Sunday, May 27, 2007

A thought

Ikea is only a good idea until you get there. At that point it turns unremittingly shit.

It is a lot like "Great" Yarmouth in that respect.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007



There we were last week, in the queue at Weight Watchers.

It’s an uncomfortable sort of atmosphere – everyone panicking about whether they’ve lost, or put on, or whether they should have eaten that entire Black Forest gateau* at the weekend. People try and sneak a look at other people’s cards, trying to see who weighs more. Nobody really talks to each other, unless they’re with someone they know.

So when the Nice Old Lady in front of me struck up a conversation about the “You Are What You Eat” magazine she’s found a recipe for teabread in, it was quite pleasant. We had a bit of a chat about healthy eating, how strange and creepy we found “Dr” Gillian McKeith and her Incredible Self-Authored Degree. It was all going swimmingly, except I felt I wasn’t really bringing much to the party.

So I decided to kick things up a notch.

All full of warmth and sisterhood, fuelled by our frank discussion on how strange it is that a person would want to pick through another person’s poo (Gillian McKeith, that is, not me) and secretly delighted that an Older Lady would talk comfortably to pierced, pink-haired me, I got a little brave. Have you ever watched that “How to Look Good Naked” programme? I asked. It’s really good. Only, he takes these women who aren’t comfortable with their bodies and he teaches them what to wear to make the most of themselves and by the end of it they’re confident enough to do a naked photoshoot and then a catwalk show in their underwear in front of their friends and family. It’s really.....affirming. Mindful of Older sensibilities I was, of course, careful to point out that the host, Gok Wan, was a bit alternative. On the whole, though, I was happy with my recommendation.

Fast forward to last night’s show, which largely comprised a variety of (naked) women shouting either “Brazilian!” or “bush!” in response to a survey on how they preferred to manage their minges. This was interspersed with lots of references to the rather full-figured participant’s “bangers”. And did I mention lots of people were naked? I mean, naked. On Channel Four. At eight pm. And I recommended this programme to a stranger. Sweet.

I might try Slimming World this week.

*Bleurgh. I would rather eat Rik Waller’s toejam.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Twinned with Waco, Texas

This morning at nine o'clock, I unlocked the door to my office, walked in and, as is standard practice, locked the door behind me. Pausing only briefly to ascertain that the rear exit was still nailed and barred shut and therefore not an exit at all (and making a mental note to bollock Maintenance for the eleventieth time in a fortnight), I picked my way through the debris of the weekend to my desk. It's best not to think about the whole fire-exit scenario, what with all the windows being nailed shut and covered in reinforced perspex and everything.

After removing a number of scrawled Post-It notes advising that we were all variously cunts, wnakers (sic) and tossers, I plugged all my network cables back in where they had been ripped out, replaced the broken desk phone and settled back to check the answerphone. That done, I sorted the post, checked the diary and tried very, very hard not to think about my in-tray, which is gaining mountainous proportions and is, I suspect (in my more paranoid moments), self-replicating every other day. Bastard.

The morning passed slowly, punctuated with the odd bout of door-kicking, vicious swearing and running battles across the courtyard. I ignored it, as best I could. I mean, it's just work, isn't it? I idly considered spending the afternoon clearing some filing. Happily, this wasn't an option, owing to me having to rush a member of staff off to A&E at the local hospital to have some drain cleaner flushed from his eyes. He was sprayed in the face with it just after lunch - lucky for him he'd already eaten as it was moussaka today, and he'd have hated to have missed it.

A couple of hours passed in the waiting room (some slight burns to his corneas but he should be fine, apparently), and it was back to work; me mentally calculating how much time I had lost, him wondering whether to press charges. Rounding the corner to the office, I could hear raised voices. What could be going on? Peering through the door, I saw about ten people thronging around my desk, only half of them staff. It seemed a bit, well, tense in there so I formed an alternative plan. Off for a cigarette, then. After that, the coast was clear and after tidying up again I managed to work for fifteen minutes before abandoning the office once more owing to some enthusiastic window-battering from an enterprising soul who'd appropriated half a telegraph pole from somewhere. Such initiative!

