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Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Dear Blogging Friends/Fiends (delete as appropriate)

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!!! May God bless you all richly in 2008, and if you don't believe in Him yet, may you find Him to be true and kind!

Sorry I could not wish thee all festive greetings over Christmas. I have had the flu quite badly. As I write this, I am still ill - cough cough - and weight has dropped from 8:6 to 7:12. So I guess I can strike off number one on my Resolution list -

1) Lose weight

as I've basically done that one already. Sometimes diahorrea has its benefits. Even if it is too difficult to spell when you're ill.

2) Take more care of myself

3) Dont be a potty mouth.

4) Remember that a soft answer turns away wrath

5) Always give others the benefit of the doubt

6) Keep in touch more with my older relatives

7) Do something romantic

8) A folded newspaper is not a weapon with which to part the crowds of commuters at Oxford Circus station

9) Farting is not an acceptable form of communication in an office-based environment

10) Use my powers for good, and not evil

All the best folks, happy blogging in 2008 xxxxxxx

Monday, December 17, 2007

Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina answers a question

I will tell the story of my trip to scarborough another time. This is a christmas present for you. It made me feel a lot better about my recent interviews.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tree In Progress

Full Tree

Just to show off what I think is going to be a fabulous tree, here is the Tree In Progress in my leeeetle flat.


And my latest Card Creation - the Box Card, which is a box, but opens out into a multi-faceted card. I've had several orders already (hint hint). Sorry Dad, you ain't getting one of these this year but an equally original one is heading your way across the Atlantic as we speak!

Is it a box?

Or is it a super card?

Thursday, December 06, 2007


My tree is up and decorated.

I have bought nearly all my presents.

My flat is nearly ready for the hungry hordes.

Most of the party food is already in the cupboards.

But oh oh oh oh oh I need to sleeeeeeeeep.

My theme is gold and purple this year. What are you lot doing?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Lambeth's loony bin

I have a weird relationship with Lambeth. I hate it, and yet keep returning to live there like a dog returning to its own vomit. So I guess I must love it. I do - I love St Leonard's church which has stood there, more or less, since 900 AD. I love its graveyard full of famous Victorians. I love the Rookery in Streatham, the Brixton Academy, the old gateposts at St Matthews, Brixton which still say: "Carriages to London 2d".

What I don't love particularly is that Lambeth is home to all of the UK's village idiots. Saturday morning, at 9:30, if you venture out upon that stretch of the A23, you will find the loonies. Bless them, it's not their fault, but really! It's like Shaun of the Dead.

There's a 7'2" unsuccessful transvestite who strides, bejewelled and under-dressed, along the high road, his tight leather skirt barely coping with his ginormous gangly gait.

There's a tiny little mad woman, skinny as a rake, with long flowing grey hair and one arm decked in enormous, thick, heavy chains. She keeps her head down (and does not seem to mind the cold) and supports her arm with her other hand because of the weight of the chains. Once as I passed, she looked up and I smiled at her. Her entire face lit up and her child-like blue eyes looked so happy at that slight human interaction.

There is a hunchbacked elderly Jamaican woman who struggles slowly, slowly up the road with about eight bags stuffed full... of kitchen towels. She just buys kitchen towels. Her name is Bag Lady.

There is a mad shouting man, always with some cut or blood on his face, who sits and puts the world to rights at various bus stops.

There is Mad Raspberry Man, who the other day got on my bus and, because the windows were fogged up, he got upset and started blowing raspberries at them. "I can't see. PLAAARRRRT. Can't see. PLAAAAART... Rasp raspy rasp rasp."

And now there is BAD SPOTS.

The other day I was going to a craft fair with all my cards and jewellery, and had been getting very stressed in my flat trying to sort everything out and price each item. As a consequence, I had gone red. When I go red, I get patchy. It goes away quickly, but if I have spots or any hidden blemish on my face, the red heat makes them prominent. Hence I always wear makeup in case I blush.

Well I had not put make-up on my face because I was too busy. And I must have looked slightly spotty. As I exited my flat, I noticed a really dirty man in glasses staring at me from the bus stop opposite. His brown hair was matted, his beard was dirty, his glasses did not fit his grey face, and his shoes were unlaced and barely there.

As I passed him, he shouted out: "BAD SPOTS! BAD SPOTS!"

"Coming from you, that's a compliment" I snapped back. But his comment had a cathartic effect on me - I had a grin on my face for the next hour every time I thought of it. So his name forever more will be Bad Spots.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another stunningly embarrassing moment for the Mermaid

So I was sitting on the bus home last night.

It being a very crowded bus, the only seats left were at the top, right at the back. You know the ones I mean... they were the hard grey plastic seats opposite the row of seats that line the very back of the bus. This means that you are forced to eyeball whoever is squished into the seat opposite you.

In my case, this was two Polish builders, who were very polite and moved their bags to give me more leg room.

However, the traffic being stop and start,
the seats being very slippery
and my coat being of a non-stick material

... I found myself ending up with my head in the guy's crotch when the bus jerked suddenly and I shot forward. Putting my hand out to steady myself I ended up pushing him hard in the chest before I slid off into a kneeling position, face-first, into his groinal area.

He was shocked, to say the least; his friend was laughing so hard everyone was turning round to see what had transpired.

All I could muster, between laughter and profuse apologies, was: "Well, I've not done THAT before."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A poo story

At the risk of being labelled a public school product, which of course I am, I have to confess I do enjoy the odd poo story.

This is not exactly about poo, but I hope you enjoy it.

Last weekend, I went to visit Paddy's Mum and we spent an enjoyable weekend chillin' and chatting as women do. Saturday evening we went to the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds to watch a comic rendition/stage adaptation of Noel Coward's film Brief Encounter.

Great film by the way, I advise you to watch it and try to understand what Celia Johnston has actually said in that fast and clipped English voice of hers.

So it's the interval, and we're being jostled by several coach-loads of upper-class Saga tourists. A young man pushes past us: "Father! Father!". It was like being stuck at Twickenham.

We went to the ladies. Clare dived in first, I found an empty cubicle at the end of the room. Plenty of posh twittering outside the doors by the sinks. I'd already flushed and was ready to leave.... when the Evil Thought arose.

Something I used to do to Clare many many years ago but have not done for several years...

I stayed in the cubicle and started to groan.


the room went a little quieter, enough for me to hear clare start to laugh. She was evidently by the sinks.


By now, clare was laughing aloud and was at the hand-dryer, which was just outside my cubicle.

I prepared myself for the grand finale.


I flushed quickly and came out, giving a really hard stare at the cubicle next to me, and looking shocked. The genteel ladies by the sink raised their eyebrows. Clare and I were laughing. I nodded my head in the general direction of the next cubicle, shook it in mock horror and left, just in time to see this behatted, unwitting old dame exit aforementioned cubicle to be met by a host of stony glares.

I've never laughed so much in public in my life.

The aftermath

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Leave Heather Mills Alone

Heather Mills

I have not always been nice to Heather Mills. I have labelled her a gold-digger, a celebrity-hungry wannabe without a leg to stand on. But I am taking it all back after reading the interview stories following her appearance on GMTV.

Firstly, my friends in the media have completley misrepresented her interview, producing spurious headlines with no regard for accuracy. None seem to have actually received and read and understood the full broadcast transcript of that interview, so they are misquoting each other in a bid to out-do each other in their villification of Heather Mills.

What she actually said, if people can be bothered to look past their own preconceptions and prejudices, is that she hates the fact that ordinary people feel they have a right to come up to her in public and swear and shout abuse at her in front of her 4-year old daughter. And the reason for this is because a lot of middle-aged blokes who are afraid their wives will screw them for a lot of money, and who also grew up with The Beatles, have portrayed all her bad points in such a way that we now all believe she must be evil and therefore must be destroyed.

Furthermore, she NEVER said she was like Diana or Kate McCann. She said: "What sort of society are we living in when it becomes acceptable for the media to intrude into every part of our lives and feel they have the right to hound us and to judge us... look at what they did to Diana. Look at Kate and her husband. They've lost a daughter and it is so very sad, but on top of that they have to deal with all the media intrusion."

They have also made it acceptable for us to take the piss out of people who have a disability because, well, if we don't like the person, then it's okay to subject them to cheap jokes like the one I started this blog post with.

For 20 years Heather Mills was the media darling who had overcome a horrific accident and who had devoted her life to charitable causes. Then she married Paul and for a while all was well. The trouble is, we were't over Linda. We all loved Linda McCartney and could not forgive Paul for marrying so quickly. Suddenly we started to applaud Stella McCartney for her distaste for her father's marriage. In fact, all the kids quickly took arms against Heather.

