Wednesday, 23 December 2009

I've Gone all Mushy Inside (but i kind of like it)

I follow a blog by a lovely lady by the name of Ginny. You can find her here at Praying to Darwin. Give her a read, she keeps me clutching my ribs and I giggle till my little lungs can giggle no more. Put it this way, if you're a smoker, don't smoke while reading her blog. You may hurt yourself.

One of her recent posts, Maybe a Girl's Best friend. Just Not This Girl touched me. As you will read, Ginny’s post isn't about diamonds but rather, it’s about how her hero wouldn’t buy her a big flippin’ ten-ton-tessy necklace but rather give her something with some meaning. Her other half being the REAL Hero she needs.

I understand what she's hootin' on about first hand. While some of you look at your boyfriends and husbands and touch wood you will never see them hurt, I touch wood that I will never see mine hurt again. I don’t want to go into details but a couple of years back Justin took a bullet in the form of a size 10 Nike sneaker… to the head.

When you see your other half in a way that I saw Justin that night you realise that nothing really matters. You know what love really means when you’re rattling off their blood group, what their allergic too and an entire medical history rite down to his last dental check up. He can’t remember any of that night. I don’t think I would want him too, even if he could.

I would rather trade all the diamonds in the world than see him hurt like that again. I would rather us both be poor and just have each other than have the world but have no one to share it with.

So every year when he produces presents for me I always accept them with a huge smile and hug. To be honest, he could be giving me a clump of dirf decorated with dryer lint, little does he know that my big present every year is really just having him by my side and watching his eyes light up as I open my gifts. But please don’t tell him though, his ego is big enough already and I've really got my hear set on a slanket.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

I still want a Slanket!

A week ago I wrote this blog. On my list to santa, you will see that I noted down I wanted a Slanket. A slanket is a blanket with sleeves. Justin has been giving me grief about my slanket request. Personally, I think it's a damn good idea. Nothing worse than trying to drink a cup of tea and having a flight with the blanket in the process. And think of travelling. How much easier would it be to have a slanket on a plane instead of a static blanket that has covered many people before you.

However, while I think it's a great idea and I very much want one, it seems the world is against me and world rather make of fun of the idea.

Laugh all you want but I still want one. And when I get one, who will be the one laughing when you have cold arms?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

What I Have to Deal With!

As some of you know, Justin plays guitar. In fact he just doesn’t play guitar he more lives, eats, dreams and most probably shits guitar. He loves it and frankly I count myself lucky to drift off to sleep most nights listening to music he has written just for me and only me.

However, while it all sounds so romantic, lovely and all the ladies out there are jealous, it gets bloody annoying when he plays the same song over and over again. Of late his torture of choice has been ‘I’m Yours.’ Great song the first time you hear it but after three months of the flipping thing you want to hunt down Jason Mraz and bash that wooden box with six strings over his head for ever writing it.

So to give you all a taste of what it’s like to live with Justin and his 6 guitars, watch this video about 10 times before you go to bed. Heaven help me if he ever had a protege like this!

And because this kid is so flippin' cute, watch this one too!

How not to talk about sex with a teenager

Now it may not surprise you when I say I don't have the best relationship with my step father. I’m going to hold back from throwing insults and show a little respect. We never shared anything while I was growing up. Complete polar opposites but, there was one night when he put on the dad pants and made my inner girl scream with embarrassment and cringe at the awkwardness. That was the night we were both taken by surprise by an ‘adult scene’ in a movie.

When you're a 13 year old girl, sex scenes are extremely awkward to watch with any member of family. If I was to witness one with my mother now I probably make obscene comments until she blushed or walked out of the room. Back in the day I was quite content to pretend I didn't know what sex was. That was of course until that fateful night.

My mum had gone to bed. It must have been a Friday because I was allowed to stay up and watch the rest of the movie with my step father. Mum was quite liberal and let me watch M15 movies, it was no different from any other movie... or so she thought. As we sat there, the plot thickened. I must admit I don't actually remember the plot or what the movie was called but that’s not important for this story. What’s important is while I was munching on popcorn and sipping herbal tea, (no normal tea after 7pm due to the caffeine. If only she could see me now!) All of a sudden the main female character was taking her clothes off. Hmm, thinking quickly I looked away,
“Wow check out how interesting this piece of popcorn is?”
Yes things got that bad and we stooped to that level to try and avoid what was going on over on the TV.

I looked from my piece of interesting popcorn back to the TV. The main male character was looking at the female character like a lion that hasn't eaten in weeks and has just spied a zebra fresh from the watering hole. AHHHH my down played sexual education was diminishing before me. I knew what they’re doing, my step father knew what they’re doing but did he know that I knew? I guess not.

I squirmed, the step dad squirmed. Not exactly a bonding moment to seal our already fragile relationship! As the female character (with boobies out) mounted the male character in a sexual position that made my Barbie look amateur, my step dad turned to me with a bright red face and said, "she's just comforting him."

Not knowing whether to laugh, cry or run from the room and wash my eyes and ears outs with soap, I was mortified! Here is my step father, on a Friday night, in front of the telly, trying to give me ‘the talk.’ I racked my brains trying to find a witty comment, an excuse to leave the room but I was rendered speechless and frozen. All I could muster was a big fat, “Oh.”

I think he though the look of horror and shock was because I had no idea what was going in the movie. I guess he made the assumption that my mother had neglected to inform about the finer points of baby making. I was more than happy to let him believe that if it meant he wouldn’t make any more comments like, “Comforting him.” Trust me when I say this; that looked far from comfortable! I think ‘Oh’ did the trick though because he didn’t say anything back and he left the room to fill up the already full pop corn bowl. Too little, too late.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

It’s that time of year again when I write to you and try to justify my actions of the past 12months. Seeing as we’re both adults I don’t feel it’s necessary to beat around the bush. Unlike certain children, I don’t feel I need to draw you a nice picture to prove my intentions. I can’t draw. So let’s get down to business and discuss why I should be on the good list and how I should be rewarded.

I can’t lie like little kids. I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve helped out around the house and done something nice for someone everyday. Santa my man, you are all knowing and all seeing so it’s pointless to even pretend that I’ve tried. In my defence, can I just say that while I am shockingly disruptive, a professional procrastinator and all round story teller… I am actually a good person deep down. I can be caring when I fancy it and I try to do the best by others (unless I don’t like them very much.) When I laughed at the midgets wrestling on Jerry Springer a few months ago, I meant no offence to your elves in any way.

So let’s get down to business. May I please have something half decent? You know my boyfriend Justin? You must know him; he’s the one at the top of your good list with a halo around his head. As much as everyone loves him, he has no Christmas cheer. For Christmas may I please have a boyfriend who isn’t so suborn and just goes with the flow? If I want to dangle lights all out the place, I would like him to smile and say “good job! Our house looks like a cheap brothel and is completely uncoordinated but good job!” It’s just not Christmas unless we’re both wankered on Baily’s, wearing Santa hats and singing dodgy Christmas carols while dancing around the lounge. Also, I would love for him to understand the importance of wrapping everything and anything in wrapping paper… just so I can open it on Christmas morning. Could you please remind him that I left the wrapping paper, sticky tape and scissors on the kitten table? There are only 2 tags left but I’m sure he can pick some more up from the pound shop.

As for the gift department, you have yet to let me down. Just to ensure we are on the same page; here is a list of stuff I wouldn’t say no too:

  • A head massager (manual or electric. You can pick these up cheap from boots.)
  • A Christmas Song CD to play all day long. (must include Wham and Mariah)
  • A dressing grown/ slanket (it’s a blanket with sleeves)
  • The Sims 3 expansion pack.
  • A kitten.
  • Eurostar tickets for a weekend in Paris
  • Some books, of the soppy lady variety
  • Lily Allen, Michael Buble`, Lenka, Peter Andre or John Williamson Album (will settle for downloads as long as they are paid for and I can play them in the kitchen)
  • A photo album with all the pictures from our adventures in it
  • The lifestyle and culture channel package on Sky
  • Christmas flowers delivered to work
  • Some arcade games on the playstation (happy with downloads)
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries (home made with Cadbury chocolate)
  • Arrow Word, crossword book
  • A princess outfit for Kitty-Minx (I know he’s a boy cat but he has no balls!)

To be honest Santa, apart from that one year when my brother was born and my presents where rather thin on the ground, you’ve done alright by me. I think if we can maintain at this current strong level of quality we shouldn’t fall out.

Till next year, you’re faithful, naughty, little one. ;)
Kell xx

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

It's a Girl! (or is it a boy?)

