelling along the River Nile from Luxor to Aswan.

This is because I have the great good fortune to have a wonderfully generous friend who is taking me and my family plus a group of 11 other friends on a wonderful trip to Egypt.

You may wish to avoid this place on my return for a few weeks as I can pretty much be guaranteed to go on about the trip rather a lot!

Monday, October 20, 2008

This weekend

I have been mostly drinking champagne.

I know - it's been tough, but one has to make the effort from time to time.

On Friday I went to Reidski's where we had an early celebration for his birthday which was actually yesterday. Champagne was consumed and very lovely it was too, but I think it may have impaired my culinary abilities. Juggling cooking a two course meal whilst feeling distinctly tipsy was 'challenging'. Although I remember this bruschetta recipe was delicious, my memories of the main course are a little blurred, and that may not be such a bad thing. I'm sure I don't know how Keith Floyd does it!

On Saturday after watching my lads turn over Yeovil Town I went to a joint 50th birthday party. It is very strange but for some reason that I can't quite understand, lots of my friends are turning 50. A complete mystery as to why that might suddenly be the case. And oh dear - disaster - loads and loads of champagne needed to be consumed. Great party, and very interesting to see my 17 year old son 'in action' when it came to chatting up the pretty young girls; not to mention charming and flattering the not so young (though obviously very attractive*) women.

Sunday was one of those days when moving very far to do anything at all was a struggle, but with a 'to-do' list running to five pages I had to make the effort and did plenty of chores. I am going on holiday on Friday and I don't think it is just me who gets into a total 'two and eight' over the number of very important things one has to do before one can go away with a clear conscience. Some MIGHT argue that having loads of things to do does not leave time for blogging. But they would of course be wrong.

* That's what he was telling them anyway, and they didn't call him a liar.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In which Jane finds a way out of singling out particular blogs she loves.

Something nice happened to me the other week and the lovely Jay was kind enough to give me this award. What was extra nice about it was that it led me to other blogs that Jay knows, but I hadn't seen before and they were all really good reads.

I wanted to pass this on, but of course this leads to a dilemma - how on earth to pick out certain blogs for the same award that I love when I love all of my links so much? Therefore I have bottled it completely and will single out just one blog because it did actually change my life.

Some years ago now I came across this post. I was at the time the joint writer of a blog which I later deleted. Anyway, I really liked this particular post - the self deprecating humour* of the writer appealed to me. I started visiting this particular blog on a regular basis. I packed up writing the blog that I was writing at that time but after a while the bug bit me again and I started over - he was very sweet and linked to my new place and we commented on what the other was saying quite a lot. In fact I have since been told that I was flirting with him, and there was me thinking I was being subtle. Usually I know fully well when I am flirting! What I have also since learnt is that Reidski - for t'was he of course - used to say to Messalina who is a sometime commenter on here - that he was going to go out with me one day (or is it that Messalina told him he would go out with me someday - I can't quite think now which way round it was). Anyway, nearly 12 months after I read that post and developed my little crush, Reidski and I met. We both got tremendously drunk and he lost a bet which meant he owed me a million kisses. Well - he originally bet me a million pounds he was right that Oxford Street was Shaftesbury Avenue (he thought we were walking/staggering towards Shaftesbury Avenue but the street in question was in fact - as I was very well aware and therefore more than happy to accept the bet - Oxford Street) but anyway, the pounds were converted into kisses in an act of charity by me, and he is still in my debt so he can't finish with me just yet.

So loving that blog of his actually led to me loving him.

And who would have Adam and Eved that?

* Some years ago I saw Steve Coogan live. I will never forget one of his lines when he was talking about how self deprecating humour was very 'in'. He then announced: "I'm a right cunt I am

I do wish

my middle child would let me know if he has a friend sleep over in order that I may take the precaution of locking the bathroom door the following morning.

As opposed to getting in the bath with the door wide open and inadvertently scarring a young man for life.

Thank god for both bubble bath and the book I was reading which together covered most of my exposed parts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bonny Scotland

What a great time was had.

The wedding was a lovely family do, complete with lots of kilts (I know now it is true that Scotsmen do not wear anything under their kilts and I am still recovering from that), bagpipes and the Gay Gordons.