If any of you have been a step-parent you must know how hard it is if the kids dont like you - especially so when the children are all celebrities, adults and have resonance with the press. Heather was doomed and so was the marriage. Even when she gave up all for-profit appearances and became a mother, it didn't do her any favours - she had no income of her own. If I were a wife and mother for four years and had given up my income to run a household, I would expect that, if the marriage broke down, I would be entitled to a share of that income for the duration of my stay. Her problem was that she asked for more.


OKAY, perhaps given the sums involved it could be greedy. To people like you and me, who dont have that kind of money, it is obscene. But that does not give us the right to judge.

Also it's HER, not Paul, who wants to look after the child. Paul doesn't want to take any responsibility for the upbringing of his legal offspring. So what does that say about him? That he's more concerned about his own music than about his children. After all, he never consulted his children before he married Heather, and he doesn't seem to care about his 4-year old otherwise he would make public moves to stop all this public villification of the mother of his child.

Some more points of contention

1) Paul McCartney has had so much facial surgery that it must have taken a lot of love to wake up to that each morning. Look at his latest photos. The man draws his own eyebrows on. That is simply scary.

2) Paul McCartney was responsible for THE FROG SONG

3) John Lennon was the creative genius behind the Beatles. Paul McCartney was not brilliant without him. Look at his recent stuff. It's like watching your granddad do karaoke at a family wedding.

Oy, Granddad, NO!

Monday, October 29, 2007

stars and stripes

So I was at another wedding on Saturday, which was wonderful. But I'm not going to bore you with stories about dancing queens. No, instead I shall tell you about my journey there and back. After all, was it not Sterne who once said: "To travel is better than to arrive?" Or was that someone else? No matter, he was talking balls.


Waiting for the taxi to arrive chez moi, I thought it expedient to ask the operator what colour car would be picking me up. "A white peugeot". It was a blue skoda.
Then the guy got lost. A 20-min drive took nearly an hour. He should have driven me to south croydon. He took me to West Wycombe. Then he almost lost the entrance to the Hotel and Golf Club and nearly crashed into the wall...

The Journey back

I know - once bitten, twice should be shy. But it was nearly 1pm, I was sharing with a couple of friends, and the taxi firm is cheap. I also naively assumed that, having already driven there, the driver would be able to find his way back relatively easily. But the first conversation with the taxi firm operator went thusly:

"Please may I have a taxi to Streatham"
"Where is that?"
"You ARE streatham vale taxis?"
"Well, Streatham is where you are"
"Oh yes okay ma'am thank you very much okay where you want go to?"
"WHere picking you up from tonight"
"The Selsdon Park Hotel"
"Where is that?"
"In Selsdon"
"What is the name of the place in Selsdon"
"The... Selsdon... Park... Hotel"
"I will send him...he has a silver peugeot. What is your name?
I lied: "SAM"
"How do you spell that madam pliss"
"S - A - M"

Of course by now I should have been worrying. But I did not start really worrying until 45 minutes later when my phone rang and a croaky foreign voice creaked out: "Hello lady? I am ringing to say that I am not the same driver, I am the different driver"
"Right... so do you know where you are going?"
"I will be there in 15 minutes. Where is it?"
"Selsdon Park Hotel. It has an exclusive driveway"
"I will drive into the Park"
"Um... not the park, don't drive it into the park, it's going to end up in the playground... it's called the Selsdon Park Hotel and Golf Club."
"You at the golf club or at the park?"


Breathe...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10...

"No dear, let's take this from the top. Drive down the A23 to Croydon and on the flyover, take the A2022. Continue down towards Sanderstead, and then you will find a BIG BIG BIG Sainsbury's on the roundabout. The entrance to the SELSDON PARK HOTEL AND GOLF CLUB is right next door, the very very very first entrance on the LEFT. DRIVE UP THE DRIVEWAY. IT HAS YELLOW POSTS AND TYRE MARKS IN THE FLOWERBED FROM YOUR LAST DRIVER"

"yiss yiss I have I know - I three minutes, maybe three, maybe 10 minutes away"...

By now it was half one and I wanted to cry. Miraculously... it was a silver peugeot -and he knew the way back home. However, he did not seem to believe me that I lived on a one-way street. I ended up having to walk up my road simply to stop him reversing several times into the Police Station in the road adjacent to mine. What a croc!


I saw a shooting star! It was travelling extremely fast, and almost completely horizontally across the horizon! How cool is that? And no, it was not a firework. And yes, I did make a wish.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mermaid on the rampage

Mermaid and Major General Lobby the Lobster

The other night I was woken up by the sound of what I thought was a pair of drunks singing. It was about 5:30 but I was so soporific I could not actually wake myself up properly, but I remember feeling very afraid and vulnerable so I prayed about it. Usually I would have just called the Royal Guards of Oceana - the great lobster army, led by major-general Lobby the lobster (pictured, above) - to go and investigate, but I realised that Lobby lives in Canada.

The next morning I read that two men had been shot, one fatally, at the top of my road. My road is almost as famous as I am. Streatham is becoming dangerous and the Mermaid is at the end of her very patient tether.

When I first moved in, on the first week of my residence down that road, two robbers dressed as cleaners cleaned out the barclays bank at the top of the road. Given that it was my mum's bank, this was disturbing. Two months later, the road was cordoned off one evening following a "gun incident". Several months later there was a fatal stabbing after a domestic row, and now this double shooting.

Some people may say this is an unnatural coincidence, as they have heard of the mermaid's propensity for stapling things and stalking celebrities Mermaid is Healed! but I assure you, these events are all unrelated to me, and besides no-one knows about the disappearance of several postmen whom I have captured and forced to make endless supplies of staples to satiate my insane craving for them. Oh no, that is our little secret. Mua ha. Mua ha ha.

But now the mermaid is at the end of her tether. She has already started kick-boxing training at her local gym and is paying far too much attention to X-men films. I am worried about myself, that I might turn into an urban vigilante, haunting the streets of St. Reatham to hunt down and nullify threats to the safety and honour of our streets. Except I would be bad at this for several reasons:

1) I am fast with a staple gun, the fastest paper-clipper in the West. But a bullet is still faster
2) I couldn't kick-box my way out of a wet paper bag
3) If I were able to staple a felon to the ground, I'd be distracted too easily by anything cute and fluffy... "Hand over those stolen goods, you charlatan!"
"Look over there"
"There - I think it's a kitten"
"Awww... here, puss puss puss..... darn! He wouldn't have gotten away with it if it were not for you pesky cats...."

So there you have it. A frustrated wannabe vigilante. In addition to all my other problems of the heart. But be warned I WILL be watching my road. And if I hear any strange noises again, I will be ready and armed with my biggest, bad-ass stapler. Failing that, I shall simply throw Monty at them. He can be a bit of a demon...


Friday, October 19, 2007


1) I have broken my toilet again. IT WONT SCREW UP PROPERLY
2) Monty sicked up on my Duvet. My winter duvet. With my most expensive embroidered white egyptian cotton duvet cover. Its now in the bath as it is too big to wash
3) I am finding that old feelings are being stirred up again. Which I find very confusing.
4) I have spent four nights this week playing... TETRIS. AND I suck at it.
5) I hate the Independent on Sunday. Although I love the Telegraph
6) I am not eating properly.
7) Men suck
8) Cats are my only friends
9) I have a permanent headache
10) I feel sick
11) Life sucks
12) There's no chocolate in the house
13) The Independent on Sunday Sucks
14) I keep thinking about someone
15) That sucks
16) I need a holiday
17) I dont want to spend it playing Tetris
18) I missed off the apostrophe from don't in 17) and I'm not even bothered
19) I went a whole day without checking my blog
20) I have 20 reasons to be miserable

20 reasons to be happy:

1) My cat loves me
2) My friends love me, but most never call me, and if they do, only one (Clare) actually calls me just for a chat. the others call me because they are blue and need to vent their feelings and I listen like the mug that I am.
3) Geoff Ho proposed ( I said no)
4) I have broadband
5) I've lost three pounds
6) The telegraph wants me to write some stuff for it
7) Someone bought a card off me today ( I make cards)
8) People think I'm funny
9) My hair looks great since I got it done on Tuesday
10) My cat loves me
11) I have broadband
12) I stayed alive for a whole day without checking my blog
13) Geoff Ho proposed (and I said no). Actually 3 and 13 are not reasons for him to rejoice, but at least I will die knowing that someone wanted to marry me, even if it was by kneeling down at a press party and giving me a weightwatchers calculator instead of a ring.
14) I have a weightwatchers calculator
15) I know how to use apostrophes
16) My cat loves me
17) I have spare duvets
18) er
19) that's it...
20) David Hasslehoff

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chip off the old female block

There are so many people in the world, all of whom have business to do, managing their own affairs and helping their own families.