The other day I had to make a mad dash in the rain from Liverpool Street station to the taxi rank. While I stood under my umbrella waiting for a taxi, a woman joined the queue behind me. In toe, she had a small child which I would put at around 3 years old. Now this child left me with some serious questions.

I’m sorry, but if you have a little girl what on earth would possess you give her a mullet? No really, there is nothing funny or cool about a three year old girl with a shiny mullet for a haircut. In fact there is nothing cool about a 12 year old girl with a mullet but at least she has the voice to fight back. Should the 12 year old roll over and accept her mullet, then laughing at her is fair game. But a three year old, how is that remotely fare. Further more, should you have a son (with a mullet,) why would you put him a dress? It really does confuse things, even for open minded people like me!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this child looked like a boy, had a mullet but yet was wearing a red dress thingy with trousers underneath. I don’t condone laughing at helpless children but what the heck? I mean surely this is a case for child services… or the fashion police!

I looked down and smiled at the little shim (she/him) and also gave it a little wave. The child gave me a big grin back and waved. Thinking that this could be my chance to find out what gender it was so I could either laugh at the hair cut or attire, I asked, “What’s your name?”
The little shim hid behind its mother’s leg and I heard a small voice say, “Charlie.” Well smack me over the head with a baseball bat and give the shim a biscuit, it has a unisex name to match the gender confused get-up.

If I’m confused what must that poor child think? I’m a boy but mum wanted a girl bad enough that she makes me wear dresses OR, I’m a girl… with a mullet, my life is over. The parents should be shot either way.

A taxi finally arrived and due to the rain, I offered it too the shim and its mother. Freak show or not, it’s still a small child in the rain and freak shows can catch a cold too you know!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Quote of the Day

It seems London is burning… AGAIN! Last night a fire struck a housing estate in Peckham. Low and behold it's all over the London news this morning (the story that is.) So far reports are saying there are no fatalities, which is a good thing. It seems the fire is being dubbed "The Great Fire on London 2009". How a fire can be great, I'll never know!

But what I really loved about this article in particular was the quote from one of the residents. Lucy Pope whoever you are, you have won my quote of the day competition (which I just invented.)

“People are scared, they are standing in bus shelters and there are babies who have been woken up.”

Babies who have been woken up! OMG this is a real tragedy of epic proportions!!!

Also in other news that is completely unrelated to the fire in Peckham or babies being woken up by concerned parents who thought a woken baby is better than a burnt baby. (Although Lucy would beg to differ…)

I would like to send out a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the most important people in my life. Words will never be enough to express who much you mean to me. Happy Birthday Kelton! I feel the same way about you as a fat kid feels about cake. xx

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Anywhere is... ie, NOT HERE!

I really need to vent. I’m not going to go into details as to why I need to vent but trust me when I say this; if I don’t vent soon, someone and most probably someone who doesn’t deserve it, will become the helpless victim of an obscene amount of verbal abuse.

When my brother was born, my step father’s mother came and stayed with us while mum was in hospital. Before mum went away for the longest 4 days of my life, she bought me an Enya CD and told me to play it every time the evil cow wound me up. Not that I have a problem with controlling my temper, more that my mum knew if I got to breaking point, I was more than capable of slipping a little something in her tea and tying her to a chair for the remainder of her stay.

So today while I stomp my feet, pull my hair, have a cry and all in all, throw my toys out of the cot, I would like to share with you a song that seems to calm me down and take me to a place where nothing really matters. Please enjoy this video of Enya’s Anywhere Is.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

She wrote a song... For You!

Does anyone have Simon Cowell's number? I think I have just found the next Whitney Huston!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Investment Banking: It’s a bit like Lego

The other night at the pub I got a very interesting lesson in the art of Investment Banking. I thought I would share it with you.

Investment Banking is like Lego. In a Lego set you have 5 or 6 different colours and lots of different size blocks made out of those colours. Each of those colours represents a product and each different sized block within that colour represents… something else. I can’t remember what he said; I think Girls Aloud came on so I stopped to have a bit of a dance.

But anyway, so you have all these different blocks made out of different colors that can be rearranged into a magnitude of different things. But the fundamentals of all structures are the same… just constructed in different ways.

On Friday night, while nursing not one but two glasses of wine I found this analogy fascinating. So on Saturday morning after my trip to KFC I figured I would try and expand on what was explained to me. This is what I came up with.

The world economy is like a Lego village, you have the town part and the houses/suburb part. The economic down turn is when you’ve run out of blocks. All construction stops and all the Lego Men loose their jobs. Mum won’t buy you more blocks and feed a false village, so you have no choice but to evict your Lego men and make them all live together in a small one bedroom flat on the wrong side of the village. You use the blocks from their now empty houses to expand the town. This is called 'Repossession' and 'Public Sector Spending'.

Now all of this could have been avoided. The Lego village was working just dandy until the neighbour came over to the play. The motto to the story is quite a simple one. Don’t let your children, who are the master craftsman of such a complex system, play with kids called Gordon.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

It's Friday mum.. Get your boobs out!

Mum and I e-mail each other and occasionally she’ll remind me of things that make me very home sick. The Friday Song is one of these things.

When I was growing up and living in a small dead-end coastal town, every Friday morning the local radio station would play a song called the Friday Song. It’s a good ol’ wholesome family tune to get you in the weekend spirit. Every Friday I would wake up at the crack of dawn to listen to the song. I would sing along while dancing around the kitchen table. My grandparents used to live down the road from us. Naturally they listened to the song too. Still to this day, when I go home and see my Grandparents I force myself out of bed on Friday mornings just so I can sit at the kitchen table with my porridge and sing along until my granddad yells at me for being too cheery, too early.

I had told Justin about this song and how I longed to be able to hear it over here on Friday mornings. So he suggested I e-mail the station and ask them for a copy. SO I DID!

The response I got was not quite what I was expecting. Let’s just say the song attached wasn’t the wholesome family song I remembered.

I responded with this:

Hi there

Many thanks for the song, however I think you're attached the wrong one.

As much as this song gave me and my South African boyfriend a laugh and truly made our day, it is not "The Friday" song. My boyfriend is now wondering what mothers are like in Australia. I assured him that most mothers do not drink themselves into sin and get there boobs out while weeing in the gutter. You’ve given the poor boy high expectations that my mother could never live up too.

Please may I have the Friday song? Although maybe you should start playing “Ma with her boobs out,” on a Friday morning. I know it would make my granddad smile while eating his porridge.

Let it be known that "ma with her boobs out" is now stored on my ipod for future enjoyment.

Guess you made a bit of a tits up there (excuse the pun BUT I COULDN'T resist!)

Needless to say once I had received the correct song and played it to Justin, the first thing he said was, “Play the boobs one again!

Friday Song or is this the Friday Song?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

How to: Open a bottle of wine... in style!

Now we all know that youtube is full of people showing us “How to do” things. Between the makeup artists, chefs, shirt folders and everything else, it’s very easy to become lost and complacent. But some people on youtube really can teach you something that could one day come in handy.

Straight from land WTF, give the man a round of applause!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

City Girl

‘City Girl’ is a title given to the women who work in the financial sector, us young ladies who work our butts off in an often sexist work place. ‘City Girl’ was once a badge that I wore with pride. Once upon a time, to say you were a 'City Girl' it meant that you were strong, capable and ready to fight. There is no point lying about it or tip toeing around the subject. To be a female in the financial industry, regardless of the role you play, you need to grow a pair to survive.

But it seems the term is being thrown around like a loose cannon these days and instead of being associated with head strong women, it’s being associated with airheads of the materialistic variety. It really winds me up that females are not taken seriously. Here is the city is a great example of this. This website is one of the most widely read amongst the city folk and yet it publishes articles like this. A City Girl’s Wish List. How is this article remotely related to the market or what’s going on in the world? Why is such dribble like this on a website that everyone reads? Now I’m not saying that it’s all about burning our bras and dressing like frumps. It’s more the fact that this website seems to advertise that women in the city are nothing more than materialistic sex symbols that float around the office to appease the wondering eye. If I read ‘Sexed-up-secretary’ or anything remotely like it one more time, please don’t hold me accountable for my actions.

