Friday, 29 April 2011

The holiday blog with no name (because I can't think of one)

Today was my first morning in Clermont, Florida, and I woke up thinking that I had died, which was a bit disconcerting to say the least.

The problem was a mixture of jet-lag combined with the fact that the bedroom that I was sleeping in was decorated all in white. So when the morning sun came streaming towards me through the window, it felt like some divine being had come to claim my soul. It was a full minute before I realised that I was in fact, alive, and that I should bloody close the blinds before going to bed.

Pic.No.1 This is the bedroom of death that I slept in

I jumped out of bed and into the en-suite shower (oh yes dahlink) before quickly getting dressed ready for breakfast which was being cooked by Clare - oh yeh, she is a trooper like that. I love it.

Pic.No.2 This is the bathroom of non-death

Actually, in order to be polite, I should introduce you to Clare properly. She owns the blog 'Yes, his name is Gary', and she is not as good-looking as me. We met 20 years ago at University when we were 2 of the 4 girls studying Engineering on a course of 180 students.

Despite being English, Clare ended up marrying a lamb shank (yank) called Jody and moved to Florida with him. Hence she became a Johnny Foreigner. At first I approached her rather tentatively, but then she got a house with a swimming pool and it didn't seem quite so significant.

Pic.No.3 Spot of breakfast by the pool anyone?

After a scrumptious breakfast, I decided to take advantage of glorious sunshine by undertaking a spot of sunbathing in order to banish my cadaverous pallor. That would teach all the people who nicknamed me 'Gorgonzola' (white with blue veins).

I had read somewhere, that when you sunbathe, it is important to apply sunscreen or cover up, and rotate yourself regularly so that you lessen the risk of burning. So I came up with a plan of action .........

Pic.No.4 First of all I sunbathed my front for 30 minutes, and I set a timer so I would know when to turn over (that is Gary the dog sniffing me)

Pic.No.5 Then I did my back for exactly the same time, so it was like proper military precision

An hour later, I was armed with a healthy glow, and Clare asked if I fancied a spot of shopping.

"Can we go to Walmart to see if we can see any fat people dressed as superman?" I asked, because one of my favourite websites is

"Yes of course we can," Clare replied and we hopped in the car armed with a camera.

Unfortunately after extensive searching, we didn't see any 'people of Walmart' but Clare did spot a magnificently tacky plastic owl.

Vid.No.1 Clare found a comedy owl in Walmart (9 seconds)

So, a successful day was had by all. And then when we got back, Clare and Jody had invited some friends over so we all scoffed a home-cooked Jambalaya and then chilled out on the patio. 

Pic.No.6 This is Sarah and Chris. They came round for dinner and they were good fun

It was a great start to the holiday: It is not often that I get to witness such a fine example of a plastic owl. 

As for the rest of the weekend, I am not sure what we are doing. Clare and Jody have been talking about us going to see the launch of the space shuttle tomorrow (70 miles away from Clermont), which made me so excited that I nearly puked. Then they dashed my hopes by saying that the roads might be too busy for us to get there. Watch this space. 

So dahlink, today was the day of the Royal Wedding. Did you partake, and if yes, what did you get up to? 

This is a post that only bloggers will like. Probably. Unless you are sick

I know I am in Florida, and you probably want to hear about that, but be patient dahlink. I have a technical issue which I needed to address first.

Today, I did a bit of a change to my blog. You know what they say; 'a change is as good as a rest'. I don't entirely subscribe to that point of view though, because what if the change involved mining through solid stone?

Anyway, I digress. For ages, I have been pissed off with the clunky comment-management on Blogger, which made it really difficult for me to reply to people's comments.

As if that wasn't enough, Jayne from 'In Jaynes World', had been badgering me (in a non-psychotic way of course), to move to something called Disqus.

'What the bloody hell is Disqus?' I hear you cry.