Then there are some who do so well at managing their own family affairs that they have to start managing their own.

Take my mum’s next door neighbour, whose loud-mouth brother often decides to irritate my mother. Once, when my kitten was in her front yard, the Fat Baldie came out and hissed at the cat, then proceeded to launch a tirade to the trees and parked cars about how much he “hated that cat.” The fact it was the first time that Monty had ever visited mum did not seem to register in his dinosaur-like brain (pea-sized and extinct).

The next time mum chanced upon the SOB was when she caught him lobbing fag butts over her fence into her dahlia bed.

Mum is usually shy around strangers and who, in the typical English way, won't do anything because “I don’t want to make a fuss.” Instead she usually mutters and moans sarcastic epithets aloud hoping he will get the message.

But the worm turned the other day. Having discovered a wasp’s nest under her bedroom window eaves, she was talking to the neighbour on the other side about how to get rid of it. Now she has had a small hole in her roof for about six months and has patched it up on the inside, rather than getting someone to fix a new tile on. “It’s on the to-do list.”

While discussing with nice neighbour about the nest, she said: “I don’t know how they got there, we removed a nest from the shed last year and I thought they had gone.”

Suddenly the SOB popped his head over the fence: “They will come in if you got a bloody big hole in your roof, that’s how they bloody well get in, through a bloody great big hole.”

“In that case they’ll be nesting in your mouth next year,” replied my mum.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Terracotta Worriers Bite Their Nails

As mum said: What a day.

It started out so well- a lie in, nice sunny weather, got to mums at 11:30 (1/2 hour earlier than 12 deadline)... and then things started to go wrong. We were intending to go to see the terracotta warriors, well, they'd been inviting us round for ages but we were always too busy. We expected to have to queue up for tickets to get in, hence we wanted to leave before 12.

1) by the time we got to the bus stop, I noticed mum's shoelace was undone. I knelt down -in a massive swab of gooey lung cookie and without thinking, went to wipe my knee with my finger, thus ensuing much panic and overuse of baby wipes. Yuck yuck yuck.

2) Victoria station underground was closed. We got on a bus

3) Bus got stuck in traffic for an hour near Piccadilly

4) The Terracotta warriors were booked up. Until JANUARY

5) We booked January but the lady got the date on the tickets wrong and so we had to wait again in the queue to get the right ones

6) Too jaded to look round the b-mus, we decided to get a bit of food. Although we were nearly the first people in the restaurant, EVERYONE was served before us and the brie in my "gourmet sandwich" was tasteless and salty. French cuisine, my foot.

7) The tube on the way back home caught fire. As soon as we got on at oxford circus I could smell burning rubber. I asked anyone if they were slightly perturbed by this. The couple opposite said: "if there is smoke, that is when you have to worry." Three tube workers were in my carriage, I asked them if they knew why there was a really bad smell of burning rubber. They just shrugged. By now mum was getting embarrassed by my harrying. Thankfully I was proved right when, at pimlico, the tube driver announced with characteristic understatement: "ladies and gentlemen, I have been informed there is an apparent defect on this train. Please get off here."

As we got off, there was billowing smoke from a few carriages up. "Apparent defect?!" I yipped, a little like a Westie, it has to be admitted. "The ruddy train is on FIRE."

The tube workers just laughed.

Mum and I decided to get the bus - but NOBODY else left the platform. Are people IDIOTS? There's a ruddy train on fire, there is no way it is suddenly going to open the doors and let people on again. All trains are going to be held up for hours to come, so WHY were they all (and I mean, at least 100 people) standing there gormlessly looking on? Are they complete and utter gooseberries? Did they drop out of the silly tree and hit every branch on the way down? Were they all at a convention for the protection of total plonkers? When they were born, did the doctor squeeze their heads a bit too tightly?

What if it had been a bomb? I cannot express my utter disbelief at this sorry batch of humanity. What morons. They deserve to have been blown up to prevent the gene pool being further diluted by these brainless imbeciles. Really, the case for involuntary sterlisation gets harder to argue against each day. When we exited the station, there was a worried-looking mother who came up to ask us whether there was a train on fire as she could smell the smoke from the foyer and was worried about her son, who she was meant to be meeting. I said: "Yeah, its on fire, but everyone else decided to stay down there and watch instead of coming up." It's like those horror films - people hear a creepy noise, the lights go out and they go to investigate to see where that unearthly shrieking and running water is coming from. Not me, matey. If I heard a scary noise I'd be out of that house like a shot, running hell for leather until I was in a crowded place, most likely a police station where there are lots of strong men and women with guns and things to protect me. "He who lives to run away, lives to run away another day." Curiosity will not kill this cat, no siree.

8) We finally get home and nip to Sainsbury's, where mum forgets to get cash back and then goes back for a second try. After which she is convinced that the dopey man serving her has memorised all her card details because she can't find her bill, so even though she actually has her card, she cancels it in case the man has stolen her identity. If he were really able to memorise all the numbers on a card in less than 20 seconds, he would not be a 30-year old Sainsbury's till assistant. Yet somehow it is MY fault for giving mum a nectar card and I have to listen to a whole saga about why he would not have given her a bill (my suggestion - that he just forgot - was considered "parochial" and "missing the point").

Seriously, you can't make this up. Mugabe himself could not imagine such torture for me. All because I cursed the person who swabbed on the ground. I bet that person has been having a wonderful day. I would damn him again, but I can't deal with any more bad karma. Seriously, Old Testament dudes cursed people all the time and they were blessed. Elisha was mocked by loads of asbos for being a baldy, so he curses them and a bear comes out and mauls 42 of them. I curse a pavement spitter and it's me that gets a shoddy day. Why couldn't a bear have come out of the sideroad and bitten that gobbing chump on the rear, just to assure me that there is retribution on this earth? Well, maybe not a bear, but perhaps a dog? Even a pigeon. Just anything.

9) At last I get home, with my Tiffin, hot chocolate drink and double-bill of Friends. I get a phone call from mum, where she informs me that she was chatted up by a local shopkeeper, but when she left the shop she realised her fly was open. It's not really retribution but it helped.

At the time of writing, it's 11:10. I don't think anything else can go wrong, but just in case I hear a creepy noise, I've got the police station right behind my flat. I take no chances.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Hello all! I am interviewing Geoff Hoon at 1:30 today at Downing Street.

I will be asking him questions about his role as City Minister and Chief Whip, what Labour's plans for London are (business, Finance, Crossrail) etc.

If you have any questions (sensible ones) please post them here and I will ask them for you!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Piglet wants Hitch campaign

News just in. Lilith's puppy Piglet has joined an international campaign to find The Hitch, who disappeared from the blogosphere at around 10pm last night. His parents and friends were having a meal down the road when the Hitch disappeared without a trace. Interpol have been working round the clock on the case and as yet there is no news of the Hitch's whereabouts, although there have been rumours he may be in Morocco.

Pictures of the Hitch have gone up at every major world airport, together with the public plea from Piglet to bring the Hitch back. Anyone with any news concerning the Hitch's whereabouts should contact the Piglet on

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ode to a lilith

Lilith, the Storm Demon

Oh first wife of Adam!
Oh Lilith divine
You've gone and deleted
All access of mine

Your blog is a haven
Enshrouded in mist
Your posts like a memory;
So terribly missed.

Has Adam recalled you?
Has the storm run its course?
Will you open your blog,
Let us in through its doors?

Take note fellow bloggers,
Offend not this power
Or she'll spike all her posts
And turn your milk sour...

EJ Thribb, 6,500 1/2,
Descendant of Adam and Lilith

Friday, September 21, 2007

Finger-lickin' good!

A bargain bucket of joy

For several weeks I have been craving a bargain bucket. To the uninitiated this is a cardboard tub of crispy KFC bits in that finger-lickin good crispy coating. A rotunda of joy. A barrel of golden spicy-scented edible fine-tasting beastliness that you just shouldn’t and yet… yet it is so so good. Oh it is goooooooooood.

But I have not had any for a long time. I have not even thought about it since at least April, when I began going in earnest to the gym and eating healthily. I have passed by the Colonel’s smiling face on the local KFC “restaurant” without so much as a glance. But recently I have craved that meat like I have rarely craved anything. I would give up all my staplers for one mouth-watering box of chicken-lite delight.

