Thursday, 29 March 2007

How very dare she?

Oh and somebody (you know who you are Jane!) sent me this today:

Police have found a woman's body in the park. Very small brain, droopy boobs, saggy arse, varicose veins and an enormous fanny! Text me so I know u r OK.

What does one do when receives something so insulting? Why send it on of course! :)

Tomorrow will be horrid

Tomorrow will be horrid. And I'm an optimist.

Firstly I think I'll go to the Eucharist thing at the school. Don't really know what that entails but I do know there's tea and cake afterwards. Well they've requested cakes, and unusually for me, I've decided to bake (Oat and choc chip muffins), even though I know I won't have the time to stay for refreshments and chat.

The Eucharist (what is a Euchathingy anyway? - Wiki wasn't much help) starts at 9:10 (inconveniently timed for just the time when I would be at home enjoying a cup of coffee on a normal Friday). This means I drop Hannah at school at 8:45, get home by 8:57 and then leave immediately to get back to the school. I know the logical thing to do is stay at the school but I'd almost prefer to walk home. I guess I could use that time to take my home baking to the school office, but I've been instructed to do that before school starts. Bear in mind I'll have Ethan with me which makes anything more logistically complicated.

And after the Eurathingy I'll have to leg it home to be able to get Ethan to his swimming lesson. He's too little to go in on his own which means we'll both stink of chlorine for the rest of the day, oh, and my hair will look a mess (but actually it looks a mess every day now).

After swimming it's get Ethan home and get some lunch sorted for both of us.

When we've (I mean I've) cleared up the debris from small boy eating then it's time to pack the car for a trip to Devon. That's pack stuff for me, Dave, Hannah and Ethan. That's clothes, toys, beakers, nappies, wipes, Easter gifts/eggs, amusement for car journeys, twin screen portable DVD player (it's first outing) and DVDs (kiddie ones) and things I'll forget.

We plan to go down to Devon after Hannah escapes from school tomorrow. Which is a great theoretical way of avoiding the M25 rush hour but in reality means I'll be stuck in a traffic jam with rising blood pressure and increasingly fractious children (I really hope the DVD thing works).

At some point we'll need a meal and, unless I can be bothered to make a packed lunch, that's about £30 in a service station on the M4 or A303 depending on how the mood takes us when we join the M25 (north, south, north, south?)

So with a departure time of 3:30, we'll probably hit my brother's house at about 9:00.

And we'll be knackered.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

An apple a day

Chatting with the girls yesterday over lunch we discovered that we all shared something in common.

We accumulate health concerns and wait until we have a list before we venture into a doctor's surgery.

My list has four things on it and I'll probably take the trip when the list gets to six items, either that or there's something significant on the list.

And yet it's a fact that women visit doctors more frequently than men. I know men are more reticent about seeking help.

I wonder if this is why health insurance is more costly for women than men. I've previously thought the premiums were higher because statistically women live longer then men so there's more time for more things to go wrong.

I wonder if men bundle problems or whether they go for single items.

Jane was saying that once, when she bundled three symptoms, her doctor, quite stroppily told her "Three things, three appointments."

I thought that was a little harsh. Maybe there should be a rule that one significant thing equals one appointment, but perhaps three minor ailments could be combined into one appointment.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Shake shake, shimmy shimmy

I'm always interested in new experiences.

Monday's new experience was belly dancing. Well it was definitely an experience.

I have discovered that one can be any size to do belly dancing, useful in environs of Basildon (as my Mum used to say "the sights you see when you haven't got a gun").

One can also wear whatever one likes to do belly dancing (again useful in this particular geographic area).

And finally one can be any age.

The ladies who were clearly most expert were the largest, the oldest and the ones wearing the most Turkish attire or least attire if considering the most exposed flesh.

Clothing-wise the teacher was wearing a long flowing skirt with jingly jangly bits, a bra top, again with jingly jangly bits, long flowing black hair and bare feet.

Some of the class were obviously trying to emulate this look but unfortunately many lacked her figure which detracted somewhat from the effect.

There were some who went for the 'just popped in from the pub' look, sporting jeans and a token scarf on the hips.

And then there were the newbies: us. We wore gym gear with bare feet.

Footwear was interesting. Many went without, but there were some sandal wearers, sock wearers and slipper sock wearers (my personal favourite).

As for the actual dancing...well. I'm not very good.

There was one step where you stepped backwards and raised your ribs and then stepped back another step dropping your ribs (boobs) twice and then on the next step backwards do two hip wiggles. The whole rib thing seemed very strange.

There were lots of hip wiggling bits and I know I'll ache loads tomorrow as a result. Then there were the shimmies that wobbled the top half. The shimmies were for the experts but we had to try them.