Well, it is a comment management system, and it emails you whenever a chum leaves a comment on your blog. And then all you have to do is reply to the email, and your response goes directly to the chum in question as well as being posted on your blog.

So in essence, it is a far more sociable way of managing your interaction with readers. Apparently.

To be honest, I am not entirely sure how it all works yet, so if you wouldn't mind leaving me a comment, it will help me check if Disqus works. But to make it more interesting, I would particularly like totally random comments, e.g. 'I am sick of my front door being red'.

Thanks my dahlink! I will give a mention to the most random comment ........ do your worst chaps!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hey ho, hey ho, it's off to America I go

When it comes to organising my diary, I must admit that I am the equivalent of Mother Theresa working on Wall Street, i.e. crap. Actually I am assuming that Mother Theresa would be crap on Wall Street but I can't back it up. Oh yes I can, thinking about it, because she's dead.

With that in mind, I made another diary blooper this week. Despite only arriving home from my weekend in Skegness on late Monday afternoon, I had a flight booked to visit my chum Clare in the US on Tuesday morning. It was going to be tighter than a gnat's chuff by any stretch of the imagination. And I couldn't afford to miss my flight like I did last time, because Clare would get really mad with me again and call me a daft moose.

So after arriving home at 4.30pm on Monday, I was like a non-hairy James Bond with a mission; I rapidly emptied my suitcases of all things Skegness, and shoved the contents into my new washing machine. And because my washing machine hadn't been installed properly, I had to lie on it during the spin cycle to stop it from bouncing around the floor. It's quite humiliating really, especially when I have company around.

Once that was done, I had re-pack my suitcases, this time for Florida. The whole time I was packing, Clare insisted on being on a Skype video-call with me, so that she could hear what I was packing and check I didn't miss anything. She is very over-cautious like that and didn't seem to think that my amazing mooing cow-thing was essential.

By midnight, I was done, and I went to bed under strict instructions that I had to set off for Gatwick by no later than 7am the next morning. Crikey, that's virtually the middle of the night.

But you will be glad to know that I did it (even though I nearly perished from shock), and I arrived at London Gatwick Airport at 8.30am in readiness for my flight at 11.15am.

The only hiccup I encountered was during check-in. A important man (I knew he was important because he had a walkie-talkie) asked me where I was flying to in order to direct me to the correct desk.

Aw crap. I stared back at him with the realisation that I had no idea where I was actually flying to; Clare had sorted out all the flights for me and I am useless at remembering names.

"Errr, America?" I replied.

"I need you to be more specific than that ma'am," he said, regarding me incredulously.

Gulp. It looked like all was lost until suddenly I remembered that I knew the flight number from my original flight confirmation email (numbers tend to stick in the head of engineers you see).

"I am on flight VS027," I grinned at him.

"That's Orlando ma'am. You need to check-in right over there," he responded, motioning towards the Virgin Atlantic desk.

Marvellous. I was on my way.

Pic.No.1 This is the queue for boarding the aircraft. I didn't like taking too many pictures inside the terminal because it makes one feel like a terrorist

Pic.No.2 This is the view of the apron at Gatwick Airport taken from my window seat

Pic.No.3 As we began our descent into Orlando Airport, I took a picture of the clouds

The flight took 9 bloody hours instead of 8 because there was a tail wind, and I managed to watch 4 films on the in-flight entertainment system which was quite a luxury because I never normally get time to watch films.

We touched down in Orlando at 4pm, and after 45 minutes of trying to get through Immigration, I finally emerged into the Arrivals Hall to be met by a waving and grinning Clare. It was lucky she was there actually because I had lost her contact details, and the battery on my iPhone was dead.

After a short drive we arrived back at Clare's house in time to see the sunset over her swimming pool and the lakes beyond.

Pic.No.4 A Floridian sunset. It was rather nice

More to come later folks...........

So, have you ever had a disastrous journey out of interest? Not that mine was too disastrous ...... this time.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A Bank Holiday Weekend in Skegness

Huzzar, I'm back in my blog.