This article really upset me. I don’t want this label or to be affiliated with it in any way. Yes I like the nice things in life but Friday afternoon treats? WHO DOES THAT? I don’t like the way this 'City Girl' brags about her shopping conquests and puts women who work in other industries down. I don’t own an emerald ring from Tiffany, I don’t know who Les Nereides is, nor do I waste my money on a purse every week. I can tell you what I do have though; I have no debt, no guilt, lovely bi-annual holidays, a trip to Selfridges once every couple of months and to top it all off I have confidence. I know that I will never drop to that level and become the materialistic airhead. I also believe that maybe (just maybe) if I stick to my guns on this one, my brains will pull me through as opposed to a low cut top and 6inch heels. It’s called self respect City Girl, you should give it a try some time.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Industrial Slip ‘n’ Slide

It’s amazing how you forget things completely until something triggers it. I recently became friends with an old neighbor on Crackbook.

While most of my teenage years were spent on planing how I was going to skip the country, I spared the odd afternoon or 2 for the neighboring hood-rats. Between tearing around the streets on our bikes, tormenting each other with water booms and leaving a trail of destruction through the homes of the folk who were stupid enough to let us in, we also found time to peg a huge blue tarp to my front lawn and create an industrial sized Slip ‘n’ Slide. See the example below for actual size.

The Slip ‘n’ Slide kept us amused for most of the summer holidays one year. It started off tame. It was nothing but 3 kids taking it in turn to go down the tarp with the hose flowing behind us. Needless to say that got boring after the first hour. Phase two involved the resident four year olds, one of which was my brother. After we had convinced Kelton and little Chloe that it was completely safe and we would catch them at the bottom, they too started going down the tarp with smiles on their faces and the wind in their hair. We could convince these two to go down any which way we liked. They loved being included in our game for once so getting them to go down backwards on a body board without holding on was a piece of cake and didn't faze them in the slightest!

Now while this was fun, again it grew boring, so we entered phase 3. Soap yourself up with shampoo first for maximum speed. We three elder children tried it first and for quite some time this was the only entertainment we needed. Even our parents would come out and watch the spectacle of three kids, 2 of which were teenagers, throwing themselves down a hill at full speed covered head to toe in shampoo. Yes, it truly was as ridiculous as it sounds but boy was it fun! If you took a run up you would slide the whole the tarp, hit the grass and keep going. If you hit that tarp too fast, the only thing stopping you at the end of the grass was the gutter and then tarred road.

One afternoon we inevitably started to get tired of covering ourselves in shampoo. We needed a new game. I believe it was Harry who called, “Let’s race Kelton and Chloe!” Placing out bets on which small child would hit the now muddied grass first; we soaped them up and screamed “GO!” No words can describe what happened next. One minute there were smiles and laughter, the next the clouds came over. I don’t remember who won, all I remember is two screaming four year olds and three set of parents giving us the telling off of a life time.

Needless to say the tarp was banished to the garage and that was the end of that game. Bike ride anyone?

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Save a Polar Bear... Kill a bottle!

For the first time in my working days I have come across a passive-aggressive note in the office that I didn’t write. (I’m a little jealous they beat me too it.)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

McDonalds Gets a B*tch-slap

Sometimes when I'm having a bad I just want to eat pancakes. Should you prevent me from eating such pancakes, be prepared for something along these lines:

Dear Mr. McDonalds,

This morning I visited your store on London Wall. I ordered Pancakes with Syrup. I’m used waiting a little while for pancakes as I know these are prepared fresh. For some reason this morning, I had to wait over 10mins for my order.

When my order finally arrived, the pancakes where rock hard and stone cold. I checked inside my brownbag to find I had been given no butter and no syrup. Just pancakes with a knife and folk. When I asked for some butter and syrup, the cashier handed me butter and told me they had run out of Syrup! I was not informed of this before I paid and was made to wait 10minutes. I find it bemusing that I can be sold Pancakes with Syrup and yet somehow end up with only pancakes. The cashier then said she would get someone to go check if they had any in stock. How you can have breakfast on but have no syrup close to hand is beyond me.

If the Pancakes weren't already cold enough, they were uneatable by the time someone fetched the syrup from 'down stairs'.

The service level was appalling, the wait time was extremely unsatisfactory and the level of food I was given was nothing short of disgusting. I have not only wasted my time but also over £2 on food that I had to throw away.

I look forward to your timely response.

(5 days later, I get this responce)

Dear Miss Lawrence

Thank you for contacting us about your visit to the London Wall restaurant.

I was very sorry to learn of the series of events that you experienced on this occasion and from your comments I can fully understand your disappointment and dissatisfaction felt at the time. Please accept my sincere apologies.

As a company we aim to provide 100% customer satisfaction and high standards of quality, service and cleanliness at all times. I regret this has not been your experience.

Your comments are taken seriously by us and have been passed to the management team at London Wall. The details of your complaint will be used as part of their assessment of the restaurant's performance and procedures. These ongoing reviews help to identify any areas
needing improvement within the restaurant.

You are clearly a regular and loyal customer and we thank you for your custom.

To make amends for your spoilt visit I have sent a voucher to put towards a future meal with our compliments. I trust this is well received. (£5!!)

Again, thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Big Trouble in Little China

Wow, I don’t quite know where to start with this article. Are things that bad in China that the little people need to band together and set up their own munchkin village?

You can just imagine it. A little man dressed in Town Crier gear, standing on a cereal box laboriously swinging a dinner bell and screaming, “Little people of China unite! Let us live together in our own village. We can reside in Mushrooms, dress up in Fairytale costumes and show those big people we’re no laughing matter!”

Kunming, a bit like Smurf Village or Munchkinland is completely self sufficient. Constantly on guard from giant lizards (mainly the blue tongue and gecko) and other large threats, the residents felt the need to protect and serve their community. The residents have taken advantage of state of the art equipment designed for size appropriate training.
The 120 residents have been able to train and build their own police force and fire brigade to fight off these predators. Understandably, the cost of this was large and to help compensate their efforts the state kindly donates size appropriate vehicles.

Currently the Kunming legal system is working closely with Storyland. One of Storyland’s most wanted criminals made her way over to Kunming to try and avoid capture. Little Miss Muffet, know for her break and enter attempts is now being held in the Kunming state prison and awaits extradition.

It seems that while the world mocks the compound (their words not mine) the residents are very happy with what they have achieved.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Awkward Pick-up

I’m sure most ladies out there have experienced the awkward pick up. Some random bloke does something strange or odd to get your attention and then when he thinks he has it he goes in for the kill… only to make the situation more awkward.

I’ve experienced two awkward pick-up attempts in the past couple of weeks. The first happened as Justin and I were walking up to the Wine Warehouse to bulk buy ‘the good shit.’ I was in a strop because I had run out of leave-in-conditioner and my hair was going fluffy. Justin tried to sooth my mood by telling me, “It doesn’t look that bad, fluffy is making a come back!” So now I was really angry. As we walked down the road I stormed a few paces ahead of him. I got to the corner of the T-intersection and there was a wanker in a zupped up car driving down the road with music blearing. Usually I ignore such twits but seeing as I was an angry little munchkin with bad hair. I glared my beady eyes straight into his as he got closer. I stood at the corner waiting for him to turn. He stopped and motioned for me to cross. So I did. I was now on one side of the road and Justin was on the other. The Twit turned the corner and hooted at me. I looked up and he smiled as he slowed down and pulled the car along side of the sidewalk. Needless to say that due to my mood I didn’t smile back. I had 2 words to say to him. One began with F and the other began with O. before I had a chance to say either word, Justin had caught up, put his arm over my shoulder and puffed out his chest like an over protective bird. Queue awkward moment. Me being me, I laughed my little ass off as the twit face drove off in a huff.

The second awkward pick-up moment happened yesterday on the Tube coming back to the office after lunch. I was approached by man on crutches. I felt sorry for him so I offered him my seat. He shook his head and proceeded to muster up the creepiest grin I have ever seen. While smiling this creepy-ass grin he balanced on one crutch while he fumbled around in his back pocket. His eyes lit up as he pulled out a business card. Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been given a business card. Usually you just smile and politely walk away. When you’re on the tube these situations are a bit more awkward. I smiled and politely took his card.
He nodded, “So, are you going to give me your name?”
“My mum always told me not to talk to strangers,” Unless they are incredibly good looking or handing out free-bees on the street.
“Cute. You know my name and number. What’s yours?”
When ever I’m asked my name by someone who is a freak I always respond with, “Mary.”
Thankfully the train pulled into my station. I quickly got up and politely smiled my good byes. As I made my exit, he did this strange squinty blink thing. I can only assume that was supposed to be a wink and I can only assume this was meant to lure me into calling him. It wasn’t and it didn’t.

