Monday, 31 January 2011

Birds and pussies? You have come to the right place

Man alive. This video is brilliant! And I blatantly nicked it from Bodacious Boomer's blog. It is seven minutes long, but well worth watching if you have any time-out.

Vid.No.1. A crow and a cat become friends

So, whaddya think? How cool was that?

After watching it, I was thinking that I might just head off into the garden to try and capture a crow for Naughty George to buddy up with. But then I thought, 'oh no, my dog is a bastard and would kill the crow even though it was trying to feed him worms.'

So I didn't catch a crow and I fed NG some dog food instead.

I was worried that NG would feel left out because he didn't have his own Crow, but after reading his body language (i.e. his tail either wags or not), he didn't appear too distressed about my decision. I am one lucky dog-owner.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tomatoes are more complicated than they look

I think that the slower pace of countryside life must be addling my brain. Either that, or most people who live in the countryside are total mentalists.

Take yesterday for example. I paid a visit to the shop in my neighbouring village to buy these:

Pic.No.1 A bag of tomatoes

'Tomatoes?' I hear you cry, 'not even you, Mrs Waffle-Gob, can make a blog post out of tomatoes!'

Pic.No.2. The 'Village Store' in my neighbouring village, Wheatley

Oh yes I can. Get this, it's bloody unbelievable ......

I had done my shopping and was stood in the checkout line waiting to pay. Checkout always takes ages in country shops because in general, village residents regard their trip to the store as a social outing.

And as such, more or less every time I go to the store, I end up stuck behind some old dear (because it is mainly old people who are guilty of this) chatting to the checkout guy about what Dirty Den got up to in yesterday's episode of Eastenders.

I am telling you now; young people have Facebook, and old people have the supermarket. 

But that is totally irrelevant. After queuing for about 20 minutes, it was eventually my turn to check-out my shopping. The chap behind the counter scanned all my items and then arrived at my bag of tomatoes.

He carefully took the bag and then spent at least a minute gently squeezing all the air out of the bag. Once all the air was gone, he pressed some buttons on the till, and handed me my bag of tomatoes which by now, looked like a large wrinkly scrotum.

I held my scrotum aloft and stared at him blankly ('what the bloody hell was that all about?' I thought). It was though he'd read my mind.

"Tomatoes are priced by weight," he explained before winking, "and I didn't want to overcharge you."

Bloody hell. So, it appeared as though the checkout guy had got rid of the air in the bag of tomatoes to ensure that he hadn't overcharged me. Bejesus, at first I thought he was taking the piss, but his innocent 'I-have-just-helped-a-shopper' grin told me otherwise.

If that wasn't enough, some old mustachioed chap from the Squadron who was standing behind me, leaned forward and whispered in my ear, "that's customer service for you isn't it my dear? You wouldn't get that in Tesco."

Is it me? Am I going mad?

Friday, 28 January 2011

This seasons 'must have' blogs

Now where was I? Oh yes, that's right. Last Saturday my blog was lucky enough to receive two awards: Firstly a 'Versatile Blogger' award from Dizzy C, and then a 'Stylish Blogger' award from Penny at 'The Hen House'.  

For the first time in my life, I understood what it was to feel like the popular kid at school. Yeh I even walked past a mirror, caught a glimpse of myself, pointed, and said "You! You're a winner". And then I nodded to myself knowingly after punching the air. And after that, I hitched my skirt up a tad.

Anyway, I digress. Back to last Saturday; I had decided to deal with each award in a separate post. The reason being, was that each award requested that I nominate five of my favourite bloggers, and it would have been too much to squeeze all ten nominations into one post. Plus by dealing with each award separately, my blog statistics would look better.

I had just finished writing a post about my first award from Dizzy C, and was about to start the second, when I got a text from my pregnant cousin saying that she had dropped her sprog (for my American readers, it means that she had her baby). The event necessitated my mad dash 'oop north' to see the aforementioned (gorgeous) sprog. It also meant that I didn't get chance to nominate the remaining five of my favourite bloggers. 

I am now redressing the issue because I am kind like Mother Theresa, except that I don't help as many orphans. Or any orphans in fact.

So without further ado, please let me introduce my 'Stylish Blogger' award from Penny at 'The Hen House'.

Pic.No.1. The award that I received from Penny. I never realised I was stylish until I received it. I always thought I was blunt

Thank you so much Penny, it is a great honour indeed [runs back and forth several times in the kitchen in an excited manner].

Here is the shortlist of the final five of my favourite bloggers (again, in no particular order of favouriteness).

The first is Michele from the blog 'Bodacious Boomer'

Do you know when you instantly hit it off with someone? That's what it was like with Michele, and I think it is because we are both a bit unhinged. Michele is a voracious, entertaining, and hugely funny blogger with endless and diverse subject matter. And she is always one of the first blogs that I check out on a daily basis. She has also got loads of dogs, but none of them are as bad as Naughty George. One other thing, if she gets her arse in gear, we are going to meet up for a holiday in Italy. How cool would that be? Oh yeh, BB is a true blog gem!

The second is Jim from the blog 'Ocean Breezes'

Without hesitation, I would describe Jim as my 'sophisticated' bloggy chum, and a bloody nice chap to boot.  Look at me telling everyone about my soft spot! Jim has just got that ability to write beautiful and poignant posts that are lovely to read. As well as being an antiques collector, he also takes the most breathtaking photographs. And after he posted about his husband's birthday, I had a dream that they adopted me (even though I am probably a bit old for that milarky). Crikey, that makes me look freaky weird doesn't it? Aha! Maybe not so weird when you go and check out the Banana Cake that he has just made. No flies on me when it comes to choosing adoptive parents *wink*.

The third is Lisa from the blog 'The Widow Lady'

What can I say about the lovely Lisa? Despite being recently widowed, she has the ability to write warm, uplifting, helpful and beautifully crafted posts. And that's why she has ended up in my list of 'blog must haves'. It is the digital equivalent of having a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. And it is also why we are friends on facebook. Lisa also posts about a whole range of cool tattooes if you fancy having a peek. Go girl go! She has inspired me into wanting a spiders web tattooed on my face, and a surprised bunny face around my bumhole.

The fourth is Fran from 'Being Me'

Fran is totally bonkers which is why I love her and her blog. Not only is she a mentalist, but she is a seasoned writer, having contributed to 'The Times Educational Supplement' for many a year. Plus I lurrrve the fact that many of her blogs relate to her vain attempts at trying to avoid fast-food outlets on the way home from work. I can totally relate to that, being a takeaway addict myself. If you want to read about diverse and extremely funny daily encounters, then Fran's blog is the one to follow. But be warned. She is brainy, and so are all her friends. I generally need a dictionary to keep up with the action (aha, only teasing, Fran). Mwahhh! P.S. Fran, if you read this, can you email me? (seriously). I have a dilemma about where to put the apostrophe in a very critical sentence that is my business strapline (yes I am being serious). I tried to email you but you don't have an address on your blog which makes things particularly difficult for us stalkers.

The fifth is Bren from 'Streams of Unconsciousness'

I could go on forever about why I love Bren and his blog. Firstly, my lovely chum is so bloody diverse. One minute he is writing plays and visiting publishers, the next he is sitting on top of a dobbin doing dressage, and as if that wasn't enough to get your head around, you will also find him presenting the hugely popular podcast 'This Reality Podcast' (which has 186,000 downloads per month). But best of all, he isn't scared to air his controversial or irreverent views. Excrement! I love un-political correctness. And he has a lovely wife called Sophie who makes me laugh. We ate pies together at a music festival last year.

