Sunday, 17 August 2014

Today's observations 17.08.14

1. Today's obs are mostly about BBQ functions. I'll start with kindly asking food-queuers to consider the needs of the person in the queue behind them. Once it's your turn to spoon coleslaw onto your plate or grab a rib, don't use this golden time to read the ketchup bottle or inspect the food debris on the serving spoon. You're On! This is your time! I'm after you! Hurry the fuck up!
2. I've found that, as the person who is *next* in the queue- behind the hapless twit who has decided to really take his bloody time- then you can try boring holes into the dawdler's back with your laser eyes. You have to concentrate really hard. It helps to grip your paper plate hard too. It makes no difference to the prat's serving speed, but at least it passes the time.
3. Another method of getting the snail to speed up is to stand really close to them.
4. There is a rule that some people insist on not conforming to. Whilst food queuing, you are not authorised to pour a drink too. It wastes time. Get one later.
5. Another rule; when there is a stack of paper plates for guests to take and use, do not pile all your food onto the top plate whilst it's still on the stack. That's just fucking rude. I can knock that burger off in one fail swoop, moron.
6. Let's assume that the average property boasts an area of 100ft squared. Just for the sake of argument. At your average BBQ, 90% of the guests congregate in 10% of the property's floor space. Usually this is by the door to the room that holds the food.
7. Can't find the children? They are either in one of two places: a. Playing on steps. Just walking up and down them in a dippy trance. They are most fun, these steps. And it's the most inconvenient place for me to hang around, so I shall stay here and get under everyone's drunk feet. B. They are in the toy box that the host has tried to hide to eliminate bickering opportunities. They've found it. And now there are 8toddlers trying to share 4balls and they are all *waaah-ing* in sync.
8. It's always surprising and slightly awe-inspiring to witness how much meat a BBQ-dwelling man can consume. And how quick they can do it.
9. It's the men that take the longest in the food-queue; this is because they are assembling their burger like it's been nominated for an award. They do it with precision and care. See number 10.
10. "How hot is this sauce?"
"It's quite hot."
"How hot though?"
"I found it a bit too hot."
"How hot is hot though?"
"Yeah, it's quite hot. Try some."
"I dunno. Looks too hot".
"Yeah, it's quite hot".

Friday, 1 August 2014

Today's observations 01.08.2014

1. Felt pen sharing etiquette. There is certainly an unwritten rule in our house that all the pinks, reds, purples and blues are property exclusively of the girl. All the blacks, browns, greys and the dried up yellows are the sole property of the boy.
2. I've been feeling a bit miserable today. Fellow parents who stay at home with children regularly will be familiar with this feeling. It's a bit monotonous and draining and they are at an age where they have to engage me in every single little action that they implement. It takes, personally, just a few things to drag me out of this smothering fug of whinge and tension: a. Spending money b. Beer c. Booking a holiday. Fellow readers: never underestimate the tediousness and relative difficulty of being the main caregiver to the kids. I've done some tricky stuff but this mofo is *hard*.
3. Honestly, it took 10mins to write that last post as my daughter keeps sneaking off, against orders to urinate in the garden when there is a perfectly functional toilet in the house.
4. On a brighter note, my youngest child is beating the shit out of our only garden tree with a purple diamente washing up brush.
5. We have a cardboard self-erect castle in our garden at the mo. It's one that you unfold, stand up in the garden and colour in with an assortment of felt pens. Said castle is notably now pink, purple and red due to Annie's vivid collection of colours with the old dash of dried up yellow from  the brother. Annie is trying to stand up this cardboard castle whilst it's a little windy. I have to admire her patience. What's worse is that whilst she is tackling the relative gale against the flimsy tower, her brother is trying to open the door of the castle and crawl through it whist Annie is still trying to suspend it off the floor.

