Wednesday, 9 December 2009


I got bored.  With myself.  I looked in the mirror and I saw bland.

Just wanted to say sorry really, because I don't see mirrors very often but you guys don't have to look into a mirror to see my blandness.

This week I changed a couple of things.  It's a bit less boring but it's a bit more hassle.

I'm weighing it up in a "Can I be bothered to keep it up?" kind of a way.

We'll see.

Of course appearance is one thing, personality is another.

I'm less bored with my personality.  It just irritates me.  And I know....because I can read it on your faces, that some, many, of you feel the same way.  That's unlikely to change as it requires more effort.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


People wonder why I don’t get more done. 

It’s almost half eight and ideally this evening I will do the Tesco/Ocado/Sainsbury shopping online.  I don’t know which service I’ll be using because it all depends which has a spare delivery slot for tomorrow afternoon.

Ideally I will also bake two batches of banana muffins to prevent the waste of the muffins in the dining room.

Also, I’ll grill some bacon rashers to make making a carbonara sauce just a little bit easier tomorrow.

My brother arrives in about an hours time so I’d better type quickly if I’m going to have time to have a chat with him too.

I left the house this morning at 7:40 and drove to the breakfast club.  Having realised my phone was still at home, after dropping the children off I diverted back home.

Traffic was horrendous by this time but I still made it into work by 8:25.

I grabbed lunch at work to save time but then ended up staying at work too long after lunch.

I drove to Brentwood to pick up a reserved item and I also grabbed a birthday card while I was on the High Street.

When I got home I took the tablet I forgot to take this morning and then started tidying, cleaning, ironing and vacuuming.  I made up two beds and printed some documents I need for tomorrow.

I put some (homemade) food which I’d defrosted into the oven and set the timer so it would be ready for the children as we walked in later.  I also got some more food (homemade) out of the freezer for the adults.

I got the karate gear ready and put it in the car, chatted to the builder working next door about access to our garden, responded to a few work e-mails, phoned the council and phoned Lakeside.

I walked to school for 3:15, collected the children, came home and drove to karate.

After karate I drove home and at 5:30 the children were eating dinner after a ten minute blitz of bedroom tidying.

I sorted some washing, did some more cleaning, listened to Ethan read a book and at 6:30 the children were showering.

At 6:45 Dave and I were eating while the children assembled Lego.

At 7:15 Ethan went to bed and I started playing Uno with Hannah until she went to bed at 8:00.

I did some more cleaning and I’m now sat with you and I have a cup of tea next to me and at 8:40 I know that my list of things that should get done tonight is rapidly becoming a wish list.

I haven’t slept properly all week.  I have programmes saved on the iPlayer that I’m not sure I’ll get time to watch.

I’m ratty and irritable and nobody understands.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Shouldering a problem

I had my first ever visit to a sports massage practitioner.  I thought you might know what it was like.

I’d been having problems with my shoulder and upper arm for about a month.  I can’t remember what caused the problem, but if I had to blame anything it’s probably be gardening.

The first step was to expose the problem area.  So top half clothes came off and were replaced by modesty preserving towel.

My practitioner, Mark, explained that he’d be applying pressure and be asking me, on a scale of one to ten, how painful it was.

I’m not very good at explaining how painful something is.  The one to ten scale helped but only to make pain ratings relative.  How can one rate pain at a ten?  That means that it’s not possible to suffer further pain.  Of course it’s mostly possible to put up with more pain.

So with the first attempt I went with a score of four, and tried to score all other pain relative to that first score.

The other thing about pain is that it’s possible to be conditioned to it and, over time, accept more.

Apparently my score of seven has other people screaming “ten” and needing a piece of wood to bite down on.

We did hit a couple of tens but they were only ten relative to the other scores I’d made.  If the pressure had been increased I could have coped.

The other thing that I thought was strange was that a score of eight, after pressure was applied for a few seconds turned into a score of two, without any reduction in pressure.

He didn’t just apply pressure constantly.  Sometimes the pressure was moved back and forth on an area and sometimes pressure was applied constantly and my arm was moved at the same time to change to impact of the pressure.

Mark told me I might be a “bit sore” tomorrow, and the following day, but he also said that my pain threshold might mean I don’t feel too bad at all.

Let’s see how much complaining about my shoulder I do over the next couple of days, and see whether things improve by the end of the week.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Inappropriate applause

When I was young, and yes I was young once, it was deemed inappropriate for one to applaud oneself.  These days it seems to be perfectly acceptable.

I know this makes me sound like a crotchety old woman, but that’s OK, because that’s what I am.

I see celebrities being interviewed and the interviewer will show us, the audience, and the interviewee a piece of their work, maybe a clip from their latest film or perhaps a few bars from their latest single.  Invariably the celebrity will applaud with the audience once it’s finished.

When did it become socially acceptable to lack modesty?

Surely the acceptable behaviour is to modestly smile and maybe nod the head to acknowledge the audience’s appreciation.

Isn’t applauding one’s own work arrogant and presumptuous?  Shouldn’t one allow the audience the job of critiquing one’s performance?

I know, by the way, that some famous people will excuse this behaviour by claiming they are merely showing their appearance for the audience.

Rubbish!  They’re just full of themselves and are trying to excuse the inexcusable.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Gissa job

Our lovely post delivery people, are considering striking.  As a response the Royal Mail will be recruiting 30,000 temporary staff to cope with the work that isn’t being done by those who are striking.

This is the time of year when Royal Mail would be recruiting seasonal staff to cope with the Christmas rush anyway, I think they’ve just upped the requirement because of the planned industrial action.

I know we’re emerging from the economical hangover caused by the credit crunch, but there are still many people who have lost their job and will be eyeing 30,000 temporary jobs and thinking “I’ll have a piece of that.”

I have done this job.  I have worked the sorting office nightshift and I’ve delivered the mail.

The nightshift: This involved standing in front of a grid of pigeonholes and sorting mail into these pigeonholes which were divided into streets, or sections of streets.  It was possible to sit down but the seat that was available was not adjustable and was akin to an uncomfortable bar stool.

Tea breaks were the highlight of the shift because there was a pool table for amusement.  I think there may have been a canteen but the food can’t have been great because I’ve blanked it out.

Delivering the mail: I was dumped on my patch by a van and left, with my mail, not really having too much of a clue about which street was where.  Most of the time the mail had been sorted appropriately for the street and it was a simple matter of mail into letterboxes.

Low letterboxes cause back ache and are not good (Health and Safety take note).  Sprung loaded letter boxes scrape the skin off the back of the hand.  Barking dogs petrified me and the fear was realised when the dog followed up the bark by snapping with teeth at the hand through the letterbox.  Flats are a pain, especially when one has finished delivering to a block of flats and then there’s a letter that has been mis-sorted and it’s for the top floor.  (This happened to me and my response was to pop it in the nearest letterbox.  I know this is wrong, please don’t write and complain.) 

So in case you are tempted by the headline 30,000 jobs, you can submit your application knowing a little more about what you’re applying for.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A cautionary tale

Ethan asked me this evening “Mummy, what would happen if I put a conker in the washing machine?”

“You’d go on the naughty step.”

“For how long Mummy?  How long would I go on the naughty step, if I put a conker in the washing machine?”

“Five years”


“Yes really.  I’d be very, very annoyed.”

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Nanny state

I read this today on the BBC website:

“Parents in England who regularly look after friends' children and receive a "reward" for doing so must register as childminders, regulator Ofsted says.

It said most parents would be exempt but those who babysat for more than two hours at a time, or for more than 14 days per year, should be registered.”

It incensed me.

The last time I checked, a full day of nursery costs for one child was about £50.

The staff that worked in that nursery also made themselves available for babysitting at a rate of £10 per hour.

With that kind of cost, it really doesn’t surprise me that people seek cheaper solutions.  One of the most logical solutions would be a reciprocal arrangement with a friend.  Sharing the job of childcare and avoiding the cost.

It is such an arrangement that Ofsted told two detective constables, Leanne Shepherd and Lucy Jarrett, was illegal.  A reciprocal arrangement can be deemed to be a reward.

And if I understand this Ofsted statement correctly, it means that my children cannot be babysat by a friend of mine if we plan to be out of the house for more than two hours and I offer to return the favour.

Equally, when I was a teenager I used to get paid to babysit, sometimes for five or six hours.  This enabled couples and single parents to enjoy the occasional evening out.  This, and the nursery staff that babysit in the evenings to supplement their income, can no longer happen.  It is illegal, unless these individuals register as a childminder with Ofsted.

How puerile.  How utterly ridiculous.  Surely, as a parent, I should be empowered to decide who cares for my children, and if it happens to be a friend or neighbour I trust then that’s my decision.

It might seem strange that I complain about this Nanny State because I rarely go out but it’s the principle that matters here.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Knickers – it gets worse

Update from Hannah.

The knickers weren’t handed to a teacher, but a parent helper. So not only do all of the teaching staff now know about my knickers, but so do all of the mums.

And, the mum she handed them to was her best friend’s mum. This is the woman I often chat to in the playground.

Debbie – can I have my knickers back please?


Hannah had her school swimming lesson today and as per usual I asked her how the lesson went.

She started talking about some knickers she’d found.

