I Love Pussies!

It’s been a worrying week.  Stella, the tiny cat, escaped from her catio.  Lord knows how. She was missing for a few hours before she was found.  It was a tense time.  And when she was found, she had managed to lose her thundershirt – which she was wearing to keep her calm because of the storm.  Obviously!!  But there was some good news. Ms Oreo, she’s a 4 year old Tuxedo, has settled well in Austria having moved from Stockholm with her meowmy and the droolbeast.  And Ricky the housecat – he’s somewhere in Canada – is finally getting along with his new cat sister. Which is such a relief!  For a while I thought it was all going to end in furballs!

And just when I thought all was well, Sweet Joey finally crossed the rainbow!  His paw purrents were devastated.  Bless the little ginger kitty.  So as a mark of respect, the Friday Night Box-pawty was cancelled.  I think it was the right thing to do.

OK I know, I’ve been at stuck at home for a few months and you’re probably thinking I’ve finally gone bonkers.  But when life gives you lemons (without the optimistic bit) and it’s pissing down with rain, what can be more comforting and distracting from the citrus fruits of doom, than pictures of cats!!

Kitty Cute Cat Pets

DOESN’T THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD?

I bloody love it.  I’m a catsofinstagram addict.  It’s not just a bunch of cat pictures.  It’s a whole community of lunatics, like myself, who post pictures of their adorable furry friends and talk to each other – as their cats, obviously.  My cat, Oliver – or Ollie_Purrs to his fellow feline Insta buddies, has almost 1000 followers.  He puts me to shame with my laughable 290.  He’s got friends all over the place.  Australia, USA & Canada, Dublin, Hackney.  We ‘like’ each others photos, we share funny stories and we grieve together when one of these treasured pets passes.

IMG_2833.JPG

OLLIE PURRS.  INSTAGRAM SENSATION.

But it’s not just instagram.  If you search YouTube for cat videos, you’ll find over 90 million results!  That’s more that Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift put together (these are young famous people, apparently). Cats rule the world wide web!  We’re obsessed with them!  Sharing over 4 million images and videos a day. But why?  Are we looking for escapism from the realities of life?  The misery of work.  The worry of money.  The same reasons that similarly huge numbers of, most surprisingly, middle aged folk, stab their weary fingers at cascade of animated sweets?

Worrying that I’m some sort of raving fruitcake, I like to research these things. The Huffington Post reports that Jessica Gall Myrick, an assistant professor at Indiana University’s Media School, recruited 6,827 people from the Facebook page of an animal advocacy group and surveyed them about pet ownership, Internet use, video consumption and their personality. During this study, she asked her users to recall the last time they watched a cat video and record their mood before and after the viewing. Overwhelmingly, respondents said they felt significantly happier after watching the videos and experienced fewer negative emotions of anxiety, sadness and guilt.

Look!  There’s even a graph to prove it!

cat-video-emotions-study

So go on. Give it go. Love some pussies. Trust me. You’ll feel fabulous. 

As the saying goes, don’t knock it til you try it! 

 x

They Might Be Giants!

I often get asked if I have children.  Must be the grey hairs, the twitch and the permanent look of despair.  But it’s a reasonable question to ask someone of my age.  Trouble is, I’m never quite sure of how to answer.  The truth is, yes!  I do.  I have 2 children.  But I tend to associate the word ‘children’ as generally being those under the age of 10.  That lovely age where they’re unaffected by life, not a care in the world other than when they can next have an ice-cream or a trip to the park.  They’re cuddly and cute and you can tuck them up in bed at night and kiss their chubby little innocent pink cheeks. Children are sweet, small little things – well in my head anyway!

My ‘children’ are 27 and 22.  They’re adults.  But to say I have ‘adults’ just sounds, well, somewhat creepy.  And the word ‘adult’ is often coupled with the word ‘responsible’. Which I just can’t quite see them as!  They’re ‘Grown Up Children’. Larger versions of their younger selves. He shaves, he has a car, a girlfriend and a job.  She has just finished Uni, has a boyfriend and a penchant for cocktails.  And they’re both still at home.  But despite being ‘adults’ according to their birth certificates, actually they’re not. What they are is ‘Giant Children’.  Because despite their size and their age, the behaviour has barely changed at all.