As I walked from the station, I dropped his business card in the, ‘Mailing Box’ container inside a pub door. Someone will be calling him… but it won’t be me!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Boy's Home: Saving our sanity since 1997

Some friends of mine were discussing punishment techniques for their toddlers. This reminded me of my brother’s naughty years and one particular form of punishment that had him running scared.

When my brother was little, I’m talking like 2-3 years old. He had a tendency to misbehave and just plain ignore his parents. Granted he was copying his big sister but it’s not something a 3 year old should be doing.
“Kelton please finish the rest of your carrots.”
“You finish it!”
“Kelton Please pack up your toys.”
“You do it.”

We tried everything from taking away his toys to not giving him pudding to even ignoring him. Ignoring him was the least effective. Whenever we ignored him he would just break something and then clap his hands at his triumph.

One day he was doing something particularly naughty and his father came out with, “Stop that son or we’ll send you to the boy's home!” Kelton looked rather confused; he hadn’t heard this one before. Mum was quick to follow and explained that very naughty boys went to the boy’s home and often they never returned. Very quickly Kelton became a reformed child, too scared to even breathe in case he was sent to the boy's home. It got to the point that mum would only have to pick up the receiver of the phone and Kelton would her hug her leg in tears screaming “NO BOY'S HOME NO BOY'S HOME! I'LL BE GOOD! NO BOY'S HOME!”

The boy’s home threat worked marvellously and we though the problem was solved. One day mum took me and our now reformed little angle to the grocery store. Contentently munching on an unpaid apple we didn’t hear boo out of him as I pushed him in his stroller and mum pushed the trolley. We got to the checkout and Kelton was let out of his stroller to choose a MR. Men book. The boy in front of us in the queue was throwing a tantrum and a half. Kelton calmly put the books down and waddled up to him, “Be good or your mum will send you to the boy's home!” The whole queue went quite and stared at my mother who went a deep red colour as she strapped her darling angle back in his stroller.

The boy’s home threat was never used again.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Not a Happy Camper

It is a well known fact that I love to have a good moan. It is also a well known fact that I’m not a morning person. Knocking on my door at 10am on a Saturday is going to land you straight on my naughty list. Here’s the letter I just fired off to Southern Electric.

To whom it may concern,

I am very disappointed to see that Southern Electric has stooped to door to door sales of products to existing customers.

On Saturday 26th September, my partner and I were rudely disturbed by the account manager of our area, knocking on our front door. He was trying to sell us a telephone package, in which we would be switched from BT to Southern Electric. For doing this we would receive £30 off our next electric bill. In general I find door to door sales extremely intrusive, not at all constructive and down rite annoying.

What upset me even further was the way I was spoken too. Seeing as I was still in my pyjamas and half way through cooking my breakfast, I asked your representative if I may take a form to peruse and fill out in my own time. He proceeded to tell me that due to the reference number at the top he had to fill it out and he had to call all the details in. So in other words, I had to take this offer now or never be offered it again. This is not exactly outstanding customer care.

I asked him what information he would require. He showed me the form and some of the questions were quite personal. To answer those questions would be leaving myself vulnerable to all sorts of security risks. I don’t feel comfortable giving someone who is off the street such information.

All in all, I am not impressed that South Electric feel it is okay to intrude on someone’s weekend like that. Further more, to try and sell a product with no information pack and give the customer no time to read it is ridiculous. I am not impressed in the slightest by your sales techniques.

In future I wish to be only contacted via, letter, e-mail, telephone or pre-arrange meeting. I take the assumption that my concerns will be raised with a member of management.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Commuter Snoozer

London is one of those city’s that you can’t really describe in words. To understand London and what it’s about you need to be here and live it. The diversity is huge from 2year stay Aussies, to nutter South Africans, to over excitable Americans, to long term stayers like me, to long term stayers who are so comfortable with their surroundings and fellow Londoners they would make you cringe or laugh!

This morning on my way to work I found this guy.
Now you may look at this picture and think he is dead. I can assure you that he was not dead. Several clues lead me to believe the man had the gift of life still in him. Apart from drooling and his mouth moving in a goldfish motion, he was also snoring. When a man snores, at least you know air is getting in. Snoring is a good thing when it comes too passed out people.

When you find a snoring man on the tube you generally ignore him, this guy however was extremely hard to ignore when he started moving his tongue in and out of his mouth to the rhythm of his snore. As the journey went on, the snoring got louder and so did our giggles. When ever he did ‘the goldfish,’ I had to look away for fear of falling over from laughter. Truly it was a sight and the sounds he made were astonishing!

Judging by his attire I’m guessing he works somewhere in the city. He either had to get off at my stop or the stop after. I hope someone woke him but I highly doubt it. London is one of those cities where it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re on your own when it comes to embarrassing situations. See you at the end of line buddy.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

I'm a Twit: Outsmarted by a Bank Teller

I like to think that I’m a clever chicken. Not so much in the ‘Look at all my certificates’ sense but more in the, ‘You have 101 certificates and yet you still require help to boil an egg or get home in one piece.’ Some times, I have to laugh at how people go about their day to day business. I know it’s wrong to judge others and revel in my self proclaimed superior status but don’t worry, this morning I got my comeuppance. Think public, think embarrassing and think down right stupid. Yes, I made a complete tit of myself at the bank!

I had to go and pay the council tax. I’m pretty lucky and will admit that Justin takes care of most of the financial up keeping. I just give my 50% and he takes care of it all. The only thing we don’t spilt on is Council tax. We take this in turns to pay. Every second month I have to pay it in full. This month was my turn.

So off I clip clop to the bank in my black stilettos. With my unfilled out council tax book, I wait in the que for my turn. I get the front and I hand the book to the man, “I want to pay the council tax please.”
The man smiles, “You haven’t filled the slip out.”
I scratch my head, “I never fill it out. Not that I don’t know how but I don’t carry a pen with me and I don’t like using Bank pens. So many people touch those. Germs aren’t cool.”
Clearly unimpressed by my quick wit he replied, “I will fill it out this time but in future you need to do it yourself.”
Every time I have to pay something at the bank they tell me this. I’ve yet to fill anything out at the bank myself. Bank pens are horrible and I don’t see the point in carrying a pen in my bag just for banking purposes.

“Could you please put your card into the machine?” He didn’t make eye contact. Clearly he’s not a morning person and we’re never going to be friends.
I opened my purse and my card wasn’t there. Now this doesn’t surprise me. I quite often just through it in my bag and then play a game of ‘Where’s My Card’ the next time I want to use it. I start rummaging through the contents of my Mary Poppins Bag. Clearly I’m not going to find it with everything in the bag. I smile at the man in the hope he’s not going to throw my out for what I’m about to do. I pull out my make-up bag then my camera. Still can’t find my card. The que is building behind me… I need to find my card quick quick! I pull out my umbrella, tickets to Venice, tickets to a past football match, a rock (don’t ask!), pair of stockings, packet of panadol, a blue clothes peg, a bolt, a ruler, a green clothes peg and finally my ipod.

The man behind the counter huffs as I pile all my things back into the back. “How do I go about cancelling my card?”
He rolled his eyes, “Do you have your savings card on you?”
I opened my purse again and turned to the other section where I keep my other cards. SHIT!
“OH LOOK! I found my current account card! It was in my purse all along. How silly am I?”
His turn for a quick witted remark, “You carry a rock and clothes pegs in your handbag but don’t carry a pen. You emptied the entire contents of your bag onto the counter for you to find your card in your purse. Do really want me to answer that?”

“No you don’t have too. It was a rhetorical question.”

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Coleslaw on my Conscience

The other night we treated ourselves to KFC. We always order one large burger meal deal and one extra burger. It works out cheaper this way and we can share the chips, drink and side order. One slight problem is the size of the side order.

So we’re standing at the counter and I placed the order, “No ice in the drink please but could you fill it all the way up? May I please have the cardboard chip packet instead of the paper one and may I please have extra mayo on both burgers.” I was a KFC bitch in a previous life. I know the secrets!

He gives my order and I look at the small tub of coleslaw. “Excuse me, I asked for a large meal but you’ve given me a small coleslaw.”
The chicken boy replied, “The large coleslaws are for family meals only.”
Justin left my side and took a seat. He knew what was coming and had to hide his smile.
“By law, we are a family and this is a meal we will share but that’s not the point. I paid an extra 30p for a large meal and for that I would expect anything that could be upsized would be upsized. The last time I ordered this I was given a large coleslaw.”
“I’m sorry mam.”
“That’s okay. Clearly someone has made a mistake in the past. Is a manager on site?”
He walked out the back and returned very quickly. “My manager said you could have a large coleslaw.“
“Oh wow! Really? Thank you!”