Five o'clock arrived too soon, and as I made my way to the car (parked a judicious distance from the office, naturally), calling goodbyes and being rewarded with obscene gestures and exhortations to fuck off (seeing as I am a cunt and all, who could blame them?), I sighed happily and thought, do you know what? If I don't ace that fucking interview I've got tomorrow afternoon I'm jacking it in anyway and getting a fucking paper round.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The one where I overuse "seven"

Small Person turns seven next week. Seven!

I don't quite understand how I came to be the parent of a seven-year-old. I mean, I understand the technical side (even as I am, as ever, slightly incredulous at the thought that the Ex and I ever did that). But, seven? No front teeth and obsessed with kittens and nearly ready for That Talk about, you know, the facts of life? Incredible.

She's all sass and sweetness, is my girl. By turns hilarious and infuriating (and those two states are pretty much interchangeable at the moment), I look at her sometimes and wonder how I came to be the mother of such an amazing creature.

Seven years ago, I was extremely pregnant, and extremely unhappy. The Ex and I were pretty much sick of the sight of each other and, as if a house populated by tired, huge, hormonal, irritated/irritating people wasn't enough to contend with, my mother came to stay. For three weeks. I'm sure I don't have to elaborate too much on why this was a bad thing.

She ruined the last two weeks of my pregnancy. When I went into labour, she stalked us around the hospital, having been expressly forbidden from coming to the hospital in the first place. She haunted the corridors like a grey-haired vampire in sandals, at one point having to be evicted from a lurking-spot right outside the delivery room. She visited me on the ward approximately thirty seconds after I wince-waddled my way back there, following a slightly disconcerting bath*. When the Ex and I brought Small Person back from the hospital she was waiting in the living room, offering sage advice on everything from how high to have the heating to no-you-don't-hold-her-like-THAT. Which was a bit rich really, considering she has no discernible parenting skills herself.

Not a good time, all things considered.

Fast forward seven years. The Other Half arrives home from work and Small Person rushes downstairs to give him a hug and a kiss. Our house is warm and safe and the people in it love each other**). I will always feel sad that Small Person went through the trauma of her parents divorcing, but she loves me and she loves her dad and she loves the Other Half (her Not-Dad). And yes, she has driven me mad this evening, but just before bed she gave me a fragrant, bath-warm cuddle and told me in her Very Serious Voice that I am the Best Mummy In The World. So, I must be doing alright, really.

Either that, or that time I dropped her on her head as a baby*** did more damage than we first thought.

* Seriously, I wasn't expecting to find out that that happened when you gave birth. Someone should have warned me.

** We don't love the woman next door, however, who is listening to what sounds suspiciously like a Bedingfield very loudly indeed.

*** Of course I made that up. Durr.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ready, Steady, Get Tae Fuck

If there were a Top Trumps game of Annoying Celebrities, Ainsley Harriott would surely be the unbeatable card. The one that, when found in your dealt hand, causes a smile of satisfaction to briefly twist your mouth before you settle to the serious business of trouncing your oponent.

Unctuous, patronising, obsequious, irritating, smug – there just aren’t enough Bad Adjectives to adequately describe the abject cuntiness of Britain’s Twattiest Celebrity Chef*. He’s like human effluent – unpleasant, ubiquitous and in need of a long-term sustainable solution**.

I really don’t know how to adequately précis my loathing for this man. You could argue that I could simply ignore him; after all, it’s not like I’m compelled by law to allow him to irritate me this much. But, in case you haven’t been paying attention for the last two years, this is what I do. I become irrationally annoyed with things/people that I should really just avoid, and vent my pathetic spleen via the medium of the internet, with which to make your lives ever richer.


We watched Ready Steady Cook by accident the other day. Ainsley was doing his usual mugging and gurning and offering a steady stream of sub-Carry On innuendo to the hapless contestants. This time, it was Nicholas Parsons (who, to be fair to Ainsley, is an insufferable old queen and deserves anything dished out to him) and Marion Keyes (who, to be fair to Ainsley, is over-chirpy, slightly mental and not as fantastic as she probably thinks she is, at least, not any more) who were improbably attempting to create gourmet fare from a fiver spent at Waitrose***. Ainsley launched into full new-best-friend mode, and I began to snarl.

