Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tattoo you

Funny things, tattoos.  I'm not too keen as, what looks sharp and pert on a 22 year old, looks blurry and saggy once that 22 year old has moved on a few decades.  And how many people have spent £££ getting them lasered off having decided that "Gary and Lauren foreva" was a really bad idea once Lauren had dumped Gary 3 weeks later?

That said, I do find them quite fascinating.  I'm often tempted to ask people exactly why they chose the design they have had indelibly inked onto their skin and - often more pertinent - why they chose the location...

Take, for example, the Tramp Stamp.  If you don't know what that is, lookee here.  They range from the fairly innocuous...

Through the quirky: 
To the tasteless:
Landing up at the frankly disgusting:
I'm not sure who coined the term 'Tramp Stamp' or why they should be viewed as the mark of a tramp. Anyone help out with that?  Interestingly, if you look up the term on Urban Dictionary, it offers the following alternatives:-
tattoo slut whore tramp ass antlers skank stamp ass ink lower back tattoo tatoo tat ho hoe trampstamp body art bullseye butt tramp stamps back

Tattoos are, of course, much loved by celebrities, including our own Cheryl Cole who spent the cost of a small car on having her arse covered in roses. And let us not forget David Beckham who has practically made himself into a walking art gallery:
I would...

I know I said I didn't like tattoos, but there's always one exception to the rule...

Occasionally, I have been known to take a sneaky photo of a tattoo that really puzzles me.  I did that recently whilst standing, bored, on London's overcrowded Euston Station, waiting for a train.  This guy was in front of me and I really, really wanted to tap him on the shoulder and say "excuse me. What exactly made you wake up one morning and think 'I know, today I'll get a galleon tattooed on the back of my left leg'?"
A colleague tells a great story of when he was in the British Army, stationed in Hong Kong for a while.  He and a mate decided to get tattoos when drunk one night.  So they stagger off to the local Chinese tattoo parlour. Colleague opted for a pair of angel's wings.  His mate, Graham, asked for his name in Chinese characters.

Some months later, they were back in Blighty, stationed up north somewhere and badly wanted some chips* one night.  Off they go to the Chinese Chippy. The lady behind the counter looks at Graham's tattoo and smirks.
"Hey!" she says, pointing to the Chinese characters on his arm, "what that say?"
"It's my name," said Graham proudly.  "It says Graham."
"Ohhhhh," replied the lady.  "That no say Graham!"

*French fries (for my overseas readers)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Back on the radar

Hello chums!  Did you miss me?  I wish I could fabricate some wildly exciting reason for my longest ever break from blogging but all I can tell you is that life got in the way and, as is usual for wives and mothers, everything else took precedence. (Whinge over).

So what has been occupying my tiny mind in recent weeks?  Sadly not your blogs as I haven't had time to read those either - so apologies to all those people who can usually rely on a comment from me.

The first thing that happened was that my (very elderly) mother had a fall and was admitted to hospital in the middle of the night.  By the time the medics tracked me down and I had trekked to her local sanatorium, she was sitting up, very chipper, full of antibiotics and IV fluids.  When the nice nurse came round to ask if she'd like a drink, how do you think she responded?  did she say:-
a)  Thank you dear, I'd love a cup of tea
b)  A latte would be lovely
c)  Got any Gin & tonic?
I'm sure you can work it out for yourselves.  

And, when she was finally given a discharge date, how did she react?  Did she say:-
a)  Tuesday? Wonderful!
b)  Tuesday? - oh well, I'll miss the lovely hospital food but never mind.
c)   Tuesday?  Good.  Now look here (turning to me) if you don't come and get me out of here on Tuesday I shall lie on the floor and scream and show my knickers.


In the midst of all this, son and heir departed for 3 weeks in Brazil, taking in some of the World Cup.  It's a hard old life, innit?  Here is a pic of him and me at the airport:

Not sure what went wrong with the perspective - his feet aren't that big and I'm not that small.  Oh, maybe I am...
He hadn't been there 5 minutes when he happened to go up Sugar Loaf Mountain, as one does, and bumped straight into Colleen Rooney.  That's him in the middle with his arm round Wayne's* missus.  
*For the benefit of my non-Brit readers, Wayne Rooney is a football (soccer) player who plays up front for Manchester United.  He is also a sometime film actor who has played the title role in such monumental movie successes as Shrek and Shrek the Balls.