So there you go. You now know about the top ten blogs that I interact with on a daily basis.

SHIT! I have just gone back through my list and realised that there are three more that I needed to include in my top ten. But I can't because it would make it my 'top 13' which is cheating and sounds unlucky. I don't know what to do now. This is what I call a dilemma.

Tell you what, I am gonna sneak them on the end, but don't tell anyone what I have done ok, or you'll drop me in deep doo-doo.  

The sixth is Clare from the blog 'Yes, his name is Gary'

Crikey, I would never have lived it down if I had forgotten to include the marvellous blog called 'yes, his name is Gary'. Even more so because Clare and I have been best friends for twenty years. She would probably have chopped my head off with a rusty blade and sold my organs for profit (she is an entrepreneur after all, so I can't scoff at her opportunism. I'd do the same).

But before you dismiss my recommending her blog as 'nepotism', go and read it. It is a highly entertaining photo-blog. Let me give you a bit of background information; Clare and I met at University where we were both studying engineering. We were friends for years and then she met her husband-to-be, who happened to be a 'Septic Tank' (my rhyming slang for 'Yank'). She married him and then buggered off to live in Florida, leaving me all on my ownsome in the UK. I don't mind though because I generally get to visit her about twice a year which is a bloody good crack. Except that this year she has banned me because she is the devil incarnate. Considering she is a devil, she still has nice swimming pool.

The seventh is Gumpher from the blog 'Mild Rantings'

Once you read Gumpher's blog, you will realise why it would be wrong not to include him in the list of my favourite blogs. He literally has the ability to make me laugh out loud even when I am on my own, which quite frankly, makes me look like a mad woman to passing pedestrians. It's very blokey and British humour (which I love, but still translates well across in America), and contains lots of rants (unsurprisingly). Once particular source of amusement is the way he calls his kids 'the hooligans' and his dog 'fuckwit spaniel'. It never fails to make me laugh. Maybe that says more about me than him?!

The eighth is Mrs Tuna from the blog 'Working Woman's Guide to Dinner or If I Cook Chicken A La King One More Time I'll Kill Myself'

What can I say about Mrs Tuna that you can't already guess from the bonkers name of her blog. She is funny, very funny. And even though we have only been following each other's blogs for a relatively short time, she has become a firm favourite on my blog roll. But I am still a bit suspicious of her at the moment. Do you know why? It is because she gets up at 5 AM to do yoga of all things. I hadn't even realised that there were two five o'clocks in a day until I read that post. It's crazy shit.

So there you have it! My thirteen 'must have' blogs. Go and have a good read, and even better, become a follower of the blogs that I have listed here (after all, we all know how bloody marvellous it is to be appreciated by gaining new followers).

P.S. I know I said that there was no order to my blogs, but that wasn't strictly true. My 'blogroll' has the bloggers with the most recent posts, at the top. So I just worked down my blogroll choosing my favourites.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I've learnt a new word and it is 'scooting'

Crikey, I am doing a lot of catch-up this week. After having a day off to visit my gorgeous new nephew on Monday, I have spent the rest week trying to get back on top of things. That's what having a job does to you. You can't just go taking time off willy nilly.
Anyway, so that's what my week has been about. And if that wasn't enough, Naughty George decided to embark upon a campaign of continual low-level naughtiness. Take this morning for instance.

I came downstairs to find him dragging his bum around the floor with his front legs. Normally this comical sight would provoke much hilarity from me, but this time he was doing it on my 100% wool Marks and Spencers rug, with a dopey-happy look on his face. The git had dimwittedly turned my favourite rug into the most expensive toilet paper known to dog.

[Interesting fact. Today I learnt that there is actually a verb to describe dogs dragging their bums across the floor. It is called scooting. How cool?]

Pic.No.1. A dog scooting. In order to spare Naughty George's blushes, a body double is depicted

So after I had finished disinfecting my rug and scrubbing out all the doggy skid-marks, I concluded that NG had probably contracted worms because he is rather partial to eating rotting meat out of my neighbour's bins.

There was only one thing for it: A trip to the Pet Shop to buy some worming tablets.

Everything seemed to go swimmingly, except that I got it wrong and accidentally bought worming powder.

As soon as I got home and realised my mistake, my heart sank. NG is not the easiest of dogs to administer medicine to. In fact the only success I have ever had was using pills. I would wrap them up in a slice of ham and he would gulp them down in one go. Except this time I didn't have pills. All I had was worming powder to save my rug from doggy dirt protests.

So I came up with a cunning plan. I made a sandwich with thick slices of turkey, and poured the powder inside. I cut the sandwich in half and waved it in front of NG's face. He went ballistic and excitedly grabbed the half-sandwich from my hand. But instead of wolfing it down, he dropped it carefully onto the floor and sniffed around it.

Then, ever so deftly, he pulled the top layer of bread off, picked up the turkey slice with his front teeth and then shook it around the kitchen to get rid of the powder.

What an absolute git! So not only did NG end up full of turkey sans worming powder, but my kitchen resembled a cocaine den. And to add insult to injury, the worming powder cost £6.10. That mutt has a lot to answer for.

P.S. I haven't forgotten to do my post about the next 5 blog award winners. It is coming soon to a blog near you!

Monday, 24 January 2011

I went AWOL for a good reason.... the birth of my new nephew!

I can hear you now; 'you don't ring, you don't tell me you love me, you don't send me flowers, and you haven't told me about the final five blogs that made it to your shortlist of top ten fave blogs'.

You are probably thinking that I am a chancer and a scoundrel for reneging on my promise to post my final shortlist yesterday, but before my sloppiness necessitates a dodging of flung rotten tomatoes, can I just point out that I had a good excuse.

.................. my dog ate it. Ha ha! No he didn't really! That was just me amusing myself. In a public forum. And now I probably look like a nob. Although I wouldn't put it past Naughty George eating the shortlist if I left it lying around. Yeh, that was an attempt to vindicate myself by blaming my dog.

What really happened is that in the early hours of 21st January, I got a text from my heavily pregnant cousin, Jane (the one I spent New Year's Eve with), and it said:

"OMG. Been in labour since 9pm last night. Heavy stuff started around 1am. My waters broke and flooded the ward. I've just had the most intense three hours of pain ever. After two attempts at epidural I am now saved. 8cm dilated and not long now xxx"

Bloody hell! She was texting me whilst in the latter stages of labour. She must have the constitution of Attila the Hun.

Anyway, not long after her text, she was rushed into theatre for an emergency cesarean-section because the baby was in distress. I didn't know any of this until after the event, but all's well that ends well. Mitchell Owen was born at 7.12am, and mother and baby were fine. Well almost ...... shortly after her operation I received another text from Jane:

"Shit, I am in pain. I feel like a clubbed seal. Do you think you and Izzy may get to pop in for a visit? Would love to see you x"

So that is the reason why I couldn't do my top ten fave blogs shortlist. I was hot-footing it up to Loughborough to see my cousin and her new baby. And that's where I have been for the last couple of days. And, as you can imagine, I couldn't post because I was covered in plop and puke.