6. You can tell the GDP of any given council estate by what ice creams are still left in the freezer at the co-op. The glanced-over fare at the Hawthorn Drive Co-operative lists currently as Magnum Champagne, Magnum Mint, Magnum white, Cornetto KingKong (or something) and a random few tubs of Roddas Clotted Cream Vanilla. No bugger from Chantry wants them. There was one solitary Mini Milk left, much to our joy, however it had already been opened and upon inspection of the wrapper perforation, it was opened with a child's mouth.
7. Both children are now in the castle but Tom is getting on Annie's nerves with his blatant disregard for the relative delicacy of the svelte walls. And he keeps tripping over the washing up brush that he has taken inside with him, making him fall into the walls and tipping the whole fortress over.
8. They are right what they say. Time does go quicker with age.




Monday, 23 June 2014

Today's observations 23.06.14

1. We've just returned from the "Elite Holiday Villa". Most of my "Today's observations" are actually about our jolly to Hunstanton.
2. When it comes to kid's holidays, weather is king. You are simply not allowed to sit in the pub all day when you have eager sponge-minded children with you. It's not really acceptable, or even practical, to sit in a non-licensed venue (caravan, tent, QD) with them all day either. It really pays for your children to get out in the fresh air; with a bit of luck and cunning planning, they'll find another family to adopt. This chance is maximised by loitering near another family (or a childless couple!) who own a dog, a remote control gadget or a type of mechanical apparatus. If the new family (or couple!) don't do anything weird or religious with your precious offspring within 5-7mins, then they are consequently fair game to be left with the kids for the afternoon whilst you and the old man head off down "The Sundowner's Lounge" to partake in the most excellent promotion of BOGOF Sol.
3. I read Russell Brand's Booky Wook on holiday. It made me most enlightened to a few things; all of which spurred a fairish and comforting relief in myself. Amongst these things: he writes great and despite slandering his education (or contribution hereto), his vocabulary and prose is actually mesmerising. Also, you will never again feel guilty for your weekly 10 Marlboro Lights or the bottle-and-a-half of Sauvignon that you drank on most nights of your Norfolk jolly. You cannot feel guilty for this when Brand's consumption of the most alien and exotic of drink, drug and solvent stuffs to such extreme measures over such a long space of time has rendered him, nevertheless, a successful and profound bloke. One more thing: his writing style makes you want to say "parody", "cock-spurring" and "saucy!" a lot.
5. It's the right thing to do on holiday; relax. Most people do this. It's average and normal. Lots of folk like to sit and just chill out. Watch the world go by. Admire the view. Take a deep breath and soak up the scenario and the seaside vibe. Smell the chippy air and soak up the Whippy. I'm not very good at this. I do try to sit down. But it seems like we are waiting for something. And I get angsty. Like, what are we *actually going to do now?*. How long do we plan on sitting down, then? You know, just a ball park timeframe? Shall I go to the toilet now or after we've finished relaxing? Shall I take my shoes off? Would it be ok to do this in the pub with a drink in hand?
6. Perhaps I need to take some relaxing drugs like Brand.
7. It was a nice parenting moment. My kids, for the first time, went to a children's entertainment show in the clubhouse of the caravan site. Basically, of those of you who don't know (I bet everyone knows this), the prologue of the night's respective cabaret, magician, comedian  etc is a group of young adults from Cork, Hull, Leicester and Hull who try to entertain the kids whilst up on stage, waving their arms around, investing in dance routines, and talking "a lit-le bit like *this!!"the kids love it.  I remember it as a kid too (Although i don't remember liking it much, nor being able to really see much through the Silk-Cut fug). Anyway, my kids were great. They teetered up to the dance floor, fiercely holding each other's hands for moral support (or to establish their gang colours and territory, perhaps) and sat down. My oldest, who is 3, systematically rubbed her little brother's back for comfort and reassuring him that she wasn't leaving without him. I was overwhelmingly proud of her maternal instinct. I was disproportionately overjoyed and choked at my son's terrific behaviour. They had a flappy clappy dance with the "Sunshine crew" and tried to win me over for the adult dance. I did it of course, but only because I was a bit pished and had a nice top on.
8. When announcing the start of the adult dance, one of the "Sunshine Crew" told the kids that if mum and dad didn't want to dance it meant that they didn't love you anymore. I can see how the guy was trying to be funny. It was a good attempt at some "nudge-nudge ain't I a Joker!" humour but I didn't think hit the spot to be honest. Perhaps I am a little overprotective of what my pre-schoolers hear due to humour being generally a little lost on their SpongeBob minds at the moment and heaven forbid, they might've believed that dipshit Sunshine Stu.
9. The following night, my kids were cutting some shapes on the dancefloor again. My daughter excellent particularly, and her moves were most likely visually improved by the fact that her dance partner brother, didn't move at all and just stood, even through Carly Rae Jensen's "Call me Maybe" (a fav of mine) and stared at the stage with big eyes. His sister, although seriously digging her own moves, didn't move from his side and tried on several occasions to get him to participate by pushing her own face really close to his and stroking his back again. Another couple of kids started dancing nicely nearby and Annie grooved her way over and did some rather fantastic jazz hands whilst nodding her head like that fat-insurance-dog-car-toy. The other kids were accompanied by their adults and looked to them for reassurance that they could dance over to mine. These adults didn't know that we were sat right next to the dance floor and were in ear shot of them. I was a little surprised to hear (or watch her mouth - perhaps a combination of the two) that these kids there are travelling children. I think she meant mine! Oh dear.
10. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I bowed to the pressure and tried to indirectly assert my non Romany roots. I swiftly sashayed over to my gyrating daughter and statue rock-son and spoke to the kids in my absolutely dripping with regality Sloaney (and very made-up) voice *very loudly* so that the bitch knew I actually had a fixed abode. I said something wanky and unnecessary like "Do come on feather-britches, our Quail's Eggs are almost certainly al dente!" or "Bumpfy, darrrlling! Mummy would really like to to finish off your Almond Milk *before* you start your crevettes".
11. Of course, and entirely accurate retort to the (unfair!) accusation would have been "Annie, Mum has got a little tiddly and probably heard that woman totally incorrectly and has managed to actually piss herself off".
12. The following night, the "Sunshine Crew" brought out their mascot to cheer up the kids, who were no doubt a bit bored of Stu and Siobhan and their crappy dance moves, which were actually way too difficult for the kids to mimick. The mascot was a Seal called, actually, it might not have had a name. Shoddy. Anyway, he for sure *did* have mixamatosis or had previously had an unsuccessful run-in with a boat propellor.
13. A 7-seater hire car has no regard for the sheer amount of luggage that my aunty has to take with her for a 3-day holiday.
14. Our own car feels a bit shit now. Like a go-kart.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Today's observations 11.06.14