Sorry I have been AWOL for so long, but as you know, I have been on holiday. I went up North to a place called Skegness, where the traffic was jam-tastic. We stayed in a caravan (and I felt like Gypsy Rose Lee except with no crystal ball) and were lucky to have running water (it turned off twice), let alone wi-fi. I did ask the caravan site receptionist if they had wi-fi, but she looked at me blankly and said, "are you talking about a Chinese restaurant?' Sacre bleu. 

Then I tried doing a couple of posts using my iPhone, but the connection coverage was so patchy, it would have been quicker using a carrier pigeon.

'So,' I hear you cry, 'how did you get on staying in a caravan without a concierge and 5 star facilities?'

Well, to be honest, I found it a bit difficult surviving without 'room service' and Egyptian cotton sheets and duck-down pillows, but being a trooper, I decided just to pitch in and ride it out. And just so you can get an idea of the conditions, I have put together a photo album for you ........... introducing me, daughter Izzy, my Cousin Jane, her baby Mitchell, and a selection of her assorted relatives on holiday in Skegness ....................

Where we stayed

Pic.No.1 This is the caravan I stayed in. It had wheels, but I am not sure why. Maybe it's so you can change the view on a sporadic basis?

Pic.No.2 This is the living area of the caravan. It was messy because we were messy bastards, but was suprisingly spacious once we removed all our shit

Pic.No.3 This is the kitchen area. I avoided it at all costs because I am the hostess with the leastess

Pic.No.4 The bedroom where Izzy and I slept. I would describe it as 'compact and bijou'. And even though I searched for half an hour I couldn't find an en-suite bathroom

But we didn't just stay in the caravan, no sirree. We went out and did holiday stuff, like this ........

A day out in Skegness Town

Pic.No.5. This is my cousin Jane and her baby Mitchell. We were at Skegness Theme Park on the seafront

Pic.No.6 My daughter Izzy at the Theme Park. Me and her went on each of the roller-coasters at least three times. It was bloody brilliant

Pic.No.7 Izzy on another ride that was basically swings going round in a circle. It looked shit so I didn't go on it

Pic.No.8 Izzy on the Magical River ride at Skegness Theme Park. It didn't involve adrenalin as you can probably tell. And the blue water was a bit mucky

But it wasn't all about theme parks and roller-coasters, we also had nights out on the town, which I had to edit quite a lot before finding ones I could publish. Not that we did anything bad mind you, I would never do anything bad.

A Night Out at the 'Happy Days' Caberet Club

Pic.No.9 This is my cousin Jane (and her friend Debs) being shy and retiring. Honestly, I don't know where she gets it from

Pic.No.10  This is the lovely Mark. He became one of my best friends after he bought me a bag of Pickled Onion Monster Munch. And Izzy hero-worshipped him after he took her swimming and went down all the slides with him. DUDE!

Pic.No.11 You might think that this is Jane trying to look seductive, but in real life she had just spotted someone selling hamburgers

Pic.No.12 The allure of Mr Hamburger proved too much for the hapless Jane

Pic.No.13 Jane and Debs celebrating eating a hamburger and chips. I think this was later in the night because I accidentally turned my camera settings onto 'Sepia' and didn't notice

Pic.No.14 We saw a Beatles tribute band who didn't look like the Beatles, or sound like them. Apart from that they were really good

Pic.No.15 This is me, and I am with Paddy and Sonia. You don't know them, but we were all very happy

A trip to Fantasty Island

Then on our last day there we decided to go to a place called Fantasy Island which is a mixture of a Theme Park and a market. Big mistake. Because it was a Bank Holiday, and the sun was out, it was bloody heaving. Not only that, but it took us an hour to drive the two (yes TWO) miles there. In fact in the end, we ended up abandoning the car on a grass verge and walking the rest of the way there. 