So will I go back next week? Probably.

Will I get my wobbly bits out? Er, no.

Monday, 26 March 2007

I love Monday P.S.

Oh, and when I get off the train on the way home, on my way to the car park I look for my car keys. I look in my handbag. I look in my backpack. I look in my pockets.

I look in my handbag again. I look in my backpack again. I check my pockets again. I check my pockets again.

I check my handbag a third time. And instead of pulling out my keys, I pull out my phone.

I interrupt Dave in a meeting.

"Hi. I've been an idiot. I've left my keys in London. The only way I can pick the kids up is to get a cab."

"Do you want me to pick someone up?"

"Yes please. What a nightmare. What an idiot. I'll pick up Hannah because we can walk home. Can you pick up Ethan?"

"Yes, not a problem. Where are you now?"

"In the ruddy station car park."

"OK, I'll leave now. I'll finish up and get straight in the car."

"Er." I'd been re-investigating my options for key hiding places. "It's OK. I've found my keys. Er, sorry. See you later."

I love Monday

So I'm at the train station at the usual time, and as usual there isn't a seat. I'm not even one of the sad people that rushes to get into the first carriage so they don't have as far to walk at Liverpool Street.

So i stand, and I've forgotten my headphones so instead of listening to the Geoff Show (Virgin radio's most excellent podcast) I get to contemplate life, which isn't so bad except that life doesn't seem too thrilling when you're tired and standing on a train with nothing to do or read or hear.

I arrive and follow the crowds down into the bowels of the tube network to take the Central line. As usual the crowd on the platform is about seven deep. I wait for two trains to come in, and go out, and decide my chances of getting on a train are slim and my chances of sitting down are even slimmer. So I decided to do what Brendan does. He goes in the wrong direction for one stop to Bethnal Green and then switches platforms. This seems counter intuitive but I thought I'd give it ago.

Well the tube going east was empty and so was the platform. Coming back west into town from Bethnal Green was a little busier. Three deep on the platform but I managed to get on the first train in. I was still standing up all the way to Tottenham Court Road. And, as I passed through Liverpool Street I checked to see if any of the people who had been waiting at the same time as me, were still there. They weren't. Not a true test though because I had wasted time waiting for two trains before I switched tack.

So at Tott Ct Rd I switch to the delightful, delovely, Northern line. Joy, a seat. A chance to read the Metro I picked up at Liverpool Street, and actually the five stops or so is about the right amount of time to gleen everything I need to know from the free rag.

I arrive at my destination and then I need food and a drink and realise I have no cash. Back out to the cashpoint and then I succumb to a Costa and a croissant. Bad girl.

And then I boot up the laptop and open my calendar and realise I have and audio that's just started, except I haven't got the number and by the time I find the number I'll be late.

I love Monday.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

If at first...

We've been beating up our ISP supplier and, to be fair, they 'ad it coming to 'em.

Tonight I needed to do some online banking, something I haven't done for over a year. I just don't do money.

Anyway the Halifax website was painfully slow. It was taking minutes to change screens.

So, being the complaining professional whinger that I am, I phoned the Halifax. That was frustrating as I needed some stupid security number. Why should I need a security number to complain?

Anyway, when I found a human being I explained the website was useless and could he tell me whether this was normal.

Well I was told all was tickety boo in the Halifax camp and in fact they'd just upgraded and the service was 'never better'.

He suggested I talk to my ISP provider.

So, charged with the energy of a frustrated complainer, I pick up the phone to the poor sods at Tiscali.

The nice man I speak to there tells me that he sees that I have a rather super connection. It's on this point that we disagree.

It's on this point that we disagree.

We run a test, that doesn't work.

We turn off my computer and router and start again. It's still a bag of poo.

We run another test, which takes forever, that shows my connection speed is worse than the worst dial up and worse than my helpful chap has ever seen. Clearly this calls for drastic action.

Then he asks me to turn off my anti virus software. At this point I'm nervous.

Well without anti virus software we run the same test and it shows super duper mega fast brilliant broadband speed.

The conclusion - phone the anti virus software people and bend their ears.


Saturday, 24 March 2007

Thank you dear

Husband returned form 5 days skiing (well one day getting there, one day getting back, three days skiing) on Thursday.

I knew he'd bought presents for the children because in one of his 'I'm being a good husband' telephone calls he had mentioned it.

This is how the conversation went.

D: "I got you a present."
A: "Really, that's nice."
D: "Yes, Geneva airport is stuffed full of fantastic expensive watches."
A: "So you got me a watch?"
D: "No I got you something you'll like even more."
A: "Really?"
D: "Yes, here it is."
A: "Er no. I don't think so.

