Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Plastic Paddy

Regular readers may, by now, have picked up on the fact that I am a bit of a Plastic Paddy.  My mum is Irish, my dad was about 99% Irish (I think I had one half-English Great Grandmother) so, even though I wasn't born there, I feel a great affinity for the country and take an interest in it.  Also, unless you have lived under a stone for the last decade, you will have noticed that the good old Celtic Tiger has lost most of its teeth and is now a shambling wreck.

One of the things that most appeals to me about the Irish is their sense of humour (TS and I can quote great tranches of Father Ted verbatim) and their predilection for plain speaking.  Back in November, this was the front page of the Irish Daily Star:

For those unfamiliar with Irish politics, the guy in the centre with the microphone is Brian Cowen, the then Taoiseach and the others are his cabinet. It would be interesting to see how a similarly bald headline about our own coalition government would go down in politically correct England!

And talking of plain speaking - how's this for the view of the man on the street?

Made me laugh, anyway...

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Half Term post...

It's half term and I am a happy, happy bunny.  There are many and various reasons for this:-
  • I work in a school.  This is not something I have shared with you up until now because the potential to cause upset/insult by (advertently and inadvertently) slagging off the staff, the pupils and the parents (oh the parents...) is so enormous as to make a game of hopscotch in an Angolan minefield look like a fun day out.  However, I am beginning to feel that I can resist the urge no longer - such are the rich pickings to be had from a blogging point of view... 
  • Because I work in a school, I have a week off from today.  Myself and TD were planning to visit her cousin and my sister-in-law oop North for a few days but that has been postponed for reasons of necessary revision on the part of the girls.  While it is a shame not be seeing them, I find myself quite giddy at the prospect of 3 extra days to play with. 
  • This is the first holiday in which "Clean Crap Cottage" has not featured large on my To Do List.  This is because (drum roll please...)  We have a cleaner.   You may think I am utterly pathetic for being so patently excited by this turn of events, but what the hell.  I haven't had a cleaner for 20 years, having been put off by the last one who cleaned feck all, never declared anything she broke (things just mysteriously disappeared) was morbidly obese, so could only ever clean anything at her waist height because bending and stretching were out of the question and flounced off in a huff when I told her to sling her hook erm, that I couldn't afford her paltry services any longer.  Anyway, although Ewa has been in residence since just before Christmas,  (well not actually in residence you understand - what do you think we have here?  Maids' quarters?) the whole process of her appointment was so traumatic that it deserves a whole post of its own and I have only just recovered enough to contemplate it.
  •  My baby girl turns 16 soon. This provides me with an unrivalled shopping opportunity although the possibilities for Getting It All Wrong are immense (see previous remarks about Angolan Minefields).  I had a clearout yesterday and we came across a load of baby photos of the two of them that hadn't seen the light of day for years. She was beautiful then and she's beautiful now; the only difference being that nowadays she's a good two inches taller than me and slender as a reed. Because she is on half term too, we get to spend some proper time together which is a delight.
  • Because we didn't have to get up in the morning, TD and I decided last night to watch the first episode of The Promise that we taped weeks ago.  This holds a particular poignance for me as my dad was part of the British Army contingent that spent two turbulent years in Palestine after the war.  So gripped were we that we then had to watch two other episodes to bring us up to date (both around an hour and three quarters long) and ended up bleary-eyed and gagging for the next episode in the wee small hours.
  •  Having only a week off (and no cleaning to do - sorry but I just have to mention it again), I feel I can justify sitting in the kitchen, still in my pyjamas at midday (oh the delicious, degenerate sloth of it!) composing this post whilst simultaneously indulging in my guilty pleasure which is daytime TV or, to be more precise, morning TV.  There are utter gems to be viewed such as Homes Under the Hammer (or how to buy a flea-infested pit at auction and turn it into a des-res in 6 weeks) and the joy that is Cash in the Attic.  I have just laughed myself into severe abdominal pain watching Jenny Bond interviewing a crone with a gigantic mop of unfeasibly dark brown hair.  "You have amazing hair," Jenny begins, with the air of someone who wishes she had never ventured down this avenue. "Where do you get it from?"  The crone looks a little taken aback and, while I am crying with laughter, replies that she inherited it from her father.  I suspect it was found amongst his effects...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Especially for Valentine's Day....

Marriage is like a pack of cards.
In the beginning all you need is two hearts and a diamond
By the end, you'll be wishing you had a club and a spade.
Or you could be like me and end up with a joker :-)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

7 things you really shouldn't know about me....