Once we arrived, the crowds were so bad that you could hardly walk around. And there was music blaring, and Izzy was too small to go on any of the rides.

Pic.No.16 There was one activity that Izzy could do, and that was have her face painted. She chose the design herself

Pic.No.17 I managed to get an arty shot of a roller-coaster before turning to my cousin and saying 'how about we abandon Fantasy Island and go to the beach?' So we did

Pic.No.18 Izzy was like a pig in shit when we got to the beach. She absolutely loved it. And Jane and I did too - we were sat in a beach tent just of out shot with a bottle of chilled plonk, trying to avoid grit and sand and air and salty water

Pic.No.19 Izzy strikes a pose. That girl should have a part in the film Zoolander

So there you have it dahlink; my bank holiday weekend in Skegness. It was certainly a great place for kids, what with the beach, swimming pool and theme parks. Izzy didn't want to go home. And I am not surprised because there is a state of almost permanent gridlock on the single carriageway roads. We drove home last Monday, and it took us five (yes FIVE) hours in total.

Luckily Izzy kept herself amused with an empty tub of butter. For the whole five hours. I would love to be that easily amused.

Anyway, did your bank holiday antics pan out as planned? I hope to be catching up with your blog mighty soon.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

My executive holiday home

Dahlink, I thought you might like a picture of the holiday home (aka caravan) that I have been staying in.
At first I was very hesitant about it because shortly after arriving, I discovered that there wasn't a concierge or room service.

As it turns out, I was right about being hesitant, because without the concierge, I had to find my own way to the Theme Park where Izzy and I spent the day riding on roller coasters.

It was a most marvellous past-time, made even better because we didn't puke.

So my lovely, what are you up to this fine bank holiday weekend?

Sent from my iPhone

Why have my pictures vanished?

I tried to post this picture of me and Izzy in my last post but it didn't work. So I am trying again to prove that I actually did make it to the seaside!

I made it to the seaside!

Looky here! I have figured out how to do blog posts using my iPhone. How cool is that? But unfortunately, I still don't know how to attach more than one picture per post, so I will probably have to spin the posts out a bit. And I won't be able to write that much because it takes ages on a teeny tiny keyboard. 

Anyway you will be pleased to hear that Izzy, my cousin Jane and baby Mitchell arrived safe and sound in Skegness yesterday after an arduous three and a half hour journey in searing heat (and no air-con in my jalopy). 

As soon as we arrived, Izzy wanted to see the beach so we took a short stroll to the seafront. 

"There's the sea, Iz," I said pointing to a blue blob in distance. 

"Can I go and play?" she asked. 

"Ugh no," I replied, "the beach is all gritty and the sea has got bits in which stick to your legs."

She seemed pretty happy with my explanation for the time being so we went back to the caravan and cooked burgers for dinner (classy). 

And so my dahlink, we are now going off into Skegness town for a spot of shopping. Actually, let me take some pictures of the caravan where I am staying so you can see what it's like. 

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The next two weeks are going to be sporadic........

Dear dahlink, this is just a quick post to let you know that I am going properly AWOL for about two weeks. I don't know where or when I will have an internet connection, so I subsequently don't know when I will be able to write blog posts or even visit your blog.

But I don't want you thinking that I am ignoring you or anything ....... hence this post. I am thoughtful like that .... a bit like Mother Theresa but with a pedicure.

As if moving house yesterday wasn't enough, today I had to pack my bags for the holidays. The plan is that Izzy and I are going to my cousin's house in Loughborough tomorrow to spend the night there. Then, the day after, we are driving to Skegness to spend a long weekend by the seaside.

We will be in Skegness until Monday, at which point Izzy and I will drive home and I will drop her off with her Dad. I then have 8 hours to pack for my trip to America.

Pic.No.1 My travel map for the next two weeks

Once those eight hours have elapsed, I need to hotfoot it to Gatwick Airport where I will be boarding a flight to Orlando, Florida. The last time I attempted a similar feat, I missed my flight and Clare (who I was visiting) got really mad and called me a joey.