But because I am kind (Like Mother Theresa, except that I apply more make-up), I have got some photographs for you.

Pic.No.1. This is Mitchell just after he was born. He's gorgeous. He didn't even look like a skinned rabbit

Pic.No.2. This is my lovely cousin Jane holding a super-tiny Mitchell. Well not that tiny because he was a healthy 7lb 10oz at birth. But even so, he looks all cutely scrawny and cries like a lamb

Pic.No.3. The aneasthetic must have affected Jane somewhat, because this is the picture she took of me and Mitchell. I just don't look good all blurry and cut in half

Pic.No.4. I complained about the blurry cut-in-half picture, so she took another one. Which was also blurry although this time I wasn't cut in half. Don't you think the blur makes me look younger? And did you spot the dog in the bottom right-hand-side of the picture looking hungrily at the baby? That dog is called Roy.

Pic.No.5. This is Mitchell asleep on his Daddy's (aka Martin) chest. I love the way you can see his tiny feet poking out

I have to say, I was smitten by Mitchell, and Jane and Martin were completely natural parents.

Unlike me. Turn back the clock five years. When Izzy was first born, the midwife did an obligatory home visit and and said, quote; "you are holding that baby like a rugby ball."

As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, Naughty George had been ferreting around in the bins and had dug out an old soiled (and particularly ploppy) nappy of Izzys. He ran into the living room (where I was trying to impress the midwife) and proceeded to rag it manically around the room, spraying mouldy baby crap all over the place. It was all I could do to stop her from calling Social Services.

He's got a lot to answer for that dog.

So, what do you think of my new nephew, Mitchell?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Ummmmm, fame becomes me........ [glances sideways into mirror]

Forget watching all them celebs on TV and stick with me [taps side of nose in a knowing fashion]. It's like the bloody Oscars ceremony at my house.

There I was, minding my own business trying to superglue a rubber toe onto a monkey's foot, when I thought I heard the ping of two emails in my inbox.

"Izzy," I shouted, "can you check whether I've got new emails? I've got my hands full with this monkey."

"I can't," she hollered back, "I've got my arm stuck in the stair rails."

"Blimey, do I have to do everything round here?" I muttered under my breath, heading for my laptop. I managed to the load the emails with my little finger without dislodging the monkey's toe. 

And would you bloody believe it? I had only been given two awards by two separate bloggers! I felt like a talented Paris Hilton, but without a funny eye.

Oh, thank you dahlinks [does sweeping curtsy], thank you so much [waves like the queen and swans up and down the kitchen looking from side to side].

After the initial euphoria had worn off, I began wondering, 'ummmm what should I do now?' and then I vaguely remembered that the awards had instructions attached to them, asking me to nominate five of my favourite blogs.

Thank 'all things holy' that I had two awards. I would never have been able to narrow it down to five blogs, but receiving two meant that I could select ten of my fave blogs. Huzzar!

But I have decided that I am going to do each award in separate post so that they aren't too long to read. So the second five blog winners will be posted tomorrow.

The first award, came from Dizzy C, and I am very appreciative dahlink.

Pic.No.2. Versatile Blogger Award from Dizzy C

It is a 'versatile blogger' award, and I am not quite sure what it means; probably that I am as happy talking about shagging, as I am posting a wholesome recipe for soup.

Anyway, now comes the time to unveil the first five blogs that I have selected as my particular faves (they are in no particular order). I know that you are waiting with bated breath and putting off going to the toilet, so I will continue without further ado:

The first is Jayne, from the blog 'injaynesworld'

Jayne's blog is astute, current and witty, which puts it on a par with Chicken Tikka Masala in my view (a very high accolade indeed). Jayne isn't afraid to tackle any subject, ranging from politics to freezing dead pets (I particularly liked that post). So go and pay her a visit if smart and sassy is your thing. P.S. She lives on a farm and is very messy, but even so, I like her very much as a person.

The second is Ron, from the blog 'If I had a Blog'

What can I say? Total mentalist, extremely talented artist. Ron definitely looks at life from a different perspective, and if a psychiatrist cured him, I don't think I would like his posts half as much [ha ha! wink!]. Funny, irreverent and erudite... these are all the things that Ron dishes out in spades. And you will be pleased to hear that he now features more of his talented, humorous cartoon work on his blog (it took a bit of nagging). P.S. Me and Ron get on very well, and frequently email each other and I want to do a guest post on his blog again.

The third is Jewell, from the blog 'Really?! Wait! What?'

Jewell is totally off-the-wall, and because of that, we hit it off immediately. Jewell's blog is funny, eclectic and very expressive (i.e. she is a loonbag). Jewell lives in the countryside and has got some dogs and a dobbin, and she always seems to doing projects that are going wrong (i.e. the basement makeover). It provides brilliant blog-fodder which she weaves and wefts marvellously. P.S. We are also friends on facebook, but Jewell is way better at keeping up-to-date than me. And she is more profound than me. I post about clearing up dog crap, and she posts about Aristotle.

The fourth is Masher, from the blog 'Masher.TV'

Masher is a fellow Brit, and his irreverent, funny, blokey blogs make me laugh my head off (ha ha bonk). His job means that he travels and socialises a lot, so there are tons of very funny stories about his exploits. One of my favourites has to be the time he got pissed and tried to order a McDonalds by walking through the drive-thru, but they wouldn't serve him because he wasn't in a car. You can read about it by clicking here. Nice one Masher! P.S. His favourite swear word is 'arse'. He is a hidden gem.

The fifth and final blog award this evening is for Brahm from the blog 'Alfred Lives Here'

Brahm and I pretty much started our blogs at the same time (two years ago), and became followers of each other almost immediately. So we are pretty seasoned blog buddies! Brahm's blog never fails to make me laugh; his extremely amusing 'big' gay opinions always help push sexual equality, but are always mixed in with a big dollop of humor. Take today's post for instance, where he enlightened me about the meaning of the word 'Gayzilla'. Cheeky, but extremely funny! You can read the post by clicking here. P.S. Brahm's husband is hot. Not that I was looking or anything.

In the meantime, go and visit the blogs above. You will be glad you did, and will probably want to buy me flowers. I can provide you with my address if you email me.

Out of interest, what are your favourite blogs?

P.S. Gotta go. Izzy has still got her arm stuck in the stair rails.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

This is the most seriousest blog I have ever written

Man alive! Don't you just hate it when you accidentally dye half of your five-year-old's face brown? Yeh, I committed a fundamental schoolboy error today ...... for some reason, Izzy decided that she loved me, and gave me a big cheek-to-cheek hug. And I let her, forgetting that I had applied fake tan not five minutes previously. Given that she has ginger hair and a cadaverous pallor, I now face the epic task of trying to scrub it off without causing permanent skin damage. Bummer.

Well, either that, or I could let her go to school with half a brown face. But the teachers already look at me funny, so I didn't fancy brazening that one out.

Everything had been going to well up to that point. Izzy has been a bit fascinated with dobbins recently, so I earned double brownie points today when I took her to the fields behind the village to stroke a real-life horse.

Pic.No.1. Izzy stroking an unimpressed-looking dobbin

And in case you were wondering - yes! It is the same nag that chased Naughty George a few days ago because NG was running around its legs and woofing. I am surprised the little git didn't get a hoof in his face for his trouble.