Course, things deteriorated later in the evening as more and more alcohol was consumed, and it degenerated into a night of debauchery and pole dancing. Or was that just me?

On the Monday Reidski and I visited Kirkcudbright. I enjoyed looking at that link as I know now that it obviously looks very nice in the sunshine. We had the typical British tourist experience there though - it rained and it was closed. Still, I did learn how it is pronounced and it only took me three days. 'Cur - cud -bree.' (Surely some mistake? Ed.)

Went in a pub near Dumfries on Monday night where an overheard conversation reduced us both to tears of laughter...

Older man (possibly dad) to younger man crying into his beer over his love life: "You've about as much chance of getting a shag off her, as of getting a shag off your ma."

Younger man : "She says I am the most intelligent man she has ever met."
Older man: "Then god help her."

On Tuesday we had the best pub lunch EVER on the way back down south. Karen and Gill - you live in Cumbria so haste ye both to The Wheatsheaf in Beetham (South of Kendal).

Wasn't ready to come back, but had to before Reidksi's accent became totally incomprehensible as tends to happen the instant he crosses Hadrian's Wall.

(And no - he didn't wear a kilt which was a shame as I had such plans for that eventuality......another fantasy shot down in flames!)

Friday, October 10, 2008


here with Reidski this weekend for a wedding on Sunday. We will be back on Tuesday. I leave you in the meantime with a picture which may or may not be of the young Reidski having a fling. Have a good weekend all.

Things that should NEVER be said in my presence Part 1.

Especially not when the person saying it is looking over my shoulder behind where I am sitting at the time.

"That is one fuck of a big spider."

Once I recovered from my heart failure I discovered the spider in question was the other side of the window pane I was in front of.

It WAS a fuck of a big spider.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I took my daughter and niece to see The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas last night. My daughter had read the book and had told me and her cousin all about it so we were well aware we weren't going to get a happy ending.

In the event the ending was so harrowing that not a soul moved in the cinema when the film ended. We all sat in various states of distress as the credits silently rolled.

I mention it here because if you have a teenager you can use or borrow to take and see this film then do so. It is a marvellous and touching way of exploring the Holocaust for young people and I honestly believe it should be shown in every secondary school, shocking as it most certainly is.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


says it all as far as I am concerned on the subject of Sarah Palin.

Monday, October 06, 2008

They all had the time of their life....

But I didn't.

It was my daughter’s birthday at the weekend and all she had wanted was for me to take her and two friends to see Dirty Dancing: The Musical in the West End. This proved to be a nightmare to arrange as I soon found out this show is ‘Hot’ and getting tickets for a show anywhere near her birthday was difficult to say the least. Eventually though, after what felt like hours of trying, I came up with four tickets for Friday which cost me more money than I care to remember. When I told my daughter though she was so delighted and excited that it felt like money well spent. She spent the next several months counting off the days to go before we went to the show.

So Friday came and I collected her and one friend straight from school, and we drove to north London to collect the other friend, then catching the tube into town. So far so good. I went to the theatre, gave them my name, and was given four tickets and was amazed to see that they were for far better seats than the ones I thought I had booked. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth I just thought it was my lucky day.

Silly me.

I took the girls for a meal first and it was such a pleasure being with them. All three of them are such good company and were so thrilled to be about to see the show. One of them had never been to a West End show before and was almost beside herself with excitement. We returned to the theatre and I handed my tickets to the girl on the door who said “I’ve been told to ask you to return to the box office.”

The next few minutes were a blank as I tried and failed to take in what I was being told, but what transpired was that last Friday there were two separate bookings for four tickets each by people with my initial and surname, and I had been given the wrong ones, but that was not the worst of it. The worst of it was that my tickets were according to them, for the afternoon performance. I do not have the descriptive skills to explain how absolutely terrible I felt at that moment when it appeared I had completely fucked up my daughter’s birthday. I am never going to forget the looks on the girls’ faces when I told them the problem. To make it worse they were all really good about it - I could have handled tantrums far more easily. I can only assume it was my mistake and I clicked on the wrong performance, but I woudl not knowingly have ordered tickets for a matinee on a school day.