Blimey, at the moment I don't feel like I have time to fart. So if you are feeling a bit neglected, that is why (sorry dahlink).

Wish me luck on my travels!

P.P.S I have included this picture of me and Iz so that you don't forget what we look like when we are away. The picture was taken in Pizza Express

P.S. Are you off anywhere on holiday?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I was like a slave except that I employed myself. Is that allowed?

It's me, hurray! Sorry I have been a bit AWOL in the last few days, but I have a good reason dahlink.

Something absolutely awful happened to me yesterday. Imagine something really bad and then double it, and you are probably getting close to the nightmare that I had to suffer.

You're not gonna believe this, but yesterday I undertook manual labour. And a lot of it. I'm not designed to do manual labour for chrissake! I am designed to recline on a chaise longue and be fed grapes by a porcupine, whilst being fanned by child labour. That's before I even touch upon my penchant for milk-baths.

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

Do you remember me telling you that I had sold my London house? Well the house had been emptied of all furniture in readiness for the sale, except for the attic. Actually, that's not totally true, I had removed a few things from the attic (hence my blog posts called 'interesting shit I have found in my attic'), but the lion's share still remained.

And that is what I had to do yesterday - clear out the attic. Luckily Steve (my ex-partner) was there (and he had procured a van) to help, but we also had to take Izzy because she was on school holidays and we had no-one to look after her. Not that she minded; she was excited about seeing the house in which she lived after she was borned-ed (I know, we need to work on her past tense).

But man alive, is cleaning out the attic a shitty job? We spent the whole day trying to squeeze heavy, filthy, and dusty boxes through the tiny hatch in the ceiling which provided access to the attic space. It was wank, especially because at least half of the boxes were being stored as a favour for someone I knew in the past. And I nearly broke my thumb by trapping it between a box and a door. It really hurt and I responded by loudly shouting 'you bastard'. 

Steve heard me and shouted back, "what have I done now?" Awwww the joys of moving house.

But whilst the majority of the day was hard labour (I even got black bogeys to add insult to injury), I did manage to get a few photographs of Izzy and the London house whilst I was there.

Pic.No.1 Izzy posing on the patio in the back garden

Pic.No.2 Izzy posing on the toilet because it made her laugh

Pic.No.3 Izzy posing in the bathroom. I am not entirely sure what this look was supposed to be, but crikey, the amount of time I spend coaxing her in front of the camera....... Not

Pic.No.4 I also got a picture of the clematis flowering all over the back of the house. Ha ha! I am not going to be around when all the flowers drop off and need sweeping up

So after a long day of lugging boxes around, we finally had the van full and ready to go at 5pm, and so set off on the 75 minute journey back to my Oxford house. And if the day wasn't long enough already, we had to unload the van once we arrived back home. Sacre bleu!

Pic.No.5 This was the van that we had to unload. Here it is parked in my back garden in Oxford. And then I noticed something strange in the cab...............

Pic.No.6 .............. Izzy had found my motorbike helmet amongst the debris that came from the attic and was entertaining herself by being an 'alien'

Pic.No.7 Ah bollocks. By 8pm my garden was full-to-brimming with the contents of the van

Pic.No.8 This is me with a nearly-broken thumb. I took time-out to model Izzy's sunhat because comedy-time is important even if you are faced with black bogeys and mountains of shit to sift through

Now this is the bit where you are really supposed to feel sorry for me. It was past 10pm before I finally got the contents of the van organised; i.e. stored in a dry place. Which means that now my kitchen, living room and dining room are heaving with bin liners full of 'stuff' that needs sorting out and storing properly.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I am due to go on holiday with my cousin on Thursday through until Monday, and then after that I think I am off to America for a couple of weeks but I can't remember the details. So I won't have time to sort out all the shit for ages.

Never mind eh? Looking on the bright side, all the shit stuffed inside my house gives me something to blog about once I get around to exploring it.