As we walked home Justin asked, “Have you got a large coleslaw with a burger meal before?”
“Don’t ask questions you won’t like the answer too.”
“I’ll take that as a no and that you lied to get it. That’s wrong! That is now tainted coleslaw. Let it hang on your conscience!”
“All the more coleslaw for me then.”
“I didn’t say I wouldn’t eat it…”

Monday, 7 September 2009

Fire Drills and High Heels

Can I just openly put this out there, fire drills and new high heels don’t mix.

I bought myself a new pair of work shoes on the weekend. Being the shorty I am, I like to try and elongate myself for the office. Much like braces and how they get tighter with time, every six months I go up half an inch. Today was my first day on 4.5inch heels. Now this may not sound impressive but frankly I’m not trying to impress. When you’re up and down from your desk all day, any sized stiletto can become a mammoth task. So today has been a day of blisters. I don’t mind really, once they’re broken in, they will become my comfy work/dancing shoes.

Having new shoes is fun. Having new shoes that are giving you blisters and being forced to stand in them for 45mins outside because of a fire drill, not so fun. The alarm went and I took off my shoes to change them for my flats. As I did so I got a dirty look from a trader. One of those, “I hate women and why on earth is she changing her shoes when the building is on fire.” He’s eyes scared me, so I put my high heels back on before he opened fire around the office with his hidden hand gun, like how they do it in America, “You ate my jello, NOW YOU DIE!”

So off I tottled but not before I packed my handbag up with all my vital organs (purse and phone.) I completely forgot about the 'no lift' rule during fire drills. I was rudely reminded when I was ushered to the stairwell. May I point out I have never used the stairwell. This building is like Hogwarts, magic stairwells everywhere that lead to secret passages outside! I followed the crowd and found a seat on the corner. I sat, I chatted I was then told to move onto the meeting point. Unfortunately, “But my feet are sore,” Doesn’t wash with HR when they’re trying to do a head count… on mass.

So I stood like a herded animal while some one with a megaphone mumbled something at us. BAAA and MOOO were the general responses from the crowd. During the 30-45mins of just standing around discussing how much company time we were wasting, we had gathered and audience. Everyone in the buildings around us all came to the windows to see the annual sceptical of mass confusion aka An Evacuation.

Now you may think this is bad enough. My afternoon has been rudely disrupted, my feet hurt like hell and to top it off we’re being looked at like animals in a zoo. I truly thought it couldn’t get any worse this. The next think we know, we’re being herded back into the building. My feet were at the point of no return. You know the point, cut them off before you slit your wrists from the pain. I get back inside and I’m told, “Lifts aren’t working, use the stairs.” I really felt like asking someone to carry me but I didn’t. Although what an entrance that would have been!

So now I sit at my desk with minuets to go before knock-off time. My toes are numb and oh, I have ear plugs in because they can’t work out how to turn the alarm off.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Raggy Dolls: Helping ugly people feel good about themselves since the 1980s

This was a show I used to watch when I was a little girl. Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking the piss here. I understand that the show was teaching kids not to make fun of the rejects. Just because they belong in the reject bin doesn't mean they are sitting ducks for school yard taunting... or something like that maybe I missed the point.

One part of this song had me asking questions when I knee high to grasshopper:
So if you got a bump on your nose or a lump on your toes, do not despair.
Be like the Raggy Dolls, and say I just don't care!

Yes you could say, "I just don't care." Or you could go see a doctor and get the lump on your toes checked out. It could be this. Lets be honest, what sane person wouldn't see a doctor if they had a random lump on their toes? Any person not seeing a doctor when such symptoms occur, really do belong in the reject bin.

And as for the singer going on about "Dolls like you and me," I think he should really be a little more careful about which children he's referring too. If I found my child singing along to, “don't be scared if you don't fit in. Look who's in the reject bin!” I would be mortified. I would like to think that my spawn will at least try to fit in or failing that, make like their mother and slip out of the country while the goings good!

So all together now, big it for the Raggy Dolls and their message of; it's cool to have your head on backwards, be a transvestite princess (Listen to her voice,) have a name like Sad Sack and be friends with an obnoxious French person/doll!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Memories: Sportacus Does Karate

About two years ago my housemate came across this video on Youtube while looking for Karate videos. It was shocking, it was hilarious and it became a standing joke between us.

Years on, I stumbled on this cracker once again. The best part is I still think it’s the funniest thing in the world! (Apart from Chimpanzee Riding A Segway.)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

A Weekend In Budapest

The boyfriend and I hooked up with some good friends of ours and made the epic journey to Budapest. Flight time is only 2hrs and I know this hardly constitutes the description of 'epic' but you weren’t in the car with us on our way to Heathrow. Trust me when I say that the drive south west from our house was nothing short of 'epic'. There was enough 'epicness' in that single journey to cover both the car ride and the flight.

Once we were finally there and had our feet safely on ex-soviet ground, we made our way to the baggage collection. In the time it took for our bags to arrive we had all had a toilet break, Justin had eaten a ham and cheese roll I smuggled off the plane and Sam and I had been put in our place by an old lady who clearly preferred the ‘old ways’ over westernised tourist asking silly questions about transportation to the hotel. Did I mention the old lady worked in the Information booth? Bored already with the airport, Morven kept us amused as he too got a stern telling off from the Information Lady.

Finally our bags arrived and we were on our way to the hotel. Being the young, sober, excited folk we are, Sam asked the taxi driver if he could recommend any particular beer to try. He literally turned around in his seat and proceeded to answer with, “Beer, drink, yes, beer, good. Music?” clearly English wasn’t a second language to him, but what concerned Morv was his ability to drive at 100miles an hour while talking to us girls in the back seat.
“I think if we want to get to this hotel in one piece we should stop asking Jackie Chan questions.” We all giggled and agreed.

The hotel was clearly build in the 70s. The 70s of which century we’re not sure of. It had character and a 4star rating. We very quickly came to the conclusion this was a 4star Soviet Union rating not westernised-chocolates-on-your-pillow 4star rating. But really, so it was advertised wrong… very wrong. We didn’t complain. We were there to enjoy the culture and get away from Western Europe and experience something new. The something new was clearly in the wardrobe that was missing door handles and screwed shut. We came to the conclusion this was where they used to hide the video camera. What also surprised us about the hotel was the suspicious fire alarm that went off at 8.30am. Me being me, I laid in bed while Justin ran out into the hallway to investigate. No fire, just the hotel manager trying to drum up some clientele for breakfast down stairs.

Day one was spent wondering the streets and taking in the sights, smells and tastes of Hungary’s biggest holiday. I would compare it to America’s 4th July. It was huge! What were they celebrating? I don’t know, missed that part, I was too busy stuffing my face with food and washing it down with £1 pints. The Red Bull air race was on and in the evening we were treated with a huge fire works display. It was really beautiful. Once the fire works were over we decided to head back to the hotel. Morven and Justin were in charge of the map. (Bit like they were in charge of the map going to Heathrow… but that’s another story all on its own!) Who knew where they were leading us. Eventually after walking in the wrong direction for close on 15mins Sam took control and took the map. Within minutes we were back on track and walking the other way up the road. We gave the map back to the boys who examined it and then proclaimed that THEY now had us walking the right way. Sam and I consulted the map a few more times (while they held it) and eventually we got back to the hotel. The boys made it up to us the following day, when they treated us to a day at the spa. The hotel manager was a funny fellow who could give me a run for my money in the cunning department. He told us that he could sell us the tickets to the Spa. Only 3800HUF, the same price as it would be at the Spa. We kept this in mind but we wanted to wonder around first and not be tied down to only one location, so we made the decision to buy our tickets at the spa. Upon arrival we took a look at the price board. Same price hey Mr. Hotel Manger? You are a naughty, lying, cheating, hotel manager! The price was in fact only 3000HUF!

The Spa was amazing!! Over 20 different pools all different temperatures, saunas and steam rooms! The boys even got to see some granny boobs!! We spent over 3hrs there taking it all in and toping up on some much needed sunshine. Only in Hungary can you order a beer poolside!