Having been tagged by Not Supermum in her fine blog, I am now obliged to do two things.  One is to pay a compliment to Not Supermum which is easy.  She is a single parent and, by all accounts, is doing a great job at it.  speaking as one who finds parenting quite hard enough, even with the (occasional) input of the Shah - that is enough to earn my admiration.  I now have to tell you seven things about me that you may not know and may not want to.  So here goes:-

  1. I have a deep and abiding hatred of carrots.  As far as I am concerned, the only good carrot is a dead carrot.
  2. I am a gifted mimic - imitating Les Dawson is my party piece.
  3. I come from a large family and have 27 first cousins.
  4. I stand 6ft 4in in my stockinged feet.  Eat your Hart out Miranda...
  5. I have a cat who is addicted to strawberry yoghurt.
  6. I come from a Russian/Sioux bloodline. 
  7. I am a (fading) redhead
I think I now have to tag more people to keep the chain going so here you go Wylye GirlAuntie Gwen,Taz let's be having you!

The above are truths alternating with lies...starting with number...?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Why don't men do detail?

I find this intensely frustrating.  Perhaps it is one of the fundamental differences between men and women but why do men have so little interest in detail?  Here is a great example:-

The Shah likes to play football with a bunch of mates on a Monday night.  After the game, they repair to a local pub for a quick pint.  A couple of weeks ago he came home with this story...

Shah: You remember Richard?
Me: er, no
Shah (unabashed):  Well he told us this great story about his daughter.  She's a Nanny and she went for an interview for a job with this family who live in some mega- mansion in Kensington...
Me (not quite sure where this is going):  Oh yeah?
Shah (excited): And guess - go on, just GUESS one of the questions she was asked....
Me (puzzled): no idea...
Shah (triumphant): They asked her "what would you do if you were driving the car with my children in it and being chased by the Paparazzi?"
Me (amazed):  Blimey!  Who was it?  It must have been somebody well famous!
Shah (disinterested now):  Oh I dunno....I never asked...

GAAAAAAAH!   I mean What The actual F***?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Listography - 5 children's programmes I hate...

I believe this began over at Kate Takes 5 and I would love to contribute as slagging off celebrities, time-wasters and all round piss artists is my speciality.  Clearly the Teenagers are somewhat older than Kate's kids so I am taking the liberty of naming 5 Teenage Programmes I Hate as I am unable to join in with the CBeebies crowd (Thank You God!)  Mind you, I have paid my dues in that direction and could still probably name every sodding engine on Thomas (what tw*t ever thought of inviting Ringo Starr to do the voiceover? - have a listen, it'll make you want to top yourself) never mind sing the Fireman Sam theme tune in six languages.  So here goes:-

  1. Hollyoaks.  Just the theme tune is enough to bring me out in hives.  Pointless, brainless and charmless.
  2. Anything with the word Kardashian in the title.  For the uninitiated, this is some sort of docu-soap about the Kardashian family featuring Kim, Khloe (yep, really), Kourtney, Kris, Kendall and Kylie.  I Kid you not.  It's Krap.
  3. Gossip Girl.  To be pronounced Gaaahsip Gurrrl.  See no. 1 for a description.  Just aimless and bitchy and shallow and vapid.
  4. The Joy of Teen Sex.  I make myself sit through this pretence at social commentary out of a sense of parental duty.  Most of the time it makes me feel faintly nauseous and if I tell you that I used to be a Theatre Nurse, you will understand that I have a pretty strong stomach.  This week's episode showing a lad having a Prince Albert, erm, fitted (inserted? - not sure of the correct verb usage here) was stomach-churning.  TD wants an extra piercing in her ear.  She was slightly put off to find out that her friend had got her Tragus pierced and they used an Epidural needle to do it (no anaesthetic) because they need a big, hollow needle to punch out some of the cartilage.  Eeeeeewwwwww.
  5. My Super Sweet Sixteen.  This is horrendous.  You should watch the American version for maximum effect although the British version is almost as bad.  For some reason, 16 is now viewed as being just as important a birthday as 18 or 21 - no idea why or how this has come about but this programme celebrates ghastly, grasping teenagers being over indulged by idiot savant parents with more money than sense.  The last one I saw featured a fat brat sitting up in bed calling her mum on her mobile (mum was in the kitchen) screaming at her to come and take away the "disgusting" breakfast mum had lovingly made and delivered to her to eat in bed.  What a cow.  Seriously - watch it if you can and prepare to be horrified at the sheer scale of the parties arranged for these kids.  I'm no great fan of Charlie Brooker but he's got this right:- 

Any advances on that lot?