150516STEBoomer01-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqVRYMpRRh5U8tfaESeId9UvqZZNFHDV94SvZdX1WqoFI

IMAGE FOR REFERENCE ONLY.  ACTUALLY I DON’T HAVE GREY HAIR AND MY KIDS ARE DEFINITELY NOT GINGER!

I think it’s something about being a) still in the house you grew up in and b) still being with your sibling that makes these ‘Young Adults’ behave like – well ‘Giant Children’. Although I manage to painfully eke some rent out of Giant Child 1, it is handed over begrudgingly and with an almighty huff.  I don’t blame him.  He’d really rather be somewhere else! His size 11 trainers are scattered here there and everywhere and despite being responsible for a mountain of crockery and utensils, the thought of actually putting them in the dishwasher is incomprehensible.  And he takes up so much room!  A whole sofa!  Coupled with the discarded footwear, sports bags and inability to master how a bin works, it’s all getting rather crowded in here.  The little bundle of energy that used to tear around the house now looms large in doorways, towering above us all, dispelling wind from any given orifice at any given time (apparently this is really really funny). Giant Child 2 is less imposing, a bit more helpful and smells a little sweeter.  But being fresh out of studying, with a huge debt (thanks to ‘Just Call Me Dave’), the chance of her being able to afford to move out anytime soon is just as far off as the other one – who despite having a decent job, has no hope of getting a mortgage any time soon.

Young adults are more likely to be living with their parents than at any other time in the past 20 years as record numbers struggle to fly the nest. There are nearly 3 million 20-34 year olds still living with parents, a 618,000 leap since 1996, according to findings from the Office for National Statistics.  The “failure to launch” phenomenon means there are now millions of young adults are still in their childhood bedrooms, which seems to somehow keep them in a sort of semi-childlike, limbo state.   House prices, university debts and sympathetic parents are making this generation somewhat potbound.

Family-Building-Society

Credit: https://www.brayleinoyucca.co.uk/blog/our-ad-that-really-is-the-dogs/

By 27, I’d been working for nearly 10 years.  University just wasn’t an option for me as, quite honestly, I wasn’t clever enough.  See 5 years of school reports!  But then jobs were in abundance so I left college, went to work in a large advertising agency at the age of 18 and slowly worked my way up the ladder.  Ok I only got about 3 rungs up but the parties were epic.  By 22 I had bought a flat and by 26, I had a small child.  It wasn’t really fashionable to go back-packing round Cambodia – well not if you valued your life.  The done thing was to get on the property ladder as quickly as possible – and it was easy. House prices were reasonable and mortgages were manageable.  Sadly, my kids will probably have to wait til I shuffle off this mortal coil before they can afford a deposit for a house.  Come to think of it,  I am starting to wonder why they keep offering me cups of tea – which, now I come to think of it, do taste rather odd.

So my advice if you’ve got giant children.

  • Make sure you have a stable wifi connection.
  • Make sure you’ve got ink in the printer.
  • Make sure you’ve got wine in the fridge – ideally a small hidden fridge in a part of the house that they can’t be bothered to go to.

But also make sure you make the most of them.  Because despite all of the above, I’ll bloody miss them when they’re gone and wouldn’t swap them for anything.

Unless anyone’s got Lego Cards 043, 095 and 107.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hair Today …

Hairdressers are rather like husbands.  For the first few years they do exactly what they want and you always feel good afterwards.  Then they get a bit lazy and complacent and suddenly you don’t feel so special any more.  So when that happens, it’s time to start the nightmare search for a new one.  So where do you start?  Is there a Tinder for hairdressers?  Hinder, maybe?  And how do you tell the incumbent that you’re moving on to a younger, trendier salon?  It’s not you, it’s me? And if you don’t tell them, you end up trying to avoid the area for fear of bumping into them sporting a new ‘do’.   It’s a huge dilemma – one I’ve encountered on many occasions over the years.  I knew the false beard would come in handy one day.

There isn’t a high street in the UK now that doesn’t have at least 2 or 3 salons peddling their hairs. It’s an industry that has grown steadily over the years and currently sees no sign of declining.  It was sometime around the end of the 1800s when we slowly started to see the transition from men only barbershops to salons across the civilised world.  In those early days, wealthy women were having their hair styled by their servants.  All a bit Downton Abbey.  The rest of the classes probably just used some carbolic soap and some rusty shears.