After the spa we ate some mustard with a sausage. No really, not sausage with mustard, this was a paper plate filled with mustard and sausage for scooping the mustard into your mouth. It was good! With our mustard swimming in our tummies we made our way back to the city centre to find a beer consumption house. Instead we found a back alley restaurant and ordered wine. Okay, we didn’t order just wine, we ordered Absence as well! So now quite merry, we made our way to the next bar where us girls had a bottle between us and the boys drank god knows how many pints. From there we found an English pub and drank some more there. It’s usually at this point I’m close to done but seeing as we were on holiday we decided that some dancing was in order. Don’t ask how and please don’t ask why… we found ourselves in some club-thing-amu-do. Just as we thought this night couldn’t get any better, we found a karaoke room! KEN LEE!!! (Youtube it, now imagine it live, my tummy hurt from laughing!) Doubling over in fits of laughter after hearing "Rike a Wirgin", Sam and I went and chose a song for us to sing. We didn’t tell the boys until it was our turn. All four of us took centre stage and belted out the best rendition of ‘We Are the Champions,’ that you’ve ever heard. The crowd. Went. Nuts! They had their lighters out and waving them above their heads, they were all singing and dancing and wrapping their arms over each other shoulders. We truly rocked their world! The night went on and didn’t stop. Not even when Morven broke a cigar cutter – the funny part was the four of us trying to keep a straight face while watching the bar tender try and fix it! After 2 more Absence, some Unicum and a Flaming Lamborghini we were well and truly done. Pit stop by the local kebab shop (they’re called Gyros) and we were slowly but surely on our way back to the hotel but not before Morven took a wiz off the bridge.

We got back to the hotel to find Mr. Hotel Manager behind the desk. Morven proceed to tell him, “Guess what! The spa gave us special deal because I’m so good looking. (He blew a kiss) Only paid 3000HUF. COOL!”
Sam and I quickly bound the pair of them in the lift before they could blow anyone else kisses.

The following day was a quieter affair. Nursing hangovers, we walked the city and took in the sights that we had missed in our drunken shambles the nights before. Budapest is truly a remarkable city filled with both modern sights you would expect to see but it also carries an undertone of history. There is something very touching about the buildings that still have bullet holes in them and also the memorials to all those who perished. Hungary has been torn every which way. Most countries have a wanted a piece of it at some point or another. The locals are mostly friendly and happy to help and even have a chat with you over a shot of Unicum.

The morning we flew out, we were sad to say good bye. It was a weekend that we will laugh about for years to come!

*All photos taken by Sam Brocklehurst*

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Commuter Rage: Why it's never a good idea

Like most Londoners I catch the Tube to most destinations. This includes the commute to work. Of a morning I have worked out that there are always one or two seats on the 07.57 train. This is the train that comes from another branch. I have also worked out which carriage is the emptiest and where the doors open. Therefore, I ensure I’m on a train that has at least one seat AND I’m the first on. It’s not rocket science.

This morning was no exception, as always I let everyone cram onto the 07.55 and then waved them off as I moved into my waiting spot and waited for the emptier train behind it. It seems that another lady has clocked me and my seat finding skills. That’s fine, who am I tell her “No you can’t copy me!” However as much as she’s realised I know where the seats are, she hasn’t quite worked out how to be polite on a platform.

This woman was standing so close to me she may as well of climbed on top of me. Yes I’m standing where the doors are going to open. Standing that close to me isn’t going to make me move. I was here first so if you could back off a little please that would be super-duper! There is no one else here so there is no need to make my personal space some sort of woman on woman communal area. I don’t even know your name love so any sort of hip on hip action is best left well alone. The train pulled up and right on que the doors opened smack bang in front of me and half of her, the half that was touching me. The stupid cow then had the audacity to push me with her elbow to get on first. Let’s keep in mind it’s 8am. I’m really not the friendliest of people at the best of times. Jabbing me with your elbow this early in the morning is just going to piss me off and in turn I’m going to make the rest of your commute a living hell.

So she runs onto the train and does this spread-leg-shuffle thing in the door way, looking for a seat. I step in behind her. Clearly this is some sort of seat finding race. Again let’s point out its 8am. Seat or not, I just want to read my book and be left alone. We can race another day at a more sensible hour. She suddenly made a dash left. I myself spied a seat on the far right and made my way over. Settling in with my book and Ipod, I looked up and she was standing over me with the face of a woman scorned. Wondering what happened to her seat I look down the carriage to find that the seat she broke the land speed record to get too was in fact not empty but it rather contained a small child with his head down reading a picture book. God bless small people and picture literature!!

We travelled along and every second stop I made the effort of putting my book down, putting my Ipod back in my bag and just generally going through the motions of someone just about to disembark. Every time I did it, she did the spread-leg-shuffle, ready to pounce on my seat. The folk around me smiled at the morning entertainment I was proving and other commuters began to join in. We had her doing the spread-leg-shuffle all the way to the Euston at which point she realised she was the butt of a public joke and moved on down the carriage.

And the motto to the story? There is no motto really, just that if you stand so close to me that we could be mistaken for conjoined twins and then jab me with your elbow in an unproved act of Commuter Rage; I’ll make 20 odd commuters laugh at you for my own commuting pleasure.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Football and How to Pick 'em!

On Sunday Justin and I put together a packed lunch and toddled off to the football. I was very lucky and managed to get 2 tickets in a corporate box. Best seats in the stadium and they were free. These are the types of tickets we like! We arrived and met the folks we were sitting with. By chance we were only sharing with three others who were just as pumped as we were… for the afternoon out not so much the football.

The first match was Barcelona v some Egyptian team. I don’t even know their name, that’s how interesting it was. Final score was 4-1 Barcelona. We all sat around drinking, chatting and just enjoying the moment. We cheered at the appropriate moments and laughed when the goal keeper had to go off but not before he was poked in the eye by the ref.

The second match was the big one. The game that everyone had come to watch: Tottenham Hotspurs V Celtic. Now this is where I tell you that I haven’t a clue about football. I couldn’t even tell you who/what Celtic are/is. I was calling them Keltic until I was corrected in a fit of laughter by my peers. The only reason I know who Tottenham are is because they’re from North London, around the Seven Sisters area. Chav City! Taking my sever lack of knowledge into account, the 4 guys took me under their wing and did some explaining before the match started. It’s Celtic with an ‘S’ sound and they come from Scotland not Ireland. It’s ‘Spurs’ not ‘Dirty Chavs in Yellow’ and Spurs aRE the favourite to win.

The Dirty Chavs in Yellow to win? I was planning to put a fiver down and have a flutter on the match. I never gamble so I thought I could spare a fiver to make it more interesting for myself. I was going to put it down on the favourites. Let’s face it, I haven’t a clue and the favourites are always a safe bet. CHANGE OF PLAN! No way in hell was I betting on Luminous Yellow Chavs. Celtic maybe crap but I’d rather loose my fiver before I back the Spurs. I walked up the betting booth and asked the lady to help me place my bet. I don’t know how these things work and she raised her eyebrows as I gave her the blank from and my money! “Please may I bet £5 on the green guys? Keltic or Seltic, what ever they’re call.”
She started laughing at me, “Hun. Spurs are favourites to win. They are playing their first team. Are you sure you want to go for Celtic?”
“I don’t like Luminous Yellow. The green guys have a Japanese dude on their team. I think it’s pretty cool to have a Japanese dude on a Scottish team. I’ll stick with them.”
She filled out my form and took my money. “Odds of ‘the green dudes’ winning are 9/2.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means they don’t have a chance in hell and you’re pretty much the only person betting on them.”
“But at least they’re culturally diverse and even more so, they look lovely in their white and green stripes!"

I wandered back to the box and took my seat next to Justin. As I sat down I realised that while I was planning on rooting for Celtic, the Luminous Yellow fans were just below us… and in force. Horns, whistles, flags etc it was quite scary. The looks I look for cheering for the other side. Thank god for box seats or I would have been beaten up. I was clapping and cheering for Celtic. The others in the box took my lead and together we pissed off half the stadium!

The funny part was when they started to get up and leave halfway through the second half. I thought it was a bit unsportsmanlike like but you would leave too if your team where the favourites to win but have somehow ended up on the wrong side of 2-0! The more time past, the louder our box got until finally the final whistle was blown. I picked the winners based on shirt colour and I told them all! Now who’s laughing???

I went back to the betting booth with my winning slip. Low and behold the same lady was there.
“Well I’m not sure how you picked it but it looks like the ‘culturally diverse green dudes’ won.” Grinning from ear to ear I collected my winnings a bit like the Japanese dude did when the final whistle went.

So you may laugh at how I pick my teams, whether it is based on what colour they’re wearing, what area they come from, who has the most colourful shoes, who has the longest fly away hair etc. But who is the one laughing with 9/2 odds and a final result of 2-0?