It appears that when Hannah took her towel out of her swimming bag and started to get changed she found a superfluous pair of black knickers.  She knew they weren’t hers and so she took the only action that a sensible little girl would take.  She handed them to a teacher.

At this point in the story my ears pricked up and I started to ask questions..

Were the knickers lacy or plain?  Lacy.

Were they the kind of knickers that don’t cover somebody’s bottom properly? Yes, Hannah thought they were.  A thong then.

So one of my thongs had somehow got caught up in the laundry with Hannah’s swimming gear and had ended up in her swimming bag and subsequently in the changing room and therefore in a teacher’s hands.

And now they were the subject of great amusement in the staff room no doubt.

If I was the teacher receiving the knickers I’d put two and two together and, being a teacher, I’d get four.  So the teacher knows they are my knickers which probably means the whole of the staff room knows they are my knickers.

The question is, should I ask for them back?  This would clearly be an embarrassing exercise.

The alternative is to just “let it go.” 

Whatever I do I am now unable to look any member of the school staff in the eye without a hot flush enveloping me, and not in a good way.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

BBQ – no thanks

Is it just me, or are barbeques a bit of a faff?

Victoria wanted a gas barbeque and was asking for advice. 

Vish was of the opinion that gas was a heinous crime.  The only barbeque one should entertain owning is charcoal.

Lucinda owned up to owning a gas barbeque but that wasn’t her crime.  Her crime was buying disposable barbeques and using the gas barbeque as an attractive platform to support the disposable barbeque.

Whereas others considered this to be a bizarre practise, I thought it was completely logical and actually very sensible.  Although I did suggest that it would be possible to rest the disposable barbeque on a less expensive option.

Barbeques are hard work.

It’s the cleaning I detest.

I’ve been told that barbeques should be cleaned while they’re warm.  How stupidly impractical.  When I’ve sat down to a barbeque meal with a glass or three, the last thing I want to do is to rush to don the Marigolds.

Plus it’s just such a horrible job to do.  It’s filthy, dirty work.  It’s so much worse than a bit of washing up, and of course just because you’ve used the barbeque it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any washing up.  So you have the hideous barbeque cleaning and the washing up to do.

So we tend to leave the barbeque cleaning until the next time we want to use it.  This means that the happy anticipation of outdoor cooking is spoilt by the knowledge that there’s an onerous task waiting.

So, Victoria, my advice is buy disposable barbeques and enjoy the pleasure and avoid the pain.

Saturday, 29 August 2009


I took a risk this week.

I was walking through town with the children and we ambled into Millets and looked at the tents in the sale.

I want a new tent, mainly because our current tent annoys me but partly because I like shiny new things.  I know I won’t get a new tent though because I’m too rational.  Our current tent suffices.  It does the job, not brilliantly well, but it does the job.  I cannot justify the expense associated with replacing it or, as is the case with most things we buy, the new would sit alongside the old as we’re not very good at “getting rid.”

In order to maintain the interest of the children I suggested we could be looking for a tent for them – just for them.  I told them that at Hannah’s age I was allowed to camp in a pup tent which was pitched alongside my parents’ tent.  I was pretty sure we wouldn’t buy the children a tent as we had our old two man tent in the loft that Dave and I had used pre-children.

The conversation gradually moved on to that two man tent and the idea of putting it up in the garden.

Ten minutes later when we were home, that is exactly what we were doing.  Putting up a two man tent in the back garden.

The conversation had also resulted in me agreeing to (and if I’m honest encouraging) the idea of the children sleeping in the tent in the back garden.

In theory this isn’t a big deal except…

  • We had badgers in the garden this week
  • We don’t have a secure back garden and usually leave the back gates open
  • The children would need access to the house during the night which would mean leaving the back door unlocked

We went ahead anyway and whilst the children enjoyed the adventure, they decided they preferred their own beds.

All of which means that two days later we still have a tent in the garden that needs to be taken down.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The joys of dog ownership

I walked to the station today and came across a woman who was enjoying a walk with her Great Dane.

The dog needed to stop and defecate.  It produced a vast quantity of diarrhoea.

The owner (or could have been a dog walker as I was walking past some very expensive houses) started fiddling with a bag that presumable contained equipment for dealing with dog poo.

I walked past and didn’t look back, but I did wonder how one cleans up a mess like that.  And I doubted she was adequately equipped.

So what do you think?  Did she just leave it?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

July’s charity

Every childhood dream begins with a vision. At Eye Care For Kids, we make sure the vision can happen.

A non-profit organization, Eye Care for Kids has provided humanitarian aid to more than 20,000 children since 2001. Our program helps visually impaired kids from poor and low-income families get the treatment they so desperately need.

We treat kids in need across the state of Utah, including rural areas and Native American reservations. Here at Eye Care For Kids we see up to 200 children every week.

Our goal is to help restore every child’s vision. Help us make it more than just a vision – help us make it a reality.

“Our Vision… is their Vision.”

Just click on the badge to the left of the Gaping Void cartoon to find out more.


I’m all for a bit of office banter.  I have to be really given that I’m often the person responsible for starting and perpetuating it.  But even I think there are times when it’s inappropriate.

I went to a Union meeting today. 

Yes I am in the Union and no that doesn’t mean I’m a steel toe cap wearing lesbian who’ll be burning my scab colleagues on a picket line.  I happen to think Unions are a good thing; they provide a voice for the workforce who otherwise could go unheard.  I’m also a woman working in a very male dominated environment and Union membership just makes me feel a little more secure.

The purpose of the meeting today was to try and encourage “the management” of whom I laughingly call myself a member, to say yes to the Union representing them.  At the moment the Union represents hourly paid and salaried staff below management grades.  Our lack of representation means that instead of changes to our terms and conditions being negotiated, they’re just communicated via e-mail and it’s a done deal with no opportunity for recourse, other than the obvious move – resignation.

There were probably 250 people in the room which I thought was a good turnout.  It was standing room only and although the meeting started well I thought that most of the main points had been made early on and there then followed much reprising of those earlier points.  It got to a time where I thought the meeting would end without us having reached the point of a vote so I stuck my hand in the air waiting for my turn to voice an opinion.

I was ignored for a very long time but eventually our man on site did spot me and he waited patiently for the Regional Union Representative to draw breath.  We waited, and waited.  Finally I had my chance and said “In the interest of time, can I suggest we have a vote.”

The Union rep responded “You remind me of my wife, nagging me to shut up and get on with things.” (or words to that effect) and then he said, addressing the audience, “I don’t want to keep the lady waiting.” (or similar) and we proceeded to vote.

Up to my interjection, all the people speaking had been men, and all of the contributions had been business-like and focussed on the issue at hand.  My point, equally, was professional and timely.

Was I right to feel just a tad patronised and belittled by this Union man’s response to me?

If it had been within a small group I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but in front of 250 it just seemed wrong.

Am I being too politically correct?  Should I just “get over it”?

Friday, 3 July 2009

Kids eh…

We took Hannah to the Junior School today to meet her new teacher.  Ethan came along too.

We met not only Hannah’s teacher we met her new Head Teacher too.  He’d given a presentation to all of the parents outlining expectations of children and parents etc.

This next bit you need to know for context.  The Junior School Head is a slim male.  The Infant School Head is a larger, shorter lady.  Ethan and Hannah are both currently attending the Infant School.

When we got back home I was chatting to Dave about the afternoon and Ethan was half listening.  I said “I thought the Head was….” and Ethan finished with “…fat!”

I was actually talking about the Junior Head and went on to use words like “switched on, engaged, interested” but Ethan’s word was funnier.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Using a camera

We went to watch the school concert today, along with half of Brentwood.

Hundreds were crowded into a small school hall to watch some 230 infant school pupils performing.

Naturally the room was full of cameras and video cameras and the woman in front of us was one of those with a camera.

It was difficult to see the “action” and many people were using digital cameras on an upwardly extended arm to capture the action.

The lady in front of us was vertically challenged and tried to use the raised digital camera technique.  The only problem was that she had a tall chap sitting in front of her.

Every time she clicked the shutter the camera focused on the item just in front of the lens.  She must have ended up with 15 pictures of a brightly lit man’s head.  The head was so close to the camera flash that it reflected loads of light, fooling the camera into believing the shot was exposed, meaning that the rest of the shot (containing children) was too dimly lit.

I wanted to take the camera from her and explain the problem, because she just wasn’t learning.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Stranger danger

Early yesterday morning I drove past the local school and saw a lone schoolgirl running along the pavement, clearly upset.

I pulled over and spoke to her.  She was running late.  She’d been to a swimming club and something had happened so that she was late.

I offered to give her a lift wherever she needed to go and she accepted.

Gradually she stopped crying and I discovered she was on her way home.  It was the first time she had ever done this journey on her own.

I had assumed she didn’t live far from the school but as she gave me directions to her house I realised the journey we were on was over a mile.

I was surprised that a girl of just seven or eight was expected to walk over a mile after swimming, and before school, on her own.

As we got closer to her house I realised that, whilst I think I did the right thing, she might get into trouble for accepting a lift from a stranger.

When I told my husband later in the day he told me how he’d handle the situation: hand your phone to the child and let them phone their parents and, if required, you can talk to the parents too.  Wish I’d thought of that.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Couldn’t sleep

Dave was due back from Belgium last night.  He’d left on Tuesday and I hadn’t heard from him.