I started seeing his face in my dreams, in trees, even NASA images picked up a KFC satellite image of the Colonel on the moon

But I overcame. I did not give in. I picked up some goujons from Sainsburys’ instead as I did not want to start down the fast food route again. And I was glad I did, for in searching for a picture of a bargain bucket - this was when I was still in the middle of deciding to get a tub - I came across some horrific images. It cannot be said that I believe all of these allegations - after all, what is online is largely unpoliced and therefore the laws of libel and slander are much harder to uphold when dealing with cyber-space. That hot chick whose only train of thought seems to centre around sex may turn out to be a balding, scab-encrusted mass murdering man serving time in a state penitentiary. The man who seems to be a wonderful, charming brainiac turns out to be Neo-Nazi who wears tight pink lederhosen and rubber ducks on his strong and Aryan nipples. Things are never what they seem, that’s all I’m saying.

So with that caveat, I bring you the KFC hall of shame, courtesy of Peta, the animal rights campaigners…

A typical KFC chicken coop

PETA image

Open letter to the chairman of KFC From Peta Director Ingrid Newkirk, states:

'Each bird whom KFC puts into a box or bucket had a miserable life and a frightening death. People would be shocked to see our footage of a KFC supplier's employee who walks through a barn, lighting lamps and letting flames fall on the terrified birds. The air inside these filthy barns reeks of ammonia fumes."

Another indictment on we over-indulged westerners who cant be bothered to stick a carrot in a kettle and boil it up for a healthy, low-fat treat.

So if that has not put me off having any KFC ever again in my whole entire life, then the threat of the chicken wing… the flabby chicken wing that awaits all the unwary fast food eaters in the world should have put the final nail in the coffin of the Colonel’s spicy chicken box of delights… too much KFC and you will look like this:

UK teenager on a diet

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Am I dead?

no, but my internet connection at home is taking 600 years to finish. Still at least I have realised that all my home maintenance problems are not really my fault - it runs in the family....
Old Tarf has building rage

Friday, September 14, 2007



Posts on eggs, bargain buckets and rainbow shoes to come...

Been a mad couple of weeks. I've even broken two nails.


oh, but I found an electrician by the way.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Here's one John G prepared earlier

John G John's in the pub instructed me to do the following:

Write a coherent(ish)story that must contain 10 words designated by the Tag-er. Our posts [John G and Spanish Goth] are done... These are yours:


So... that was it - I've used the words. Hopefully this will keep Mutley happy as he's been bugging me to do a new post for a few days now.

Phoey. I've been told I can't cheat like that. Botheration! John G's one is MUCH better than mine as well. Condarnit fella!


William was busy eating his soup when he thought he heard a noise outside his window. At first he was too lazy to investigate, but he could not shake off the nagging feeling that someone was shouting for help. "Poo", he said, not being a man given to stronger or fruitier epithets. Putting down his spoon, he stood up and walked towards the lighthouse door, pausing only to emit a thoroughly satisfying fart, which rumbled down his trouser leg and echoed up the stairwell. "Nice", he said. "That should have been registered by the Guinness Book of Records."
He slowly unlocked the door, subconsciously wafting the fresh salt air into the hallway, which was still fuggy with his gut-rottingly foul butt-breath. On the step was Lucifer, his bat-eared cat, who was staring out to sea and growling like a hungry dragon.
"'Ello Luci", William said, scratching the furry black beastie on its back. "What's out there?"
"Help"... the plea carried faintly now upon the ocean breeze. Being a calm day, William walked to the edge of the rocks and peered out into the briny mass. A hand? Was that a hand waving by the abandoned jetty? He squinted. Yes... Quick as a flash, he unmoored his rowing boat and headed out past the rocks, carefully, slowly, but with a sense of purpose. As he neared the tumbledown jetty, he could see a beautiful woman, seemingly entangled in some wire netting. "Help me" she said as she struggled to free herself.
The nearer he got, the more he realised this was the woman of his dreams - flowing black hair, eyes the colour of the sea after a storm... He reached out with the oar but she seemed scared of him. "No, just release me" she pleaded. He stopped, puzzled. As he hesitated, he looked down and realised with shock that she had a tail. A fish tail, shimmery with myriad rainbows in the shallow salt water.
"I cannot leave the sea" she said, "Or I will die".
Numbly, he nodded and, as if it were an everyday affair, he set about cutting the enmeshing wires that were pressing painfully into her flesh. Five minutes later, she was free.
"Thank you" she smiled, and with that, the mermaid was gone, back into the deeps and back into legend.
Broken-hearted, he returned to his lighthouse. Picking up Lucifer in one hand, he opened the door. "No sex for me again tonight," he muttered.

THAT'S IT... Now I tag MUTLEY. Your Words Are:


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Good day, bad day…

Someone once asked me whether everything I wrote was true. Sadly, it is. This is my life. This stuff happens. I may be nutty (Hitch!) but at least every day is a mini-adventure with me.

This blog is an account of my Tuesday this week.

Good Day: I wake up, relatively refreshed, ready to face the tube strike

Bad Day: I have woken up refreshed because I slept through the alarm

Good Day: But I am still in time to catch the dustmen, as I throw a coat on over my jammies and run downstairs with my bin bag

Bad Day: Shutting my door behind me,locking myself out

Good Day: I know I can climb up my downstairs’ neighbour’s drainpipe to get in (Having done so three times before in my life, see: Blinds and moet

Bad Day: My bathroom window is shut

Good Day: My downstairs neighbour is in, and lets me into the garden, gives me a table and a ladder and helps me into my kitchen window

Bad Day: Once inside, I head to the bathroom where I see lots of stringy things on the floor. On closer inspection, they are evidently jointed, thick, and hairy. And there are eight of them scattered about. This means that the arachnid monster was snargling* in my bathroom all night long… eeek!

Good Day: I realise that Monty has saved me from the lang-legged beastie by eating it, although he may have tortured the poor creature to death. Monty is the Defender of Female Bathrooms! Huzzah!

More Good News: I am on time for work!

*Snargle: The noise a spider makes when it sits in its dark corner, alone, brooding on its black thoughts, contemplating wickedness, and shaking its mandibles ruefully at society.

Monday, September 03, 2007

General hatred - content caution

WHAT is the point of ANYTHING? Why do we exist in this meaningless, vain universe!? Why? Why I ask you? Dammit, WHY?

Various such questions and accompanying epithets nudged my sensitive nature over the weekend when everything golden that I touched turned to dust and ashes in my fingertips. No, I had not suddenly developed a rather macabre superpower although I DID wish for super-human strength so that I could pussy-whip the "electrician" into a bleeding mass with my bare hands.

Last week, I over-enthusiastically pulled the light cord on my ceiling fan/light and the cord broke, leaving me bathed in permanent unnatural light. The only way to prevent increasing my carbon footprint (and the risk of fire) was to take the bulbs out.

So I called an electrician who had been recommended by my mother. Well, I do like to try to do things myself to save myself the hassle of waiting in for someone, but there was no way I would deal with electricity myself, especially after I offered to help mum do her lights last year and got stung by quite a few volts, which she thought was funny.

The conversation went thusly:

"Hello - is that Barry?"
"Yes, who's asking?"
"Oh, my name is ********* and my mother ******* recommended you to me as you recently did some electrical work for her."
"What do you want?"
"Well, I've broken my ceiling light and I cannot replace it myself - it is on permanently and there is no light switch on the wall for me to turn it off."
"Can't you use the light switch on the wall instead?"
"No, there isn't one. It's a ceiling fan/light and I pulled the light cord too hard."
"Well I can't fix it."
"No, the part's too small. It's gone. You can't fix it. What, did you expect me to fix it?"

At this point, part of me wanted to say:

"What the fling flang jang did you think I was ringing you for, you butt-wipe? You're a bloody electrician, aren't you? Of course I wanted you to fix it! For the love of mercy!"

However, I did not. I merely replied in a clipped tone worthy of Helen Mirren:
"Yes, actually, I did."
"Well I can't. If you buy a new light from Homebase I can fix that for you. Go out, buy the light and I will fix it for you this afternoon."

I thanked him, and decided to take his advice. After all, mum had said he was a bit old and crotchety and I thought maybe he was not used to phone conversations or had not had any lessons in basic civility.

However, a tense and fraught trip to homebase later (during which I argued with my mother, fell over on the bus and got chatted up by some bloke while his wife was standing in the queue in front - ew! Icky, icky man!) I called him.

"The person you are calling is not accepting calls from this number. The person you are calling is not accepting calls from this number."

EITHER he has the best sense of dark humour in the world, like the Cable Guy, or he's a complete and utter freak. I DO NOT STALK ELECTRICIANS.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rehab? No, no no...

I am healed! Now I know that my stalking days are over! For I have, for the first time in my albeit short but incredibly staple-filled life, I have showed remarkable strength in the face of adversity and preternatural restraint in the face of a celebrity. Yes, I did NOT approach a celebrity in the street, point at them, and say: you're off the telly.