This is the serious business-end of today's blog.

Before I forget, you will be pleased to hear that I fulfilled my New Year's (kind of) resolution, and that I am now working fulltime. But when it comes to blogging, the time I have got available has reduced shitloads somewhat. But before you panic, let me tell you that I have no intention of stopping. No sirree, I love bombarding you with crap too much.

Previously when I used to blog, I would do three things; (1) write my own blog; (2) reply to people's comments on my blog; and (3) read other people's blogs and comment on them.

Now, I only have time to do two of the three things. So, there is no way I am stopping blogging, and there is no way I am stopping reading and commenting on the blogs I follow. But, I don't have time to reply to each comment on MY blog as well. So, that is why I haven't been as active in that field as I would have liked.

But please keep the comments coming ........ every five minutes, one or other of you makes me laugh my head off (ha ha bonk) and it brightens my day, and although I may not reply to each one directly, you can rest in the knowledge that is is SUPER appreciated. So using the time that I save, I will be visiting your blog and commenting on that instead. Does that sound like a plan? Jeez, I am like the 'A Team'. I could run into a garage with a spanner and a few tin cans, and come out with a tank.

Blimey, I have never written a blog so serious before. If I don't watch out, I could accidentally become a political commentator ....... talking of which, that Blair has a lot to answer for doesn't he?

Uggggghhhh! It's starting to happen!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Cooking kittens and cute videos

I am most definitely not a cutesy type person. If you were show me a picture of a little fluffy animal, the first thing that would cross my mind is 'umm wonder what that tastes like', rather than 'ahhh, look at how cute that is.'

As a brief aside, I have just discovered something quite interesting. I typed 'that kitten looks tasty' into Google, and guess what? It only bloody came up with some kitten recipes to try.

Crikey, there are some proper mentalists out there. One particularly batty kitty-gobbler ranted on his website: "On a 'libertarian medium like the internet, there is no end of sites dedicated to the construction of homemade bombs and weapons of mass destruction. However, a quick check on any search engine will uncover a striking lack of quality cat-eating advice available in English."

How shocking is that? The guy actually said 'there is no end of sites', when he should have said 'there are no end of sites.' And I'll tell you something now: He won't be converting me to moggy-munching anytime soon while he is making fundamental grammatical errors like that. Standards, troops. Standards.

AAAH! I think I might have blacked out, or suffered from some form of disassociate repressed-memory amnesia. One minute I was just about to introduce the cute video below, and the next time I looked, and my blog was all about cooking kittens. It's enough to freak one out dahlink.

Vid.No.1 This is a cute video in a cool kind of way

Anyway, I thought this video was lovely. It reminded me of all the cool things I could have done with Izzy if I had been a good mother. Truly heart warming! (Sorry, I didn't include the link to the blog I got it from - I forgot where I found it. Please let me know if I got it from your blog).

P.S. If you had to eat a pet, which one would you choose?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tips to avoid going into the kitchen: Cultivate a 'kid chef'

As you already know, I think cooking is a horrible activity. But an activity that has been thrust upon me out of functional necessity since I moved to the countryside; moreover, to an area that is too remote for food home-delivery. Gits.

After a fraught Saturday night trying to cook a cock pheasant, that involved much burning of vegetables, I started wondering. Do we actually need to cook food?

Now there's a question. And after doing a bit of research, I found the ongoing debates about the subject to be pretty bloody interesting. In fact, after examining the evidence, I am not actually sure that 'cooking' per se, is actually necessary at all.

'What are you on about you crazy wombat?' I hear you cry. 

Ah! Hear me out. Boffin after boffin noted that humans were the only species on the planet to 'process' their food by cooking it. Not only that, but they pointed out that processing food nearly always leads to a deterioration in the nutrients provided. So therefore, the logical conclusion is that we should we eat everything in its raw state.

But then I got thinking about the consequences (yeh, I know. A bit of a first for me); If I was seen wondering around Forest Hill gnawing on a raw sheep's leg, people would start talking. Plus, the thought of eating raw meat and vegetables was significantly less attractive than the thought of cooking. So I needed another plan.  

And then it dawned on me ..... Izzy! What's the point of going through all the pain and hassle of having a kid, if they don't make themselves useful?

"Izzy, I am going to train you how to cook our dinners," I told her matter-of-factly.

"Ok," she replied. Blimey that was easier than I thought [punching the air victoriously]. 

Ten minutes later, her hands were washed, she was garbed in an apron and chef's hat, and I had placed the ingredients in front of her.

"I would like you to make me Tandoori Chicken Burritos, please," I commanded.

Pic.No.1. A natural-looking Izzy surrounded by her ingredients

Izzy looked at me blithely, "I don't know what to do," she said.

Crikey, the youth of today; they don't know they're born. It wasn't like that in my day. When I was five (in the olden days), I'm pretty sure I could cook a three-course meal for a family of ten if required. And that was in addition to walking five miles a day to school on my own, and then back again. Barefooted, of course. In the snow. And only wearing sack-cloth. Plus I am fairly certain that I only ate coal until I was about fourteen years of age.

"You need to mix all those ingredients," I said pointing at them, "with the chicken in the bowl."

"Ok," Izzy said, and proceeded with her task.

Pic.No.2. Izzy learned how to juice a lemon

Pic.No.3. Come on! You aren't working quick enough! Izzy transfers the chicken from the marinading dish to the roasting tin

And as it turned out, the girl did well. She managed to make the whole recipe, and only stalled on the bit where the chicken had to be put in the oven. "It says that an adult has to help me," she stated after reading the recipe guidelines. 
"Blimey, do I have to do everything around here?" I asked her, donning a pair of oven gloves and plopping the chicken into the oven. 

Thirty minutes later, the cooker beeped to let me know that the chicken was ready, and this is what came out........

Pic.No.4. The final article: Tandoori Chicken

Pic.No.5. Tandoori chicken served in a tortilla with minty yoghurt and salad (salad is the devil's food. I only included it in the picture so that the Burrito didn't look boring)

Nice one Iz! It was bloody super-tasty, and I think it was healthy too, although I am not really bothered about that.

So all in all, 'kid chefs' are definitely the way forward when it comes to avoiding the kitchen. How do you avoid going into the kitchen?

Recipe for Tandoori Chicken

2 large skinless chicken breasts
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) thick natural yoghurt
2 tbsp tandoori spice blend
1 tbsp sunflower oil

To serve:
2 large torillas
Mixed salald
Chopped tomatoes and cucumber
Minty yoghurt (bought)

Cut the chicken into thin strips and make three deeps cuts into each strip. Place them in a large, shallow dish. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken.
Put the yoghurt and tandoori spices in a bowl and mix together. Spoon the yoghurt marinade over the chicken until it is completely covered.
Cover the chicken with cling flim and chill for at least an hour (I left them for four hours).
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F or Gas 6).
Brush the sunflower oil over the bottom of a baking tray.
Place the chicken strips on the baking tray and cook them form 20 - 25 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve in a tortilla with salad and minty yoghurt.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

My unfortunate Cock-Gate incident

Ahhh, sometimes I pine for the halcyon days when I lived in London. Everything was so simple. Take food for example. If I was hungry, all I had to do was pick up the phone, dial any one of 200 food outlets in the vicinity, and within half an hour it would be delivered to my door. It was all so bloody civilised, and even better, home delivery meant that I didn't have to brave that desolate wasteland at the back of my house (aka the kitchen).

