Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing day rant

This morning I was watching the BBC news and they were talking about the Boxing Day sales; one of their reporters was outside a Next that had opened at 6am. Blah blah, economy, blah blah, sales figures, blah blah. It was all in a congratulatory tone, as though it's super-exciting to be able to go to buy clothes at six in the blue-pencilled morning.

Apparently a lot of people would disagree with my feeling that it's a shit idea, given a crowd had been queueing since 1am.

Who does that?! If you're that hard up for bargain clothes, go down the charity shop!

All I can think about is the poor buggers who work there, who no doubt spent Christmas Eve getting the sales stuff out onto the shop floor. Then they have the joy of getting up to get the store open on Boxing Day in time for a 6am opening. That has got to suck.

Fuck you Next.

Boxing Day shouldn't be an 'exciting' shopping day, in my opinion. It's a day for playing board-games, going for family walks, eating cold turkey, playing with the things you didn't get time to play with on Xmas day. I worked this morning (I have two jobs, the morning one in retail) and it wasn't too bad as it's my normal hours. I would resent a pre-6am start hugely. Nobody needs to buy clothes at that time of the morning.

Fuck you again Next.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Friends walls

I am not sure about this sentimental/inspirational tea-towel message.

Walls, to me, are what you bang your head against.

Friends, not so much :).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Men don't eat yoghurt

The Perle de Lait advert is annoying.

First it's a bunch of women all amazed by 'how does she do it?'

How does she do what? They're all on a par as far as I can tell - all interchangeable. Even in ad-land, I can't see what she has that the others don't and supposedly envy her for.

Did she give them an amazing dinner that we missed seeing? Well, somehow, I doubt it when she brings out what she calls dessert... It's four pots of yoghurt on a tray. If I recall correctly, a silver tray... Blue-pencilled wow.

Perhaps it's the front of presenting plastic pots of yoghurt to people and calling it dessert that they envy.

You can't sell me plastic pots of yoghurt for afters as a glamorous, enviable lifestyle! You can try, obviously, and you have tried, makers of this advert, but you failed.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Jamie Olive-Oil

It's funny, I fear my and the other half's drinking games now reveal our ages, instead of showing how cool we are...

The Jamie Oliver drinking game, where we sup everytime he uses olive oil, says 'bad boy', 'little baby' and  wrongly uses 'literally' - well, it'll get you pissed, but it's not going to raise your street cred anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

But you fall within a bell curve

I have misgivings about some of Minchin's humour. I really like his song "If I didn't have you", lyrics here and youtube here. I tend to like the ones about sciencey stuff, anti-prejudice and that seem pro-feminism.

I'm not so keen on the more aggressive anti-religion ones. He sang one about the Pope at Eden, which involved a lot of swearing.

I mean, I do agree with the sentiment that if the Pope colluded in or demanded cover-ups of paedophile priests, with the moving of them from parish to parish etc, and if there was a choice to try to protect the reputation of the church over the safety of children, then yeah, all the swear-words in the world are not enough for the Pope. Those men should have been handed over to the cops and prosecuted; whether the church gave them religious succour, allowed them to repent/receive absolution whatever from behind bars wouldn't trouble me, as long as they paid their debt to society in this life - and they were kept away from the vulnerable ever after.

But some of his other songs taking the piss out of religious beliefs did make me uneasy. "What would my friend think?" I thought. And "nothing good" was the answer.

I guess Minchin treads a line that is aggressive and alienating. I don't go hand-in-hand with him over that edge.

I do like this song 'though. I wish he'd done that one.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Warning Signs

I think the one on the left is more dramatic. The other could be anything without the wording.

Exit from Eden

I went to see Tim Minchin at the Eden Sessions at the Eden Project last night. It absolutely pissed down, but he was a great performer.

Tim Minchin played by a ray of light

On the way out, it was a massive bottle-neck of people barely moving up the paths to the exit, and we laughed about it being like a scene from a zombie film, shuffling along stiff-legged cos we were cold and soaked to the skin. "Brains, brains".