Almighty Spurs- more like, Ew gross, of all the colours in the world, why Luminous Yellow!? They don’t stand a chance!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

I Like My Rut!

So Justin and I have been together for quite a while. Before that, we were very close friends and house mates. Over this time we learnt just about everything about each other. Now the learning stage has past and we’ve entered into stage 2 – The Comfortable Couple.

I’m a strong believer that ‘a rut’ isn’t always a bad thing. I don’t think being a ‘Comfortable Couple’ is anything to be ashamed of. I like the fact I can come home and throw on my old rags, chew on biltong and fart while watching Hollyoaks. Personally, I’m glad the days of having to impress him are over. God knows those days were not only long and expensive but my back would ache from sitting up straight the whole time. Yep, call me Tom-Boy-Ted but I’m more than happy to let it all hang out in front of Justin these days. Anyway who is he to judge with his burping and other man-like personal habits?

The other night we had a discussion over who should cook dinner. I’m the first to admit that I was at the back on line when they were handing out the domesticated genes. Truly, I failed my mother and grandmother. They can only look on in horror, as my idea of cleaning my bedroom is shoving it all in the cupboard. I would happily get a cleaner in before donning rubber gloves and cleaning out the oven. Cooking is low on my “that-sounds-like-fun” list. Now obviously seeing as I don’t have a cleaner, I have to clean and tidy the house but it’s definitely not by choice and often done in a strop when I’m angry at the world. But with all that in mind, I do all the clothes washing every week without complaint! Without me, Justin would have no clean underwear, so credit where credit is due please.

“I cooked dinner last night. I thought you were going to cook for me tonight.”
“I’m sorry honey. I didn’t realise you wanted me to cook. I thought we were having leftovers and salad stuff. I’m sorry. I promise I’ll cook a nice big meal tomorrow night.” And once I’m done down burning that and smoking up the kitchen, I promise to go out and buy a KFC family bucket.
“Yeah, I know, it’s just we had a braai and I thought you were going to sort out the leftovers.”
“I’m sorry honey. Miscommunication.” I wrapped my arms around him and as I squeezed him into a hug, out came a fart noise! Now this is where the ‘Comfortable Couples’ come into it.
“I really am sorry honey and I promise I’ll cook tomorrow night.” I pulled him away from the sink and continued the hug while he giggled at his self made noises and smells.
“Okay… hehe”
“See this is love Justin. I’m still hugging you even though you smell like turd.”
“I know! And it’s funny because it’s true!”

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Late Night Netball

Last Wednesday night after a brilliant game of netball, the team and I made our way to the exit of the school where we play. Slight problem; the exit wouldn’t let us exit. We pushed, we pulled and we even kicked the bloody door but we couldn’t get free.

Us being the followers we are, we looked to our team captain for support. Becky took centre stage and gave the door a good seeing too before she turned back to us in defeat, “Yep, it’s locked.”

This is what we faced (But the door was shut and locked)
We’re the type of girls who don’t give in so easily, we’re a feisty bunch and frankly no locked gate is going to stop us from getting home. “Can we climb over?” We looked around and all contemplated how we were going to get over the door and fence. It was going to be quite the effort. Seeing as we’re netballers and not cheerleaders any sort of human pyramid is out of the question. Belle then pointed out the sign that stopped the idea of climbing over, “What the hell is anti climb paint?”

So there we were all 7 of us, in complete despair and fits of laughter at our predicament. I took to the pedestrian’s passing by, “Excuse me, excuse me!” 2 walked passed before I got someone’s attention, “We’re locked in. Could you please try the door from that side?” The nice man pulled and pushed on the door but it didn’t budge. We thanked him and he moved on.

By this point it had gone beyond a bit of a mystery and we were begging to panic.
“Is there another exit?”
“How the hell are we going to get out?”
“Maybe get the grounds man?”

Just then we heard the umpire call out, “Girls, Girls!” We looked over and saw the teams that were now playing and the umpires all doubled over in fits of laughter. The Umpire composed herself enough to finish, “Press the release button!”

Wow, release button, so that's what that big green thing is!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Kell v Beast: Attack of Trays

Like wine and cheese, with age, I am maturing into a finer specimen of women. I possess quite the evil brain and the courage to bleed the weak dry… when it comes to trays anyway.

Now if you are a regular reader of my blog, you would be fully up to date on the Kell v Beast: Attack of Trays saga. If not, here’s the general story; I collect trays at work so I can get a free tea. The woman AKA The Beast, who runs the café, feels that I cheat her out of this tea. May I point out that the tea in question is only worth 40p and I am breaking no rules in collecting 50 trays for a cup of tea. Such behaviour is encouraged by the cafe staff!

So now the story continues. Just like an ancient war tactic I have put the café under siege. As the Spanish did to the Moors in the 1400s, I am bleeding them dry of their supplies until they can no longer function and beg for my mercy. At which point I will sell what’s rightfully theirs back to them for a price much higher than what was originally asked.

Yes people, I'm going in for the muffin and don’t under estimate the lengths I will go too.

No one expected the Kellie Inquisition

She's going to kill me with a tray!

There’s laughable and then there’s gob smackingly laughable!

If you’ve read my past blogs, you would be well aware of my tray collecting at work. I like collecting my trays! Not only do I help clean up the area, I’m also being eco –friendly AND I get a free tea for my hard work. I truly do not see the harm in taking advantage of the free tea for 50 trays system… even if I am the only person doing it.

On Friday I went down stairs with a pile of 50. Never in my life have I cheated on the number of trays I have handed in. You want 50 for tea? I will give you 50 dead on, nothing more, nothing less. I mean really, it’s not worth the bad karma for a cup of flipping tea!
I waited in line with my trays, “Hi, I have 50 trays. May I please have a cup of tea?”
Now the lady behind the counter is a bit of a beast on a power trip. I’m used to her suspicious eyes following me. Today she replied with, “How many you got there?”
I replied very sweetly, “50. Like last week.”
The beast eyed me up like a dog about to strike a tennis ball, “Don’t put them on the big pile, just put them aside.”

After a comment like this, I’m making the assumption that she wants to count them. Firstly, not only is it sad that I collect the stupid things it’s also even sadder that I do it for a free tea worth 40p. Now the beast wants to count them? Are we really going to have a power struggle over 40p? I guess we are.

I put the pile down behind the bin. If she doesn’t trust me and wants to count them, first she has to squeeze in behind the bin to fetch them. She narrowed her eyes at me as I came back to the counter. “Tea?” One word, the beast is ANGRY.
“Yes please.” She poured me half a cup of tea.
Now hold up! Did I bring you 25 or 50 trays? Fill it up Scotty. I want my 50 trays worth of tea please.
“Could you please fill it up a little more?”
With a grunt, (yes the beast actually sounds like a beast) she filled my cup up to the brim with hot water… my money is on she did it on purpose. Not to worry, I simply poured a little out with a smile.

I left the café with my colleague and together we had to giggle at what just went down. “Do you really think she’s going to count them?”
“With out a doubt. She’s had it in for me since the cake incident.”
“What, there was a cake incident?”
“Incident is putting it lightly!”

Friday, 10 July 2009

There is NOTHING Sweet about Caroline!

Neil Diamond. One of the greatest artists of all time… save it for someone who has a strong stomach.

I just went down to the café and what did they have coming over the toast Area, Sweet Caroline while everyone else nodded their heads hummed along, I made a bee line for the exit. There is only one artist I can’t stand and that’s Neil Diamond.

My step father’s mother has a fixation on him. All I ever heard when I was around her was Neil Friggin’ Diamond. Every weekend, day in, day out she always had Neil Diamond on. The sound of his voice now takes me back to tortured times. I can’t bare it. When you’re little you are immune to only so much. One Christmas I cracked!
It was just after my brother was born. Mum hosted a little Christmas Shindig at our house for that side of the family. It just so happened that one of the presents I got was a Spice Girls CD. Mum had anticipated that I was going to be pushed aside for the new baby. She made sure that I had an ample amount of Spice Girl products and accessories to keep me amused for the entire day. So while I had a Spice Girls CD to dance around too with my new Spice Dolls, I was more than happy to let everyone ignore me. (Yes, Spice Girls… But that’s another story for another therapist!)