The roaring 20s saw almost 25,000 hair salons open in the US. From the 1900s to 20s, bobby pins, hair dryers, perms and hair colour became more and more popular. It was the age of Hollywood movie stars, Jazz and Coco Chanel.  Everyone wanted to look like their idols!  By the 40’s and 50’s, beauty salons became the go-to-place for the housewife to escape from their mundane lives, get pampered and indulge in gossip. Gradually, the hairdressing salon became affordable to the masses and not just the upper classes, eventually combining other beauty services to pamper and preen it’s clientele.

Wartime_Hair_Dresser-_the_work_of_Steiner's_Salon,_Grosvenor_Street,_London,_England,_UK,_1944_D18212

“SO WHERE ARE YOU GOING FOR YOUR HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR?  BUTLINS?  OOH POSH!”

Nowadays, our high streets are awash with them.  Some part of a chain, others with quirky fascias such as ‘Hairport’, ‘A Cut Above’ and my personal East London favourite, ‘Jack the Clipper’.  But how on earth do you choose a good one?  Today it’s easier with social media, reviews and online recommendations but what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the hairy old gander.  My own personal start point is that, if the hairdresser has bad hair, quite frankly I don’t want them anywhere near mine.  They are basically a walking advert for their profession.  Like I don’t want a dentist with bad teeth or a doctor with weeping sores.  I’m also rather seduced by a cool interior.  1970’s pictures on the wall, office furniture or rubbish towels are also a bit of a sign of apathy. Not always indicative but first impressions etc.  I also like hairdressers to be honest.  If it won’t suit, then please have the decency to tell me.  A stark reminder never to show them a picture of a poodle ever again!

witch hairdresser cartoon

So on a whim, I booked into a trendy Shoreditch salon for a cut and blow. I’d read the reviews, scoured the website and gallery and wandered past on more than one occasion. I could even book online which shows both innovation on their part and total laziness on my part. Tick!  Nothing worse than booking over the phone to a fairly dopey receptionist who gets just about every part of the booking wrong.  Most annoying to find out you’re booked in next Tuesday with Cilla for a perm when you’d asked for a Saturday appointment with Donna for highlights!  That’s happened!  Anyway, I was politely greeted,  ‘gowned up’ by a nice young man and promptly offered a cocktail.  It was after 6pm so why not!  Who doesn’t love a Espresso Martini full of hair!  Anyway, a chat with the Senior Stylist and a rather nice (and faintly disturbing for various reasons) wash and head massage from that nice young man, I was set about with sprays and scissors.  Oh and another Espresso Martini or 3.  Rude not to!  They were friendly, they’ve got dogs, alcohol and nice towels.  By the end I was hair cut, half cut and £65 out of pocket!  But you get what you pay for and I’d definitely go back.

 

Probably when I’ve won the lottery!

x

Back with a vest on!

Well hello there.  It’s been a while, I know.  A lot has happened since I last dragged my arthritic hip to this site.  Some of it hilarious and interesting (none of which I can remember) and some of it pretty tough.  Dad had a massive stroke which has left him with a severe loss of mobility and has pretty much changed all our lives.  And when something like that happens, everything else kind of takes a back seat.  He had a bumpy ride too – a victim of a failing hospital and obvious cuts in the NHS resulted in less than satisfactory care.  But with a lot of love and support from us lot, and all credit to the amazing doctors and nurses battling against the odds, he’s made great progress.  He gets a little confused with time and process but on the whole, he’s doing well.  So while quite a lot has changed for him, I’m sorry to have to tell you that, despite a huge bump on the head, he is still a Spurs supporter.

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CELEBRATING DAD’S 80TH BIRTHDAY AT DUXFORD AIRFIELD

But let’s keep this light-hearted.  I’ve missed writing.  I’ve missed ranting and moaning. And I’ve missed you lot.  All 3 of you!  So it’s time to relaunch this little indulgence of mine with a few more bells and whistles.  I’ve migrated to WordPress!  Get me!  I don’t even know what that means! Plus there’ll be Instagram and most probably Facebook and Twitter too in the future.  And new for 2017, mixed in with my musings, will be some reviews of wherever my fight against ageing, my quest for retirement and my pursuit of happiness takes me. Basically it’s an excuse to go and have facials and massages and eat in poncy restaurants.  I’ve even joined Slimming World.  That’s a whole new post in itself which I’ll save for another day.