1. Space invaders. I've decided that there are certain situations where rules about personal space are compromised. Conflicting circumstances include underground trains/tubes/metros, where you can feasibly stand on someone's head and be within the parameters of decent manners and two very opposite places: sandwich  aisles of Boots, Tescos, Sainsburys and the reduced fresh section in Tesco. In these 2 zones, you have to give people a massive wide berth. People need their own space when choosing sandwiches or which price-slashed ready meal to poach from underneath someone's nose. It's strange that we subconsciously don't crowd people in these displays of lunch-stuffs or nearly-off fish. We stand back, peruse from afar. We know that we have already chosen, and mentally committed, to the Tuna Mayonnaise, but we can't reach for it until the fellow peruser, who stands around 10mm closer to the sandwich display than yourself, hasn't chosen yet and reaching for the sandwich may infringe their view. The reduced counter in supermarkets have a similar etiquette, expect for the anarchists: the OAPs whose grabby hands can snatch the 49p rollmops with stealth and sniper precision.
2. The World Cup has started and I am excited. Sporting choice aside, it gives my OH and I an opportunity to crowd around the TV and be jovial most evenings. It also means, however, we will spend lots of money going out to watch tv somewhere else.
3. My car was serviced today. I used a great garage that was recommended. They sorted the jalopy right out. The air conditioning no longer feels like Sunday morning breath: it now is an Swiss Alpine breeze experience. They hoovered up the jammy dodgers too. I do, however, have a minor gripe - and one that I recall experiencing before. When the service/work is all finished, they dump the completed and polished car in their forecourt ready for my collection. Unfortunately, they park it in such a fashion that *always* makes it awkward for me to drive away. I assure you; I'm an accomplished and relatively skilled driver. I'm confident in my skills. But there's something about reversing out of a space, left-manoeuvring around recently coiffured Lexus and right-angling around a sparkly Range Rover, whilst under the observing eyes of several mechanics, that leaves me a little nervous. Can't you just park my car in a gap that's really big so I may just roar out of it without a driving test on your damn forecourt?! Must you park 4 other cars around it? The sorry scenario was worsened by the chap assuring me on handing over the keys: "You can get out of there, can't you?"
4. A disadvantage of sling wearing. If the other child falls into a river, you can't jump on after her and expect to remain buoyant.
5. A disadvantage of sling wearing. Your child will steal sandwiches and tuck them into the sling like a SWAG Joey.
6. The array of sun protection and lotions in supermarkets and pharmacies adds to my doubt that I probably should not keep venturing out unprotected.
7. My leathery face contributes to this ponder.
8.  Pale blue is a shirt colour that suits all men.
9. My toddler son had an argument today with his own mirror reflection on public. I was very embarrassed. He even knew it was his reflection; he was just being a bit of a prat.
10. My daughter had to give our serviced car a "cuddle" when she arrived back from Playgroup. We really have done some things right.