I started thinking that maybe he’d had an accident.  It’s unusual for him not to call while he’s away.

I didn’t really think he’d accident, but he might have done.  I ran through what would have happened if he had had an accident.

Well surely the company would have phoned me.

Except that the HR department are useless and probably mislaid my number.

And would anyone know if he’d had an accident on the way there or would they have assumed he just hadn’t made it because he was sick.

And if he had had an accident then surely the police would have found something with contact details.

Unless it was a major car wreck with fire or in which debris is scattered far and wide.

I started to wonder what time would be a reasonable time to start worrying.

I then realised I had probably already started worrying.

So I tried to persuade myself that all of these thoughts were just hypothetical and everything was OK really.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Lord Roberts's Message to the Troops

I have inherited a book that belonged to my grandfather, William Sadler.

I never knew my grandfather but he served in the first world war and the book is called The Daily Portion Testament. I'm guessing it was issued to troops to give them comfort and to help preserve faith.

This is inside the front cover:

Lord Roberts's Message to the Troops
25th Aug 1914
I ask you to put your trust in God. He will watch over you and strengthen you.
You will find in this little Book guidance when you are in health, comfort when you are in sickness, and strength when you are in adversity.
The message inside the front cover is not overly legible which is not surprising, as if it was Lord Roberts that wrote the message by hand, he was 81 at the time. He died later that year, in November, aged 82.

I wonder if the same time, thought and effort goes into the spiritual welfare of today's troops.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The poncy world of marketing

I received indirect feedback today.  It wasn’t positive.

I’m overly aggressive.

On a good day this means passionate and assertive.  It means fighting for the right course of action and having the courage of my convictions.

On a bad day it means raising my voice and/or swearing and arguing or consistently persisting with an opposing or unpopular point of view.

This is not new news and frankly if I found it easy to change, I probably would.

When I’m stressed I bite my tongue less and I speak out more.  I am stressed right now to the point where tears are not far away for most of my days.  I can’t pinpoint one specific thing that’s causing the stress as I think there are a number of factors but I know it has an impact on my behaviour.

I don’t want sympathy, frankly it doesn’t help and is more likely to push me over the edge.  I just wanted to let people, anyone, maybe nobody, know that this feedback has had an effect.

Instead of being more vocal than normal because of the stress, I now just feel utterly depressed.  I really don’t want to go into work tomorrow or any day.

I know that’s selfish because people are losing their jobs, but I'm not appreciated and I just feel some people would rather I just wasn’t there at all.

So what am I doing about it?  Eating too much, drinking too much and finding excuses not to exercise.  Shouting at my husband and shouting at the children.  Great.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Invasion of privacy

I had an inkling that my doc would refer me to see a specialist so I sorted out my healthcare arrangements.  Not very complicated just arranging to be covered in my own right rather than being a dependant on my husband’s policy.

Doc did refer me so I phoned PPP to get authority to make appt with specialist.

I went through the usual verification of name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, height in centimetres when I was three, the number of times in the last month I’ve had sex, the number of lightbulbs in my house, the name of my first pet and my pornstar name etc.  And then the conversation turned to the reason for the call.

I was calling from work because all of my membership details were in a work e-mail that I’d only recently received and it hadn’t been followed up by anything in the post.

I was comfortable with explaining that I’d been to the doctor and I had a referral.  I was also comfortable with providing the specialist’s name and the hospital in which he works.  It was when I was asked to describe symptoms that I declined and we arranged that I’d call back when I had more privacy.

I don’t believe it’s the business of anyone at work to know about any medical condition.  I could launch into a diatribe about medical case management but that might have to wait until I’m forced to go through the process.

Summer fruit muffins

This one’s for Tim, after he used the banana and chocolate muffin recipe to make blueberry muffins, and it didn’t quite work.

  • 280g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 110g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 240ml milk
  • 90ml corn oil
  • 140g summer fruit (any berries, either alone or in combination: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, cherries etc.), fresh or frozen (don’t thaw frozen berries); larger berries should be coarsely chopped.
  1. Pre-heat fan oven to 160 degrees
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt.  Stir in sugar.
  3. In another bowl, beat egg and stir in milk and oil.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry.  Stir until just combined, folding in berries at the end using 2-3 gentle strokes to avoid crushing fruit.
  5. Spoon mixture into muffin cases and then bake for 20 mins or when tops are lightly browned and spring back when pressed gently.  If frozen fruit was used then add 4-5 minutes to the cooking time.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Ethan and Hannah were trying to find something that their dad would like for Father’s Day.

When their dad didn’t have many suggestions then he was presented with a variety of ideas like books, videos (bless Hannah for not thinking DVD), iPod, etc. 

And then Ethan said “What about a book about Grandad?” and Hannah explained.

“Ethan thought Mummy could write a book about Grandad to help you remember him.”

My dad died just over a year ago.  Ethan is such a sweet and caring little boy and his Grandad’s death has obviously affected him.

*Wobbly bottom lip.*

Local elections

We had four parties contesting the local elections and they all had very different ways of trying to get my vote.

Labour did nothing.

Conservatives but boards up everywhere around the town saying “Vote for change. Vote Conservative.”

Lib-Dems put their blurb through the letterbox and knocked on the door for a chat to discuss issues uppermost in my mind.

BNP bought advertising space on a hoarding near the town centre. This was mysteriously papered over “by accident” and then somehow got redone. Not sure I really know exactly what went on.

Who do you think got my vote?

I could blog about Euro elections but frankly there were about 15 candidates and I didn’t know who 80% of them were.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

I cannot accept your refusal

To those who might be receiving refusal letters in such a tough labour market – you may want to adopt this approach.

I stumbled across this today.

Herbert A. Millington
Chair - Search Committee
412A Clarkson Hall, Whitson University
College Hill, MA 34109

Dear Professor Millington,
Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I
regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me
an assistant professor position in your department.
This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually
large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field
of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite Whitson's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in
rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at
this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor
in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.
Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.
Chris L. Jensen

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Road rage

I took the children to a local country park yesterday for an organised treasure hunt.

As we left in the car a lorry was manouvering and blocking our exit.  We waited until he stopped and then I waited again.

The driver had stopped in such a way that the only way we could get around his vehicle was to drive on the wrong side of the road. 

Where this occurs and there’s great visibility of oncoming traffic this would be fine, but it was right near a junction.  Traffic on an A road could pull into the road I was on without either driver having visibility of the other.

The lorry driver indicated I should pull round his vehicle.  I didn’t because I was always taught to check myself before taking anyone else’s word for the safety of a situation.  In this case I couldn’t, so I got out of the car.

I didn’t meet with a particularly co-operative or polite response when I asked the driver if he could park the lorry elsewhere.  I explained why it was dangerous for him to park there and he explained that was why he had waved me around his vehicle.

All very well except his next move was to get out of his cab and walk over to a roadside cafe.  Any other park goers would experience the same problem.

I had no choice and risked driving around his vehicle.  I encountered two vehicles pulling off the fast A road.  Luckily a collision was avoided, but it was definitely not safe.

I was furious but didn’t know what to do.  So I seethed all the way home.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Out of the blue

I met Alice when I was first pregnant.  She and I went to the same ante natal classes.

I discovered that Alice sometimes struggled to get to or from the classes because she didn’t drive.  I offered to help by going to and from the classes via Alice’s house.

As the ante natal class due dates approached the group had started to meet socially.  As babies arrived the group was a mixture of bumps and babies.

Alice wasn’t as lucky as the rest of us.  She had a midwife visit just before her due date and the midwife couldn’t find a heartbeat.  Alice had to give birth to her dead baby.

That is such a tragic and terrible thing to happen to anyone and, in general the group didn’t know how to respond.  I was probably closest to Alice because of the car sharing but I didn’t know what to do either.

I imagined that the last person she would want to see was someone who was still pregnant with a healthy child.

I can’t remember exactly how I kept in touch but I did.  We did talk about her loss and how she was feeling.  I remember broaching the subject of meeting the other mums.  I was honest and said we had hesitated to invite her along because we didn’t want to get it wrong, but I made sure she knew that when, or if, she was ready to meet us she would be very welcome.

We did meet a few times but we didn’t have much in common.  We drifted and became people that send Christmas cards.  Until yesterday.

We hadn’t spoken for years, but yesterday she called, out of the blue.

Perhaps I should have asked why she called, but I didn’t, so we just started talking in a very stilted fashion through lack of familiarity.

She’s become a grandmother (her first child, a daughter, has started her family) but has also suffered terribly with cancer.  I got the feeling she just wanted to talk to someone, anyone.  So we talked.  I listened and shared.

Today, out of the blue, a bouquet of flowers arrived from Alice.  Whilst this is lovely and kind and sweet, I don’t understand it.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

The trigger

I looked at our kitchen on Saturday morning and hated it.  There are a thousand things that irritate me about it but the one thing that hit me in the face on Saturday was just how grubby it looked.

It wasn’t the kind of grubby that a bit of cleaning could fix, although there was a bit of that (particularly cobwebs and dust).  It was mainly the paintwork which had just deteriorated over time.