But Spring is in the air.  I’ve joined the gym (again) ahead of the hip operation (end of April) in the hope of getting into some sort of decent shape before my leg is severed!  On the plus side, I suppose the crutches will do wonders for my bingo wings.  The plan being that by the time summer is in full swing, I’ll be fit, healthy and looking fab-u-lous in those daisy dukes and skimpy vests.  The reality is, is that I probably won’t be chucking my Primark cover-ups out any time soon.

Start diet today

CAN I JUST POINT OUT THAT THESE ARE CATEGORICALLY NOT MY FEET!

So with renewed vigour and a spring in my limp, I shall be back again soon with my first review of having my haircut at an extortionately expensive Shoreditch hair salon followed by a luxurious facial that promises a fusion of plants and diamonds to stimulates cell renewal and prolong the youth of the skin with a new lease of life.  And after that  I shall probably just about be able to afford a Tesco meal deal!

x

Flying Time, Dodgy Hairstyles, Football Shirts and Queenie

Fuck me!  It’s 5 past June!  How did that happen?  4 months since I last wrote about all those things in life that just make my wrinkles a little deeper and my hair a little greyer.  For someone who lists ‘writing about all those things in life that just make my wrinkles a little deeper and my hair a little greyer’ as their number one hobby (aside from cougar dating websites and bothering famous people on Twitter), it’s a pretty poor show.  So stand by for a moan up of epic proportions – which should take us all nicely though to October.

Bad Heir Day

Talking of hair, why is mine so crap?  I don’t think, in the 40-something years I’ve been on this planet, have I ever looked in the mirror and thought – WOW, you’re hair looks fab!  I’ve spent fortunes having it highlighted, tinted, permed, back combed, front combed, and chopped by allsorts of mincing crimpers.  I’ve paid through the nose and out my backside.  And still it’s fine, flat and mousey brown.  Oh and get a bit of heat or wind on it and bingo!  I look like I’m wearing a shit brown helmet.  I could have bought a small principality with the cash I’ve spent trying to look like a Pantene ad. 

I suppose I should be grateful that I’ve got some.  Even though I do resemble a rubbish Lego woman!

Lovely hair
Me
You Will Definitely Walk Alone!
I have just mentioned to Mr H that if he takes his West Ham football shirt on holiday, I shall divorce him.  Or kill him.  Whichever is less messy.  I’m not averse to chaps supporting their teams, but nothing screams I’M FUCKING BRITISH, BURNT AND PROBABLY DRUNK abroad more than a football shirt.  It’s enough that us brits fail miserably to ‘blend in’ abroad by wearing unflattering clothing over our scorched bodies but the sight of a fat bloke in a Man United shirt just seems to spell trouble.  It’s highly likely he’ll have an equally lardy lady in tow in ill-fitting faux-linen trousers and couple of unruly kids called Britney and Jordan.

I’ve never seen an hunky Italian on holiday in an Inter Milan shirt.  Or a sexy Senor sipping his San Miguel whilst wearing a Real Madrid top.  Nope, it’s just us lot.  In our British uniform.  Eating bacon and eggs for breakfast and complaining about the weather.  So if Mr H thinks he’s going to inadvertently portray me as a flabby Primark-wearing Northern doris, then quite frankly, he’ll be forever blowing bubbles out of his arse!!