Because he had handed me a plastic pot of chocolate fondue stuff.

I'm not very materialistic and I don't have an expensive watch. I still don't have an expensive watch. But even though meltable chocolate in a plastic pot is nice, it doesn't beat a nice watch.

Friday, 23 March 2007

My night in prison

It was an old Victorian prison. Imagine the set for Bad Girls or Porridge and, as far as interior decor goes, that gives you the right image.

On arrival you're taken into a room and searched and then you're given the 'this is how you will behave' chat. I was given a prisoner number and had to be prepared to call this out whenever required.

It was filthy. Our cell had bird poo everywhere and if someone had told me there were rats I wouldn't have been surprised.

There were no beds. We slept on the floor, the poo covered floor. From memory there were camping style sleeping mats between us and the stone floor and we didn't have proper bedding either.

I don't remember the food, so I assume it was neither too good, nor too terrrible.

The guards were evil and turned our cell over five times in the night. When you're only there for one night, five times is a lot. Their behaviour was revenge for some lippy chat exhibited by one of my cell mates who called herself Sindy.

It was cold and dank and smelly.

I didn't sleep well because I was about 10 weeks pregnant. I didn't let on. Everybody knows you don't tell anyone you're pregnant until after 12 weeks (unless it's not your first baby in which case you let everyone know as soon as you've peed on a stick.)

I was really glad to be released.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Odd or interesting

OK, I gave you an opportunity but the submitted material wasn't quite what I thought I might get. It didn't necessarily inform the reader.

So here are my own top 10 things that are either odd or interesting about me, I know - several months late. Maybe I should add that I'm always late with stuff.

1. I have an undiagnosed physical deformity that means I am unable to stand with my legs straight and toes, heels and knees together.
2. When was ten years old my parents sent me to France to stay, for six weeks, with a family that didn't speak English.
3. Both of my children each weighed more than 10lbs at birth.
4. I used to steal my brother's Jelly Tots.
5. I've had major abdominal surgery without a general anaesthetic.
6. I was on the other side of the world when my mum died, and I still feel guilty.
7. I've camped in a tent and been woken up by a baby cheetah poking its head through the tent door.
8. My first car was a Ford Falcon stationwagon that we called "The General."
9. I have unpaid parking fines.
10. I have spent a night in a prison cell.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

How long?

I made a brief visit to our UK office today.

My meeting took place in the coffee bar, not unusual. Meeting rooms are at a premium and it's often easier to grab a table in Costa.

As I walked to the table, still wearing my coat, someone I used to work with asked "So when are you coming back?"

It took me a while to figure out what he meant and then it clicked. I've had a couple of babies, he probably thinks I'm still on maternity leave.

So I replied "I've been back, after my second child, for almost two years."

He looked amazed, shocked, stunned, but, surprisingly, not embarrassed. That joy was left for me.

Probably not the end of the world

You may have had the impression recently that all is not 100% at work.

Well one of things that was going well was the Agency Project Manager. I liked his laid back style, his can do attitude, his ability to work through a problem to a solution. He wasn't phased by anything. Plus he was a nice guy, which always helps.

Well he's leaving. Was it something I said? I am truly gutted. Well angry actually.

I know he's moving to a better job with more responsibility and a much better package and it's the right move for him, but it's just not fair.

I'm assured by all and sundry that his replacement is a great guy and is highly regarded by everybody, and I don't doubt that. I was just happy with where I was and I don't want to have to deal with the change. I might be gaining someone great but at the moment I can only focus on losing someone that is a real asset.

I was chatting with him this morning and biting my tongue. I wanted to say "How can you do this to me?" because it feels so personal because it's my project and he was my project manager.

I'm sure everything will be fine. I hope everything will be fine. Please let everything be fine.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

And at school today

Stefan was at the fireman thing again today on more than one occasion.

Firstly it was the suggestion, in the team meeting, that my project should be called 'Fireman."

The next was a great big fuss about the picture Hannah had drawn for me of the fire engine.

There was something positive about this last occurrance. The picture had fallen down and wasn't on the wall of my cube (they house us like rats). After admonishing me for being a bad mother, something to which I freely admit, he did try and use pins to stick it back onto the wall. I stopped him immediately because pins make holes in the paper, and I know it's only a picture by a four year old, but I didn't want it spoilt or defaced.

I said I wanted it attached using magnets and off he went in search. He found some on Gary's desk and hesitated. He was worried Gary would notice they were missing and that's when I showed my criminal side. I said "He wouldn't know it was you that took them." And then Stefan, who clearly holds me in high regard, said "Yeah, but when Gary asks you if you saw someone taking his magnets you'll just tell him it was me." To which I replied "No I won't!"