P.S. So, do you have anything (room, cellar, van) that drastically needs sorting out? If yes, what is it and why?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sunny weekends and Scooby Snacks

Crikey, this weekend has been a blur and I haven't had time to fart (not that I would mind you, I am like the Queen in that respect).

Amongst other things, my cousin Jane came to visit. She likes her TV and the lack of one in my house makes her break out in a cold sweat.

She arrived yesterday afternoon, and after saying, 'hello', she immediately asked, "have you got a TV yet?"

"Nope," I replied, before adding, "woooooh, you are going to have to talk to me instead." I accompanied my response with some mysterious arm-waving for added gravitas.

"You are such a bloody heathen," she muttered before lugging her gorgeous three month old baby (Mitchell) into the house.

Now because I am a bit tired, I am going to blatantly take some bloggy shortcusts here. Instead of describing it properly, I am going to bullet-point what we did:

1. The sun was out so we sat in the garden and chatted for an hour or two
2. Then we went to an Indian Restaurant in the next village (Wheatley). It was called Cinnamons and it was really tasty
3. After Cinnamons, we came home

Once home, Jane started pacing restlessly up and down.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Are you sure you don't have a TV?" Jane asked.

"Positive," I said, "I only have a laptop."

"A laptop?" Jane exclaimed, virtually bouncing off the walls with happiness, "can I use it please?"

Oh yes, Jane had struck gold. After being unable to watch TV she realised that she could indulge to her heart's content with Farmville on Facebook instead.

So whilst Jane bought imaginery crops for her imaginery farm, I lit the fire and then composed a shit song for her.

Vid.No.1 My shit song for Jane

Yep, I am the hostess with the mostess.

But now Jane has gone home, and I am off to bed because I am so tired that I've considered eating Naughty George because it is easier than preparing a meal. Dammit, he is a little dog - he would make a great Scooby snack. 

P.S. How has your weekend gone and what have you been up to?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Sacre Bleu - I got caught spanking dog food in a sex spot

Today wasn't a good day, and before I start, I know what you are thinking .......

'What the blazes are you doing photographing Naughty George's dog food in the garden?' I hear you holler; 'have you gone all weirdy?'

Pic.No.1 Naughty George's dog food in the garden

Before you start worrying that I am going to start shuffling instead of walking, develop a facial tic, and inexplicably allow my personal hygiene go to pot, please let me explain (and it's a good 'un).

I got up at the crack of dawn (9am) this morning because I had tons of 'stuff' to do before going on holiday to Skegness next week. As I wondered bleary-eyed into the kitchen, I noticed that Naughty George's food bowl was empty.

'Greedy bastard', I thought to myself as I went to the pantry to get him some more food. As I picked up the bag of 'Bakers Complete', I thought I heard a scuffling noise. I paused and listened, but all was silent. I shrugged it off and walked back to Naughty George's dog bowl.

I opened the top of the bag ready to pour out his food and it was then that I caught a glimpse of a sudden movement inside the bag, complemented by a high-pitched squeaking.

"AAAAH!" I shouted, literally flinging the bag to the floor and violently recoiling.

I composed myself and started edging back towards the bag of dog food. Eventually I plucked up the courage to look in the bag and guess what I bloody found?

Pic.No.2 Mumtaz (my resident field mouse) and his chum were trapped in Naughty George's bag of dog food

Bloody typical. As if a busy day ahead wasn't enough, I now had two random rodents that needed disposing of. And a hungry dog (yes, I know what you are thinking, but I'm not like that).

I sat down at my laptop and typed 'humane ways to get rid of mice' into Google.

The first result that came up was this: "Wanna get rid of mice? For those of you who care about that humane bullshit, when my mice falls for the trap I'm gonna set the little f***er on fire and watch him die. Posted by: Rob | Nov 17, 2005 12:16:33 AM"

Blimey, who's betting that Rob turned into a serial killer?