Son is still out there and seems to be having a great time.  When he gets back, we have 24 hours with both of them at home before daughter leaves for Thailand and Cambodia.  For a month.  The Shah and I are hoping to grab a week in Greece later in the summer.  Bloody hell.  We've gone horribly wrong somewhere.

And finally....last weekend we had the enormous pleasure (not) of moving daughter out of her University accommodation.  The way things worked out, she was the last to leave so, of course, we got the brunt of the cleaning. How the hell none of them died of salmonella poisoning during the year, I will never know.

Enjoy the photos of the fridge.  Hope you're not eating while you view them:

This was brown slime that actually made me heave....

How appropriate!  We have tons of random crap in the house now :(

Monday, 5 May 2014

Three things I have learned recently

Following on from last time's revelations about Paddy the cat's nocturnal mouse-munching activities, he remains shut out of the bedroom at night - something he is clearly not happy with. So, as the rumination of rodents failed to have any impact, he has reverted to emotional manipulation to gain access. As soon as he hears the alarm clock go off in the morning, the whining and scratching at the door begins.  I have learned that, if he is ignored for more than a couple of minutes, the supplicating furry arms appear:-
Followed by a slightly more insistent gesticulation:-

And when that doesn't work (mainly because I am laughing and trying to take pictures very early in the morning which is my excuse for the shocking quality) there comes the vaguely threatening two-paws approach:-

The second thing I have learned this weekend is this....If you are in a DIY shop and have to dodge out of the way of an injured man using his walking aid to point out the location of the paint to his wife, do not say to your husband "blimey, that bloke nearly hit me in the face with his crutch" because it will make him snort with inappropriate laughter and everyone will stare at you.

And the final thing I have learned lately is that, if you discover the lasagne you just used to make a delicious meal for your family is 2 years out of date, say nothing.  They all survived the experience and they never read this blog anyway.  Right?

The proof.....sssshhhhh!

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Seven Ages of Mam

I got to thinking recently (it's an unusual event and one that I thought deserved a post) about the life cycle and the way things change and move on as one generation passes and the next one moves up to take over.  I'm not sure what brought out this philosophical streak in me; it might have been all the recent publicity about the centenary of the First World War, it might have been the realisation that my mum is becoming more and more frail as time moves on or it might just have been my children getting arsier and more know-all with every passing day.  Perm any one from three.

Somewhere in the midst of all this unaccustomed (and frankly exhausting) mental effort, I recalled Shakespeare's monologue "All the World's a Stage" and this is where the offspring comparisons begin.  

How many years is it since my two were tiny - 'mewling and puking in the nurse's arms'?  Oh boy, I was Queen of my Kingdom (erm, sort of) back in those days.  I ruled the roost, I made the rules and I elicited unconditional love from my children.  I was the shining sun in their world.  Honest.

Me and my boy on his 1st birthday.
Lawks my hair was a lot redder in those days!

The smiliest baby ever!

Then the years flash by and we meet 'the whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school.'

Smiling as it was his first day at school.
Don't be fooled.  He screamed daily for
the next three weeks :(

All of a sudden, you're not quite as omnipotent as you once were. Other people's mums are "fun" and "cool" and "make brilliant cakes" and your crown begins a slow slide...
Moving on, you meet 'the lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress' eyebrow'   Oh yes!  They discover the opposite sex.  Let joy be unconfined!  Having navigated the terrible twos you now find you are at the mercy of the terrible teens. They are heaving with hormones, mortally embarrassed by the fact that you so much as breathe and imprison themselves in their bedrooms, where they spend time cursing God for giving them the oldest/stupidest/uncoolest/most unreasonable parents in the northern hemisphere and, like it's NOT FAIR - Josh's parents let him stay out till 4am/go clubbing in London even though he's only 14/provide loads of booze for his parties/let girls stay over...WHY ARE YOU SO DUMB?  The crown has now slipped to cover your eyes, which is probably just as well as it may prevent you seeing just how little your daughter is wearing when she leaves the house.  
Gawky teen

Grumpy teen
At this stage of the game, you are subject to quiet exasperation and mild disinterest.  The crown has now descended far enough for the bloody thing to strangle you and you wonder why having children ever, ever seemed like a good idea.  When you voice this opinion, your offspring (who thanks to a tsunami of hormones have grown 3 feet taller than you overnight) smile pityingly and pat you on the head as they make for the fridge to eat planned meals one, two and three that you thought would see you through till the weekend.
   (And now Blogger has thrown the formatting out.  I hate it.)