So that was it, my day at school, I mean work.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Male PMS

It does exist. It's called Irritable Male Syndrome.

I don't understand

I've just seen a Channel 4 documentary on domestic violence.

I didn't realise that domestic violence is the biggest killer of women under 40 in the UK. It kills more than cancer and more than car accidents.

The programme was disturbing and upsetting. There was no footage of violence, just women talking about their experiences. And the only voices that weren't masked were those of relatives of the killed and police officers.

I don't understand this crime. I was trying to figure out whether the men who hit their partners actually think that love is at the heart of the relationship. I don't know whether, if they didn't beat their wives or girlfriends, they'd be involved in fights outside pubs on a Friday night. I wasn't sure whether these people just need violence in their lives and a partner is just a convenient punchbag. If not this, then are they thinking they're in love and it's an emotion they can't handle which is why they lash out?

I did wonder whether there's a male version of PMS. I behave abominably towards Dave when hormones take over. I say things I don't mean and, although I don't use violence, I know my words hurt. Is domestic violence the equivalent for the inarticulate? Is it the only way these people can express themselves? Somehow I don't think so.

I'm absolutely not trying to excuse this behaviour but I would like to understand it.

One thing the programme did highlight was people's reluctance to record violence they know is happening to a friend, relative or neighbour. The message was, report it.

I didn't need the advice. I'm such a nosey, interfering individual that I would already have called the police when I suspected something. I wouldn't have waited until I knew it was happening.

I don't understand

I've just seen a Channel 4 documentary on domestic violence.

I didn't realise that domestic violence is the biggest killer of women under 40 in the UK. It kills more than cancer and more than car accidents.

The programme was disturbing and upsetting. There was no footage of violence, just women talking about their experiences. And the only voices that weren't masked were those of relatives of the killed and police officers.

I don't understand this crime. I was trying to figure out whether the men who hit their partners actually think that love is at the heart of the relationship. I don't know whether, if they didn't beat their wives or girlfriends, they'd be involved in fights outside pubs on a Friday night. I wasn't sure whether these people just need violence in their lives and a partner is just a convenient punchbag. If not this, then are they thinking they're in love and it's an emotion they can't handle which is why they lash out?

I did wonder whether there's a male version of PMS. I behave abominably towards Dave when hormones take over. I say things I don't mean and, although I don't use violence, I know my words hurt. Is domestic violence the equivalent for the inarticulate? Is it the only way these people can express themselves? Somehow I don't think so.

I'm absolutely not trying to excuse this behaviour but I would like to understand it.

One thing the programme did highlight was people's reluctance to record violence they know is happening to a friend, relative or neighbour. The message was, report it.

I didn't need the advice. I'm such a nosey, interfering individual that I would already have called the police when I suspected something. I wouldn't have waited until I knew it was happening.

Where does he get it from

Ethan keeps calling Hannah a 'dirty object.'

Why, and where does this come from?

Sunday, 18 March 2007


Children often, but not always, have a comforter.

For some children it's a blanket, for others a muslin. Some have teddy bears where others have rabbits. In fact some companies even market soft toys that are designed to be comforters or doudou.

Anyway for Hannah it's her teddy. Teddy was a girl teddy called Buttercup but we sort of lost sight of this and teddy became a boy called Teddy. When Hannah was old enough to understand we explained that Teddy was really a girl called Buttercup so Teddy is now transgender. He is Teddy most days but becomes Buttercup when Hannah is explaining Teddy's real name.

Tonight, putting Hannah to bed, it became apparent that Teddy (Buttercup on weekends) was missing.

Hannah searched the house - nothing.

I searched the house - nothing.

I got a bit wound up because it's bedtime and the last thing I need is a Teddy emergency. I told Hannah to pick another toy and she picked Doggo. You can see we have a creative flair for naming toys. I'll give you one guess what the dolly is called.

I promised I'd have another look and if I found him I'd pop him into her bed. I've looked and I'm convinced Ted is hiding in Ethan's room and I'm not going to wake a sleeping child so Hannah will have to go through a reunion in the morning.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Shiny car/bus/MPV

Well I took the advice and went to the fire station.

Naturally I took the children because it was a bit of an adventure for them.

And of course I applied a bit of mascara, foundation and a touch of lipstick, only because I'm getting to the age where, if anyone other than my closest friends and relations are going to see me, I need assistance with my appearance.

Hannah stayed in the bus (OK - big car, or, for the pedants among you, the MPV). Ethan and I got out and I lifted him up so he could see into the fire engine cabs.