Somehow damp has made its way into some plaster on one wall which gave it a crazed effect akin to a paint crackle effect.  Added to this there was a small gap between the coving and the wall.  Every time anyone walked around in the bathroom above the gap released plaster dust over the kitchen work surface.  This meant that no sooner had the kitchen surfaces been cleaned they would need cleaning again.  It also meant that food couldn’t be stored there.

Also, and this is something I’ve not seen in anyone else’s kitchen, whenever I’ve peeled vegetables the walls have been sprayed with the juice from the potato, carrot or whatever.  I haven’t noticed this when it happened but, over time, this has made the wall look grubby, and it’s impossible to clean.

And then, of course, we have had children since the kitchen was last painted and there are grubby finger marks everywhere.

Something needed to be done.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Unplanned exposure

On Sunday both children had been invited to a swimming pool party.

This was a party in a public swimming pool and my presence was required in the pool.

After lots of splashing around, the swimming part of the party was over and everyone headed towards the changing rooms to get changed.

I’d worn a dress that day, new but not expensive, and as I popped the dress back on I hit a problem: the zip broke.

The zip ran up the side of the dress from hip to underarm and it wasn’t broken just a little bit, it was broken completely.

I didn’t have a jacket or cardigan and I had just one safety pin.

In Who wants to be a Millionaire style, I phoned a friend.

Mel, still in her swimming costume, came and found me.  She may have laughed a bit, but she quickly sprang into action to help me.

We acquired two more safety pins which, although not a neat solution, served to cover most of my embarrassment.  When Mel had dressed we nipped out to her car where she leant me a lovely cardigan that complimented the dress perfectly.

We eventually caught up with the rest of the partygoers and I think I got away with it, just.

The dress is going back.  The question is refund, or replacement?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Brand strength

I had a doctor appointment this morning at 8:30.

I turned up at 8:25 and after using the patient self check-in via a mounted PC screen, I took a seat.

My doctor is wonderful and the surgery is very well run.  I don’t enjoy a visit to the doctor but because my doctor is so lovely and because the surgery is efficient, the process is not as awkward as it could be.

Whenever I’ve made appointments for myself or the children we’ve never had to wait more than five minutes past our appointment time.  How many people can say the same about their doctor?

At 8:40 I frowned.  8:30 is the first appointment of the day so I assumed that there must have been an emergency patient squeezed in ahead of me, especially as I had heard my doctor’s voice over the tannoy calling someone else’s name.

At 8:50 I started to think the surgery was squeezing in too many emergency patients and I became fidgety.

At 9:00 I wondered if I’d written down the wrong appointment time.  Maybe my appointment was 9:00.

At 9:10 I checked my diary and decided I couldn’t possibly have written down the wrong time.

At 9:15 I went to the reception and explained that I wasn’t used to waiting and I asked her to check my appointment time.

My appointment was 8:30.  It transpired that, for some reason, the patient check-in hadn’t worked.

My previous experience with the brand “My Doctor” was so strong that it took me 45 minutes to doubt the brand and, before doubting the brand, I doubted myself.

I think that’s amazing. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Top 50 jokes

These are the top 50 jokes from the Edinburgh fringe as picked by the Indie.  I’m over six months late with this but some of these made me chuckle.

"I told the ambulance men the wrong blood type for my ex, so he knows what rejection feels like" – Pippa Evans

"The Olympics are for everyone, not just someone who happens to own a dancing horse" – Glenn Wool, on dressage

"I like Jesus, but he loves me, so it's awkward" – Tom Stade

"I love being touched sexually by an ecologist" – Jo Neary, in character as a dolphin

"Glasgow has its own version of Monopoly – just one big square that reads: Go To Jail" – Des Clarke

"A problem shared is attention gained" – Pippa Evans

"Never say to an autistic person, you do the maths" – Wilson Dixon

"I'm glad they invented emoticons, otherwise I wouldn't know what my dad was thinking" – Kerry Godliman

On having sex with men in their thirties: "Generally much better, but you've got to rub their legs afterwards for cramp" – Sarah Millican

"I love paying tax so much, the sight of a gritter lorry gives me an erection" – Jon Richardson

"No seriously, I am a feminist, just a lusty, ogling feminist. I'm a lesbian, in fact" – Rob Deering

"Looking at my face is like reading in the car. It's all right for 10 minutes, then you start to feel sick" – Andrew Lawrence, on his ginger appearance

"One-armed butlers, they can take it but they can't dish it out" – Tim Vine

"If it's gone abroad, it must be fraud" – Tom Wrigglesworth, on the mindset of the high-street banks

"Victoria Beckham? Does this tampon make me look fat?" – Joan Rivers, on celebrities

"What do you say to your adopted African child if you want them to eat up their dinner? 'There are people starving in Africa right now, like your parents'" – Tom Stade

"Politicians are like God. No one believes in them, they haven't done anything for ages, and they give jobs to their immediate family" – Andy Zaltzman

"Channel 4 just cuts out bits from 'heat' magazine and throws them on the floor" – Wendy Wason, on C4 scheduling

"I'm dating now, because I ran out of hooker money" – Rick Shapiro

"The Scots invented hypnosis, chloroform and the hypodermic syringe. Wouldn't it just be easier to talk to a woman?" – Stephen Brown

"Whenever I see a man with a beard, moustache and glasses, I think, 'There's a man who has taken every precaution to avoid people doodling on photographs of him" – Carey Marx

"I love making love on a bed of nails, but can I go on top?" – Ginger and Black

"The definition of bipolar? A sexually curious bear" – Marcus Birdman

"One of my friends had twins with IVF. Two old ladies that she knew came up to her, and one got the term wrong. In a very sweet voice, she said, 'Oh, would you look at those beautiful twins! Did you get those on the HIV?'" – Craig Hill

"Old people don't like swearing, because a lot of the words weren't invented in their day, so they feel left out" – Zoe Gardner

"The anti-aging advert that I would like to see is a baby covered in cream saying, 'Aah, I've used too much'" – Andrew Bird

"I don't hate the Germans, I just miss my grandparents" – Ian Stone

"'What's a couple?' I asked my mum. She said, 'Two or three'. Which probably explains why her marriage collapsed" – Josie Long

"My friend said she was giving up drinking from Monday to Friday. I'm just worried she's going to dehydrate" – Kerri Godliman

"Ken Dodd is one of my favourite comics, and one of the richest in showbusiness – he has Swiss money in Irish banks" – Roy Walker

"I wonder what would happen if Franz Ferdinand were assassinated?" – Glenn Wool

"My uncle Cleetus is illiterate and ambidextrous. Which is a double tragedy. He is unable to write, with both hands" – Wilson Dixon

"I like David Beckham. Most of us have skeletons in our closet. But he takes his out in public" – Andrew Lawrence

"If Britons were left to tax themselves, there would be no schools, no hospitals, just a 500-mile-high statue of Diana, Princess of Wales" – Andy Zaltzman

"Surgery is just stabbing in a courteous environment" – A L Kennedy

"I know someone whose dream is to be an actor but they're not that good – they got mugged, and had to audition for the part of themselves on 'Crimewatch'. They got Passer-by No 2" – Isy Suttie

"My boyfriend likes role play. He likes to pretend we're married. He waits until I go to bed, then he looks at porn and has a wank" – Joanna Neary

"I was talking to my friend from New York yesterday, and I used the expression, 'You can't polish a turd'. He looked at me, disgusted, and said, 'No, you can't, but you can roll it in glitter'. He's a lovely guy but I wouldn't want to go to a craft fair with him" – Steve Williams

"My Nan had a plastic hip put in, but I thought she should have replaced it with a Slinky, 'cause if she fell down the stairs again..." – Steve Williams

"A headline last year, after the death of Saddam Hussein, read: 'Tyrant is hanged'. My auntie looked at the newspaper and sobbed, 'Who's going to present "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"' " – Steve Williams

"I used to go out with Christopher Reeve, but I just had to keep standing him up" – Steve Hall

"I despise cliquishness, for reasons only my four closest friends will ever properly understand" – Steve Hall

"Where I'm from, people aren't quick. A girl once asked her mum, 'Can I have a Cadbury's Creme Egg?' The mum said, 'No, you can't Danielle, I've already told you, darling – bird flu!'" – Tom Deacon

"I once buggered a man unconscious. I'm lying, he was already unconscious when I found him" – Tom Deacon

"I never know the right thing to say, especially during sex. After my first time, I said to the girl, 'That's it, I'm afraid'" – Tom Deacon

"I'm the eldest of five children. My parents aren't Catholic, just reckless" – Danielle Ward

"I was in Halifax one Friday night in July, and I thought they were having an 'idiots and whores' theme party, but no – that's just Halifax on a Friday night" – Rob Deering

"I do love Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. He always looks so... clean. But if you went out dressed like that round our way, you'd get the MDF kicked out of you" – Domestic Goddi Rosie Wilkinson & Helen O'Brien

"I've got nothing against disabled people, I've even got one of their stickers on my car" – Damian Callinan

"My granny was recently beaten to death by my granddad. Not as in, with a stick – he just died first" – Alex Horne

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Went for a walk

We went on a hunt for bluebells today.  We found some.


We walked back under some big sky.


And some of us got a bit tired on the way home.