I was grooving around Spicing up My Life with miniature Posh and Ginger when all of a sudden, “Why don’t you turn that off and put this on.” Crap, My step father's mother spoke to me! I never liked it when she talked to me. She only ever talked me when I did something wrong or she had found some type of fault with me that she wished to point out. Honestly, I get it, you don’t like me. That’s fine, I don’t like you and yes, your son is with a woman who already has a kid… deal with it lady.
“What type of music is it?” If you want me to turn the Spice Girls off, it better be bloody good!
“Neil Diamond’s Christmas Carol Compilation.”
Now if I had been a few years older I would have replied with, “Not a chance in hell, Crazy Lady!” but seeing as I was only 11 and quite scared of her, I stood on the spot and cried… and cried… and cried a little louder until mum came in.

“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to turn the Spice Girls off. I don’t like Neil Diamond.”
Crazy Lady butted into the mother daughter bonding session. “Don’t be silly, turn it off and put this on.”
Now, it’s no secret that mum isn’t her biggest fan either. But she had to keep the peace.
“Kell, how about you turn it off for a while.” Mum tried to sooth the sobs away.
“It wasn’t sob even sob loud.” Keep in mind I was 11.
Again Crazy Lady added her 2 cents, “Yes, go play in your room and leave the adults alone.”
Mum left the room before she threw a chair at her.

I stood there and slowly took my CD out. Crazy Lady tapped her foot impatiently. Maybe if she hadn’t tapped her foot I wouldn’t have done it. Nah, even if she had asked nicely I still would have done it. As I took the CD out I looked up to her with a smile, “There you go. Would you like me to put your music on?”
“Yes, I don’t know how this works. You do it.”
I smiled to myself as I walked up the hall. All I could hear was “It’s not working. Why isn’t it working? I can see the CD is spinning but there is no sound?”
I waited till I got to my room before I pulled out the stereo’s remote control from under my shirt. Like to see you un-mute the stereo with no control, biatch!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Work Quiz Night

Just in case you missed it, I’m not always the happy go lucky kind of girl. I have moments where I resemble a smaller, less green Incredible Hulk. Such moment can arise for a variety of reasons but there is one in particular that makes me very mad… people spelling my god-damn name wrong!

Last week at work there was a quiz night. Now me being me and never settling for second, my team and I won the quiz. Okay okay… the team I was on won, I was just there to boost the female numbers and write down the answers they gave me. But tomato, potato, I was on the team that won and I took home 1 fifth of the prize money. A whopping £17! (Honey… We’re eatin’ tonight!) So winning put me in a great mood, the money put me in a great mood, seeing my name under **WINNERS** spelt incorrectly on the company intranet… foul mood, with pursed lips and a head shake that reads “Who ever did this is doomed!”

Now I could have rung the social committee but I watch The Office and frankly, I’m scared of the Party Planning Committee. I imagine that’s what the Bank’s Social Committee is like. The woman on The Office is such an angry beaver. Lets be honest, she gives me a run for my money in the angry department. So the thought of ringing my work’s Social committee and putting in a complaint is low on my priority list.

If I were to ring them I actually have a list of things I’d like to discuss before the topic of my name even comes to surface:
  1. Firstly the lack of free alcohol at the quiz. We’re a German bank with lots of Germans. Do you honestly think we all pitched up for a quiz? Gives us beer, damn it!
  2. The food. Or rather the Iceland Chicken Nuggets they tried to pass off as food. Since when do I eat cheese sandwiches? Since when did people start serving sandwiches at a pub?
  3. Also the age demographic the questions were targeted at. How on earth am I going to know who stared in X film in 1954? Was my mum even born then? Do I look like I know anything about the Periodical table? Nobel element what now? Sod it, I’ll sit, smile and write down the answers my team mates give me.

I’m a self proclaimed righteous cow and I demand my name be spelt rite... but I’m fighting a loosing war. People will always make the assumption that I’m like all the other Kell’s out there, that is until they meet me of course. I can stamp and cry until the cows come home but people will always spell my name wrong. It just sucks that my name has been put down incorrect on the company intranet. How are people supposed to send me e-mails of “congratulations” and “you’re awesome,” if they have the wrong name. It’s just a sad cock up in the end.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Mirco Blog 1: 3D Glasses

I have a headache. Prehaps this is because I've been playing with 3D glasses today. You must admit, they're pretty snazzy!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Phileep and Flop - Lest We Forget

4 years ago, my brother and I had a traumatic event unfold in front of us. Our Beloved hermit crabs, Phileep and Flop tragically passed away.

It was while my parents and little six year old brother where away, that I thought it would be a great idea to get myself a pet. Now we all know I’m not a dog person and a cat is a lot of hard work. I could have got a fish but that’s as exciting as Monday morning at work. No, if I was going to get a pet it would have to be different. After much discussion and giggles with a friend, we both went to the pet store picked a Hermit Crab each.

Phileep soon became the love of my life. Phileep had pride of place in the lounge; he was fed only the best dried fruit and only the most expensive oats on the market. His tank was cleaned twice a week and he was treated like the king that he was. 2 weeks quickly passed and the honeymoon period soon died when Tornado Little Brother came home.

After a week of being denied any access to Phileep, the brother threw a tantrum and half. Mum gave in (and totally stole my thunder and the once piece of individuality, “I’m not part of this family anymore,” teenage angst.) And he too got a Hermit Crap. Like a French man in thongs there was only one name we could her, Flop. Phileep and Flop became instant friends and shared a bond that surprised everyone. Maybe it was the brother’s constant prodding, poking and racing that made them stick together so tightly? At the end of the day those 2 crabs were inseparable.

The brother had Show and Tell upon his arrival back at school. He was very proud to tell his class of fellow six year olds, “My big sister has crabs! She got one while we were on holidays” As you can imagine, mum was called up to the school to explain that yes, my teenager daughter does have crabs… HERMIT CRABS!

As with all good things, they came to an end. It was a hot January day in 2005 and the brother accidentally left the tank out the back all afternoon. By the time I realised where the tank was, it was too late. Phileep has died of heat exhaustion. That tank was like a mini greenhouse and there was only enough room in the water plate for one crab. Phileep had taken the fall for his beloved Flop. Over the next week as the three of us mourned, Flop became withdrawn and stopped eating. We tried everything, even giving her fresh fruit but it was no good. Flop sadly passed away 8 days later from a broken heart.

I never thought I would cry over a stupid Hermit crab but there was my six year old brother with a motionless shell in his tiny hands. He was shaking and his eyes full of tears. He cried for the whole weekend and refused to burry Flop. We had to sit him down and explain that Flop belonged with Phileep in heaven. Eventually we talked him around to placing Flop in a tiny box and laying him next to Phileep. 2 weeks later I was on the plane to London. I still think back to Phileep and Flop and the impact they had on both my brother and I. for a pair of $5 crabs, they were pretty damn special.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

I'll Kill you With a Tray

At work we have a café on our ground floor where you can buy Breakfast/ Lunch/ snack/ teas and coffees etc. People generally buy teas and coffees in bulk for their team. It saves everyone going down and you only have to go down once a week or day depending on what you and your team do. When a 'round' is bought they carry the tea/ coffee back in a cardboard tray device. The café likes to recycle these trays so they ask that you bring them back. People never do.

This where I come in. When I first started I got stupidly sick of find cardboard trays lying around everywhere. One day I flipped and went around the trading floor and collected them all and I took them down to the café. After doing this twice, I realised I was doing other people’s dirty work for nothing so I started asking around what was in it for me.

“If you take 50 down to them they will give you a free tea or coffee. Hardly worth it so everyone throws them away.” One of the traders told me. Granted a cup of tea does only cost 40p from down stairs but that’s 40p I could potentially save! Not that I buy tea down there anyway. 40p is a rip off! I bring my own tea bags in and take my mug down and ask them to fill it with hot water. (Yes I’m that tight but I’d rather have an extra 40p in my purse than pay for a tea I could make myself!)

So since then, I’ve been collecting 50 trays and taking them down for my free cup of tea. I’ve got a bit of reputation for it and people give me a bit of stick. It’s all in good gesture so no need to ring HR over it. But still, I had to show them that it was worth it.

So yesterday, I went down with 100 trays!
“Instead of tea, may I have a muffin today? I bought down 100 trays.”
“You know the rules, I can only give you tea or coffee.”
“Please, I worked so hard to collect all of these!”
“I can’t.”“Fine, I’ll take 50 back and bring them down to tomorrow for a tea then.”
“Are you seriously going to take 50 back upstairs?”
“Are you seriously going to deny the only person in this whole building who return the trays a muffin or at very least a piece of cake?”
“Okay, I’ll give you cake but only this once!”

So I went back upstairs with my cake and now all those who laughed at me for collecting cardboard trays looked on in envy.

Who ever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too clearly never collected trays!