Saturday, 7 June 2014

Today's observations 07.06.2014

1. It is entirely possible (based on current situ and past musings) to have a hangover that is so extreme in form that it actually brings you to tears.
2. OH and I went out last night to a popular local waterfront boozer. It was an impromptu night out; we were meeting some new friends and we had childcare sorted for the evening. Despite ( as regular readers will know) being a fairly accomplished drinker, I became very drunk, very quickly. Luckily, our new comrades were the social sort too and followed suit and were great fun. You know you've made a proper new girlfriend when she puts your shoes on for you in a funky wine bar. And doesn't even ask why you took them off in the first place. She just does it.
2. This afternoon I realised why I had taken my shoes off. It's a sorry rule that women will never learn. You DO.NOT wear new shoes on a night out. It's a ridiculous concept. You should wear them in the garden for a week leading up to your desired event. Don't be a fool. My new shoes have a spot of blood, around the size of a 10p, on the left little toe area.
3. My little toe is sore. I'll explain the state of it. Take a chipolata sausage. Squash it together with your hands. Strip the sausage skin off. That's now my little toe.
4. Last nights shenanigans replaced an initial romantic night on for OH and I. I had purchased 2x fillet steaks, some fresh cut chips, rocket and posh stalky tomatoes from Marksy's. We ate them tonight. You really do get what you pay for. I don't use M&S much but I am consistently surprised at the excellent standard. We also have a nice bottle of Chianti to go with it but that can kiss my nauseous arse at the moment.
5. In one of the bars last night, I was standing in the patio garden with my new pal. We were chewing the fat about something when all of a sudden, the whole (packed) beer garden's occupants all surged forward towards us. There were a few "Ooophhhs" and "Woahhhh!". A woman had fallen over. She had misjudged the distance of a step and fell into the crowd. It would have been funny- but she did take quite a tumble and was wearing a short dress; compromising her dignity somewhat. However, the smokers of Bowman's were good sorts. They promptly enquired about her general welfare and picked her up. She was fine. The females amongst us quizzed her (perhaps a little sadistically) about the cause of the fall. Yep. New shoes.
6. The kids didn't arrive home from the grandparents today until 3pm. This provided us ample hangover slots. After vomiting several times this morning (the crying episode came after No2), I decided that I should shower to rinse off my hangover. That didn't work. I brushed my teeth again, but the plastic stick rummaging around in my mouth made me gag. I glugged a carton of orange juice; obviously ignorant to the fact that 12oranges swilling around in a scathed empty Hoover bag of a stomach was not wise. That didn't work. I had a bit more sleep. My OH sensed my need to be left completely alone and proceeded to keep pulling my pants down or poking my arm. He then, clearly in a much more chipper state than my own self, went downstairs to fix himself some breakfast. He returned back upstairs with a bowl of something and got back into bed next to me. I wouldn't have minded, but for some reason known only to God, he had boiled 3 eggs, mashed them up in a bowl, and brought them upstairs to eat. I was, naturally sick again. I don't know why he chose this peculiar nature of breakfast.
7. I started to feel a little better by 2pm. OH went and fetched a McDonalds for us. We actually ate it, very slowly and delicately, in bed. It was really fun. It's strange that for a clean-freak like me, you don't actually give a shit about crumbs in the bed when you feel so gut-wrenchingly ill.
8. My advice to other party-goers. An excellent boost to fitness from a rotten Hangover is a cold, icey, fizzy drink. I chose Fanta. It really hit the spot. Certainly much better that the cloudy glass of yesterday-water that I had been gingerly sipping since waking up.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Today's observations 29.05.14

