## Saturday, 29 January 2011

### How does this work?

No doubt there is some Maths whiz out there who is going to read this and issue some crushing reply that will make me feel like the O level Maths failure that I am...but...Just how does this work?  And who spends their time working these things out?

This year we will experience 4 unusual dates.... 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 .... NOW go figure this out.... take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it will come to 111.

For Example: Mrs Curry Queen born in 1990 is 21 (ahem) years old.

90+21=111...How? How how how?

Meanwhile Monsieur le Shah born in 1968 is 43 (ahem once again) years old.
68+43 = 111

I know I'm thick, but I just don't get it!  Someone put me out of my misery - pleeeeease...

## Tuesday, 25 January 2011

### (More than) 5 Celebrities I would love to punch...

The other night we were having dinner en famille.   (See - my French ‘O’ level wasn’t wasted, then).  Keen on conversation that includes the whole family, as opposed to the usual erm, vibrant discussion between the Shah and his son on anything to do with sport or an in-depth dissection of the latest cricket scores, I asked the family if they had finally made any Resolutions for 2011.

The daughter wisely keeps off the subject of Vegetarianism as we have had quite enough of that malarkey already as witnessed here.

The Shah remains unnaturally silent.  Number One Son looks blank and says something along the lines of “ceebs.”  Rapidly dodging my fearsome interrogative skills, he turns the question back on me.

“Easy,” I reply – “the same as most people – eat less, drink less, weigh less.”
There follows some heated debate about my (wholly puritanical, I assure you) drinking habits which I will not bore you with.  Eventually, the whole thing peters out and, as one man, the family refuse to be drawn on any kind of meaningful discussion.

Consequently, I decided to do it for them.  I was fairly certain that my list of "Resolutions Made on Your Behalf, love Mum x" would resonate (how I hate that word and that usage of it) with my readership.  However, having started and got as far as number six, I realised that they were all bloody boring and boiled down to pick up your towels, put stuff in the dishwasher, not on the worktop above it and remember to feed the cats/put the washing machine on/ iron a shirt once in a while instead of waiting for me to do it.

So, I turned my attention to celebrities.  Those people who, more than any teenager on the planet, generally need to amend their behaviour big time in any given year.  Then, having constructed the list below, I shelved it for fear of getting the a*se sued off me.  Some weeks later, the very lovely Wylye Girl constructed her list entitled “Which 5 celebrities would you punch?” and it seems that this is a meme that will run and run.

However, this is me, Mrs Gobby of Gobville (memo to self – you chose the wrong name for your blog – it should have been Gobby Queen) and I am utterly unable to leave it at 5 when there are so many I could NEVER tire of punching.  So far I’m up to around 20 and I’d better stop here or I really will get the a*se sued off me!

Liz Hurley – get thee to a nunnery.  Preferably an enclosed order.  With no Wi-fi.

Paul McCartney – you are old so stop making the peace sign incessantly.  Back in the 60’s it looked hip and cool.  Today it looks tragic. PS get a decent hairdresser too.  Yours is feckin’ colour-blind by the look of it.

Max Clifford – please retire.  This will save us from the wittering of the human sludge that makes up your clientÃ¨le.

Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell.  Enough is enough.  Go away.  Sorry – Wor Cheryl, leev wor alone pet.

Anyone with the surname Beckham - ditto.

His Holiness Pope Bono I.  What, are you blind or something?  Is that why you wear those spazzy yellow sunglasses come rain or shine?  Newsflash – they make you look like an insect. On second thoughts, keep them on – it’s preferable to the natural you.

The Royal Family  I was quite a Royalist at one time.  Now I’m just sick of them all – especially the ones who perform no discernibly useful function except to possibly hold seminars on “How to Fall Out of Nightclubs Whilst Simultaneously Soaking the Taxpayer for Protection Money.  I’m talking to you Beatrice  and Eugenie

And as for your father.....[grinds teeth]...not to mention your aunt who permanently looks like a cross between a Grand National Winner and a bulldog chewing a wasp....oh, and your mother...gaaah [falls to the floor, purple-faced and gasping with rage]

Elton John and David Furnish.  What the hell are you thinking?  Your chances of raising a well balanced human being are precisely nil.  Give the poor little mite up for adoption so it can live a normal life away from toxic amounts of money.