It was the first time we’d been into this wood.  We’d been near it, but not in it before.  It’s less than ten minutes walk from our house.  We will be going back.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Chocolate denied

A friend told me about some research being planned by the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

It sounded fun so I sent an e-mail expressing interest in donating my body to science, or at least volunteering to participate in their research.

This was their reply:

“Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you so much for your interest in our Cocoa study.

We have been a bit overwhelmed by the number of responses that we have got. Thus I have to write with regret that we cannot sign you up for our cocoa study because we have enough volunteers now.

We are very grateful that you have contacted us about the study and we hope you are not too disappointed about our reply.

Thanks again and all the best,

Luisa Ostertag”

They hope I’m not too disappointed.  I’m gutted, and will console myself with the remains of a box of Milk Tray which has been looking at me all day.

I was their perfect research subject!  Their loss.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Facebook application

A friend of mine is considering the merits of his mum joining Facebook.

Other friends have put their cats onto Catbook or dogs onto Dogbook, both of which are Facebook applications.

Others have put their babies on Babybook.

I can’t see the benefit of Catbook, Dogbook or Babybook, but I can see the benefit of my mum joining Facebook.  I can see downsides too though.

If I mum were on Facebook I might tone down some of my content.  I might mind my language a bit and I might moderate my friend’s comments.  But other than those small inconveniences it would be great to keep in touch using something so easy.

Trouble is, my mum can’t join Facebook because she isn’t around anymore.  So this got me thinking.  Do you think there’d be a receptive market for a new Facebook application: Deadbook?

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Together again

Does anyone else have this problem or is it just another “it’s just me” problem?

When I type together, without concentrating overly, I always type togather.

I spotted that someone else had done it in a tweet, which made me think it may not be that uncommon.

It’s not that obvious because I’m usually saved by the spellchecker but occasionally one mistype slips the net.

You too?

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


We know I have a haunted handbag and the ghost hasn’t gone anywhere.  It’s still there.

A sample of texts on my phone this evening:

“Is ten o’clock tomorrow okay with you?  I am assuming it is not going to be raining x”

“You aren’t actually typing anything !”

“Very funny another empty text !”

“Okay so you send me 5 blank text messages while you are driving and manage to answer a call while you speak to someone else and you don’t speak !”

I checked my phone.  I’d actually sent 13 blank text messages to Janet.

Sorry Janet.  It was my handbag ghost.

Sunday, 5 April 2009


I attended the school’s Eucharist on Friday.

I have observed that many of the songs used in such services are familiar tunes revised with religious lyrics. One such hymn went like this:

We have a king who rides on a donkey, (3 times)

And his name is Jesus


Jesus, the King is risen, (3 times)

Early in the morning

Trees are waving a royal welcome (3 times)

For the King called Jesus


We have a King who cares for people (3 times)

And his name is Jesus


I don’t know whether you’ve already figured out which tune accompanies these words but if you haven’t, let me put you out of your misery, it’s Drunken Sailor.

Well I was singing along with everyone else but, found to my horror that when the chorus came round I’d slipped into pirate speak.

My chorus finished “Earlye in the mornin’” with associated emphasis.

Forgive me Father…

Friday, 3 April 2009

Tough times

The credit crunch is making life difficult for many. A dear friend sent me some handy tips that I’d like to pass on to you

  • DON'T waste money on expensive ipods. Simply think of your favourite tune and hum it. If you want to "switch tracks", simply think of another song you like and hum that instead.
  • DON'T waste money on expensive paper shredders to avoid having your identity stolen. Simply place a few dog turds in the bin bags along with your old bank statements.
  • HOMEOWNERS: Prevent burglars stealing everything in the house by simply moving everything in the house into your bedroom when you go to bed. In the morning, simply move it all back again.
  • SAVE money on expensive personalised car number plates by simply changing your name to match your existing plate. - Mr. KVL 741Y,
  • DON'T waste money buying expensive binoculars; simply stand closer to the object you wish to view.
  • AN empty aluminium cigar tube filled with angry wasps makes an inexpensive vibrator.
  • MANCHESTER UNITED FANS can save money on expensive new kits by simply strapping a large fake penis to your forehead. It is now clear to all, as to your allegiance.
  • SAVE electricity by turning off all the lights in your house and walking around wearing a miner's hat.
  • HOUSEWIVES, the best way to get two bottles of washing-up liquid for the price of one is by putting one in your shopping trolley and the other in your coat pocket.
  • OLD telephone directories make ideal personal address books, simply cross out the names and address of people you don't know.
  • SAVE on booze by drinking cold tea instead of whisky. The following morning you can create the effects of a hangover by drinking a thimble full of washing up liquid and banging your head repeatedly on the wall.
  • SAVE a fortune on laundry bills. Give your dirty shirts to Oxfam, they will wash and iron them and you can buy them back for fifty pence.
  • OLD people, if you feel cold indoors this winter, simply pop outside for ten minutes without a coat, when you go back inside you will really feel the benefit.
  • CAN'T afford contact lenses? Simply cut out small circles of cling film and press them into your eyes.
  • WHY pay the earth for expensive jigsaws? Just take a bag of frozen chips from the freezer and try piecing together potatoes.
  • MIX tea with coffee, and leave in the fridge to cool. Hey presto! Toffee.
  • MAKE your own inexpensive mints by leaving blobs of toothpaste to dry on a window sill. Use striped toothpaste to make humbugs.
  • SHOPPERS, when buying oranges, get more for your money by peeling them before taking them to the counter to be weighed.
  • WOMEN: Don't waste energy faking orgasms. Most men couldn't care less anyway and you could use the saved energy to Hoover the house afterwards.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Rude car

On the way to work in a 30 mile an hour limit I was “flashed” by a car going in the opposite direction.

A few things ran through my mind:

Am I speeding?  No I wasn’t.

Is there a police speed trap just around the corner?  If so, I don’t care because I’m not speeding.

Have I got my fog lights on?  No.

Have I got my headlights on full beam?  No, lights are off.

Have I got a flat tyre?  No, car seems to be handling fine.

Was I driving like a maniac and annoying other road users?  On this occasion, no.

Have I remembered to get dressed before leaving the house?

I admit that forgetting this last one is an unlikely scenario but I feel I’d explored all other possible explanations for the flash.

Then I realised what had happened.  My little squeeze Fiesta had just had a friendly hello from another squeeze Fiesta.  How cute, and my car hadn’t responded, how rude.

Monday, 23 March 2009

A lesson in getting it wrong

HR wrote to me with a letter dated for last September and addressed it to Christy.

I received the letter in February and my name’s not Christy.

I’ve just received my numbers for the latest round of redundancies.  This is the financial payoff I’ll receive if I leave the company after almost 18 years of service.

I would consider this document to be important and I would expect it to be accurate.

How stupid of me.

They have a start date for me that is almost, but not quite, two years wrong.

Not only is that exceptionally irritating and yet typical of HR efficiency, it also under calls the amount to which I would be entitled.

You know what.  If they can’t be bothered to put the time and effort into communicating the redundancy package then I can’t be bothered to accept their inaccurate offer.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Bad wife

I woke before anyone else in the house today.

I made my way downstairs and made two mugs of tea.  Taking the tea upstairs, I popped one on Dave’s bedside table and one on my bedside table.

The next thing I know Hannah gets into the bed and Ethan comes into the bedroom too.

A little while later I said to Dave “Don’t let your tea go cold” and Dave replied “I didn’t know I had a cup of tea.”

I said “You see, I am a good wife really” and Dave asked Hannah whether she thought I was a good wife and she said “No.”

Dave asked her why, and she said “Well she only told you about the tea when it was cold.”

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

My new job

I’m really really excited and a little bit nervous.

Actually I might be a bit more nervous than excited.

I have a new job.  Apparently everyone is talking about it.  I’m pretty sure the people talking about it fall into two camps; there are those that work with me currently who are celebrating, and those that think they might be working with me in the future who are probably drinking themselves into a stupor to numb the pain of the news.

My nerves might surprise you; let me explain.

I don’t know what this new job is.  I didn’t know until this evening that I was moving jobs.  I haven’t even had an interview, although this isn’t always an indicator.

I know some people want me to move out of my current job.  I also know that there are some people that would like me to work in their department.

That’s all I know.  I haven’t had any conversations with anyone that go beyond this and I can’t remember exactly when a job move might have been mentioned casually in passing, apart from tonight.

Tonight I was told that it’s a fact - I’m moving jobs.  This fact has come from the rumour mill and is therefore true.

I’m always the last to know.  But I am excited.  Change is always exciting.

Monday, 16 March 2009


I have only ever submitted one insurance claim.  Admittedly it was a weird one.

It was a hot day and I had a newborn baby.  I needed to travel in the car but, being an over-protective new mother, the car needed to cool down before I placed my precious baby cargo in the back seat.

I reached into the car and popped the keys in the ignition and turned the car on.  My plan was to pop the aircon on for a few minutes.

What I hadn’t realised was that my husband had been the last person to drive the car and he’d left it in reverse gear.  The handbrake wasn’t on very much because the car had been parked on the flat.

Turning the ignition started the car and, because it was in gear, it started moving backwards quite quickly.  I jumped out of the way and the car careered back and bashed into the garage.  The garage wall didn’t collapse but where it had been hit it had moved by about an inch.  It needed fixing.