When I moved to deepest, darkest rural Oxfordshire, I remember vividly the events of that first night in my new house. Armed with the telephone number for 'Perfect Pizza', I dialled it only to be told that Forest Hill was too remote for home delivery. It was like being tasered. Except worse.

 Pic.No.1. Where for art thou, Romeo?

And so I was faced with a huge paradigm shift: Instead of people making my dinner for me and delivering it to my house, I had no option but to start cooking it for myself. Crikey, it was awful; I had to learn how to use all those finicky kitchen gadgets like the tin opener and the cooker. 

On top of that, I had to find places to buy ingredients, so as you can imagine, I was pretty pleased when I discovered a butcher's shop in the village adjacent to Forest Hill (approximately four miles hence).

But like all things 'countryside', visiting the butchers was way more complicated than shopping for meat in London. In London I just ate either chicken, lamb, beef or turkey. End of. In the countryside, the butcher's shop doesn't just stock normal meat, it also has a huge selection of 'game' meat that is shot locally, and is designed to confound and confuse the resident 'townie' shopper.

Take the situation that arose yesterday when I visited the aforementioned butcher's shop to buy something for dinner.

 Pic.No.1. This is 'Cricks', the Butchers shop where I buy all my meat

"Please could I have that small brown chicken in the window?" I asked the Butcher.

"It's not a chicken Madam, it's a pheasant," he replied, making me feel like a bit of a div.

I grimaced before nodding, "Ok, yeh, I'll take that please." [Note to reader: As I uttered the words, in my head I was praying that divine intervention would instruct me on how to cook the bugger.]

"Cock, Madam?" he asked.

"I beg your pardon?" I spluttered, nearly choking on my gum (classy).

The butcher regarded me strangely (which involved him looking at me in a slightly sideways fashion with half-closed eyes), and said in a measured tone, "cock or hen..... it means either the male or female bird."

I flinched almost imperceptibly realising the mistake I had made, "erm, what's the difference between the errm cock ..... and hen?" I asked trying to divert attention from my initial cock faux pas.

"Have a look, cock is bigger," he replied matter-of-factly.

In order to divert the butcher's attention from the laughter that was bubbling up inside me, I asked; "is there any difference in taste?" and beamed innocently.

"I'm not sure, Madam," he replied calmly, "I have only ever eaten cock."

Despite trying to control myself, I accidentally emitted a spluttering, half-choked snort, "I'll have a cock then," I added, before turning away from him in order to try and regain my composure.

Needless to say, that as soon as my cock was wrapped, I paid for it, snatched it off the counter and ran outside where my previously contained laughter exploded, much to the bemusement of some guy who was stood next to me with a dead bird hanging from his belt. Ah, the countryside. It's a different gravy. 

Pic.No.1. A cock pheasant (left). They look pretty cool don't they?

You will, however, be pleased to know that I worked out how to cook the pheasant (it was oven-roasted like a chicken), and mighty tasty it was too, as you can see from the picture below.

Pic.No.2. But they look much better when they are cooked and ready to eat

I would love to say that the cock-gate incident ended there, but unfortunately it didn't. This morning, Izzy asked if she could make a chicken recipe that she had found in her 'kids cookbook'. Given that cooking is a great way to keep kids entertained, I agreed wholeheartely. The only downside was that the recipe necessitated another trip to the butcher's shop to buy some chicken breasts.

We jumped into the car and drove the next village.

As we entered the shop, the doorbell sounded, rousing the butchers from their toils in the back of the shop. And would you believe it? The chap that came out was the same butcher who served me yesterday.

At first I wondered if he would remember me, but it soon became clear that he did when he greeted me with; "Hello. Did Madam enjoy her cock last night?"

Blimey. You couldn't make it up.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Rain. Child Prodigy. And an ENORMOUS swimming pool

Well hello my lovely! Although I am trying to be all upbeat, the weather in the UK is completely doing my head in. Take today for example. It was forecast to be a day of sporadic showers. And for some reason, the sporadicness (or is it sporadicivity?) [note to self; that doesn't look right] always seemed to happen when I set foot outside of my front door.

My main 'point-in-case' related to my taking Naughty George on his daily drag. We were walking in the fields adjacent to my village (actually, to be factually correct, Naughty George wasn't walking, he was being chased by a big white dobbin called Sabre whom he had pissed off with his woofing), when the heavens opened and the rain came down big time. Yep, just as I was at the midpoint of my walk. Bloody arse.

The most annoying thing about the scenario was that I was starved of a legitimate choice: I could either walk back the way I came and get soaked; or continue until the end of the walk and still get soaked. So I plodded miserably onwards with rain dripping from the end of my nose and my feet squelching in their boots. And, as always happens, whilst Iwas heading back through the village, one of my friends drove past, waving, honking their horn and cheerily shouting, "you look wet!"

However, you will be pleased to hear that sorry saga did in fact spawn an interesting fact. When I got home, I took off my sodden and dishevelled raincoat and decided to try and revive it by washing it. I looked at the label and it said 'dry clean only'. What the blazes is that all about then?

Anyway, enough of me banging on about the crap British weather (bring back snow and sun). I have got two cool things to show you. I found them on two of my favourite blogs, and decided that I quite simply had to share them with you dahlink (yes, I am like Mother Theresa except with not as many wrinkles, and not as dead).

The first cool thing was a video that I nicked from Jim's blog, called Ocean Breezes. It's a video of a 3-year-old child called Jonathan conducting the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Totally 'gob-your-coffe-out' amazing.

Vid.No.1. Is this a child prodigy or what?

And if that wasn't enough, I spotted another cool feature whilst I was hanging out at Bodacious Boomer's blog. It was called 'The worlds largest swimming pool'. Just take a look at it ..... it is abso-bloody-lutely amazing!

 Pic.No.2. The worlds largest swimming pool (click for more pics). In case you were wondering, it is in Chile which is not a communist country

So next time you are at work, and the resident fitness freak says that they feel great after doing a couple of laps of the pool at 6am .........  make sure you point out the worlds largest pool and say, "I wanna see you do a couple those couple of laps of that bastard!" And then buy yourself a McDonalds Big Mac to celebrate your witty retort.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Stuffed cats are the way forward

I love reading other people's blogs I do. There is always stuff going on, and if I had the time, I could quite easily spend my life blogging about other people's blogs.

Take today for instance. I went to visit one of my fave blogs written by Penny and called The Hen House. It was her wedding anniversary and she had been trying to take an arty picture of the lilies she had received from her husband.

Pic.No.1. Arty shot of lilies with an interloper in the background

Things would have gone swimmingly if her cat, Frankie, hadn't sneaked into the shot and started yawning. I took one look at it and thought 'bloody hell. If that ever cat died I would want to get it stuffed in that exact same position. And then bolt it onto trolley and wheel it around town. How much street cred would I have?'

And, as well as deterring muggers, I bet I would get really good service from shop assistants.

So, do you have a particular pose that you favour when it comes to stuffing your pets and bolting them onto a trolley?

It's 'Gruesome Injury Day'! Let's compare accidents!