After browsing a few more 'humane' solutions that weren't actually that humane, I finally found one that I liked, and it was remarkably simple; "once you have caught the mouse humanely, set the fella loose at least a mile away from your abode."

So I formulated a plan, which involved me putting on my wellington boots and loading the bag of dog food (with the mouses still inside) into the car.

Pic.No.3 This is a picture of my wellington boots. Naughty George thought he was going for a walk which is why he is stood in front of me. But there was no way he was coming because he would try and kill Mumtaz

My destination was a small, desolate mud-track called 'Polecat Lane' which was at the other end of the village. Polecat Lane only exists because at the end of it, there's a small pumping station that provides the residents of Forest Hill with fresh water. And every couple of months or so, a Water Engineer drives down the track to check that the pumping station is working ok, but other than that, Polecat Lane is generally deserted (apart from teenagers who go there to shag). 

It was the perfect place for Mumtaz and his chum to start a new life.

Pic.No.4 This is Polecat Lane. The track eventually peters out once you have arrived at the water pumping station (out of shot)

Pic.No.5 The petered-out end of the mud-track seemed the perfect place to release Mumtaz and chum into the wild

I hunkered down and gently turned the bag of dog food on its side so that the open top was lying on the ground. Nothing happened so I started tapping on the bottom of the bag to encourage the mouses to leave. All the while, I had my camera focused on the bag opening with the intention of getting an action shot of Mumtaz's bid for freedom.

Pic.No.6 And then it happened! "Oh YES!" I shouted with joy as Mumtaz made a break for it

I was so totally engrossed the whole time, that I hadn't noticed a Water Engineer's van pull up behind me (yep in the middle of nowhere - how unlucky?)

The Engineer wound down his window, cleared his throat, and barked "excuse me", causing me to fall over backwards in shock.

The reality of the situation quickly hit me: There I was, lying on my back, in a well known desolate sex spot, after spanking a bag of dog food, taking pictures, and shouting 'OH YES!'

I picked myself up from the ground and tried to smile brightly at the Engineer whilst my cheeks burned red. This was not looking good.

He looked at me blankly as I tried to stutter an explanation, "I found mouses in my dog food!" I said before realising that it looked pretty improbable in the absence of a dog.  

"Each to their own," he said sagely before manoeuvring his van around me and into the water pumping station. He had one of those faces (fat lips and fish eyes) that drew conclusions and didn't want explanations.

And so my dear, talk about a bummer start to my day. And by the time it all happened, it wasn't even 10am.

Don't you just hate days that start like that?

So, have you ever had a particularly bad morning or been grossly misunderstood?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Have you ever touched a Cheetah's bumhole?

Oh, blimey, I just realised that I haven't mentioned anything about last weekend. Well, it was my turn to look after little Izzy and the weather was forecast to be warm and sunny all weekend. Double doggy bonus.

And because I am a bit like Mary Poppins (except that I don't boff chimney sweeps or keep bursting into song), I had arranged lots of things for us to do. Oh yes dahlink, life is too short for sitting around twiddling one's thumbs and saying 'bah humbug'.

So, on Saturday morning we went to pick up one of Izzy's best friends, Honey, who was coming to spend the day with us. Lovely jubbly.

I had arranged for us all to have a sophisticated lunch in the garden and then go on an outing that I had planned.... myself. Who says my nickname is 'chaos theory'?

And so here is a photo-post of Saturday's happenings......... starting with a lunch of Marks and Spencer 'Loaded Skins'. Ok, I know that they are not posh, but Izzy and Honey are only 5, they want party food for chrissake.