My brush with celebrities began when I was in my early twenties and the series The Office was being shown for the first time on TV. One evening I got on the tube home at Warren Street and, leaping onto the train, I bumped into TIM FROM THE OFFICE, otherwise known as Martin Freeman. Instead of tipping him the nod to let him casually know that I had clocked him, but was mature enough not to approach him, I went right up to him, pointed at him, and said: "You're Tim from The Office or some other such banality. Not to be put off by his non=committal yes, thanks and the fact his body language was saying something else, probably with four letters and ending with something that rhymes with duck, I continued: "I really love The Office. It's brilliant" (How I CRINGE now)
"Yes, thanks."
I was unstoppable. Someone should have, for the love of all that is good and true in this world, stopped me, before I asked: "So, what are you doing now?"
Tim-from-The-Office looked terrified. His voice went a little trembly and squeaky as his balls crept back up inside. "Er... I'm just going out with friends."

In my defence, I was actually asking him what project he was going to be working on now the first series had finished, but I was by then (alas! too late) too self conscious to try to explain. I sat down and contented myself with occasionally nudging whoever sat next to me and saying: "Look, that's Tim from The Office".

Since then I have met several celebrities and behaved most inappropriately. I have told Dermot McMurnaghan (the fit news reader with the static eyebrow) that I didn't realise he had to wear so much make up when he went on TV. Gyles Brandreth made me laugh so much that I ended up snorting tea out of my nose in front of him when I was interviewing him.

I have captain-saluted Richard Gere while he was surrounded by heavies and beauties and some heavy beauties). To his credit, he did salute me back, before he realised he didn't know who the hell I was.

This was at the same after-show party where I decided to drag a Canadian friend of mine called Helen around in search of celebrities to accost/rob/find out where they live so I could go home first and shave their cats. Poor Helen had to endure me becoming extremely pompous and pointing out our English stars in the room ("Look! That's the shit one from Steps, called H"). We walked past Vanessa Feltz who was talking to someone. As we passed, I became pompous again in the style of, as Gorilla Bananas has suggested, Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder. "Hey, lookin' good, 'Nessa", I said, pointing at her and nodding.
"Thanks" she smiled, before she realised she had no idea who the heck I was. But that was not the worst thing in the world. That came later, when I poured urine all over 50 years of British Film Making History.

We were standing around watching some boring dancing lesson from some overpaid wussbags Gloria Gaylord and Sebastian Schlong-Slinger Latin duo. I noticed an elderly lady next to me trying to stand on a chair so she could see. There was an even more frighteningly ancient mariner, with grey beard and weeping rheumy eye, trying to hoist her up.
"May I help?" I asked.
"No thank you my dear," she said, turning to me and beaming sweetly. That smile! Those eyes! It was...
"Honor Blackman!" I breathed in awe.
She smiled again, beatifically, Diana-like. I know I should have just bowed graciously, and remembered Santa Honoria as the one celebrity that did not request me to remain at least 100 meters away from her or any member of her family.
Sadly, I did not.
I said: "You recently won an award, didn t you? I read it in the paper."
Her eyes turned to steel, her Bond Girl smile froze into a sneer.
"Yes. Sexiest Over Seventy." She hissed venomously.

I shrank. I felt small, insignificant, unworthy. Rejected by Honor! What a disgrace. I think at least she could have been more kind to me, after all, I had initially offered to assist her...

I have often thought how different things would be now that I am an internationally-known (ahem) award-winning investment writer, venerated throughout the world and a favourite show-up at the opening of an industry envelope. Oh yes, if Honor and I should chance upon each other, probably at one of Elton John's tea parties, how different it would be now.

"Mermaid? Of Moorgate? I saw you in Oceans 25."

My eyes would narrow to mere slits as I gazed past her royal oldness. Perhaps I would brush my sleeves down nonchalantly.
"I love your work..."
"Do you now, Honor. DO you?" I would ask, licking the very tip of my finger and sneeringly smoothing it over my ever-so-slightly-raised eyebrow. "Not so proud now, are we, you scraggy-necked, crack-snorting, TV-sitcom rabid whore?"
"Please forgive me - I was wrong to have snubbed you. I did not know - how stupid I was..."
"You disgust me, you aged, drop-breasted harpy. You foul, death-dodging animated cadaver. You smell like the suppurating pus-filled passage of a dead armadillo. Begone!"
"Please - I didn't mean..."
"Dmitri? Luigi? Take this scrawny hag outside. If she should happen to meet with an accident, then it s not your fault. And bring her respirator drip back as a trophy."
And I would laugh the laugh of one who laughs the last laugh.

Perhaps, though, I should thank her rather than seek her not timely enough demise. In fact, it was probably Honor who set me on the path to recovery, although Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman and Jeremy Paxman have obviously conspired against me by deliberately putting pictures of themselves in my hard drive in unnatural poses with kittens and gardening gloves just to be cruel. But I know where you all live, oh yes I do, and I can see your bathroom from my van, Gary. Oh yes. Those staples in your sink, where do you thin they came from Gary, eh? Eh? Mua ha. Mua ha ha ha. Mua ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

But I have fought againt this natural propensity and I have won. For yesterday I came face to face with Ross Kemp, aka Grant Mitchell from Eastenders. And I let him pass. I did not even salute or throw a stapler at him.

I just looked straight ahead and went on my way. I swear that, as I walked down Oxford Street, the theme tune to Chariots of Fire began to play softly in the background. I was a conqueror.

Should that Gary come looking for me, offering me fine office stationery, I know I can gently, but firmly, turn him down. Not this time, Gary, not this time. And you know you re not allowed near me or a member of my cats. Please leave..." And I would smile, beatifically, saintly, as I waved Gary Oldman on his way to rehabilitation.

Saint Mermaid of Moorgate, patron saint of stalkers and weird religious nuts everywhere.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Papa, don't preach!

I was going to write a different blog but thought that what happened at church yesterday was so amusing that it was worth recording, and perhaps allowing myself a little artistic licence, for posterity’s sake. Firstly, because funny things rarely happen in our church, unless you count the time I got my finger wedged into the radiator at George and Helen Orlebar’s wedding, or when mum dropped a bag of maltesers down the wooden church aisle during the quiet moment in communion. People were still crunching them under foot a week later. Secondly, because it would be a lot shorter than the original blog.

Anyhoo. So there was the visiting preacher, who off-stage was a funny, affable chappy, but on stage, he was pretty dull, telling anecdotes with the charisma of a school nurse. Someone had obviously told him that morning church finished at 12:15 and the evening service, 7:45. He therefore obviously felt it his bounden duty to continue the sermon onto those times, instead of wrapping up at a reasonable pace and allowing good time for hymns, grace, banter and a cup of tea afterwards. The morning service was dreary enough, with mum deciding to yawn loudly at 12:15 and several other members decidedly clearing their throats, which is the universal mark of Christian disapproval. It wasn’t what he was saying that was dull, but it was the monotone he used and his lack of suitable and appropriate emphasis on his funny stories which meant that, even in our church, with its appalling sense of humour, no-one laughed.

The evening service was worse; his prayer was so long that (gratuitous name-drop here) Daley Thompson’s granddad fell asleep and, when we all said amen, he stood up for the last hymn, thinking the sermon had been said and done. Except veryone else was remaining seated for the collection. By the time the sermon had gone on for about half an hour, with anecdote after anecdote sandwiched in without a shred of variation of tone, most people were asleep. Even our more vocal Pentecostal contingent were not to be heard amen-ing or "that’s right"-ing anymore. 45 minutes later, the preacher seemed to warm up slightly and we thought he was wrapping up. Nu-huh. People started clearing their throats, rummaging in their bags and looking at the clock.

Then it happened. The preacher said: "Blah blah blah & And then Christ will come in Glory and bring the last days to an end." Immediately, one of our elderly gentlemen, a usually quiet chap, yelled out: “Yes, Lord, bring an end to all things.”
The church trickled to life with a murmur as some of us laughed aloud while others uttered holy “Ohs” (especially those who wanted to laugh but were not sure whether it would be allowed). The preacher blinked. The corner of his owlish mouth twitched. Then he started to chortle. “I think that wraps that up”, he said, and shut the Bible.


Pictures of Monty for The Hitch Here he is who wanted to see him, for some reason.


That Sink-ing feeling

I am so cute!

The finer things in life

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blinds and Moet do not mix

"Why don't you get a man in?"

This is the usual response from my mother. For clarification, this is referring to my propensity to conduct late-night DIY, not referring to her other frequent and similar comment: "Why don't you get married and have kids?" This is to be translated as: "Where are my grandchildren?"

I've given up answering the second question. In fact, I give up mentioning the names of any male friend because if I do start a man-oriented anecdote, mum will say: "Why don't you marry him?" "Because he's gay" is the best response.