Following my accident yesterday (when a leg fell life-threateningly off my office chair), I read a comment on my blog by the lovely Bodacious Boomer, who sympathised and described herself as 'clumsy as an octopus on roller skates'. Man alive that visual made me laugh ........ and it got me reminiscing ........ yeh, I am probably one of the clumsiest bastards on the planet. To summarise, here are a few of my more memorable injuries over the years:

1. Broken nose. Caused by; larking around with Naughty George and slipping on a wobbly patio stone before landing face first in the concrete. Outcome: I looked scarily like a victim of unspecified violence and got sympathetic looks wherever I went which was really cool. And I still have a scar on the bridge of my nose, which probably makes people think I am a cage-fighter and therefore they had better avoid mugging me.

Pic.No.1 Wobbly patio stones have a lot to answer for

2. Broken middle finger: Caused by; playing hockey against vicious opponents. Having said that, I did accidentally break someone's arm whilst also playing hockey. Outcome: My finger was strapped up for several weeks which was more of a pain in the ass than it being broken.

3. Chipped shin bone: Caused by; chasing my nauseatingly annoying brother, and tripping over a metal door rim in a caravan whilst on a family holiday. Outcome: Horrible dent in my shin which still makes me shudder when I touch it.

4. Broken big toe: Caused by; an ill-timed kick at a 6'4" German bloke whilst sparring in a karate class. Outcome: The doctor said that they can't treat broken toes, so I ended up not being able to walk for a week. Bummer.

5. Broken little finger: Caused by; dropping my motorbike on it. Outcome: The doctor said it would need operating on in order to straighten it, so I ran out of the hospital post-haste because I don't like anything that could potentially involve needles.

Pic.No.2. I ran away from the doctor and so my finger has stayed all bent. But I think of it as my 'tag'

6. Left wrist broken in three places: Caused by; crashing my horse into a van after it bolted into a road. Outcome: I was in a full-arm plaster-cast for eight weeks and bathing was a pain in the ass because I couldn't get it wet. And it always itched in places I couldn't reach. Now that IS torture.

7. Four broken ribs: Caused by; same as above (horse bolting). Outcome: Doctors can't treat broken ribs apparently, so I spent five days feeling like I was breathing in fire and brimstone and nearly spewing from the pain.

8. Broken foot: Caused by; falling sideways off a kerb whilst shopping (how weeky is that?). Outcome: Six weeks in a knee-high plaster-cast meaning that I couldn't drive to work. Fabulous!

9. Eight stitches to a wound in my thigh: Caused by; falling onto a glass whilst dancing (naked) in the bathroom and slipping on some water on the floor. Scary amounts of blood loss. Outcome: The doctor said I was lucky to be alive because the wound was 1mm away from my femoral artery. What the blazes is that then? (A perfect example of why living in ignorance leads to a happier life).

10. Fractured coccyx: Caused by; attempting an ambitious jump after only being on a snowboard for three days. Outcome: Five days lying prostrate in a hotel in Chamonix, France, and relying on other people to take me to the toilet and bath. Horribly embarrassing.

So, as you have probably gathered, this post is all about gruesome injuries. And I want to hear about the worst injuries that you have sustained. Even better, if you have a picture, i will publish it on my blog.

Hurray for gruesome injury day! Bring on your favourite lacerations!

P.S. Just in case you were wondering, the top three most painful injuries that I sustained were: Broken toe, chipped shin and fractured coccyx.

P.P.S. My injury rate has subsided recently now that I have taken up blogging as a hobby.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

It's 'Gruesome Injury Day'! Let's compare accidents! - Part 1

Apparently there was an error with the formatting of this post, so I have re-published it. I kept this post alive because your comments are on it!

Could someone let me know if the formatting errors are now corrected in the new post? Chars dahlinks!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Blimey, today was full of danger and surprises

Today was a bit annoying. I sat down to write this blog post and the leg fell off my chair, causing me to fall prostrate onto the floor. 

I called out to my dog; "Naughty George, I have fallen, and I think it's really bad." I had visions of him coming to my aid and then staying for several weeks beside my dead body until I was discovered by rescuers. You read about it all the time in the papers.

Pic.No.1 My killer chair (I forgot to take a picture of it when it was broken, so this is a picture of it after it had been fixed. It has got glue dribbling down the front left leg - quality job)

It didn't quite pan out like that. Naughty George, startled by the sound of splintering wood, wondered into the office to see what was going on. Noticing me contorted on the ground, he ambled over and started trying to lick my face.

"Ugh!" I shouted at him, "get your tongue away from me! You've had it up your bum."

He looked unconcerned and duly obliged, wondering back into the living room to continue his nap. Man's best friend? I don't bloody think so. I can't see Naughty George guarding my body for the duration if I was stranded on a mountain side. He couldn't even manage two loyal minutes whilst I was injured in my office.

Pic.No.2 Naughty George - JUDAS!

That's dogs today for you though. They have had everything too easy. If the leg had fallen off my chair two decades ago, not only would a dog have stayed by my side, it would have initially turned up with a barrel of whisky hanging off its collar. And it would probably have woofed rescue instructions to a nearby Kangaroo, thus ensuring we got help.

Despite Naughty George's laissez faire attitude to the situation, you will be pleased to hear that things turned out well. After writhing around on the floor for about 13.25 minutes, I suddenly realised that I wasn't in any pain, except for a bruise the size of a thimble on my elbow. 

"Cool," I thought to myself, stretching out my limbs and standing up, "that was a close call."

Even better, whilst I was on the floor, I had noticed a forgotten-about Christmas present that had fallen underneath the armchair in my office.

Pic.No.3 A Magic Hair Drying Cap

It was a magic hair drying cap! Excellent. Not only had I recovered from a near death situation, but I had found something new to keep me entertained for the rest of the afternoon.

Pic.No.4 That's me wearing my Magic Hair Drying Cap. It's all new and fun, so I don't mind if it looks like I've got a gonad on my head

So, all in all, today has been a veritable and hypothetical rollercoaster. So dahlink, tell me how life is treating you after the excitement of Christmas and the New Year?

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Kids' toys. I just don't get 'em

Ok, I admit it, I cocked up with one of Izzy's Christmas presents this year. For some reason, I had decided to buy her a large box of plastic jewellery containing bracelets, earrings, high-heeled shoes, crowns and feather boas, amongst other things. But, for some unknown reason, there were four sets of everything contained within the pack. What the bloody hell was I thinking? I should have gone to Tiffanys (only joking!).

I don't know why I didn't realise it at the time, but one kid can't wear four sets of jewellery. And if that wasn't bad enough, I would have to find somewhere to store the tons of plastic tat contained within.

But the absolute worst thing of all was that if Izzy decided to wear it (and she probably wouldn't because she likes 'grown up' jewellery), she would end up looking like she should be starring in 'Pretty Woman'. Even more so because she has a penchant for wearing my knee-high boots, which instantly become thigh-high boots on a small person. I'm not maternal, but even I realised that it wasn't a good look for a five year old.

So I took her to Toys R Us to exchange it for something more practical. And so we scoured the aisles for an hour and a half, searching for the illusive toy that would replace the plastic jewellery tat.

Pic.No.1. That's me getting attacked by a crocodile with light-up yellow eyes

Vid.No.1. This was a comedy monkey that I found at Toys R Us

And then I spotted this.......... Could you bloody believe it? It was a McDonalds plastic food set.