Pic.No.1 (Izzy, left, and Honey) The sophisticated lunch started off well with Izzy doing an impression of the rat that Naughty George killed last year whilst I was entertaining guests

Pic.No.2 Ever camera-shy, I tried to coax Izzy into the shot

Pic.No.3 And then lunch descends into pig impressions

Pic.No.4 Honey maintains her decorum amongst all the animal goings on

Once lunch was over, the fun was due to start. I had found out that the Natural History Museum (owned by Oxford University), was holding a 'Bugs and Birds' event for kids. I am not totally sure what the aim of the event was, but I think it was to try and convert them into bearded, cabbage-eating, sandal-wearing tree-huggers when they grow up. Because that is what you have to be like if you like nature. If you wear trainers or eat kebabs, it means you like clubbing hedgehogs to death.

After a short 20 minute drive from Forest Hill to Oxford, we finally arrived at the Natural History Museum.

Pic.No.5 The Natural History Museum is a magnificent Grade I listed building. But because the whole of Oxford is made up of magnificent Grade I listed buildings, it makes you feel a bit spoilt

Pic.No.6 This is Honey and Izzy sitting on one of many huge tree-root sculptures in front of the building. It's totally gnarly dude (that'll perplex the youngsters)

Pic.No.7 A close-up of the entrance to the Natural History Museum. The building is very new compared to the rest of Oxford having been constructed in 1850, whereas most of the other buildings date back to the 1500s

Pic.No.8 Woof. Look at that architecture! And yes, that is a T-Rex that you can see in front of you

Pic.No.9 A statue of Aristotle. I am not sure what he is famous for, but he can carry off a sheet well

Pic.No.10 This is Socrates. He is famous for starring in 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure'

Pic.No.11 The label said that this was a pair of African Elephants. They have obviously taken the Atkins a bit too far

Anyway, we were not at the Natural History Museum to look at skinny elephants. No! We were there to have fun. 

Pic.No.12 Making a dragonfly out of pipecleaner and beads was one of many arts and crafts activities that we undertook during the afternoon. Ok, it didn't rock my boat, but Honey and Izzy bloody loved it

Pic.No.13 The finished article. Saying 'hey! That dragonfly looks like a pipecleaner' does not go down well with five year olds ....... I should imagine

Pic.No.14 Then I was nearly blugeoned into buying two butterfly masks which stayed on for less than two minutes because it was so hot in the museum. And then I had to carry them round for the rest of the day

After a couple of hours, I was a bit arts-and-crafted out (I am an engineer! Art doesn't have numbers, except for paint-by-numbers which I can do), so I suggested finding some of the creatures that were advertised as being on display. And as luck would have it, I almost immediately hit the jackpot.

"Wanna hold a snake chaps?" I shouted excitedly.

"YEHHHHHHHH," came the unanimous reply.

Pic.No.15 Honey holding a baby snake which was quite lively

Pic.No.16 Then it was Izzy's turn.......... and you know I said that the snake was a bit lively?

Pic.No.17 ....... well it shot up her arm much to the amusement of bystanders and me. I had to rescue the snake and put it back in it's tank, and my it was feisty for a little 'un. Actually, thinking about it, maybe I should have checked if it was poisonous

Pic.No.18 Honey and Izzy are mesmerised by a kangaroo wearing make-up

Pic.No.19 And then we happened upon the shock highlight of the trip. A cheetah. As you can see from the photograph whilst I was preoccupied with taking the photograph, Honey and Izzy were busying themselves with something else

Pic.No.20 'Look Mum! I am touching a cheetah's bum!' shouted Izzy, loud enough for everyone in the vicinity to stop and stare

After laughing my head off, I tried to be philosophical about it, in that I suppose the rite of passage into adulthood consists of a series of firsts, but I never expected that touching a cheetah's bumhole would be one of them. Looking on the bright side, it is another thing she can tick off her 'done' list.

I daren't foray into the field of asking which animal bumholes you have touched, so instead I am going to ask you 'which animals do you think look better stuffed than alive?'

P.S. I just found this video of the Natural History Museum on my camera, so I thought I would post it so that you could have a sneaky peek. 

Vid.No.1 I found this video of the Natural History Museum on my camera

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