Hannah and Ethan both got stickers, the Frances the Firefly story (which is a bit lame) and a poster - "Get out", "Get the Brigade out", "Stay out", which has reminded me that the children do need to know how to get out of the house if there's a fire. I don't want them hiding in the wardrobe.

Hannah tells me they waved at her while Ethan and I were appraising the appliances and when Ethan and I got back in the car we counted the number of firefighters washing my bus/car/MPV - five. I wasn't complaining.

They were very impressed with my handbrake.

I was very impressed with the service.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Fire fire

My car's dirty.

There's nothing too unusual about that.

The firestation are doing a charity car wash tomorrow.

Now I'm sure that you are putting two and two together and getting four, only it isn't that simple.

Stefan, at work, has this thing about me being obsessed by firemen.

Now let's just understand where this comes from.

I took Hannah to see the Fireman Sam show which was followed up by a trip to Southend fire station, all of which was organised by someone else.

I went to the local fire station open day because my son is obsessed by emergency service vehicles.

Hannah's best artwork, to date, has been a picture of a fire engine (done at nursery) but on display at my desk at work.

So do I add fuel to his fire by supporting charity (and getting an eyeful) tomorrow?

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Yuk, yuk, yuk!!!

OK, I need advice.

I have a problem which is disgusting and for which I haven't got an answer.

We have indoor slugs and they're gross.

I don't know where they get into the house, I don't know where the buggers hide when they're in the house and I want the scumbag filth out of my house.

I know they're not supposed to like copper so I've put copper strips over a couple of thresholds but I don't know what else to do. I know in the graden some people use beer traps or slug pellets and really evil people use salt. But none of those seem appropriate indoors.

So if someone has a way of getting rid of the slimy little shits, please, please, please let me know.

A Mother's day

A friend of mine doesn't think she's a good mum. She's a great mum. She doesn't think she's a great wife. It's hard for me to comment on this one but, from what I hear and see, she's a great wife.

She won't believe me when I tell her this. And I can only assume that she doesn't get this validation from her children and husband.

You see I train my children. They are taught to say "I love you Mummy" by rote.

They are also taught auto responses to simple questions.

"Who's you favourite woman/man/girl/boy?"

If their instinctive response to these questions isn't correct then they are guided towards a more appropriate answer. I had some trouble persuading Ethan that his favourite woman was Mummy because he kept insisting it was Grandma. We compromised for a while with Grandma being the favourite woman and Mummy being his favourite lady. Now he understands that Mummy is both his favourite woman and lady.

I remember a year or so ago discussing with Hannah who her favourite mummy was. You might think 'the answer's in the question'. But no, her reply was that my friend was her favourite mum, the same friend who doesn't think she's a good mum.

I don't know what to do. I've listened and sympathised because I truly understand. Scenarios she describes are very familar: kids driving you to distraction, kids not behaving in the way you'd want them to, husbands not getting everything 100% right every time, etc. It's very easy in these situations to react in a way that isn't a way you'd recommend for someone else.

It's easy to have the image of how the perfect mother behaves. It's impossible to live like that. Every mother has bad days and every mother does stuff they regret. I don't know any perfect mums, but my friend is up there with the best. She doesn't threaten her children with decapitation (I do).

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Comic Relief - hic!

Grand fromage

I'm waitlisted for a flight tomorrow. When I booked the flight I was waitlisted 15. After checking today I've not moved closer to flying, I'm now waitlisted 16.

What the hell is up with that?

I know that I should have moved smidgen up the list over the last week because people book flights on the off chance and then cancel when plans firm up. But the fact I've moved down means there are more important people than me that want to fly.

'Cos 'tis company plane see. Yes, really, the company has it's own airline. I know it's a bit bizarre but we had so many people going to and fro it made sense to provide the transport rather than rely on commercial schedules.

So my trip to the Deutschland is clearly not going to happen because people with more stripes, and there are a lot of them (I am a mere minion), have had me, and a lot of others, bumped.

The really depressing thing about this is that they always save about three seats for the big boys (there aren't any big girls - or hardly any) which means there must be loads of grand fromage pushing and shoving their way to the front of the queue.

Well can get on their stinky cheesy plane. I didn't want to go anyway.

Monday, 12 March 2007

I hate the internet

Our home internet connection has been lousy recently.

Well we (royal we - actually Dave called) called Tiscali who eventually owned up to us being on the wrong profile. Whatever that means.

Anyway - all sorted now. But I asked Dave when he finished his call "How did this happen?" Response "I dunno." I ask "How can we prevent it from happening again?" Response "I dunno." I ask "Did you ask for a refund?" Response - silence.

Can you guess who it is yet?

I saw somebody famous today and I never see anybody famous, ever.