Pic.No.2. McDonalds Play Food Set

What the blazes was that all about then? I kid you not, the pack contained plastic chicken McNuggets, a plastic BBQ dip, plastic fries and a plastic drink; in fact all the ingredients that a five year old needed to emulate eating a meal dripping with saturated fat, calories, E-numbers and salt. 

Sacre bleu! Surely it is the equivalent of giving a child plastic cigarettes to play with? Or am I being a Victorian parent? Surely instead of unhealthy food, they could produce a set with plastic canapes, marinated plastic green olives, and maybe a little bit of plastic foie gras thrown in? Surely it's not too much to ask?

Anyway, you will be pleased to know that we managed to swap the plastic jewellery for a plastic treehouse with plastic cats living in it. As you can imagine, it isn't a thing of great beauty, but Izzy seems to like it. Kids are from Mars.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Cavemen somehow got involved with New Year's Eve

Well as you already know, I was a bit tardy over the Christmas period when it came to posting on my blog. It wasn't my fault though. Because I spent my holiday 'oop' North, I was deprived of all the creature comforts that you take for granted down South. Like warm weather, and being able to understand people's accents, and internet access. 

Yep, you read right - no bloody internet access! I nearly swooned when I found out. It was like being a caveman ..... except that I favoured Prada over pelt ...... and I bought my food from the supermarket rather than clubbing it to death ...... and I drove a car instead of riding everywhere on a zebra (or whatever cavemen used to get from one place to another). 

'Why are you banging on about cavemen?' I hear you cry. Ah. Good point, well made. I seem to have digressed from the task in hand. Today's post is about my New Year's Eve, but I felt duty bound to come up with some excuse about why I was writing it on the 8th instead of the 1st of January. Hope that explains the cavemen.

'So what did you get up to on New Year's Eve?' I hear you cry again. Ah, I sense some rankleness rising, so I shall proceed without further ado.

I had arranged to spend New Year's Eve with family. My two cousin's and their families to be precise. So me, daughter Izzy, and mutt Naughty George headed to Loughborough on New Year's Eve, which is where my cousin Jane, and her bloke Martin live.

The arrangements for this New Year differed from the usual - instead of quaffing Bollinger and tequila chasers, hitting the nightclubs and waking up on a park bench in the early hours of the morning because we couldn't get a taxi - we'd decided to be civilised. And there was good reason; my cousin Jane was 37 weeks pregnant, and although not drinking alcohol wouldn't deter her from doing a knee-slide to the 'Summer of '69', she thought that clubbing wasn't suitably demure enough for someone due to give birth in two weeks.

Fair play I suppose. Hence the family party at her house; it was like being properly grown-up. And I even got some photos for you to look at.

Pic.No.1. My lovely cousin, Jane. She is up the duff

Pic.No.2. Sean (Russ and Katerina's son) and Izzy. Before the night started, everyone handed out presents. It was cool. I got a vintage bear and hand carved soap

Pic.No.3. Martin (left) and Jane put on a huge spread for us, and I ate all the pies so that you could sing 'you fat bastard'

Pic.No.4. 'Hands up, who's farted?' Katerina (left) and Jane

Pic.No.5. This is my other cousin, Russ. He won't be happy that I got a picture of him with a party hat on

So whilst all the adults were partaking in wine and nibbles and being generally raucous, I suddenly noticed that Sean and Izzy had disappeared.

"Erm, the kids have gone missing," I pointed out, "shall I look for them, or just go for a top-up of this fine Chardonnay?"

"I suppose we had better check they are ok," said Katerina. She's a really good mother.

And so begrudingly I went on a kid hunt, only to find them on the third storey of the house, bouncing manically on a bed.

Pic.No.6 Sean had the decency to try and look like he wasn't do anything naughty (he's gonna be a politician that one), but Izzy just kept on bouncing like something feral and a bit mental. Aww, that's my family

I surveyed the situation and made an executive decision. The kids were out of the adults' way and enjoying themselves. That meant that we could carry on indulging in a few snifters without interruption. Marvellous decision, me (mentally patting myself on the back). Except for the fact that when I got back downstairs I found this.......

Pic.No.7. Naughty George woofing vacuously at everyone for no reason and looking a bit rabid. What a git. He couldn't even be bothered to stand up to annoy everyone

Pic.No.8 It's me with my liquid tonic. After three glasses, Naughty George didn't seem quite so annoying and my left eye went blurry

Anyway, you will be pleased to hear that the whole evening was a bloody good laugh dahlink, with the kids eventually falling asleep where they stood, and the adults continuing on into the night.

As it got towards midnight, Jane turned to me and asked; "what are your New Year's resolutions?"

"Well normally I try and pick up an extra vice, but I am starting to run seriously low on available options," I replied.

"Crikey yes," Jane nodded sympathetically, "so what are you going to do instead?"

"I am thinking of something radical, like getting a job," I replied. 

"Are you sure you should be doing something so extreme?" she asked with concern in her voice.

"Yep, I am going to set up another business in the new year," I said with conviction mixed with bluster.

"Cool," said Jane approvingly.

And then as midnight hit, we turned on the TV to watch the spectacular fireworks over London. 

I must be reaching a certain age, because I found it infinitely more enjoyable spending New Year's Eve with family rather than clubbing. Blimey, soon I will be warming my slippers beside the fire, smelling of wee, and smoking a pipe.

So my lovelies..... pray do tell...... what are your New Year's resolutions?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Look at me! My blog has been shortlisted!

Blimey! Can you believe it? I have been short-listed as one of the Widow Lady's top ten blogs. How cool is that? I am gonna be a mega-star!

Now, the impending fame got me thinking. Maybe I should try hard a bit harder to look the part; you know, embrace the values of a celebrity in order to grease the wheels of my PR machine (which technically doesn't actually exist yet but when it does, I assure you it will look like the shiniest blue Combine Harvester you have ever seen, with an inbuilt sound system).

So, this evening I sat down and put together a Project Plan to take me from pleb to celeb. Here goes (it's all very secret squirrel, so please let's keep it amongst ourselves):

1. Have a boob job and then wear low-cut tops that makes 'em look like they could flop out at any moment.

2. Have a nose job that gives me tiny oblong nostrils and two distinctive pointy bumps on each corner of the end.

3. Get botox so that I can look 'permanently surprised' like my celebrity heroes.

4. Release my own perfume called 'Minging - l'homme deterrent' (yeh, I know. PR genuis).

5. Find a string of basketball / NFL playing boyfriends, each of whom I would date for approximately five weeks before dumping them, citing 'distance' as the reason. Dumping people because of 'distance' is so 'de rigueur' dahlink.

6. Weight. I am going to slim from a 'ground zero' to a 'size zero' by eating macro-bionic, GI, glucose, Atkins, lactose food. And then I am going to be very careful that I don't fall down grates.

7. I am going to have some meaningful Chinese words tattooed on the back of my neck and on my wrist. And because I can't read Chinese, I am going to hope that I haven't been duped into having something crap tattooed like 'baked beans' or 'yellow snow'.

Pic.No.1. This is going to be me after I have become a proper celebrity. And yes that is a killer whale behind me. Pet goldfish are for poor people

So there you have it! My cunning plan to morph myself into a celebrity. What do you think - genuis eh?