The other day, a male rang me on my moby at mum's house and when I got off the phone, she said: "He sounds nice, why don't you marry him?"
"Mum, that was our pastor."

But I have digressed. "Why don't I get a man in?" was the question that kept repeating like a record baby, round round, right round, in my cranium when, at 9:30 the other night, I decided to fix my living room blind. I'd successfully put a couple up a year ago, so I could fix this one... oui? After all, I can fix toilet seats Loo Trouble Anyway, the blind had been playing up slightly at the weekend, and by sunday it was, technically speaking, more screwed than Jodie Marsh at training camp for the US marines.

In fact, it would neither rise nor fall, remaining half-way up like the Grand Old Duke. The cords were jammed. This was not what I had anticipated when I went home on monday. I thought I could have just clambered up onto the bookshelf, untangled the cords and Bob's your uncle. Well, he's not. Neither was "uncle" Vern either, who wasn't really my uncle, and disappeared "downstate" when I was five. This was, co-incidentally, at around the same time a nice lady came to see me and give me my first Barbie.

But It Was Not To Be. Monday evening, I came home, opened the bathroom window, washed my face and put the cat out. Locking the door behind me. So, in bare feet, I had to go downstairs, and climb up the drainpipe to the first floor, open the window with one hand and heave myself up into the bathroom.

That was not the best start to the evening, especially as it had been raining. To steady my nerves, I sought the oldest rescue remedy known to womankind: Champagne. Men - take note - chocolate only works if a woman is: a) under 21, b) fat c) married.

Anyway, two glasses later and I felt bold enough to reassess the blind situation. It was really not a good idea. I almost untangled the cords, but realised that I would have to cut the end off one to enable me to feed it through. This having been successfully achieved, I then tried by the simple laws of physics, to use the friction and pull of the rotation system to re-thread the cord through. It did thread it through - but it would not come out of the other hole. After a few attempts, during which I dropped the scissors on my foot, I realised I would have to take the entire blind off. It was attached to the ceiling/lintel thingy and required a good deal of screwdriver-based efforts and another glass of Moet to get it down.

By now, I realised that I should have removed the trinkets from my bookcase top before attempting this feat. I now need two new mirror photo frames. Never mind.

Getting it onto the floor was easy. Until Monty sprang through the kitchen window and decided that this was a new game called "Let's sit on the blind and when mummy tries to pick up the cord, jump onto her arm, cling onto her hand with your teeth and every front claw, and give her the back-foot scratch attack." My arms look like a blind suicide attempt victims' thanks to this new and fun method of home entertainment.

The incident required a second/third/fourth Moet (starting to lose count, and blood). Managed to discover the secret of the pulley system - a clever and simple Archimedian technique. I love physics, it's so rational and basic. But then there was the problem of putting the blind up.

Of course there was no point in removing the remaining items on my bookcase which had escaped the first Night of the Long Blinds. Champagne glass number one of my best set is now at the local dumpster.

Holding it with one hand, and attempting to screw it back into those cheeky little rawl plugs is not a feat I wish to repeat. By 10:30 I was done. A whole hour of my life, wasted. Precious blood, sweat, champagne and tears had been shed. Never in the history of this world has so little been achieved by so few after so many Moets.

Of course, I was ravenous after my victory and decided to make myself a carbonara from scratch. I pride myself on never having bought a shop-made sauce in my life. Hence I am the carbonara queen. What I had not banked on was the fact that, another Moet later, I was wetting myself with laughter at a repeat of The Simpsons (the funniest episode ever, or was that the bubbly?) and only realised something was wrong when the fire alarm went off.

I had left the spaghetti in the saucepan, standing upright, and it had caught fire. There was only one thing left to do. with my lightning reflexes and a steady nerve, I picked up the nearest thing to me and poured the remains of the Moet over the gloaming pasta. It has to be said, it was one of the nicest carbonated carbonaras I have ever had the pleasure of making, and eating, in my life.

Or was that the Moet talking?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wish me luck!

I'm following in the footsteps of Errol Flynn, John Mills and Terry Thomas... no, I'm not joining a neo-Nazi organisation... but tomorrow, I shall be flying a Cessna 172 4-seater for the first time.

Captain Mermaid at you service, sir! Chocks away! 20,000 feet and circling... ME one-oh-nines at 12 o'clock... T-for-Tommy's hit... ratatatatat! That will teach you to follow T-For-Tommy down, you Bosches scum. AARGH! I've been tailed! Take that, Fritz... losing altitude...

If you never hear from the mermaid again, it's because I've crashed in a blaze of glory. But it would have been a wizard prang - what a way to go, celebrating my 30th in true Brit style... Roger, wilco, over and out...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Honoured (?) by the ghost of the Hitch

The Ghost of The Hitch

Well well well (three holes in the ground). I have received fame from the keyboard of a prolific blogger (click on link above)

This is the last time I tell ANYONE my dreams. Except Lily Allen, who would be thrilled with that picture. Go Lily!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Chrome Effect Wood Toilet Seat

Blog Dedication: This, I guess, is for Gorilla Bananas who has berated me for my lack of vulnerability.

Five days and three toilet seats on the same bowl. That has to be a record, right? Saturday I finally got rid of the old toilet seat, which had split down the middle and provided a resting place for each cheek. It took about four hours for me to get the old one off, partly because the previous owners were dumbnuts who obviously hadn't heard of using WD-40 in the bathroom, and partly because I had to keep going out and buying various MAN-TOOLS (no pun intended) to get the durn thing off.

One hand-saw, monkey wrench, B&D pliers, can of WD-40, three cloths, four broken nails, a screwdriver and a litany of rude words later, I lifted the lid on the old white telephone and put the new one on.

Except it was not really new - I'd had it sitting around for a few months and consequently the silver do-dad thingy was missing from one side. I cleaned the entire flat looking for the silver do-dad thingy, to no avail. As a result, three days later, the new one broke with a vengeance as I not-too-gently lowered my tired ass onto it as I stumbled, blear-eyed, out of bed at the unhallowed hour of 5:30am.

As you can imagine, I was not too happy about this state of affairs. Toilets are supposed to uphold pillars of society such as myself. Seats are supposed to stay down when they need to be down. Seats should not callously give way beneath you when you are mid-stream. There should also always be a continuous stock of toilet paper ready for every emergency. I understand that this is a female's perspective: for men, toilet seats are supposed to be up, for no other reason than that the older men get, the less able they are to pee straight and therefore need that extra 0.5 cm circumference gained by lifting - and leaving - the seat up. Men do not always need toilet paper, I was once informed by an old flame. We'll call him Simon, for that was his name. Upon exiting a public loo when out one evening and finding me waiting patiently for him with a bucket of popcorn, he gallantly took the bucket in one hand, and my hand in the other. I had a suspicious thought.

"Simon, did you wash your hand before holding mine?"
"No, but it's okay, I didn't use that one. I'm holding the popcorn with the hand I used."

Who said the course of true love ne'er did run smooth? (That was rhetorical, by the way). Anyway, he was right. It runs in a dribbling, wavy yellow line.

That evening I was late home from work and, to my surprise, saw a Woolworth's open next to the bus stop. I had a crisp craving so went in. While in there, I noticed it had a significant homeware section. As I had only three days before guests descended on me, expecting a fully functional toilet, I thought - "Can it hurt to look?" So I ventured between aisles of Chav-Plastic bathroom accessories, sporty dolphins frolicking on tasteful white loo brush holders.

And then I saw it: A Chrome Effect Wood Toilet Seat. Stifling my questions as to whether it should have been "wooden" instead of "wood", I was thrilled. My bathroom is white and the palest ice-blue, with touches of silver-painted wooden mirrors, handles etc. It was the perfect toilet seat for me. Happily, I picked it up, grabbed a bag of Doritos which were precariously balanced on top, and made my way to the till.

While in the queue, my mobile rang from the deep recesses of my handbag. Tilting my arm slightly to reach it, the seat in its box slipped, and I instinctively clasped it to my chest. As I did, the doritos fell off. I bent down to pick them up. Before I had the chance - HE picked them up for me. Ladies, his eyes! Youngish, well-built, salt and pepper hair, chiselled features, and beautiful, soul-searching brown eyes. I melted instantly. "Remember to be vulnerable" I thought, as GB had informed me in an earlier post that men like their women to be less violent and more gentle and vulnerable. I smiled and let him pick up the packet.

"Thank you" I smiled and whispered.
He smiled back. "You have your hands full", he said, and glanced down at my prospective purchase.

Namely, my chrome-effect wood toilet seat, clutched lovingly to my heart.

His smile disintegrated slowly and was replaced with a quizzical look.