Some guys took up the theme behind us, making us laugh more. "We're shuffling along like penguins."  "Hey, I've an idea for a film with zombie penguins - it'd be like Happy Feet, only with disappointment..."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fun at the garden centre

We were wandering round, when we saw this poor woman. I think it's supposed to be a romantic depiction of her feeding birds, but it's more like a scene from 'The Birds'! Someone help her! (I'm too busy taking photographs).

I love this zombie, but don't love its price - and besides it would give the children nightmares. But when they grow up, I'm having zombies in the flower beds...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


So David Cameron is appealing to the hoi polloi by following the Homer Simpson school of parenting*?

We're in this together - as long as you get in the car quick enough, Nancy!

* Several episodes end with the children left behind somewhere.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Pressing the right buttons

I like this.

That's the way to do it

It struck me*, as I watched this traditional puppet show at a local Jubilee event, that Punch and Judy may be the precursor of such entertainment** as the Jeremy Kyle show.

* Just as it struck the policeman.
** I may have the wrong word here.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

'IT' is a compliment?

Sometimes people argue that their comments about women's appearances aren't objectifying or dehumanising the women concerned, but are actually complimentary. But if that was the case, why would the words 'that' and  'it' so often be employed?

As in, "It's not bad for forty!" This was a comment referring to a woman whose birthday it was, from SIK* who thought he was among friends, with another man, not realising I could hear.

It's quite disturbing to realise that out of earshot, I and any other woman could easily become 'it' to him, no matter how nice he can be to my face. I don't see how anyone can pretend using 'it' is not about objectifying someone.

It's a deliberate choice of language, isn't it? It's just not natural to use 'it' instead of 'she/her' unless it is for the purposes of these so-called compliments.

Possibly it's about 'in' groups and 'out' groups - SIK othering the woman with the birthday and trying to bond with the other man.

* Someone I Know

Monday, June 04, 2012


Extraordinary really that it has taken me until now to read George Orwell's 1984. It was one of these books I have a mental block about, and never could bring myself to pick it up, despite having studied dystopia at college. I did enjoy it in the end, although I found the sections from 'the book' dragged.

One to tick off the list of virtuous ought-to-reads.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sunshine and Pimms

I made Pimms today.

  • Attractive jug to take outside, check
  • good slosh of Pimms into the lemonade, check
  • sprinkle of fresh-picked mint leaves, check
  • no strawberries, but never mind
  • couple of handfuls of ice-cubes, check.

Ahh, yum.

Until later on, when we noticed something like a slice of lemon at the bottom. Where did the lemon come from, we wondered?

On closer examination, it was a chip. With a few bits of sweetcorn as well. The ice-cube bag must have invited some strays from the freezer in.

Friday, May 25, 2012



Last night was somewhat disturbed.

At 3am the dog wanted out.
Then he was scampering around downstairs, until I told him to go to bed.

At 4, the Zsu Zsu Battle hamster at the end of our bed (don't ask) woke up and started squeaking and twittering. I could have cheerfully drop-kicked it across the room, but carefully placed it on its side on the cabinet and eventually it went back to sleep.

At 4.30, something was skittering under the bed. I looked around, it went quiet. As soon as I was still, off it went again. I thought it was a cat, but there was no cat. I thought it was a cat's prey, but couldn't understand why there was no cat seeking it.

Eventually I located the source. It was a frog. A frog, for zog's sake.

What peeved me most about all these ructions was the husband sleeping peacefully beside me. It was only me chasing the frog around the room that woke him up. Git.

Then for a while I lay thinking that the hamster (real hamster) didn't look like she had any water when I went past, and I couldn't help wondering how long her bottle had been empty and if she would die of dehydration, so  I had to get up again and fill it. Bah.

Warning Signs

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Warning Signs

And let's not be content with poking primates. Try a parrot.

Warning Signs

Compare and contrast this sign with that one. Far less gory, and more inviting...

Poke that monkey, it suggests, poke it in the nose!