Not Mr H
Definitely not me.  I’m blonder.
Jubliee Schmoobilee
I’m wondering.  Did the Queen really enjoy the Jubilee?  Did she really care that Gary Barlow had been round the world just to write her a song?  Did she honestly want to spend 4 hours on a boat in the freezing cold, waving at the prolls, whilst her poor hubby was clearly busting for a pee so much that he ended up eating hospital food?  Did she really want to listen to Jessie J and Ed Sheeran?  Can’t imagine they’re high on one’s list of latest downloads.  I bet all she really wanted to do was spend a few days on the sofa, with a couple of swan sandwiches, G&T in hand, watching The Queen on a loop.
But despite her critics, and trust me I’m no bunting-hanging, flag-waving loon, 60 years for a woman in the same job surely deserves to be celebrated. OK she’s not exactly performing brain surgery, or defusing atomic weapons, but someone’s got to fly round the world, collecting bouquets from eager children clearly forced into it or dining with militant heads of state prior to them nuking Greenland.  And for that she should be honoured.
What bugs me though it that suddenly, everything and everyone becomes British.  Tesco brings out a limited edition ‘British’ sandwich.  You can’t fart for tripping over some sort of red, white and blue paraphenalia and now look at us – we’re all patriotic and blubbing at Kate’s lovely hat. 
But you have to admire the British spirit.  We stood in the rain, eating rain drenched sausages and watching the jazz band electrocute themselves as the water seeped into their generator.  But they played on, through scorched fingers.  No other country would.  We’re unique like that.  And I’m sure, under that permanently pissed off face, she was actually rather chuffed we’d all bothered!
A typically British Sandwich


No you can’t have a knighthood Mr Barlow!!

Don’t put your routers in the post, Mr Murdoch!

I think it was a Saturday morning. Maybe a Sunday. The birds were singing. The sun may have even been shining through the windows. But somehow, I sensed danger, fear and foreboding. The feeling that something terrible was about to happen. I could hear voices. Slightly raised. Doors slamming. Voices were getting louder. And more frenzied. Then the footsteps coming up the stairs. At first slowly. Then gathering pace. Towards my door. Outside it became dark. A murder of crows, disturbed by something malevolent, flutter furiously past the window. And suddenly, the sun goes in. A dog howls in the distance. The room goes cold. My door flies open. Standing there, with faces as white as ghosts, my children stand before me and utter those words. Those words any parent of teenage children dreads. I braced my self. My knuckles white. And waited for my son to speak.

THE F*****G INTERNET IS DOWN!!!!!

It was pointless trying to scold him for swearing (he gets it from his nan). I could see the terror in his eyes. The horror of not being able to hook up with some borderline Columbine weirdo to shoot merry hell out of virtual paratroopers. My daughter, close behind, wailing like a wounded animal, at the unspeakable prospect of not being able to get on My Face or TwitBook to look at pictures of someone she doesn’t know.

It appears that, in the switch from one rubbish service provider to another, the ‘seamless process, Mrs Hards’ was about as seamless as something with absolutely no seams whatsoever!

I really wanted to spare them the ‘in my day’ speech, but alas, it was inevitable. “How about a game of Monopoly? Or we could go for a walk? Make cup-cakes or go to a museum? There’s …..”

They’re looking me in utter disgust. Like they’ve just caught Mr H and I in a compromising position involving gas masks and hot wax (which, trust me, will never happen). The kitchen window in the house 3 doors rattles as they slam the door and retreat to their lairs.

And so, I spend the next week on the phone to one of Rupert Murdoch’s employees (please leave brain at front reception) while hormones rage around me. New router on it’s way. Should take 2 days. But will probably take a week.

But at least we got to play Monopoly! And I got to be the Top Hat. And I beat ’em. Stick that in your Facebook and shoot it!

C+nt Alt Delete!

Who am I?

A recent conversation with my daughter went something like this:

ME: I quite like Rihanna’s music.
DAUGHTER: WHY??????
ME: Er … because it’s good?
DAUGHTER: OH MY GOD I HATE YOU!!
ME: Oh what have I done now??
DAUGHTER: YOU CAN’T LIKE IT. IT’S NOT FOR OLD PEOPLE. WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE COOL!!!!!!

OK so two things here. One: there’s some sort of age cut off point for musical tastes that I didn’t know about so I’m guessing I shouldn’t be listening to anything beyond Spandau Ballet or Wham. Two: I am mum. Not Carrie. Mum doesn’t listen to hip trendy garage or R&B, or drink, or have sex (well that’s another post). Nor does she swear like a navvie or dance uncontrollably through mind-enhancing drugs. In her eyes, I’m placed on this mortal coil to cook her food, wash her clothes, pick her up from here, there and everywhere, dish out the cash, clear up the mess and dry the tears. Beyond those tasks, I don’t exist. Mention old boyfriends and ‘that’s disgusting’. Recount old antics I engaged in and that’s just ‘WRONG’. It seems I was born and married on the same day she was.