My problem is that I'd rather have seen somebody other than this particular chinless wonder.

I'd rather have seen most people actually rather than this vacuous individual who is all spin and no substance - all mouth and no trousers.

So how many of you guessed I spotted David Cameron at Liverpool Street station this morning?
Well because I honestly never see someone famous, I had to check my eyes weren't deceiving me. So I visited to see if I could view an itinerary for the day - nothing.

But his website is just a blogfest. There's his blog, guest blogs and Joe Public blogs.

Anyway every week he answers questions posted on his blog by Joe Public. Questions can be voted on once they've been posted and he answers the three with the most votes.

So I posted a question, and my question was "Was it you at Liverpool Street at 9:00am on March 12th?"

So, if you can be bothered, please visit the chinless wonder's site and vote for my question. It would be sooo funny if he had to answer something so daft. Let's face it he never answers a question properly so it would be interesting to see how he deals with such a straightforward simple question.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Social skills

I think I'm adversely affecting my daughter's social network.

When Hannah was at nursery she went through from the baby room (Baby Bugs room) to the pre-school room (Rising Fives room) along with other children: Josh, Daniel, Ben and Grace among others. So that at the age of four, Hannah already had a group of friends.

Well actually she had several groups of friends. There were the friends from nursery, the friends who were children of our National Childbirth Trust ante natal group and the children of my NHS ante natal group. And now she can add school friends, friends from breakfast and after school clubs to the list too.

This gives her an extended social network of about 90 children.

When Hannah was at nursery I used to get occasional invitations for 'girl's nights out' with the other mums.

Sometimes, I intended to participate but would cry off at the last minute.

Most of these women were younger and trendier than me. They were used to going out 'with the girls' and I wasn't. I'd always stress about what to wear and often felt the cliche of 'I don't have a thing to wear' really did apply. It was just easier most of the time to have a last minute fantasy home emergency that prevented me from turning up.

Today we went to the local park and I bumped into some of the mums that were a part of this circle. We chatted and we got on well, as we always did, but it was obvious I wasn't part of the group. It was obvious that they had all called one another with the intention of meeting in the park.

Hannah saw Josh, Daniel, Ben and Grace at the park but it was clear from the body language she was an acquaintance, not a friend. These children, who are all now at different schools, are still friends with one another, whereas Hannah isn't.

It made me sad that she's spent four years with little people developing friendships and I've effectively killed relationships. I guess at least she has another 86 people in her network she can choose as friends.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Did you know

that Green and Blacks sell loads of yummy chocolate thingies.

They sent me an e-mail reminding me of Mother's Day. Very kind of them but my own dear mother died 17 years ago so I won't be buying for her. And talking to me about Mother's Day right now is just likely to initiate a rant.

Where do you think my husband (and the father of my children) ought to be on Mother's Day?

Maybe, just maybe, at home or at least visiting his own mother?

No, that would be too boring and predictable. No, my husband will be leaving the house at about 5:00am to go skiing with someone I barely know, for a few days!!

But don't you worry. I'm not bitter, or twisted. In fact I have encouraged him to go and have fun. But that's just because I'm a nice wife.

I'm a fairly useless wife in terms of the usual expected domestic responsibilities, but I make up for it by doing things like this, saying "No, it's OK. Leave me on my own with the kids and a stressful job for 5 days, I'll be fine. You go and enjoy yourself."

(I shouldn't write blogs when I've been drinking. Hic!)

Friday, 9 March 2007


I'm not happy with our neighbours (on one side). They aren't horrendous, they're just irritating.

They park vehicles on double yellow lines in a spot opposite our house which is dangerous because it's near a junction. They never get a ticket because they use a disabled badge which gives them carte blanche. They have a daughter that qualifies for a disabled badge. Why that allows them to use the badge when the car is parked across the road from their own house when there's space on their drive, I don't know. And I don't want you going all sympathetic for the disabled daughter - if she needs to have the car nearby then surely the car should be closer to the house - i.e. on the drive (oh, and she has all of her limbs and they seem don't seem to stop her playing in the back garden and jumping on a trampoline etc. etc.)

Then there's the "can we borrow your hosepipe ?" "Sure, no problem" we say, and then we see why. They've rented a swimming pool and, hours later, we can turn the water metered tap off because their pool is full.

Then there's the fact that 'she' has seemingly lost about 10 stone without surgery. Admittedly this just makes me jealous of her committment and willpower but it still falls into the irritating box.

Then there's the planning application that would have seen their house demolished and replaced with 10 four storey flats (oh, and them becoming millionaires).