"My toilet seat broke this morning when I sat on it and I have to fix a new one on tonight" I gibbered.


And that was the end of what could have been a beautiful romance. You can't blame him really. No-one clutches chrome effect wood toilet seats like that. Single, vulnerable girls do not buy or fix their own toilet seats. Well-bred, vulnerable girls certainly do not get their toilet seats from Woolworths at 8:30pm on a Wednesday evening. No, it is no use. Alan Rickman will just have to accept me for who I am, staples, chrome effect wood toilet seats and all. At least we will never run out of toilet paper.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

To stalk, or not to stalk?

I have found that I, Mrs Nice, have turned into a psychopathic, stapler-wielding stalker girl. Not that I've actually followed someone. Oh, I did, last Thursday. Okay. I am officially a loon. Lock up your chest of drawers and hide your laundry basket! Keep your cat in at night and never leave a saucepan, a rabbit and a packet of OXO together in the same vicinity. Mermaid is a stalker and she may be able to see your house from her van.

I realised this fact about 1/2 an hour ago, which is roughly five years after the rest of the world accepted the fact I was a serial werido with a penchant for jokes about poo and a frightening story about knives that I use to scare off drunk City boys who try to chat me up on the tube.

By the way, if you want to borrow the UBER-FREAK story to scare off unwanted admirers, it goes like this.

Keep your eyes fixed firmly on the victim's jugular, head slightly tilted and a sinister voice like Mr Burns, accompanying the words: "Do you like knives? I like knives... I have a whole collection under my bed... The smallest one is called Christina after a friend I had called Christina."

Suddenly, look up from their neck, stare them in the eyes without blinking, and say: "SHE GOT STABBED".

If they are still remaining in close proximity to you, start gazing at their parting and continue: "I have a very big knife too. It's called Ben, after a tall friend I had. HE GOT STABBED TOOOOOO."

I used it once on a fund manager I was having lunch with. He did not want to divulge any details about a company merger and I really needed the story. What's the point of taking a journo to lunch if you don't dish the dirt? So I told the story to him, while the PR I was with silently pissed himself and the manager - the honest truth - backed his chair up so far away from me that he hit the wall behind him and was still trying to back away even though he could not get anywhere. His little legs were desperately working away at the marble floor, trying to propel him into safety. Aw, bless. He's a very good friend of mine now, is Aidan.

I even have a knife named after him.

I've digressed. No I DON'T have a massive knife collection under my bed. I don't have a knife collection at all. Yes, Christina, Ben and Aidan are all still very much alive and living a long, long way away from me.

But back to stalking. On a level from 1-10, with 1 sounding like the "knife" sound from Hitchcock's Psycho, and 10 sounding like the theme tune to Jaws, here are the reasons why I think I am a stalker:

1) I have actually found out where Alan Rickman lives

2) I thought about standing outside his house and "accidentally" bumping into him

3) I would staple a man to my floor to prevent another one getting away.

4) I have followed a man off the train. Okay, now this sounds worse than it is. He was young, handsome and kept smiling at me all the way on the train journey. I was interested. He was also interested. Given that he had 10 mins to speak to me, I was pretty miffed when he got off one stop before mine, opened his mouth to speak, and then left the carriage. I mean, I don't LOOK scary and I'd not mentioned the word "Knife" or "stapler" or "Severus Snape" once. WHY are men such cowards? In the US and Canada, they're really forthright and will approach a girl regardless of the consequences. In England, they just tremble their lips slightly like Hugh Grant in one of his ground-breaking, Oscar-award-winning psychological foreign film noir roles, and run away. Some have been known to say "Hem". What is with men in their 30s? Get a life. Anyway so he started to get off, and I thought, well, give him another chance. I got off too. I know the area really well and I needed to use the big Sainsbury's anyway. I've not done that before. No it was not successful. The ginger-haired twat.

5) I keep the telephone numbers of ex boyfriends. I never use them, but I keep them. you never know.

6) I dream about Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman and, lately, Jeremy Paxman. Oh yes.

7) Getting married seems increasingly like a dumb idea to me. I might just become a mistress. Men don't want to get married anyway, and if do, they're only going to be like the ones I end up with all the time and expect me to pat them on the back and whoop like a cheerleader every time they fart. Even if my farts are better.

8) I would definitely approach a nice-looking guy in a bar and ask for his number. For you, this might not be a crazy thing to do. For me, this is a sea-change in the way I approach my potential conquests. I usually run away and hide.

9) I'm starting to think violence is the answer to most of my problems. I've started to listen to all my old 1980's heavy metal albums for the first time in 15 years.

10) I have not eaten a bar of chocolate for four weeks, being fixated instead on fantasies. When a woman eschews chocolate as a form of stress-relief, the world should be very worried.

So... I think I am a stalker. I am sorry, all of you. Forgive me.

But I am also thinking - is this really such a bad thing? I'm sure Alan would love some hair clippings. Which do you think he would like most? They're from head, armpits and elsewhere.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Severus Snape and the demise of Alan Rickman

I never read the sixth Harry Potter novel.

Sorry, let me start from the beginning.

I have only read one HP novel - The Order of the Phoenix, in 2003. This was because it was a freebie from one of my contacts and I had nothing to do that halcyon summer except read it to my best friend while sunning ourselves in Canada. And quite frankly, JKR's writing style sucked. She used repetitive descriptions and basic syntax. Her structure was incomplete as she endeavoured to weave various fragments together. But anyway.

I have, however, seen all the films and am coming to the very startling conclusion that I am in love with Alan Rickman as Severus Snape. I am in love with Professor Snape.

I am surely not the only one - I believe Catty also loves him. Now this started to present a problem for me when the last book came out, exactly a week ago (Hong Kong time).

The problem was, I knew that he violated Prof Dumbledore with his wand in the sixth book. Now I was supposed to care about this, I know that. Dumbledore is good, Snape is bad. Snape belongs to MouldyWarp the Mole. Or is it Voldemort? Whatever. Snape is on the Dark Side.


a) Dumblebore is dull
2) Alan Rickman is Snape
c) 2) should have been b)
d) Snape is sexy
e) So is Ralph Fiennes, who plays Voldemort
f) Voldemort is not attractive
g) Therefore e) and f) are irrelevant to the argument
h) Dumblebutt is good
i) Snape is evil

I am sure by now you are all either in total agreement with me, or completely confused.

So, to help clear up my traumatised heart, I had, in my stupidity, bought the last novel last Monday. It cost me £10. That, for my Canadian cousins, is what books should cost. Not CAN$45:00 + Tax. In Canada, the same book in hardback costs, with taxes, CAN$49:50. Which would be about £24. I paid the equivalent of CAN$22:00 by getting it in England. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Not so proud of living in the second biggest country on Earth now, are we?

Books are so expensive in Canada. This is because it's the second largest country on earth, rendering distribution expensive, but it has a low population density of just 34,000,000 people. Suppose the fraction of Canadians buying HP and the Ring of Utter Crassdom type of novels is one-eighth of the population (the entire under-18 demographic), it is still economically unviable to transport those copies to stores across the Land of the Beaver and charge less than $45:00 per book. Canadians would be best served by driving down to the States and picking up their books there, along with a bottle of booze, purchased at the border.

I digress.

Severus Snape: Evil, or playing a deadly double-agent role? Given JK Rowling's literary prowess at developing the subtle genre of subterfuge (ie, none), I feared that Snape would not prove to be good in the end. I really wanted him to be good. I knew that I would hate Harry Potter for the rest of my life if he or one of his boring friends knocked off the best character in the books. I may end up stalking Daniel Radcliffe or send him threatening letters with used staples inside.

So I bought the book and, in my hunger for knowledge and power to take over the world, I skimmed the first few pages at lunch on Monday, and read that he was talking nicely-nicely with Wimpleport.

All day, I was thinking: "What if Snape is evil? What will I do? What can I do? What can any decent girl do? I wonder what he wears under his robes?"

That evening, and any moment I could snatch on Tuesday, witnessed me finishing the entire novel - ah, be still, my poor, beating heart...

(slow readers who've not finished the book please turn away now)

You see, I knew in my heart that he could not have been evil. And he isn't! I knew it! My greasy-locked, shampoo-phobic, stinky, self-sacrificing dreamboat is "The bravest man that I ever knew" according to Harry Potter. Severus is a hero! And I love him!

So... I thought... Maybe someone had Alan Rickman's address? Maybe I could stalk him for kicks? Maybe in life he could be a slightly cleaner version of Snape? Maybe I could sneak up on him, drug him with chloroform or rehypnol, drag him back to my studio flat, staple him to the floor and make him mine. ALL MINE... mua ha ha ha ha ha. Well, let's face it, I've tried normal ways to attract men and they've failed.