Paris Hilton – you define pointlessness.  You remind me of someone or something.  Can’t think what though.

 Not Paris Hilton

Justin Bieber – go on, we all know you are 38 in reality.  Admit it.

Peaches Geldof – do you seriously believe that we seriously believe that you got books by Freud, Jung, Plato Sartre etc for Christmas?  We all know you got the Hello Annual so shut up.

Russell Brand – you are someone I could never tire of slapping. The only marginally funny thing you have ever done is to put a photo of your ghastly wife on Twitter looking like a hag.

Colleen Rooney – How much did you get for your soul?  What is the going rate for souls these days?

James Blunt.  Man or rhyming slang?

Madonna.  You look in need of a good steak and a couple of pints of full fat milk.  Sinewy is not sexy.  And quit with the sanctimony – no-one believes you.  Oh, and Kabbalah is Cobbalahs.

Alan Carr – The bastard love child of Janet Street Porter and Joe Pasquale.  Enough said.

Lawks - I feel so much better after that!  Go on – share!  Which celebs would you like to view down the business end of a blunt instrument?

## Sunday, 16 January 2011

### Jolly Super!

Gwyneth Paltrow has received a lot of press recently for her ‘Day in the life’ Newsletter from her website Goop.  I have never visited said site until now, so I suppose she can comfort herself that there is no such thing as bad publicity and, if millions of other curious readers like moi are providing her with more hits, so much the better.  I visited, of course, because of her hilarious ideas of “normal motherhood” and the trials and tribulations involved in being a global superstar and, oh yes, I almost forgot, a mother of two kids.  In case you haven’t read her newsletter (and I urge you to if you need cheering up) you can find it here.  Just to prove how difficult it is “finding a good balance between having a career and being a mom” she also invites two of her mates to share their manic days with us too (gosh, thanks).  If you thought Gwyneth was well, extraordinary, you just have, HAVE to read a day in the life of Juliet de Baubigny (just her name makes me feel inadequate).  It is littered with super-events and yes! exclamation marks by the thousand! Stella McCartney also makes a contribution and comes across as endearingly normal (even if she does have friends like these two).  I love the bit about her 3 year old shouting that she needs a poo and Stella trying to put her off the idea in order to grab a few more minutes in bed.

Anyway, I reproduce below some of Gwyneth and Juliet’s traumas and nuggets of advice and contrast them all with the plebeian existence that is life at Crap Cottage:-

CHEZ  GWYNETH:  When I got downstairs this morning at the crack of whenever, the coffee machine said “ERROR 8” and wouldn’t let me make the cup I had been dreaming about.
CHEZ  JULIET:  I'm an early bird—so I try to seize "Juliet time" first thing in the morning. I get up between 5:30am - 6am and quickly scan my email. Then my priority is exercise.

CHEZ CRAP COTTAGE:   When I eventually shuffled downstairs this morning, the coffee machine said nothing because I don’t own one.  I own a kettle and some tea bags.  The exercise bike, however said “ride me, ride me!” but as it is an exercise bike and not George Clooney I ignored it.

CHEZ  GWYNETH:   ... I made him a quick breakfast of eggs and toast followed by a spoonful of lemon flavored flax oil that I try to remember to give them both every morning... The kids indulge in a super sugary cupcake before bed but I don’t feel too bad because they had a brown rice stir fry for dinner with baked sweet potato on the side. It’s all about balance!
CHEZ  JULIET :  Breakfast: super important and always super-rushed .... I start the day with a protein smoothie, which can be made in minutes (a handful of organic berries, a large scoop of Greek yogurt, a squirt of flaxseed oil, 2 scoops of protein powder, organic pomegranate or cranberry juice and blend).