The insurance claim was embarrassing because I had to admit to being an idiot, but the claim was successful.

I have never falsified an insurance claim, and I can’t imagine doing so in the future.

I’ve just watched a show about people who do fake insurance claims and the insurance company doesn’t seem to get the police involved.

WHY NOT?  These people are committing fraud.  I am truly shocked that these people are allowed to get away with this without penalty if caught.

Friday, 13 March 2009

France vs England

Over the last couple of days I have travelled on Eurostar from London to Paris and back again.

St Pancras International is a beautiful station, and the process of checking in is as smooth as one could want. 

There are gorgeous shops, cafes and bars prior to going through the departure security and passport checks.

Free WiFi is available while one is waiting in the departure lounge and a line of sockets prevent loss of battery power.

I only have two criticisms: the immediate area surrounding the station is a dump and most provide a very poor impression on international visitors and there are no shops, bar the obligatory WH Smith, in the departure lounge.

Gare du Nord is a different proposition.  It feels crowded and cramped, although that does improve as one ascends the stairs to the Eurostar area.

The shopping available before reaching the departure lounge is poor but improves slightly after the security checks.

But there isn’t any WiFi, which is rubbish.  The Eurostar traffic must be primarily business people, most of whom need access to an internet connection to work.  It seems silly not to provide something so basic.  And it also irritated me because I’d planned to do some work while I was waiting and instead I had to go and get a drink and some sleep.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


A town councillor in Wales, Mark Easton, had a beautiful view of the mountains, until a new neighbour purchased the land below his house and built a new home.

The new home was 18 inches higher than the planning dept had approved, so Mark Easton, mad about his lost view, went to the local authority to make sure they enforced the roof line height.

The new neighbour had to drop the roof height, at great expense.
Recently, Mark Easton called the planning dept, and informed them that his new neighbour had installed some vents on the side of his new property.

Mark didn't like the look of these vents and asked the planning dept to investigate.

When they went to Mark's home to see what the vents looked like, this is what they found...

vents close up


Friday, 6 March 2009

Dodgy curry

I went out for a curry last night.  I had a few drinks, but not a silly amount.

When I got in I uploaded some photos and relaxed in front of the box before heading up to bed.

I don’t know what time it happened, but at some point I woke with a bit of a start.  I got out of bed and I swear I saw a snake in the bed, near the headboard.  It had adder-like markings.

I said “Dave! Dave! There’s a snake!  I swear I saw a snake.”

Dave woke groggily and we spent two minutes looking for a venomous snake.  I think we soon realised there wasn’t one.

That kind of thing doesn’t happen to me.  Either I had an “episode” or there were unusual ingredients in my curry. 

Do I need a doctor, a shrink or do I just need to catch up on my sleep?

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

We’re brilliant

I know companies like Sony do a lot of work on robotics and they try to make them as human as possible.

Their robots can climb stairs. That’s impressive.

Other companies have built a robot that’ll do the vacuuming while you’re out. That’s handy.

Bet they can’t handle Liverpool Street station at rush hour and make it from the train platform to the tube platform without bumping into anyone. That’s brilliant.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Religious Sat Nav

I had to drive to Wimbledon on Saturday so I extracted the Sat Nav.

I did have a passenger in the form of Mel and she and I like to chat. I’m rubbish at multi-tasking so didn’t always take the roads that were advised because I was talking, or (less likely) listening.

Strangely, the route it advised to Wimbledon was via the M25 and the route back was through London (always a hairy experience). Anyway that’s by the by.

I have set my system up for audible alerts for speed cameras. I’m rubbish at spotting the buggers and am not always looking at the screen to spot them there. The bleeping it does serves its purpose and keeps me on the straight and narrow.

What we found, however, on the route through London is that I also have audible alerts for churches, and maybe mosques.

I didn’t set this up deliberately. I don’t know how it happened. I also don’t know how to turn it off.

Is it trying to keep me spiritually topped up or is it warning me about religion.

I’ve always viewed the speed camera alerts as a warning. Are the church alerts the same thing?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Experimental shopping

I recently undertook an experiment with my weekly online supermarket shop.

I have a naturally lazy disposition and was wired into the laptop in the sitting room. I know one should do a tour of the house to determine what should go on the shopping list but I couldn’t be bothered.

I was hooked into Facebook and Twitter and decided that Facebookers and the Twitterati might save me the short walk around the house.

I asked for advice and guidance. I asked for shopping list suggestions.

This is what I ended up with:

  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Kinder egg
  • Toilet roll
  • Bounty kitchen towels
  • BBQ Pringles
  • Light bulbs
  • Teabags
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Vodka

I considered this to be a highly successful experiment and plan to repeat the exercise regularly.

So my thanks to Lee, Jane, Kathryn, Victoria.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Conversation with husband

Me: Could you get me some chocolate?

Maybe I should point out that I don’t treat him like a manservant. Well maybe I do, but he was going to the kitchen anyway so I thought I’d make his trip worthwhile and productive.

Him: I think you should resist.

Me: Why?

Him: To feel good about yourself.

Me: Why will that make me feel good about myself?

Him: Can you resist?

Me: Yes.

Him: Well if you resist you’ll feel good.

Me: Why will I feel good?

Him: Because…oh whatever. I’ll get you chocolate.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Swapping party

I went to a clothes swapping party yesterday. It was a first for me and I was a bit apprehensive.

What does one take to a clothes swapping party? Apart from clothes obviously.

I did a wardrobe sweep and made two piles of clothes: a charity shop pile and a party pile. The charity shop pile were clothes that just needed to go. The party clothes were, mainly, items I really wanted to wear but whenever I tried to wear them I ended up changing my mind.

Well the girls at the party were a variety of sizes but that didn’t seem to matter. Strangely, rather than looking at the size on the label, we just tried anything and everything on. And things that the label said wouldn’t fit, did.

Not every item found a home but all bar one of my items did.

I took 13 items and came away with five. My wardrobe has more space and I have some items I might wear to replace items I didn’t wear (even though I’m not sure about a couple of items).

Anyway I can recommend the experience. And I think I can probably find more items in the wardrobe. Anyone up for it?

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

25 Random things about me

  1. My first name isn't Ann
  2. It's Carolyn
  3. The Post Office doesn't like or approve of this
  4. I wrote to my MP about the fact the Post Office won't let me have stuff addressed to Ann
  5. I am one of those people that might have died had it not been for a blood transfusion
  6. Ironically this means I can't now give blood
  7. I am a Black Country girl
  8. Who grew up in the West Country
  9. My favourite place in the whole world is Crater Lake
  10. I have done a parachute jump (tandem)
  11. I have done a bungy jump (not tandem)
  12. I decided I wanted to marry my husband on March 28th 1987
  13. He became my husband on December 4th 1995
  14. I was never sure I could or should be a mother
  15. I've taken Prozac
  16. Those last two are linked
  17. I have a very short fuse
  18. I'm loud
  19. And obnoxious
  20. I don't think I ever want to move house again
  21. I was on the other side of the world when my mum died
  22. My first pet was called Cheeky
  23. I have taken pole dancing classes
  24. I spend too much time online
  25. In pub quizzes my weakest subject area is music

Monday, 16 February 2009


Whilst I love my husband dearly, he is a complete luddite.

At work we have a programme Microsoft Office Communicator available to us.  For those of you who haven’t encountered it, it’s an office chat client that interfaces with Outlook.

It allows one to chat to colleagues in the same way one would with MSN Messenger.  The interface with Outlook uses an individual’s calendar entry and displays it as a status.  So if I’m in a meeting, others can see I’m in a meeting and choose to disturb me or otherwise.

I believe Communicator makes me more effective because I can be in an audio, preparing a presentation or sending an e-mail and communicating, answering or asking questions via Communicator.

I persuaded myself that our department needed the software and they now have it, and many use it.

I persuaded another department they needed the software and they now have it, and use it.

The only remaining person at work that I think should install the software is my husband.

Dave works in a completely unrelated department.  His calendar is very, very busy.  If I want to get in touch about something I do have choices.

I can e-mail him but often he doesn’t get a chance to see my e-mail in the vast amount of e-mails he gets in a day.

I can call him but I risk interrupting a meeting or the call gets picked up by a secretary.    If all I want to know is whether Dave had remembered to call someone about something domestic then I don’t necessarily want to have to talk to a secretary about it.

I can text him, but texts are often ignored all day long.

Communicator seems like a quick and easy method for establishing a dialogue that doesn’t impose but does provide me with feedback.  Clearly to persuade him it should be installed I needed to provide him with a business justification.

Well try as I might he just can’t see it.  The multi-tasking is lost on him as he has the typical “I’m a bloke.  I don’t do multi-tasking.” response.  I explain that men I work with can multi-task and the response comes back that they can’t be “real men.”

When I explain the convenience of the application he just says “I prefer to pick up the phone.”  Except of course he doesn’t phone me.

Any suggestions on further persuasion techniques would be welcome.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

In praise of…

I don’t often do product promotion.  When I do it’s because I really think it enhances my life in some way.

An ex-colleague tweeted the other day about losing a blog post because the computer ate it.  (Tweeting, for the uninitiated, is the verb used for posting a micro blog on Twitter.  If you don’t know what Twitter is, don’t worry.  I think it’s a phase that people, including me, are going through.  It’ll pass.)