What I had to do in the end was buy three further tickets (at a reduced price but still money I could ill afford) for the girls, although they were not together. I said I would stay on the premises (licensing laws meant I had to as I found out – they weren’t 18 so had to have an adult with them), and I was taken to the bar by the manager, where there was not as much as a chair to sit in. I must have cut a forlorn figure as I balanced myself on a ledge – I know I certainly felt bloody forlorn. Anyway, the manager must have taken pity on me as he returned and told me I could sit at the back and see the show. That was OK – but I was still fretting about my daughter, knowing that she would be worrying about me, and I couldn’t see her to let her know I was there after all. At the interval the rather sweet manager came back and told me he had found us four seats together for the second half, and he got us all complementary drinks. My daughter actually cried with relief when I told her I had in fact seen the first half; although what I didn’t tell her was that I hadn’t got the first idea what had happened in that first half as I was too preoccupied worrying about her.

Anyway, I guess all was well that ended well (if I could just forget about the flaming cost!) in that the three of them simply loved the show, and my daughter keeps telling me she had in the end the best birthday ever. I’m sure the horror of that moment when it dawned on me we did not actually have tickets for the much anticipated show will fade for me – eventually.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I hate this more

Who in their right minds produced a computer game called Kindergarten Killer in which players are urged to 'Shoot down those pesky little kids'?

Finland have now banned it although it took just the two high school massacres before they did. It puzzles me that anywhere in the entire world has NOT banned it.

I hate

people who when they take their supermarket trolley back to the trolley park don't push it into the trolley in front of it but just shove it in the general direction of all the other trolleys.

They obviously all think they are far too busy and grand to perform this small task which takes seconds. After all, some minion is getting paid peanuts to tidy the trolleys up after them aren't they? And who cares about other shoppers trying to replace their own trolley, who due to the inconsideration of others, are faced with the task of moving numerous other trolleys before they have a hope of putting their trolley away?

Yes - I know there are more important things to get wound up about but I think that this in its way does reflect the 'Me Generation' of people who think of noone except themselves.

I blame Thatcher! (For this and for most other things I don't like.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Cameron has a plan.

And there was me worring that our 'Prime Minister in Waiting' (God help us) was all style and no substance.


I just heard an old friend of mine is about to get married for the second time.

The first time he got married he got married in Hackney Town Hall.

This time he is getting married in Hackney Town Hall.

As he said on the subject: "I always get married in Hackney Town Hall."

Next weekend Reidski and I are going to a wedding in a castle in Scotland. We have already watched Brigadoon to get ourselves in the mood. One has high hopes for this wedding for entertainment value, although as an American woman will be marrying a Scottish man one hopes it will not follow the plot of Four Weddings and a Funeral too closely and that no guest will suffer a fatal heart attack whilst dancing a Highland Fling.

We shall be representing family life as it is now lived in that our group will comprise me and Reidski plus Reidski's son, his ex partner and her new partner. That should be sufficient to confuse many elderly relations don't you think?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Super Sleuth Me*

For historical reasons I am very cautious about writing about anything connected with my job but it's exception time.

As part of my work I am sometimes asked if I can help locate relations of my clients who are either adopted adults or are the birth relations of adopted people. Frequently this proves to be impossible as I only have limited resources, but I do like to try on their behalf because if I am successful I save them anything from £350 upwards, which is what recognised tracing agencies will charge. I do it for free.

Anyway, today I am feeling very pleased with myself having achieved the practically impossible. I have on behalf of one woman found not only her natural mother but her natural father too. Neither of them live anywhere near here and so I couldn't use local resources. It has taken me ages to find these people but then I found them both within a fortnight of each other. One has already met my client and the other can not wait to do the same. My client is thrilled to bits.

It is rewarding enough to have been able to do this but the reason I have this uncontrollable urge to record my achievement here is that one of the people I was looking for has the surname 'Jones' and the other has the surname 'Smith'.

I'm asking myself how the bloody hell I have managed this????

* Heading came to me as last week Reidski and I watched 'Super Size Me'. How utterly gross is that film???????

It seems to be my day for using lots of ??????????