CHEZ CRAP COTTAGE:  (CQ makes smoothie as above and proffers large glassfuls to children) Children:  "Why are you giving us sick to drink?  We want Marmite toast."  In the evening, CQ creates a delicious dish of couscous with roasted vegetables, steamed salmon and a yoghurt dressing on the side.  Child1 (inspects dinner) "Bleurgh!  Woss this?"  Child2: "It’s puke mixed with puke, dressed with puke" *

CHEZ  GWYNETH:  Getting everyone into the car on time was a challenge; we’re going through a phase where no one seems to be responding to me...
CHEZ  JULIET:  My Day: Is a blur from the minute that I arrive in the office...

CHEZ CRAP COTTAGE:   CQ: “GET UP!  NOW!  OKAY, STUFF IT – YOU CAN GET THE TRAIN, I DON'T CARE HOW MANY BOOKS/FILES/FOLDERS/SPORTS BAGS YOU HAVE TO CARRY...” (flings handful of coins for train fare onto kitchen table and stumbles out of door with odd shoes on and no eyeshadow on one eye).

CHEZ  GWYNETH:  Rehearsed with the band from 11:30 to 12:30 and then scooted back out to the car and had kind of a big interview on the phone while trying to subtly check/reply to well-overdue email.
CHEZ  JULIET ... I bring my iPad and use the Flipboard app to curate my social media...(eh?)

CHEZ CRAP COTTAGE  I may be able to grab 5 minutes to check my email on my steam-driven PC in the evening but it’s unlikely in between cooking for everyone, feeding animals because nobody else can be bothered and helping out with homework. (child: "Mum- I need help with my Maths."  Me: "er, um..."  child:  "Why are you so useless?")

It is also vital in such essays to ensure that you name-drop zealously.  For example; it is not good enough for Juliet to say “My great friend, Sheryl Sandberg,” she has to go one step further and say “My great friend, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook”.  Gwyneth gets in on the act with”voice lessons with my teacher, Carrie Grant,” and even Stella finds it necessary to mention “Artist Dinos Chapman is my taxi date...” and “...my advertising campaign too with Kate Moss and Ryan McGinley.

As for moi, I did once see Trevor McDonald in the Toy Department of John Lewis.  I didn’t recognise him until the Shah said something insightful like “that black geezer looks familiar,” and it took a good three minutes of discussion along the lines of “It is!  No it isn't!  Oh whatever, who cares?” before we gave up on the whole thing and left.

I may be taking the mick here, but any woman who can run her life on spreadsheets and ask herself “did I spend my time in the right places, right meetings, impacting the highest upside situations?” with a straight face at the end of every day earns my respect. I would try it if only I knew what an upside situation was, which one was the highest and how to impact it.  I am inadequate and a total failure and remain in awe of people whose children "arise from slumber" when the fruit of mine and the Shah's loins stumble out of stinking pits sometime after midday.

*this is a genuine transcript of an actual event – my children are ingrates.

## Sunday, 9 January 2011

### Dear Neighbour

Dear Neighbour,

Although what follows happened some days ago, I have spent the intervening time with my head between my knees trying to recover from total and utter mortification.  I lay the blame for this squarely on your shoulders and on those of a large ginger Tom cat.

I realise that you are very important, very focused and a high-powered businessman of some description.  There are many ways that you have managed to make that plain to us in the two and a half years since you moved in next door.  You drive a much smarter car than us.  You have photogenic friends who all seem to be called Josh and Katie and have babies called Octavia and Hero.  Not that we don't have photogenic friends, it’s just that ours are a bit older and a bit more knackered than yours.  And have sensible names.  Give it 10-15 years and you’ll understand – oh, yes you’ll understand.