This was a colleague who worked in IT so "the excuse of “my computer ate my blog post” seemed a little unusual.  I just have this impression that IT folk never have any IT trauma.  (I know this isn’t really true by the way in case any of the IT folk are reading this.)

Anyway, I didn’t hesitate to recommend Windows Live Writer.

I know, I know.  I was sceptical too, especially as the chap that recommended it to me works for the monster that is Microsoft.

But it works, really well.  And if you have a crappy internet connection or wireless thingy (you can tell I’m not a techie) you can work offline and, at the last minute, press the publish button without risking loss of work.  It’s WYSIWYG too which is fabulous.  I seem to be able to sort the formatting out much more easily than when using Blogger.  It works with most blogging platforms and I haven’t found something it can’t do.

So, I don’t say this often but, well done Microsoft.  You’ve enhanced my life.

Did I mention it’s free to download?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009



Number 5

In Ongoing ongoing saga there was something that happened when we got to number 5.

Chris was kneeling on the soggy wood balanced above the stairwell holding the light and and trying to connect wires and secure them with screws.  He had his hands full.

His phone rang.  I offered to answer it.

“Hi, Is that Sam?” (his wife) “He’s not really in a position to come to the phone right now.  He’s got his hands full.”

How dodgy does that sound?

And then we started chatting. 

“What time is Chris needed back to look after Thomas?”  “Oh…now….er, well, er.”  “Are you sure you’ll phone the school and cancel?”  “I’m not quite sure how long this last bit will take.  It’s a bit tricky.”  “How is Thomas, is he feeling better today because he’s been a bit poorly hasn’t he?”  “Ahhh, he had a haircut, how sweet.  How old is he?”  “14 months.  That’s such a lovely age.”  “It was his first haircut.  Bless him.  How was he, was he good?”  “I remember when ours first had their hair cut.  Hannah, our eldest was fine but Ethan yelled and yelled.”  “Yes, well I think you tend to have boys hair cut earlier”  “How was Harry when he went for the first time?”  “Did they both enjoy the snow earlier in the week?”  “Harry’s school was closed for a couple of days wasn’t it?”  “Yes, they loved it.  They had two days off too.”  “I don’t think children should go to school so young.  Maybe they should start school at age 10.”  and so on….and on.

Chris had started to go red in the face and was looking very uncomfortable.  Sam was lovely to chat to but I did feel I ought to try and finish the conversation and help Chris out.  It was a struggle, but eventually Sam and I stopped our mum talk.

We fixed the light and it worked.  While Chris was up in the stairwell he bashed a few difficult to reach cobwebs and we were done.

We’d thought it would be a two hour job and Chris was in the house for three and a half hours.  We were both exhausted.  It had been an illuminating experience.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Ongoing ongoing saga

Chris (good looking lighting engineer I met through Freecycle) is currently where we left him in Ongoing saga; halfway along a soggy piece of wood supported by two ladders balanced on stairs.

The bit of metal was relatively easy to fit.  I can say this because a) I have the benefit of hindsight and b) at the time I was the one standing on the stairs not kneeling on a soggy piece of wood perched above a stairwell.

It was a simple task.  A light piece of metal requiring two screws, one into the joist and one into our accurately placed piece of scrap wood which had been knocked together in the garage earlier.

The slightly (what an understatement) more complex and challenging task was fitting the light, the whole reason we had employed the services of a lighting engineer.  That and vertigo.

The light was designed by an idiot.  Had it been designed by those clever people it would be simple to hook the light onto the piece of metal that had just been attached to the roof.  Oh no.  This light designer could never get a job in the IKEA design department.  His, or her (but probably his), design required that we now use a screw and a washer at two points, to attach the light to the piece of metal attached to the roof.  Not forgetting the wires that need to be connected.

How the hell is one supposed to be able to do that with only two hands?  Let me tell you:

  1. Hold the two kilo lamp in one hand.
  2. With the spare hand try and manoeuvre the wires into position and do up the three screws.
  3. Huff and puff as this isn’t the five second task you’d hoped
  4. Realise that two kilos is a lot to hold aloft with one arm
  5. Something unhelpful happens – more later
  6. Take a break after fixing the wires and allow the lamp to dangle precariously held only by the electrical wire.
  7. Hold the fixing screw and washer between your lips 
  8. Once again with shot muscles hold the two kilo light in one hand
  9. Hold the screwdriver in the other hand
  10. Manoeuvre the light into position
  11. Grab screw with hand holding the screwdriver
  12. Put screw into hole in light and fiddle to try and get it into the hold in the bit of metal attached to the ceiling
  13. Drop the screw
  14. Ask someone to retrieve the screw (me) and try again
  15. Try and screw the screw in
  16. Experience extreme arm shake from the arm that’s been supporting the two kilo weight
  17. Refuse assistance from someone offering to join you on the soggy piece of wood
  18. Experience even more muscle collapse as the screw refuses to be tightened
  19. In a slightly tense voice ask if there’s a broom that could be used to help support the weight of the light
  20. Second person (me) retrieves broom and uses it to take most of the weight of the light while screws are fixed in
  21. Dirty marks from dirty hands are left all over the ceiling around the light fitting
  22. Broom holder starts to experience muscle fatigue just before the light is finally attached with two screws

I know this is ungrateful but as I was stood on the stairs, holding a broom atop which was a two kilo light, with my muscles about to give way I was thinking “I’m paying for this and it hurts.  Where’s my slice of the money?”

The image I want to leave you with is me, holding a broom, supporting a light, for Chris (the good looking lighting engineer), while he struggles manfully to do his job. 

I thought this might be the final instalment but I’d forgotten about step 5 above.  I’ll tell you about step 5 next time.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Ongoing saga

Continuing on from Fate part deux. The tumble dryer on Freecycle and the lighting engineer that came to pick it up, a tricky time in the loft and then it got worse.

We had fixed the supporting piece of wood in the loft and put the loft boards back where they belonged.  The loft was still a mess because all of the contents were now scattered and messed up more than usual but, these things happen.

Now I’m not sure I’d mentioned the intended location for this light. 

Imagine a staircase with three turns and a typical Victorian ceiling height.

When we moved into the house and had it rewired we had moved the position of the light fitting so that it hung more centrally over the staircase.  This made it harder to change bulbs and reach the light fitting, but we didn’t think about that, we just looked at it aesthetically.

This is why Chris (the good looking young lighting engineer) happened to be in the house.  Dave and I had no clue how we’d get to the ceiling without suffering severe vertigo and risking our lives.

Chris and I had discussed how to reach the ceiling and we’d set up something to make it happen.

There was an extending ladder (from the garage) balanced on one of the staircase turns and a stepladder (also from the garage) on one of the other turns.  Chris had brought a substantial three metre lump of wood which was then balanced between the ladder and the stepladder.   This provided a platform that was about four foot below the light fixing point.

The wood that Chris had brought with him had been lying out in his garden, and this meant that, while we were manoeuvring it around the house, this soggy wood was marking our ivory/cream (magnolia) walls.

Chris crawled along the wood and then sat, with two kilos worth of light, on a soggy piece of wood precariously balanced between ladders.

The next step was to fit a small piece of of metal to the ceiling.  To reach the ceiling adequately Chris found he needed to kneel on the soggy wood.

That’s enough for tonight…more another time.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Fate part deux

Remember Fate? The tumble dryer on Freecycle and the lighting engineer that came to pick it up?

Well, the lighting engineer, Chris, came over on Friday to fix our light. This is the light that’s been hiding under the stairs in a box for six years because we never managed to get around to finding someone with the appropriate skills to fix it. On Friday I discovered at close quarters what those skills were.

Fairly quickly we determined that the lath and plaster ceiling was not adequate to support the light which weighed in at roughly two kilos.

I know enough about DIY to know that meant going up into the loft.

What Chris didn’t know is that one of the first jobs we tackled when we moved into the house was boarding the loft. Dave did an outstanding job with tongued and grooved chipboard covering the entire loft. Each 12 foot board held down by eight screws. Boards were shaped to fit awkward areas with an accuracy one would expect from an engineer who’s also a perfectionist.

The other thing that Chris didn’t know was that our loft is full of stuff.

We got up in the loft together and we moved stuff, allowing us to analyse the problem.

We would need to unscrew several boards and then use brute force and ignorance to tent the boards thus easing their removal.

It was hard physical work.

We then nipped into the garage where we used Dave’s Black and Decker Workmate and some spare bits of wood Dave’s been saving (Honestly, what is it with men and wood? Our garage is full of wood) and we chopped and nailed using some nails Dave’s been saving. (What is it with men and screws and nails – we have thousands and yet whatever the job is, Dave insists on a trip to B&Q.)

We had fashioned a bit of wood that would fit perfectly between the joists providing a fabulous support for two kilos.

We fitted the wood support thing and then struggled man and womanfully to put the stupidly precision crafted chipboard back in place without damaging it.

I was a bit hacked off at this point. I was paying this bloke to do this and I was doing half of the work. OK, maybe a third. Alright probably 20 percent.

It got worse….

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Junk food

I bake, sometimes, not often, but sometimes.