1, I feel that, personally, when bar staff are overly presumptious (competent) and brazen (accommodating) to ask you *if* they can get you another wine! then they should fill it up a bit more than the policy amount. I felt pressured into saying "Yes please, a large one". I really did.
2. If I was to do this blog sarcastic thing for a living (my lesser read friends have suggested as such), it would certainly mean an alcohol dependance, as I am fruitfully more apt and skittishly bright when I have the Flavour.
3. I feel a little mean writing that ^^. As one of the ones who suggested it is actually really eager-literate and knows what he/she is talking about.
4. Win. Phew.
5. I don't think I'd get on that well with Ed Sheeran (he seems the shy and retiring type...they don't dig me much) but I do really like him. I'm in a bar waiting for a potential drinking pal and "Small Bump" is playing. It makes me well up with sadness.
6. My appt in London cancelled today. It wasn't really her fault...someone from the paper pushing corporate should have let me know apparantly. So, I did the right thing of legging it straight home to the hungry mouthed bambinos and washing up.
7. No. I didn't.  I stayed out on beer duty in a plight to my blogging comrades.
8. Thank god for the old schoolers. On hearing my London Town outing, my dear aunt (also a second <better!> mother to the children) felt that it's only prudent that my poor malnourished OH gets fed around her loving, steamy and meat-fuelled kitchen too. God only knows, he may have had to make his own dinner when his flappy girlfriend (not even a wife!) staggers around the capital ordering wine and schnibbles. Seriously, she's great, that woman. Her real name is Margaret and she hates it!! We shall call her CAM (Crazy Aunty M**) for now.
9.We've just booked a little holiday to Norfolk in a "Elite Holiday Villa". This is actually a Static Caravan with sympathetic panels to cover up the gap between the caravan floor and the concrete base on the earth ground. We are taking the aunt and uncle because they deserve it. I'm more excited about the road trip there and back (we've hired a 7-seater!!!) than anything else. Uncle R (let's call him Ricardo for the sake of anonymity) will want some Elton John on and we can all laugh at his singing.
10. Hiring a car is a PITA. They wanted to know if I had "penalties"; These are totally subjective to perceptions and religious standing, right?
11. A 7-seater car means, apparently, that the 3rd row of seats are occasional and hinders the boot room of the car. Ok. Doable. I know that, despite prior warning and clear explanation, CAM will still bring extra bedding for a bed that doesn't exist in the "Elite Villa". And surplus food for the children. And bacon for OH.
12. I don't reminisce much about my old pre-children life. I'll scrap that. That's a lie. I do. But I'm getting at a point here. Bear with me. I was thinking today about some plans we have as a family. A bit of house improvement. An "Elite Villa" holiday in the windy Wash. Impending Sea Life centres and too-hot chips from the bag. Sling walks and earthy wanky smugness. Clubhouses with much-below-par "entertainment". Scampi Fries and fruit machines. Terrible discos and dancing competitions. OH and I in (apparently) single beds that are questionably narrow. Children snug in their own MDF cradles. This is what it's all about, eh? This is what makes my eyes prickle with excitement. It's a bit shit compared to the old stuff. But my GOD! It's my family and I truly love them.
13. My children are going to be right arses on holiday. They will hurt my feelings by dampening expectations. Ha!
14.Honestly..if Carlsberg did aunts....it would be CAM. I bet she doesn't get that this song is about you.....don't you....*don't you*...x
15. This bar is filling up rapidly with people wearing suits. Nothing much else make a me feel more uneasy than corporate people and being overdominated by such. I've got on Peacock Jeans on and a St.Elizabeth's Hospice castoff. *nods*. I'm a home working twat and no, I nothing about what you are discussing and I likely never will.
16. CAM is still asking Richard if I mean her.
17. I fell asleep on the train last night. I got the late one home; only 10:30pm..not too late. I gathered an arsenal of sandwiches and crisps for the journey. I'd had a few beers so I got some water too. I closed by eyes for just a few minutes passed Chelmsford. Was woken by the "ding dong, you are now approaching Colchester". Cool beans! The tannoy will awaken me when I arrive at my destination, stealing me another 10mins kip on this warm train with a bellyful of Peroni and Salt and Vinegar squares.
18. Alas, the tannoy fucked off at Colchester. I woke again as no train was stationary in Ipswich (and about to depart for Diss) so I legged it off the train leaving a billowing (and ashamed) pile of crisp packets and sandwich wrappers. Sorry bout that Abellio Greater Anglia...but you will insist on sporadic alarm clocks that are most inconvenient.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Today's observations 20.05.2014