Then the light at the end of the tunnel (and this time, it's not an oncoming train). They give the impression of turning into grownups and we meet ' The soldier...full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard...',  At this point, one of them has taken the Bard literally and sprouted a fine beard.  In fact, he was sent home from school to shave more than once.  Herself has become very aware of facial hair and spends hours plucking, waxing and generally engaging in massive deforestation efforts.  She is also mighty sensitive to the mention of hair, viz this recent conversation:-

Daughter: I can't go out looking like this! (voice rises hysterically - points to top lip).
Mother: You look fine - honestly!
Daughter I've got a MOUSTACHE!!!!  (Sobs in despair)

The situation was not helped one jot by the Shah deciding a little levity was in order and shouting "fuck me, it's Freddie Mercury!" the next time she entered the room.

Beardy Boy                                                                              
Not my daughter.

So while they are in the prime of life and, these days look like this...

 and this

The Shah and I find that we are rapidly heading downhill and 'In fair round belly with good capon lined,' (ahem - which one of us would that be, Shah?) not to mention shifting 'Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side; his youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide for his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound.'  

I'll leave you with a quote from my son who gave me a kindly look recently and patted me softly on the shoulder.  "The thing is mum," he said smiling, "you're just old and mad."

Monday, 24 February 2014

Explicit content - 400 Fannies....

So where was I?  Suddenly (and much to my horror) I have realised that it's over a month since I managed to write anything on my poor, dessicated blog. Over the past few weeks life has been (for no particular reason) like an explosion in a WTF factory (and once again I tip my hat to Auntie Gwen for the loan of her fine rhetoric).  Work has been ridiculously busy, the Shah and I have been like ships in the night and the highlight of my evenings has generally been falling asleep at about 9pm.  Yay me and my thrilling existence.

So I was blundering about, vaguely thinking up things to write about when the ideal topic fell into my lap. So to speak.  Ahem.  I happened to visit a great friend who is always good for a laugh.  We met at ante natal classes and our kids grew up together, so we've developed the sort of shorthand you only have with friends you've known for over 20 years (yikes!) This time, the conversation turned to the presents she had been given for her recent birthday.  

Before I go any further, I should point out that my mate is a Sexual Health Educator and does a sterling job going into many local schools and running their sex ed programmes for them.  So it's safe to say that there is nothing she don't know about every nook and cranny of the human body and no question that she ain't been asked in one of the anonymous question boxes she invites kids to use in her lessons.

So I admired the personalised iPhone case with a picture of her dog on it but then she suddenly jumped up and said "I almost forgot to show you this!" With that, she delved into an Amazon box and produced a glossy, grey book entitled....) are you sitting comfortably? (I wish I hadn't said that).....


No, I'm not joking and, just to prove I'm not joking, here's a photo of it.

The premise of this (extremely strange) book is that an artist invited 400 women of all shapes, sizes and persuasions to come along and have their bits cast in plaster.  He made the results into an exhibition.  If you feel like taking a look, the link is here.  As the website claims, "it's not vulgar, it's vulva!"

Hmmm, no shit, Sherlock.

I had a quick flick through and, let me tell you reader, there were some sights to behold.  Although I am not an ardent student of the female pudenda, I can say that there are things in that book that look as though they belong in a Ridley Scott film.  Alien, probably.  Others that resemble those fancy mushrooms you find in high-end supermarkets - all strange gills and weird contours.  And as for the piercings.....they brought tears to the eyes.

Flaps away, girls!

Some of them made me wish I hadn't eaten quite so recently.  Others made me wince in wonder when I saw just how many piercings the female anatomy can accommodate.  Don't these people clank when they walk?  If not, why not?  How do they get through airports without setting off all the alarms?

These and sooooo many more questions.

Visit the website - have a browse.  I dare you...