In addition to the above, you have a regular cleaner, your food delivered by Ocado and (this bit just has to go in italics) you have a Personal Trainer.  Oh yes!  Many’s the Saturday morning in the summer time that the Shah and I have thrown open the back door only to hear you huffing and puffing in your garden with the bossy voice of Ollie or whatever his name is, floating over the fence.

“Hup, hup!  Give me 10 more!”  he cries.  I cry too.  Tears of mirth that is, as the Shah makes a series of interesting digital gestures at you and then carries out his own training session for my entertainment.  It’s indescribable in words really – maybe one day the Shah will relinquish his anonymity and allow me to video him....now that’s something to look forward to.  You may think this is all a bit unfair but we kind of lost patience with you when you went on holiday the winter after you moved in, having neglected to lag the pipes in your loft.  As you now know, the water from the four burst pipes caused enough damage to force you to move out of your house for 6 months (living in some luxury in a riverside gaff not far away – not that I’m bitter or resentful or anything) while we had to put up not only with water damage to our property, but to your sodding builders crashing and banging around, cadging cups of tea non-stop, blocking our parking space and generally being a pain in the arse.

Were you remorseful?  Well, a bit maybe.  I seem to remember that you dropped us a text to say sorry.  So that was nice.  A bottle of wine and a large bouquet would have been even nicer considering what we had to endure but see remarks in previous paragraph re bitterness and resentment.  So it really wasn’t the last straw when I overheard your charming wife explaining to Josh or Katie or whoever a couple of weeks ago that the 100% beautifully renovated, oak-floored house is “just not big enough” for the two of you plus a toddler.

One of the other ways we have come to know of your significance is the way you often depart early for your very important job (I don’t know what you do but I’m damn sure it’s vital to the world economy).  You jump into a waiting taxi before 6am– no skanky public transport for you!  Oh no!

Three days ago, however, your departure was even earlier – 4.22a.m. FFS!  And your taxi was a little late.  So, being the Very Important Person that you are, you found it necessary not only to yap loudly on your mobile whilst waiting out front but also to slam the lid of your dustbin which made a crashing noise which woke me up.  I leapt out of bed in fright and flung open the curtains, only to see your Holiness in your front garden, beautifully illuminated by the security lights that you had managed to set off on three houses.

Cursing you under my breath, I tottered off to the loo, snapping the light on.  The loo (as you now know) has a door which faces a front window and the pitch of our garden path is such that one can see some of the upstairs of our house if one is standing idly outside, waiting for one’s driver.  As one does.  In my rage, I clearly didn’t close the door properly – my fault I know.  So maybe I shouldn’t blame you entirely for what happened next.

As I perched upon the throne, a supplicating furry paw appeared round the door, shortly followed by a pink nose and the aforementioned large ginger Tom.  I leaned forward and flapped my arm frantically at the opening door but couldn’t reach it. Unable to move from my perch (Damn you to hell, Pelvic Floor) my gesticulations and feeble cries of “bugger off, Paddy” caught your attention as you strutted about and, for one, horrible second, our eyes met in the 1000 watt glare of an outside light before you turned away with a tiny shudder of revulsion.  (Okay – I made that bit about the shudder up, but I wouldn’t blame you.)

A ‘For Sale’ sign has gone up since then.  All I can say is that I hope (for both our sakes) that it bears fruit soon.

Best wishes (Not)
The Curry Queen

ps:  looking down from our bedroom window, your incipient bald patch is clearly visible.  Just thought you’d like to know. xx

## Saturday, 1 January 2011

### We resolve...

The past few days’ electronic silence has mainly been due (I must confess) to some shilly-shallying about how to approach the thorny subject of a new year on the horizon.  I have now resolved (ha ha – geddit?) not to bore you all by being yet another blogger who lists reams of worthy intentions when, in reality, my New Year (any year) always tends to end up as 1/12 detox to 11/12 re-tox.

I will, however, share a deeply depressing conversation I had with my beautiful teenage daughter only a couple of days ago.