1. Positive stories about Northern accents.

This is how you talk to someone if you are from the south of England.
"Shall we partake in the consumption of alcohol refreshments, wot wot?"
This is how you talk to someone if you are from The North.
"Fancy a beer?"
2. Negative stories about the same.
There's a Starbucks in Manchester station. When you order your coffee/tea, they write your name on the cardboard sleeve in order that they can call your name when your custom-made frothy-worthy consumerised crap is ready. So, I'm standing there waiting for my Mango-Schpango juice thing (I have another story about this later) which was obviously attributed to the name of "Jess". Other people were waiting too. The barista has a ready coffee in her hand ready to hand over to the rightful owner. She is small and cute and local to Manchester (Gemma). She shouts "Jeh! Jeh!" Everyone looks at each other. This name doesn't belong to any of us. The coffee has no owner. More importantly, we are still waiting for *our* drinks, with which the process will now take longer, because staff are fannying around trying house this orphan coffee.
"Jeh! Jeh". Everyone still looks taxed. I peek over the bang-bang coffee machine to see if someone is still making other people's drinks so we aren't endured to be here all day.
"Jeh?! Jeh!".
At this point another barista comes over. She is Eastern European but I can't tell you exactly where (Helena). She takes the coffee away from Gemma and reads the sleeve aloud: "Jay? Anyone called Jay?"
With that, the spectacled geek-chic lad next to me piped up "Yes, that's me!". He turns to us apologetically, as if it's his own fault that his name was so mispronounced.

3. I tried to elaborate my southerness whilst up North recently. I tried to talk like Holley Willoughbooby but instead sounded like JAAA-nit Street-PAWW-AH. I remarked to a northern pal; "I really need sum war-ah". "You mean water" she tastefully and neatly quipped.

4. There's a massive toilet on this train; it takes up at least a quarter of the carriage and is one of these custom-fit plastic units like a giant porta-potty. It has electronic doors which open and shut at a touch of button. When you sit on the toilet doing your  thing, a flighty electrical blip could cause this door to open of its on accord; thus displaying you at your most vulnerable state, to the whole of the carriage. I don't trust this door. The same seemingly minor electric flaw that causes, for example, the fucking wifi not to work on this train or that annoying blinky bulb in the overhead light could also whimsically open the toilet door whilst you are pulling your pants up.

5. That cocainey one from Status Quo just got on my train at Bury St Eds. He was probably here to buy cocaine. The Cockney rebel.

6. I used the tram today. No one checked my ticket and I could have done it for free.  This useless fact now bothers me a little.