It may bite in response. It may not.

It's monkey roulette.

Warning signs

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Warning Signs

I particularly like the blood detail and realistic hand on this sign. Nice and graphic... The stuff of nightmares for small children brought to enjoy viewing (toothy) animals in enclosures. 

And not the usual 'may bite' - no, no, not these animals - these animals will bite. It's certain.

Warning Signs

I like a good warning sign. Ones that promise sudden death if you disobey. Ones that predict doom and gloom and destruction. Yep.

Bin there done that

One thing you can always count on: the kitchen bin is always full. Doesn't matter if you just emptied it, when you go back later, it's full. Usually with cat food pouches dropping out the side.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home 'wisdom'

That thing that people say, you know, the one about 'why would you go out for a burger when you have steak at home?' That's just rubbish.

Sometimes you just fancy a burger.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Come fly with me

I just finished the Unlimited Dream Company.

Ballard was obsessed with semen stains. My clearest memory of Crash was all that sex-related staining: crusty underpants ahoy! And it's probably going to be my lasting impression of this book too.

I think this one was better and loved the flying & freakiness: it was an absorbing read... But you come* away thinking, that man was just, er, overly concerned with jizz.

* Pardon the pun.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sorry no

I was driving along when I saw a sign like the above on a gateway. It must once have had an accompanying piece to say what or who they were saying no to, but I like it as it is. 

It doesn't matter what you want: sorry, no. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Twin pique

Is it wrong to be mildly irritated by a FaceBook status telling friends to remember to send two cards to some one year old twins, rather than one?

It's fair enough when the twins are older and give a toss about cards, but one year old babies? I wouldn't send only one present to twins, absolutely, and I daresay it does get wearing if people treat twins as if they're not individuals. But blimey, I don't even see the point of cards to tiny children. The only people this is about pleasing is the mum and dad.

Oh, hang on - maybe it's a hint to people who would send a single present. Perhaps they're trying not to seem grabby by making it about cards. Irritation fading...

It seems a shame that this post, which I decided earned the label of 'drivel', turns out to be my 1000th post on this blog. I might add some links to some of my favourite posts in celebration...

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The BBC were doing their coverage of the Grand National and put up a table of horses, jockeys and so forth after the race. I noticed that Katie Walsh was listed as 'Miss Katie Walsh'. All the male jockeys were just first name and surname, but for some bizarre reason her name wasn't enough to point up her sex, didn't satisfy someone somewhere - they felt had to put Miss up there as well. It struck me as very very odd.

I'd like to grasp someone by the lapels - gently - and whisper "but why?"

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

It looks worse than it is...

My son discovered a big red mark above his knee when he was changing: "Oh oh, it hurts so much, owww!"

His smile was a bit sheepish when it was pointed out it was paint.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Petrol peeves

I can't help but feel our current government are a bunch of tossers. Some twat (Francis Maude) was advising people hoard jerry-cans of fuel.

Then, "Mr Penning, the roads minister, later told BBC Two's Newsnight: "You can't store that amount of petrol. It was a mistake by the cabinet minister. He didn't understand the size of a jerrycan. He has apologised since." 

The woman who set herself on fire in York is probably extremely grateful for Maude's sterling advice 'though [/sarcasm].

"However, he [Pennings] insisted that Mr Maude had been right to advise drivers to keep their petrol tanks full as the seven days' notice the union is required to give before going on strike would leave little time to prepare. 
"Seven days isn't enough to actually make sure we have the facilities and the amount of fuel we need to go forward. If they go on strike the country will have a problem. Let's be prepared for that in case it happens," said Mr Penning." (from BBC news website)

If I filled up my tank (if I could blue-pencilled afford to fill up my tank) 7 days before a strike, I'd still need petrol during it. Petrol is one of our household's major outgoings. I live in a rural area where cuts to budgets have just meant our already shit bus service has lost most of its subsidy and therefore we have an even shitter 'service' starting in April. My daughter will no longer have a bus she can catch to get into her school, and the best alternative I can come up with is driving her 4 miles to get a train that will get her in an hour early. We have no cycle lanes, no foot-paths and our rural roads are too dangerous for me to let her bike it, aside from how far it is. I need the sodding car for that, to get to work and to get my husband to work.