Then there's the fire, left unattended that burned their wooden shed, nearly burned their wooden garage containing petrol, and which melted our garage guttering - for which there was no apology despite the fact that we were the ones that called the fire brigade and we tried to put the fire out with our hose. Their attempt to control 12 foot flames was a measuring jug of water from the kitchen. Maybe I foiled an insurance job....

And he runs a boxing supplies firm and I don't like boxing. This might seem petty but I'm just getting everything off my chest.

And lastly, people ask me whether anyone lives there because they don't maintain it. Fences have come down, windows are rotting, etc. etc. It looks more like a student squat than a family home.

Oh, and we always hand deliver a Christmas card and we've never had one back. I think maybe they don't like us.

It tickles me

I know it's incredible juvenile but, I don't care. If you can be bothered to hop over to my MySpace page you can hear a song I've added. So you'll need sound.

It's from Avenue Q, which means anyone at work knows exactly which song this is. It's the departmental theme tune. :)

Thursday, 8 March 2007


Hi - fixed things so if you want to leave comments here you can, even without a Google account.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007


I was walking towards the office today which, for those of you who haven't seen it, is a huge grey building.

I wasn't feeling great about going to work. I was starting the day in a poor frame of mind. I was feeling sorry for myself and more than a little bit low and a thought popped into my head "I need a hug."

I really wanted a hug. I just wanted someone to show they cared and to reassure me physically that everything would be OK.

Now hugs don't happen at work. It's not the done thing. So I carried on with my day.

Later in the morning I went to meet Mike and before we got chatting Michelle came along and said "I haven't seen you for ages. I just wanted to give you a hug." And we hugged.

It meant so much, and it made me want to cry. In fact I'm crying now thinking about it.

I don't know how she knew, or even if she knew, that that was just what I needed.

More poo

In one of my less self absorbed, self pitying moments yesterday I had a chat with Tracey - always a delight. There are some people who just make the office a better place to be.

Anyway Tracey and I started to talk about tossers which led me to the tosser/hurler thread which led to a description of the poo saga.

Tracey encouraged me to check the contents of the bag, something many of you have suggested privately. I think you just want me to get poo on my hands. She also, originally, thought it was just lazy dog walkers.

Tracey is a devoted dog owner and tells me that she sees many discarded poo bags in the woods where she walks her dogs. But then, after a little bit of thought she came up with another theory. Sort of a theory overlay really.

Most of the poo bags that Tracey sees are just discarded near the path. Tracey being a good citizen takes her own poo bags (well her bags but with her dog's poo) home with her. She said she often just leaves them near the bin when she gets home, to be dealt with later. And foxes move the bags.

Her theory is that dog poo smells of dog food (I've not been in the habit of smelling dog poo so will take her word for it) and they lift and carry the bags, presumably with the intention of eating the contents - yuk.

So to add to the theory list, the bags in our garden could have been discarded at the kerbside and from there transported into the garden by Foxy Loxy.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Poo poo poo

Someone asked for an update on the poo tosser.

Well firstly, I'd like to say I think I described the poo person as a hurler, rather than a tosser.

You see I quite like the ambiguity of the term tosser but I think it's a term best used to describe a man and the anonymous poo hurler may be a woman. In which case she's a bint.

As an aside I thought I should check the term bint and found an interesting site Now if you check this site out - I'm going for definition 3. Some of the others are perhaps too OTT.

Anyway - update (could someone provide News at 10 dramatic music please):


There is an update on the poo in Brentwood saga.


There is cat poo in the front garden.


But it's not in a bag.


Detectives think it's unrelated.


I'm not too sure about the bongs or the timing but there is a squidgy cat poo in the front garden. And OK, I know calling what we have as a garden is a bit grandiose but it's a bit of land at the front of the house - what else is it? You can't park a car on it and it has got a huge Magnolia tree in one corner and Alan Titchmarsh and Diurmud Gavin both use concrete in their garden creations!

And I don't know the poo is squidgy because I've touched or stepped in it. It just doesn't look overly stable.

Enough poo I think....

Monday, 5 March 2007


I transferred the blogs. I added labels. There are even 4 blogs that I did in Blogger last April as an added bonus but I do feel guilty.

I only transferred just over a months worth of comments. I may do more but not now. I'm all blogged out. Sorry.

Heroic effort

OK, finally done it. All MySpace blogs transferred to Blogger.

I can now be found on

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Cats and dogs

This is a cheat - stolen from Darryl's bulletin. I've spent ages trying to transfer from MySpace to Blogger and it's taking hours. Why the hell did I write so many blogs?

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary

Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now.....

One of those days

Would have been posted yesterday if Tom's useless system hadn't been playing up:

I was walking home this morning and I was being followed by a strange man.