In order to pre-empt the autograph hunters, I am going to invest in one of those queue control things outside my front door. You know the ones - they are made up of shiney silver uprights joined together by seatbelt material. 

P.S. I was a bit worried that Widow Lady said that she couldn't understand some of the things I was saying, so I included hyperlinks to the very British words. Like minging, and blimey and pleb.

P.P.S. You can read the Widow Lady's blog by clicking here. Enjoy! She is great!

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

It was all going well until the sherry surfaced

Although I was sad to leave Leeds after a fabulous Christmas, I was also pretty excited to get back to Oxford. The reason being is that because Izzy spends Christmas day with her dad and grandparents, I have a 'second' Christmas at my house for her and her dad on 30th December. Kerching! Everyone's a winner.

So on the night of the 29th, I made Izzy put out a glass of sherry on the fireplace for Santa (aka yours truly; yep, there are some perks to the job), and a carrot for Rudolph (aka yours truly too, but I always gag when I bite a chunk out of it). And then I put Izzy to bed whilst I set to work.

I piled all the presents up so it looked like Santa had been, and then I executed my piece d'resistance...... Santa's footprints.

Pic.No.1 Oh yeh. Every year I make a foot-shaped stencil (you can see it in the picture above) and then sprinkle it with glitter to make it look like Santa has walked from the fireplace to the presents

Pic.No.2 And every year, the glittery footprints coming from the fireplace excite Izzy more than anything else

Pic.No.3 Izzy had loads of presents from generous friends and family, and thoroughly enjoyed herself whilst looking natural for the camera (not)

Pic.No.4 And had plenty to keep her entertained whilst I cooked Christmas dinner (turkey) for her, Steve and I

After the opening of the presents, I took to the kitchen to cook dinner. And then I realised something. Because I had bought all the food after the 'real' Christmas, it was a fraction of the price. So, because I am a tightwad, I am seriously considering approaching everyone I know and asking them if they wouldn't mind putting Christmas back five days. We would all save a bloody fortune! Actually, thinking about it, that does make me look uber-tight.

Anyway, I am sorry I didn't have any pictures of the meal or the rest of the day. Whilst I was cooking, Steve and I managed to finish off the sherry that I had bought for Santa, and making the gravy was challenge enough without taking pictures too. And that was before the champagne came out. From that point onwards, I don't remember much about the meal except for the brussel sprout fight, and the fight for the nail clippers that came out of one of the crackers.

Oh yeh, it was complete debauchery round at my house, but all in all a lovely day.

P.S. I nearly forgot to include this picture of Naughty George

Pic.No.5 How pissed off does he look about wearing a Christmas hat?

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Football and Fripperies ....

Agh! I am so behind with my blog, that I want to run around and panic but not fall over anything. I have been reading all my favourite blogs and everyone has already covered New Year's eve, and their resolutions and everything, and I haven't even finished blogging about Christmas yet. It's just downright tardy of me. If I was my boss, I would sack me.

The situation leaves me with a dilemma. Do I catch up on the Christmas posts now? Or do I blog about New Year and then try and backtrack?

So, I have decided that I am going to continuing blogging about my holiday in Leeds, but only cover two events that I thought were quite interesting.

1. I went to a bloody football match (aka Soccer if you hail from accross the Atlantic)

I am not a football fan. I like rugby and motorsport. But Sarah telephoned me prior to me going to Leeds and said that she was going to a football match with four chums, and would I like to attend?

"No way!" I shouted, "footballers are all pansies. Just look at the way they keep pretending to fall over."

"But it involves scantily clad men running around," Sarah pointed out, "and let's face it, you don't have anything else arranged."

Good point well made. The one about the scantily clad men I mean. It was a complete deal clincher. Damn, that girl is wasted being a teacher. She should be selling sand to the Arabs.

"Count me in!" I hollered.

Pic.No.1 My ticket to the football match

Shit a brick! Look at the ticket again. It cost £34.00 ($53.00) for a match lasting ninety minutes. That equates to 37p a minute. Or looking at it another way, given that 31,000 people attended the match, Leeds FC netted a cool £1,054,000 in takings.

Crikey O'Reilly, how can people afford to be a football supporter? Surely they are taking food from their children's mouths?

Vid.No.1 This is the match kick-off (9 seconds)

Vid.No.2 I didn't really know what was going on, but I liked the Leeds fans singing (10 seconds)

Watching the football was quite enjoyable except that I didn't really know what was going on, it was bloody cold, and a lot of the fans are very shouty and sweary which I found quite surprising because there were children in attendance.

Plus, the only time I remembered to cheer when Leeds scored, I was reliably informed that Leeds had scored an 'own goal', which apparently was a bad thing. And I accidentally named the referee as my man of the match, not realising that he didn't play for either side (actually Leeds fans will probably disagree with me, because according to their chants; "the referee's a wanker"). [Note to my Trans Atlantic readers: the word 'wanker' is a derogatory term specific to the UK. It's one of my favourites actually because it's actually quite rude].

The final score was a 3 - 3 draw which I was indifferent about much to the chagrin of my five fellow match goers .... "you mean you didn't like?" they quizzed me.

"No offence," I said, "but I would rather be quaffing champers in the VIP paddock at a Formula 1 race." And I knew that they couldn't call me a heathen.

2. I went shopping ...... for clothes

Shopping. My nemesis. I normally bloody hate shopping unless I am buying something with an engine in it. To the extent that I have been known to bung my shopping-loving friends money to buy me clothes. Yep, other people used to choose my clothes, it was great.

But alas, this Christmas I was tricked into going shopping by Sarah, who told me we were going to York for the day. I bloody love York! It is one of the prettiest cities in England, with much of the architecture dating back several centuries. And I love architecture.

Unfortunately we weren't there to admire the buildings, we were there to go shopping and for the first half hour, I followed Sarah around miserably, looking at my watch every couple of minutes.

But Sarah is shrewd like a lizard (but not the one with the beard), and she knew how to draw me in; "here, look at this top. It would look great with those jeans," she said. And so I looked, and yeh, I liked it. In fact, I bloody bought it.

And so things progressed, and before I could say 'shopping is crap', I was like a pirahna munching a cow. Oh yeh, I was on a roll, albeit a Sarah-induced roll that couldn't possibly be sustained if she wasn't there.

Pic.No.1 A medieval shopping street in York. I shopped there I did

Pic.No.2 Another medieval street. It is like something out of a Dickens novel. And look how skinny that guy's right leg is

Pic.No.3 This is Betty's Tea Rooms. It's the famous place where all the posh people go for afternoon tea. Hang on a mo, is that guy 'goose-stepping' in the bottom left of the picture?

Pic.No.4 A picture of my shopping haul. Here we are having a Costa coffee to recover from spending

And can you believe it? By the end of the day, I had managed to triple the amount of clothes that I owned, meaning that my bank account took a bit of a bashing. But the way that I look at it; the sales were on, and I saved a fortune. And it was great spending the day in York which re-established itself as one of my favourite UK cities.

So my fun time in Leeds and York drew to a close, and it was with a heavy heart that the next day, I drove back to Oxford for a while before having to go to Loughborough for the New Year.

Just a quick question my lovely; did you manage to get any bargains in the sales? Oh, and what was your favourite Christmas present? (sigh, I have so much to catch up on).

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday

LinkWithin Related Posts