My own damn silly fault for being low-paid and rural.

Sucks to be you, say dough-faced bastard Cameron & his cronies. 

But of course, all this drama about a potential strike is based on nothing solid, it's just whipping up a crisis so as to build public support for more undermining of workers' rights, I reckon. And to distract from the budget.

Oh no, cry the Tories, naughty workers dissatisfied with their lot, how very dare they! Let's assume talks will fail, they'll strike and we'll all run out of fuel, wah, wah, panic-buy, don't panic-buy, keep those tanks full to the brim, but don't queue, and don't forget to hoard incredibly flammable substances in your garages, sheds and outhouses, so you can burn down the neighbourhood. 

Thanks for that. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Appeal fails

This sucks. The woman who was jailed for retracting rape allegations against her abusive husband has lost her appeal against the conviction. I despair I really do.

Previous posts on this story here and here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Somebody loves the boss...

It seems someone was trying to tell the boss something.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Reading Record 2012

Ah the annual reading record. It went to pot last year, forgot to write it, didn't make time to read as much, but that was 2011. Ha. It is gone, forgotten. I'm so over 2011.

We are already into the second month of 2012, which as yet another year on this planet #sigh# started out pretty crappily, but hopefully will improve...

So what you been reading, (you demand ungrammatically)?


Snuff /Terry Pratchett - re-read
Alias Grace / Margaret Atwood
Dave Gorman vs the World / Dave Gorman - re-read
The Quiet Gentleman / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Bath Tangle / Georgette Heyer - re-read


The Nonesuch / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Pistols for Two / Georgette Heyer - re-read
The Grand Sophy / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Jezebel / Eleanor de Jong
Paradise News / David Lodge
Gather Together in My Name / Maya Angelou
Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry like Christmas / Maya Angelou


The Heart of a Woman / Maya Angelou
It's Different for Girls / Jo Brand
The Captain and the Enemy / Graham Greene
The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science / Philip Ball - abandoned half-way
Arabella / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Powder & Patch / Georgette Heyer - re-read


The Foundling / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Lady of Quality / Georgette Heyer - re-read
The Masqueraders / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Lorna Doone / Richard Doddridge Blackmore
The Unlimited Dream Company / JG Ballard
War Fever / JG Ballard
These Old Shades / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Sprig Muslin / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Sylvester / Georgette Heyer - re-read
The Sewing Book - Alison Smith


A Convenient Marriage / Georgette Heyer - re-read
Anansi Boys / Neil Gaiman - re-read
American Gods / Neil Gaiman - re-read
Frost Dancers / Garry Kilworth
1984 / George Orwell


Leviathan / Paul Auster -re-read
The Black Moth / Georgette Heyer -re-read
Stiff / Mary Roach - re-read


Northanger Abbey / Jane Austen
MiddleMarch / George Elliot


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress / Heinlein - re-read
Biggles Hits the Trail / WE Johns - re-read


Theodore Boone / John Grisham
Theodore Boone - The Abduction / John Grisham
Exiles in Asperus / John Wyndham
Neverwhere / Neil Gaiman - re-read


Red Mars / Kim Stanley Robinson (re-read)
Dodger / Terry Pratchett

Friday, March 02, 2012

And so I limp on,

a wounded creature.

I want to do something dramatic and insane, but I can't because of the kids. I feel tired but I have to keep going, smile and make small talk this afternoon. When the children get home, I'll make them tea and take them to their clubs.

And not just punch the sun out of the sky or crumble into dust.

Just as well I have the kids.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Dr Terry Bowley is the face of bowel cancer in recent tv adverts.

Now that's nicely arranged.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


You'd be forgiven for thinking I've given up blogging.

But I haven't.

So there.