And then I found this.

Oh oh oh, how the mighty have fallen.
I'm sure he looked buff in Robin Hood. WHAT IS WITH THE TOUPEE? WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? Did a piece of gingery minge just land on his head after being blown off a German tourist who leant too far over the Tower of London? Has Alan Rickman been attacked by a leprous Tribble? He has seemingly gone from being GQ mag's Buff Thinking Woman's Man in 1991 to a pissed-up retirement home janitor.

Bring back Snape. Please Alan, for the love of Merlin's underpants, I beg you, ditch the neon flange bestriding your noble temples. Eschew the comfy loafers and crumpled 'chinos for a mysterious cape. And make sure your wand is in good working order when you perform some magic for me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cuz I is royalty, innit?

Which Disney Princess Are You?

You are Jasmine. You are loyal and would visit the ends of the earth for what you believe. You would never let obstacles stand in the way of true love.
Find Your Character @

Please remove your item from the bagging area

Shopping for lunch should not be a chore, but a pleasure.

I had opted for Tesco over Sainsbury's this lunchtime, however, which proved to be a stupid, schoolgirl error. It was traumatic.

Firstly, I embarrassed myself by setting off the alarm when I walked in. Note. I had nothing on my person except my clothes, my purse and a smile. No-one was coming out, no small midget sneaked past me, furtively clutching a Milky Bar. No. I walked in, and alarm bells rang. What a comment about the state of my life: no matter how hard I try, I always make an entrance. And it ain't pretty.

Then I have to trawl through the vegetable counters for my weekly salad purchases, while this little old guy who looked like the incarnation of Mr Magoo kept following me around the veg. stand and smiling every time I looked his way. Short of beating him around the head with a carrot or shoving a squash up his wrinkly nose or stapling his head to a marrow with a pricing gun, there was little I could do except call it a day for fresh fruit and veg and go and hide in the deep freeze under some McCain's chips for a few hours.

Note to Tesco's: Tinned Treacle Pudding is not one of the following: "Tinned soups, vegetables and meats." It is not one of the four main food groups. It belongs to the group: "Bad, Very Bad, Totally Calorific and Cavity-making." Tinned tuna, however, does not qualify for either of those two food groups and therefore does not exist in the world of Tesco employees. "Tuna? Tinned Tuna? Uhhhh...Not Sure..."

Furthermore, putting a small Krispy Kreme counter right next to the weightwatchers yoghurt and dairy section is simply barbarous.

Also, selling "fresh" pomegranate chunks that, when opened, taste like soured vodka that has been left to stand for six days in the heat, beggars belief. The taste - and some of the darn pips - will remain with me for days.

Then to proceed to the self-service checking counter. All goes well until it does not allow me to take my full shopping bag off the "bagging area" and start a new one. "Please place item in the bagging area" it says in a loud woman's voice, over and over and over. Eventually I end up talking to the machine, just as loudly. Yes. I am insane.

Then after I pay, I realise it has not charged me for something worth £5 (that's US$10 and CAN$600,023). So I ask the lady if I can re-do my shop or just pay for that one item at the same bagging counter. She is very helpful and polite - a highlight in that dark Tesco - and I put the order through for that one item. As I go to pay, the automated voice starts up again: "Please put your item in the bagging area. Please put your item in the bagging area. Please put your item in the bagging area."

By now, I am thumping the bagging area and cursing like an old sunday school teacher - vis-a-vis: "Condarn you, you little beggar", "Confounded nuisance" "Dadblamed machine." All the while the same message is booming out: "Please place your item in the bagging area."

Eventually I bang the bagging area so hard the red light starts flashing on the top of the self-service (SERVICE? HA!) area and a voice starts up: "Calling for assistance. Calling for assistance". I pull out my credit card, throw £5 cash at the attendant who has been standing there all the time, and run out of the shop like a thief.

All this for a bleeding garden salad and a lemon yoghurt.

Life sucks

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Come onto MyFace. MySpace. I mean, Facebook. Whatever.

There is a new phenomenon sweeping the interweb. Actually, for people like me, it is not so new, as the under-30s were among the first to discover the addictive virtual drug that is Facecrack.

Oh yes. It is surprisingly pleasing to find out that you have more online "friends" than the school super-cow, who not only has fewer allies than you, but most of her wall posts were written by her sister. Even better - she has also become very, very fat. There may even be a hairy mole on her lip. Oh yes. There is a sense of divine retribution visible through the medium that is ArseFace.

It is also delightful to have an old acquaintance, with whom you only stopped contact for very good reasons, and not because you could not be bothered, or because he secretly hated you and your poxy jokes, suddenly nudge you out of the blue and request you to be their friend.

But the downsides are becoming ever more evident the more addicted one gets to Facecrack. Firstly, there is the random date that you had who happens to find you on the web - CURSE thy parents who did not christen thee "Sarah Brown" or "David Smith". Or, there is the guy you dated so long ago that now, you must be friends, so you send him a chipper email thinking "he can accept me as a friend". Virtual rejection can be harsh.

Secondly, there is the utter stranger who wants you to be his special friend. You don't know him, so you "explore" his own profile, to discover he's a single friend of a mutual friend who happened to like your picture. He's also likely to be the person whose list of "Top Friends" includes several busty blondes from Arkansas and Dita von Teese.

Thirdly. Oh, yes, thirdly - your personal life is centred all over the page. It's easy to "hide" what you write on other people's walls, but when your friends start scrawling on your walls, or tagging you in photos looking drunk or semi-naked in a sheep dip in Wales, that's when you have to start worrying. Your friends are no longer compartmentalised into sanitary little boxes. I don't mean sanitary towel boxes. I digress.

Fourthly - this is starting to sound like a Mennonite sermon - there is the endless line of "pokes". These started off as a little way of saying hi to the people you're semi-friends with, or people you fancied but did not like to keep writing on their walls in case they served you with a restraining order, sued the hell out of you, or - worst of all - removed you from their list of friends. So, a little Poke. Hi! How YOU doin'?

BUT NOT ANY MORE. Now you have super poke! Poke Pro! Pokemon, pig in a poke, poke-ahontas and Poke on Trent. You can now slap, tickle, throw a sheep at, high five, punch, beat someone over the head with a metal chair until they are senseless, give beer to, send a cow to and crap all over someone's face virtually.

The other day I came onto facebook and found 14 pokes, and more people lining up to throw sheep at me. Thankfully I realised that if I returned the sheep-shag to someone else, I would end up having that application automatically installed onto my profile.

Applications have to be the fifth point, moving logically on and enabling me to count without having to look at my other hand. APPLICATIONS SUCK No, worse. They blow. They blow enormous stomach-chunks. There are applications to share a happy hour cocktail! There's a Hot Rating application (someone gave me a 10 out of 10 but I still didn't want it on my profile. Thanks anyway, Mum). There's applications to show how far you have travelled in your lifetime - the more countries you visit, the higher your global percentage is. Well not if all the freaking countries you visit are tiny - Monaco, Belgium, Holland, Jamaica, Cuba and Luxembourg do not show up very well. But for the greenies out there, is there ANOTHER map application you can use to show what your travelling carbon footprint is? No, but I'd like some of those "I've visited all the big ones" show-off nark heads to have a go on one of those applications, the carbon-crunching, polar bear murdering arsewipes.

There are applications for opinion polls (which biscuit would you be and why? A: A poisoned batch that has been sent to the Facebook office). You can be in a battle between vampires and werewolves. You can get bitten by a zombie, play tag, share fortune cookies, list your favourite movies, create slideshows of your cars and have special facebook pages created for your mangy old dog. Oh Yes, there is Dogbook, catbook, hamster book and myfavouritecock book.

All of these applications sound great fun if a) you really have nothing better to do in your life b) you are under 20 c) your internet connection is fast enough and smart enough to deal with all these things.

Sixthly - over to the other hand now, I hope it doesn't get to 11 or I will have to take my shoes and socks off - there are Groups. Alan Whicker is Probably a Very Nice Man. I was at Wahiki. I am a Gimp. We Love Our Cats. We know the difference between Your and You're (because we are smart-assed little basement geeks who have no girlfriends and who wear colours that do not appear in nature). Christians Against Rich Tea Biscuits (actually, I am in that one, it is a cause I support dearly).

In retribution I have finally snapped. I think it was the invitation to join the group: "People who cannot spell my name correctly desurve (sic) to be shot" that made me want to reach into my computer, find the Facebook organiser, staple their ear to a doorpost and pussywhip them into a bleeding mass with my bare hands.

So I have created my own group: No more Groups, Applications or Events, Please, For the Love of Mercy. Yes, I appreciate the irony.