So, says Ainsley to our Marion, what about all those books, then? Ooh, yes, replies Marion, frantically grating something, it all started with Watermelon you know.

At this point, Ainsley sacrificed any pretence of interest. Oh, yes! he exclaimed, with the over-excited tone of a man who just loves spending time curled up on the sofa with a mint chocolate Options and a big old pile of chick-lit, that Watermelon. That's a fantastic book!

Please. Marion could have opined that actually, she thought Fred West was a bit misunderstood, really, and Ainsley would have happily agreed. And then, he did it again to Nicholas Parsons.

Actually, offered Nicholas, I spend quite a lot of time on cruise ships these days. Quick as a flash, Ainsley was right in there. Ooh, of course. I hear it all the time - people saying they've been on a cruise and there was Nicholas Parsons. Oh, fuck OFF. As if people are approaching Ainsley Harriott in the street to mention that they were on a cruise last week and you'll never guess who they saw? Only that one off of Sale of the Century! As if. Cunt.

I hope, in my heart of hearts, that all the other celebrity chefs hate him too. That he is the Paul Daniels of the profession. That, when he walks into the green room at the BBC, James Martin and Brian Turner look at their watches and leave, muttering about how they've left those scones in the oven, and isn't it funny how time flies, and oh, look! There's Lowri Turner!

I realise that this may be the most irrelevant post I have ever subjected you to. But I hate hate hate the man and his Teflon personality so much that I simply had to share before I went mental. Again.

As you were.

* I know, I know. But really, with his fat tongue, Mockney sensibilities and ugly children, does Jamie Oliver really need to take up any more of my valuable loathing time?

** Like Guanatamo Bay, or lethal injection, or something.

*** If it was me, I'd buy fish paste, some croissants and a tin of rice pudding. Take that, celebrity chef!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Look! Everyone! It's Sarah Beeny's Tits!!

Since I am currently being visited by lots of people hoping for a glimpse of Sarah Beeny off of Property Ladder's ginormous norks, I thought I might as well indulge them for a second. See how low I've sunk. I remember the days when this used to be a proper blog etc, etc....

For breast-obsessives everywhere. I hope your boss is walking behind you as this page loads. And, who knows? Maybe you'll get a real girlfriend one day.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The One Where Nobody Comments...

..because really, this one's for me.

Fall Out Boy. What's that all about? I mean, I'm not after a deconstruction of their lyrical direction, or anything. They're Mostly Harmless, as far as I can tell. Small Person is lobbying hard for a cd for her birthday, and as far as that goes we're all fine. If seven-year-olds are their target audience then they're bang on the money.

What bothers me is the unspoken issue of the spectacular weight gain of Patrick-That-Sings (I understand that his last name is 'Stump' but we're not going there). Why is everyone oblivious to it? Musical direction aside, the music press seems to be turning a blind eye to his miraculous transformation from lithe indie kid to 80's Saturday afternoon semi-pro UK wrestler. If it's a marketing tool, it's working. I for one am transfixed. I can't think of anything I enjoy more than watching Kerrang! TV of an afternoon and witnessing first-hand the unexplained bloating that occurs between the "Dance Dance" and "Arse Face"* videos. I understand that with fame, if you're lucky, comes fortune. It just seems that Fatrick has overindulged in the buying-doughnuts phase of fame that is apparently the first thing to strike those latterly-struggling muso types.

I appreciate that nine-and-a-half out of ten people couldn't give a shit about this. But, you see, that's the beauty of blogging. You can think out loud and trust the grown-ups to remember where the off-switch is.

Off you go.

* I know it's technically "Arms Race". But, for the love of god**, get some post production. Or elocution lessons. Or something.

** I know I'm about two months late with this. It doesn't mean it hasn't bothered me though. It just underlines how chronically lazy I am.

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