It’s a shame in some ways. Carrie is quite good fun. Done some pretty crazy things over the years. Some funny, some worthy of a few columns in the Sun. So I guess she won’t want to know about the time I got arrested in Spain for indecent behaviour, or the time I was physically removed from some fancy pants launch party by a burly bouncer for abusing the Radio 1 DJ. She’ll miss the story of me being sick in the collection plate at Midnight Mass because I’d had too many sweet martinis and thrown out of the girl guides for ‘being the exact opposite of everything they stand for’. And best she doesn’t know about the time I was found in the PE teacher’s wardrobe during a school ski trip.

Plus there was the incident on the West Ham team bus, the girls 5-a-side football match fight and that time I accidentally knocked that nice policeman’s helmet off. I really did think he’d find it funny. And they’re the ones I can remember.

On reflection? Maybe it’s best she doesn’t know all this. I would hate for her to think that this is normal behaviour or an imperative rite of passage. Best she only knows how good my chicken casserole is and how generous I am with pocket money rather than see me as a sort of rubbish 80’s Jordan-esque role model.

I can only hope she doesn’t read Frank McAvennie’s biography!

New Year Random Gripes!

Happy New Year, faithful followers! Let’s hope everything I hoped would happen in 2010 will now happen in 2011. Although the likelihood of Johnny Depp getting the urge to move to a semi-detached in East London is fairly remote. However, I remain optimistic that I will stick my new year’s resolution. Which was not to make one! You see I can’t stick to them. No, not even abstaining from alcohol for 1 month. Plus life is too short. And knowing my luck, I’ll be hit by a truck – my departing thoughts being that if only I had a hangover, it would be so much less painful!

So far, nothing has pushed me to the edge this year. Work is calm. The trains are crap. The weather is awful. Same old. So I thought I’d reflect on some of the random irritations of last year. Things that don’t warrant a full-scale rant but nevertheless are worthy of mention. Apologies if you fall into any of the categories. Remember it’s all done in the best possible taste.

Men in Gladiator sandles
OK I know they were originally worn by men. In Roman times!! It wasn’t a great look but they seemed to work fairly well so long as you’re wearing armour and carrying a sword. Otherwise you just look gay. In fact they’re horrible things even on girls – particularly if you’ve got short legs. It lust looks like you’ve got your ankles caught up in some discarded bits of leather! Leave them to Julius!

Self Service Checkouts
It really shouldn’t be that difficult. So why have relationships between us and these machines has become so fraught? The moments of ‘barcode blindness’ where you almost end up with repetitive strain injury trying to get the frigging thing to scan. And when you finally do, you’re greeted with he phrase “unexpected item in the bagging area”: a phrase so synonymous with the 21st Century shopping experience it’s become a T-shirt slogan. What’s so unexpected anyway? You only swiped the item a second ago and were charged for it. So you have to wait for a member of staff to come and press a few buttons while you stand there feeling utterly incompetent. Still it does at least allow me to buy all those embarrassing things that the spotty checkout assistant probably snigger at.

Public Snogging
Nobody wants to hear your slurping noises. Is it that urgent that you can’t wait til you get home? Or at least find an doorway or a large tree to hide behind? There is a solution though. Get married! Then this revolting desire to eat each other’s faces off will be instantly cured!

Text Speak
Alright it’s OK if it’s a life and death situation. Maybe you’ve just taken a wrong turn up Kilimanjaro (apparently the road signs are rubbish) or you’ve slipped down a ravine in the Amazon rainforest and are clinging to a clifftop while starving crocodiles are snapping at your feet. Clearly you need to get an urgent message to someone and understandly punctuation and grammar aren’t top of your list. So apart from that, or you’re 14, please don’t! Trust me there’s nothing worse that getting a text from a 40 something which reads ‘OMG it ws Gr8 2 c u’. It’s just lazy. More importantly, it takes me twice as long for me to figure it out. But that’s another issue entirely.

Women Who Do their Make Up On The Train
Can you really not spare 5 minutes to slap on the polyfilla before you leave the house? Be honest, it’s not easy is it? Trying to coat your bottom lashes whilst hurtling through tunnels at 60 miles an hour. In fact, just this morning I got off the train covered in a thin layer of Clinique powder while the lass who’d been trying to apply it looked more like Coco the Clown.

That’s enough from me now.
GTG.
L8trs!
TTFN!
LOL.