TD:  Mum – I’ve made a New Year Resolution!
Me:  Huzzah! (Fondly imagining an improved work ethic, a tidier bedroom, less bickering with her brother, fewer swearwords rebounding off the walls).
TD:  (Proudly) I’m going to become a Vegetarian!
Me:  (in a warm and maternal manner) Oh crap no...
TD:  I can’t stand meat any more – it’s like ewwwwwww (pulls face of disgust)
Me:  (Threateningly) Ugh – you’ll have to eat TOFU (pulls face of disgust).  Anyway, you love bacon.
TD:  I can live without it.   It comes from pigs – like, ewwwwwww.
Me:  (now babbling helplessly and sensing a battle about to be lost) Er, first class protein, er, amino acids, er building blocks of life – er, growth spurts, ummmm ...
TD:  That Louis from One Direction is really hot...
Me:  Can we get back on the subject please?  This is an important discussion.
TD:  (looks blank)  What’s to discuss?  I’ll eat Quorn.
Me:  (outraged)  Quorn?  QUORN?  It’s made of mushrooms – you hate mushrooms.
TD:  (as if talking to a retard)  Yes mum, but it doesn’t TASTE like mushrooms.  (Pats my hand condescendingly).
Me:  (feebly) Quorn is made to LOOK like meat.  You may as well just eat the bloody meat....Quorn is just cheating.....(voice trails away as the bitter realisation that the battle is well and truly lost hits home...)

So – we head to the supermarket where I am forced to purchase stonking amounts of ludicrously expensive vegetarian sausages, burgers, and vile-looking soya mince which looks like something a drunk has left on a pavement as a calling card.

Later that day, the Shah and I decide on a lovely family outing to the cinema.  We resolve (ha ha, see – I’ve done it again!  Is there no beginning to my wit?) to see Little Fockers on the grounds that we can put up with it and the children will like it.  The children react in a wholly lukewarm manner (I may have even caught a glimpse of a bit of eye-rolling, I’m not sure) and behave as if they are doing us a gigantic favour.  Undeterred and to facilitate TS’s social life which often doesn’t even begin until late at night, I mention that we could catch an early showing at our local independent cinema.  The reaction is volcanic.

“Whaaaat?  I’m not going to that shithole!  If you wanna go there, you can go on your own.  It’s shite – you and Dad only like it because they sell BOOZE and you can take the BOOZE into the cinema with you.  And get drunk, like, AGAIN.”

Ahem.  There is, of course, absolutely no truth in this opinion and to prove it, we end up at the giant-screen multiplex which is inconveniently miles away but where you can buy colossal buckets of popcorn, bilious-looking cheesy slime which oozes over bland nachos and gallons of fizzy drink.  Yay!  As an added bonus, you even get to stick to the floor when you walk.  Wow!  The film is okay but nothing to write home about and nowhere near as full of belly-laughs as the first two.  Time to abandon that franchise methinks, particularly as the latest version featured Owen Wilson playing a blond, shaggy haired airhead.  As opposed to Wedding Crashers  where he played a fair-haired tousle-headed dipstick  or You Me & Dupree where he played a flaxen shaggy-headed pillock or Marley & Me....you get my drift.

Exiting the cinema, I suggest a light repast – possibly a Pizza to facilitate the new Vegetarian.  Cue another eruption from number one son.

“Pizza?  I don’t want Pizza.  Me and Dad want NANDOS where they sell MEAT, not poncy pizza crap...”  I point out (quite accurately) that it is not the meat that attracts his father to Nandos, merely the availability of gallons of chilli sauce with which the Shah likes to anoint his food. The Shah adopts a hunted look.

“Anyway,” continues TS in an outraged voice, discernible to the whole of the Home Counties, “she’s not a f*****g vegetarian!  She had a Ham and Cheese toastie for lunch!”

We turn as one person to glare at TD.  Her cheeks blush the colour of rare beef.  “Er, well,” she stutters, “it was disgusting and like, the veggie thing doesn’t officially start until New Year’s Day.....”

Give me strength.