Just to make sure you understand context this was not staggering home in the early hours a little the worse for wear having drunk myself into a stupor. No this was about 11:00 o'clock this morning and the man was just strange looking.

He was however wielding a shovel. When I say wielding, he was probably carrying it in such a way that the weight was distributed evenly to avoid back problems, but the shovel part was uppermost.

I knew I was being followed and looked round to see who was behind me. When I saw Mr Strange, who just had an unusual appearance (looked like a cross between the two Ronnies), my reaction was to wonder if he planned to shovel me to death and then use the shovel to dig a hole to bury the body.

Clearly he didn't, but why did I think that?

Anyway it didn't stop there. My thoughts continued towards the 'what happens when I'm dead' and let's assume I was just dead, and not buried. How would anyone know who to invite to the funeral? Well in my experience people rely on the good old fashioned address book of the deceased. Well that simply won't work in the future.

How many people have dispensed with paper and pen and use e-mail contacts to store people's address information? We don't write phone numbers down anymore, they get stored on SIM cards.

How long would this site have to be untouched before you'd start to think 'Oooh, maybe she's popped her clogs?'

What happens to the blogs of the dead? Do they stay there forever? Are e-mail addresses immortal? Now I've got my hands on a Hotmail account is that it forever? Can nobody else own that address even after I've been incinerated?

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Is there anybody out there?


Your infernal system is so bloody annoying that, when I get around to it, my blog will be moved to Blogger which doesn't suffer the same nightmare instability as MySpace.


You're almost as bad as Sainsbury.


Friday, 2 March 2007


Our post arrives no earlier than 12:30 on a weekday, and 10:30 on a Saturday.

So why do I habitually check for post whenever I go near the front door?

Anyway, on the subject of post....

Ok and I know you weren't even thinking about the post until I brought it up but I will carry on regardless.

Our Postie carries post seperated into bundles by red elastic bands. Having found discarded red elastic bands on numerous pavements around Brentwood I have an hypothesis that not only do all Postie's in Brentwood use red elastic bands, but so do Posties nationwide.

Now I know that there will be environmentalists that will object to the blatent disposal of these small pieces of rubber on our walkways, but I applaud this behaviour.

I have never bought an elastic band. Granted I don't often have a need for one, but when I do, I generally need just one and not the 500 or so that one can buy boxed in a stationers.

Whenever I've needed an elastic band, I've found one. So I now pick up the red elastic bands discarded by the Postman. And that gives me just about the amount of elastic bands I need.

It's recycling at its most perfect. So I encourage you - see an elastic band, pick it up. It beats stealing office supplies.


Sainsbury phoned today. I promise you that I was polite.

They called to tell me they'd passed my cut and paste blog e-mail onto the 'shops' department.

I had to finish the call quickly as I needed the loo. It was either that or wet myself laughing.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Phantom poo hurler

We have a phantom poo hurler in our midst.

Everyone know that dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs. Usually the poo is picked up into a nappy bag, or similar receptacle.

About a week ago we found such a bag in our garden, a small bag filled with dog poo.

Admittedly we didn't open the bag to check the contents, but if you'd found a bag in your garden that you thought contained dog poo, would you open it to check?

Anyway today, there was another similar bag, again, in our garden.

So why are these bags in our garden and how are they getting there?

Well the first theory is that there is a dog walker that doesn't like us because they know us or resents us because of what we have.

The second theory is that there is a lazy dog walker that just slings poo bags into the garden that happens to be nearest.

The third theory is that it's cat poo being returned. We know Sydney, our tabby cat, doesn't poo in our garden. We could be annoying a neighbour because Syd chooses to poo in their garden. The streets around here are full of retired people that have the time to watch the cat poo culprit and then do the detective work to determine where the cat lives. They could have decided that the poo should be delivered back to us, for our disposal.

If this last theory is correct then they're actually being quite considerate because the poo is neatly bagged up before being lobbed.

The fourth theory again goes back to the "people not liking us" hypothesis but perhaps it's human poo in a bag as the ultimate insult. Now I've thought of that I'm definitely not opening any of these bags.

The fifth theory is that it's an environmental campaigner who is unhappy that we use disposable nappies. A simple bin sniff would confirm the presence of poo. A bin sift would confirm disposable nappies. Depending on the poo to hand, so to speak, any such campaigner would use whatever was most freely accessible, perhaps poo generated by a child who uses washable nappies.

The sixth theory is that it's our neighbours using random poo to protest about my campaign to prevent them from demolishing their house and building ten flats. If it is them, they either have a strong throwing arm, or are deliberately going to the other side of the house to divert suspicion away from themselves.

Anyway, it's not pleasant and I want it to stop. Is it a hate crime? Can I call the police?