Happy Bloody Christmas!

I’ve got a cold. A ‘Woman Cold’. It’s like ‘Man Flu’. But it means I still get to cook and clean. I get it every year. For Christmas. Still it makes a change from scented shower gel.

Can someone pass that trumpet? I’m going to blow it for a while. Hell why not? It’s the festive season and we all like to blow something once a year. I just want to say, despite this temperature, this hacking cough, this permanent running nose, I successfully managed to entertain 30 guests on Christmas Eve and cook dinner for 7 on Christmas Day. Ok, I had a little help here and there but being a kitchen control freak, it’s often better for any willing helpers to steer clear. It’s a dangerous combination – me, ‘woman cold’ and a boiling hot bucket of mulled wine!

And you know what? It was a roaring success. Even though I say so myself. Just a trumpet? Hey, pass me the tuba!! No one died of food poisoning. Nothing ran out. Nobody argued. Ok, one of the ageds knocked a bottle of red wine on the white table cloth, but that’s an annual event not to be missed. And it means I get to put the washing machine on on Christmas Day!

So it’s now the 30th. And I confess my sum total of doing anything since then has been a disappointing zero. All my plans to clean out that cupboard and empty those boxes have been scuppered by a few good films on tv, a tin of Quality Street and feeling like the walking dead. Still I feel I’m entitled to it. I did all the Christmas shopping, made pickles and chutneys and a Christmas pudding. Just call me Nigella!

OK, you can have the tuba back. Blowing it is hurting my weakened chest. I’m heading back to the sofa. You all know where the left-overs are if you’re hungry. I shall be sat here for the foreseeable, desperately trying to remember when I last had a shower. Maybe if I’d got some scented shower gel for Christmas, it might have reminded me.

Happy New Year, friends.

A Life Without Apps

It’s a horrible noise, isn’t it. You know, the noise of your iPhone hitting the bottom of the toilet. And it’s an ugly picture too. isn’t it. That one of you watching it tumble out of your pocket and straight down the pan knowing there’s absolutely nothing you can do but watch it sink. And being an iPhone, knowing damn well that’s the end of it’s life.

You’d have thought it was the end of mine too. I was panic stricken. Short of breath. Feeling dizzy. I grabbed it as quick as I could but no amount of falling to my knees shouting ‘don’t die, don’t die!’ was going to save it. I watched it flicker as the life (and the wee) drained out of it. Gone. Dead. And it was all my fault. I had no-one else to blame. And that hurt too!

What hurt even more was the realisation of how much I relied on the damn thing. Checking emails, what’s on TV, what’s on at the flicks, the weather, the traffic, Facebook at any time I cared to, Twitter, Ping, Bing – you name it, it was there at my finger tips. And the games! Oh the games! Those precious minutes of down time where I could play mindlessly on Doodlejump, or Coin Dozer. Ye gods! Coin Dozer! I had over 5000 coins!! Took me months!

I don’t know when my period’s due, what the football scores are, whether the Central Line’s down (probably is), whether I’ve won the lottery (probably not) and I can’t jump on Wikipedia to resolve an argument that’s about to kick off.

But the worse thing of all is being without googlemaps! As was demonstrated very clearly last weekend when I found myself in the middle of nowhere armed only with an Atlas (a dusty, usually out-of-date road map of the UK for those of you unfamiliar with the term. It didn’t even have the M25 on it. Most of it still showed farmland and areas recently conquered by Vikings. So goodness knows how I was expected to find a small Essex village. I couldn’t even work out where I’d been, let alone where I was going. It was more luck than judgement. Still at least I had an Alcatel mobile phone c.1982 to make a phone call (phone call – oh how retro!) for the hosts to talk me down.

However, this 3 week exercise in being minus smartphone has had it’s advantages. I actually got a few things done. I read a book. Did a crossword. I wrote lists – and subsequently regained the power of handwriting. And more importantly, I actually had a few conversations with people I’d normally Skype, Ping or Facebook.

So maybe it wasn’t the worse thing in the world after all. Although the temporary loss of numbers was a bit of an arse. And the £50 excess. But it has made me think about relying so ridculously heavily on a piece of technology.

Everything in moderation, huh! Must dash though. I’ve got some Angry Birds that need dealing with!