I’m not very good but I do have tried and tested recipes that I know I can do. I also have no fear of new recipes that I haven’t tried before.

If I want to make fairy cakes, I make them, using a recipe. I have friends who have a different approach.

One friend, let’s call her Tammy, because that’s her name, has a different approach to making fairy cakes. She buys a packet, adds an egg, mixes it together, bungs it in the oven and then burns it.

I don’t know which one she buys but I’d hazard a guess at the Disney Princess mix (£1.99 which makes 10). This is the ingredients list to which an egg is added:

  • Wheat Flour
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil (Containing Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils)
  • Whey Powder
  • Soya Flour
  • Dried Egg
  • Skimmed Milk Powder
  • Raising Agents: E450, E500,
  • Rice Starch
  • Salt
  • Emulsifiers: E475, E471
  • Colouring: E160, E102, E129, E132, E133
  • Icing Sugar
  • Tri-Calcium Phosphate (E341)
  • Cornstarch
  • Egg White Powder
  • Arabic Gum

This is my ingredients list for fairy cakes:

  • Butter
  • Plain flour
  • Baking powder
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Hot water
  • Decorations

Tammy’s fairy cakes take about five minutes to prepare before they get burnt in the oven. Mine take ten minutes to prepare before they get cooked to a light golden brown colour.

I don’t understand the cakes from a box thing, and never will. I know what I prefer to eat, and I know what I prefer my children to eat.

Tomorrow I’m sharing a recipe or two with Tammy.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


I’m not being big-headed, but my son is a genius.  Dave relayed this story to me.

Ethan left the table to go to the toilet.  After a short while he wandered into the kitchen with pants and trousers around his ankles.

Dave asked him whether he had wiped his bum, flushed the toilet and washed his hands.  The answer was no to all three.

Dave ushered him back out of the kitchen and started to help him sort himself out.  While this was happening Ethan was looking in the “pan” and said “my poo looks like South America.”


Sunday, 25 January 2009

Assisted death

A bit of a gloomy title I admit.

I fell across “A Short Stay in Switzerland” starring Julie Walters tonight (BBC1). There wasn’t much else on.

Julie Walter’s portrayal of Dr Anne Turner was inspired. She, and her fellow actors, brought me to tears.

I read an interview with Julie Walters and, in preparation for the role, she met Dr Turner’s three children. She also found that, during filming, the insomnia that she used to suffer from, but had overcome, returned. It was clearly a role with impact.

I know one shouldn’t really be influenced by drama. Drama is fiction and and can never completely and accurately reflect reality. But, I believe assisted dying should not be illegal in the UK.

I hope that if I’m ever in the same position as Anne Turner that I would be able to demonstrate the same level of courage that she had.

Friday, 23 January 2009

The tipping point

I think this year is Twitter’s year. I think their tipping point has been reached and passed.

They must be into exponential growth.

I think the great Stephen Fry might be partially responsible. He’s a great Tweeter. He started tweeting on October 9th 2008 and was prolific and interesting. He has a significant following and other celebs have also started to join the fray.

Once there is interesting content, then a buzz is going to be created and more and more people will want to join for fear of feeling they might be losing out if they don’t.

It’s not often I’m ahead of Mr Fry in any arena. He had the second Mac in the UK, second only to Douglas Adams. He now has nine Macs and seven iPhones. But I did my first tweet on May 3rd 2008, 5 months before the great Mr Fry.


The tumble dryer went on Freecycle and, despite the description that mentions it leaving black marks on clothes, we had a lot of interest.

I wrote to everyone who was interested letting them know that whoever came back to me first would win the prize of an unwanted tumble dryer.

Chris won the e-mail race and came to pick up the dryer. I had some trouble lifting it and undoing the wiring. I need to talk to Dave and explain that when he dies I’ll have to do stuff on my own, so don’t do screws up so tightly, in case I have to undo them.

Chris and I got chatting. He’s a lighting engineer. What a coincidence, I need a lighting engineer.

We have a light that we bought about six years ago. It was intended for the stairwell but has lain in the back of the under stairs cupboard instead.

The light hanging point is really difficult to reach. We have high ceilings and a simple ladder won’t get you close.

Anyway Chris was recently made redundant and is looking for work. The difficulty is that he has a 4 year old and 18 month old to look after.

Not a problem as far as I’m concerned. Ethan can play with his 4 year old Harry and Hannah can help me look after Thomas, the 18 month old.

Maybe it was fate that meant Chris responded to my e-mail, or maybe it was the fact that he had the time to be sat at the computer during the day.

Thursday, 22 January 2009


Sorry if I’m preaching to the converted, but Freecycle is brilliant.

I think that maybe Freecycle has crossed a tipping point which means there’s likely to be a group near you.  Let me explain the concept.

Everyone has stuff they don’t need and want to get rid of.  There are different ways top get rid of stuff: ebay, a garage sale, local classifieds, loot, charity shop, a trip to the tip, donating to friends or family, storing in the garage or shed.  Oh wait, those last two options are what we do and don’t constitute getting rid.

Freecycle sets your stuff free.  This is how it works.  Freecycle allows people to tell a community what they want to get rid of, and gives that community to have it for free.

Freecycle is a Yahoo group and you start by clicking  Search for a town near you to find your nearest local group.

When you find a group near you, read the blurb and click to visit the group and then click the blue button on the right to join.

Complete the details and hit the Join button.

I can post things that I want to get rid of by starting a message on the Yahoo group page with the title OFFER: Thingamagig (Brentwood) and people can e-mail me directly if they are interested. 

I can also see what people are getting rid of and it’s amazing what people are shedding.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The right decision

I bumped into someone yesterday that I haven’t spoken to for a long time.  We had a corridor conversation.

We chatted about a number of things, including my husband.

I would like to think people would talk about me in the same way that this individual was talking about my husband.  I know they don’t.  It did make me feel good about some of the choices I’ve made though.

I knew I wanted to marry Dave on March 28th 1991.  That was one good decision.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Security versus stupid

I’m not quite sure what’s right here.  I’ve just had a call from the credit card company checking my expenditure.  Could I confirm some purchases?  So I did.

  1. Train fare and parking at station
  2. Tesco groceries online
  3. Amazon purchase
  4. Farm shop
  5. Sainsbury in store

“Excellent, thanks for confirming.  Did you try and buy something online this evening?”

“Er yes.  Well I didn’t try, I succeeded.  I bought a tumble dryer

“That one’s been declined”

“What?  Why?”

“Because it’s an online purchase and there’s a lot of online fraud right now.  The company you bought from are bound to get in touch, and when they do you can tell them we’ll approve the transaction the next time it’s put through.”

“That doesn’t help me right now does it?  In fact it’s jolly inconvenient.”

On the one hand I don’t want to have my credit card abused but, this isn’t an abnormal purchase for me, so don’t decline it and give me the inconvenience!

Healthy choc krispies

OK, not overly healthy due to the butter, chocolate and syrup.  But the rice and oats are good for you and I do use plain chocolate which isn’t too naughty.

The reason this is being posted is that I knew I had the recipe somewhere but didn’t know where.  Because I’ve blogged so many I searched the blog to find I hadn’t blogged this one, or if I have I couldn’t have tagged or labelled it well.

I did find that I have blogged the winter trifle twice.  That serves to illustrate how easy and successful the recipe is, and also how bad I am at admin.

Apologies if you’ve seen this recipe before, but I couldn’t find it.

  • 75g butter
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 60g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 50g rice krispies
  • 50g rolled oats

Put the butter, syrup and choc into a small pan and melt over a low heat. Mix together the rice krispies and oats and stir into the syrup mixture. Line a bun tin with paper cases and put a spoonful of the mixture in each. Chill until set.

Try not to eat them all immediately.  Actually it’s quite good that one has to wait for them to chill because that delays the opportunity for scoffing.  Kids love them but it does make them very chocolatey in a “please don’t touch the furniture” way.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The art of Marketing


I had the joy of a trip to Basildon this week.  The office car park is adjacent to this building.

I work in Marketing, but clearly lack the vision of the talented people at Weston Homes Plc.

I don’t know about you, but I see this building and I see the signage.

The words Luxury and Apartment don’t seem to fit with the building.  I’m not sure Basildon is ready for such sophisticated marketing techniques.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Running versus walking

I’m trying to create a website from scratch.  I’m struggling a bit.

I have zero training and zero experience (current job aside).

I have considered doing some evening classes to learn about this but I think all I will learn will be a sanitised antiseptic approach.

This means I’m trying the bull in a china shop approach.  At the moment I’m breaking a lot of china and it doesn’t seem to matter which way I turn, it doesn’t get any better.

I honestly think that a little bit more patience and more reading of documentation would fix the problem, but I’m hoping a friendly soul will spare me 30 minutes which will achieve the same results.

Sunday, 11 January 2009


Ethan wants to drive fifteen cars.

It’s quite sweet really that he’s decided the way to achieve this is to become a rockstar.

As a mother I’m more worried about him having a drug dealer on speed dial.  Condoning violence towards others and anorexia are also concerns. 

I guess if he dates a glamour model who has expensive tastes then I’ll have to try and bite my tongue.

I’m not sure I should be concerned about him taking baths with ten friends though.  I mean that’s what rugby players do.

Anyway, thanks Nickelback.